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Thread: Blenheim T2245 (113 Sqn). Crew Murdered? Sgt GOSS, WHITESIDE, MURRAY

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    Default Blenheim T2245 (113 Sqn). Crew Murdered? Sgt GOSS, WHITESIDE, MURRAY

    The book "The Bamboo Workshop: The History of the RAF Repair & Salvage Units India/Burma 1941-1946" by R S Sansome mentions about the loss of Blenheim T2245 of 113 Squadron operating out of Ranchi on Page 78.

    The crew forcelanded after engine malfunction at "Kotihar". But were surrounded by a hostile mob (The area was seeing Anti-British unrest at that time). The crew handed over their pistols but were murdered.

    A salvage party belonging to 122/143RSU went to the site a month later . Very little of the aircraft was salvaged. (There is an account of a second Blenheim meeting the same fate).

    As per CWGC, the crew of the aircraft who were murdered were

    Sgt Stanley Arthur GOSS R77142
    Sgt Charles Alexander WHITESIDE 1181362
    Sgt Arthur Murray 980175


    They are all collectively buried in a communal grave at the Ranchi War Cemetery, Bihar.

    There is a page on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial to GOSS, - http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/rememb...detail/2807338 this includes the following snippet which reports that his body was not recovered.



    My questions
    - is there any additional information in the 113 Sqn ORB regarding this incident?
    - If his body was not recovered at that time, how did the remains come to be in the Ranchi Cemetary? Any additional information on when his remains were found?
    - Are there any investigative documents reports available of this incident?

    Sansome also writes about a second Blenheim meeting the same fate - crewed by Sgt JULIAN and Sgt GREAVES both killed flying Blenheim Z7943. But I cannot locate them in CWGC.
    Last edited by Jagan; 24th April 2016 at 00:04.

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    Two locations given in the book were "Kotihar" and Paroha Town. There is a Paroha town in Bihar state, and an area called "Kathaiya" "Kathaia" which phonetically is close to Kotihar.. This seems to be the general area that the ac went down.

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    Jagan,

    Goss was not murdered by the mob, he was killed in the crash of Blenheim IV T2245 on 18-8-1942.

    1018129 F/Sgt John Phillip Reginald JULIAN RAFVR, 80219 P/O John Henry THWAITS RAFVR and 1259996 Sgt Francis Murray GREAVES RAFVR (of No.34 Squadron), were murdered on 30-8-1942 They are commemorated on the Singapore Memorial.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 24th April 2016 at 11:22.

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    Thanks Col, that didnt turn up in CWGC when i searched. I was looking up the wrong unit as well. Do you have a location for their crash? Sansome mentions "Rohias Railway Station" which I cant locate and the Blenheim crashed in a river next or near to a railway bridge. The Salvage team recovered much of the aircraft.

    As per him, the Julian and crew made it ashore and took refuge in the above mentioned Railway Station with the Station Master. However the mob forced the station master to hand over the crew.

    Killing of a British airman in the heartland of India (As opposed to the Frontier) would have been a major event with repercussions. I wonder how much of it was reported and what the retaliations were. On the other hand, it may have been kept a secret as not to encourage copycat lynchings in other parts of the country.

    Again i have the same questions, is there additional information in the ORB? Or elsewhere?

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    Jagan,

    Can't help with further information on either incident.

    Col.

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    Some additional mentions of the incident - arrived via a friend:

    113 Squadron website
    reports Blenheim T2245 113 Squadron

    T2245
    "18/08/1942 T2245 Mk? Crashed at Kalihah during internal security flight. F/Sgt Stanley. Goss killed in crash. Crew murdered by local inhabitants.

    The following [sic!] is an excerpt from the 113 ORB's as stated and recorded in F/O Woodwards book, page 10 NOTE: The date of this crash is recorded by Graham Warner as 18-08-1942”
    at http://113squadron.com/id21.htm
    http://113squadron.com/id25.htm Goss:
    "F/Sgt Stanley Goss, RCAF, a US citizen and former member of 45 Sqn attached to 113 Sqn.

    On August 20, 1942 Blenheim Mk? serial T2245, piloted by F/Sgt Goss crashed at Kalihah (Kotihar?) during internal security flight. The aircraft was one of two aircraft on an internal security patrol to watch for civil rioting. When the aircraft was found it was discovered that Goss had been killed in the crash but the Navigator and Air Gunner were murdered by the local inhabitants." (http://113squadron.com/id25.htm)
    Murray: no mention

    at http://113squadron.com/id29.htm Whitehead:
    "Charles Alexander Whiteside was born on 14th March,1919 son of Rev J.Whiteside of Derrytagh. He was a pupil at Lurgan College from 1st September, 1931 until 31st August, 1934, when he left to complete his education at Portadown College. During the war he served in 113 Squadron, R.A.F. Volunteer reserve, in which he was a Flight Sergeant. He saw service in India and Burma and it was there that Flt. Sgt. Whiteside died, on 18th August 1942. He is buried at Ranchi War Cemetery, India.

