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Thread: Research on CA Butler (35 squadron, Graveley) KIA in ME334 over Bonn 04/02/45

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    Default Research on CA Butler (35 squadron, Graveley) KIA in ME334 over Bonn 04/02/45

    We are doing some research into our father / grandfather Cecil Arthur Butler who died when Lancaster ME334 was shot down over Bonn on 4th February 1945.

    We have received photos of him, together with his crew, and information regarding the night he died. We have also been provided with information from 35 squadron ORB's for 1944 and 1945, so we know the operations that he undertook during his time with the pathfinders.

    We are awaiting his service record (which we understand could take months) so we are now trying to see if we can work out where he was prior to joining 35 squadron.

    We know that 2 of the officers from the crew, AE Johnson and H Coulton joined 35 squadron from 635 squadron on 9 July 1944. We had assumed that Cecil, along with the rest of the crew, moved from 635 squadron at the same time but it has been suggested that this is not the case.

    Has anyone got any information regarding any members of this crew prior to joining 35 squadron?

    Flight Sergeant RM Jenkins (Wireless Operator)
    Sergeant DF Hadland (Rear Gunner)
    Flight Sergeant GB Thomas (Navigator)
    Flight Lieutenant AE Johnson (Skipper)
    Flying Officer H Coulton (Bomb Aimer)
    Flight Sergeant R Neale (Mid Upper)
    Sergeant CA Butler (Flight Engineer)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated
    Last edited by PeteT; 26th September 2011 at 19:23. Reason: Correction

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    My records show that Flt Lt Johnson had been awarded a 'Mention in Despatches'.

    Coulton was a Flying Officer (Flight Officers were females or USAAF non-comm aircrew!!!)

    You don't say whether you have also seen the 635 Sqn ORBs but you might find the book "We Act With One Accord" by Alan Cooper ISBN 1 900511 83 5 an interesting read.

    Not much - but as the supermarket chain says: 'every little helps' !!

    Old Duffer

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    Thanks for the information and the "correction"; as you say .... every little helps!

    We have also seen something that shows AE Johnson as MiD, but we have not been able to trace any further information on this subject.

    Someone has looked at the 635 ORB's for us and drawn a blank .... so we have been left with a bit of a mystery on that front ... I guess we will just have to be patient and await the service record.

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    Hi PeteT,

    an ULTRA message at The National Archives ( HW 5/663 CX/MSS/R.462/C/4) records the following information about the loss of this aircraft:

    "Signed POFOP ((IA)) dated 6/2:- Four-engined enemy a/c of unknown type shot down on 2200/4/2, 2 km S. of BONN-BEUEL (1 km E. of BONN), OP 1-3. Shot down by Flak, burst into flames, 99% damage. 7 dead."

    Note - I have converted the time in the signal from GMT to German time (2200 hrs), which was the same as British times during this period of the war. OP 1-3 is the Luftwaffe grid square used to identify the location of the crash.

    The Flak unit responsible for shooting down the Lancaster belonged to the 7 Flak-Division.

    I hope that this information is of some assistance.

    Cheers

    Rod

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