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Thread: Wellington X ME876

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    Default Wellington X ME876

    Hello,

    Need a service history/fate of Wellington X ME876. Could someone please oblige?

    Thanks,

    Col.

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    311 FTU
    3 OADU
    104 Squadron
    Abandoned near Altamura on return from Steyr, 25th February 1944.

    Source; ROYAL AIR FORCE AIRCRAFT MA100-MZ999 (Halley)

    Ian Macdonald

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    Hi Ian,

    I appreciate you help.

    AUS409188 F/Sgt James Edward Thomas SHEPHERDLY RAAF, baled out of ME876 over Altamura, Italy on 25-2-1944, thus becoming a member of the 'Caterpillar Club'. Unfortunately, Shepherdley's files at the NAA have not been digitised. I believe the pilot of ME876 was one, F/Sgt Courtney.

    Further information on this incident would be welcomed.

    Col.

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    Default Wellington ME876 - Further info re loss

    Hello Ian and Col. I have only recently discovered this forum after searching for official records about the fate of this aircraft. I had searched in Bill Chorley's volumes without success, although our State Library (Victoria, Australia) has only the first six volumes.

    I am the son of the aircraft's Navigator, Warrant Officer James Shepherdly, and I have his Flying Log Book which records that particular mission. James also wrote of this event in some detail in a letter home. You're correct that the pilot was F/Sgt Courtney. I also have the names of the remaining crew members.

    All the crew baled out and survived with either no or relatively minor injuries. The plane itself either crashed to earth or into the sea - they weren't sure exactly in which direction they were headed because of foul weather and radio problems.

    If you are still pursuing further information about ME876, I would be delighted to share what I know with you.

    Cheers,
    Martin Shepherdly
    Melbourne, Australia.

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    Hello Martin,

    Firstly, welcome to the Forum.

    You will not find mention of your Father in Bill Chorley's volumes, they cover only Bomber Command aircraft losses.

    The make-up of your Father's crew would be very welcome, not only to me, but to several other members of this Forum who have an interest in Mediterranean ops. Any other information would also be of interest.

    Are you a Postcode 3127 "Man"?

    Await with interest your reply.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 15th February 2011 at 06:05.

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    Default Wellington ME876

    Hello Col,

    Thank you for your prompt reply. You have immediately solved one riddle for me. I had believed that Bomber Command had overarching responsibility for all bomber operations, but realise now that I was mistaken. So no more fruitless searching through Chorley’s volumes. And I do indeed reside in the postcode 3127 area. Do you have some connection with 3127?

    The crew of ME876 on its op to Steyr on 24/25 February 1944 was:
    Pilot: Flight Sgt Ivor COURTNEY (from Euston, England)
    Navigator: Warrant Officer James Edward Thomas SHEPHERDLY AUS409188 (from Melbourne, Australia)
    Bombadier: Jack Atherton.

    There were three further crew members – front and rear gunners and a Wireless Operator up for experience (he got that alright!) – but I am unable to allocate duties to names. The names are:
    Sgt John Greenslade 1600086 (from Caterham, England); Missing on ops 23.3.1944, aged 21.
    Hank (possibly TREVENEN 410794; if so, from Ballarat, Victoria, Australia)
    Louis ? (most probably the Wireless Operator).

    Here is a transcript of my father’s entry in his Log Book.
    ‘Foggia – Lake Lesina – Brovigny – Lake Grado – Lake Millstaater – Lake Traum – Steyr fuselage factory Austria. 1 overload. Illuminating flares. No bombs. Return route same. Unable locate base. Out of fuel. Baled out 0250hrs. 25th Altamura near Bari. Flight time: 8.30.’

    As I mentioned, my father wrote in some detail of this event in a letter. He also kept a daily diary of his time in service in southern Italy and North Africa. Are there any areas of particular interest to you or other members of the Forum?

    Cheers,
    Martin.

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    Martin
    Was your father's squadron 104 RAF ?

    My father, F/O T R [Bob] Millar RAAF Observer /Bombaimer [from Narromine & Sydney] was in 104 in Italy until June /July 1944 when he was seconded to 31 Sqdn SAAF at Celone Foggia, Italy .104 was at Foggia Main base.

    I don't know when he joined 104 as I haven't got his log book & the relevant service record pages [from NAA] are blurred but I know he was there in Italy in January 1944 & possibly late 1943 via North Africa .

    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 15th February 2011 at 12:53.

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    Hello Martin,

    To retain your anonymity (and mine!), I will contact you privately and explain the rather cryptic "Postcode 3127" reference.

    I thank you for the extra detail on the crew of Wellington X ME876, of No.104 Sqn. AUS410794 F/O Herbert James TREVENEN RAAF, if indeed that is him, later won a DFC serving with No.78 Sqn.

    As you have indicated, Sgt GREENSLADE later lost his life, as follows:

    23/24-3-1944
    No.104 Sqn
    Wellington ? ?

    Failed to return from attacking Padua North railway yards.

    Crew (Alpha order):

    138127 F/O Norman Eric BLIGHT RAFVR +
    1188802 F/Sgt John Edwin FRITH RAFVR +
    1600086 Sgt John Harry GREENSLADE RAFVR +
    928300 F/Sgt Godfrey Jones OLIVER RAFVR +
    116399 F/O (Pilot) Joseph Basil POAD RAFVR +

    Poad rests in Padua War Cemetery, Italy. The others are commemorated on the Malta Memorial.

    Other Forumites will hopefully confirm/correct, or fill the gaps.

    Do you have any further information on ATHERTON, or LOUIS?

    Thanks once again,

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 15th February 2011 at 11:16.

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    There is an interesting uncertainty about just who was in the crew of ME876 on the Steyr operation.

    The ORB lists as follows:

    F/Sgt I D Courtney
    W/O J E T Shepherdly
    Sgt J H Greenslade
    Sgt L E Heremelin
    Sgt J A G Atherton
    Sgt A Souter

    But AHB advises that a handwritten list gives a Sgt Griffiths in place of Sgt Souter.

    David

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    Hi David,

    Much appreciate your contribution. Looks like there is a bit more work to be done on this one.

    "HEREMELIN", would appear to be:

    3/4-4-1944
    No104 Sqn.
    Wellington X LN925 'G'

    Failed to return from attacking Manfred Weiss factory, Budapest.

    Crew (Alpha order):

    1620621 Sgt G CRAWSHAW PoW 357/3539
    AUS421871 P/O Eric William GREEN RAAF PoW L1/4493
    1685993 Sgt (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Louis Eugene HERMELIN RAFVR + (of Mauritius), (CWGC 3-4-44)
    1825485 Sgt (Air Gnr.) William MELROSE RAFVR + (CWGC 4-4-44)
    AUS417984 F/Sgt Ross Henry WHITTAKER RAAF PoW L3/4863

    Hermelin and Melrose buried Budapest War Cemetery.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 15th February 2011 at 20:25.

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