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Thread: 1404 Met Flight, St Eval

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    Default 1404 Met Flight, St Eval

    I am trying to locate information on the above unit/Flight.
    Is there any information available that would cover squadron members and their rank, specialisation etc?
    I have obtained Ops Records for 1942 from the National Archives but the info is not specific enough.
    Reason for research - trying to locate details of a RAAF member, Sgt Morris Solomon who is buried
    near my home in Plymouth. I have contacted his family in Australia but they know little of him. Am tring
    to redress that. Any information greatly appreciated

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    Hi Raymond,

    Welcome to the Forum. You should post your query on the General Category Forum for a better response.

    That said, take a look at this:

    http://static.awm.gov.au/images/coll...25_023--1-.pdf

    See pp.86-7 of 508

    Col.

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    Thanks for that. I located that one about 6 months ago. But I could not find the chap I am looking for. However I will chase up your reference, thank you.
    I have contacted the Australian Memorial in Canberra. They do have some information but getting it is quite a job. E-mails are too slow
    and often misunderstood. To that end I have a friend in Perth WA checking via his local Reference Library. The info is out there for sure - just a matter
    of finding how to get it! Thanks for the 'General category Forum' advice. I will do that. As a newcomer I was/am a bit confused as to where to place
    my query but - thanks to you - I now know. All the best. Raymond

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    The best source is his RAAF Service record and his A.705 Casualty file.

    You can apply to the NAA to have them digitised for a small fee and placed on the web for remote viewing.

    Links time out so do the following

    http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/exp...ords/raaf.aspx

    Click on the casualties link, mid page.

    Click on Basic Search tab (top left)

    put the following into keywords

    402679 Solomon

    click SEARCH

    This gives Solomons A.705 Casualty File and A.9301 Personnel File references (also is the A.705 for Waldron)

    Clicking the links under Control Symbol will bring up the detail page where middle right is a link REQUEST A COPY.

    If you hit this it will give the method you can request a digital copy is created.

    Usually takes a week or so then they send you an email giving the url of the digitised record.

    Regards
    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

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    Hi Raymond,

    Firstly I'm a little surprised at your reference to Operations Records from the National Archives - so far as I'm aware there is no Operations Record Book for 1404 Met Flight covering your period of interest. Are you referring to some other file.

    That said I've looked at the description of 1404 Met Flight's operations in Even the Birds Were Walking (The Story of Wartime Meteorological Reconnaissance) by Peter Rackliff, which is largely based on the memory of one of the unit's navigators (Jack Stephens) who was there at the time in which you are interested (21 July 1942), and he makes no reference to this incident - however his memories were written in 1997! I'd be happy to copy them to you.

    I believe 1404 Met Flight had converted to Hudsons by this time.

    Pierre Babin, who contributes to this forum from time to time, is an expert on German operations in this part of the English Channel, so I will give him a heads-up as he might know something about this incident. That said, since at least two of the crew are buried in Cornwall (Sgt Eric Leslie Waldron (401256) being the other) the action must have taken place over or close to land.

    I'll also ask Peter Rackliff if he has anything he can add to this.

    Brian

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    Brian,

    Not a loss due to enemy action but a loss due to met conditions.

    "Diverted on the return due to bad weather. Instead of complying with the instruction Sgt Peart flew along the coast and crashed into Kellan Head at Port Quin, Cornwall at 14:50 hrs."

    The above is from the draft Vol.2 CCL but the F1180 has the "grown ups" being a bit more vocal in attributing blame to the pilot.

    Regards
    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 30th July 2014 at 20:35.
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    Ah, I did wonder Ross. The Roll of Honour at http://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1714644/ gives cause of death as 'Flying Battle', whilst Flight magazine has 'Killed in action'. The latter is clearly wrong as there were no enemy aircraft involved, so it should be 'Killed on active service'.

    1404 Met Flight avoided, for the most part, any confrontation with German aircraft, although when one Blenheim crew (Sgt Watson, Sgt Hemming and Sgt Bess) failed to return from a met reconnaissance on 8 December 1941 it was thought it might have been shot down.

    Following your post I've gone back to Stephens' papers and he does make an indirect reference to the incident:

    A number of Hudson crews were lost at this time - one crew was killed when they crashed on landing, and another when they flew into the cliffs in poor visibility.

    I think it's the second incident.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 30th July 2014 at 21:16.

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    Yup,

    I think the first one he alludes to is

    V9111 on 4/7/42
    Sgt M M Hazell
    F/Sgt T B G Finlay RCAF
    Sgt L Wagstaffe
    Sgt A F Bolton

    Flew into the ground in bad visibility at St.Eval, Cornwall, 14:35 hrs. Sgt Hazell rests in St.Columb Major Cemetery, Cornwall.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Had Sgt Pearls Hudson T9460 been an on a weather mission at the time?

    The RAF Casualty Communiques are correct in their KIA or KOAS distinctions. The "Killed in Action" listing indicates the type of mission, he was on a 'combat' mission, out to record the weather so no more than a Coastal Command patrol, he was in 'battle' unlike a mission where he might have been testing the engines after an overhaul. The Killed in Action does not refer to the nature of the death or loss, but the nature of the flight. Airmen who crashed in Ireland one the patrol out or on return from missions were killed in action, not KOAS.

    For example, I would imagine that an Anson trainer from an AFU being shot down by a Luftwaffe Intruder would also be a KOAS, as their mission was at the start a training one.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    I'm not sure that's correct Dennis. This comes from 1 February 1943 edition of The Times and the Roll of Honour: Royal Air Force, explaining the different terms used in the casualty lists:

    'The Air Ministry regrets to announce the following casualtieson various dates. Next of kin have been informed. Casualties "in action" are due to flying operations against the enemy; "on active service" includes ground casualties due to enemy action, non-operational flying casualties, fatal accidents, and natural deaths.'

    In the case of T9460 it was not lost due to enemy action, but was a fatal accident because the pilot apparently did not divert as ordered.

    Brian

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