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Thread: Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

    Hello again

    Just to add the following, taken from the 58 Squadron O.R.B.

    Form 540:
    On 20th August W/C Grant found three U-boats off la Pallice and made a bombing run. The bombs were not released on this run owing to inaccurate tracking over the target and the remaining flares were wastedr on a different radar contact. The aircraft was flying round the area at 800 to 1,000 feet had just passed a radar contact when there was an explosion in the aircraft cabin and it immediately crashed into the sea. Five of the crew got out of the aircraft but two died during the night. W/C Grant, Lt. Hendrickson and F/Sgt Martlew were picked up after ten and a half hours in the sea, H.M.C.S. St. John, a frigate of the 9th Escort Group.

    Form 541:
    20.8.44
    Halifax JP296 (O)
    Ranger Patrol
    Up: 19.55
    Down:

    W/C J. B. Grant
    Lt. C. D. Hendrickson (USAAF)
    F/O D. Phillips
    F/Sgt. Martlew G.
    P/O W. H. Cockburn
    F/Sgt. Greig S.
    W/O McKean W.
    Sgt. Knight M. L.

    Airborne at Brawdy. Patrol area reached at 22.40. Numerous contacts investigated with no result. Weather and visibility good. At about 01.20 a good contact was obtained off the Gironde. Three flares were released and one, two and then a third U-boat were seen, each 3-400 yards apart. No attack was made, as tracking was unsuccessful. Subsequent attempts also failed owing to a large number of contacts in area. At 2.00 aircraft proceeded towards escort group and immediately obtained a good contact close on port beam; immediately afterwards there was an explosion, and aircraft crashed into water from 800 feet. Five of the crew escaped but no dinghy was found. During the night Sgt. Knight was lost, and later F/O Phillips died. The dead body of F/S Cockburn was seen in the water. Eventually the three survivors, W/C Grant, Lt. Hendrickson and F/Sgt Martlew were picked up by H.M.C.S. “St. John” at 12.25 on 21st August after 10 hours in the sea. A fuller report is contained in file 58S/357/191* which has been marked ‘Historical Document.’


    *any ideas what/where that might be?

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

    Simon,

    The No.58 Sqn crew loss matrix, as presented, omits mention of the following casualty:

    AUS421786 F/Sgt (Nav./B) Roy Vincent BOYD RAAF - 2nd Navigator. - KIA 21 August, 1944.

    The unfortunate F/Sgt R. V. Boyd RAAF, was on his first op with 58 Sqn., having been posted in on 15 August, 1944.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 19th September 2021 at 22:29.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

    Col

    Interesting, thank you. Oddly, he's not mentioned in the ORB, but is included in Alan Storr's record of the loss.

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

    Hello again

    Boyd's A705 file on the naa.gov.au website has a detailed report of the crash (pages 57, 58 and 59 of 78). It can be found by searching for boyd 421786 in the Record Search link.

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: Cockburn, William Hugh, 54764 - DFM award?

    Further to these helpful posts and for general future ref, it's a curious feature of the NAA Record Search system that
    1. a link to an Item listing (catalogue entry) will invariably expire (& hence no point in including same here)
    but
    2. if the Item entry shows links to a digital copy, that can be opened in the NAA veiwer: the image link can be copied from there and will not expire in a post.

    So here's the A705 cas file for Boyd 421786 , imaged, with accident & Cockburn details as noted above by Simon: the page 57 etc views can be enlarged (if rather sluggish today):
    https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/Sear...aspx?B=1064450

    Lastly, it may help to remember that the AUS service no prefix, seen for sound reasons in wartime RAF records of RAAF men, was never used in Australian records, then or now.
    To search in NAA on RAAF service no, drop the AUS prefix.

    Finally, for future ref, the late Alan Storr's work is held in the Australian War Memorial:
    1. In a set of folders, accessible only in the Research Centre eg
    Australians serving in the Royal Air Force in WW2
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/LIB100007389
    Perhaps the easiest way to find the extent of the holding is by Collections/Advance Search (https://www.awm.gov.au/advanced-search) and enter Alan Storr.
    It may take some patience to find your way through the Collection Search and the results.
    The Research Centre, recently moved to temporary accom near the Cafe, is currently closed due to the current ACT COVID access restrictions.

    2. Of which at least* these vols are avail digitised/free download
    RAAF World War 2 Fatalities: v. 17 - RAAF WW2 fatalities on attachment with RAF and other Air Forces : missing with no known grave : airman letters A-K
    See https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1252722 and
    https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws....nt/6019487.PDF

    RAAF World War 2 Fatalities: v. 18 - RAAF WW2 fatalities on attachment with RAF and other Air Forces : missing with no known grave : airman letters L-Y
    See https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1252723 and
    https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws....nt/6019488.PDF

    RAAF World War 2 Fatalities: v. 19 - RAAF WW2 fatalities on attachment with RAF and other Air Forces : missing with no known grave : Officers
    See https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1252724 and
    https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws....nt/6019489.PDF

    * The rather testing AWM Search function does show that all Storr's Volumes are available as PDFs (as he himself explained in each of the numerous Vols) and as Col explains here:
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...480#post165480
    .
    Last edited by Don Clark; 21st September 2021 at 22:12.
    Toujours propos

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Don Clark For This Useful Post:

    wwrsimon (21st September 2021)

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