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Thread: Halifax MkII Bombers Numbers W1247, W1181, DT539 and W7914

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    Default Halifax MkII Bombers Numbers W1247, W1181, DT539 and W7914

    Are there any photos of these particular aeroplanes? They all flew with 102 Sqn out of Pocklington in the latter part of 1942. All were piloted at one time by my relation P/O Geoffrey King 115277 that is why I am interested in these Halifaxes. How would I go about finding photos?

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    Hi Geoffrey I was wondering if you ever managed to obtain a photo of W7914. My uncle was an air gunner (F.R Thompson) on that plane on its fateful day....Graham

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    Graham
    I have some photos of the planes he flew in but not W7914 that my relation and your uncle died in on 22 Nov 1942.
    Geoff King

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    Geoff
    thanks very much for your reply. I would be interested to know what planes your relation flew in. Last year I visited the crash site and the cemetery.

    Graham
    Last edited by ghammond; 21st November 2016 at 16:57.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghammond View Post
    Geoff
    thanks very much for your reply. I would be interested to know what planes your relation flew in. Last year I visited the crash site and the cemetery.

    Graham
    Graham

    I also visited the grave site and have photos of their graves at Abbeville as well

    Can you give me any details on your Great Uncle Sgt Frederick Ralph Thompson 1334012 RAFVR?. I know about Flying Officer Thomas Henry Follet 48379 who was an Air Bomber/Navigator in his crew but I don't know about the others. They were at 19 0TU together along with Sgt Harold Clarkson W/Op and Sgt John Nicholson Air Gunner,
    Sgt Thompson was a permanent member of his (Geoffery Bernard Herbert King's) crew and went on at least 13 other raids with him as an Air Gunner in A Flight 102 Sqn. I have details of each raid if you want them.

    Was Sgt F R Thomson at 19 0TU before joining 102 Squadron as well?

    Perhaps you can PM me with your e-mail address and I can send you details and photos.

    I can give you details of the raid they died on 22-23/11/1942 as follows:
    22-23/11/42 Stuttgart
    His final operation was from Pocklington again in Halifax W.7914, one of 9 aircraft detailed for the attack. The weather was an early snow shower with poor visibility, then later, had little cloud and good visibility. There was a small amount of heavy and light flak. They took off at 17.32 and were reported missing. His crew were as follows:
    On 22 Nov 1942 he was flying a Halifax MK II - W7914 DY-A out of Pocklington Airfield.
    A witness states that the pilot was trying to make a controlled landing but the bomber crashed into a high bank of earth at Hangest sur Somme. All 7 of the crew were killed. They were an entirely English crew. All buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension.
    They were;
    F/O Geoffrey Bernard Herbert King 115277–Pilot–RAF Volunteer Reserve - buried Plot 6 Row J Grave 11 - Age 21 (shown as Pilot Officer on his grave)
    Sgt Herbert Thomas Cheetham 615248- Flight Engineer – RAF - buried Plot 6 Row J Grave 10- Age 21
    F/O Thomas Henry Follett 48379– Bomb Aimer/Navigator RAF – buried Plot 6 Row K Grave 11- Age 22
    Sgt John Nicholson 1333607–Air Bomber/Navigator–RAF Volunteer Reserve–buried Plot 6 Row J Grave 4–Age 21
    Sgt Harold Clarkson 1022403–Wireless Operator/Air Gunner–RAF Volunteer Reserve–buried Plot 6 Row H Grave 11
    Sgt Derrick Johnson 1334012– Air Gunner – RAF Volunteer Reserve – buried Plot 6 Row K Grave 10 – Age 24
    Sgt Frederick Ralph Thompson 1198362–Air Gunner–RAF Volunteer Reserve–buried Plot 6 Row H Grave 10–Age 20

    Going on this raid 22/23 Nov 1942
    Stuttgart
    222 aircraft - 97 Lancasters, 59 Wellingtons, 39 Halifaxes, 27 Stirlings.
    10 aircraft - 5 Lancasters, 3 Wellingtons, 2 Halifaxes - lost, 4.5 per cent of the force.
    Bomber Command reported: A thin layer of cloud and some ground haze concealed Stuttgart and the Pathfinders were not able to identify the centre of the city. Heavy bombing developed to the south-west and south and the outlying residential districts of Vaihingen, Rohr, Mohringen and Plieningen, all about 5 miles from the centre, were hit. 88 houses were destroyed and 334 seriously damaged; 28 people were killed and 71 injured.

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    Geoff, have you considered contacting the CWGC with the London Gazette entries and his service record for them to update their records and amend his gravestone to Flying Officer?


    Pete

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    Hi Geoff
    Thank you for all the additional information.
    I have my Great Uncles service record, telegrams and letters and a few photos including a photo of what may well be the Pilot Geoffrey King standing alongside his Halifax. I Would like to think it's W7914 but you can't tell from the photo. I'll Log back on later when I have found the records. I'll also pm you my email address so we can hopefully exchange some photos etc.

    Graham
    Last edited by ghammond; 22nd November 2016 at 09:06.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete102 View Post
    Geoff, have you considered contacting the CWGC with the London Gazette entries and his service record for them to update their records and amend his gravestone to Flying Officer?


    Pete
    Pete
    I have contacted the CWGC and they agreed to alter the gravestone to put on his age and correct rank as I supplied evidence for the alteration. However other members of the family did not want the grave "messed about with", perhaps I should not have informed them. So it is staying as it is. I told the CWGC not to go ahead.
    Geoff

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghammond View Post
    Hi Geoff
    Thank you for all the additional information.
    I have my Great Uncles service record, telegrams and letters and a few photos including a photo of what may well be the Pilot Geoffrey King standing alongside his Halifax. I Would like to think it's W7914 but you can't tell from the photo. I'll Log back on later when I have found the records. I'll also pm you my email address so we can hopefully exchange some photos etc.

    Graham
    Graham
    I have Geoffrey King (the pilots) photo so we can check it. I also have Thomas Follet (The Air Bomber/Navigator's) photo as well.
    Geoff

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    Geoff
    Sgt F.R Thompson was Canadian born and was my paternal grandmother’s brother (my Great Uncle) and known as Ralph to his family and friends. According to his service record he trained at Cardington, Cranwell and 10SRCH before being stationed at Topcliffe and joined 102 Sqdn on 20/6/42.
    I also have his log book and see he was mid upper gunner in various Halifax’s piloted by P.O.King from August 42. There is was interesting entry for 23/9/42 on ops to Flensburg in Halifax W1066 they were attacked by an ME109.F and returned with damage.
    Along with various photos I also have a very interesting letter from Geoffrey King’s brother, H.James King, written to the families of the crew. It recalls a visit made by him to the original grave site just south of Hangest. It is written on letter headed paper from King & Co and dated July 4th 1946..
    I was wondering if when you visited the crash site at Bourden, did you manage to find the exact location of the crash and take any pictures?
    Graham..
    Last edited by ghammond; 22nd November 2016 at 21:08.

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