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Thread: 70 Squadron Wellington loss 20/12/1941

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    Default 70 Squadron Wellington loss 20/12/1941

    Can anyone help me please about the loss of a Wellington of 70 Squadron RAF on 20 December 1941.
    I believe that the squadron was operating out of RAF Kabrit in the Canal Zone in Egypt but the squadron was also involved in the fighting against the pro-Axis revolt in Iraq and in the campaign to conquer Vichy-occupied Syria.

    I am especially interested in Matthew Hogarth, Sergeant (1006421) from Sanquhar in Dumfriesshire but I note that a
    Wing Commander Wilfred Albert Anthony De FREITAS (33163) was also onboard.


    Ken

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    Ken,

    The loss is listed in "Royal Air Force BOMBER LOSSES IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND MEDITERRANEAN, Volume 1: 1939-1942" by David Gunby & Pelham Temple. Details:

    19-20 Dec 1941

    70 Sqn Wellington IC Z8728 U Op: Benina

    All killed:

    W/Cdr W. A. A. de Freitas DFC
    Sgt H. H. Brown
    F/Sgt C. M. Complin RCAF
    Sgt R. S. Prior
    Sgt M. Hogarth
    P/O D. Woodcock

    Took off circa 2145, Landing Ground 60. On return an engine cut, and the aircraft crashed in a forced landing, Bir el Garanis. Destroyed by fire. All are commemorated on the Alamein Memorial.

    +++++++++++++
    No remains recovered, apparently.

    Complin's RCAF personnel file is probably partially scanned and on-line via Ancestry.com. I'll take a peek and see if there is anything about the crash, and I'll post any results as soon as possible.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Ken,

    I just peeked at the few pages of Complin's RCAF personnel file that have been scanned. Nothing. My bet is that there is some decent info about the loss in one or more documents, unscanned, in his personnel file. Some of these files can be over 200 pages in length. They're held by Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, where they are accessible. In the past, for free, LAC has sent me "genealogy packages" -- documents that give bio details, as found in a deceased RCAF airman's personnel file. I've requested a genealogy package also include any documents which specifically report details of the incident resulting in death (but not telegrams or communication simply reporting a death), and I've received great info.

    Let me know if you need further info on how to order such a genealogy package. Unfortunately, it can take months to receive, once ordered. A better solution is to connect with someone in the Ottawa area who can order the file and return (a day later?) to peruse the file. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but my guess is that there will be some relevant detail.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Matt - thank you so much for all this information.

    Ken

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