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Thread: Sqd.leader John Henry franks dfc. Kia 29.6.1942 (moved). Service no. 86720.

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    Default Sqd.leader John Henry franks dfc. Kia 29.6.1942 (moved). Service no. 86720.

    I am researching my great uncle above after visiting Runnymede last month. I have bought a copy of bomber command vol1 by Martin bowman where he is mentioned piloting x-X-ray. Does anyone have any further info or photos or links as I am new to this. Thank you. Nick

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    Dear Nick
    Can I suggest you get his service record from RAF Cranwell. It will cost you, but in the long term it will be worth it. http://www.raf.mod.uk/links/contacts.cfm
    Once you have the info or where he served and when, it will be worth looking at the appropriate ORB's at Kew.
    I am sure that you will get lots more advice as you progress. We are a frienly bunch of like minded souls.
    Happy hunting
    James

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    Hi Nick,

    He was pilot of Wellington Z1578 DX- for an attack on Bremen on the night of 29/30 June 1942. They took off at Feltwell at 2335 and failed to return.

    The full crew was;

    S/L J H Franks DFC

    P/O R J Jackson RCAF

    P/O B A Miller RCAF

    Sgt P E Gartell

    P/O P E O'Meare

    Sgt N Windle

    All are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Good luck,

    John.

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    Hello Nick,

    The X-X-Ray, you refer to, was actually; No.149 Squadron's W5439 OJ-X:

    31 Mar/1 Apr 1941.

    The two Wellington Mark IIs were bombed up with two further Wellingtons as escorts, and a similar arrangement was set up at No.9 Squadron. As it turned out, each squadron managed to put only one of their Mark II Wellingtons in the air. W5399, 'OJ-Q', with the nose art 'The Wizard of Oz' failed to get airborne , sliding into a neighbouring field of barley. 'Oz' was the nickname for Australia, so maybe the pilot was Australian, as quite a few Commonwealth crews flew with No.149 Squadron. The target was marked by Wellington R5413 from No.9 Squadron piloted by Squadron Leader K M M Wasse. With Pilot Officer Franks at the controls and Alex More as navigator, No.149's W5439 'OJ-X'* dropped the first 4,000-lb High Capacity bomb over Emden. The bomb fell on the quay at the extreme south of the estuary, with a huge yellowish explosion, covering a large area, and throwing huge quantities of debris into the air. It was followed by a further 4,000-lb bomb dropped by No.9 Squadron.

    Greg (Greg Gregory) was, 'Second Dickie' on one of the new Wellington Mk.IIs which was being piloted by Johnny Franks, who in Greg's words was; "A first rate chap who was killed on his second tour"...

    * FTR Dusseldorf, No.149 Sqn. 11/12-6-1941 BCL2/64.

    See:
    Strong By Night 'Fortis Nocte':History and Memories of No.149 (East India) Squadron Royal Air Force 1918/19 - 1937-56.
    Johnston,John & Nick Carter.
    Tunbridge Wells:Air-Britain (Historians),2002.
    pp.36-37

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 22nd September 2016 at 12:52.

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    Hello Nick.

    First: Congratulations to keep the memory of your Great Uncle alive. It is very importante for Family members and youngsters to preserve that History, which is indeed RAF, Bomber Command and England History as well.

    I recommend you to contact Dr. Theo Boithen, acclaimed Historian of the Nachtjagd. He is finishing the 2nd Edition of "The Nachtjagd War Diaries" and is covering ALL claims made by the German Night-Fighters and Flak units...
    There were two claims against Vickers Wellingtons that particular night (that I found....others claims were made by airmen from NJG 3 and NJG 2 as well).
    Since your Great Uncle is remembered at Runnymede (which I visited in 2014), it is possible that his machine crashed onto the water and was never found. If it had crashed onto Germany or Holland it was possible to find it, therefore the full crew would have being buried, etc...
    There is a great possibility of S/L John Henry Franks, DFC (RAFO 86720) being claimed by Oberleutnant Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weissenfels, an ace with the Ritterkreuz by then (Knight's Cross) and Staffelkapitän of 5./NJG 2 at that time, who claimed a Wellington to the South of Ameland.
    I do remain yours, most sincerely
    Adriano S. Baumgartner

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    Nick,

    Just to throw a spanner in the works there is a letter on file from the Air Ministry to OC, No. 4 MREU dated 31 January 1948:

    The only information known about the above Aircraft and crew is in the form of a photostatic copy of burial for
    Squadron Leader Franks which shows that he is buried in Oldenburg (Sage) British Cemetery Plot VII, Row F, Grave 15
    You might want to check with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to get to the bottom of this.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by alieneyes View Post
    Nick,

    Just to throw a spanner in the works there is a letter on file from the Air Ministry to OC, No. 4 MREU dated 31 January 1948:



    You might want to check with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to get to the bottom of this.

    Regards,

    Dave
    Looks like a simple matter of misidentification:

    26053 S/L Alexander Lumsden FRANKS AFC RAF (+ 29-5-1940 BCL1 [rev.ed.]/36), originally buried Memmert Sand (Frisian Islands), reburied Oldenburg (Sage) British Cemetery, Plot VII., Row F, Grave 15, 21/6/1947.

    http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/ca...NDER%20LUMSDEN

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 23rd September 2016 at 10:01.

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