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Thread: 102 squadron loss, Ardleigh near Colchester

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    Default 102 squadron loss, Ardleigh near Colchester

    Hello,
    I am looking for any information on the loss of a 102 squadron Halifax returning from a raid on Nuremburg.
    The Navigator was a chap named Dudley. Unfortunately this is the only information I have, no dates, no other crew names ect.
    Appreciate any help whatsoever:)
    The wartime airfields of Hunsdon & Sawbridgeworth.

    The Hertfordshire Airfields Memorial Group.

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    There is a headstone photograph of one of the crew on flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/43688219@N00/3042292926/ with the following information:

    Halifax DT800 Information
    Type .................................Halifax
    Serial Number ..............DT800
    Squadron .......................102
    X1D .................................DY-P
    Operation........................Nuremburg
    Date 1..............................25th February 1943
    Date 2 .............................26th February 1943

    Further Information
    "Serial Range DT767 - DT808. 42 Halifax Mk.11.
    Delivered by English Electric Co. (Salmesbury & Preston) between 21Jan43 and 28Mar43.

    Airborne 1920 25Feb43 from Pocklington. Encountered severe weather, crashed 2024 and caught fire at Badliss Hall Farm near Ardleigh, 4 miles NE of Colchester, Essex.

    Sgt C.H.Bray KIA (Charles Henry, Pilot, Aged N\k)
    www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2721066

    Sgt T.B.Barfoot KIA (Thomas Bertam, Air Bomber, Aged 19)
    www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2714166

    Sgt L.V.W.Herbert KIA (Leonard Victor William, Observer, Aged 22)
    www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2430063

    Sgt C.J.D.Smith KIA (Cyril James Drane, Wireless Operator, Aged 23)
    www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2455763

    Sgt J.Dudley KIA (John, Air Gunner, Aged 20)
    www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2436005

    Sgt E.L.Widgery KIA (Edward Leslie, Flight Engineer, Aged 35)
    www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2718363

    Sgt I.L.Sanitsky RCAF KIA (Irving Louis, Air Gnr. Aged 22)
    Service No: R/126444
    www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2764253

    [Source: The original source is probably Chorley's and CWGC]
    Last edited by PeteT; 4th July 2012 at 22:36.
    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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    Airborne at 1920 and down an hour later, so it was not returning,and Dudley was not a Navigator either.
    Many thanks for your reply.
    The wartime airfields of Hunsdon & Sawbridgeworth.

    The Hertfordshire Airfields Memorial Group.

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    Just to touch base with the thread on here, I've opened an enquiry about this crash on another forum that I use: WW2talk.com

    This has yielded some information but not much on crew member 'Dudley' I'm afraid at the moment. But I am having a look into this crash so if I find out more I'll post on here or contact member Denis by PM.

    I have Sgt. John Dudley recorded as being an Air Gunner, and buried at Titsey St. James churchyard Surrey S.E. corner aged 20.years.

    Link to my thread: http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads...5/#post-778393

    (Moderators - I hope that's OK with you).
    Last edited by STAN53; 14th February 2018 at 17:19.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteT View Post
    There is a headstone photograph of one of the crew on flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/43688219@N00/3042292926/ with the following information:

    Halifax DT800 Information
    Type .................................Halifax
    Serial Number ..............DT800
    Squadron .......................102
    X1D .................................DY-P
    Operation........................Nuremburg
    Date 1..............................25th February 1943
    Date 2 .............................26th February 1943

    Further Information
    "Serial Range DT767 - DT808. 42 Halifax Mk.11.
    Delivered by English Electric Co. (Salmesbury & Preston) between 21Jan43 and 28Mar43.

    Airborne 1920 25Feb43 from Pocklington. Encountered severe weather, crashed 2024 and caught fire at Badliss Hall Farm near Ardleigh, 4 miles NE of Colchester, Essex.

