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Thread: 441223 - Unaccounted Airmen - 23-12-1944

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    Default 441223 - Unaccounted Airmen - 23-12-1944

    Hello,

    441223 - Unaccounted Airmen - 23-12-1944

    From Henk's List -

    BELGIUM
    NECK, Colin Glover - P/O - 178124 - RAFVR - Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerpen, Belgium.

    GREECE
    MILLEN, Thomas Edwin - AC1c - 1461808 - RAFVR - Phaleron War Cemetery, Greece.

    UK
    FAIRWEATHER, Albert Arthur - F/S (Pilot) - 1322950 - RAFVR - Harrow (Eastcote Lane) Cemetery, Middlesex.

    From CWGC & Geoff's sites -

    PAKISTAN
    SEDDON, Thomas - Cpl - 1120045 - RAFVR - Karachi War Cemetery, Pakistan.

    Alex

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    Hi

    BELGIUM
    NECK, Colin Glover - P/O - 2 TAF Base.

    GREECE
    MILLEN, Thomas Edwin - AC1 - 372 RSU

    UK
    FAIRWEATHER, Albert Arthur - F/S (Pilot) - possibly killed whilst flying in Beaufighter VI, KV966 of No 54 OTU, which flew into high ground near Berwick on Tweed whilst flying in cloud at night.

    PAKISTAN
    SEDDON, Thomas - Cpl - 151 OTU.

    Malcolm

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    NECK, Colin Glover - P/O 178124 - Died Of Wounds On Injuries Received On Active Service

    MILLEN, Thomas Edwin - AC1c 1461808 - KOAS

    FAIRWEATHER, Albert Arthur - F/S (Pilot) 1322950 - KOAS

    SEDDON, Thomas - Cpl 1120045 - DOAS

    Martyn

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    Default Fairweather Albert Arthur

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolm_raf View Post
    Hi

    BELGIUM
    NECK, Colin Glover - P/O - 2 TAF Base.

    GREECE
    MILLEN, Thomas Edwin - AC1 - 372 RSU

    UK
    FAIRWEATHER, Albert Arthur - F/S (Pilot) - possibly killed whilst flying in Beaufighter VI, KV966 of No 54 OTU, which flew into high ground near Berwick on Tweed whilst flying in cloud at night.

    PAKISTAN
    SEDDON, Thomas - Cpl - 151 OTU.

    Malcolm
    I am the nephew of Albert. Much of this info fits with our family oral history. Certainly Albert was flying a Beaufighter and we heard it was in Scotland. ( Land north or west of Berwick is Scotland . ) However the above sounds like an accident and this incident is not on the RAF's list of crashes so this sounds less like an accident. Had they been in action and been damaged ? Did the gunner bale out and survive ? Certainly my grandmother's and my father's retellings concentrated on the fact that on a Beaufighter it was notoriously difficult for the pilot to bale out. Was the explanation given ( at Albert's funeral ? and it would have had to have been given by aircrew familiar with the plane ) to explain how the gunner had survived but not the pilot ? ( Beaufighters were also notoriously difficult to fly eg. with one engine. ) If the gunner had died wouldn't he have been included in this list entry ?

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    Hello Mark,
    welcome to the board.

    Above you will see mention of 54 OTU, that's 54 Operational Training Unit. And this is confirmed on the CWGC website database entry, 54 OTU.

    The OTU is where Albert as a pilot would have been paired up with his back seater, up until that point they would have been training in their respective trades (Albert a pilot, and his back seater as a radio operator, gunner.)

    The training units suffered staggering losses during the war, from all sorts of reasons.

    So, if Albert was with 54 OTU, he was on a training mission, and his gunner may well have survived but have been injured.

    There is no 'RAF list of crashes', there was so very many, there is no one complete list, perhaps you can point us towards the source you were referring to?
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    Hello

    FAIRWEATHER, Albert Arthur - F/S (Pilot) - 1322950 - the book 'The Charterhall Story' by J. B. Thompson has the following for Beaufighter KV966 under December 22nd 1944:

    Aircraft broke cloud at 800 feet. Under flying control, pilot advised Winfield tower that he could see the base. The aircraft then flew into a hillside at Brow-of-the-Hill Farm, 2 miles west of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
    F/Sgt Fairweather (P) - killed
    Sgt Richards (N/R) - killed


    There is a Brow-of-the-Hill Farm at postcode TD15 1UE on the A6105 heading WNW from Berwick.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Hello Simon,

    Thank you for this.

    Any ideas about :
    Would an experienced pilot be a Flight Sergeant ? Or an Instructor ?( I looks to me as if instructors were Flight Lieutenants. )

    Or could this have been a Conversion Course ? ( The members on Course 49 in the photo do not look terribly young ! Albert was 24 and I imagine that he joined up fairly promptly. )

    Mark Fairweather



    Quote Originally Posted by wwrsimon View Post
    Hello

    FAIRWEATHER, Albert Arthur - F/S (Pilot) - 1322950 - the book 'The Charterhall Story' by J. B. Thompson has the following for Beaufighter KV966 under December 22nd 1944:

    Aircraft broke cloud at 800 feet. Under flying control, pilot advised Winfield tower that he could see the base. The aircraft then flew into a hillside at Brow-of-the-Hill Farm, 2 miles west of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
    F/Sgt Fairweather (P) - killed
    Sgt Richards (N/R) - killed


    There is a Brow-of-the-Hill Farm at postcode TD15 1UE on the A6105 heading WNW from Berwick.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Hi Mark

    Instructors could be any rank as long as they had the experience.

    Albert could have completed a period as an instructor and was in the process of returning to operations with a new crew member.

    Beaufighter night fighters only had two crew, a pilot and Navigator/Radar but NO gunner, the guns were fixed to fire forward and were operated by the pilot.

    Malcolm

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