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Thread: P/O Ian Rutherford HILLAN 219 Sq

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    Default P/O Ian Rutherford HILLAN 219 Sq

    Hi All

    I am researching informations on Pilot Officer Ian Rutherford HILLAN RAF VR service number 144795
    He died June 1, 1943 aged 21 years

    Thanks

    Regards

    Dominique

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    Hi Doninique ,

    Try this thread : http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/04047.php

    Regards ,

    Zorglub

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    Thank for the link Zorglub

    Dominique

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    Hi Dominique ,

    Glad to help . Crash-landed Beaufighter V8840 can be seen here on a czech forum :

    http://www.modelforum.cz/viewtopic.p...19413&start=30 .

    It seems the cockpit caught fire after being hit by flak .

    Zorglub

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    The 219 squadron ORB reveals the events of June 1, 1943, but do not confirm just what happened to P/Os Hillan and Ambus.
    On this day the squadron air party began the unit move from the UK to North Africa with the first stage from Catterick to Portreath. This party of 18 Beaufighters was led by W/Cmdr A D McN. Boyd, DFC navigated by F/Lt Glegg. Hillan and Ambus were delayed in getting away due to a hydraulic trouble, but eventually managed to get off later in the day. However this delay is not noted in the 541 form departure times. Weather conditions are noted as dull at take-off and a gradual deterioration the further south the formation went. Low cloud and heavy rains were encountered in the Bristol Channel. All aircraft eventually made it to Portreath with the exception of P/Os Hillam and Ambus resulting in overdue action being implemented, but no news of them had come through by nightfall.
    From this we can see that the weather probably played a part in their loss and maybe even a return of the earlier hydraulic problem.
    Whether engaged by flak is uncertain but there will probably be a German flak record somewhere and also the PoW report made by P/O Ambus after his release may contain the cause of their forced landing.

    Regards,

    Ian

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    It would be interesting to learn what actually happened, Ian (you shouldn't have mentioned the weather - I had to look). Cany-Barville (just northeast of Le Havre), where Hillman came down (http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/04047.php), is about 240 NM east of Portreath, yet the weather charts for that day show the winds were broadly from the southwest. To say he was off-course would be putting it mildly.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 21st April 2016 at 10:46. Reason: Removed ambiguity

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    Hello Brian,

    Yes it will be interesting to know just what went on that day, perhaps if someone has or had contact with Ambus more of this story will evolve, but a bit of a long shot. The PoW report would make interesting reading wonder if Joss has a copy ?

    Ian

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    Take off from Portreath to Casablanca
    Forced landing at Cany-Barville
    strange ??

    I have some informations about P/O AMBUS

    Abraham AMBUS RAF VR 144797
    P/O 22/04/1943
    F/O 22/10/1943
    F/Lt 02/04/1945

    POW Camp L3 POW n 1486

    Regards
    Dominique

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    I'm not sure your interpretation is correct, Dominique, unless you have some information not generally known. According to 219 Squadron's ORB, V8840 never reached Portreath (see #5 above). On leaving Catterick (54 deg 21 min N, 01 deg 43 min W) its heading for Portreath (50 deg 16 min N, 05 deg 17 min W) should have been roughly southwest. In fact Cany-Barville (49 deg 47 min N, 00 deg 38 min E) bears south by east from Catterick. I appreciate the pilot would not have deliberately flown in this direction, but if he was lost why did he not request a fix to determine his position?

    As Ian has noted the answer is probably in Ambus's PoW report.

    Brian

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    All this is very interesting ! At last we know now who was the navigator .

    Abraham Ambus' POW report would be far appreciated if traced . Beaufighter V8840 seems intact on her belly , despite obvious fire . Did Ian Hillan die from wounds , or was he killed while escaping ? Maybe the answer is in Ambus' account .

    From the French gendarmerie report in hand , the plane went down at 4.15 pm after being hit by Flak . The crash-landing occured in the vicinity of Janville airfield ( which became Camp Lucky Strike after liberation ) .

    Zorglub

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