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Thread: Looking for a crew memebers that died with my dad

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for a crew memebers that died with my dad

    Looking for my dad
    My father, Sgt David Glassman aged 22, was killed on the 12th June 1943 on his first operation for 51 Squadron. The aircraft was a Halifax MK2 bomber HR788 and took off from RAF Snaith at 23:51, 11th June 1943 on a bombing mission to Dusseldorf and was not heard of again. This aircraft was one of three 51 Squadron aircraft lost that night. His remains were not found.
    My mother at the time was twenty years old and three months pregnant and my father was 22. Not knowing my father and for many year afterwards most of the details were never told to me, even though we were very close to my fatherís family.
    I immigrated to Israel 45 years ago and the story of my father has been passed onto my kids and grandchildren as much as I knew. When finally I asked my mother some pertinent questions later on in life, the answers were very vague, all I knew was my father RAF number and his base where he took off on the fatal mission.
    I started to look through the internet and slowly with the help of many people in the RAF the whole picture became clearer. The RAF sent me the daily flight log and also the planes number, my mother always thought it was a Welling ton bomber, but it turned out to be a Halifax. This was all a few years ago and then a couple of days ago I received a message from the RAF 51 Squadron History Society who were following up a Dutchmanís inquiry into the grave that he adopted in Holland of one of the fallen airmen. The society got in touch with me and it is now an ongoing story, down to the fact of the German pilot who shot down the plane.
    What would we ever do without the internet that seems to be used for all sorts of bad and misleading things, and then a story like mine makes it all worth well.
    Thank you to all those who have helped me and that are continuing to help me.
    I would like to hear from any living family.

    These are the details of the crew.
    James Anderson Pilot Edinburgh
    Antony Heliwell Navigator Kendal
    Albert Brodie Bomb Aimer Liverpool
    George Luff Flight Engineer Portsmouth
    Fredrick Biddel Air Gunner London
    George Evens Air Gunner Scunthorpe
    David Glassman Wireless Operator London (My Dad)

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    Hi Danny and welcome,

    Just to follow up on Col's reply, it's was a busy night for Ofw Reinhard Kollak for his 20, 21 and 22 victories. You Dad's aircraft was the last for Kollak that night. Reinhard Kollak would survive the war with 49 victories. I have a photo of him if you would like a scan copy contact me on harleyDOT158ATbigpondDOTcom replace the DOT & AT with the usual.

    Regards,

    John.

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    What a sad story; I hope you get some responses from relatives of your father's crew.

    Just a thought about your mother's recollection: bomber crews at the time 'crewed up' at an OTU (Operational Training Unit) and trained for operational flying on Wellingtons; after completing this, they would take a conversion course to one of the four-engined types (Stirling, Halifax or Lancaster), adding a flight engineer and a mid-upper gunner to the crew to do so. As your father was killed on his first operation with 51 Sqdn much of his flying would in fact have been on Wellingtons.

    Cheers, Pat.
    Last edited by Pat; 9th October 2017 at 12:40. Reason: typo

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    Hello Danny,

    Here's the full German claims details, the victory was achieved in GCI box Hamster based at Domburg on the Dutch coast, it was Kollak's 21st confirmed victory:

    Ofw. Reinhard Kollak: 21 7./NJG4, det. 1./NJG1 Lancaster sea 3 km SW Scherpenisse (KH 5, Hamster): 6.000 m. 01.24 51 Sqn Halifax HR788

    Hope of use,

    Best regards, Theo

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    Default Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by John Williams View Post
    Hi Danny and welcome,

    Just to follow up on Col's reply, it's was a busy night for Ofw Reinhard Kollak for his 20, 21 and 22 victories. You Dad's aircraft was the last for Kollak that night. Reinhard Kollak would survive the war with 49 victories. I have a photo of him if you would like a scan copy contact me on harleyDOT158ATbigpondDOTcom replace the DOT & AT with the usual.

    Regards,

    John.
    Dear John , thank you so much for your answer. I have only just found your answer here after such a long time. Because of people like you and also of the historical team of the 51 squadron from Snaith, I now have the full story of my fathers death.I will be going to Holland to visit the five graves of the members that were found, and onto Pollington in April for a reunion of the 51st Squadron, then onto Runnimead to see the memorial there. Once again thank you for your help.
    Danny Sheffer
    Kibbutz Gazit
    Israel
    danny.sheffer@gmail.com

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    Thanks Danny,

    I did the same back in 1990 to visit an Aussie who was engaged to my Aunty who is buried in Berlin War Cemetery it is still one of my best memories and I am so glad I did it.

    Regards,

    John.

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    Have you found relatives of the other crew members?. If not I'm happy to try and see if I can find as I have Ancestry membership.
    Regards,
    Ann

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