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Thread: Ceremony for 217 Sqn Beaufort W6493 crew in Brittany

  1. #1
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    Default Ceremony for 217 Sqn Beaufort W6493 crew in Brittany

    Hello to all,
    Next 22nd August will be a ceremony at Lannilis communal cemetery, Brittany, France in memory of 217 Sqn Beaufort W6493 Crew, in presence of New Zealander pilot Ronald William “Bill” Gair relatives.

    Would need some help for a few things, already have CWGC information.

    A search was made to find relatives of the other crew members. One was found,thanks to a british friend living around here, Sara, a relative of Sgt Beeden. Some information and a picture obtained, but e-mail unfortunately no more available.

    Any chance one of you would be in touch with any relative of :

    Sgt ABBOTT William Noel (W/AG, 903156) was 22, KIA Son of William George and Martha Jane Abbott, of Titchfield, Fareham, Hampshire. KIA. Buried grave 2
    Sgt BEEDEN Arthur William Richard (W/AG, 552724) was 18, KIA Son of Arthur and Lily Beeden, of Sandgate, Folkestone. KIA
    F/O GAIR Ronald William (Pilot, 36171) was 22, KIA Son of Charles Gair and of Emma Laura Gair (nee Greenwood), of Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand. KIA.
    Sgt WEBSTER Joseph Ronald Holmes (Obs/Nav, 958761) KIA

    A note about a possible mistake about the death of date of Sgt WEBSTER, 18 Febr 41 on CWGC site and, as the crew, 15 Febr 41on his grave. One had bailed out, but would have been found already dead.

    Also
    F/O GAIR Ronald William was the Pilot
    Sgt WEBSTER Joseph Ronald Holmes, the Obs/Nav.
    Who between Sgt ABBOTT William Noel and Sgt BEEDEN Arthur William Richard was the Radio operator and who was the gunner.

    I would of course appreciate any ORB extract for that day.

    One French witness mentioned seeing that particular day one plane going back to England that would have shot down one german fighter. The three Beauforts were lost, (W6493, L9807 and L9794 (crew all MIA) and I only found a Me-109 with 10% damage…

    For information, remains were found of W6493 and L9807.

    Many thanks for any help you may provide.

    Gildas

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    Just to add a bit of information, Sgt Arthur William Richard Beeden is commemorated in Longhoughton, Northumberland:

    http://www.newmp.org.uk/detail.php?contentId=7857

    Quite a long way from Folkestone.

    The ORB entry for 15th February is brief, but to the point:

    15th February 1941:
    Day strike against the HIPPER in Brest. None of the machines returned.
    L9807
    L9794
    W6493

    Regards

    Simon

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    Thanks a lot for this information, Simon. This was early in the war, and can explain, even if it was tested again several times with a lot of losses, that Brest suffered much more from night bombings than daylight.
    Much appreciated Simon !
    Kind regards
    Gildas

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