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Thread: Downed Wellington HE690 Information Sought.

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    Default Downed Wellington HE690 Information Sought.

    I'm currently researching my Grandfather's wartime career in the RAF and made a recent visit to the NA after finding the following after conducting a search:

    "1943/077 420/HE690 PT-U . Hit by flak as the Wellington reached the turning point to commence the home leg and, subsequently, crash-landed 22:26h. [Interrogation of Prisoner of War Report [Sgt Morris] dated 20 April 1945, via Richard Koval 6 Group web site 12/09/08]"

    Unfortunately, the above details are not included in the "Interrogation of Prisoner of War Report" (WO344) given by my Grandfather and now with the NA.

    Does anybody know which report these details actually came from or at least point me in the right direction i.e. which NA records I should be looking at?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Hello,

    12-13 March 1943
    No.420 Sqn
    Wellington X HE690:PT-?
    Op: Essen

    T/o Middleton St. George. Hit by flak and crashed 2226 at Brielle (Zuid Holland), 21 km WSW from the centre of Rotterdam. Sgt Dawson who was killed when the flak shell exploded is buried in the city's Crooswijk General cemetery. Sgt Morris and Sgt Mercer were transfers from Army Service

    Sgt G H Cooke RCAF - pow
    Sgt J Morris - pow
    Sgt R G Mercer - pow
    Sgt A R Dawson +
    Sgt T S McKinnon RCAF - pow

    Bomber Command Losses Vol.4 p.77

    See also: http://www.rafinfo.org.uk/BCWW2Losses/1943.htm

    Scroll down to 1943/077 420/HE690.

    Richard Koval's 6 Group RCAF web site is down at the moment. l think he is having problems.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 2nd March 2014 at 00:18.

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    Hello

    I'd say the source given by Richard is the "K report", some are listed here : http://www.rafcommands.com/kfile.html



    Joss

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    The info for this loss came from loss of aircraft reports held in Ottawa. At the bottom are three from this aircraft.

    Date: March 12/13,1943

    Aircraft: Wellington X
    Serial No: HE-690
    Code: PT-U

    Target: Essen
    Pilot: Sgt G. Cooke R-122227 pow
    Navigator: Sgt J. Morris 657790 pow
    Bomb Aimer: Sgt R. Mercer 657972 pow
    Wireless Operator: Sgt A. Dawson 1365781 +
    Rear gunner: Sgt T. McKinnon R-132284 pow

    Time off: 19: 25 Time down: missing

    Bomb load: 2 x 500 lb high explosives, 16 x 30 lb and 360 x 4 lb incendiaries.

    NAME. Morris J.
    DUTY. Navigator

    We had a normal trip into the target although the pilot later reported that the fix on the automatic cooling system of the port engine had jammed and the engine temperature rose considerably. We dropped our bombs and turned out of the area. As we reached our turning point for home, we were caught in searchlights and dived to escape. We turned out of the searchlights but just as we lost it we were hit by flak. It was a clear moonlight night. The damage to the aircraft has already been given but the pilot managed to retain control. As the navigator I immediately altered course for the south of England. We prepared to bale out but decided to remain in the aircraft, in hopes of reaching England or at worst of ditching and being picked up by the A.S.R.S. The bomb aimer sent out an S.O.S whilst I switched IFF to stud 3 and proceeded to destroy all flimsies (my own and the wireless operators), maps, charts, logs, etc. we were at 0 feet on approaching Brielle and had to crash land in a field.
    Base: Middleton St. George
    Time of take off: 17:45 hours
    We took up crash positions in the aircraft.
    We made a good landing.


    NAME. Mercer R. G.
    DUTY. Bomb aimer

    Base: Middleton St. George, set course for Essen approximately 19:00 hours. The weather was clear, no moon. Good run into target, bombed successfully. Caught by searchlights coming out. diving turn to port, lost searchlights. Immediately struck to port side by heavy flak. The aircraft immediately went into a dive. Pilot gave orders to stand by to bale out as he could not pull back on stick. Managed to get up and help him with control column and between us straightened up the aircraft. Could not maintain height enough to make England, forced to crash land in Holland. Intercom still useable up to navigatorís hatch. Unable to get reply from rear gunner. Port engine would not stop after landing although switched off, until petrol supply from auxiliary tanks turned off. Unable to destroy aircraft, shots were fired at us within a few minutes of stopping engine. We had apparently crashed less than a kilometre from a fighter drome. Left aircraft in the centre of a field.


    NAME. McKinnon T.S
    DUTY. Rear gunner

    There was nothing unusual to report about the trip until we were hit going out of the target (Essen). The aircraft was hit somewhere on the port wing, as well as along the bottom part of the fuselage. The wireless operator was killed outright while on lookout in the astro-hatch. I stopped a little in my left leg. The aircraft went out of control for a short while and we lost some height. The port wing was on fire and part of the port fuselage. When the pilot got the aircraft under control, the fabric was either burnt off or torn off the fuselage and wing. We were now about 5,000 feet or so. We tried to make base, although we were losing some height as we went. We got as far as somewhere near the coast in Holland, at the time we were just above the house tops, but were able to hold it at that height. The engines spit as if they were out of fuel and then we hit the deck. (The wheels and flaps were down from the time we were hit). I personally lost the use of my mike after we were hit and the hydraulicís went, the turret was u/s and jammed to one side, the turret being bashed by flak. I was able to force myself out after the engines cut, into the fuselage.

    Hope this helps. Richard

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    Hi Richard,

    Any prospects of your site reappearing?

    Col.

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    Hi Richard,

    This is perfect, thank you so much.

    Do you know if there Is there is a similar report from the pilot, Sgt G. Cooke

    Chris

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    COL BRUGGY - The 6Group site is now up and running again. It was disabled after a frustrating series of malware attacks last year that infected the computers of those who visited the site. I was unable to use the same domain name for various reasons, so it can now be found at www.6bombergroup.ca.

    There may be some broken links due to the domain change, if you encounter any of those let me know.

    CJBPayne - There was no similar report for Sgt. G. Cooke,
    Last edited by Richard.K; 2nd March 2014 at 14:48.

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    Great news, glad to see it up and running again

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    Richard,

    Likewise! Best of luck Mate.

    Col.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CJBPayne View Post
    I'm currently researching my Grandfather's wartime career in the RAF and made a recent visit to the NA after finding the following after conducting a search:

    "1943/077 420/HE690 PT-U . Hit by flak as the Wellington reached the turning point to commence the home leg and, subsequently, crash-landed 22:26h. [Interrogation of Prisoner of War Report [Sgt Morris] dated 20 April 1945, via Richard Koval 6 Group web site 12/09/08]"

    Unfortunately, the above details are not included in the "Interrogation of Prisoner of War Report" (WO344) given by my Grandfather and now with the NA.

    Does anybody know which report these details actually came from or at least point me in the right direction i.e. which NA records I should be looking at?

    Thanks in advance.
    Hi Chris,

    I hope you receive notification of this reply. I very much would like to get in touch with you with regard to Wellington HE690.

    Regards,

    Pieter

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