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Thread: Halifax LW434 640 Sqn & Halifax MZ436 78 Sqn Northern France crash sites

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    Default Halifax LW434 640 Sqn & Halifax MZ436 78 Sqn Northern France crash sites

    Could someone with Bills BCL 1944 or other Pearls of Wisdom please do a couple of 'look ups' for me, thank you..
    1.) Halifax III LW 434 of No 640 Sqn crashed somewhere in Northern France on 3rd June 1944? (Chambers crew) How and where did it crash, and what became of the navigator and the air bomber?
    2.) Halifax III MZ 636 of No 78 Sqn crashed somewhere in Northern France on 8th June 1944? (Marrows crew) What was the target? How and where did it crash?

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 13th October 2012 at 19:11.

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    Hi Norman,
    LW434,was sent to bomb railway yards at Trappes, MZ686 to bomb rail targets at Juvisy. Chorley does not record what brought either a/c down but both crashed at Bretigny-sur-Orge 6Km NE of Arpayon and all who died are buried in that village's Communal Cemetery a total of 12. The survivors(Nav and Air Bomber) of LW434 are recorded as POW . On MZ636 the W/op was W/O J P Whelan RAAF and his Casualty Report may have been digitised and may give more information on the loss.
    The source is W R Chorley BCL Vol 5
    Regards
    Dick

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    Norman

    Marrows and crew of EY-T MZ636 crashed near the small village of Plessis-Pate, local witnesses say the a/c was in difficulty at low level possibly caused by flak when it was engaged by a local flak battery and crashed. The target was Juvisy. Wheelan's record is digitised, I have it along with all the other 78 Sqn Aussie casualties. Interestingly the aircraft crashed in an earlier crater and eleven bodies were recovered, perhaps it crashed on top of the Lancaster and thats were the additional bodies came from. There were no survivors from MZ636, this was Marrows first op and Wheelan was flying as a spare bod, having returned to ops after being injured in a parachute descent in 1943.

    Daz
    Last edited by 78SqnHistory; 13th October 2012 at 20:36. Reason: Additional info

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    Norman

    According to Bill Norman’s No. 640 (Halifax) Squadron RAF Leconfield, the Chambers crew were lost when flying on operations to Trappes on 2/3 June 1944 in LW 434/H. Both F/O C. Willis (A/B) and F/O E. Shepherd (Nav.) became POW’s. The aircraft is believed to have crashed near Bretigny-sur-Orge, 6 kms. NE of Arpajon in France. A comment is made that if the aircraft did crash there, it was well off course but there was no reason given for the cause of the loss.

    Bill Chorley’s Bomber Command Losses gives a similar crash site and also indicates that F/O Willis and Shepherd were RCAF.

    Bill Chorley’s Bomber Command Losses indicates that the Marrows crew and MZ636 : EY-T were on ops. to Juvisy. The crash site is recorded as being in the vicinity of Bretigny-sur-Orge (Essonne), 6 kms. NE of Arpajon. There was no reason for the cause of the loss and there were no survivors.

    Douglas

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    Hi Norman
    All the sites mentioned as Target/Crash site by Chorley seem to be on the SW side of Paris,possibly not as urbanised as they are today. Bretigny had a military airfield,and still does from Google Maps, it doesn't seem outlandish that a/c would fall in that area given the targets on the 2 dates and their proximity to each other
    Regards
    Dick

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    Hello Daz, Dick and Douglas,

    Thank you for the answers. I'm off to Bretigny-sur-Orge on the 11/11 and wanted to 'mug up' before I get there. I normally go over to France on VE Day and attend the VE ceremony at Longvilliers en Yvelines beside the crash site of 76 Sqn Halifax MZ604. The sole survivor was my father. This year it all clashed with events in London. If there are no representatives for 78 & 640 I intend to lay a RAF wreath in memory of all three squadrons - 76, 78, 640 including the two graves known only to God.

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 13th October 2012 at 22:31.

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    Default John Patrick Whelan RAAF casualty file

    Hello Daz,
    Regarding the fate of John Whelan. Could you help me please. I cant find Whelans June 8 1944 casualty/repatriation file. Please could you send me the URL? I'm interested in the MREU report. (I'm assuming there's one)
    Norman


    Hello Daz
    Later, forget above - I've found it! My apologises, I was looking for wrong 'Whelan'
    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 13th October 2012 at 22:36. Reason: amending post

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    Norman,

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?5915-W.O.-John-Patrick-Whelan-403883-RAAF

    Col.

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    Thanks Col, got it sorted.

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    Norman
    just tried to send you a PM but your inbox is full.

    Daz

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