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Thread: Wellington X HE584 - 24/25-2-1944

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    Default Wellington X HE584 - 24/25-2-1944

    Hello,

    On 24/25-2-1944, No.142 Sqn. Wellington X HE584 was abandoned by its crew over Corsica on return from attacking Steyr. I am having problems positively identifying the crew. One source quotes the pilot as F/Sgt CHARAM RAAF, another as F/Sgt C G CHARMAN RAAF. neither rate a mention on the DVA Nominal Roll. I believe AUS410651 F/Sgt Reginald Edward GALLAGHER RAAF was also a member of the crew. Unfortunately, GALLAGHER's A9300 is not digitised, and he has no A705.

    Can someone help in identifying this crew?

    Appreciate any help.

    Col.

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    Hi Col,
    First thing that springs to my mind, is the similarity of the names Charam and Charman,just wondered if they may possibly the same person. Having said that, my brain has just kicked in and reminded me that i have the 142sqdn ORB, so i'll be back soon........

    A10094 F/Sgt C. G. Charman, pilot. Service number not much help, as does not show results on Nominal Roll or NAA.
    Sgt M. Scott, Nav.
    Sgt A. Rooke, A/B.
    F/Sgt R. Gallagher, Wop/AG.
    Sgt W. Wickens, A/G.

    Back again, after searching back through the ORB, i have found an Aussie service number for Gallagher, 410651, also found another service number for Charman, 10054, which brings up an NAA file AWM65, for Colin Glanville Charman.
    Last edited by AlanW; 6th January 2012 at 09:04. Reason: crew list.

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    Hi Alan,

    Firstly, thanks for digging that out of the ORB. I had no problem with CHARAM/CHARMAN being one and the same, it was positively identifying him. The problem is, as his wartime RAAF service indicates, that he remustered from a ground trade to being a pilot. His post-war number was O34773, which also tells me few things about him. He is a very elusive character. He has no entry on the DVA Nominal Roll, and his amalgamated (A12372) WW2/Post-war file has been withdrawn long term. The added bonus of the crew also goes down pretty well!

    Thanks a lot Mate.

    Col.

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    Alan,

    I believe Sgt (A/B) A ROOKE, could be:

    AUS410917 Sgt (later P/O) Alan Sidney ROOKE RAAF.

    If so:

    6-7-1944
    No.221 Sqn.
    Wellington XIII MP759

    Detailed to carry out an offensive shipping recce in the Arma Strait, Adriatic. The aircraft crashed on take-off at Grottaglie. It is believed the bombs were jettisoned live, exploded, and destroyed the aircraft, killing the complete crew.

    151304 F/O (Capt./Pilot) Kenneth Frederick PATTISON RAFVR +
    1523634 Sgt (2nd Pilot) Thomas Esmond SUNLEY RAFVR +
    1587095 F/Sgt (Nav./B) Douglas George PASSMORE RAFVR +
    AUS15705 P/O (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Reginald Archibald Percival BROWN RAAF +
    AUS410917 P/O (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Alan Sidney ROOKE RAAF +
    1457886 F/Sgt (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Frank MYERS RAFVR +

    All buried Bari War Cemetery.

    It all hinges on the service number mentioned (if any), in the No.142 Sqn ORB for ROOKE. Not at all confident about this!

    Would you mind checking that please Alan.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th January 2012 at 22:26.

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    Hi Col,
    No serial number for him but, on the page which records him being posted in on 4th Dec 43, it gives him as Sgt A.D.J. Rooke.

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    Alan,

    Thanks once again for that. It is clear that ROOKE RAAF and ROOKE RAF*, are different airmen. I had my doubts! CHARMAN RAAF and GALLAGHER RAAF both became members (and presumably the other crew as well) of the Caterpillar Club on 24/25-2-1944. There is no mention of ROOKE RAAF in the CC List on that date, or anywhere else. Good to clear it up.

    * I have identified Sgt ROOKE RAF as: 1331782 Flt. Sgt. Arthur Dennis John ROOKE (185497) LG 1944 p.5199.

    There is an amusing aside to the bale-out of CHARMAN RAAF:

    The (Corsican) islanders treated the RAF and RAAF men very well, but hospitality reached its peak when Charman walked into a bar and was greeted in perfect English by the barmaid. "Hello Dig, what'll you have?" She was an Adelaide woman who had married a Corsican in Australia and returned with him to Corsica.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 7th January 2012 at 02:55.

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    Default ADJ Rooke 142 Squadron

    My dad was Arther Dennis John Rooke (RAF) who unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago. He flew with Colin Charman (RAAF) Reg Gallagher (RAAF) and Mike Scott with 142 squadron in North Africa and Italy. Fortunately my dad left the family a document of his wartime exploits and photographs of the crew in North Africa and Italy. Included in the document are the events of the crew bail-out over Corsica.

    Peter Rooke

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    I am the Sgt W Wickens mentioned in the document left by your Father. I was the A/G in Colin Charmans crew. Does your Father mention anything about the night fighter attack off the the Anzio beachhead on the 28th APRIL 1944.? I was quite badly wounded in that encounter and it ended my flying days. I have often wondered if the crew completed their tour with a replacement A/G.

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    This is ex Sgt W (Wilf) Wickens, A/G. 2209515. Yes with regards the CC club, I have my membership card and the gold caterpillar with the Ruby eyes. I did meet the Aus. lady in Corsica. I also have a peice of paper with the name Mistress Valesi, Norvale Corse, One of the ladies who no doubt bathed my scratched face, and fed me.

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    Hello Wilf,

    Welcome to our Forum. A delight to hear from you.

    Your personal details are most welcome.

    l'm afraid l can't add much to what has already been posted on the events of 24/25th February, 1944. Nor can l tell you anything about what occurred on the 28th April, 1944.

    l thought you might appreciate the following:

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61939049

    and...

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128398674

    ( Was your Nav., Sgt M Scott, a Canadian ?).

    Anything that you could add to both these events would be greatly appreciated.

    Be in touch shortly.

    Best wishes,

    Col Bruggy
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 10th October 2013 at 01:33.

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