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Thread: P/O Alexander Franks 81399

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    Default P/O Alexander Franks 81399

    Hi All,

    Looking for any information on P/O Alexander Franks 81399. CWGC shows date of death as 18/11/1941 Age 31 whilst with 14 Sqn. He is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial.

    Any further information would be greatly received.

    Regards,
    Simon

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    Hello,

    18 November 1941
    No.14 Sqn
    Blenheim IV Z9543
    Op: Bir el Baheira

    Took off 1010, LG75, detailed to attack twelve Axis aircraft on the landing ground at Bir el Baheira No.1 (LG 140). Failed to return.

    89092 P/O (Pilot) Colin Douglas LOUGHLIN RAFVR +
    62033 P/O (Obs.) Eric Douglas MAIN RAFVR +
    81399 P/O (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Alexander FRANKS* M.C.I.S., RAFVR +

    All commemorated on the Alamein Memorial.

    See: BLME1/98.

    * Franks changed his name by deed poll in 1938

    http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/34565/pages/6791

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 14th May 2013 at 14:48.

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    Thanks for the heads up from Pete .. I note from the LG link that Col had posted that Francis name was "Bashyam
    Alexander Rama-Swami" - Clearly Indian Origins.

    His death on 18th November 1941 makes him one of the earliest Indian causalities of the war.

    Can we find a photograph of him please

    -Jagan
    ------------------------------------------
    ALEXANDER FRANKS of 27 Cliveden Place
    Westminster in the county of London Clerk whose
    birth was registered in the name of Bashyam
    Alexander Rama-Swami heretofore called and known
    by the name of Alexander Rama-Swami hereby give
    notice that on the zoth day of October 1938 I
    renounced and abandoned the use of my said
    Christian name of Bashyam and my said surname
    of Rama-Swami and assumed in lieu of my said
    surname the surname of Franks. And further that
    such change of name is evidenced by a deed dated
    the aoth day of October 1938 duly executed by me
    and attested and enrolled in the Enrolment Department of the Central Office of the Royal Courts of
    Justice on the 25th day of October 1938.
    ALEXANDER FRANKS, late Alexander
    (222) Rama-Swam

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    Hi Simon/Jagan,

    Franks' post-nominals (M.C.I.S.), indicates membership of the Civil Indian Service. He is noted on the CWGC, as the son of Cidambie and Beatrice Swami.

    The No.14 Squadron history, Winged Promises, mentions the following:

    Attacks were flown against aircraft at Barce Megrun, and against Bir el Baheira on the 18th (November '41), where German aircraft were bogged down on the airfield. It was on this raid that Pilot Officer O'Laughlin[sic] and his crew of Pilot Officers Main and Franks were lost. Their grave* was later found dug by the Germans and inscribed on a simple cross 'to 3 brave airmen'.

    See:
    Winged Promises:A History of No.14 Squadron, RAF 1915-1945.
    Orange,Vincent et al.
    Fairford:RAF Benevolent Fund Enterprises,1996.
    p.159.

    * Obviously, the grave could not be found post-war, as all are commemorated on the Alamein Memorial.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 14th May 2013 at 22:33.

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    Hi Col/Jagan

    Jagan, can I ask why you would like the photo?

    Col, thanks for all the information, very interesting. Shame for the families that the graves could not be found after the war.

    A further question if I may.....According to Tony Woods claims list there were 2 claims that day, both being Martin 167's. Is this an exhaustive list? Is it possible the claim was made for the wrong aircraft type? One of the claims has a blank location although the other seems to be in a location close to the target mentioned.

    Regards,
    Simon

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    Simon,

    l'm not at home at the moment, but l can tell you where you will find the latest research/information on this incident. Consult the following:

    A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945. Volume One: North Africa June 1940 - January 1942.
    Shores,Christopher, Massimello,Giovanni & Russell Guest.
    London:Grub Street,2012.
    pp.310-12

    Maybe someone can help with a scan.

    Col.

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    Simon,

    It sort of falls in one of my areas of interest. I keep a file on Indian Origin Aircrew in the RAF during the Second World War.

    Though Alexander Franks is slightly different in that he was born in UK and is half Indian by the looks of it. I am still quite interested in knowing more about him

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    Jagan, I will have a photo available from his relative shortly so I will scan and email it to you.

    Col, thanks for the further info. Will see if anyone has the mentioned pages that they can scan for me.

    Regards,
    Simon

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    Hi Jagan,

    Just emailed you requested photo.

    Simon

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    Much appreciated Simon. I got the photograph in mail. Best regards

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