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Thread: AC2 Thomas Mason 549132 25/6/40

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    Default AC2 Thomas Mason 549132 25/6/40

    Some years back I posted a request on here asking for info on my Uncle Thomas. I recall a reply that he was stationed in Lille in 1940 but have lost the exact info. Briefly he was known to be injured (a letter written by a nurse on his behalf) stating he was being sent home on a Hospital Train. Nothing after that save the usual telegrams etc then a package some months later from The American Red Cross containing his wallet and pipe. Family thoughts were he was on the Lancastria . I understand that the date 25/6/40 to be a notional date used for missing casualties in France. If anyone can fill in the gaps, especially the unit and ORB if one exists it would be greatly appreciated. He is commemorated at Runnymede Thanks Pete

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    Pete,

    RAF Overseas War Deaths lists his unit as 7 ASP (Air Stores Park)

    Mark

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    Hi Pete

    He was aboard the Lancastria and CWGC records his death as 17 June

    Malcolm

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    You don't say, Pete, if you have your uncle's service record - it can be obtained quite easily following the procedure at https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-pers...sonnel-records (but make sure you use the forms for RAF personnel). This will provide a record of the units with which he served, and when. Admittedly, in this case there wiil not be a great number of entries due to the brevity of his service and it will probably end with his arrival at his overseas unit - not what happened after.

    However, what I don't understand, if he died on the Lancastria, how the American Red Cross came to be in possession of his personal effects. The retreat from eastern France to St Naziare and subsequent embarkation on the Lancastria was was little better than chaos in a lengthy description of events, written at the time, by Wing Commander D Macfadyen; Macfadyen was responsible for over 200 men attempting to escape from Nantes (AIR 35/190).

    I should add there was NO manifest for the people embarking on the Lancastria, and the authorities spent a considerable amount of time after the event attempting to compile such a list from survivors (AIR 35/190).

    Brian

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    Marks, thanks for that info. Malcolm, death on CWGC is 25/6 (just checked). Where did you get the Lancastria info from? Lyffe- not got his records. No idea how the ARC had his possessions, my understanding is that they had a hospital in Paris but nothing in the field. The Nurse's letter hasn't survived tho' I've seen the effects box. No dates or other info on it. Would his number give a rough indication of when he joined? I suspect he might have had the option of sign up, remain in or go to jail/Borstal as he had quite a previous history and was certainly in Portland Borstal 1932-3 although I have found the court cases in the press the final sentencing trial isn't to be found so no idea how long he served.

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    549132 is in the block 505001-549999 allocated to civilian recruits from Oct 1939 onwards.
    HTH
    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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    Great, thanks

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    Pete (et al)
    Did a little bit of internetting whilst waiting for something else to happen.
    Enlisted number 549132 is very near the end of that block. When did it cease to be allocated?
    [This series of nexts from Surtevant FT&SU 1912+ to whom mni tks]
    7 ASP was planned from Apr 1939 to be part of the 2nd Ech of the AASF.
    Formed 15 Sep 39 at Henlow. 17 May 40 at Bertangles (note Bertangles and Lille are 50 sm apart. Betangles is 80 sm N of Paris (note that the Americans were, at this time, still technically ‘neutral’)).
    19 May 40 en route to a port for passage to UK.
    Then comes a very odd phrase “6.44 HALTON”. (Anybody else with that edition of Sturtevant might care to comment?).
    Then 7 ASAP ‘disbanded 19 Jun 40’.
    Bear in mind Lyffe’s ‘chaos’ (earlier) – and I’ve read the Macfadyen AAR (most ‘hairy’!!).
    St Nazaire is c.300 sm (via Paris?) from Bertangles. A month ‘on the road’ at c.10 sm per day would put 7 ASP in the Paris area around 29 May 40.
    OK – you can juggle with figures/places/times/dates. I simply give you this as a hypothesis.
    HTH and 'over to you'
    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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    Pete,

    Irrespective what I suggested about the brevity of his record I suggest you get it anyway; all we can do here is provide advice as we see it, but without the benefit of that record. If nothing else it might indicate when he left his unit for hospital, and why.

    For anyone interested the American Hospital in Paris is described at https://www.american-hospital.org/en...o-freedom.html. It appears to have been staffed by French medical personnel.

    I suggest the 25 June 1940 date probably marks the end date of adminstrative searches for survivors on the Lancastria. I do not have a full copy of entries, but the file title of AIR 35/190 is S.S. "LANCASTRIA" : Lists of R.A.F. casualties and survivors with related correspondence, and other nominal lists of R.A.F. personnel. My own interest is in the meteorologists who were on the vessel, and I was fortunate in finding a list of those who survived.

    Brian

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    Pete,

    Further to my last post, I should have added that I can send you a copy of Macfadyen's very emotional and angry report which describes only too well the total chaos that existed at St Nazaire.

    Beian

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