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Thread: BRETT, ROBERT ARTHUR, 226 (R.A.F.) Sqdn. RCAF

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    Default BRETT, ROBERT ARTHUR, 226 (R.A.F.) Sqdn. RCAF

    Hi All,

    I'm trying to track the details of 226 Squadron (RAF) around 18th August 1944. In particular i'm trying to find out what happened to this RCAF casualty. He's buried in St Sever, France. I've tried Lostbombers.co.uk with no luck. From what i can work out they were flying Mitchells from May 1943.

    Any help will be really appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
    Sniper

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    Default Brett and No.226 Squadron

    While I have no details at hand, the aircraft was FV989; it was lost on 17 August 1944 (possibly the night of 17/18 August 1944); Brett was a pilot; another casualty on the same aircraft was Flight Sergeant J.H. Batt, RCAF (air gunner).

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    Sniper, I have a diary belonging to a fellow who was a navigator on 226 during that period. He was not on the Battle Order for 17 Aug 44 but notes that the sqn operated during the afternoon of 17 Aug and also notes that a friend was shot down; unfortunately not your man. I also have the sqn Battle Order for 18 Aug 44, my man was due to operate, but there is no mention in his diary of an operation nor of it being scrubbed, and no entry in his log book; the weather was awful at this time. F/S Brett was on the Order for the 18th, due to fly FW230, with F/S Sherwin as his navigator and Sgt Stewart and F/S Batt as his air gunners. There was very little night flying carried out by 226 Sqn at this time so, although the CWGC has both Brett's and Batt's dates of death as 18 Aug 44, it is likely that both were lost during the afternoon operation of 17 Aug 44. Neither Sherwin nor Stewart show up on CWGC so they may not have been part of Brett's usual crew. I note that Batt and Brett are buried in a joint grave. Regards, Terry
    Last edited by Terry; 27th November 2007 at 02:39.

  4. #4
    Sniper Guest

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    Thankyou both guys, Was the Squadron flying Mitchells at the time and do you happen to know any details of the raid of the afternoon of the 17th?

    Thanks again for your help

    Mike (Sniper)

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    Default Flt Sgt R.A.Brett loss 18 August 1944

    Brett was the pilot of Mitchell FV989, MQ-J, of 226 Sqn which failed to return from a flare-dropping sortie over the River Risle in the early hours of 18 August (c.0300). Flt Sgt J.A.Bate was also killed but Flt Sgt C.K.Sherwin and Sgt N.E.Stuart survived and evaded capture. Flares were seen in the designated area/time so it was assumed the Mitchell had reached the target area. I don't have any further detail.
    CT

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    Default Brett, Robert Arthur, 226 (RAF) Squadron

    Yes, it was a Mitchell unit. Thanks to the most recent post by Chris Thomas I went back into some of my records and found the following:

    SHERWIN, FS Gordon Keith (R160354) - Mention in Despatches - No.226 Squadron (AFRO gives "Overseas" only as a unit) - Award effective 14 June 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1600/45 dated 12 October 1945. Born March 1924; enlisted 15 April 1942. Trained at No.5 ITS, No.1 BGS and No.10 AOS. Further trained at No.13 OTU, Pennfield Ridge. Posted overseas October 1943. Attended No.13 Conversion Unit, Fiamere, Buckinghamshire. Repatriated 28 October 1944; released 13 September 1945.

    Public Record Office WO 208/3321 has MI.9 report based on interview of 27 August 1944.

    "I took off in a Mitchell aircraft near Hartford Bridge at about 2330 hours on 17 August 1944 to drop flares in the Breteuil area (Northwest Europe 1:250,000, Sheet 7, Q 95). After completing our mission the aircraft caught on fire (cause unknown).

    "I baled out and landed in a wheatfield one mile southwest of La Neuve Lyre (Q.85). I hid my parachute under one of the stooks and remained in the field during the night.

    "Next morning (18 August) I went to a farmhouse and the farmer took me in and gave me food. The farmer's wife bandaged my head which I had burnt in the aircraft. I remained at this address until 23 August.

    "On 23 August there was fighting around the farm, but in the evening it died down. The farmer told me that one of my comrades was outside and I found that it was an RAMC Corporal. He took me in an ambulance and handed me over to American troops.

    "I was briefly interrogated in France."

    WO 208/3321 apparently has an evader report made by Sergeant Norman E. Stewart, although no award was made in his case.

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    Rest of the crew F/Sgt. C.K. Sherwin and Sgt. N.E. Stuart. FTR from flare dropping mission on River Risle (2nd. TAF)

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    Default loss of crew of FV924, 1st september 1944

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Sniper, I have a diary belonging to a fellow who was a navigator on 226 during that period. He was not on the Battle Order for 17 Aug 44 but notes that the sqn operated during the afternoon of 17 Aug and also notes that a friend was shot down; unfortunately not your man. I also have the sqn Battle Order for 18 Aug 44, my man was due to operate, but there is no mention in his diary of an operation nor of it being scrubbed, and no entry in his log book; the weather was awful at this time. F/S Brett was on the Order for the 18th, due to fly FW230, with F/S Sherwin as his navigator and Sgt Stewart and F/S Batt as his air gunners. There was very little night flying carried out by 226 Sqn at this time so, although the CWGC has both Brett's and Batt's dates of death as 18 Aug 44, it is likely that both were lost during the afternoon operation of 17 Aug 44. Neither Sherwin nor Stewart show up on CWGC so they may not have been part of Brett's usual crew. I note that Batt and Brett are buried in a joint grave. Regards, Terry
    Sorry to jump in this thread, but Terry, please, can you tell me if there's anything in the diary you mention about the loss of the crew of Mitchell II FV924, which crashed in the Pas-de-Calais département in France, on 1st september 1944. Pilot James Lyman EAGLESON, R.C.A.F. and wireless operator air gunner Stuart George CATTO R.N.Z.A.F. were killed in action and are buried in Bezinghem churchyard. Flying Officers R.J. IRVINE and J.A. LOUDON, both R.C.A.F. bailed out and were hidden locally for a couple of days, when the area was liberated.

    I'd be interested in any details your navigator may have on this mission (they took off at 0730 hrs from Hartford Bridge to bomb Abbeville). Many thanks in advance

    Joss

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    Joss, From the diary, "We got off the deck at a quarter past seven & attacked a concentration of enemy troops in a wood near Abbeville unbeknownest to me my wretched bombsight was unserviceable & we missed the target which was annoying particularly as we took rather a beating and Eagleson who was flying number five was shot down."

    From the Log Book:
    'Date: 1.9.44, Hour: 0715, Aircraft Type and No: MITCHELL S.303, Pilot: F/L Betts. A.F.C., Duty: Navigator, Remarks: RAMROD OPERATION. BASE - BEACHY HEAD. TARGET "Enemy troop concentration in the BOIS DE BEAUVOIR near ABBEVILLE" BEACHY HEAD. BASE. DCO, bombing results not good. Led squadron. heavy accurate flak, one a/c lost. Flying Time (Day):1.50.'

    Regards, Terry

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    Default fraud web site

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniper View Post
    Hi All,

    I've tried Lostbombers.co.uk with no luck.
    Any help will be really appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
    Sniper

    I don't know if you saw the many discussions on the old board, but Lost Bombers is a plagiarising web site dedicated to the copying and publishing of other people's work without acknowledgement. It is also full of errors. The author (J W Sharp) does not name himself.

    Peter

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