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Thread: 50 Squadron crew

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    Default 50 Squadron crew

    Hello all,
    Searching for the names of a 50 sqdn. crew which crashed on take off @ Skellingthorpe sometime between the months of July & Sept, 44?
    The only other info I have is that the pilot was Polish, R/G was a Canadian.

    Cheers & Happy New Year!
    Paul

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    I've just done a quick dash through 'Chorley' for the period in question and found diddly squat. There are two accidents involving aircraft returning to base, rather than leaving, but neither fits your bill re canadian and polish crew.

    On this last point, it would be unusual to find a 'genuine' Pole flying with other than a Polish squadron (there are many cases with the SD squadrons and fighter units and I have a record of a Pole who actually served in the RAF). Is there a possibility that the Polish name is actually another Canadian with Polish ancestry?

    Can you post anymore details about the background to your question. I'm due to talk to the chairman of the 50 Sqn Association in a couple of days time and he might have some idea about the best person to approach re the unit history.

    Colin Cummings

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    Hi Colin,
    Thanks for the reply.
    While talking to my cousin's mug from 61 sqdn, he relayed a story to me re. this Pole pilot on 50 sqdn, and his Canadian gunner who had been friends with my cousin.
    I was told the Pole was born in the UK, his parents were Polish, so I'm assuming he had a Polish name?
    My cousin's crew did their heavy con. on Stirlings with this crew, both crews ending up @ Skelly, the 50 sqdn crew supposedly parishing in a aborted take off some time before Sept. 44.
    I've gone over the 50 sqdn roll of honor, no luck finding a Polish name that matches any 50 sqdn loss in Chorley's books for this period?
    I know it's not much to go on, it's all I have.
    Cheers.
    Paul

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    Can confirm that no losses of this sort are recorded in ORB between May and November 44. The only Polish sounding names for two pilots on the squadron were Canadians, one tour expired, and the other, shot down and evaded in Sept.

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    Paul 61,

    Perhaps the next line of enquiry is to find out where those casualties, who were not UK residents or whose remains were not claimed by UK relatives, were buried if they were killed at Skellingthorpe.

    Given the way memory plays tricks, could the men you seek have been members of 61 Sqn, with whom 50 shared Skellingthorpe in the time frame we are talking about.

    Not sure where to find it apart from Lincoln Cathedral but a browse through the 5 Group Roll of Honour is also a (lengthy) possibility. Despite some reservations expressed on this site, I have found the book: "They Shall Grow Not Old" to be a good source but it is ordered in alphabetical sequence and there are 18000 names to go through!

    Given AlanW's comments above, I shan't now pursue the issue with the 50 Sqn Association.

    Colin Cummings

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    Gentlemen,
    Thank you for your efforts.
    The Canadian who evaded in Sept. may be a lead as my friend, Ken Johnson, did tell me that very thing?
    Ken mentioned that this fellow watched from his hiding place as his crew was buried by the Germans.
    I questioned Ken re. the crash as I was under the impression that evaders were not allowed on operations following their return, and he did say that this crash occurred after the return of this Canadian?

    Cheers
    Paul

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    Looking further, between Nov 44 and May 45, shows only one such incident, but no fatalities.
    6th April 45, NG271, crashed near Waddington after being airborne 7mins, R/G injured.

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    I don't think 'evaders' were prevented from flying operations again. However, their experiences were of value and they might have been required to pass on the knowledge they gained. There are well known cases (Basil Embry, Guy Lockhart) who flew operations after a 'home run'. The danger, of course, was that these people knew of the existance and substance of the escape route.

    Escapees were not normally allowed to fly on operations in the same theatre but as with all things, there were exceptions.

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