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Thread: 401019 - Unaccounted airmen - 19-10-1940

  1. #1
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    Default Unaccounted airmen - 19-10-1940

    What caused the death of and/or what were the places of death registration for following three airmen killed on active service:

    AC2 Aubrey A. CRIDDLE - 632711 - 3 BC, 907 Balloon Sqn, Woodberry Down, Middlesex;
    AC2 William W. HAMMOND - 1110571 - same unit as AC2 Criddle, and
    LAC Malcolm E. SHIRTLIFF - 969125.

    Regards and thanks for your help.
    Henk.

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    Hi Again
    Shirtliff didn't come up so possibly Scotland. Criddle,24, and Hammond,29 are registered at Islington N Central London and would be right for a unit based at Woodberry Down.
    Regards
    Dick

  3. #3
    Bart FM Droog Guest

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    Hello Henk,

    Any idea what 'BC' stand for? According to 'RAF Abbreviations' it could be 'Basic Component', whatever that might be. I don't have a clue - since I didn't see this mentioned with other Ballloon Squadron casualties.

    And this might be a bit off topic, but: were the barrage balloons in 1940 responsible for any single German loss? I've seen many British aircraft flying against them and many casualties amongst the ground crews of the Balloon Squadrons, which makes me wonder how effective they were.

    Groeten,

    Bart

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    Hi Bart
    Strangely Flying Training and Support Units since 1912- Ray Sturtivant and John Hamlin doesn't list B C in it's abbreviations but does have 24 Balloon Centres. No 3 BC was based at Stanmore ,Middlesex, the same area that included Fighter Command, and 907 Balloon Sqn was part of it
    Regards
    Dick

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    Thanks Dick for the death registration places.
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    SHIRTLIFF is on the Runnymede Memorial

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    Shirtliff was recorded as missing on the 18th October from 8 FTS, see the ORB entry below.

    October 18th 1940, “No.969125 LAC Shirtcliffe, M.E. flying Master aircraft N7576 took off
    at 14.05 hours for one hour’s flight. All trace of his movements were unobtainable until
    Sunday 20th October 1490 when pieces of wreckage of a Master were washed up at
    Hohnshaven and were identified as being part of Master aircraft N7576. His body has not
    been recovered.”
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    Hammond 'and another man took the full force of the blast and were killed' German bomb hit a hut at Highbury Fields. 'Swaledale & Wharfedale Remembered - Keith Taylor

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    Bart,

    "And this might be a bit off topic, but: were the barrage balloons in 1940 responsible for any single German loss? I've seen many British aircraft flying against them and many casualties amongst the ground crews of the Balloon Squadrons, which makes me wonder how effective they were."

    The August 2006 issue of 'Aeroplane' magazine features an article on this and other related topics ('Clipping the Eagle's Wings', pp84-89) by Alfred Price. He writes that 'barrage balloons brought down very few German aircraft; fewer than 30 in the entire conflict, in fact. Yet they were brilliantly successful in their intended [deterrent] purpose....'.

    The article resulted in a letter by Wg Cdr Jeff Jefford, in the February 2007 issue (pp18-19), in which he notes that 232 V-1s were destroyed by balloons, but also that 'records show that at least 95 friendly machines fell victim to balloons between the outbreak of war and August 1944, at a cost of more than 200 lives...many more aeroplanes sustained damage from which they were able to recover...'. He also says that 'contemporary RAF records suggest [that the number of German aircraft brought down] may have been as few as 15'.

    Errol

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    An interesting question Errol.

    During one of my visits to the National Archives I had a look through the ORBs of both No.10 and No.16 Balloon Centres (Manchester and Sheffield respectively). Neither of them recorded a single success against an enemy aircraft but balloon strikes in No.16 BC's area caused at least one fatal crash and damage to another (presumed to be a Wellington) aircraft which flew on after striking a cable.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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