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Thread: 355 Squadron Ops 24 June 1945 Kanchanaburi Bridge

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    Default 355 Squadron Ops 24 June 1945 Kanchanaburi Bridge

    I am gathering information on the bombing of the two bridges near Kanchanaburi, Siam -- one of which, the steel and concrete bridge (the other being wooden), still survives and is known as "The Bridge on the River Kwai".

    The digital 355 Sqn ORB received from The National Archives at Kew is missing the page listing the last three individual crews and Kew say nothing is missing despite the obvious loss!

    DOES ANYONE HAVE THE MISSING ORB PAGES? Can anyone provide the missing names, ranks, and Liberator serials? Here's what I have. It's the last three that are missing.

    Also, the late Maurice Winton said he was on this op, and he took photos. He said he flew as rear gunner with the Wardell crew -- but Winton's name is not in the crew list for Wardell's aircraft on this op. I wonder if Winton, on this op, was aboard one of the three Libs whose crews, including skippers, are unknown.

    355 Squadron:

    KG844 X Captain: F/Lt. W.H. Fuller. Crew: P/O. E.F. Aitkens, F/Sgt. I.E. Jones, P/O. J.E. Smart, P/O. A.E. Smith, Sgt. J.A. Westing, Sgt. E.V. Dennison, P/O. R.A. Woodrow, P/O. J. Schwartzman

    EW176 R Captain: F/O. N.V. Todd. Crew: F/Sgt. J. Ferguson, F/Sgt. A.E. Poole, F/Sgt. R. Hawkins, P/O. G.D. Hunter, F/O. J.D. Sawyer, F/Sgt. E.W. Titball, Sgt. R.E. Vincent, F/Sgt. R. McLeish

    KH280 L Captain: F/O. R. Wardell. Crew: F/Sgt. J.D. Willis, F/Sgt. D.T. Brain, P/O. A.F. Masters, P/O. N.A. Goveia, P/O. H.R. Hodgson, P/O. R.J.C. Dixon, Sgt. F.E.M. Walker, Sgt. C.A. Noble

    EW221 B Captain: F/O. S.P. Collins. Crew: F/O. J.W. Hammond, F/O. H. Jarvis, F/O. C.R. Krueger, F/O. J.W.K. Slack, Sgt. G.R. Grey, Sgt. W. Barber, Sgt. H.C. Somerville, Sgt. N.A. Grain

    Mystery Lib serial/letter code #1 Captain & crew unknown

    Mystery Lib serial/letter code #2 Captain & crew unknown

    Mystery Lib serial/letter code #3 Captain & crew unknown

    Thank you for looking at my request any help will be warmly received......Regards. Colin.

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    Colin,

    You might find some help in the book: Burma Liberators - RCAF in SEAC Vol II by John R W Gwynne-Timothy ISBN 1-895578-02-7

    There is scant mention of the raid to which you refer. However, the Appendix lists 355 Sqn crews and the sorties in which they participated. Unfortunately, the sorties are listed as a number not as a target.

    Sorry that's not much use and the Air Britain Liberator book has very little to say about 355.

    Colin Cummings

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    Colin.

    Thanks for the thoughts, I had visited that option.
    I confess the sortie referencing of men has me scratching my head to try and work out, the crews have numerical listing as does the sorties but they dont take you anywhere.
    The NA have no explanation for the missing page thus this will appear to remain unsolvable but I have tried my best.

    Colin.

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    Hello... I thought I might post a note in regards to Maurice winton - he was my father's cousin. Himself and my father came to Canada after the war. Maurice lived in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan I believe and worked with the RCMP - my father came to Ontario. I found a book that Maurice had written called "the Royal Canadian Air Force A Pictoral History" which includes many photos of badges etc and also stories from Air men - including photos of Maurice with the squadron that bombed the bridge over the river kwai and his stories of the events of that day - also included are photos of him with Wardell crew in wartime and also at a reunion in Britain. My father and him grew up together in England - my father was too young to serve during the war but signed up the minute he was of age near the end of the war. He talked about Maurice often and went to visit him several times in Saskatoon - I never had the honour of meeting the man. My father did also tell me that he had a collection of war time memorabilia that included knives and bayonets... My father gave his german wartime knife collection to Maurice. Since his and my father's death - I haven't been able to find the family to connect. I am sure this book can help you with some missing pieces to that which you are looking for. If you email me directly at klrkitchener@gmail.com I can take photos of the book - if its for sale anywhere I don't know - but I am not willing to give up my copy as it was personally signed by Maurice to my father.
    I hope this helps you.
    Karen Regan

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    Hi, Karen,

    Thanks for your information. And hi to Colin, too. I helped him in small ways with his book, which has gone to press. (Colin, I haven't picked up a copy yet!)

    I sought out and found one Maurice's son -- Maurice Jr, of Winfield, BC -- and spoke to him in early 2015. I was just thinking of writing to him again -- how ironic -- when I came upon your posting, too. I have his email address...must look up details for you. Within a day I'll send you an email.

    I just ordered a nice, cheap used copy of Maurice Sr's book.

    I have so-so quality photos allegedly taken by Maurice on the Kwai op. Hoping to get better quality copies from Jr in time. He says he has his father's logbook, as well.

    Colin, if I do get more info from Jr, I'll be sure to share it with you. And I can scan or take digital photos of any relevant photos in the book I just ordered, as well.

    Way back in about 1990 or Maurice Sr was one of the first Liberator veterans I heard from. His letter to me contained information that, at the time, didn't apply to my 159 Sqn research, just his own 355 Sqn experiences, but years later I ended up researching two of the ops he briefly mentioned. Small world, I'd say. Alas, he is gone now...

    Again, thanks for sharing on the forum, and I'll be in touch.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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