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Thread: 196 Squadron Wellington HE980

  1. #1
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    Default 196 Squadron Wellington HE980

    Can anyone confirm whether or not Paul Gee was a member of the crew of 196 Squadron Wellington HE980 which crashed on 4th July 1943. (I also have Taylor and Downing from that aircraft hence the assumption of HE980)

    He is buried in a collective grave in Heverlee War Cemetery with the Flight Engineer from 35 Squadron that I am currently researching and he is the only one of the 20 names that I can't place.

    As a general question on collective graves, did each man in the collective grave have his own headstone (ie would the collective grave have 20 headstones)

    Regards

    Pete
    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]

  2. #2
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    Per Chorley 1943, page 220, Gee was the pilot of HE980. Besides your listed crew there's also Sgts Horne and Naile.

    All five originally buried at St. Truiden, concentrated at Heverlee "since"

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Thanks Dave .... it made sense but I had nothing to confirm it. The other two crew members you mentioned were buried in separate graves (ie not the collective one).

    Did you have any thoughts on the number of headstones, as the family have a photo of a headstone with just their uncle's name on it, so I am assuming that each man has his own headstone even though it is a collective grave?

    Regards

    Pete
    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]

  4. #4
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    Hi Pete,

    My thoughts are that when a bomber crashed and the bodies could not be individualy identified but they had in the case of a wellington 5 bodies, each got his own headstone. However if the bodies (bones) were all mixed up, they were given mixed names on a headstone.

    Regards,

    John.

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    Thanks John

    It would be interesting to see what headstones are on this particular grave at Heverlee; although the grave is Collective Grave No 1-20, the CWGC database names 25 individual crewmen.

    Regards

    Pete
    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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    Pete,

    Reference to Paul Gee, there is a thumbnail photo of his headstone at http://twgpp.org/information.php?id=2927958. Having saved and enlarged the low resolution picture, it is clear that only his name is recorded. If you enter your subject's name in the search boxes at http://twgpp.org/ and follow the instructions there will be a similar photo.

    Copies of photos may be obtained at a very reasonable cost - 3.50 emailed or 5.50 by post.

    Brian
    Edit - The headstone photo is often accompanied by a cemetery photo.
    Last edited by Lyffe; 18th January 2013 at 17:55. Reason: Spelling

  7. #7
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    Brian

    Thanks for the feedback.

    My curiousity on this one is that the collective grave is numbered 1-20 yet the CWGC list contains 25 names. I was wondering if there are 25 individual headstones or 19 plus a "group" one.

    I will use twgpp to check each of the 25 names to see what is on their headstone, unless anyone can think of a quicker way of establishing the facts on this one.

    UPDATE FOR COMPLETENESS: A check shows that there are 25 individual headstones for collective grave 6.D.1-20 Heverlee War Cemetery

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 19th January 2013 at 12:52. Reason: UPDATE 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]

  8. #8
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    Got a photo of this aircraft with the original crew, one of which was my father.

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