    Sgt C.H.Bray KIA (Charles Henry, Pilot, Aged N\k)
    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_...sualty=2721066

    Sgt T.B.Barfoot KIA (Thomas Bertam, Air Bomber, Aged 19)
    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_...sualty=2714166

    Sgt L.V.W.Herbert KIA (Leonard Victor William, Observer, Aged 22)
    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_...sualty=2430063

    Sgt C.J.D.Smith KIA (Cyril James Drane, Wireless Operator, Aged 23)
    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_...sualty=2455763

    Sgt J.Dudley KIA (John, Air Gunner, Aged 20)
    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_...sualty=2436005

    Sgt E.L.Widgery KIA (Edward Leslie, Flight Engineer, Aged 35)
    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_...sualty=2718363

    Sgt I.L.Sanitsky RCAF KIA (Irving Louis, Air Gnr. Aged 22)
    Service No: R/126444
    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_...sualty=2764253

    [Source: The original source is probably Chorley's and CWGC]
    The "Original" source for most of this data (other than the CWGC material), was the notorious Lost Bombers site.

    Col.

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    The document that kick started me off in looking into this crash is a photo copy of a note written by a relative which appears to have been placed at the crash site.

    The note reads: 'We remember with sadness the crew and all who perished in war. This wreath is in particular memory of Sgt. John Dudley age 20, the uncle I never knew.'

    'This is the first time in my 63 years that I have visited the crash site. My father was reluctant to speak of his late brother and thus I know little of the person who at the time of his death was little more than a boy. My generation remains eternally grateful for the sacrifice of men like these who made it possible for us to enjoy the freedoms that exist today. Would that I had the courage to have exhibited such bravery myself.'

    x MODERATED

    My friend who produced this much photocopied document has dated it 70th Anniversary 2013.


    Yesterday I visited the resting place of the Pilot in Suffolk. Today I have found and spoken to an archivist in Ardleigh where the aircraft crashed. She has given me access to two images of the Pilot and his funeral. Also I seen letters written by his brother who visited the crash site in 1983. He too was in the RAF as a Flt Lt. I am in the process of tracing this relative.

    MODERATOR COMMENT: Stan, I have removed the name and location of the relative who wrote the letter you quoted above. The context indicates you did not seek permission to reproduce the very personal message in the letter and I do not feel it should be reproduced publicaly to include that level of information about a person without their consent.
    Last edited by bruce dennis; 16th February 2018 at 22:29. Reason: removal of name of writer

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    It looks like the tribute was left at the crash site in 2013. I would have thought the person who wrote it would have been pleased that others read it rather than the opposite. But fair enough, putting it on here probably takes it to a much wider audience than where it was left.

    This is an old thread but I am working my way to find out more about the crew from this aircraft.

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    We have made some progress regarding the loss of this aircraft. So far we have obtained Essex Police reports, and a local person living near by kept a day to day diary which has several pages covering the crash just moments after it occurred.

    So far we have managed to trace two relatives of the crew with a close third.

    The Yorkshire Air Museum has also been helping with information.

    If interested please look at the other thread on WW2talk.

    Once again - I hope that's OK moderators.

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    An update for anyone interested in this thread. Since starting to look into this crash my friend and I have now managed to trace family of the following:

    Charles Henry Bray, the Pilot
    Thomas Bertram Barfoot, the Air Bomber,
    Cyril James Drane Smith, the Wireless Operator,
    Edward Leslie Widgery, the Flight Engineer,
    Irving Louis Sanitsky, one of the Air Gunners,

    and

    John Dudley, the other Air Gunner. We have found the relative who left the 2013 tribute near the crash site. He is pleased with what we've done with the research for the crew and his uncle.

    We are now trying to find family of the last remaining crew member Leonard Victor William Herbert. If anyone is interested in helping with this we would appreciate it. This is proving to be the hardest person to trace family. Obviously ancestry tracing skills are what is needed here.

    We have made remarkable progress in just a few weeks. Our findings will be written up and presented to the village where the crash happened.

    At this point we should thank John Larder at the Yorkshire Air Museum for his input regarding information of the crew's training.
    Last edited by STAN53; 10th March 2018 at 04:12.

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    Sgt Herbert is buried at Eltham Cemetery Greenwich and there is a photograph of the headstone here. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...illiam-herbert.

    Good luck with your search.

    DaveW

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