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Thread: Lancaster NG503 PG-W 619 Squadron

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    Default Lancaster NG503 PG-W 619 Squadron

    Hello all,
    I was wondering if anyone had any info re: the above aircraft that was lost on a raid to Wurzberg on the night of March 16-17, 1945.
    I have the crew list but not much else to go on.
    As always, any and all information, is greatly and sincerely appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Bob

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    Hi Bob,
    This crew took off at 1757 on their 3rd Op, all are buries in Durnbach War Cemetery. They joined 7 days earlier.The aircraft arrived on the 13/2/45. Two pilots may have shot them down. Hptm Wilhelm Johnen of Stab III./NJG6 or Oblt Erich Jung of 5./NJG6 but it could have been someone else the German records were very confused by that part of the war. You can get the Canadian members from their archives.

    Regards,

    John.

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    Hi John,
    Thanks for this. It is extremely helpful.
    As a novice member would you mind sharing how/where you get your info from?
    (Hopefully this way I won't be too much of a bother in future!)
    Sincere thanks,
    Bob

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    Hi Bob,
    No worries mate, I should have put it in the first email, information on the Lanc etc was from the boo '619 The history of a forgotten Squadron' by
    Bryan Clarke and information on the night fighters came from 'Nachtjagd War Diaries' by Theo Boiten. If you are in the UK your archives will have the ORB's which will tell you the other Ops they did, if not the a request to the forum should bring results, you will find plenty of people willing to help you.

    Good luck,

    Cheers,

    John.

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    According to the MRES investigation report found on the RCAF personal file for one of the crew, held by Library and Archives Canada, NG503 crashed 1.5 kilometres south-east of the village of Moos, the time of crash being given as between "2115 - 2215". Around 30 minutes later, according to local witnesses interviewed after the war by the MRES, 630 Squadron Lancaster LM260 crashed 200 metres south-east of Moos, this being around a kilometre from where NG503 came down.

    Moos is at 4940'28.72"N. 0952'55.83"E.

    The location of the crash sites strongly indicates that these two Lancasters crashed on the way to the target, which was some 15 kilometres away to the north-east.

    As to the cause of loss of both of these Lancasters, no causes are known beyond doubt, but they were probably shot down by German night fighters. It is impossible from surviving German records to establish the Luftwaffe pilot who may have shot down NG503; John has already given a couple of possibilities, to which can be added aircrew, probably from II./NJG2, who made claims for aircraft shot down but whose names are unknown.

    Cheers

    Rod

    postscript - I've rechecked the original docs and can add that 630 Squadron Lancaster LM260 was reported to have crashed at "2145" hrs, with NG503 stated as having crashed within 30 minutes of this time (i.e. thus between 2115-2215 hrs). Supposedly, a Canadian airman named "Cordellet" was captured by the local police in a wood around 1 kilometre from the crash site of LM260, but it's not clear who this man could be

    The remains of the crew of NG503 were first buried in the Allersheim Jewish Cemetery ( 4937'18.14"N, 0954'13.28"E, around 4-5 km south of the crash site), while the remains of the crew of LM260 were first buried in the Moos Wood Cemetery (which I'm guessing was at approx. 4940'24.53"N, 0952'52.82"E).

    The proximity of the crash sites of NG503 and LM260, notwithstanding the reported half hour separation between the crashes, would not preclude the possibility that these two aircraft collided. Returning RAF crews did report witnessing a collision between two bombers at the target, and these two crashes are the only two that could relate to such an event, if it did indeed happen.
    Last edited by RodM; 20th December 2013 at 21:28. Reason: Added info

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    Hi Rod,
    Very helpful indeed.
    Thank-you ever so much.
    Question: How does one go about accessing MRES Investigation reports? (Just curious).
    Thanks again,
    Bob

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    Hi Bob,

    you're welcome.

    The MRES investigation files are still held by MoD in the UK, and are not directly accessible to members of the public, but there is currently an on going process whereby these files are about to be transferred to the National Archives, Kew, under the series AIR 81. This process is likely to take a number of years, and it seems that the files will be transferred in chronological order, meaning that the files relating to losses from the year 1945 will be among the last to be transferred.

    See the following on the National Archives website: http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils?Uri=C16484

    For some years, duplicate documents from the MRES investigations that were conveyed to the RCAF, RAAF, and RNZAF have been publically available in archives in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand respectively. In the case of Canada, these documents are held on the individual personal files of the RCAF members concerned and are archived at Library and Archives Canada.

    In the case of NG503, there were a number of RCAF casualties on board the aircraft, all of whom have a file at Library and Archives Canada.

    The information I conveyed to you previously came from a document on the file for Farrow.

    The personnel files are held in RG 24 and R112 at Library and Archives Canada, and each individual file has a specific folio number within those series. It is possible to search for these file references online, and then to make a order for copies of documents; see:

    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/d...6-100.01-e.php

    To save time, here are the file details for the crew members of NG503 (name/service number/archive file ref number):

    FO T E Farrow RCAF J38025 RG 24/27488
    FLt C W McBride RCAF J22700 RG 24/28033
    FO J D Johnston RCAF J45931 RG 24/27855
    FO L Tilley RCAF J41470 R112/30734
    FSgt H Mino RCAF R263463 RG 24/28252

    There are a few options for obtaining copies of documents from these files, bearing in mind that any casualty investigation documents may only form a small percentage of the total number of documents on file, and would, of course, have to be found and identified:

    1. Request paper copies of documents from the file using the above web address

    2. Request a digital PDF copy of the file - this can either be a "genealogy package" or the full file. A Genie package is limited to around 50=100 pages and most likely will not contain much of the MRES documents (and is not worth the cost of ordering if you only want the MRES documents). The full file will contain everything but potentially could run from 150-500 pages. You can make an order online, wait for the copying estimate to be provided, and then pay for the copying via cc. Obtaining a copy of the full file is best, BUT it can be very expensive! (potentially a few hundred CAN$ depending on the total number of pages on file) The service and turnaround time after ordering and paying is very good.

    For more info about online ordering at Library and Archives Canada see:

    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/d...r68n92h4u221#e

    3. Hire a local freelance researcher to go through a file and selectively digitally photograph appropriate documents. This is the best option if you cannot visit the archive and view the files yourself.

    See this webpage for a list of researchers:

    http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/freelan...searchers.aspx

    For example, I have used Arnold Kay and he offers a good service at a reasonable price.

    I hope this helps

    Merry X-Mas and Happy New Year

    Rod

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    Hi Rod,
    Thanks very much.
    I have used the "collectionscanada" website and on a couple of occasions have seen complete files there were accessible online but have yet to see an MRES report, hence my question.
    I live within driving distance of Ottawa and plan on going there in person to consult the file in question.
    Thanks also for the heads up on the list of researchers. I am sure it, they will undoubtedly come in handy in the future.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well.
    All the best.
    ps. Get ready for more questions from a very junior member!

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    Just a quick note to the group.
    Spoke with a friend of mine last night (before the single malt kicked in!) and spoke of my research. It turns out coincidentally, that her uncle Jack Dennison Johnston was an AG in that very Lanc. Because of your collective help I was able to fill her in as to what most probably happened to her uncle. She was very appreciative and very very thankful. She told her mother this morning and she too thanks you all!
    Cheers lads.

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