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Thread: Hampden Raids on Berlin in 1940

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    Default Hampden Raids on Berlin in 1940

    The first Hampden raid on Berlin was carried out on 25 August 1940 immediately after a heavy German attack on London. Does someone know wich squadrons with the Hampdens (!) were involved with raids on Berlin from August 1940 until December 1940 ?

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    Hello Ronald,

    As a start you could check in Bill Chorley's book "Bomber Command losses" vol 1 (1939-40)

    Ian

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    Likewise the Hampden File has all the operations to Berlin listed. Squadron information is only available when a Hampden was lost.

    Squadrons 50, 83, 49, 44, 144 were involved August to December 1940.

    Being on the limit of the Hampdens range. Not in your period of interest, Hampdens from 144 Squadron flying from North Luffenham in 1941 struggled to get to Berlin the with the majority bombing secondary targets. On the 20 Sept 41 they appear to have flown to Horsham St Faith possibly topped up with fuel taking off for Berlin from Horsham St Faith. Weather conditions were very poor that night and C flight never took off. Those that did got a recall which was not picked up by some aircraft, of the six Hampdens from 144 Squadron that went two reached Berlin. All six however safely returned on that occasion.

    John

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    Thanks for the information. As I mentioned before in an other topic, somewhere in Augustust or September 1940 a Hampden made an emergency landing at Ockenburg/Loosduinen, near Den Haag. The Hampden returned from a raid on Berlin. We only know that the crew became POW but we sadly never find other information. A witness saw this plane making an emergency landing.

    Hope you guys have more information.

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    Hello,

    As Ian suggested, the best for you would be to get a copy of "Bomber Command Losses 1940", then check all Hampden losses with the full crew being captured, then check at the National Archives the PoW questionnaires of these airmen in the WO344 series. At the time Bill Chorley wrote his volumes, these questionnaires had not been released to the public. This is the reason why there's often no details about the crash location for the all PoW crews.

    You should also, in a second time, make another list with the Hampden losses with one casualty and the rest PoW, and similarly check the PoW questionnaires. Witnesses can be wrong, and there may have been one wounded crewmember, who died later of his wounds, and is buried somewhere.

    you should obviously start by step one. A long process, but it usually works. Let's hope that the recognition of your witness is also correct and that it was indeed a Hampden.

    Good luck

    Joss

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    Ronald

    I have been through the Hampdens recorded as lost between the dates you are researching. I am afraid I have not found a match using all the criteria you list. I will keep an eye on this thread out of interest.

    Good luck

    John

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    As we seem to have drawn a blank on Hampden losses, what if it as actually another aircraft type ?

    Could a candidate be 101 sqdn Blenheim L9419 that did not return from Eindhoven with crash place unknown on August 19/20, 1940. All crew survived which could suggest a crash landing.

    Although a bit off Joss's patch does he have a PoW report for Sgt A G Chelmick, Sgt N H Martyn or Sgt J Carbine that may shed light on how and where they “arrived” ?

    Ian

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    Hello Ian,

    Actually in my previous post I had anticipated that the eye witness might be wrong. Either wrong type, or wrong period (could have occured in 1941 for example). I have often met these cases of misidentification by eye witnesses.

    Incidentally I have Chelmick's and Martyn's PoW questionnaires, as I checked some of these BC losses with all PoW crews, when there was a suspiscion that they might have fallen in my research area (Nord-Pas-de-Calais in France). In my excel spreadsheed, I have noted "Paderborn" as location of their capture. I didn't find a report for Carbine.

    Joss

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    Hello Joss,

    At your suggestion I checked 1941 for Hampden losses in the August-September period and find that on August 25-26, 1941 144 sqdn lost Hampden AE265 (to Mannheim not Berlin) that made a force landed on Ypenburg airfield, Holland. As this is just a few Kilometers from Loosduinen I presume this is the event described by Ronald.

    All crew PoW,

    P/O I G St C Pringle
    Sgt J R Blake
    Sgt J Erskine
    Sgt S C Brown

    Regards from a soggy Britain,

    Ian

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    Hello Ian,

    You might have solved that one. I unfortunately have none of these PoW questionnaires. I have one for R.D. Erskine who was in a Lysander lost near Abbeville on 21st May 1940, but not the Erskine who was in this Hampden.

    Regards from a wet northern France on Bastille Day

    Joss

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