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Thread: Halifax II, W1237 EY-P of No 78 Sqn FTR 7 Aug 42

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    Default Halifax II, W1237 EY-P of No 78 Sqn FTR 7 Aug 42

    Hello All,

    Can anyone tell me the circumstances of this one? Hit by a night-fighter it came down in the N Sea just off the Hook of Holland. Some of the crew are on Runnymede and some not.
    I am particularly concerned with 1379680 Sgt William John Cole (on Runnymede). I need his crew function and his Birth Reg details (can’t bring him up on Eng & Wales).

    Any help will, as usual, be gratefully received
    Rgds
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Peter

    Have this: Sgt William John Cole. RAF (VR) 1379680. Navigator. Age 28. Son of John Joseph and Sophie Cole of Newbury, Berkshire, England. Runnymede Panel 80.

    http://www.conscript-heroes.com/Art40-Last-Letter.html

    However, there is a previous thread which challenges some of the crew positions, so you may have to find another source to confirm

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?397-P-O-d%92Ursel-RAF-Sywell-1941
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    PeteT,
    QSL yr last. Understand. Tks yr help.
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi

    From information held in the Rolls of Honour in the Sqn History Room & via Chorleys;

    The ATD of the aircraft from RAF Middleton St.George, County Durham was 0049

    On the return leg, W1237/EY-P "Rothman P~Popsie" was shot down by a night-fighter, captained by Hptm Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein (I/NJG1) The Halifax crashed into the North Sea 10KM west of the Hoek van Holland at 0415

    Pilot F/O J.M.J.A. d’Ursal
    Chevalier of the Order Leopold, and Croix de Guerre (Belgium) + NKG

    Flight Engineer F/Sgt W.E.S. Luck + NKG
    Navigator Sgt W.J. Cole + NKG
    Bomb Aimer F/Sgt A.G. Johnstone RCAF + NKG
    Wireless Operator Sgt G.W. Scott + NKG
    Mid Upper Gunner Sgt G.J.M. Cantwell + NKG
    Rear Gunner Sgt J.G.A. Hoare +

    Sgt Hoare is buried in the General cemetery of Hoek van Holland. The others have no known grave and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

    The pilot, F/O d'Ursel was of noble birth. He was the son of a Belgian Count. By a bizarre twist of fate Hptm Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, one of the Luftwaffe’s top Nacht Jaeger “Experten” was also of noble birth

    From memory I think he was killed later in the war when whilst attempting to land his aircraft after sustaining battle damage following mid air combat. His aircraft (either Ju 88 or Me100??) crashed and burnt out. He had previously instructed the remainder of his crew to bail out (successfully) please correct me if I'm wrong

    Hope this of use - and surely this must be one of the few confirmed direct WWII combats between aristoracy??

    Kind Regards

    Tony H
    78 Sqn

    78 Sqn suffered the highest percentage losses of all Halifax Sqns within Bomber Command

    78 Sqn suffered the (shared) third highest losses of any Sqn within Bomber Command

    The 78 Sqn Standard (along with 13 other ex BC Sqns) will be on parade honouring the 55,573 on 28th June

    NB: For info the others are; No 7, IX, 10, 12, XV, 18, 51, 57(R), 99, 100, 101, 617 - & No 63 Sqn RAF Regt (QCS)

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