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Thread: Looking for crew info for Hamden AT130 (420 SQ) PT-S

  1. #1
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Looking for crew info for Hamden AT130 (420 SQ) PT-S

    I looking for information about the crew of The 420 SQ. Hampden who make a emergency landing near the Dutch town of Pietersbierum on 21st of January 1942 (Mission Emden). The 4 man where take pow. Now I was hoping someone knows the first names for 3 of the 4 crewmembers. I also wane know what their position was in the plain, en maybe someone knows in which village or city their came from day came from:

    Pilot Victor Thomas Lawrence Wood (Squadron Leader) 39921
    D de L Grealy (Sergeant) 903077
    D.G. Semple (Sergeant) 1305104
    R.L. Bott (Sergeant) 930272

    Other information about this plain or crew or very welcome.

    Thanks, René

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Hi Rene
    I have no information on the first names of the crew but from a book, Bomber Command Losses Vol 3 by W R Chorley, it is possible to work out some crew positions.
    The list is as you have it in your post with Wood as the pilot and also the aircraft captain(it was normal for the pilot to be the a/c captain whatever his rank)
    Grealy was the Observer,an old designation from WW1 which continued into WW2.His function would have been to navigate the a/c and he would almost certainly have moved forward, approaching the target, to aim the bombs
    Semple and Bott were W/op-Air gunners and there were two guns to be manned on the Hampden,one above and one below the fuselage, both facing rearwards. From the list in Chorley's book it seems that Semple was the W/op who would have moved back to the guns over enemy territory and Bott was a permanent gunner for this operation but Chorley states that it is not always very clear. 420 Sqn had only been formed at the end of December 1941 and this was the first Sqn operation, although the crew may have flown operationally before on another Sqn. 420 was formed as part of the RCAF contingent in Bomber Command but this crew seem all to have been from the RAF or RAFVR. This would not have been unusual, particularly with a newly formed Sqn built around a nucleus of experienced people
    Hope this helps

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Thanked 25 Times in 24 Posts


    You should be able to find all the names on the UK national archives website on the AIR78 digital microfilm series. I'm sure someone can tell you here but Google that AIR 78 series. They're large but free downloads.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945

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