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Thread: Stiriling BF515 218 (Gold Coast) Sqn FTR from Gardening 28 Apr 43.

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    Default Stiriling BF515 218 (Gold Coast) Sqn FTR from Gardening 28 Apr 43.

    Hello All,

    One of my 'Local Customers' was on BF515. He was Fg Off C V Parsloe (120735) WOp/AG. I've got most of the data about him. He is buried in Reerslev, Denmark, Churchyard with 5 others of the crew in one single Grave - we all know what that means! - difficulty in positively identifying the remains! The two other crew members are buried elsewhere in Denmark.
    So, does this indicate that two of the crew took to the silk before BF515 crashed but were too low for their canopies to open?
    And, what Gardening were they about on that night? The weather doesn't seem too frightening - possibly a weak cold front from Sweden through Denmark to the English Channel (and/or La Manche - to be politically correct!)
    Again, I ask the experts for any info they may have.
    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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    Hope this will answer some of your questions:

    The aircraft belonged to RAF 218 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded HA-N..
    T/O 20:55 Downham Market. OP: Gardening Sweet Pea (Fehmarn Belt).


    Over Sjælland BF515 was attacked by a German night fighter piloted by Unteroffizier Berg from 7./NJG 3 with Unteroffizier Krebs as Bordfunker (Wop). The night fighter was controlled by ”Seehund” radar station.

    At 00:56 hours BF515 exploded in the air and fell into a moor by Taagerup. All onboard perished.

    The dead bodies of Air Gnr. Sgt John A. Bolton and Bomb Aimer F/O Thomas C. Wheelhouse were found by the crash site the same day and were laid to rest in København Bispebjerg Cemetery on May 7.

    After the war, the crash site was excavated and the remains of the rest of the crew were found.
    Pilot Fl/L Gordon F. Berridge, Flt. Engr. Sgt Kenneth F. Erne, Air Gnr. Sgt Arthur A. Fitzpatrick, W/Op-Air Gnr. F/O Cyril V. Parsloe and Navigator P/O James M. Traynor were buried in Reerslev cemetery in a single coffin on April 4 1946.

    The coffin was carried to the grave by six former resistance fighters, followed by the Rev. P. F. T. Logstrup and six officers from RAF and 12 police officers from Slagelse. After the funeral a guard of honour from the garrison in Slagelse fired a salute.

    Source: http://www.flensted.eu.com/19430048.shtml

    More general information from http://www.aircrewremembrancesociety.com/raf1943/4/haileykenneth.html:

    218 squadron briefed to lay mines in the Sweet Pea area. (Rostock and Arcane) of the Baltic. 207 aircraft took part in this, the largest number of mines dropped in the war. It was also the largest loss of aircraft on any minelaying operation with 28 aircraft lost.
    This was due to the very low flying that was required and this night the area was covered in low cloud. Light flak and night fighters were already waiting for them. 33 sorties from NJG3 were flown. 9 of the bombers were confirmed as shot down, a further 13 were lost to the deadly multi barrel flak guns. 11 lost over the sea, probably due to damage caused during the operation.

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 23rd June 2012 at 16:01. Reason: More general information added
    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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    Default

    Pete,

    Parsloe was my man! Totally and utterly brilliant! I never expected such a detailed reply. It just shows the sort of data that is available on this forum. Many thanks,
    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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    Gents,

    Just to add some small details, F/Lt G F Berridge had completed 21 operations prior to this fateful trip, his crew had flown 17. A young inexperienced Sgt A Aaron operated with F/Lt Berridge as a 2nd pilot on April 26th 1943 against Duisburg. Berridge had also been involved in two prangs prior to his loss.

    Regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Steve, Hi,
    Tks for that additional info - much appreciated.
    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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    Default More info

    Hello! I have just joined as I am in the process of building up some information on my great uncle Cyril Parsloe (mentioned below). I have visited the grave in Reerslev on a number of occasions and also the crash site a few km away. Both have wonderful memorials and are still kept in excellent condition. This site adds another perspective:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/98/a3786898.shtml

    I'd be happy to be in touch with anyone here who has more info or wants the info I have...

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    Hello Peter. I'd be really interested to hear how you are connected to Cyril...

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