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Thread: Correct information?

  1. #1
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    Default Correct information?

    Whilst attempting to find out more information about my Uncle's last flight on 14-1-1944, I am seeing conflicting information regarding the crash site for his aircraft - ND423 (LQ-K).

    Most reference points I've read indicate crash site unknown but I have also seen it documented as being at Uepsen, between Bremen and Hanover. As he and the rest of the crew have final resting places in Hanover, would I be correct in assuming that it can't be an unknown crash site and it is in fact Uepsen?

    Which source/publication would you suggest as being able to provide the definitive answer to this?

    As I am a complete novice at this, all assistance gratefully received.

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    Hi Dave,
    3 members of your Uncle's crew were RCAF and in Chorley's Bomber Command Losses Vol 5 it seems to indicate that it was part of 8 Group Pathfinder Force, the target was Braunschweig. It might be an idea to contact Canadian Archives to see if their records have any other info on the flight and also I believe there is a Pathfinder's Association still in existence. Throughout the war the Germans treated fallen Allied airmen with reasonable respect and generally buried them close to the site where they fell,but, and it is a big BUT, as the war progressed the pressures of the Bombing Campaign began to tell on the German people and Authorities and the respect was eroded,sometimes drastically. They are shown by Chorley to be in Hanover War Cemetary and this may be the site used by the Germans at the time, but you should check with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as, in the immediate post war period, they did re-bury many of our fallen by collecting their remains from their first resting places and bringing them together in larger more manageable Cemetaries. CWGC records may show if this was done with this crew and where they were originally.
    Hope this helps
    Regards
    Dick

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    Dave

    Further to Dick's feedback I would suggest that you "Make a Request for Historical Casualty Information" via the following link: http://www.raf.mod.uk/ahb/rafcasualties/ as the Air Historical Branch currently (* see note) hold the post war Missing Research and Enquiry Service Reports relating to aircraft losses. The report should contain the crash location if it was located after the war (although it may have been located after the report was written). If you apply as next of kin they should provide information on the loss of the aircraft along with information on the death of your relative (but not the other crew members) .... you will not receive a copy of the MRES report but a clerk will transcribe information from the report for you. It is a tortuous process (which you have to pay for) but it did help with my initial research.

    I have looked at the Canadian Archives but sadly none of the files for the Canadian crew members are digitised and they are therefore not available online. You can ask for copies of these files, but again you will have to pay.

    Good luck with your search

    Regards

    Pete

    (* Note: The files are currently being transferred from the AHB to the National Archives, but 1944 files are not available at the Archives yet)
    Last edited by PeteT; 6th March 2015 at 10:14.
    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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    Gentlemen,
    Thank you so much for your responses and advice.

    Through CWGC I have established that they were relocated from Hoya cemetery to their final resting place in Hanover (in fact my father has visited his grave).. This information leads me to believe that the crash site must have been known to enable recovery of the bodies.

    Below I have attached a link to a Lost Aircraft page that provides more information than most others. Would you be able to confirm how credible this information might?

    http://www.lostaircraft.com/database...ewentry&e=3067

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    Hello

    As suggested, you should ask for the "genie package" of any of the R.C.A.F. members of the crew, from Library Archives of Canada, or one at a time if you patient. There are thread elsewhere on this board to give you the details to get it. It's free, and make sure to ask for the MRES investigation papers.

    As for the website, it's a new version of an older plagiarist website, which copied the series of books "Bomber Command Losses" by W.R. Chorley. So, it's credible because Bill Chorley's work was. But, research is always carried on, and in some cases, knowledge has progressed forward since the publication of the books, new documents have emerged, etc...

    I have researched No. 405 Squadron for a while, as they lost several crews in my area (northern France), and last September, we unveiled a plaque for the crew of Lancaster PB129 LQ-A, in the village of Ambleteuse, the place of crash, a location not given in Chorley, just to illustrate that knowledge has progressed over the years.

    Joss

    PS : I see that your uncle flew with A.J. WILCOCK, one of the 3 survivors of PB129 last flight, during the night 15/16 September 1943, a raid against Montluçon, in Halifax N. The pilot was :
    DRIMMIE, F/O Gordon Robert (J16306) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.405 Squadron - Award effective 5 February 1944 as per London Gazette dated 15 February 1944 and AFRO 644/44 dated 24 March 1944. Born 1922; home in Vancouver; enlisted Calgary 17 February 1941. Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 25 April 1941), No.19 EFTS (graduated 25 September 1941) and No.10 SFTS (graduated 19 December 1941). Commissioned 1942. Killed in action 14 January 1944 (Lancaster ND423); buried in Germany. Medal sent to next-of-kin, 8 March 1946 via Governor General. No citation other than "...completed ...many successful operations against the enemy in which [he] displayed high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty." Public Records Office AIR 2/8782 has recommendation dated 22 December 1943 when he had flown 31 sorties (180 hours 16 minutes) as follows:

