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Thread: Pathfinder Museum, RAF Wyton

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    Default Pathfinder Museum, RAF Wyton

    Hello,

    I've e-mailed the Pathfinder Museum at RAF Wyton to ask for an appointment, but I've got no answer to my e-mail, sent at pathfindermuseum AT yahoo.co.uk


    Does a forumite have a valid address or contact at this museum ?

    TIA

    Joss

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    Good morning Joss,
    pathfindermuseumATahoo.co.uk is the address I have used before with success.
    The staff are all volunteers with other day commitments so it can take a while for a response.
    Your wise to make prior contact to arrange a visit. As the museum is on an active RAF base security is quite high- you need a visitor pass which is issued at the guardroom on production of proof of identity.
    I managed a visit last year and long to go back. I think it takes two visits- one to get a feel of the place the next for specific interests.
    I hope you hear soon, and manage a visit.
    Be well,
    Paul

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    Hello Paul

    Thanks for confirming the e-mail address is valid. I understand they are volunteers. I drove past Wyton last June, and pictured their Canberra gate gardian, but didn't have time for more, and as you say, I had not asked for an appointment.

    I e-mailed a week ago. I'm going to Coningsby next Saturday and will drive there on Friday. I'm also going to Elvington the week after, so I have another possibility. I have many Pathfinder crews lost in my area, so I'm quite interested in what they may have about them.

    Regards

    Joss

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    Ross,
    Perhaps a phone call? The curator did take an extended leave last year and his duties were taken on by another. I presume the mails are checked from outside the base from time to time. Again good luck with your endeavours.
    My late father flew as w/op with 35 squadron from Graveley-hence the interest.

    Be well,
    Paul

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    Hello,

    Thanks for your advice. I had noted that your father flew with 35 later in the war. One of my earliest research subjects was the crew captained by S/L J.G. KERRY DFC, of No. 35 Squadron, lost during the night 5/6 october 1942. I drove to Graveley years ago, for a general "feeling" of the place, with the farmer's house in the old control tower building. The other Pathfinder losses in my area don't belong to No. 35 Squadron, although I always had a interest in the crew of F/O BORDISS, lost in April 1944, because they crashed in the Somme département before reaching the target, which was Lille-Délivrance M/Y, 12 km from where I live. I've been in touch with the flight engineer of that crew years ago.

    Thanks also to Paul for his pm.

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 10th June 2012 at 18:22.

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    Sorry to appear a smart ass, but should the email address in Post No: 2 actually be a YAHOO address, rather than an AHOO as shown?

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    hello Colin

    It's a yahoo address as in my post #1, I think it's only a typo in Paul's message.

    Joss

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    Hi Joss, I have only just discovered this forum - why it took me so long I do not know. My wife's father was a Tail-gunner flying in Lancaster's of Path Finer Force and he fortunately survived the war. He came out on the silk five times and three of them were into the English Channel. I also know a surviving tail gunner who is very reluctant even at 95 to discuss his involvement - all I know is he flew in Lancaster's and it seems he was on the raid with 617 Squadron when they put a big hole in the roof of the Watten Bunker aka the Eperlecques Blockhaus in Pas de Calais Nord. Sadly my father in law is no longer with us, his son has his log book and medals and is reluctant to let us see them - why I don't know; but I am determined to find out what I can. I am ex-RAF my self but I am proud of what my father in law and all his comrades in arms did for freedom. I shall let you know what I can discover. I have a favour to ask - seemingly my great uncle was involved in the Battles of World War I. He served with the Royal Munster Fusiliers, is depicted in a picture called the "Final Absolution of the Munsters" which was at a shrine in the Rue de Bois it was just before the Battle for Arras. As I will be in the area in January 2016 I would like to visit the location, but am unable to locate it on my Michelin Atlas of France - I believe it to be east of the Abbeville to Hesdin road the D928. I did pass a sign last January which pointed down a road which said "Rue de Bois" but as it was dark, raining and late I was on top of it before I saw it - terrible excuse I know, but I would like to visit teh location and pay my respects to a relative I never knew. Are you able to advise me - if so I will be grateful. Merci ici Gerard.

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    Hello

    Having been many times on the Watten-Eperlecques bunker, including on the roof, and just below the roof, I can tell you that it wasn't damaged like you describe, during the German occupation of the area. But it was used to test allied bombs well after the Liberation, so mostly in 1945. No Flak to fire against the bombers, so aiming was much easier. There's indeed a large "chump" of concrete that has been chopped on the southern edge of the roof, probably from that time.

    No. 617 Squadron was not a Pathfinder Unit. The Squadron was always part of No. 5 Group, while the Pathfinder Force which was created in August 1942 became No. 8 Group in January 1943.

    Some families are reluctant to show documents to other members of the family, and even so to complete foreigners like us, researchers... I know of two log-books which still exists, and copies would make my day. I've compiled the list of missions flown by these two airmen from the Squadron Operations Record Book, into Excel spreadsheet, which I gave to the families, but they refused to exchange information in return. Too bad, but there's not a lot we can do when people don't want to cooperate. There are always variations between the documents, and they can also complete each others (serial numbers in one, code letters in the other, etc...)

    "Rue du Bois" is a quite general name for a street, like "rue du chateau", and you may find tens of villages or towns with that name.

    There's a painting quite similar to what you describe, before the Battle of Aubers ridge, but I can't tell exactly, as WW1 is not my usual field of research, and even though I'm especially researching aviation matters. While typing this message I've started an internet search, and I confirm that this painting is the one I was thinking of.

    Try this link : https://www.google.fr/search?newwind...04.52vG8k5UFdU

    Otherwise, enter Neuve-Chapelle rue du Bois in Googlemaps

    https://www.google.fr/maps/@50.58486...7i13312!8i6656

    Not sure this is the same location as the WW1 painting, at the fork between the D171 (rue du Bois) and the D168E (rue Jacquet).

    If you are coming in the area, you can follow the D168E towards Aubers, say one mile later, and you'll find a memorial I've built for Polish P/O BONDAR, KIA nearby in June 1941. And close to it, on the other side of the road, at the end of the "rue des Boulans" there's also a shrine. You can locate it via streetview.

    Good luck and nice visit

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 8th November 2015 at 16:41.

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