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Thread: P/O Larson of 1 PRU at Benson

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    Default P/O Larson of 1 PRU at Benson

    Hi,

    I would like to find more information about P/O Larson who flew reconnaissance flights ins a Spitfire over Germany, for example on 1.8.1942. He belonged to 1 PRU at Benson. That is all I know and I actually have no idea how to get further on. As I understand, PRU belonged to Coastal Command.

    Can anybody give me a few hints how to proceed?

    Thanks.

    Best.

    Marcel

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    Google will help.

    There's book called "Saint Praftu" which describes an American named F/O Larsen (no initials) who "came to Britain on his own initiative and volunteered in the RAF. On completion of training he was posted to No. 1 PRU on Spitfires"

    Goes on to say he transferred to the USAAF and "was killed in fierce fighting in southern Tunisia while carrying out a photo mission near Maknassy"

    http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=25033

    Dave

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    Hi Dave,

    google only gives good results when good questions are filled in. So mine must have been really bad and yours better. Thanks a lot for your help.

    Marcel

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    Hello,

    This info probably known to Andy Fletcher (but not mentioned in TOCH thread).

    30 July 1942.
    1 PRU
    Spitfire PR.IVT BR417*

    Took off at 1425 on sortie No. C129, but crash landed at Ford. The aircraft was later dispatched to No.43 Group.

    P/O LARSON (no further details).

    *
    Spitfire BR417 flew into high ground in cloud at Troon, 2m SE of Camborne, Cornwall on 17 February, 1943. The aircraft was in transit from Portreath to Gibraltar. The pilot, 1316061 Sgt John Joseph McCROHAN RAFVR, was killed.

    See:
    RAF Benson A Diary of Wartime Losses.
    Ottaway,Reginald H.
    Andover:Speedman Press,2010.
    pp.46 & 68.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 27th June 2017 at 02:11.

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    Hi Col,

    thanks for your help. I think that I am on a good way now.

    Marcel

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    I think that this Larson enlisted on 21.9.1942 to the USAAF and died on 12.2.1943 while flying over Tunesia. He was part of 12 Photo Reconn Squadron. But it would be good to know the whole name of the RAF Larson and his date of birth to prove it.

    Marcel

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    Hi Marcel,

    Roger Larson joined 1 PRU early in 1942 and after conversion was briefly with 'E' Flight before joining 'B' Flight. His last operational sortie with 1 PRU was on 16 Sep 42 when he covered Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk.

    1 PRU was part of Coastal Command but carried tasks for many agencies other than the Admiralty (Air Ministry, War Office, Bomber Command etc). Control of the PRU was a serious cause of friction between Coastal Command and Bomber Command, the latter always being particularly aggrieved that its demands weren't given a high enough priority.

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Hi Andy,

    thanks for your reply. I have seen that you had digged a little deeper in this topic a while ago. Could you prove that this is the same Roger Larson, who transferred to USAAF and died on 12.2.1943? Do you have any idea how I can get a photo of him?

    Thanks.

    Best.

    Marcel

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    Hi Marcel,

    Yes I looked into Larson a number of years ago in connection with his service with 1 PRU, my main area of research. It is definitely the same Larson. He is mentioned in 1 PRU documentation as having transferred to the USAAF in the autumn of 1942. Also a number of pilots who served on 1 PRU with him and later flew with 4 PRU in North Africa met him there when he was with 3rd PG. I'm sorry to say I haven't got a photo of him so if you find one I would be very interested in a copy.

    What is your interest in Larson?

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Hi Andy,

    thanks for your answer. Do you know the details of his death? I read that he was on a reconnaissance flight or on another mission ... in a thread of you in another forum.

    I am researching the raid against Duesseldorf on 31.7./1.8.1942. Larson flew a reconnaissance flight on 1.8.1942 in the Duesseldorf area. I want to mention this in a publication. That is the reason why I am searching for a few details and a photo.

    You may already know, there is a granite marker on a cemetery of him.

    Marcel

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