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Thread: John Bennett - A yank in the RAF

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    Default John Bennett - A yank in the RAF

    Hi all:

    I just received an inquiry from US researcher Tim McKeown regarding a US airman flying with an RAF unit and whose aircraft was shot down over France. He became a PoW and presumably survived the war. I appreciate that the details Tim gives are not very specific, but I ham hoping that the gen men on these forums might come up with some pointers?

    "The airman was named John Bennett, middle initial possibly L., from Colorado. One of his Stalag buddies was Christopher Carson who founded the Moral Rearmament Movement. Plane shot up and damaged - bombs slid forward and decapitated his co-pilot , and then he was able to exit through the missing windshield. It might have been before the US was involved."

    TIA for any assistance.

    Regs,

    Bob C

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    From "Footprints in the Sands of Time" by Oliver Clutton-Brock, there are several "J. Bennett" entries: -

    WO1 J.A. Bennett RCAF, 419 Sqn, DT646, 5-3-43
    Flt/Sgt J.B. Bennett RCAF, 408 Sqn, NP712, 4-4-45
    Flt/Sgt J.R. Bennett, 460 Sqn, NX585, 25-4-45
    Sgt J.T. Bennett, 35 Sqn, W1147, 25-7-42

    Pete T, who posts on here, might be able to help you with the last one Bob as he's a 35 Sqn man. I've checked my files for anything on the 460 Sqn man, and they all survived so it can't be that one. The others I'll leave open for someone else.

    L/O

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

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    Hi Bob

    Just a couple of points:

    1 If an RAF aircraft it must have been a Wellington or Whitley as Lancs, Halifaxes and Stirlings didn't carry a co-pilot.

    2 How could bombs sliding forward in any of these types decapitate a pilot as they were all stored in bomb-bays below the aircrew positions.

    Sounds more like a B-17 or B-24 where the bombs were actually stacked up inside the fuselage.

    Malcolm

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    Re: JT Bennett (No. 35 Squadron)

    JT Bennett was the only surviving crew member of Halifax W1147 which crashed in Holland whilst on a raid to Duisburg on 25th / 26th July 1942. The Loss Card records that he evaded. The remaining members of the crew are buried in cemeteries in Holland.

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Good point Malcolm - all the above were four-engined types. As for the bombs and their position, I'd considered that, but only fleetingly. Then Mrs Greg called me down for lunch, and it does not do to ignore Mrs Greg when she bangs the gong!!

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

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    Gentlemen, many thanks for your input. I did point out the crew status/position on RAF bombers did not include co-pilot, only 2nd pilot on early war and flight engineer on later four-engined types, but quoted Tim's query as received, including the bit about the bombs going through the cockpit. I will pass on your replies to Tim and ask him to try and establish if any of the names mentioned fit the bill. I appreciate the rapid and detailed response from all.

    Regs,

    Bob C

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