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Thread: 26 EFTS Theale

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    Default 26 EFTS Theale

    Hello All,
    I'm just tidying up my "Berkshire Airfields" files.
    I note that there was a collision, on approach, by (presumbaly) two Tiger Moths on 19 May 42. Does anyone have any details?
    Also, there was a "nasty accident" in 1944 when DE261 (a/c s/n?) crashed on to Nissen huts used by ground crew as sleeping quarters. Does anyone have any details?
    Nothing remains of RAF Theale (at Sheffield Bottom). The airfield was destroyed by gravel digging to make the M4 (it's now a sailing lake!). The T1 "Tin Hangar" was used for many years as the base of a freight distribution firm. It has now gone, to be replaced by the inevitable Business Park. I have some poor quality pix of it before it was demolished.
    However, on the bright side, the old Station Headquarters still remains!! Sulhamstead House (which is now the Thames Valley Police Training School & Museum) is the finest, and most imposing, SHQ I've ever clapped eyes on!!
    Rgds
    Peter Davies

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    Peter

    one of the TM's in the collision at Theale was T6032, I presume the other a/c was not damaged enough for it to be written off. No more detail than that, sorry.

    regards

    DaveW

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    Dave, Hi,
    Many tks for that - another piece of the jigsaw put in place! We will see if The Henk Meister has anything on any fatalities!
    Rgds
    Peter Davies

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    Difficult...difficult
    For 19-5-1942 have unaccounted and no match Flight archives:
    AC1 Stuart J. GUTHRIE - 1236429 - age 41
    ACW1 Freda M.A. ROBINSON - 2022625
    F/Sgt Joseph SIMPSON - 844669 - age 41 (Aux AF)
    Sgt Leslie J. WHITTAKER - 534551 - age 35
    AC1 Lawrence I. WOODFORD - 1459726 - age 32 - 150 Sqn (Snaith, Yorkshire)

    DE261 was "25" EFTS lost "23"-5-1944. (DBR in accident-NFD)

    For "22"-5-1944 however have FOURTEEN casualties of 5003 Airfield Construction Squadron; also an AC1 of 2847 Sqn. Don't know where these units were based then.

    Up to you !
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Henk, Oh Wise One,
    I think we can discount Freda Robinson - The Ladies were not much encouraged to fly in the RAF in WW2 (ATA - Yes!)
    The remaining gentlemen all seem a bit "long in the tooth" for EFTS pupils.
    By 1944 the main Works Services required at RAF Theale was pumping the site dry - so I think we can disregard 5003 Sqn (they were The Heavy Construction Mob!!).
    2847 Sqn - do not know where they were either (but somebody will!!!).
    RAF Theale is my "local" WW2 airfield (2.5 km from where I now live!)
    My "Berkshire Airfields Files" was an attempt to get my local museum interested in modern aviation archaeology - and to record it. But, as they say in The Good Book, "and some fell upon stony ground"!! Nevertheless we will continue with The Good Works!
    Tks, Henk, and Rgds
    Peter

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    Henk,
    Here is an extract from Turvey Bedfordshire memorial site, which accounts for your 14 casualties on the 22 May 1944.

    Leading Aircraftman, 1196674, 5003 Airfield Sqdn, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on Monday, 22nd May 1944. Age 36. Husband of Lillie Truphet (nee Woolston), of Turvey. Buried in All Saints Cemetery, Turvey. Grave 720A. 1196674 Aircraftsman George Jennings Truphet, aged 36, was serving with the 5003 Airfield Construction Squadron when he died and the Operations Record Book (ORB) for this unit, now held at the Public Records Office at Kew, gives the following details for that day:
    "RAF Ashford, (Kent). Bomb Damage: On the night of 21-22 May 1944, at 0035 hours (12.35am), a 1,000lb HE bomb was dropped on the tented site, accommodating the reserve flights, M&E, MT, and Plant flights. Total casualties were 30, 14 proving fatal. 26 tents were damaged beyond repair, and a further 14 rendered unserviceable. The camp field kitchens were demolished and 2 water bowsers and 2 items of MT were damaged. Primary Conclusions: The vital necessity of a medical orderly and first aid staff complete with medical supplies, stretchers etc. on each site not covered by, or within reach of RAF Station or USAAF Station medical facilities."

    2847 Squadron was an RAF Regiment light AA unit. Put the casualties name up and we can trace it from there.

    AC1 Stuart J. GUTHRIE - 1236429 - age 41 Bridgend
    ACW1 Freda M.A. ROBINSON 2022625 Bucklow, Cheshire (South Manchester area, includes Ringway)
    F/Sgt Joseph SIMPSON - 844669 - age 41 (Aux AF) Oxford, perhaps Hector K9747 at Kidlington.
    Sgt Leslie J. WHITTAKER - 534551 - age 35 Darlington, Co Durham
    AC1 Lawrence I. WOODFORD - 1459726 - age 32 - 150 Sqn (Snaith, Yorkshire York

    Regards

    Davew

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    Hi Peter
    From AB Serials the a/c that T6032 collided with was T6550, which wasn't lost until Jun 1945 when a wing folded back on take off also at Theale.
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 28th April 2008 at 17:49.

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    Dave/Henk.
    You have here had proved the value of this Forum. I was just fossicking about in my totally un-organised filing system. I made a post on RAF Theale. I got a bit of an answer. Henk comes up with a very big question. Dave provides the answer. We do not need more than this as a result of a scrappy question about a scrappy EFTS near Reading.
    Brilliant!
    Rgds to both
    Peter Davies

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    Gents

    The casualties on the 20 June 1945 were W Gregson and AH McIntosh.

    DaveW

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    Default Unaccounted airmen - 21 and 22-5-1944

    Here we go Dave.........................

    21-5-1944:
    Sgt Arthur TOMKINSON - 856024 - 5014 AC Sqn

    22-5-1944:
    Cpl Robert M. BARKER - 1193827 - 5003 AC Sqn
    AC2 Maurice J. BERRY - 3032196 - 5003 AC Sqn
    F/Sgt (Flt Eng) Edward L. BUNCE - 1451621
    Sgt (Airgunner) Thomas S. COMBE - 1823102 - 514 Sqn, Waterbeach, Cambs.
    (514 Sqn lost Lancaster DS633 coded JI-B2 however Combe not listed by Chorley)
    AC2 Douglas CREED - 3032263 - 5003 AC Sqn
    LAC Horace S. DAWSON - 1131855 - 5003 AC Sqn
    AC2 Charles DODD - 1782187 - 5003 AC Sqn
    Cpl James EDWARDS - 339344 - 5003 AC Sqn
    AC2 Arthur R. FIELDHOUSE - 1812827 - 5003 AC Sqn
    AC2 Michael J.L. GIBBINS - 1891512 - 5003 AC Sqn
    LAC George H. GOODHALL - 1318442 - 5003 AC Sqn
    LAC Charles HEPTENSTALL - 1643932
    AC1 Samuel F. HORWOOD - 1290372 - 5003 AC Sqn
    AC2 John IRVINE - 2225523 - 5003 AC Sqn
    LAC William KERMAN - 1441811 - 5003 AC Sqn
    AC1 Hyman KERSH - 1440746 - 5003 AC Sqn
    Sgt Robert McL. McDOUGALL - 640386
    LAC Lawrence SMART - 1639421 - RAF Regt 2847 Li A.A.
    F/O (Pilot) John SMITH - 151811
    LAC George J. TRUPHET - 1196674 - 5003 AC Sqn
    Cpl William KING - 93613

    Regards,
    Henk.

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