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Thread: Flight Sergeant John Hough

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    Default Flight Sergeant John Hough

    Hello this is my first post I hope I have posted it in the right place, I am looking for information concering my relative F/S John Hough who was killed on
    14th Aug 1944 - F/S John Hough with G.A. Thomson crew, in PD208 BQ-V;
    crashed near RAF Wittering on return.

    His obituary in the local paper stated that he had joined the RAF in 1941 and had gained his wings in Canada. Why would British Pilots go to Canada and does anyone have any information on where in Canada he was likely to have been based?

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    Welcome to rafcommands.com/ forum.

    F/S Hough would have been trained in Canada under something called the Commonwealth Air Training Plan - it also had other names!

    Basically, it was neither safe nor practical to train aircrew to fly in UK, with all else going on and the enemy just across the channel and so most basic flying training was exported to overseas countries under a complex set of bi-lateral arrangements based on something called The Riverdale Agreement. Canada was 'the big deal' but aircrew trained in most Commonwealth countries and the USA but there were practical reasons why the UK didn't send people to Australia or New Zealand but did send people to Canada, USA, South Africa and Rhodesia.

    His aircraft, coded BQ-V was from 550 Sqn based at North Killingholme and it crashed near Wansford returning from Fontaine le Pin.

    You need your relative's Record of Service and this will tell you all the facts you need to gain a clear picture of his air force career and it opens the door to much else which many on this forum will help you with in due course. Whilst waiting the Record of Service, you can get a copy of the RAF Forms 540 (squadron narrative diary) and 541 (record of sorties flown) from the National Archives.

    I can give you a reading list but as mentioned, the RofS is the key.

    Good luck with your research - many people posting here will help you.

    Colin Cummings

    ps forgot to acknowledge Chorley for info about the aircraft.

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    Joan, Hi,

    Welcome to the forum!

    John Hough Enlisted in the RAFVR (1546277) between Apr-Oct 1941
    He went (as did many, many, others) to Canada for Pilot Training (Google BCATP for an outline of the scheme). He would have been an Aircraftman until he passed as a Pilot when he would have become a Sgt. Some on this Forum may already know of his name from their researches and will be able to tell you the details*.
    Posted to 550 Sqdn from No. 1 L.F.S w.e.f. 16/7/1944
    First operational flight as 2nd pilot to F/O Holdsworth (1 Aug 1944)
    V PD208 - - BQ-V Crashed at Wansford (I lived near there as a boy in WW2!) ex Fontaine-le-Pin 15 Aug 1944.
    * If nobody comes up with the details then you need to get his RAF Service Record from RAF Cranwell (takes time, and will cost you 30 GBP). This will be full of RAF acronyms, shortened-forms, etc, etc! Do not worry! The forum has many experts in these arcane things who will be only too keen to help!

    Hope this helps

    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Does anybody actually know the precise impact location of PD208? There is just the outside chance that I may be able to contact people in the near area!
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Many thanks for your replies, the information you have given me is very helpful and has answered some of my questions. A few years ago I was sent some information obtained for the 550 squadron that was obtained from the RAF operational record books, these detailed the flights made by John Hough, the same person also sent me the following which I hope may be useful to anyone who has an interest in the accident. I also have a crew photograph that I can post:

