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Thread: Loss of 408 Sqdn Lancasters DS632 & LL632

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    Default Loss of 408 Sqdn Lancasters DS632 & LL632

    Is there anyone with access to a copy of the 408 Sqdn Operations Record Book (and a few spare minutes) who can help resolve the complicated situation surrounding the loss of Lancaster II DS632, and any possible confusion with LL632.

    Chorley and the usual Lancaster reference books are largely in agreement about the loss of LL632 as EQ-G (Capt: F/S BV Greip) of 408 Sqdn on operation to Leipzig on 19-20/2/44. However, on the Form 78 (Aircraft Movement Card) the Cat E (Missing) date is given as 21/2/44.

    The fate of DS632 is less straightforward. Air-Britain’s Lancaster File and Mason’s ‘Avro Lancaster’ report it lost over Berlin on 23-24/11/43, as EQ-O according to Mason, but Chorley makes no mention of DS632 on that night. Similarly Cooper, in ‘Bombers over Berlin’ has no reference to DS632 on 23-24/11/43. But the books by Holmes and Robertson agree on 20/2/44 as the ‘Missing’ date for DS632. This is supported by the F.78, but not by Chorley, who makes no mention of DS632 on that night either. So what happened to DS632? And when did it happen? Anyone still with me?

    Hopefully the 408 Sqdn ORB between Nov 1943 and Feb 1944 might contain the answers, can any one help?

    As a side-issue: Chorley shows one 408 Sqdn loss on 23-24/11/43 – F/O DM Bell in LL623 (Aagh, those digits again) EQ-J. Cooper also shows one loss – F/O DM Bell in LL625 EQ-U. The F.78s for LL623 and LL625 show that neither served with 408 Sqdn!

    I think I’ll take up knitting ……

    Regards

    Allan

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    To add to the confusion, here is some information I got from a list of RCAF Lancasters available at www.rcaf.com, and from notes received from Tony Wilson in Australia:

    DS632 - lost over Berlin on 24 November 1943, with 408 Squadron

    LL632 - With No. 432 Squadron, RCAF, coded "QO*G". With No. 408 Squadron, RCAF, coded "EQ*G" when lost. Failed to return from operation over Leipzig 20 February 1944, shot down by night fighter. 2 killed, 5 POW.

    LL623 - Used by No. 408 Squadron, RCAF, coded "EQ*J", and EQ*U" when lost. flew 2 operations. Failed to return from operation over Berlin on 24 November 1943, no survivors.

    There are extracts of the 6 Group records on line at www.rcaf.com/6group/, and these confirm my information for LL 632 and LL623, but there is no mention of DS632 on 24 November 1943, or on 20 February 1944.

    Also, I have no record of LL625 serving with an RCAF unit.
    Last edited by Bill Walker; 30th November 2007 at 18:35. Reason: added note about LL625

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    Default Re: Loss of 408 Sqdn Lancasters DS632 & LL632

    Thanks for your additions, Bill. That tidies up LL623, but doesn’t do much for the DS632 confusion, I’m afraid.

    I think that the 408 Sqdn ORB holds the best chance, and it doesn’t appear that anyone has access to that. So it’s on the list for my next expedition to our National Archives at Kew.

    Cheers

    Allan

  4. #4
    Chris Shackleton Guest

    Default 408 Sqn

    I have a copy of the ORB

    It confirms LL623 lost on night of 23/24.11.43

    LL632 G lost on the night of 19/20.02.44

    No mention of DS632 in Dec, Jan, Feb; however there is a DS692 S appearing regularly in Jan 44. This is the only DS6xx appearing in this period, all the others are DS7xx or DS8xx

    CS

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    Thanks for this info. Here are my notes on DS692:

    Used by No. 408 Squadron, RCAF, coded "EQ*S". Flew 49 operations. Bombed Berlin on 27/28 January 1944. Crash on takeoff at Marston Moor for raid on Kiel on 23 July 1944, wing failure. No injuries.

