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Thread: Wing Commander Wallace Stanley Barton DFC Missing 295 Squadron

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    Default Wing Commander Wallace Stanley Barton DFC Missing 295 Squadron

    Dear All,

    I am trying to find out more about the loss of Wing Commander Wallace Stanley Barton DFC who was lost while serving with 295 Squadron in the 21st July 1943. I have a letter from the casualty department to his wife (written at the time of his loss) stating that they do not know much about his loss, or the crew list involved and I was wondering if any forum members might be able to help. It states he the pilot of a Halifax, and that he had been involved in taking gliders over to North Africa, but I am unsure if he was lost on a transit flight, or on an operational flight.

    Any information at all would be great.

    Johnnie

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    Lost in transit between to UK from Gibraltar.

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    Not relevant to the issue of his loss, but . . . . .

    BARTON, F/L Wallace Stanley (39484) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.4 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 23 July 1940. Born in Hindley, Lancashire, 1918; educated in Canada; DHist file 181.005 D.270 listed him as a "Royal Air Force Office, ex-Canada" in 1940; commissioned A/P/O, 8 March 1937; served with No.4 Squadron (Lysanders); AFRO 472/40 dated 2 August 1940 stated he was attached for duty with the RCAF, effective 25 July 1940; AFRO 603/41 dated 23 May 1941 reported that he would cease to be attached to the RCAF as of 24 May 1941. AFRO 142/42 dated 30 January 1942 reported his promotion to Squadron Leader, effective 1 December 1941, while with an RAF school in Canada. AFRO 2101/43 dated 15 October 1943 (reporting him missing on active service) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. Rose to Wing Commander; missing in action, 21 July 1943. No citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations". Air Ministry Bulletin 1203 refers. Public Records Office Air 2/6075 (Non-Immediate Awards, Air Component of the Field Force, 1940) has recommendation by W/C G.P. Charles, Commanding Officer, No.4 Squadron, 14 May 1940.

    At the commencement of the enemy advance into Belgium this officer carried out the tactical reconnaissance over the enemy. At this time very little information regarding the enemy air defences was available but by his skill and determination this officer escaped detection by enemy fighters and carried out valuable reconnaissances to a depth of 20 miles over the enemy leading troops in the face of heavy fire. His concise and accurate reports, which were transmitted by wireless, were of the greatest value to our land forces.

    This was further refined for submission to Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee:

    At the commencement of the enemy advance into Belgium when little was known of the enemy air defences, this officer carried out valuable reconnaissances to a depth of 20 miles over the enemy leading troops in the face of heavy fire, and by his skill and determination escaped detection by enemy fighters. His concise and accurate reports which were transmitted by wireless, were of the greatest value to our land forces.

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    Hi Johnnie,

    295 Sqn was involved in Operation Beggar, the delivery of Horsa gliders to North Africa from Portreath, and the subsequent attack on Sicily on 9/10 July, followed by several special services operations.
    The best description I've seen is in "Halifax....From Hell to Victory and Beyond" By K A Merrick/ Classic Publications.
    It states that the Halifax lost in transit from Gib to Portreath on 21st July was DK391. No further detail but may provide a starting point for a crew list.
    regards
    Peter

    Edit.....the book does say Dk391 but the last post correctly points out it should read DG391, a Halifax V.
    Last edited by PeterColwill; 11th June 2014 at 14:22. Reason: checked published info

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    Wing Commander Barton was flying Halifax DG391 and was lost with a crew, who were: F/O P T Muirhead 26 DFC, F/O E H Otway 26, Sgt R J Broad 21, F/Sgt S McCormack 34, Sgt N R Waite 20 and F/Sgt E Williams 23. I don't have any record that Barton was the sqn cdr and hence don't know why he was on that particular sortie - he might have been a staff officer flying for experience. He is said to be a Canadian from Linton (?) Ontario.

    The aircraft is said to have taken off at 0900 hours and was in transit to the UK but it never arrived. It was the second 295 Sqn aircraft lost within two days, the other being DK131 captained by F/O J W Bewick. In addition, a week earlier, 295 had lost EB145 flown by S/L A B Wilkinson 26 of FRESHMAN fame.

    The transport squadrons, mainly 295 and 296, had been involved in flying Horsa gliders to North Africa in support of the invasion of Sicilly

    Colin Cummings

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    Many thanks for the replies and the help with this.

    A letter to Barton's wife from the Casualty Branch and dated 3rd September 1943 states that he was "missing as a result of air operations on 21st July 1943, when a Halifax aircraft in which he is believed to have been a passenger left North Africa for the United Kingdom and has not been heard of since".

    It goes on to say "The aircraft, with many others, had been employed towing airborne troops to Sicily, and the conditions there prevailing during the early days of the campaign in the island appear to have prevented any records being made of personnel on board when it took off for its return flight. It stopped at Ras-El-Ma to refuel, but the position was not realised and it proceeded on its journey."

    This seems to fit in with what has been stated above. Were there any Luftwaffe claims for that day?

    Johnnie

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    I believe there were no Luftwaffe claims in that theatre on 20 or 21 July and I think there were only claims for 2 fighters on 22 July.

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    'Bloody Biscay' by Chris Goss 'reported being attacked by Ju88s. Passengers W/C Barton, F/O E.H. Ottway & F/O S.W. Taylor

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