    Avro Lancaster PD208 (Squadron Code BQ-V) was one of the many based at RAF
    North Killingholme, near Grimsby. Opened in November 1943, North Killingholme
    was home to RAF 550 Squadron. Formed on the 25 November 1943, 550 Squadron
    was assigned to No. 1 Group, Bomber Command, and operated from North
    Killingholme between 3 January 1944 and 31 October 1945 when the squadron was
    disbanded and the airfield closed.
    At 1332 on Monday 14 August 1944, PD208 took off on a daylight bombing raid to
    attack a strong point at Fontaine-Le-Pin in the Normandy Battle Area. Several
    hundred aircraft of Bomber Command were involved in the attacks which were in
    support of the Canadian First Army’s push to capture Falaise under Operation
    Tractable, launched earlier that day. The weather had been fairly cloudy over England,
    but was almost clear as the leading aircraft approached their target area. There was no
    contact with enemy fighters on this occasion, but anti-aircraft fire from the German
    defences was very intense.
    On its return from the mission later in the afternoon, PD208 (which had probably
    sustained damage during the raid) requested an emergency landing at RAF Wittering in
    Cambridgeshire. Unfortunately, this request had to be refused because a raid alert was
    in progress.
    As the ill fated aircraft banked over the area between Wansford and Kings Cliffe, on
    the Northamptonshire-Cambridgeshire border, it went out of control and crashed near
    to a building that was known as the Old Pump House. It was believed to have suffered
    some loss of control (autopilot problems have been suggested) and crashed at 1702
    from a height of 4000 feet.
    An eye-witness to the crash was the late father of Mr Gary Jucha of Peterborough. Mr
    Jucha’s father had been based with the Polish Parachute Brigade nearby.
    The crew of seven aboard PD208 were killed:
    Sergeant Henry Hindle (2206229)
    Flight Engineer, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
    Son of Robinson and Frances Hindle; husband of May Hindle, of Accrington.
    Buried in Accrington Cemetery, Lancashire, United Kingdom.
    Flight Sergeant John Hough (1546277)
    Pilot, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Aged 30.
    Son of James Henry and Alice Ann Hough, of Burnley; husband of Elsie
    Hough, of Burnley.
    Buried in Burnley Cemetery, Lancashire, United Kingdom.
    Flight Sergeant James Byrne Lake (424904)
    Wireless Operator, Royal Australian Air Force, Aged 20.
    Son of James and Cecelia Lake, of South Hurstville, New South Wales,
    Australia.
    Buried in Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.

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    The Court of Inquiry is in the casualty file of the wireless operator, 424904 F/Sgt James Byrne Lake:

    http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/Searc...aspx?B=1072209

    This would be the second son lost by Cecilia Lake.

    421737 F/Sgt Donald Cameron Lake was lost serving with No. 460 RAAF Squadron 18 October 1943.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Hello,

    Rarely, do Courts of Inquiry and other investigations tell of the full impact the war had on some families. Besides losing two sons, Cecilia Lake also had to cope with the death of her husband, James, on 13th November, 1944.

    The elder brother of 424904 F/S James Byrne LAKE RAAF, was - 421737 F/S Donald Carmichael LAKE RAAF,

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 26th December 2015 at 18:40.

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    Joan, Hi,
    Have been in contact with some of the Wansford locals (my thanks to them). It seems likely that the a/c impacted to the south of the Old Pump House. This is across the road from the Old Pump House, and in an area which is now called Wansford Pastures. It is a Nature Reserve (GE 52.581923 -0.424537) - address 1 Robins Field. At some stage somebody planted some crosses at the gate into the field - but not known who/when.
    Having been refused landing permission at Wittering (air raid?) he might have banked left over Wansford making for Kings Clyffe - the possible impact point is only 130 yds to the left of the extended centre-line for Kings Clyffe r/w 26. All surmise - but it fits the known.
    Best I can do!
    The RAF Kings Clyffe ORB may have some information? It was the nearest RAF Station to the impact. Fire/ambulances may have been despatched to the scene. The bodies may have been temporarily located in Kings Clyffe SSQ. Where were their deaths Registered?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 1st January 2016 at 15:17. Reason: Additional info
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Peter,

    Their deaths were registered in Peterborough and the bodies were taken to SSQ Sibson.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 2nd January 2016 at 08:43.

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    Col,
    Tks for that. The distances Kings Clyffe/Sibson to the probable impact point are just about equal (just under 3 statute miles). I had assumed Kings Clyffe for the reasons I stated. But I did not realise that K C was 8 USAAF at the time. Sibson is, now (20/20 hindsight - ain't it wonderful?), the more obvious location! You should also know that when I used to ride along those roads on my motorbike to/from work in the early 50's they were, then, little changed from what they had been in WW2!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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