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Thread: Needle in a Hayes-stack!

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    Default Needle in a Hayes-stack!

    Hi All,

    I have just finished reading a book about the 1943 Chindit operation in Burma. 'Safer Than the Known Way', by Ian MacHorton.

    In the book one of the Air Liaison attached to a Gurkha unit, column 2, takes responsibility for a small group of wounded men and attempts to get them back to India. Sadly, he does not make it himself and is said to have died on the east banks of the Chindwin River in early May 1943.

    He is named simply as RAF Sergeant Hayes in the book and I have never been able to trace him on CWGC or other research facilities. I know this is almost an impossible task, especially with such a common name too. I looked at first on the Rangoon Memorial for his details, but I wonder now if he might be on the Singapore Memorial? He was hastily buried where he died and so has No Known Grave in CWGC terms.

    Does anyone have any ideas for leads or research pathway with this one?

    Thanks in advance.

    Steve

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    Have you been to Kew too at files in the national archives? Would there be lists of ALO's in the files there? What other ALO's were killed? So I can check the GRO lists.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Steve
    I guess you have been through the 231 Hayes on CWCG that died 1943 and later? Several buried in Far East or on Singapore Memorial.

    Could the day of death in CWGC be later than the actual death because of the circumstances (in the jungle etc.)

    Regards

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    Hi Mikkel,

    I had the same thought about the possibility of a later date being used. Obviously that makes the trail even more difficult to follow, especially having no christian name or former squadron. Thanks for your input though.

    Hi Dennis,

    I found a Missing in Action roll at Kew earlier this year which included all the add ons to operation Longcloth, ALO's, Signalmen and medics, but Hayes was not on it. He does exist for sure, because not only is he mentioned in the book, but I have also seen a photo of him before they went in to Burma in 1943.

    The other ALO's who were present and did not make it back to India were:

    41952 John Redman was KIA on the 20/04/43.

    Sergeant 550510 Richard Southgate who went missing 02/04/43 and died in Rangoon Jail 20/11/44.

    Sergeant 1292048 Richard Norman Wood who was MIA 01/04/43 and died in Rangoon Jail 11/02/44.

    Thanks both for youe interest and help.

    Steve

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    THe GRO list of RAF overseas deaths list the three men above as respectivly

    HQ 224 Group
    HQSF
    AHQ India
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Thanks for that information Dennis. I will go back over the CWGC entries and see what might match up. This is quite frustrating for me, as I am about to publish a website on operation Longcloth and Sgt. Hayes would be a worthy bio for this site.

    Steve

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    Could he be Haynes, Hays, any of those options? have you seen his name typed on an offcial document anywhere?
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    No, not on any official document I'm afraid, just the book and a pre-operation photograph. I have tried all the different spellings, but with no real luck.

    Thanks for your help.

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