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Thread: Your thoughts on where to start -

  1. #1
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    Default Your thoughts on where to start -

    Hello everyone,
    I have recently commenced searching for additional details concerning my mothers cousins who was recorded missing with no known grave from WW2. I will list below the information I have thus far however I would welcome any advice and tips on where else I could possibly search or follow through with.

    It is the 'out of the box' thinking which you all posses with ease however it is a skill I'm still trying to master.

    Our family member: 425173 Warrant Officer LESTER, Donald Joesph.

    Aircraft: Lancaster PB 140
    Radio call sign: OL - H
    Unit: ATTD 83 SQN RAF

    Summary:
    Lancaster PB 140 of 83 Sqn RAF took off from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire at 0908 hours on 6 August 1944 to attach the flying bomb storage area at Bois de Cassan, France. The aircraft reached the target and after bombing was completed it was attacked by three Focke Wolfe aircraft. PB 140 was severely damaged in the attack and with the aircraft out of control the Captain ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft.

    In the attack both the Rear Gunner and the Wireless Operate who had been injured, informed the Captain that they would be unable to obey the order. The Captain cancelled the abandon aircraft order and decided to try and bring the aircraft under control and make a forced landing. Prior to the cancellation of the order however the Mid Upper Gunner, WO Lester had abandoned the aircraft and his parachute was seen to open successfully. The position of the aircraft at that time was approx 15 miles north west of Paris.

    The Captain succeeded in gaining control of the aircraft, feathered the port inner engine, and successfully flew the aircraft back to UK making a crash landing at Ford airfield, Sussex at 1415 hours.

    Following post war enquiries and investigations in the Frence Departments of the Seine and Oust and cemeteries in the L'Isle Adam area, it was recorded in 1948 that WO Lester had no known grave. His name is commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing Runnymede, Surrey, UK.

    I have the full names and service numbers of his crew. WO, Robert William Francis Gallagher 416947 died from injuries sustained from the attack 13 August 1944.

    I found posts between members on this forum (Ari and Henk) discussing Donald's details and Henk suggested looking through 'French civilian records or Gustapo records'.
    Can anyone give me advice on how I could do this please?

    Any other tips and advice on where else to search would be rather helpful.

    Thank you everyone,

    Tammy

  2. #2
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    Default

    meello Tammy and welcome to the forum. I have moved your post to the GENERAL section where it will receive more views, and perhaps some informmation will be forthcoming.

    Regards,
    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

  3. #3
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    Thank you so much Bruce.
    Much appreciated.
    Tammy

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    Hi Tammy,

    His service file and crash report are on line at the National Archives of Australia web site. You can access they by using his service number. Another member of the crew reported that he was seen to bail out and his cute open, he may well have been killed by local German troops. They were shot down by a Fw190.

    I wish you luck in your search,

    John.

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    John - Thank you so much for the information regarding the National Archives of Australia site. The information I was able to find was extensive, including copies of hand written letters from my mothers Grandparents regarding Donald. Your guidance has given such comfort to many of my family members, so I wanted to pass on my appreciation.
    All my very best,
    Tammy

  6. #6
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    Hi Tammy,
    Glad to be of assistance. You can buy the files (copy) they are $29.00 each. They are well presented and nice to have. I am happy the information has helped you and your family.

    Regards,

    John.

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    Dear Tammy
    Please can you send me a PM or an e-mail with your e-mail address? I have photographed a page from a book that lists the events.
    Best wishes
    James

  8. #8
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    Hi James,
    I have just sent you a PM. My settings required editing however you should have something from me now.
    Thanking you,
    Tammy

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    Dear Tammy
    I hope that you received my email with the attached pages.
    Best wishes
    James

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