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Thread: Lancaster HK620 - George Charles Dickinson

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    Default Lancaster HK620 - George Charles Dickinson

    Hello,

    This is my first post of the forum, and I would be grateful if anybody could help with the following.

    My mother’s brother, Flight Sergeant George Charles Dickinson,(SON OF GEORGE WILLIAM AND LILY BEATRICE DICKINSON, OF WADDINGHAM, LINCOLNSHIRE) was the bomb aimer on board Lancaster HK-620, which crashed in the early hours of the morning of the 9th February 1945 on a mission to Germany.

    I would like to contact members of the families of the other crew that were on board if possible: -

    Flight Lieutenant James Hector Cowie – Pilot. (SON OF H. M. COWIE, AND BESSIE COWIE, OF NEW WESTMINSTER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA.)
    Flying Officer Peter John Day – Navigator. (SON OF JOHN H. AND MARION DAY, OF SIDCUP, KENT.)
    Sergeant John Malcolm – Flight Engineer. (SON OF GEORGE MALCOLM, AND OF SARAH ELIZABETH MALCOLM, OF NORTH SHIELDS, NORTHUMBERLAND.)
    Sergeant Alan Thomas Dobson – Wireless Operator. (SON OF GEORGE HENRY DOBSON AND ELIZABETH MARY EMMA DOBSON, OF SOUTHALL, MIDDLESEX.)
    Sergeant John Gregory – Mid-upper Gunner. (SON OF CHARLES AND MARGARET GREGORY, OF NEWTON-LE-WILLOWS, LANCASHIRE.)
    Flight Sergeant Maurice Ernest Hathaway – Mid-under gunner. (SON OF ERNEST WILLIAM AND CLARA FLORENCE HATHAWAY, OF SOUTHPORT, LANCASHIRE.)
    Sergeant Joseph William Hall – Rear Gunner. (SON OF JOSEPH WILLIAM AND ESTHER HALL, OF SMALL HEATH, BIRMINGHAM; HUSBAND OF MARY HALL, OF SMALL HEATH)

    The aircraft was part of 15 Squadron which took off from the airfield at Mildenhall, the HQ of No 3 group RAF Bomber Command, along with 150 other planes for an operation to attack the Railway Marshalling yards at Hohenbudberg in the Ruhr.

    James Hector Cowie was from the Royal Canadian Air Force, whilst the others were all Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves.

    Also trying to source a photograph of all of the crew together, and a one of the plane. There are some photographs of HK-620 on the internet, but these are not of a MK I.

    Thank you,

    Roy Bell.

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    Chorley's Bomber Command Losses 1945 give a crew of nine. 2nd pilot is shown as F/Lt NL McQueen.

    http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/ca...NORMAN%20LEIGH

    And, just to cloud that issue:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...d-this-man-die

    Regards,

    Dave
    Last edited by alieneyes; 9th March 2015 at 23:04.

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    Hello

    Welcome to the board.

    As suggested in another thread http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...ct-information
    It might pay to contact the MoD Air Historical Branch for details about the loss of Lancaster HK620, and, at the same time, write / mail / fax the Library Archives of Canada, in Ottawa, and ask for the "genie package" of James Hector Cowie, as he was R.C.A.F., specifically for the MRES investigation report.

    AHB should clear up the presence of McQueen onboard.

    As Dave rightly pointed with the other thread, there might be a mistake in Chorley, in incorporating McQueen in the Lancaster crew, while he wasn't. I've seen a similar confusion (not in Chorley, but in local newspapers), when Free French pilot Debec was "incorporated" in the Wellington buried in Pihen-les-Guines, while he was a Spitfire pilot... In this case, he's buried between the Wellington crewmates, because the burial of the 4 crewmembers of the Wellington and his own took place at the same time, the Wellington having crashed the night before his own demise.

    For contact with the other families, you should try the phonebooks online, genealogical websites, all the ressources of the net, and you can also try to have articles published in local newspapers for each town, as you are quite lucky with the CWGC entries. Sometimes one just has no family background...

    Roy, I don't understand your sentence : "There are some photographs of HK-620 on the internet, but these are not of a MK I." Can you explain better ?

    Good luck


    Joss

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    Dave.

    I am aware of some reports on the internet that there were nine aircrew on HK-620 that night, but having looked at the evidence discounted Flight Lieutenant Alastair Norman Leigh McQueen from being on board.

    On the Scottish War Graves website http://scottishwargraves.phpbbweb.co...ftopic660.html F/L McQueen is shown as piloting another aircraft at the time of his death, which happens to be on the same day as the crew of HK-620, and they are all buried in the same cemetery. I have photographs of the original crosses placed to mark the graves, and F/L McQueen is to the left of Sergeant Hall.

    The report on this web page http://users.telenet.be/airwareurope...wauthier_e.htm shows an allied team recovered the remains of eight airmen. It goes on to say that after the war F/L McQueen was identified, but the Radio operator, Sergeant Dobson, was missing. Don't think will find out what exactly happened, perhaps some identification tags were missing, and having eight graves together, (all dying on the same day) surmised that they were all from the same aircraft.

    Have contacted the Belgian Aviation History Association to inform them of the what was found with reference to F/L McQueen.
    Last edited by Roy Bell; 11th March 2015 at 21:16.

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    Joss,

    Many thanks for that extra information and link.

    With regards to the photographs not being of a MK I,​ this was an error on my part. HK-620 (The unique serial number of the aircraft) carried the squadron identification LS-W on either side of the roundel, The​ website​ which had a photograph of LS-W from 15 squadron​ http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_photos_flight.htm reckoned that it was post war due to the brightness of the lettering, normally a dull red during the war. After HK-620 crashed LS-W would have been put on another aircraft, possibly the one in the photo.

    Apologies for the misleading information in the post. Also the photograph appears not to show a lower turret, though understand not all MKi' s had one.

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