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Thread: RAF evadee?

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    Default RAF evadee?

    Hello all,

    I have been contacted by the family of Sgt Robert Henry Taylor (1319303), RAFVR, who was killed on the 18th May 1945. According to his family, "We have a letter sent from War Office, when he got shot down behind enemy lines in 1943 and he made his way back home. The War office awarded him a Caterpillar with a Ruby Eye,and he was made a member of the Caterpillar Club". They also added that, "the original letter and pin were sent out to North Africa in July 1943".

    Can anyone attribute him to a loss/bale out in 1943?

    Cheers,

    Tom
    Last edited by thorne83; 17th October 2011 at 22:45.

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    Default RAF Evadee ?

    Hello Tom,

    Could this be your man ?

    1409 Flt
    14th June 1943
    Mosquito IX
    LR501
    W/O. D. Durrant - POW
    P/O. R. Taylor - POW
    S/d by Fw190's NNE of Paris.

    Your man 81 OTU in 1945.
    Alex

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    The man in question appears to be Sgt Robert Henry Taylor 24 who was killed in Wellington NC921 of 81 OTU at Sleap. He was the navigator.

    The cause of the accident was an engine failure during an overshoot, resulting in a swing to port, stall and dive into the ground before the pilot could recover control.

    There was a single survivor from the crew and the other fatal casualties were Fg Off Alfred Edward Davies 35 and Sgt Joseph Ashridge Bell 21 the W/Op.

    I can't rationalise the differences in rank with the post above (at least not until late 1946). I also can't think why the caterpiller badge would have been sent to the Middle East unless Taylor continued to serve there. I think it more likely that Taylor was flying with a Middle East sqn (possibly a 205 Gp Wellington sqn), he was shot down, evaded and was later recovered from enemy territory.

    The Record of Service will reveal all the pointers to sqns, date of loss etc and then it's a case of getting out the Form 540s!

    Good Luck

    Colin Cummings

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    Default

    Thanks Alex, but I doubt that is the same man. I've just looked at Sgt Taylor's wedding photo from June 1944 and he is wearing Sergeant stripes and an Observers brevet.

    Colin, those are indeed the details for his death and I agree that we should be looking for a Middle East loss. His service record would give the details that we want but I'm afraid that I have to have my manuscript with the publisher in the next couple of weeks, so time is not on my side!

    Does David Gunby have anything in his files?

    Cheers,

    Tom

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    Tom,

    It's the family that needs to get the Service Record from the MOD and they need to fill in the form and pay the dosh!!

    They could be getting on with that whilst you are on other things. If they but realised it, they are very close to a solution/answers to something which is obviously important to them.... Sgt Maj's rant over!

    Colin Cummings

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    Thanks Colin, I'm aware of that but it is I who is looking for an answer to add to my book before it is published. Hence, not enough time for the family/me to order his file/wait for it to arrive/add details to the book within the next two weeks! I will suggest that the family order it if they wish but I was hoping that one of the good members of the board could attribute him to a bale out so that I can add these details to the book while it is still possible. Quite straightforward, so if we can return to my initial request that would be useful...

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    Hi Tom
    There is a Robert H Taylor,24, whose death is registered at Whitchurch, Shropshire , which is appropriate for Sleap ,in the 2nd Qtr of 1945, and ,if you are not aware already, an Observers brevet would be right for a Navigator as not everybody discarded them when the N brevet was introduced despite AM orders! I flew with a Nav in 1958 who still wore his O brevet from his WW2 days!!
    If my memory of other threads is not faulty the Caterpillar badge was not an official award, it came from the Irving Co that designed/made most of the parachutes and was given to successful customers
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 18th October 2011 at 09:56.

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    Hi Dick, yes, that's correct he died in NC921 at Sleap, and Whitchurch district covers the majority of North Shropshire during the war. I have the form 1180 and ORB details already, it is his bale out and entry into the Caterpillar Club that I am trying to work out.

    I had thought along the same lines as you, that the Caterpillar badge was awarded by the Irvin Co. (rather than the War Office). I might try the family again for a scan of said letter (if they can dig it out).

    Cheers,

    Tom

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    Default R H Taylor

    There is an R H Taylor listed as evading after being shot down on a raid to Berlin 27/1/44 in Lancaster JB650 from 12 Squadron. It appears he evaded with F/O A G Stacey and was liberated by US troops 10/09/44 and flown back to the UK by Dakota - I realise the 1943 date doesn't fit but could it be the guy you are looking for?

    Neil

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    Hi Neil, thanks for this, but I think we are looking at another R H Taylor! 'My' Taylor was getting married in Gloucestershire in June 1944, so that rules this one out if he wasn't liberated until September 1944. Cheers, Tom

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