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Thread: Crew of 226 Squadron Boston III, Z2249, 26 April 1942

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    Default Crew of 226 Squadron Boston III, Z2249, 26 April 1942

    Can someone assist me in naming the full crew of 226 Squadron Boston III, Z2249, shot down on 27 April 1942, please?

    My understanding is that that were Fg Off William A. Keech RCAF (Pilot) and Sgt John Phillips (Observer/Air Gunner), who were captured, and Sgt Donald Handford (WOp), who was killed. However, I understand there should be a fourth member of a Boston crew.

    These sites: http://www.pprune.org/aviation-histo...questions.html and http://lostaircraft.com/database.php...ewentry&e=2908 and http://www.deplate.be/system/files/t...ave/1995-6.pdf only identify three.

    Can someone with Chorley's Bomber Command Losses or other information please check who the fourth crew member was for me, please?

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Just the three in Chorley, Steve.

    107 Sqn also lost a Boston this day, again just three crew listed (all PoW), so would seem three was the norm at the time.

    Errol

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    Hi Steve,

    According to the ORB, Z2249 MQ-D was indeed crewed by 3 men. Actually 3 out of 6 Bostons sent out on that particular raid had a 3 man crew, the other 3 a crew of 4.

    Perhaps also useful info from the ORB:
    Form 541: One aircraft hit by Flak on run up. Lost two feet of starboard wing tip and stopped starboard engine. 4 bombs (these fell in the target area) were released after which it glided towards coast under control.
    Form 540: W/O Keech was hit by Flak and made a landing on the beach near Dunkirk. In the afternoon 6 aircraft took part in a search for a dinghy, Beat was completed but dinghy not discovered.

    Regards,
    Hans
    Last edited by Hans Nauta; 25th May 2014 at 07:07. Reason: extra info added

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    Hello

    I don't have the PoW questionnaires of Keech and Phillips, for Chorley gives the crash-landing location in Belgium, which is confirmed in the Belgian website (in Flemish) that Steve pointed in his post. The author wrote "in the fields" and not on the beach. As Chorley was putting the loss in Belgium and not in France, I never dug this case any further.

    I'm just wondering if the 107 Squadron Boston lost that day, on a different raid, against Lille Power station, also in the early afternoon, might be the Boston which force-landed on a beach near Dunkirk, as reported by 88 Squadron crews. Pilot Carpenter in his PoW questionnaire gives Dunkirk as place of capture, wopag Black gives "near Lille" in his own, and I never found one for observer Williams.

    Joss

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    Thanks Errol, Hans and Joss

    I appreciate your responses. Interesting that crews varied between three and four. I wonder if that was a manpower issue, or they were just trying to work out the best way to operate?

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Hello all, the magic of google search pointed me here.

    My late father in law was the Sergeant Phillips on Z2249 when it was shot down on April 26th 1942. His name is actually William Phillips and he was the Navigator / Observer. He escaped the aircraft before it was successfully crash landed. (The Navigators / Bomb aimers position in a Boston is no place to be during a crash landing!) Sergeant Handford, the Gunner, died later from his injuries. Pilot and Navigator survived POW.

    I made the post on pprune.org referred to at the beginning of this thread. What I was then most interested to find out is how come the Italteri Boston A20 model, and a decal kit sold independantly for it, both feature the very serial number of Father in laws' aircraft?

    After some time I received an e-mail from Luc Vervoort with a pdf of some very good photographs taken at the scene of the crash landing. They must have been taken by or under instruction of the German forces, they show the damaged aircraft, (blast damage and fire between left hand engine and gunners position, but front glasshouse actually intact!) the arrested aircrew and their captors etc.

    In the pprune thread there is a reference to a picture of this aircraft being used in an issue of the propaganda magazine Signal. I don't know how Luc Vervoort came by the pictures, maybe from that magazine. Can anyone identify which issue of Signal this was or shed any light on the photos please?
    There cannot be many instances of a shot-down aircraft and Crew being so thoroughly photographed at the moment of capture.

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    Hello,

    You will find a series of five (5) photographs of the shot down No 226 Sqn Boston III Z2249 (sourced from the Bundesarchiv, Koblenz), in the following publication:

    In Enemy Hands: Revealing true stories behind wartime Allied aircraft losses.
    Philpott,Bryan
    Cambridge:P.S.L. Ltd.,1981.
    pp.12-15

    Col.

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    Thank you Col, less than 24 hours to find out something really useful!.
    Amazon tells me a local 2nd hand bookshop has a copy of the book so just off to get it. Cheers Rory

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