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Thread: Lancaster DV329 (KM-W) lost 23/11/43 - help needed

  1. #11
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    Hi Nick
    I'm greatful for what you have done to help. I is such a pity that the PoW questionaire does not state where he was taken prisoner or indeed how he survived. Very interesting though that he was uninjured upon capture.

    I have since tried to get the "KE" reports from the MoD under the freedom of information act, following advice from Germany,since but have been presented with next of kin forms etc from the MoD to complete which I have done, so this may take a while to get a response.

    Do you or anyone else know what the KE reports contain?

    Has anyone got any idea where I could try next to try and identify where the two planes crashed. It is confusing as the Web sites say Schnaufer shot down JB537 at Rastdorf and in his so called list of kills it does not mention DV329, Yet the MACR for the 23 Nov 43 shows "N" the code number for JB537 as having been shot down at Vrees by Flak. Also the Book Nachtjadg on page 303 does indeed state Schnaufer shot down DV329 at Lorup near to Rastdorf. Yet I have the Air Ministry letter saying that DV329 crashed at Vrees and JB537 at Rastdorf. Will I ever find out where my great Uncles a/c crashed? I have now hit a brick wall - Please can anyone help?. I can email the documents I have to anyone who is willing to help so as help them clarify the issues surrounding the true crash sites.
    Last edited by bigf; 7th September 2012 at 11:19. Reason: further to add on

  2. #12
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    Hi
    Can anyone tell me what might the German "KE" reports contain, ie would they say where an a/c has crashed and at what time, who survived and where they were captured?

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    Hi Fred,

    I have excerpts of various KE Reports which were found in the service files of KIA RCAF personnel. They contain the sort of detail you are looking for, albeit usually translated into English. One of the ones I have lists a kites location to a specific street.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Hi Dave,
    Well looks like that's what I need then. Should be able to tell me where my uncles a/c crashed and that will show if the web sites are all wrong relating to SCHANUFER's 36th kill being JB537 when it should be DV329 my uncles a/c. This will also allow me to go to the correct crash site to pay me respects.
    Thanks again its appreciated.

    ANyone got any idea's how easy these KE reports are to get hold of and from whom.

    I am trying the Air Historical Branch of the RAF but not having much joy at the moment.

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    Fred,

    That is an interesting question and one that has been visited on numerous occasions both here and on other boards.

    I have read many cases where the AHB state they do not have any KE Reports, that they were destroyed after relevant portions were extracted etc.

    Yet, I have copies of said reports, from the AHB, which have been given to me by family members. I am always surprised that these have the names of the Luftwaffe officials blacked out.

    So, I don't know what to make of claims that they do not have them.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Hi Dave,

    Well, the AHB have stated that if the KE reports exist, they would not copy any KE reports relating to my uncle's a/c or that of JB537 as it would further damge the reports etc and would just comment on the material they contain, which I guess is fair enough but a little draconian for todays modern copying processes - so it looks like they do have some KE reports there. I have since returned the NoK forms along with two electronic copies to the AHB but have had no replies to these as yet.

    I have however now got copies of a letter sent to the mother of Marsen that state that two of the crew of DV329 were buried at Rastdorf by the Germans (Ledsham and 1 unidentified crew member from DV329) and the rest of the crew who died (4 of them) at Vrees along with the crew of JB537. It goes on to say that the personnel buried at Vrees were then taken to Oldenburg British Cemetry at wars end then exhumed where they tried to ID the individual crew members but could only ID Ferndell from JB537. They were then all buried at Reichswald. Hence why Ledsham and Farndell have seperate graves next to the communal grave of the rest of both crews.

    It is tantillisingly close to fianlly after all these years discovering where and how my uncles a/c came down, given the above gives further credibility that Schnaufer shot DV329 as his 36th kill and given the crew were split suggests the a/c must have disintigrated. Yet it is strange as on the PoW report it does state that he was uninjured on capture?

    If only I could find out what happened.

    Kind Regards

    Fred

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    Can anyone let me know what Chorleys losses 1943 23 Nov says about DV329 and JB537? I dont have the book and this may shed some light on my quest to find the truth about who and were DV329 was brough down.
    Thanks all
    Fred Hill
    bigf"at"techemail"dot"com

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    Hi all,
    The mystery is solved. I have heard back from the AHB who have been remarkable in thier investigations and help.
    DV329 was shot down by Oblt. Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer at 19:00 hrs over lorup. The a/c was persued by the Me110 and eventually caught fire, exploded and crashed "bei Rastdorf". The mid upper gunner Kirwan was blown out of the a/c and parachuted, the rear gunner was not so lucky, his body was found some distance from the crash site in a forest a few days later. The main bulk of the a/c was attended by a lufwaffe recovery team who removed 4 badly burned bodies from the hulk, one being my uncle CE Hill. These 4 were recovered and the same luftwaffe team also recovered the 7 bodies from JB537 which crashed at 22:00 "bei Vrees" and they were all buried in a mass grave at Vrees. When the hulk of DV329 was removed a further body was recovered, this body was buired at Rastdorf with found body of the rear gunner.
    This information has come from the Burgomeister of Vrees and Rastdorf as well as German Toten cards and MRES reports.
    I have the Army map references stating the crash locations and locations of the bodies, but will need to get in touch with the british library to get copies of the army maps.
    At least we know the web sites are incorrect in respect of Schnaufers 36th kill as being JB537 when it sould be DV329.
    Thank you to all who have hleped me. It is apprectated. If anyone needs info from my enquiries please get in touch.
    Kind Regards
    Fred

  9. #19
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    Default KE Reports

    Juat a quick update. I have got info nw from German KE Reports for JB537 and this shows it was lost at 22:00 hrs bei Vrees. There are also telegrammes from Luft Kommando relating to DV329 which shows it was shot down at 19:00 hrs by night fighter (Schnaufer).
    I have been in touch with Theo Boiten who agrees with my findings and am waiting to hear from Wim Goeverts but have yet to hear back from him.
    A relative of Ledsham has been in touch and i have been able to assit her with enquiries as to what happend to him.
    Thanks again to all who have helped.
    Anyone know if 44 Sqn has a web site or association as it seems to have disbanded?
    THanks
    Fred

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    Default Lancaster DV329 crashed in Rastdorf!!

    Hello,
    I deal with many plane crashes in the area of Cloppenburg/Oldenburg about many years. In the last 2 weeks I have been several times with old witnesses in Rastdorf. (Rastdorf-Cloppenburg 15 miles) This old men, 80j. and 85j. showed me all crash sites in the area Rastdorf. (2 B-17 and one Lancaster)Yes they showed me the crash site of the Lancaster relatively accurate.
    It is a huge forest area. Later in some weeks I will explore the crash place. This may take some time because I have listed over 200 aircraft crash sites in my area.We just can not explore all immediately afterwards. For us, the surviving witnesses are paramount.
    Also, I know the house where Mr.Kirwan has yet to eat.!!!
    I think from there he was then picked up as a prisoner.
    In the house today live new owner. The only one who is still alive has dementia, he lives still near Rastdorf.The house is not far from the crash site.
    (Fred I might send an aerial photo if you're interested, then you know the last place of your Uncle Kirwan. )

    I knew also the crash location of Lancster JB537 in Vrees.

    Best regards
    Volker Urbansky, Cloppenburg

    v.urbansky@t-online.de
    Last edited by xldoktor; 22nd November 2012 at 13:01.

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