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Thread: 50 Squadron's "North Sea Search."

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    Default 50 Squadron's "North Sea Search."

    When serving with 50 Squadron flying in Hampdens my father logged the flights listed below. I would be grateful if the forum could come up with suggestions as to what or who they were searching for.

    Regards, David.

    24th July 1941 NORTH SEA SEARCH
    Take off time 1100 from Swinderby. Hampden 927. Crew: Pilot F/Lt Fox, Sgt Layne (Rear Gunner) rest of the crew are unknown. Classified as an operation of 4.30 hours in duration and logged as “North Sea Search, Unsuccessful.”

    16th August 1941 NORTH SEA SEARCH
    Take of time 1705 from Swinderby. Hampden 116. Crew: Pilot P/O Helmore, P/O Graves, Sgt. Layne, Sgt. Hancock. Logged as “Ops” North Sea search with 1082/1083 radio sets O.K. 4.00 hours duration.

    17th August 1941 NORTH SEA SEARCH
    Take off time 0740 from Swinderby. Hampden 116. Crew: Pilot F/Lt Fox, P/O Bartley, Sgt. Moore, Sgt. Layne. Logged as “Ops North Sea Search.” The crew had to return to base early due to Sgt. Moore’s radio being inoperative. 1.40 hours of flight time were logged.

    18th August 1941 NORTH SEA SEARCH
    Take off time 1700 from Swinderby. Hampden 251. Crew: Pilot F/O Banker, Sgt. Wake, Sgt. Layne.
    Logged as “Ops” North Sea Search. Duration 5.50 hours.

    13th or 14th March 1942 NORTH SEA DINGY SEARCH
    Take off time 0720 Skellingthorpe. Hampden 140. Crew: F/Sgt. Lord, Sgt. Bee, Sgt. Layne, Sgt. Paul.
    No information about this operation other than logged as “Dingy Search Unsuccessful” 3.20 hours of flight time were recorded.
    Researching my father's time with 50 Squadron, 97 Squadron, Dulug Luft, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357 and Stalag Luft III.

    http://wallyswar.wordpress.com/

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    Hi David,
    “The Hampden File” documents several north sea searches conducted by bomber command hampden squadrons in your timeframe. They fall in the category of;
    1. Searching for reported downed crew/dingy/aircraft
    2. Searching for a specific German ship that had been reported in the area
    3. Searching specific areas for German shipping activity

    It might be possible that #1 would not count as an Op?

    Searching my pdf version of “The Hampden File” for the exact term “north sea search” or “sea search” surprisingly has no hits.
    FYI there is a photo of crashed Hampden AE116 in the book

    Cheers
    Last edited by rmventuri; 25th January 2013 at 00:24.
    In remembrance of the crew of Halifax HR732
    51 Squadron Snaith - All LWT Leipzig 4 December 1943

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    Hello,

    Possible search connections:

    24 July 1941 - NORTH SEA SEARCH.

    23-24 July 1941
    No.50 Sqn
    Hampden I AD843 VN-
    Op:Frankfurt.

    T/o 2220 Swinderby. Last word on w/t while over the sea and is presumed lost E of Cromer, Norfolk, as two bodies were recovered from the water in this area.

    Sgt H T Holme +
    Sgt L M Megginson +
    Sgt R Evans +
    Sgt W M Watt +

    See: BCL2/99

    Additions & Amendments Vol.2 1941:

    The bodies recovered were those of Sgt Evans and Sgt Watt; their companions are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    See: http://www.rafinfo.org.uk/BCWW2Losses/

    16/17/18 August 1941 - NORTH SEA SEARCH.

    15 August 1941
    No.50 Sqn.
    Hampden I P4408 VN-
    Op:Air Sea Rescue.

    T/o Swinderby. Presumed lost over the North Sea shortly after signalling at 1530 that the engines were failing. F/S Gray and Sgt Taylor are buried in Sage War Cemetery, Oldenburg; the rest are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    F/O J A Whitecross DFC +
    Sgt M O Fisher +
    F/S N Gray DFM +
    Sgt R Taylor +

    Note: F/O Whitecross had only recently returned to the squadron following his successful evasion from France, where he had landed following a mining sortie on 28-29 April 1941.

