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Thread: 6 Group Bomber Command - Commemoration of Loss

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    Default 6 Group Bomber Command - Commemoration of Loss

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Yelvertoft is a village in Northamptonshire England, about 30 miles east of Birmingham and 20 miles south of Leicester - there is another Yelvertoft in Australia; but that's a different story!

    On the night of 5/6 December 1944, A Halifax of 426 Sqn and a Lancaster of 428 Sqn collided over the village and the wreckage of both aircraft fell around the village and the hamlet of Winwick nearby. The crews of both aircraft, comprising twelve RCAF and two RAF personnel, were killed. There is a framed notice in the parish church about this accident and every year the crews' names are read out at the Rembrance Day service at the village War Memorial.

    To mark the 70th anniversary next year, a more detailed commemoration is planned and those organising this, would like to make contact with surviving relatives, the current squadrons and others who might be interested. I have been asked if I can help with establishing contacts.

    My query, which is probably directed mainly to those living in Canada, is: how best might one make contact with families in Canada? I have details of the crews and will be contacting the air attache in London shortly but is there a focal point to whom information should be sent?

    Colin Cummings

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    A suggestion is the RCAF Association.

    https://www.cfmws.com/en/AboutUs/CFP...s/default.aspx

    or try the equivalent of the british legion

    Paul H

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    I confess to a certain sense of frustration with this in that it might have been possible for me to provide some answers (via the service files of those killed). I say "frustration" and "might" because although I live in Ottawa with ready access to Library and Archives Canada, I routinely visit said archives only on average of once a week - and then I have specific tasks to perform. In this case a lead time of only five weeks (at most) might allow me to find a few names but would leave no time for others to use it.

    When these projects are afoot, may some consideration be given to more advanced notice on this board ?

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    Hello Hugh

    I fully understand your point, but in this case, the bigger event mentioned by Colin will actually take place in December 2014, not this year.

    This mid-air collision of two Halifaxes reminds me another one, with a memorial made of a two brass models of bombers, at Balkhome (in South Yorkshire ?). A nice one.

    Joss

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    My apologies for inattention in reading the original post - ample lead-time indeed. I assume the RCAF personnel involved are:

    CARTER, F/O AV - Pilot - 426 Sqn - Hal LW200
    DOWDING, F/O RB - WAG - 426 Sqn - Hal LW200
    DOWNING, F/O AE - Nav - 426 Sqn - Hal LW200
    HARWOOD, P/O EJF - AB - 426 Sqn - Hal LW200
    MURRELL, P/O WJ - AG - 426 Sqn - Hal LW200
    MYRON, P/O IT - AG - 426 Sqn - Hal LW200

    BAXTER, P/O AG - AG - 428 Sqn - Lan KB768
    COOPER, F/O EE - AG - 428 Sqn - Lan KB768
    PECHET, F/O SW - AB - 428 Sqn - Lan KB768
    REID, F/O J - Nav - 428 Sqn - Lan KB768
    SHEWFELT, FL HA - Pilot - 428 Sqn - Lan KB768
    VIRAG, P/O JE - WAG - 428 Sqn - Lan KB768

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    Hugh et al,

    The RCAF personnel are as you list. When I moved to this village, I discovered a memorial in the church gave the wrong date and there were also only six names listed for the Lancaster. As I was still a regular serviceman then, I popped into the Air Historical Branch (RAF) and it was quickly discovered that J E VIRAG had been left off the list.

    I arranged for the memorial to be corrected on both counts to have a little more information incorporated and after much debate was allowed to place a Bomber Command crest above the memorial.

    Most of the airmen involved are buried in Brookwood CWGC and there are several individual graves which contain the unidentified remains of some of the Lancaster's crew. The Halifax navigator is buried a short distance from the others, as it took sometime to recover him. The flight engineers are the two RAF men.

    Thank you all for your responses and for the PM I also received. I shall be speaking to the organiser soon and will will keep contributors to this forum updated.

    Colin Cummings

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    Default 6 Gp Bomber Command Loss

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    This note is by way of a progress report on my original query regarding the loss of two 6 Gp aircraft in Dec 44.

    Due to the generous help of Hugh Halliday, the records of all twelve RCAF personnel and a photograph of each, are now with the organisers of the proposed commemoration. At present the group has not decided how best to mark the 70th anniversary and they will be meeting shortly to decide what to do.

    Due to different attitudes in UK, the records of the two RAF flight engineers have still to be acquired but that is ongoing. Contact has been made with the Canadian High Commission and other research is being planned, as is an attempt to contact surviving family.

    I'll keep this thread up to date but without Hugh's help the history group would still be floundering. Of course, it was very moving for them to actually put a face to the names and I have suggested they take themselves off to London and look at the Bomber Command Memorial - a wonderful tribute.

    Colin Cummings

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    Default Colin :RCAF crew families

    Colin
    I have had success finding families of WW2 K.I.A. crew by writing a "seeking relatives of --" letter to the local newspaper in the crews' home towns. In particular in UK, Canada ,Australia and South Africa .
    If the CWGC site has their home town listed that is a start .Then google for the local newspaper and sometimes the local church. I've even sent a note to the local P.O. in a UK town [if you can find one !!] and a friend of an airman's daughter saw it .
    This all takes time but often brings results .
    Anne

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    Hello Colin,

    I took a look at the first crewman on your list, and it turns out Albert Victor Carter lived in my neighbourhood in Toronto. I will look around to see if I can find any of the family.

    A newspaper clipping online gives his address and wife and daughter's names.

    And, on an initial check of ancestry.ca, there appears to be someone with photos of him and his wife, so perhaps a family connection can be found quickly, however my subscription isn't current and I can't contact the owner of the private family tree.

    Carter's daughter was only 7mos old at the time, so chances are good that she can be found, I would think, although she would be 70 now.
    Last edited by dfuller52; 13th January 2014 at 21:52. Reason: additional info
    David

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    Colin
    For AG Baxter .
    There is a newspaper - Moose Jaw Times http://www.mjtimes.sk.ca /
    Also a Genealogical society -M Jaw branch http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~skmjbsgs/
    Perhaps a letter seeking relatives ?

    Belton looks like an area outside London Ontario-outer suburb ?? -for any Murrell relatives
    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 13th January 2014 at 23:19.

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