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Thread: RAF Casualty Packs 1939-45 Public Access

  1. #211
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    Default Re: RAF Casualty Packs 1939-45 Public Access

    Hi Dave:

    I compiled the following while researching one of the rescuers, W/O Michael Patrick Campion, GC. Much of the content came from Volume 3 of Marion Hebblethwaite's series on GC recipients, One Step Further. She acknowledges the confusion and states that John Hamlin positively identified the Blenheim I in question as L1396. Just downloaded the 90 Sqn ORB Summary of Events for March 1940 and it confirms L1396.

    Warrant Officer Michael Patrick Campion was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal in 1940 – this was automatically exchanged for the George Cross under the terms of the institution of that award in September 1940. On March 12, 1940, Campion, a Leading Aircraftman at the time, and Aircraftman 1st Class Ernest Ralph Clyde Frost were among the first on the scene of a take-off collision between two Bristol Blenheims engaged in training at RAF Upwood, Huntingdonshire. Blenheim IV L8845 was under the command Sgt Alphonse Roger Hermels of 35 Squadron while Blenheim I L1396 of 90 Squadron was being flown by Sgt Blanks [740402 per the ORB]. Blanks was uninjured but Hermels was trapped in his cockpit with severe back injuries as his aircraft caught fire. Warrant Officer Campion worked to free the injured pilot while Frost, who did not realize there was only the pilot on board, looked for a radio operator in the rear fuselage. Despite the imminent danger of an explosion, Campion and Frost managed to extricate Hermels from the burning wreck before the petrol tanks exploded and the aircraft burned out. Unfortunately, Hermels died later that day from his injuries.

    Campion died on December 4, 1943, when Fortress FK206 220/K crashed into ocean after taking off from Lagens, Azores, en route to the United Kingdom. Official likely cause was loss of control following the change from visual flight to instruments on a very black night.

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 28th January 2022 at 00:16. Reason: Inevitable typo

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    davew (28th January 2022)

  3. #212
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    Default Re: RAF Casualty Packs 1939-45 Public Access

    Rob

    You may already be aware but I have a little more on Campion. On 1st March 1942 he was a Corporal aboard 201 Squadron Sunderland W3997 ZM-S as Flight Engineer when it was hit by friendly fire from convoy ON-71 that it was supposed to be escorting. After detecting abnormally high fuel consumption, Cpl Campion climbed into the port wing and found the float chamber on the port outer engine and been shot away with fuel gushing out. The engine was shut down and the crew returned safely to Lough Erne with only about 200 gallons of fuel remaining.

    Chris

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    Default Re: RAF Casualty Packs 1939-45 Public Access

    Thanks, Chris. Clearly a good man to have around. Lost at sea, heís commemorated at Runnymede.

    ASN has updated their page to reference L1396 as the 90 Sqn Blenheim.

    Robert

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    Default Re: RAF Casualty Packs 1939-45 Public Access

    Re: With regard to AIR 81/2119, this file will be opened in full, but in order to avoid redactions under the 100 year rule, it is necessary that it is released after 1 February 2022

    R eference: AIR 81/2119
    Description:
    Sergeant R E Newbatt, Sergeant J K Crawley, Sergeant A V Knowles: missing believed killed; aircraft failed to return from operational flight over Belgium, Blenheim P4893, 82 Squadron, 17 May 1940

    This file was released 28 January 2022

    Paul

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    Default Re: RAF Casualty Packs 1939-45 Public Access

    I’m interested in seeing some files from March 1945. Is it possible to make a request for these to be available “shortly” or do I have to wait until the NA work their way through the files in chronological order?
    Max
    Max Williams
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  7. #216
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    Default Re: RAF Casualty Packs 1939-45 Public Access

    Max i am 100% sure you will
    Have to wait…

  8. #217
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    Default Re: RAF Casualty Packs 1939-45 Public Access

    I feared that might be the case Paul, let's hope I live long enough!!
    Max Williams
    www.ordinarycrew.co.uk
    the story of Lancaster ME453

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    Default Re: RAF Casualty Packs 1939-45 Public Access

    Quote Originally Posted by Galgos View Post
    Iím interested in seeing some files from March 1945. Is it possible to make a request for these to be available ďshortlyĒ or do I have to wait until the NA work their way through the files in chronological order?
    Max
    If you are desperate to see these files you can request Air Historic Branch that they be pulled from storage however there is a fee per file which last time I asked was £30, with no guarantee that they actually exist or contain what you are after. They may also be redacted.

    Chris

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    Default Re: RAF Casualty Packs 1939-45 Public Access

    Quote Originally Posted by cozzy711 View Post
    If you are desperate to see these files you can request Air Historic Branch that they be pulled from storage however there is a fee per file which last time I asked was £30, with no guarantee that they actually exist or contain what you are after. They may also be redacted.

    Chris
    Thank you Chris, it would be worth it I think so Iíll investigate that avenue. Iím reading Mary Hudsonís book at the moment about the NA Casualty files; I hadnít realised just how much more information there may be in the AIR81 files than the A705 Australian ones, so Iím intrigued to have a look.
    Max Williams
    www.ordinarycrew.co.uk
    the story of Lancaster ME453

  11. #220
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    Default Re: RAF Casualty Packs 1939-45 Public Access

    Someone has got another closed file open


    Reference: AIR 81/1725
    Description:
    Flight Sergeant W H Packer: killed; Leading Aircraftman E Jones: injured; Blenheim L6740, 29 Squadron; aircraft accident, Saffron Walden, 11 December 1939

    Was originally to be opened 01-01-2023 now opened 03-02-2022

    BTW I got the following today as well

    Further to my e-mail of 14 January regarding a review of AIR 81/1849 and AIR 81/1803, I can now confirm that these redacted files will be opened by 16 February 2022.


    Paul

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