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Thread: Siblings in same aircraft

  1. #1
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    Default Siblings in same aircraft

    Warrant Officers R.D. Tod and R.E. Tod (RCAF) were twin brothers (Wireless Operator/Air Gunners) who were crewed together and died together in Stirling EH889 of No.75 (NZ) Squadron, 22 June 1943. It has struck me that allowing siblings (twins or not) to fly as members of the same bomber crew was somewhere between irresponsible and reckless. Had there not been earlier instances of such tragedies that might have cautioned against permitting brothers in the same crew ? Was any policy formulated to prevent it happening ? Would it have at least been practice (as opposed to policy) to place siblings in different crews, even if they were serving iin the same unit ?

    I am aware of at least two other cases of RCAF twins in the same unit, but they are not comparable. Bruce and Douglas Warren (No.66 Squadron) were pilots in a unit flying single-seater fighters. Eric and Allen Sherlock were pilots in No.424 Squadron and as such would have flown in seperate aircraft.

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    The Drennan twins, RCAF Air Gunners with 407 Squadron, were killed in the same Hudson in December 1941.

    Subsequent to the loss of the Tod twins, two more RCAF brothers lost on the same aircraft were F/L F.L. Burston (pilot) and F/O G.R. Burston (navigator) who died in an 82 OTU Wellington in July 1944. I seem to recall two more RCAF brothers, both Air Gunners, lost on the same OTU Wellington but cannot now remember their name.

    Ian Macdonald

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    Default Byers twins 429 Sq

    Identical twins with 429 Sq, both pilots.
    Byers.GJ RCAF R-57631 Killed in action
    Byers.WB RCAF DFC R-57632/J-19507
    richard

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    But, did the Byers, both being pilots, fly in the same aircraft?

    TD has reminded me of Corporal Nora Johnson RCAF and her younger brother Corporal Norman M. Johnson killed together riding as passengers in RCAF Liberator 11121, 13th July 1945 in British Columbia.

    Ian Macdonald

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    Default Byers Twins

    No they did not fly in the same aircraft, but both flew the same op when George went missing. I can't imagine one twin, waiting for the other to return, then declared missing.

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    Hello,

    two canadians brother, were pilots in 619 squadron, F/Lt GW McMorran J36260 kia 7 March 45, and F/lt AE McMorran J25722 kia 10 april 45 ...

    Alain.

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    The Roll of Honour of the Air Training Corps shows at least two occasions where brothers, who were air cadets, died in the same aircraft.

    Some years ago I noticed the graves of brothers killed together and now resting in Brookwood Cemetery but I cannot recall their name, although I think they were Canadian.

    There are numerous cases of two or more brothers being killed on active service and at Rennes are several married couples who died together in the crash of a Stirling MkV. Another married couple were a WAAF Cpl killed at Wyton, whose husband - a soldier - was killed in Italy several months later.

    In about 1970, an RAF wing commander killed in an accident was the last of three brothers who died in service.

    The MacRobert brothers saga is slightly different but all three brothers died in aviation related incidents, one being shot down in Iraq/Syria in 1941.

    Finally, an RAF pilot killed in Aden was the son of a distinguished officer who was killed off Gibraltar.

    There will be many similar incidents, if one cares delve more deeply. I know the US Navy had a destroyer named: USS The Sullivans in commemoration of several (five I think) brothers killed, twin brothers were killed together at Arnhem and there is - I understand - more than a grain of truth surrounding the plot of: 'Saving Private Ryan'.

    Colin Cummings

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    Hi all,

    very interesting theme! We have not such a case in the Czechoslovak Air Force with the RAF but years ago I was also researching the brothers in service and got following examples:

    W/Cdr Ocelka - killed in 1942 with 6 MU in flying accident while his younger brother Antonin was pilot u/t, he wash later shot down on Spitfire in 1944 being PoW, killed after the war in flying accident.

    Another were Benignus Stefan whose Spitfire was shot down in 1943. His older brother F/O MUDr. Aurelius Stefan was serving with the same squadron (313 Sq) as a Doctor who was always waiting with his ambulance by the runway until all of them returned...

    There were similar cases with brother or relatives, the most emotional was following:
    Max Politzer killed in 1942 with 138 Sq in crash while his older brother Frantisek Politzer was with the army. Afterwards he volunteered for the RAF and being trained as a Navigator he got killed in 1944 in crash... I have read the letter written by Frantisek and delivered to the parents after the war. There he clearly stated that their younger son got killed and he is going to replace him. And if his fate will be to died too he is asking his mother for forgiveness...

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Just to clarify my query, I am looking for precedents of siblings killed IN THE SAME AIRCRAFT. This would not apply in the case of single-seat machines. It would apply most likely in the case of air gunners or (less likely) a pilot and a sibling gunner or navigator in the same machine. Did the RAF have a policy (or informal practice) that would have discouraged this before May 1943 ?

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    Hugh

    I would have thought that given the numerous examples of brothers being killed in the same regiment or ship during the First World War, that the armed forces would have discouraged the policy of siblings serving together.

    Douglas

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