Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: 218 sqn / loss of Stirling III, BK712, Krefeld, mix-up or planned alias

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    881
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default 218 sqn / loss of Stirling III, BK712, Krefeld, mix-up or planned alias

    The last couple of days I have been looking into the loss of this aircraft as one of the lost airmen was Danish 2nd pilot F/O Helvard. My information is the
    1) casualty file of the pilot P/O W G Shillinglaw, AUS.412346 (available on-line NAA: A705, 166/37/124)
    2) 218 Sqn ORB, June 1943

    Helvard was posted to 218 Sqn from 1651 HCU with effect from 13 June 1943. On the same day a F/O Turner (129585) is posted as well. BK712 is lossed en route to/from Krefeld on 21/22 June 1943.

    According to the ORB, Helvard is flying along as "2nd pilot".

    According to the Shillinglaw file following the loss the German authorities report (to the International Red Cross) that Helvard and Sgt Hart has been identified, and further 4 bodies have been found (p 68). Later (chronologically) in the file a cypher message reports that German "Totenliste 162" reports that Hart, Lunn and Turton have been identified. It is stated that Turton is not part of the crew. (p 52) In the Casualty Enquiry Report (p 7) Turton's name is explained by suggesting that Helvard served under the name of Turton.

    This would not be the only example of Danes serving under a different name (Helvard had escaped Denmark during 1942), but the information confuses me. The reason is that John Turton (later F/L and DFC) is a true identity, not just an assumed name. Another reason that the ORB actually states Helvard's true name.

    Wouldn't it be unlikely that an airman's assumed identity would be a close colleague? Wouldn't it be more likely that the German authorities found some kind of artefact belonging to Turton in the aircraft believing him to have been on-board? And that the name confusion is just that: confusion, and not a planned alias for Helvard.

    Does any of you have similar experiences?

    Regards

    Mikkel Plannthin
    Last edited by Mikkel Plannthin; 18th April 2012 at 16:24.
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,565
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 47 Times in 45 Posts

    Default

    Mikkel,

    The MRES Reports in Shillinglaw's A705 (pp.31-2 & 36 of 80), state, unequivocally, that; "F/O Helvard worked under the assumed name of 1438341 Sergeant Turton."

    For others who may wish to view this file:

    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=1076185

    Interesting theory, nevertheless!

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th April 2012 at 08:35.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    881
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Col
    I agree, but 1438341 Sergeant Turton is identical to 129585 Flying Officer Turner, and it is a different man.

    This is why I am theorizing.

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,565
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 47 Times in 45 Posts

    Default

    Mikkel,

    1438341 John TURTON (129585)

    http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/35795/supplements/5102

    I first tackled this problem back in 2005, when Shillinglaw's A705 was digitised. My researches actually turned up another "TURTON", who did serve on No.218 Sqn. He was 1576575 Sgt John Henry TURTON (later F/O 186075). J H TURTON, was involved in force-landing at Woodbridge on 1/2-5-1944, in Stirling III EF184 (see:BCL5/203).

    More fun!

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th April 2012 at 10:44.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    881
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Col
    Interesting and confusing with all the Turtons...

    One of my issues with the MRES report is that it does not mention the fact that the first CYPHER MESSAGE mentioning news from the German authorities (p. 68 og 80) of 30 Nov 1943 actually refer to the body of Helvard.

    If "F/O Helvard worked under the assumed name of 1438341 Sergeant Turton." how would IRCC then be able to refer to Helvard in that message, if indeed they actually did that. I recognize that the sitation could be, that the Germans referred to Turton and then the British authorities referred to Helvard. To check this one would need the original signal from the IRCC quoting the German authorities.

    My question regarding "normal practice" origins in the fact that I find it strange that the assumed identity was that of another living person, and not a fictive persona. The Danish pilot J Thalbitzer who became PoW in 1942 is another example of an assumed name among the Danish pilots. When in the PoW-camp he had the assumed identity of P/O Thomson to protect his family still living in Denmark.

    Regards

    Mikkel

    PS. I realise that my comment above might be confusing. I had located 1438341 John TURTON (129585), but my point was that he is a different man to Helvard, and does not appear to be a fictious person invented for the purpose of assumed identity.

    PPS. I only have the June ORB for the squadron and noticed that 129585 J Turton did not appear on the roster.
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,565
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 47 Times in 45 Posts

    Default

    Mikkel,

    I am no further advanced on the subject of Helvard/Turton than yourself. This loss has been well documented over the years, but there are still unexplained areas. By the way. Your biography of Helvard contains a reference to him flying Handley Page Hampdens in North Africa. To the best of my knowledge, Hampdens did not operate in North Africa.

    Col.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    881
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Col
    Thank you. Regarding the Hampdens I am aware of this. I was actually going through my material, because I was approached by another person suggesting that the Hampden/North Africa information was wrong. The source of this is a normally well documented history of Danish military aviation. The fact that you and other people suggest that the information might be wrong has led my to consider revising and to look for documentation. Right now I hope the 1651 HCU ORB shall hold information on the previous postings and therefore information on if, when and where he flew Hampdens.

    Regarding the loss, I find it documented that
    - Helvard went along on this operation, and therefore lossed in the crash
    - Turton was not in the a/c, but the German authorities for some reason thought he was
    - the identification of the crew is very difficult, and confused by the additional eight crew member
    - the MRES report suggests the reason for the confusion to be that Helvard had actively assumed the identity of Turton

    I have not found information on why Helvard (and a small number of other pilots) went along as 2nd pilot to the aircraft, especially assuming the identity of a navigator.

    Thank you a again for another rewarding exchange of information.

    Regards

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    881
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Given the 1651 HCU ORB estimate I just received ( 1000 ;-) ), it'll be a while before I'll have the chance to dig into the ORB of this unit.
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •