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Thread: Handley Page Halifax W7862 NP-D 158 Squadron

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    Default Handley Page Halifax W7862 NP-D 158 Squadron

    Hi everybody

    My first post. I am seeking further information about this aircraft.

    A close relative (Flight Sergeant Norman G E Perrett, 1164775) was on board when it was lost on returning from a raid on Genoa on the night of 23/24 October 1942.

    I have details of the crew, but am looking for further details, if any, about the reason for the aircraft 'disappearing' over the North Sea, or any details regarding previous flights with this aircraft.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Hi David,

    welcome aboard!
    I am afraid I would be not able to provide you any details about the 'disappearance'. The only thing is - are you sure with the North Sea? As the RAF Serials book by Air Britain mentioned "Crashed in the Channel."
    My feelings from the dribs and drabs we have is that they have been in touch with the ground and they possibly asked for fix several times so the approximate place of their 'disappearance' can be established.
    As for the cause we can only guess - it can be an engine failure (technical cause or damage from the flak for example) and we cannot exclude also running out of fuel. Trip to Genoa was a big hop and if they met a head wind they might be forced do ditch into the Channel before reaching the English coast. Ditching with four engine bomber on the heavy sea in the night definitely was not an easy job especially if they were short of fuel.

    But please consider my thoughts above just as a pure supposition.

    As for other flights - have you tried already the Operations Record Book (ORB) held by The National Archives in Kew, London?

    You can found it on their website:
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C2503687

    If you are not willing to visit the archive where you can check the digitised ORB free of charge you can buy particular months as an PDF online:

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...AIR+27%2F1048+

    where

    Records of Events: Y - day by day recording of operations

    Summary of Events: Y - monthly summary

    I am pretty sure that some other our members will come to help you shortly.

    Pavel
    Last edited by CZ_RAF; 27th December 2016 at 21:16. Reason: typo
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Aircraft joined 158 Squadron on 22nd September 1942 so could have gone to Flensburg 26th. September, Krefeld 2nd. October, Aachen 5th. October, Osnabruck 6th. October, Kiel 13th. October and Cologne 15th. October before final flight.
    Pilot on 12th. op when he was lost but crews seemed more casual in 1942 as the only member of the Genoa crew flying with the pilot on his 5th. operation to Bremen on 4/5 September was the flight engineer Sgt. Anderson. Crew were shot up on the next op but the rear gunner was then called North. (All information from 'In Brave Company - 158 Squadron Ops' by W.R. Chorley. Unless you have F/Sgt. Perrett's logbook to get his full career you will need the ORB as Pavel suggested.

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    Posted to 158sqdn from 405sqdn wef 18/5/42.
    Did not fly on as many ops as other crews, and mainly under a W/C Stevens, pilot, but one with a S/Ldr Hewitt.

    25th June, Bremen, as M/Upper for Stevens.
    8th July, Wilhelmshaven, W/Op for Stevens.
    19th July, Vegesack, W/Op S/Ldr Hewitt
    23rd July, Duisburg, W/Op for Stevens.
    26th July, Hamburg, .. .. .. ..
    31st July, Dusseldorf, .. .. .. ..
    No ops flown during August.
    2nd Sept, Karlsruhe, W/Op for Stevens.
    16th Sept, Essen, did not take off, M/U turret u/s electrical fault.
    23rd Oct, Genoa, Hughes crew, lost.

    W7862 flew 2 previous ops with 158sqdn to this last one, 15th Oct to Cologne, and 13th Oct to Kiel

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    Hi CZ_RAF!
    Many thanks for your prompt and most informative reply.
    On rechecking my notes from research so far, you are quite right about the North Sea error. It was in fact the Channel where the aircraft went down. I know this as two bodies from the crew were washed up near Calais and are buried near there.
    I will certainly follow up your other recommended points of research. I am most intrigued by your mention of radio communications as my late mother, who was Norman's first cousin, mentioned more than once that there had been such communications, the last of which may have been along the lines of 'we're all right, should reach land' or some such.

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    Hi AlanW
    Excellent information. Many thanks. This tends to confirm other info that suggests Norman was the W/Op on the last flight. As I mentioned in my reply to CZ_RAF there is a family 'tradition' that radio communications were heard that would have been from him, presumably. Could I ask where you found your info regarding Norman's RAF career?

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    Hi John Larder
    Thanks for your reply. Most interesting in regards to the history of the aircraft. I have also noted from my research so far that the crews seemed to change frequently, and AlanW's response indicates that Norman flew with different pilots and different crews. Two of my late uncles also flew during the war, both in Lancasters, and both survived, but they remember flying with one crew all the time unless one member was incapacitated. I shall chase down Chorley's book as you suggest.

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    The information comes from the 158sqdn ORB (Operations Record Book) of which i have a copy, and although i have a copy of the 405sqdn ORB also, i cannot find any sign of him in any crew lists right back to Jan 42, so the record of him coming in to 158sqdn from 405sqdn on 18th May, may be an error in the records. If you would like scans of the 158sqdn pages that refer to him, then please pm me with your email address and i'll get them off to you within the next couple of days.

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    Hello

    I'm interested in this crew as OLIVER and THOMAS are buried in the Pas-de-Calais département. The grave concentration form for OLIVER shows he was initially buried in Marquise cemetery, before being transfered to the Calais Canadian War Cemetery in Leubringhen.

    Pihen-les-Guines is a "concentration" cemetery, and unfortunately there's no grave concentration form for THOMAS, in case he would have been buried in another cemetery before, on the sea shore.

    Local journalist André Chaussois, from Calais, wrote that the body of THOMAS was found on the beach at Escalles on 8th November. That's east of Calais. He also wrote that the body of OLIVER was also found on the shore, but at Audresselles, no date given. That's on the other side of Calais, towards Boulogne. This makes an initial burial of OLIVER in Marquise very logical.

    OLIVER and THOMAS being both R.C.A.F. members, it's possible to access their service file at the National Archives of Canada, or ask the free genealogical package, but I can't order one any more, or it would take ages. That's a track you can also follow, DohaDavid

    The Navigator was F/Sgt Lloyd Denzil CLARK, R.N.Z.A.F.. Errol Martyn in "For your Tomorrow" states it was his 9th op (325 flying hours). In FYT3, no mention of a posting to 405 Sqn. 11 O.T.U. on 20 January 1942, 22 O.T.U. on 20 May (both were on Wellingtons), 1652 Conversion Unit on 21 June 1942, where CLARK did one op, then 158 Sqn on 5 July remustered Air Navigator (B)(8 op)

    It should be possible to have the small biography of CLARK by contacting the New Zealand Defense Force historical service.

    I haven't studied this crew in detail, as their Halifax came down in the Channel, but I'm interested to know more.

    I can send DohaDavid pictures of both graves, if he's interested. My contact détails are in my profile.

    HTH

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 29th December 2016 at 18:30.

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    Thanks everybody! Most impressed with speed and detail of responses.

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