    See: BCL2/119.

    The special effort on 16/17/18 August is understandable, given the circumstances of F/O Whitecross' loss.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 25th January 2013 at 01:35.

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    rmventuri

    Thanks for your thoughts and the search of the "Hampden File."

    I have often wondered why these "North Sea Searches" were logged as "Ops." My understanding of "Ops" was that the aircraft had to be over enemy territory to be counted as an operation. However as the flights were signed off at the end of the month by his flight commander they must have counted.

    I am aware of the photograph of the crashed Hampden AE116 that is in the "Hampden File." My father was in the aircraft when it crashed.

    Col Bruggy.

    Many thanks for the information you supplied. I was not aware of the Holme aircraft possibility. I had come up with the Whitecross aircraft as a probability and you were able to provide me with a few more details.

    Any suggestions for the March 1942 incident?

    Thanks again, David.
    Researching my father's time with 50 Squadron, 97 Squadron, Dulug Luft, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357 and Stalag Luft III.

    http://wallyswar.wordpress.com/

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    Col Bruggy, I understand that the Air Sea Rescue that Whitecross was participating in was for a lost Wellington. Do you have any idea of the Wellington's squadron and crew?

    Thanks, David.
    Last edited by David Layne; 25th January 2013 at 14:55.
    Researching my father's time with 50 Squadron, 97 Squadron, Dulug Luft, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357 and Stalag Luft III.

    http://wallyswar.wordpress.com/

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    hello,

    F/O Whitecross,"MIGHT", have been searching for:

    14-15 August 1941
    No.115 Sqn.
    Wellington IC R1500 KO-K
    Op:Hannover

    T/o 2110 Marham. Crashed in the North Sea. Sgt Alway and Sgt Duke are buried in Sage War Cemetery, Oldenburg; the rest of the crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Sgt C G Alway +
    Sgt D A Clabburn-Detrez +
    Sgt D H Allan +
    Sgt R W J Smalldon +
    Sgt J G Park RCAF +
    Sgt R Duke +

    See: BCL2/118.

    Col.

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    I "might" say thanks! Thanks.
    Researching my father's time with 50 Squadron, 97 Squadron, Dulug Luft, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357 and Stalag Luft III.

    http://wallyswar.wordpress.com/

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    hello,

    Re: 13/14 March 1942 - NORTH SEA DINGHY SEARCH.

    I suspect it involved the following loss:

    12-13 March 1942
    No.311 Sqn
    Wellington IC R1802 KX-P
    Op:Kiel

    T/o 1916 East Wretham. Heard transmitting SOS at 2033, after which further messages received indicated the Wellington was losing height and speed. The last signal intercepted reported a sea landing was imminent and its position was given as 5317N 0307E. The wireless operator maintained his transmissions until the last possible moment. Despite a search of the area, no trace of this aircraft, or its crew were found. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Sgt J Fina +
    Sgt O Soukop +
    P/O J Kula +
    Sgt J F Cibulka +
    Sgt A W Meznik +
    Sgt F Raiskup

    See: BCL3/47

    Col.

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    Gentlemen

    I am researching Sgt D A Clabburn-Detrez mentioned here and would love to know more.

    Can you enlighten me on BCL2/118 please? Newbie query I'm afraid.

    So sad that Whitecross and crew perished looking for them. The bodies from the two crews are both at Sage Cemetery.

    James

    Quote Originally Posted by COL BRUGGY View Post
    hello,

    F/O Whitecross,"MIGHT", have been searching for:

    14-15 August 1941
    No.115 Sqn.
    Wellington IC R1500 KO-K
    Op:Hannover

    T/o 2110 Marham. Crashed in the North Sea. Sgt Alway and Sgt Duke are buried in Sage War Cemetery, Oldenburg; the rest of the crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Sgt C G Alway +
    Sgt D A Clabburn-Detrez +
    Sgt D H Allan +
    Sgt R W J Smalldon +
    Sgt J G Park RCAF +
    Sgt R Duke +

    See: BCL2/118.

    Col.

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    Bomber Command Losses Volume 2, (W.R. Chorley) page 118.
    Last edited by AlanW; 30th December 2013 at 18:35.

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