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Thread: Possible 1404 Met Flight loss

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    Default Possible 1404 Met Flight loss

    I have a copy of the reminiscences of Jack Stephens, a navigator with 1404 Met Flight from April 1941 until October 1942. He started as a Sergeant and was possibly promoted to Flt Sgt by the time he left to attend a Staff Navigator course at Cranage.

    He refers to the loss of a Blenheim on a met reconnaissance sortie and describes the crew as Sgt Watson (pilot), Sgt Hemmings (navigator), an un-named Wop/AG and a new navigator; the four-man crew was unusual and I must assume the extra navigator was included for training since the navigators did the met observing. He gives no dates, but I have reason to believe the loss must have been between 1 October 1941 and June 1942.

    Stephens describes Hemmings as being a good friend, but my problem is that I'm unable to find a Hemmings who fits, listed by the CWGC . Unfortunately I have no initials.

    I'm beginning to wonder if Hemmings survived and spent the war as a POW and failed to renew the friendship after the war.

    All very vague I'm afraid and I'd be grateful for guidance.

    Brian

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    Default Possible 1404 Met Flight loss

    Hello Brian

    There are 4 Hemmings in the POW list

    Best regards

    rene

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    Brian,

    Search for Arthur Hemming. Loss occured 08 Dec 41.

    Blenheim IV Z7370

    Source: Coastal Command Losses Vol I - pg.167-168

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Thank you both for your responses, and I apologise for the incorrect spelling of Hemming.

    That helps identify the pilot as Sgt Leonard Watson (748600), Andy; are the other crew members listed by any chance? There is no record of the unit by the CWGC.

    Brian.

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    Brian,

    Only three crew members are listed:

    Sgt L. Watson (748600) as you have identified
    Sgt A. Hemming (923520)
    Sgt A. Bess (1172554)

    All missing, no further details.

    Perhaps Stephens' recollection of there being a fourth member, an additional observer, are mistaken in this instance.

    Cheers

    Andy
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Hello,

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?4299-Unaccounted-airmen-8-12-1941

    Col.

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    Thanks Col, but I think "The Bristol Blenheim" is probably in error in that Albert Bess was definitely killed on 8 December - see http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead.aspx?cpage=1 .

    Brian
    Edit: See also http://www.rafdavidstowmoor.org/pages/crash_log/crashlog41.html .
    also
    The aircraft departed St Eval at 0744 hours and was never heard from again ("Even the birds were walking"), so the Hammon reference seems a red herring.
    Last edited by Lyffe; 23rd December 2012 at 00:18.

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    Brian,

    The point l was making, was that 1256282 Sgt Robert Arthur "HAMON" RAFVR, was possibly the fourth member of the crew of No.1404 Met Flight Blenheim IV Z7370, lost on 8-12-1941.

    GRO War Deaths indicates this is so (albeit, quoting an incorrect unit for three of them).

    These four airmen:

    748600 Sgt Leonard WATSON RAFVR +
    923520 Sgt Arthur HEMMING RAFVR +
    1172554 Sgt Albert BESS RAFVR +
    1256282 Sgt Robert Arthur HAMON RAFVR +

    Are all commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, and mentioned as, "MISSING", in Flight. January 29, 1942. p.104. Cas. Comm. No.105.

    I also recommend you take a look here:

    http://www.stmawgan.org.uk/BoR/1941.htm

    Let's see what Ross has to say about this.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 23rd December 2012 at 05:29.

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    Hi All,

    When CCL went to print Hamon was noted as a possible but with three crew confirmed for the Blenheim and the similarity of Hemming to Hamon I did not have enough confidence of source to add a additional crew man.

    Since then I continued work on eliminating other losses for Hamon and now would be more confident in adding him to the loss as a strong possible.

    My hesitation in using the GRO misprint is that on a few occassions I have found that loss of a HMT can result in a Runnymede listing and a GRO unit of the unit before overseas draft. Easy to make 2+2=5 from the computer screen but, in this case, I have yet to find a possible other cause for Hamon.

    Regards
    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

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    Ross,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Merry Christmas All.

    Col.

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