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Thread: 42 Squadron expert sought -- 1944, Imphal area, India

  1. #1
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    Default 42 Squadron expert sought -- 1944, Imphal area, India

    Greetings,

    Is there a 42 Squadron expert who might be willing to help me with a query involving operations in the Imphal area of India in the May-to-July 1944 period?

    Furthermore, I'd love to be able to make contact with 42 Sqn Hurribomber pilot F/O R. Campbell, if he is alive, or with his kin.

    I have found no evidence of a 42 Sqn book except a print-on-demand one that is a bit suspect to me, based on how I've seen some of my own work end up on such Internet offerings. The book may be legit, for all I know, but even then, if it doesn't help with my timeframe, or it's just a repeat of the ORB info, then it would not be worth purchasing.

    I haven't found evidence of a 42 Sqn Association, either. So many of these groups have packed it in, though 42 Sqn continued long after the war. Perhaps there is a group, and I've missed a link. Any help would be fantastic.

    Thanks, and Happy New Year,

    Matt

  2. #2
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    Matt,

    Is this the chap were talking about?

    14-3-1945
    42 Sqn/Ground Attack Training Unit (GATU)* RAF
    Hurricane IIC LF261

    Hit tree during practice dive-bombing 20m SE of Ranchi.

    150134 F/L Robert CAMPBELL RAFVR +

    Buried at Ranchi War Cemetery, India. 2.A.7.

    * CWGC quotes his unit as 42 Sqn, Jagan/A-B LA100-LZ999/30 - GATU.

    PS. I owe you, and quite a few others, an email. My system went haywire and I lost a lot of emails - a techie has been able to retrieve a quite a few of them, and I will reply to the ones he has located, shortly. Apologies to others.

    Happy New Year - Chin-up Mate!

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 30th December 2017 at 06:07.

  3. #3
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    Hi, Col,

    I had not gone the next step to look for a death. Thanks for your help! It's not a certainty, but you may have found my man. In fact, I'd venture a guess that you did find the correct R. Campbell who was a Hurricane pilot with 42 Squadron.

    I looked up the CWGC info on him and then went to freebmd.org.uk and found various corroborating details, including evidence of a sister, his parents' marriage, and his marriage. There's the possibility of a daughter or two, but I'm not sure when Robert Campbell departed the UK for India.

    Thanks, and I hope your resurrection from computer hell continues to bring positives. Don't worry about writing me an email -- there are so many other things to do that should take priority. Happy New Year!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Poole View Post
    Thanks, and I hope your resurrection from computer hell continues to bring positives. Don't worry about writing me an email -- there are so many other things to do that should take priority. Happy New Year!
    Matt, Let me know what you need from the time period you mention.

    FYI a sortie report related to 42 squadron from July that i uploaded a while ago mentions Campbell - http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries...7-SortieReport (This report is the one dealing with the popular clip of hurricanes dropping bombs on an Imphal Road in IWM collections).

    His death/Unit is confirmed by the RANCHI ORB - Campbell was attending a 'Leaders Course' with GATU in Ranchi when he crashed in the Hurricane LF261.

  5. #5
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    Something went wrong...my fault, no doubt...but I thought I'd posted a long reply. No time right now, but thanks, Jagan, and Errol Martyn -- who wrote me a separate email.

    I'm working on the case of Campbell and that video and two IWM still photos (CF175, CF 176) showing the Hurricane attack. The captions have huge errors, and those I'm working with have pinpointed the spot. I've been working on a letter to submit to the IWM. An Indian researcher who you know, Jagan, actually got the IWM to believe that he had identified the correct location -- and he's in error by a long, long way!

    Jagan, your link to the Sortie Report was something I've seen in the 42 Sqn ORB, and I didn't pay enough attention. That document is exactly what I need to fit into the letter after I revise some of my writing. Can't go into it now, but you've given me an important "aha" moment. Many thanks for that! I will eventually be in touch with you by email.

    Computer issues to work on, so I've got to flee... Later, and thanks,

    Matt

  6. #6
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    I have measured carefully on Google Earth, along the Tiddim Road -- where the modern alignment is mostly the same as during the war, and the conclusion is that the Sortie Report to which you linked me, Jagan, was not for the bridge attack seen in the famous video and the two still photos. So the 7 July 1944 date is wrong.

    We now have found the correct ORB Appendix Sortie Report, and the correct date. I'm in the process of putting together a final report (methodically, as energy and commitments permit), to be submitted in due time to the Imperial War Museum in the hope that they will change two photo captions. It's a slam-dunk -- that's how strong our evidence is. Will the IWM change the captions? I hope so, once they see it. And after they realize that ultimately Jagan will host our final report on this site. There's a chance I'll write something up for Aeroplane Monthly or Britain at War or FlyPast magazine -- because the video clip is so well-known. Thus, the correct details will be public knowledge, and, like I said, it's a slam dunk! I hope the IWM will choose to change the captions.

    Ah, ain't being anal-compulsive wonderful? Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to unravel the truth...sometimes...like in this case, where another researcher arrogantly and aggressively convinced the IWM to change a caption, which simply introduced MAJOR error.

    I don't want to jump the gun and reveal too much quite yet. Sorry to lead everyone on! AND ERROL -- I STARTED AN EMAIL TO YOU but keep getting pulled off on other things. So sorry -- your email and enclosure were much appreciated!

    Cheers,

    Matt

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