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Thread: Wellington Loss 8 Aug 1944 - Hungary

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    Default Wellington Loss 8 Aug 1944 - Hungary

    I am seeking some additional history on the loss of (what I believe was) a Wellington over Hungary on 8 Aug 44. The crew (including my uncle F/O Haydn James RAFVR) are buried in the CWG cemetery outside Budapest. There are 12 aircrew buried here dated 8 Aug 44 (perhaps from the same operation), and seven South African aircrew killed the day (7 Aug).

    My initial research suggests that they came from 205 Gp based in Foggia, Italy.

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    Welcome to the board. Files that I received from the late Henk Welting points to your uncle being on

    70 Squadron
    Wellington LN751
    if you check the casualties for the dates you mention, they give their units.
    The only other 70 Sqn airman is
    F/O(Ba) STOWELL, Frederick G. - NZ427340 - RNZAF

    There must be some survivor POW in this case.

    Errol Martyn who is on this forum and has written a book about RNZAF airman might have some more information.

    The South Africans likely came form 31 Sqn Liberator EW144

    we discussed them on the forum before
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...44-31-Sqn-SAAF
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 20th November 2013 at 15:13.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hello. And welcome.

    Mon 7/8 Aug 1944
    MEDITERRANEAN ALLIED AIR FORCES
    Raid on Szombathely airfield, Hungary (by 74 aircraft - 4 lost)
    70 Squadron, RAF (Tortorella [Foggia No 2], Italy - 231 Wing, 205 Group, Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Force)

    Wellington X LN751/T - captained by Fg Off H W James, RAF, and shot down by a night-fighter over Hungary near the Austrian border, crashing 1km north of Jakabhaza, 2km NE of Szentgotthard at about midnight. Four crew baled out, three surviving to be taken prisoner while the Air Bomber jumped too low for his 'chute to fully deploy, his body being found three weeks afterwards in woods about half a kilometre from where LN751 crashed. The captain, killed in the crash, was buried at Jakabhaza and the air bomber at Felsozolnok. Both were later reinterred at Budapest.

    Air Bomber: NZ427340 Fg Off Frederick George STOWELL, RNZAF - Age 24. 406hrs. 25th op.

    See:
    For Your Tomorrow:A Record of New Zealanders who have Died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915. Volume Two: Fates 1943-1998.
    Martyn,Errol W.
    Christchurch:Volplane Press,1999.
    p.258.

    On 7/8 August (1944), forty-seven Wellingtons, nineteen Liberators, and eight Halifaxes were despatched to attack the airfield at Szombathely. All the aircraft identified the target without difficulty in excellent illumination, and numerous sticks of bombs were seen to cover the landing ground. Direct hits followed by fires were claimed on a hangar, and other fires were started in the north-eastern dispersal area and on the landing ground. Photo reconnaissance confirmed these claims, showing the landing ground completely unserviceable due to cratering, and damaged hangars. Four aircraft failed to return.

    See;
    Bombers Over Sand and Snow:205 Group RAF in World War II.
    Granfield,Alun,
    Barnsley:Pen & Sword Books,2011.
    p.282.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 20th November 2013 at 15:45.

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    Col and Dennis

    Many thanks for your prompt and really helpful reply. I have just retired after 32 years of military service in the British Army, and this is some research I should have done years ago. I will certainly now follow your leads to flesh out the history, and may well pay a visit to the Budapest cemetery and the crash site.

    Thank you again; I am touched by your efforts and interest.

    Iain
    Last edited by IainJames; 20th November 2013 at 17:05.

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    Iain,

    According to papers on Stowell's RNZAF service record, the crew were:

    128898, Fg Off H W James, RAFVR (Captain) killed
    J/25031 Fg Off H J Ludman (Navigator), RCAF, PoW
    NZ427340 Fg Off F G Stowell (Air Bomber), RNZAF, killed
    1399548 Sgt D E Newhouse (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner), RAFVR, PoW
    1580758 Sgt H Whittaker (Air Gunner), RAFVR, PoW

    If you care to email me at errol.martyn ATT xtra.co.nz I can send you a scan of three casualty papers from Stowell's record that may be of interest to you.

    Errol

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    Errol.

    Many thanks for your offer. I have emailed you.

    Iain

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