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Thread: Loss area of Wellington HF610 of 466 Sqn

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    Default Loss area of Wellington HF601 of 466 Sqn

    Lost 6-7-1943 whilst minelaying off the shore of France. Lost in the target area.
    Who can help with a more precize location of this loss?
    Last edited by Rob Philips; 15th May 2008 at 13:27. Reason: Title edited. Serial Nr. should read HF601 not HF610

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    Hi Rob
    Chorley BCL Vol 4 has 466 Sqn Wellington HF601 (note Serial) as lost whilst Gardening in French Coastal Waters on the night of 5-6 Jul '43 and no such losses on the 6-7 Jul. 4 of the crew are buried in Conquet Communal Cemetery which may give some indication of where they came down if the Germans buried them in the nearest cemetery to where they were found and CWGC did not move them post war.One crew man F/O F Darbyshire has no known grave and is on the Runnymede Memorial. 3 of the 4 were F/O'S and the pilot was a W/Cdr
    Regards
    Dick

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    Thanks, Dick, that helps. It is Le Conquet, 21 km west of Brest. If the bodies of four of the crew washed ashore in that area, it is fair to assume that the aircraft came down close to that village.

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    Hi Rob
    The 4 names in the Cemetery are those of the Wellington Crew with Darbyshire being missing. There is no record of a "5th" Unknown Airman
    Regards
    Dick

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick View Post
    3 of the 4 were F/O'S and the pilot was a W/Cdr
    Infact there were only two F/O's - Darbyshire and Swain. Long and Ray were P/O, with Owen being the W/C.



    A

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    Thanks Dick & Amrit.

    Are you saying that there is a 4th headstone in this cemetery that is in fact a memorial, not a grave?

    Rob

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    There should actually be two graves. One belongs to W/C Owen (designated Grave 4). The other three - Long, Ray and Swain - are actually in a collective grave (designated Coll 1-3 on the CWGC), and as pointed out Darbyshire is missing

    There is also a memorial to the crew: http://www.halifaxlv827.co.uk/hf601.htm

    A

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    Good job Amrit! A collective grave is unusual for bodies that washed ashore. The French know their area best. This aircraft crashed on land.

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    Hi Rob
    If you feel sure that the a/c came down on land then there ought to be a record of it somewhere, perhaps in a local French newspaper if no official German records still exist, such as a Flak or fighter claim.
    Regards
    Dick

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    Hi Dick,

    Good that you raised that, as there are questions that I did not see straigth away.
    The website to which Amrit referred, mentions Seraincourt, Ardennes, as the crash site. This has to be a mistake, as that's in central France. The site shows a memorial, located at a shore that is probably close to Le Conquet, where the men are buried, a village about 20km due west from Brest. The name Seraincourt must have come from somewhere, but I could not find a possible match. The name is not in the idiom used in Brittany.

    The memorial holds a plaque, commemorating the event and giving the names of the crew. Seeing the plaque, reading the name of Seraincourt, being another village than the coastal one in which they are buried, and considering that 3 crew are buried in a joint grave, I drew the conclusion that this must have been a crash on land, rather than a crash at sea, which would more easily be associated with a mine laying operation. Bodies float ashore separately, if at all. But aircraft crashing on land, and the forces and fire associated with that, quite often result in casualties that cannot be identified individually.

    No doubt our friends in France shall be able to provide real knowledge about the matter. For my purpose of knowing the crash area, which must have been close to Le Conquet, the current information is sufficient. But I shall ask anyway.

    The pic on the site is too poor to read the plaque's text, but the file name would indicate that it is located at Porzliogan, a location at the coast about 1km due south from the center of Le Conquet.

    Rob

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