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Thread: 61 Squadron Aircrew Details

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    Default 61 Squadron Aircrew Details

    I'm trying to record operations carried out by No 61 Squadron aircraft and crews.

    Up until September 1944 the ORB monthly 'Summary' pages showed aircrew movements in and out of the Squadron, but from that month on to April 1945, aircrew movements were shown separately in appendices to the Summaries.

    On enquiry to the Public Record Office help desk, I was advised that these appendices have not survived either in digital or their original form.

    Has anyone else had difficulty with these, and hopefully, found where this info may have been kept?

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    Hi, from my own experience it is quite common, in most cases appendices have not survived.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Quote Originally Posted by CZ_RAF View Post
    Hi, from my own experience it is quite common, in most cases appendices have not survived.

    Pavel
    Thanks for that reply.

    It's a bit frustrating when Lancaster crews are shown, who are obviously new to the Squadron, and they sometimes compare with names/occupations already on my database.

    When IN/OUT info is available with ranks, numbers and dates, you have more confidence that the aircrew are one and the same.

    In Feb and March 1945, the crews in No 61 Squadron ORB are shown with surnames only, and tracking many of them at this stage is a labour of love.

    I know that same thing happens in other Squadrons, but in the earlier years operations, there was a good chance that they might pop up with their (full) names in later ops in that Squadron, or in IN/OUT lists in Squadrons that they might have transferred to/from. But with the late dates I am working with in No 61 Sqdn, there is very little information following on to give continuity.

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    The only appendices available for 61sqdn, show only Combat Reports and Battle Orders.

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    HI, to find some of these missing crews, and it does not fill all the gaps, but it gives you a lead you need to x reference the other orb's within the group, this is not ideal but it does give you sometimes a date when they arrived and most of the sqdns within 5 group do reference the service numbers.
    I do have most of the appendices and as ALAN W rightly says most of the pieces which are of use to us are missing, I believe a lot were burnt in the big freeze in the late 40's, the same with aircrew log books.
    There are several different ways of tracking them but it is all down to luck and a following wind, if the person you are seeking has an unusual surname you can have some luck locating the service number by using AIR78, if they were decorated or commissioned it is possible to open some doors by using the LONDON GAZETTE.
    I have been researching Lancaster losses in 5 group for 25 years, not easy when you have 1800 aircraft and crews, but with the orb's and access to other links it is hard going and frustrating but progress is made, slowly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanW View Post
    The only appendices available for 61sqdn, show only Combat Reports and Battle Orders.
    Thanks, Alan. I have that document - it's quite useful for background info on sorties.

    Did we meet back along on Bob Baxter's forum?

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    Quote Originally Posted by me474 View Post
    HI, to find some of these missing crews, and it does not fill all the gaps, but it gives you a lead you need to x reference the other orb's within the group, this is not ideal but it does give you sometimes a date when they arrived and most of the sqdns within 5 group do reference the service numbers.
    I do have most of the appendices and as ALAN W rightly says most of the pieces which are of use to us are missing, I believe a lot were burnt in the big freeze in the late 40's, the same with aircrew log books.
    There are several different ways of tracking them but it is all down to luck and a following wind, if the person you are seeking has an unusual surname you can have some luck locating the service number by using AIR78, if they were decorated or commissioned it is possible to open some doors by using the LONDON GAZETTE.
    I have been researching Lancaster losses in 5 group for 25 years, not easy when you have 1800 aircraft and crews, but with the orb's and access to other links it is hard going and frustrating but progress is made, slowly.
    Yes, me474, I think my wife's father's log book was also a casualty of that episode.

    I started my research on his time in No 61 Sqdn, where he was KIA in W4279 on an operation to Kassel 3/4/October 1943.

    He was F/L D A C Wilkinson BEM DFC 145900. W/Operator

    My wife and I have been to 50/61 Sqdns meet at Lincoln on a few occasions and met with the Captain, W/C W M Penman's daughter, and with R/G P/O M Root-Reid's son, who has sadly since passed away.

    My research has developed now into looking at the whole Lancaster records of 61 Squadron, and a few other Sqdns besides.
    Last edited by emj_lancdb; 26th February 2015 at 20:24.

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    Hi,

    My Uncle was Flt Lt. Bernard S Fitch DFC who flew with 50/61 squadron from Skellingthorpe. I have a digital copy of his log books plus some rear gunner logs of someone who flew with him. Bernard attended many of the reunions but sadly died in 2011. His crew all survived only meeting up again in the 1990s. I have not yet worked out how to upload images on this site yet but I will try and find out.
    Steve Cockayne

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    Steve,
    If you want anything from the 50/61sqdn's ORB's to go with his logbook, please let me know.

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    Sometimes a path to find more information is via the AWM Archive or the Canadian veterans site, if your 61sqdn crew contains RAAF or RCAF members you may be lucky and find the crews posting in date via that route, obviously you need to be lucky and they have been digitised, I have had lots of doors opened by using this route.
    I research all the 5 Group Lancaster sqdns, you need to use all the tools that are available to aid your research, on Google less is more ortherwise the already muddy water gets even muddier.
    Going back to the appendices for the sqdns, some are contained within the monthly summary but they vary as to usefullness, a lot are missing the officers posting in movements, some are as you have already found not available, 106sqdn has none after 1943, and none in the orb you need to buy a seperate download for the 1943 movements.
    The London Gazette is a useful aid if the member has been commissioned or received a medal, Flight Global archive is another useful website but you need to be patient as its long winded, no medal citations after 1943 in Flight Global.
    GRAHAM.

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