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Thread: 5/6-9-1943 No.61 Sqn. Lancaster III DV232

  1. #1
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    Default 5/6-9-1943 No.61 Sqn. Lancaster III DV232

    Hello,

    On 5/6-9-1943, No.61 Sqn Lancaster III DV232, crashed in the River Trent after making an early return from attacking Mannheim. Bill Chorley (BCL4/312), quotes the crew as:

    P/O P H Todd
    Sgt S Robson
    F/O J Hodgkinson
    Sgt V R Duvall
    Sgt W Houseley
    Sgt Patrick
    Sgt J Cartwright

    I have some qualms about the identity of Sgt Patrick. Could someone with access to the No.61 Sqn ORB for the period, please check earlier, or later entries for this crew? I would also like to know if the crew abandoned the aircraft before it crashed into the River Trent.

    Already have quite a bit on the fates of the various crew members, just need info on the above for the present.

    Appreciate any help.

    Col.

  2. #2
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    Col,
    The Todd crew were posted in to 61 from 1661 CU on 13/8/43, and consisted of
    Sgt Todd, Pilot.
    Sgt Robson, FE
    Sgt Shergold, Nav.
    Sgt Duvall, AB.
    Sgt Housley, W/Ag.
    Sgt Debnam, AG.
    Sgt Cartwright, AG.

    Sgt Patrrick, posted in individually, from 1654 CU on 25/8/43.

    First op 3/4th Sept 43, Berlin, with Sgt Patrrick in place of Debnam.
    5/6th, Mannheim, same crew as 3/4th.
    Next op 20th Oct, same crew, but with Sgt McCloskey in place of Patrrick.

    Sgt Todd experienced engine trouble on outward journey. Bombs were jettisoned at 15000ft, between Saarbrucken and Mannheim. Difficulty in landing at base, as a result of which the aircraft was ditched in the River Trent. No member of the crew sustained injuries.

  3. #3
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    Alan,

    Thanks for the information on the Todd crew, and in particular, the movements of Sgt Patrick. It clears up a few problems for me.

    My basic problem is this; AUS425549 Sgt (Air Gnr.) Harold Willam PRONGER RAAF, was posted in to No.61 Sqn from 1661 CU, on 24-8-1943. On 6-9-1943, F/Sgt Pronger RAAF, is recorded as baling out of an unidentified aircraft, somewhere over the UK. Pronger will not be found in any Caterpillar Club listing, he used a GQ Obs. type chute, receiving GQ Club Badge No.181 for his efforts!

    Is there any mention of this event in the No.61 Sqn ORB?

    Thanks once again for your help so far.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 9th March 2013 at 18:41.

  4. #4
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    Col,
    5/6th Sept 43. Lancaster LM360, Mannheim. F/O Fitch, unable to maintain height, and with a U/S mid upper turret, returned early. Jettisoned 4000lb HC at position 5421N 0140E . Engine caught fire and pilot ordered crew to bale out. Crew baled out, but pilot landed at Winthorpe.

    F/O B.C. Fitch, Pilot.
    Sgt T.W. Taylor, FE.
    F/O S.A. Jennings, Nav.
    P/O A.Lyons, AB.
    Sgt G. Kershaw, Wop/Ag.
    F/S H.W. Pronger, MU.
    Sgt L.W. Cromarty, RG.
    Sgt Livesy, 2nd Wop/Ag.

    Alan.

  5. #5
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    Alan,

    Thanks very much for that information. It has eluded me for some time.

    F/Sgt Pronger RAAF was not so fortunate the next time he had to exit an aircraft. Returning from Nuremberg on 30/31-3-1944, their No.61 Sqn Lancaster III EE176*, was struck by lightning, stunning most of the crew. Pronger, along with the W.Op[A] Sgt Leonard George DARBEN, baled out near the English coast. Despite extensive searches, the missing airmen were never found. The pilot, AUS415635 F/O John Augustus FORREST RAAF, regained control of the aircraft and landed safely at Little Snoring at 0600.

    Cheers Mate,

    Col.

    * EE176 "Mickey The Moocher", was a Ton-Up Lanc.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 10th March 2013 at 09:39.

  6. #6
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    Thanks Col, have emailed you....
    Alan.

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    Alan,

    Received, Loud & Clear! Thank you.

    Col.

  8. #8
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    Good work Alan.
    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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