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Thread: F/Lt Jim Richards and F/Sgt Tom Omdahl - RAAF pilots

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    Default F/Lt Jim Richards and F/Sgt Tom Omdahl - RAAF pilots

    On the Truvo website with digitised Australian newspapers I stumbled on a story in The Sydney Morning Herald of 11 January 1944, also carried in the The West Australian that day. The title is "Rescued and Rescuer"
    It tells that F/Lt Jim Richards and F/Sgt Tom Omdahl (of 79 Squadron RAAF?) had met again on an airbase in New Guinea, having met e/o in quite different circumstances more than two years before.

    On an Hurribomber escort mission to Brugge/Bruges, Belgium (in 1941 or 1942?), Richards had to bail out off Ostend when the radiator of his Spitfire was shot out by German fighters. He managed to get into a dinghy and after an hour or so Tom Omdahl, who was sent out in a Spitfire to look for missing pilots, could locate Richards. The latter was subsequently rescued by a British motor launch.
    Omdahl in fact was searching for an English Wing Commander in the same area, but saw Richards instead. The W/Cdr however, the newspaper says, was never found.

    I wonder who can put a date on when all this happened, the serial of Richard's Spitfire and perhaps also the name of the missing Wing Commander?
    Any help in the right direction is welcome, thanks.

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    Hello Leendert

    There might be an A705 file for Jim Richards downing in the North Sea in 1941-42. I've sometimes seen the case in the National Archives of Australia. Problem is to find, easier if you have his service number. Second problem is whether, if this file exists, if it has been digitised.

    Otherwise, you might peruse through volumes 1 and 2 of "Fighter Command losses", and hope to find this downing, if recorded. There are many gaps in FCL, but you might strike lucky.

    Joss

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    Tony Woods loss lists::
    http://lesbutler.co.uk/claims/tonywood.htm

    seems likely candidate.
    Escort-Cover Wing: Debden
    RAF 11 Gp. 65 Sqn. 12 Spitfire Vb 12.43 15.15 Circus 178 0 - 0 - 0 n/a 3 Cat.Em 1 Cat.B L-BS: Bruges

    Cat.Em 01.06.42 W/Cdr. J.A.G. Gordon RAAF: KIA 11 Group Debden Spitfire Vb: BL936 FW 190s: Ostend
    Cat.Em 01.06.42 Sgt. R.E. Parrack: KIA 11 Group 65 Sqn. Spitfire Vb: BL647 FW 190s: Ostend
    Cat.Em 01.06.42 P/O J.R. Richards: ASR 11 Group 65 Sqn. Spitfire Vb: AR391 FW 190s: Ostend
    Cat.B 01.06.42 Sgt. V. Kopacek: WIA 11 Group 65 Sqn. Spitfire Vb: AB133 FW 190s: Ostend

    NOte: From CWGC Gordon is not RAAF but is RAF, and listed being with 350 Squadron
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 10th April 2013 at 19:59.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Leendert,

    Only F/Lt of the 11 or so James Richards listed on the WWII Nominal Roll is:

    http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/Veteran.aspx?serviceId=R&veteranId=1061377

    403434 James Reginald Richards

    Only file at the NAA is his A9300. But it is digitized.

    http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=5244967

    Regards,

    Dave
    Last edited by alieneyes; 10th April 2013 at 19:54. Reason: added link from NAA

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    Sgt ( later P/O) Thomas Otto Omdahl flew at one point with 91 Sqdn.

    He took part in Operations Channel Stop, Fuller, Jubilee, and Market.

    It appears that he gets several mentions in the book ' No. 91 Nigeria Squadron ', author Peter Hall and published by Osprey, if anyone has a copy.

    I hope this helps.

    a15.

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    Gentlemen,

    Thanks for all the info. It appears from the loss list that the missing Wing Commander Sgt Omdahl was sent out for was W/Cdr Gordon.

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    Default F/Lt Jim Richards and F/Sgt Tom Omdahl - RAAF pilots

    Hello Leendert,

    You can find a short biography of W/Cdr Gordon on my site :

    http://www.350sqn.be/biography/Gordon John.htm

    Best regards from Leuven,

    Serge

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    Hi Leendent,

    There was a 79 Sqn RAAF and from around the end of 1943/44 there were stationed in New Guinea flying Spitfires.

    Regards,

    John.

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