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Thread: 249 & 27 Squadrons AIR27 Records/Summary of Events Request?

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    Default 249 & 27 Squadrons AIR27 Records/Summary of Events Request?

    Hi all

    I had the pleasure of meeting the nephew of JB Nicolson VC, DFC last Friday and he spoke about researching his late Uncle's service in greater detail.

    I explained about the AIR27 files, that I would ask on his behalf if anyone has these available and lastly, be happy to provide them to him.

    The 249 Sq files would be for 1940.

    The 27 Squadron files would be for 1943-1944.

    Thanks in advance of any assistance.

    Best,


    Nick
    Last edited by Nick Budd; 10th July 2017 at 12:39.

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    Hi
    I have 249's ORB for 1940 and also his casualty file for 1940.
    Would be happy to email them.
    Gerry

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    Hi Ged

    Saw your post, thank you, that would be very kind.

    I cannot send a PM as your box as your PM capacity is full though.

    Best,


    Nick

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    Hi Nick
    I have tried to delete some old messages, if it still doesn't work you can contact me here:
    gedburke3ATyahooDOTcoDOTuk

    Gerry

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    Hi, Nick,

    I have the RAAF A705 casualty files of two of the men who died with Nicolson when 355 Sqn Liberator KH210 went down in the Bay of Bengal on 2 May 1945. Some great info on the loss of the Lib. I'll send you an email.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Hello

    There's also a casualty pack in The National Archives at Kew, reference AIR 81/1463, which covers the downing on 16 August 1940. It would make interesting reading and might contain correspondance with the pilot's parents.

    Joss

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Poole View Post
    Hi, Nick,

    I have the RAAF A705 casualty files of two of the men who died with Nicolson when 355 Sqn Liberator KH210 went down in the Bay of Bengal on 2 May 1945. Some great info on the loss of the Lib. I'll send you an email.

    Cheers,

    Matt
    Slight correction. OF the two Australians aboard, one (D.T. Nicolson -- same surname) died and one (M.H. Pullen) survived the ditching.

    Here's a summary I put together regarding the loss of KH210 on 2 May 1945 -- the 355 Sqn Liberator in which J.B. Nicolson VC was a passenger:

    118069 S/Ldr Gerald Anthony DeSouza (skipper) and his 11 crewmates (including 39329 W/Cdr James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC, flying as an observer) were airborne from Salbani, India at 0051 on 2 May, bound for the Rangoon, Burma area on a 355 Squadron bombing op.

    At an unclear time (official records are conflicting) in good weather on the outward leg, No. 1 engine caught fire and was quickly feathered. Bombs were jettisoned. The aircraft reversed course for Salbani, and the following message was sent: “Position 2052’ N, 8933’ E. Height 3000 feet. Course 305. Ground speed 135 mph.”

    Shortly afterwards the aircraft rolled to starboard, the automatic pilot was disengaged, and normal flying was momentarily regained by the experienced S/Ldr DeSouza and his 2nd pilot, 434840 F/Sgt Michael Henry Pullen RAAF, using their combined strength on the controls. However, the tendency to roll continued. It became necessary to throttle back on the three good engines to keep the aircraft level, but this resulted in a gradual loss of height.

    Ultimately S/Ldr DeSouza ordered the crew to prepare for ditching. At 200 feet the aircraft again rolled to starboard, at which moment S/Ldr DeSouza was heard by F/Sgt Pullen to say, “I think the other engines are going.” The Liberator crashed approx. 10 minutes after feathering, and it seems probable that it hit the water on a starboard roll.

    The two injured survivors, F/Sgt Pullen and 1480397 Sgt Eric Leslie Kightley (front gunner), had no memory of the moment of impact, but Sgt Kightley, coming to his senses in the water, saw a large fire about 50 yards away, which he believed was the burning aircraft.

    Clinging to wreckage, they were rescued on 2 May at position 2118’ N, 8904’ E by separate Air/Sea Rescue Catalinas. They had heard the shouts of two other crew members in the water, but they drifted out of shouting range. Neither survivor had seen or heard of R/251292 F/Sgt Samuel Arthur Doherty (2nd W/Op), whose body was recovered.

    Nine men were never found despite an Air/Sea Rescue operation over the next days. There was no clear evidence of the cause of the handling problems experienced by the pilots. One theory was that an engine or engines on the starboard side were cutting intermittently.
    Last edited by Matt Poole; 16th July 2017 at 16:05. Reason: Adding more info

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    Matt - Many thanks for your kind help in providing this information. I have forwarded this on acknowledging you for this really interesting paperwork.

    Joss - thank you for the reference to the 1940 casualty file.

    Gerry - my thanks again for your kind help also.

    Tremendous stuff.

    Best


    Nick

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    Hi, Nick,

    I just received an email today from the son of the late Eric Kightley, one of the two survivors of Nicolson's crashed Liberator. Paul Kightley said that his son had found my email in regard to contact I'd had a few years ago with the son of DeSouza, the pilot -- something I now have no record of! I don't think Paul knew about Nicolson's relative doing a current search for info, but it would seem likely that Paul would also be willing to share info with this relative.

    I'm going to write soon to Paul to inform him of this RAF Commands Forum thread, and hopefully he will OK my sharing his email address with you off the board. Will let you know.

    I googled on "Eric Kightley" and "Nicolson", and one of the links was a book called "Singapore At War", which has some info I'd never read before. The three pages that cover the loss of Nicolson's Liberator just happen to be available for viewing:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=oR...colson&f=false

    You might want to pass this along to Nicolson's kin.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Poole View Post
    Hi, Nick,

    I just received an email today from the son of the late Eric Kightley, one of the two survivors of Nicolson's crashed Liberator. Paul Kightley said that his son had found my email in regard to contact I'd had a few years ago with the son of DeSouza, the pilot -- something I now have no record of! I don't think Paul knew about Nicolson's relative doing a current search for info, but it would seem likely that Paul would also be willing to share info with this relative.

    I'm going to write soon to Paul to inform him of this RAF Commands Forum thread, and hopefully he will OK my sharing his email address with you off the board. Will let you know.

    I googled on "Eric Kightley" and "Nicolson", and one of the links was a book called "Singapore At War", which has some info I'd never read before. The three pages that cover the loss of Nicolson's Liberator just happen to be available for viewing:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=oR...colson&f=false

    You might want to pass this along to Nicolson's kin.

    Cheers,

    Matt
    Matt, apols for late response, I have been away. Many thanks for this, really appreciated.

    Jim's nephew was thrilled with the information you kindly provided BTW.

    Thanks again.


    Nick

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