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Thread: A/C wreck salvage in 1945 / 46

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    Default A/C wreck salvage in 1945 / 46

    Hi

    Towards the end of WW2 or just after it ended does anyone have information on a RAF department that went around in Germany to pick up wreckage from various crash sites and deal with any casualties. If so could you tell me the name and also were any reports written and if so are they in PRO and under what title?
    Tony

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    Hello Tony,

    I think you may be looking for the Missing Research Enquiry Service. A brief description of their duties can be found by following this link http://www.archieraf.co.uk/archie/mres.html

    There were reports written but in the UK they have never been made available to the public. If you had an Australian or Canadian on the crew there may be some luck in finding extracts from the MRES reports in files in those countries.

    We are however moving closer to being able to get hold of them here in the UK. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/release-of-wwii-raf-casualty-packs-to-the-tna

    I can thoroughly recommend reading Missing Believed Killed by Stuart Hadaway which gives a very comprehensive overview of the amazing work that the MRES men did.

    Regards
    Linzee

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    Hi Tony

    I can't really add to this as a way to get hold of copies of the MRES files if your crew were from the UK. As Linzee says: Are any of the crew your looking at from Australia or Canada?

    If you have an Australian then look at http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/explore/defence/service-records/raaf.aspx you can search to see if the airmans records have already be requested and digitised.

    If Canadian then you can request their service records from http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/index-e.html. I asked for 3 RCAF crew records and it cost me the pricely sum of 0 but not sure now as this was many years ago.

    I can also highly recommend the book "Missing believed killed" It gives a great insight into the work of the MRES units and the troubles they had in their work.

    As far as I am aware ( I may be corrected) the AHB hold the only copies of the MRES files and during my own research have constantly refused to share them with me to verify any of my research. So hopefully the releasing of casualty file to the TNA will come sooner rather then later.

    regards

    nick

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    Default Missing research Enquiry Service

    Hi Linzee. You are a star. And you wrote it!!. This is exactly what I meant. It is very complicated to write all the detail. To make the point my uncle was the tail gunner in a Lancaster III on 2/3 August 1943. The a/c is classified as missing. I am in contact with a German gentleman who reckons and has produced some evidence that he knows where the crash site is. He says that the sight was visited in 1946 by the MRES and they decided it would be too difficult to retrieve the wreck and the remains. Until now and into the future the wreck is still unidentified. There are 3 other relatives who would also like to know where our relatives lie. I would be prepared to help with any pressure, that might be needed, on the MOD. Please let me know any developments. Tony

    Quote Originally Posted by Linzee View Post
    Hello Tony,

    I think you may be looking for the Missing Research Enquiry Service. A brief description of their duties can be found by following this link http://www.archieraf.co.uk/archie/mres.html

    There were reports written but in the UK they have never been made available to the public. If you had an Australian or Canadian on the crew there may be some luck in finding extracts from the MRES reports in files in those countries.

    We are however moving closer to being able to get hold of them here in the UK. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/release-of-wwii-raf-casualty-packs-to-the-tna

    I can thoroughly recommend reading Missing Believed Killed by Stuart Hadaway which gives a very comprehensive overview of the amazing work that the MRES men did.

    Regards
    Linzee

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    Based on my experiences, the Air Historical Branch will provide general information about the loss of an aircraft if you ask them a specific question; they never provide an extract from, or copy of, the MRES report.

    If you provide proof of kinship, they will provide answers to specific questions about a relative, but will not provide any information about the other crew members.

    I note that its website states that a 30 administration charge is now payable (effective April 2013).

    It is quite a slow and tortuous route at times, but they have helped with some of my research.

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Default Missing research Enquiry Service - and/or Australian/Canadian records

    Hello Tony

    If you can provide some more details about your Uncle, name etc., squadron, any crew names to help establish the correct crew etc. etc., people on this site might be able to assist you further in your quest.

    And, if as mentioned by Linzee and Nick, any of the crew are Australian or Canadian a lot of the information might already be out there in the public domain, or easily accessible.

    Hope this helps - look forward to seeing what information you hold.

    Allan
    Allan Hillman

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    My Uncle was Sgt B Robinson of Shirley Southampton. He was tail gunner in Lanc Mkiii W5000 of 61 Sqd raiding Hamburg 2/3 Aug 1943. As far as I know there were not any Canadians or Australians amongst the crew. You are probably aware that there has been much conjecture over the loss of this aircraft. A German gentleman I have discovered is convinced that he knows of the wreckage and its position. There are other family members of the crew that I am in contact with and who would also like to know if it is possible to confirm the resting place. I am in possession of a map with exact location and photos of various parts. It is 70 years in a few weeks time and if it were possible to get the proof before then then that would be brilliant. There is evidence that the crash site is indeed a mark III Lanc and it is the only site in the area where the a/c is unknown. The site is to the SW of Buxtehude and on the edge of a small brook. In 1946 it was investigated but deemed (?) that it was not possible because of a high water table. Any comments or ideas or indeed anyone who is prepared to dig please come back to me.Tony

    Quote Originally Posted by allan125 View Post
    Hello Tony

    If you can provide some more details about your Uncle, name etc., squadron, any crew names to help establish the correct crew etc. etc., people on this site might be able to assist you further in your quest.

    And, if as mentioned by Linzee and Nick, any of the crew are Australian or Canadian a lot of the information might already be out there in the public domain, or easily accessible.

    Hope this helps - look forward to seeing what information you hold.

    Allan

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    Hello Tony

    Thanks for the background information - Talk about coincidence, I had a relation who was a navigator with 61 Squadron, his tour was from August '44 - April '45 though, and he was also from Southampton!!

    I expect somebody will be along soon with a quote from the relevant edition of Bomber Command Losses, with the full crew details.

    Good luck, if I can find anything to help I certainly will.

    Allan
    Allan Hillman

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    Hi Allan

    Thank you for your replies. I have been on and off this for years. In 1989 I visitd Kew and gained an awful lot of information. I know the names of all the crew and am in contact with the relatives of the Pilot, the flight engineer and one of the other gunners / bomb aimer/ wireless op. I have been to Runneymede and it was while looking up some info on the Dambusters that I discovered some posts about my uncles a/c. It started with a discussion on the viability of Ltn Hermann Leube as to whether his claim of shooting down a Stirling was wrong and in fact it had been W5000. There are not any Stirling s missing on that night so some think he was incorrect and it was infact W5000. During the discussion a German member came up and said that was not the case and that the a/c W5000 had possibly been hit by flak and had crashed in between Nindorf and Daensen south of Butehude. He has sent me a report which is currently being translated by my mother in law who is German. In the report are photos of the crash site and photos of some engine bits and bomb bay bits which confirm a Mk III. Some of the aluminium is misshaped as it has been burnt. I read recently that a Lanc had been discovered and retrieved somewhere near Frankfurst. I do not have the resources to take this to the extreme of getting a digger and going over to excavate the site. The German chap reckons from eyewitness accounts that the plane was in a steep dive and must be some feet underground along with the crew. My uncle still has a sister who is still alive but my mother who was desperate to know just prior to her death what had happened is no longer here. There was also another brother and sister who are all now gone along with his parents. I have documents from the time saying that nothing was known and they were placed as deceased on 16/3/1944 some months after the crash. I would just like a small piece of evidence just to confirm the German chap as being correct. Every other crash site in the area has been accounted for. In conclusion this is the crash site or the plane came down in the North Sea and is gone forever. I am just trying to establish if the former may be correct. Maybe I will never know. I understand from the German that the RAF investigation team visited the site in 1946 and I would like to see their report hence the thread. Tony

    Quote Originally Posted by allan125 View Post
    Hello Tony

    Thanks for the background information - Talk about coincidence, I had a relation who was a navigator with 61 Squadron, his tour was from August '44 - April '45 though, and he was also from Southampton!!

    I expect somebody will be along soon with a quote from the relevant edition of Bomber Command Losses, with the full crew details.

    Good luck, if I can find anything to help I certainly will.

    Allan

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    Hi Tony

    I have been in touch with the moderator of the 50/61 Squadron website, and he advises me that it was an all UK crew on board, and that if you google Lancaster W5000 you will find quite a few hits for it, including this one from 2009, which includes some comments by him - AlanW - and other regulars on this forum.

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?4467-Sgt-George-Hodges

    hope this all helps

    Allan
    Allan Hillman

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