    1 Nov 42 St.Omer (1.50) 15 Sep 43 Montlucon (5.57)
    6 Dec 42 Eindoven (2.30) 22 Sep 43 Hanover (5.41)
    15 Jan 43 Cherbourg (1.30) 23 Sep 43 Mannheim (6.01)
    22 Jan 43 St.Omer (2.15) 4 Oct 43 Frankfurt (5.46)
    26 Jan 43 St.Omer (2.40) 8 Oct 43 Hanover (5.18)
    13 Feb 43 St.Malo (4.55) 18 Oct 43 Hanover (5.57)
    15 Feb 43 Dunkirk (1.50) 20 Oct 43 Leipzig (6.53)
    30 Jul 43 Remscheld (6.10) 22 Oct 43 Kassel (4.50)
    2 Aug 43 Hamburg (6.25) 3 Nov 43 Cologne (4.31)
    9 Aug 43 Mannheim (8.14) 10 Nov 43 Modane (7.10)
    10 Aug 43 Nuremburg (8.55) 22 Nov 43 Berlin (6.21)
    12 Aug 43 Milan (9.45) 23 Nov 43 Berlin (6.02)
    17 Aug 43 Peenemunde (7.35) 26 Nov 43 Berlin (7.06)
    22 Aug 43 Leverkusen (6.45) 3 Dec 43 Leipzig (6.32)
    23 Aug 43 Berlin (8.10) 16 Dec 43 Berlin (7.11)
    27 Aug 43 Nuremburg (8.45)

    This pilot has displayed coolness and devotion to duty of a very high order during the many operational sorties he has carried out with this squadron. He has set a high example to his crew and to the rest of the squadron. He has participated in attacks on most of the enemy's heavily defended targets including Leipzig, Frankfurt, Mannheim and Berlin. This officer is strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

    Source : RCAF awards website, compilation work by Hugh Halliday

    So it is likely that these missions were also flown by your uncle. I can check in the Squadron Operations Record Book.
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 6th March 2015 at 18:05. Reason: adding PS

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    Joss

    As with the other kind contributors, your input is gratefully received.

    Would I be correct in assuming that your mention of my uncle "flying with" A.J.Wilcock was in reference to them potentially being on the same Montlucon raid or do you have any additional information to support this?

    I will now be taking everyone's advice and contacting the suggested reference bodies for further information. In addition, I plan to visit the Uepsen area during the summer when visiting my mother's family in Bremen. I guess you never know what these adventures might throw up unless you try them!

    Dave

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    Hello

    I meant that your uncle and A.J. Wilcock flew in the same Halifax for that Montluçon raid. Your uncle was the flight engineer and Wilcock was the navigator. It was the only operation they flew together. They might have flown together on non-operational flights, but these are not recorded in the Squadron Operations Record Book. Pilot was Gordon Robert Drimmie. They then flew 12 operations with John Kevin Evans as navigator, and the last four were flown with Rodger Bingham Jarvie as navigator. The Montluçon raid is the first one I've noted for the Drimmie crew with 405.

    I was surprised by Drimmie's list of mission, especially the first ones : short durations and locations in France or the Netherlands. This is exactly matching some operations flown by medium bombers, especially the Eindhoven raid. So I think he flew twin-engine bombers for a while, then after February 1943 converted to "heavies".

    Checking the Squadron ORB against the list of missions flown by Drimmie makes me think that the operations flown in July and August 1943 were with another Squadron, not 405. Too many (9) for having been done in O.T.U..

    Do you have your uncle's record of service ? Log-book ? Any military papers or letters to the family ? Pictures ?

    I can only strongly recommend that you ask for the "genie package" for either Drimmie, Gilbey or Peterson, from Library Archives of Canada.

    I'm in touch with Wilcock's daughter in Canada, and I'm actually waiting for a copy of his "genie package".

    Regards
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 7th March 2015 at 11:57.

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    Dave. The Drimmie crew started their tour with 428 Squadron. Joss is correct in ordering his service file. Here is a short version from another crewmembers file on ND-432.

    Service File: On January 14,1944 a four engine aircraft approached the village from a westerly direction, flying at approximately 2,000 feet. It was approximately 18:45 hours, it was dark already. As the aircraft passed over the village it could be seen to be burning severely. It released three bombs and then crashed in a field belonging to a local farmer in the village of Uepsen (L53/W-8360). KE-7460 report.

    Hope this helps. Richard

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    Hello Richard and Dave,

    Have continued my research and indeed Drimmie was a Boston pilot with No. 88 Squadron, with his Navigator John Kevin Evans and Wireless operator air gunner Alan Hazlehurst. They later flew with him in 405 Squadron.

    Joss

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
    Gentlemen,
    Thank you so much for your responses and advice.

    Through CWGC I have established that they were relocated from Hoya cemetery to their final resting place in Hanover (in fact my father has visited his grave).. This information leads me to believe that the crash site must have been known to enable recovery of the bodies.

    Below I have attached a link to a Lost Aircraft page that provides more information than most others. Would you be able to confirm how credible this information might?

    http://www.lostaircraft.com/database...ewentry&e=3067
    Hello Dave

    http://lancasterbombers.net/lancasterbombers_v1_033.htm

    ND423 Lane E A Sgt 651329 in the crew list

    [Reverse of Loss Card:-]
    RBI 4332/7460 14/1 Lane. [I noted several other nearby Loss Cards also had 14/1 Lane, or what appeared to say Lane?]
    Drimmie G R J16306
    Gilby J F R104934
    Petersen R F R168827
    Jarvie R B 116797
    Waddell 1077103
    Smith 1576461
    1 Unknown
    Buried 16/1 Hoya/W????

    According to the Loss Card, you will find the route the same as a Loss Card for another aircraft.
    On another nearby Loss Card the crew were also buried at Hoya/Weser, which has since been suggested by alieneyes.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 8th March 2015 at 07:51. Reason: refs to Loss Cards regarding burial & what apears to say Lane?

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