    Remembered on the Lurgan College memorial. The Memorial is situated in the entrance hall, beneath the bell tower, and consists of two stained glass windows, along with two brass plaques, containing the names of the dead. It is a custom of the school for a wreath to be laid at the memorial each Remembrance Day. http://www.geocities.com/craigavonhs...ollegewar.html

    *NOTE: According to F/O Pat Woodward book as derived from the Orbs, a P/O Whiteside died of a ruptured [sic] appendix on the 25th August 1942. I believe this to be one and the same person given the unlikely event that two Whitesides were on the same squadron and died within 7 days of each other. The fact that Charles has a known grave is another indication he died of an illness.”

    Woodward “No 113 (Crusader) Squadron Royal Air Force” (privately printed PG Woodward 2001)
    Essentially as reported by the 113 Sqn site author/s. Woodward cites the Sqn ORB but notes Goss's crash as 20 August and that Whiteside “died from an abscess [sic] on his appendix”.
    Halley, RAF Aircraft T1000-V9999 (Air Britain 1997) reports
    Blenheim IV:
    "T2245 11/113 [Sqn] Missing on internal security flight near Katihar [note sp] India 18.8.42"
    Warner "Bristol Blenheim" (Crecy 2nd edn 2005) reports
    "18-8-42
    T2245 113 Squadron: crashed at Kalihah during internal security flight; F/Sgt S Goss RCAF killed, F/Sgt C Whiteside and Sgt A Murray murdered by local mob, buried in Ranchi War Cemetery." Warner Ch 30 App 6 p582

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    Jagan,

    Re: WHITESIDE.

    113 Sqn. + 18/8/1942 - 1181362 F/Sgt Charles Alexander WHITESIDE RAFVR.
    Previously Reported Missing, Now Presumed Killed in Action.

    113 Sqn. + 25/8/1942 - 121211 P/O Ian William Hamilton Trevor WHITESIDE RAFVR.
    Died on Active Service.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 27th April 2016 at 08:43.

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    Not directly related.. but

    https://legionmagazine.com/en/2014/0...nese-aircraft/

    On Aug. 13, 1942, Pilot Officer Joseph H. Smith of Kamloops, B.C., was murdered as a hostile mob attacked a train at Futwak, northeastern India. Members of the fighting forces were more or less quarantined from India’s upheavals, but even walls of censorship and discipline were porous. - See more at: https://legionmagazine.com/en/2014/0....2z4rwX6h.dpuf
    Note the month - August 1942 - this seems to align with the "Quit India Resolution" of 8 Aug 1942 which caused widespread movements and these acts of violence

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    Somewhat related to the focus of this thread

    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Pennington-Legh.htm

    Blenheim Z7912 of 11 Sqn RAF, led a formation of two other aircraft on 1st June 1943 to bomb Kalemyo, Burma. During the bombing run at approx 0901 hours the starboard propeller of Z7912 was seen to fall off by the pilots in the other aircraft in formation, who followed the aircraft down to the Manipur river.
    The pilot of No. 2 in the formation called Z7912 on the R/T and Z7912 replied that he was going to follow the Manipur River. The aircraft was seen to jettison bombs and gradually lose height after turning away. The pilot of No. 2 aircraft later saw wreckage of what was assumed to be an aircraft in the Manipur River 26 miles north east of Haka approx 22.42N, 94.00E, with fire still issuing from only the wing tip above the water. Signs of a crash landing were seen on a sand pit but no sign of the crew. It was later established that the aircraft crashed at Kabani Sakan at 22.48N 93.58E, with no graves or bodies located after a search. Crew: W/Cdr. AW Pennington-Legh RAF, Flt. Lt. RJ Ingram RAAF DFC (Navigator/Bombaimer), Flt. Lt. B Burnley DFC RAAF (Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner).
    In early 1942 Pennington-Legh was commanding 11 Squadron, operating in Blenheims in the Western Desert. He took the squadron to Ceylon in March 1942. He was killed with the squadron on 1st June 1943, as a Wing Commander. He was shot down but having survived this he was captured and murdered by bandits.
    Though initially it was hoped the crew would walk back in, the ORBs of both 11 Sqn and 146 Sqn mention that ten days later the village where the Blenheim crashed was bombed and strafed - as retaliation for the murder of the crew.

    It is not mentioned as to when and how the reports of the murders trickled in. The ORBs mention this just out of the blue as a matter of fact.


    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...re&qmem=&cur=0
    Flight Lieutenant Bernard BURNLEY (407097)
    Flight Lieutenant Robert John INGRAM (400369)
    Wing Commander Alan William PENNINGTON-LEGH (37687)
    Last edited by Jagan; 26th March 2017 at 17:37.

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    Jagan,

    Not all the crew of No.11 Sqn Blenheim Z7912 were murdered. It is clear in later reports, that 2 members of the crew were killed in the crash of the Blenheim, and the other member was slaughtered. Unfortunately, the informants could not identify which two members where killed in the crash, and which one survived. This information was conveyed by signal from the OC No.XI Squadron Detachment, on 20th August, 1943. If you care to take a look at AUS400369 F/L Robert John Ingram's A705 (p.50 of 84), at the NAA, you can read the signal (I can't give you a direct link, I'm having problems accessing the NAA at the moment).

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 27th March 2017 at 07:27.

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