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    Hi gents,

    I don't know if this helps but cwgc deaths commemorated 24/11/1943 include:

    408 Squadron
    BELL, DOUGLAS MACKENZIE

    HANTON, LLOYD GEORGE

    HISCOCK, REUBEN OLIVER

    QUINNEY, ROBERT ALFRED

    SHEA, RONALD GEORGE BARCLAY

    SMITH, HAROLD

    WILLIAMS, RONALD GEORGE

    405 Squadron
    CLARKE, HENRY THOMAS

    CRITCHLOW, RICHARD NOEL PICKWELL

    GOSS, JOHN EDWARD

    HATELEY, AUBREY PETER

    HIGGS, WILLIAM CHARLES

    MOSS, EDWIN JOHN BARNES


    Other RCAF
    BESWICK, HERBERT RUSSELL

    BREHN, THOMAS JOHN

    Other RAF
    CORBETT, JOHN EDWIN

    FERGUSON, DONALD

    MOUNTAIN, EDWARD RICHARD ERNEST

    MURPHY, TERRENCE GUILLANNY

    There were also losses for 7 and 44 squadrons

    Howard

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    Default Re: Loss of 408 Sqdn Lancasters DS632 & LL632

    Thanks for the ‘input’, gentlemen. I’m coming to the conclusion that DS632 was never on charge to 408 Sqdn. That’s certainly indicated by what Chris has found, or rather not found, in the 408 Sqdn ORB.

    Looking again at the Movement Card (F.78) for DS632, it has just three entries.
    The second line is simply ‘408 Sqdn’ without any date or authority, and the third line says ‘Cat E (Missing) 20.2.44 FB/A419’. Both entries seem to be in the same hand. If the recording clerk received details of the loss of LL632, incorrectly annotated as DS632, he/she would find no mention of 408 Sqdn on the card, and would therefore make the necessary correction. No date of issue to 408 Sqdn could be added because no date was known at that time. The loss date of LL632 would then be appended as the third line of DS632’s movement card.

    So if these entries are accepted as a case of ‘entered in error’, then the only evidence of DS632 serving with 408 Sqdn disappears.

    The first line of the F.78 might have offered a clue, but the vital bit is unreadable. DS632 was taken on charge by C.RD (Controller of Research and Development) on 6.6.43 under authority 1632/1. Unfortunately, the CRD department reads as T.I/.U. or perhaps T.V.U, neither of which means anything to me. My microfilm of Ministry of Supply movement cards also draws a blank, no card for DS632.

    So I think I know what didn’t happen to DS632, but am no nearer to knowing what did happen!

    Incidentally, Bill, regarding DS692, Chorley records that the wing leading edge failure occurred shortly after take-off from Linton-on-Ouse and the subsequent crash on landing was at Marston Moor.

    Thanks again, chaps

    Allan

  8. #8
    PAULINEMCDONNELL Guest

    Default Lancaster DS632

    According to my late fathers Log book he flew in this Lancaster DS632 in 1943. He was ground crew at Weston Zoyland and at Weston Super Mare, but flew on Coastal bomb testing off the South coast. He always told us it was to do with the bouncing bomb development. My nephew has the log book in safe keeping, so I cannot check the dates but I will do so and post back. He also flew in Lancaster DS687, any one know it's fate?
    Pauline

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    Default Lancaster DS632

    Hi, Pauline

    It never ceases to amaze me how little gems of information pop up on this site!

    Having left the matter of Lancaster DS632 somewhat in the air, I was pleased to hear the suggestion that the strange symbols on its Aircraft Movement Card (AMC) might in fact be ‘TDU’, standing for Torpedo Development Unit, later Air Torpedo Development Unit. And on my last visit to the National Archive, I was able to confirm that the unit was using Lancasters at around the right time for DS632. Unfortunately no aircraft were mentioned by serial number. The TDU was based at Gosport, with a permanent detachment at Weston-Super-Mare and that’s where your father’s logbook puts DS632. So it looks like that is where it spent its life, test-dropping mines.

    You asked about DS687. That confirms the TDU connection, as it served from delivery on 25/6/43 to its strike-off date of 13/10/44 with TDU/ATDU. It was probably scrapped soon afterwards, its AMC doesn’t say.

    Any reference to operational squadrons on their AMCs therefore must be in error, probably for LL632 and LL687.

    Thanks very much for contributing those details, it has helped no end. One last favour, please: If I let you have my personal e-mail via a PM, could you send me scans of the pages from your father’s logbook?

    Regards

    Allan

  10. #10
    PAULINEMCDONNELL Guest

    Default Lancaster BS632

    Hope to get the logbook this weekend. I have sent you a PM.
    Regards Pauline

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