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Thread: Hudson FK803 march 1945

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    Default Hudson FK803 march 1945

    I'm researching the reason of the crash of RAF Hudson FK 803 at Maulusmühle Luxemburg on 21 March 1945. Friendly fire ????

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    161sqdn, lost 2 Hudsons on this date. The pilot of FK803, F/Lt T. Helfer, was the only survivor, having baled out. There is no report of him, either stating they were shot down, or crashed through other causes, but it'is rumoured that his (and possibly the other) aircraft were victims of American N/Fighters. F/Lt Helfer, was awarded an immediate DFC on 17th April 45 !!

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    From my trilogy 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) :

    Tue 20/Wed 21 Mar 1945
    FIGHTER COMMAND

    SOE operations to Germany (by 5 Hudsons - 3 lost)
    161 Squadron, RAF (Tempsford, Bedfordshire - 38 Group)
    Hudson IIIA FK803/N - took off at 1848 piloted by Flt Lt T Helfer, RAF, on Operation BENEDICT EXPRESS LEADER (touching down en route at Tangmere to collect the agents?) and at 0318 was attacked and set on fire by a night-fighter over the northern tip of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Blown out with his parachute pack on fire when the aircraft exploded, the pilot was the sole survivor, although badly burned about the hands and face. The remaining three crew and three Belgian agents are buried in an isolated collective grave near the crash site on a hill about 1km west of Maulesmuhle station, which it overlooks. It was thought later FK803 might have been attacked in error by an Allied night-fighter.
    Air Gunner: NZ412766 Fg Off Forrest Harold THOMPSON, DFM, RNZAF - Age 27.
    The CWGC register omits mention of Thompson’s DFM. Posted to the Squadron only 10 days earlier, he had previously completed a 27 op tour as rear gunner with 218 Sqn, RAF, although his total number of ops is unknown. His brother, Onslow Waldo Thompson, died on 1 May 1943 while flying with 105 Sqn, RAF.

    And from Volume Three (Biographies and Appendices):

    Amendment:
    Take off time also recorded as 1908. Crashed at 0045, into a wooded area known as Bischent. The Hudson was returning to England with the agents, who were not dropped owing to bad weather, when it was erroneously shot down by a USAAF P-61 Black Widow night-fighter. Somewhat ironically, an American Army Chaplain conducted the burials. There were two graves rather than just the one (crew being in one and agents in the other?). BENEDICT, EXPRESS and LEADER were the code names of the Belgian agents on board. For Maulesmuhle read Maulusmühle. Delete reference to agents possibly being picked up at Tangmere. Contrary to the footnote, Thompson had actually been with the squadron for a year and ten days.

    Errol

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    Hello All,

    The following might be of interest in relation to two of the Hudsons lost on 21/22-3-1945:

    03/21/1945

    0045-0105
    422nd NFS
    P-61A Black Widow 42-5540

    Capt. Raymond A. Anderson
    2/Lt Robert F. Graham (radar op.)

    Do-217-K2

    P-7471, 1st Army Area, West of the Rhine.

    Ref: 9TAC49;PER.

    0101
    422nd NFS
    P-61A Black Widow 42-5579

    Capt. Leonard F. Koehler
    1/Lt Louis L. Bost (radar op.)

    Do-217-K2

    P-5283, 1st Army Area, West of the Rhine.

    Ref: 9TAC49;PER.

    See:
    Victory List No.5:USAAF (European Theater) Credits for the Destruction of Enemy Aircraft in Air-to-Air Combat World War Two.
    Olynyk,Frank J.
    Aurora (Ohio):Author,1987.
    pp.218, 441 & 608.

    See also: After The Battle No.26. pp.52-3. Preservation:SOE Hudson in Luxembourg.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th January 2014 at 01:59.

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    Errol,
    Would you like details of H.H. Thompson's ops with 161sqdn

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanW View Post
    Errol,
    Would you like details of H.H. Thompson's ops with 161sqdn
    Alan,

    Yes please, that would be much appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Errol

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    Errol,
    It seems that the information on Thompson, being posted in only 10 days earlier, is a little out. I've been going back through the ORB, and still finding ops for him back in March 44. At this time, i have 36 ops for him, all with Helfer, with one exception. Will continue tomorrow, as i'm off to bed for an early start for work tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanW View Post
    Errol,
    It seems that the information on Thompson, being posted in only 10 days earlier, is a little out. I've been going back through the ORB, and still finding ops for him back in March 44. At this time, i have 36 ops for him, all with Helfer, with one exception. Will continue tomorrow, as i'm off to bed for an early start for work tomorrow.
    Alan,

    See the last sentence of my 'Amendment' note, above. He was with the squadron 1 year and 10 days.

    Errol

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    Hi Errol,
    Apologies, did'nt catch that. Final tally for 161sqdn, after being posted in from 1483 Flight on 11th March 44, is 37 ops. I'll sort the individual pages out, and send via email. Is your email still the same as in your profile.
    Alan.

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    Strange that this one should come up now as it was only just befor Christmas that Thompson's daughter contacted me for information.

    AlanW - do you have Helfer's Debriefing Reports?

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