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Thread: unknown (?) RAF P/O, Serv. no. 1104950, 1942

  1. #1
    Bart FM Droog Guest

    Default unknown (?) RAF P/O, Serv. no. 1104950, 1942

    Gentlemen,

    This one puzzles me:

    <a href='http://www.hoebeke.com/'>Slagveld Sloedam</a>, <a href='http://www.hoebeke.com/nl/detail-mil2.php3?recordID=920'>Vlissingen NN-920</a>: 'died' [i.e. fished from the sea] 07/08/1942; buried 08/08/1942. Grave: Section 3B. No.81. 1 deep
    Details: P/O, RAF, Service number: 1104950 (???)
    According to Vlissingen Archive: Radcliffe, C.D.; 1104950; Offr. Eenheid: OD

    I found a P/O Radcliffe, buried in Vlissingen (Flushing), but he can't be the same person as the above unknown airman:

    Pilot Officer (W.Op.) Hubert Alan Radcliffe, RAF 122312, 158 Sqdn., age 32, 31/05/1942, Row B. Grave 25., Flushing (Vlissingen) Northern Cemetery. (source CWGC)
    According to Slagveld Sloedam: H.A. Radcliffe; died 31/05/1942; buried 03/06/1942, grave 3B. No.55 1 deep. With note: 'In overhemd naam met potlood Allan en RAF 115.' (in shirt name with pencil Allan and RAF 115...')

    Can somebody couple a name with service number 1104950?
    CWGC doesn't list any other RAF Radcliff or Radcliffe for 1942.

    Regards,

    Bart

  2. #2
    Eddie Fell Guest

    Default

    Hi Bart

    You have the right person.

    The aircraft was shot down on the outbound leg, crashing in the Oosterschelde near Schelphoek. All the crew were killed and their bodies were eventually washed ashore, that of Hubert Radcliffe at Wissenkerke on 1/6/42. His pilot was S/Ldr. D.J. Harkness and he was lost on Ops to Cologne 30/5/42 in Wellington Z8577 NP-T.
    Harkness was a New Zealander in the RAF. This was Radcliffe's first flight with Harkness - his regular pilot was S/Ldr. W.M. Protheroe
    Radcliffe had previously been with No. 104 Sqn

    Source: 158 Sqn ORB

    Cheers

    Eddie

  3. #3
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    Default

    Bart

    1104950 is Hubert Alan Radcliffe's NCO no.

  4. #4
    Bart FM Droog Guest

    Default

    Hello Eddie and John,

    Thanks for your contributions, but the question 'who can be Vlissingen NN 920' remains unanswered. It can't be Radcliffe, as he was buried two months before.

    Regards,

    Bart

  5. #5
    Eddie Fell Guest

    Default

    Hi Bart

    I've also noted that the site says the body of Harkness was found on 31/12/42 and buried on 2/1/43. I have him found on 1/6/42 which fits with others from his crew.
    My language skills being nil I may be misreading, but the date 7 months after the event doesn't seem right.

    Eddie

  6. #6
    Bart FM Droog Guest

    Default

    Hello Eddie,

    What's your source on the finding of S/L Harkness? The source Slagveld Sloedam used was Archive Vlissingen City.

    Regards,

    Bart

  7. #7
    Eddie Fell Guest

    Default

    Hi Bart

    My source is

    http://muse.aucklandmuseum.com/databases/cenotaph/RecordDetail.aspx?SearchID=704413&Ordinal=5&Origin alID=25499

    I know from personal experience how difficult it is to identify a body that has been in the sea for more than a few days and here we have an immediate identity it seems within a couple of days after 7 months immersion.

    I am just wondering whether there may have been some administrative errors with this crew and the recording of their being found by the Archivists or whether the souce quoted is incorrect (Any thoughts Errol?)

    Cheers

    Eddie

  8. #8
    Bart FM Droog Guest

    Default

    Hello Eddie,

    I just studied the information on the Cenotaph Database:

    'Over the next six months all five bodies were washed ashore and their graves are now located in the North Cemetery at the Dutch port of Vlissigen.'

    Vlissigen = Vlissingen (in English: Flushing)

    'he was posted missing on air operations over enemy territory on May 41st 1942 and subsequently his body was washed ashore at North Beveland (Holland) the following day. He was buried in the Flushing Cemetery, Holland.'

    I presume 'May 41st' is a typo (or I must have missed something, years ago).

    Were all other crew members identified? Positive identification can sometimes be simple, even if a body has been in sea for many months. If the tag was still attached to a body, for instance.

    And yes, I'm very curious to what Errol thinks about this.

    Regards,

    Bart

  9. #9
    Eddie Fell Guest

    Default

    Hi Bart

    The others were identified to the extant that they were buried rather than commemorated on Runnymede.

    The site shows the same recovery dates as I have viz

    Hill Mercer at Wissenkerke on 3/6/42. He was buried on 5/6/42.

    Bernard James Lovett at Kamperland on 1/6/42

    Alexander Robertson Edgar at Colijnsplaat on 29/6/42
    Note: Edgar is shown on the site as 150 Sqn rather than 158 Sqn and the Service No. 581279 was his NCO number.

    Cheers

    Eddie

  10. #10
    Bart FM Droog Guest

    Default

    Hello Eddie,

    So we have:

    S/Ldr. D.J. Harkness Harkness was found on 31/12/42 and buried on 2/1/43.
    Or: found on 1/6/42
    Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Hill Mercer at Wissenkerke on 3/6/42. He was buried on 5/6/42
    Flight Lieutenant (Air Gnr.) Bernard James Lovett found at Kamperland on 1/6/42, buried 3/6/42.
    Pilot Officer (Obs.) Alexander Robertson Edgar found at Colijnsplaat on 29/6/42, buried 2/7/42 (158 Sqdn according to CWGC)
    Pilot Officer (W.Op.) Hubert Alan Radcliffe, died 31/05/1942; buried 03/06/1942
    or: fished from the sea] 07/08/1942; buried 08/08/1942

    And we have: 'Over the next six months all five bodies were washed ashore and their graves are now located in the North Cemetery at the Dutch port of Vlissigen.'

    I've asked Errol to take a look at this. Hope he knows where the error was made.

    Regards,

    Bart
    Last edited by Bart FM Droog; 17th March 2008 at 18:47. Reason: additional info

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