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Thread: Loss area of Wellington HF610 of 466 Sqn

  1. #21
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    Rob,

    "What is needed to get matters changed, is a public demand that this should be done. That's how it is supposed to work in a democracy. The public knows that, in the end, they have to pay for what they want. The system is called "taxes". If the public remains silent, then changes shall not come, or not at any time soon. We can make noises about these matters. That's our privilege, as long as we remain polite. Perhaps that shall lead to more people sharing these views. It is all about morals. Morals too cost money."

    There are thousands upon thousands of 'unknowns' that could be endlessly investigated by the authorities but, quite frankly, it is my opinion that regardless of how strong a case you (or anyone else) are able to put forward it is not going to create 'a public demand that this should be done'. It is not about 'morals' either but, rather, about resources - the public would rather see their taxes spent on things such as health and, more importantly, education (leading, hopefully, to no more wars...and no more unknowns).

    Errol

  2. #22
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    Very well said Errol.

  3. #23
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    Thanks, Errol. We are entering a political debate. Certainly we want health care and education, and the last most certainly as one of the ways to prevent wars & unknowns produced by war. The basic question is if a society is to be seen as based on morals or on money. That matters such as health care and education should have a higher priority when allocating available ressources is a moral decision. Prevailing decisions are clear: MIA research is very low on the scale. This may also have come about as a result of the fact that the earlier generations were more inclined to accept government statements that cases were closed, because nothing more could be done about the MIA's. The earlier generations had to deal with the war traumata, and most of the energy went into rebuilding society. The younger generations are more inclined to wish to know, less inclined to accept being kept in the dark. That's the generation that filled the thread on this forum to which Joss referred. I have been involved in more than a few cases, in which families of lost ones became aware that there was much more to know than they were given to understand in earlier years. Once this was realized, they demand to know. That's a changing wind, driven in part by the exponential increase in information available to the public today and the speed in communications, to which the government reacts with the old reflexes and closed archives. One could speculate that this is a minor breeze, that shall vanish with time, when all next of kin of the MIA's have died. But that may not prove to be true.

    In the ressources-allocation-game, the US of A does MIA research in a different way than the British. The US JPAC organisation brings home about a hundred MIA's each year. That's two each week. So it can be done, if there is a will to do so. I'm always hearing that the US have far more ressources, as the explanation why the US can do this. That's the easy explanation. Every society has to make choices; ressources are never enough to do everything that everybody wants. The choice is between doing something, being a reasonable and acceptable amount, and doing clearly less than that. My thesis is that the British should do more in this field than they are currently doing.

  4. #24
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    Good day Gents,

    Sorry to re-open an old thread but I have discovered it with a lot of interest, as my grand father was a witness of this event. He is referred to as Mr Floch and was living in Lochrist, close to the beach in 1943. For clarity purposes, Floch is a quite common family name around here and several people from Lochrist were named Floch (not necessarily from the same family though)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Philips View Post
    The exact crash site was not known until a section of the fuselage and the landing gear washed ashore.

    The body of F/O. Darbyshire was never found. Therefore, his name is not included with the names of his comrades in the burial register of the city of Le Conquet.
    Nevertheless, his memory deserves to be honoured in the same way as his brothers in arms who are still buried in the cemetery of Lochrist.

    At the edge of Porzliogan beach a monument was erected on the 50th anniversary of this loss. It is visible along the scenic route from Le Conquet to Pointe Saint Mathieu.



    (2) The testimony of Mr. Floc'h mentions that the three bodies found on the beach were dressed only in their blue underwear. This would indicate that the Germans had taken the warm flying gear of the aviators.

    At the time there as a rumour, that the aircraft had made an emergency landing at sea, and that the crew was killed by machine gun fire.


    The testimony of Mr. Floc'h, if true, would shed light on the unusual burial situation: four graves with four headstones and four bodies that were found relatively intact, coming from one known aircraft, and still three graves that are called a joint grave by the CWGC. This joint grave may have come about, not because the casualties were disfigured beyond recognition, but because some party, possibly German troops, had robbed these three casualties of their clothing, and with that of the easy means for identification. The MR&ES may have exhumed the bodies after the liberation, to try and identify the men, and may have taken the short route of declaring the graves to be a mutual one, when no ID disks or papers were found. The friends in France have been asked if the Lochrist burial register can shed some more light upon this matter.
    A local historian did quite a lot of research and his work is summarised in his blog. Blog is in french so let me know if you need any translation french-to-english (btw I will gladly help for any other translation if needed).

    I have taken a few pictures this week so you guys can have a better overwiew about HF601

    Edit: I did not manage to insert pictures in this post. Pixs are available if you need them, just ask and I will send them.

    A few facts about this event: the plane went down at sea, not on land. HF601 flown over Lochrist at a very low alt from east to west , some witnesses mentioned that their houses were shacking. Grandpa was one of them.
    Lochrist and its surroundings were heavily defended with AA, for protecting long-range 280mm gun batteries and other installations.Testimonies mention HF601 trapped in searchlights then a sudden silence, as if the engines stopped; there was no crash noise.
    A piece of landing gear has been towed by a local fisherman to port, and recovered by german soldiers. It was stored for a short while at the local school. Local scuba diving centre did some exploration dives in the eighties (I think) but did not find anything. It is not really surprising, considering the weather conditions and strong tides around here.

    Unfortunately most of the witnesses, including grandpa, have passed away so it is virtually impossible to gather extra information.

    In 1943, locals considered that aircrew has been shot on the beach by german soldiers. Decades after the end of the war, some witnesses declared that there was no bullet impacts on the 4 bodies found at Porsliogan. The fact that the 4 bodies were found on the same beach, and a dinghy, would indicate otherwise. Grandpa was convinced that they reached the shore before being shot.

    I live 2 klicks from the site so if you need extra info do not hesitate to get in touch.
    Last edited by Laurent; 24th May 2014 at 18:08. Reason: pictures

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