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Thread: 1356185 Sgt Arthur O'Quinn 21 OTU Missing during Bremen Raid 25 June 1942

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    Default 1356185 Sgt Arthur O'Quinn 21 OTU Missing during Bremen Raid 25 June 1942

    Good day. I am the Wing Heritage Officer for 22 Wing, a Royal Canadian Air Force Base at North Bay, Ontario, Canada. Was wondering if you could assist. A lady has contacted me looking for information about her grandfather, specifically what happened to him. The fellow is 1356185 Sergeant Arthur O'Quinn, Air Gunner. He was from Newfoundland. Night of 25 June 1942, he was in a 21 Operational Training Unit Wellington that took part in the 1,000-plane raid on Bremen. The aircraft vanished. O'Quinn was listed killed in action. He was subsequently listed on the Runnymede Memorial.

    I am looking for:

    Details about O'Quinn, his crew and airplane sent on the raid. E.G. Who were the rest of the crew? What position did he fly (was he the rear gunner)? What were the serial #, unit call letters, the mark, et cetera, of his Wellington? What happened to his bomber during the raid?

    Details about 21 OTU's participation in the raid.

    Any help in the above is greatly appreciated. Incidentally, can 21 OTU's ORB be found on the Internet?

    Help goes both ways: if you are trying to find information about a member of the RCAF or unit that served in the war, e-mail me. If I don't have the answer, I usually know where the answer can be found. My work e-mail address is raymond.newman@forces.gc.ca

    Cheers and best wishes from 'across the pond'.

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    Hello, and welcome to the forum.

    Fromm Bill Chorley's book "Bomber Command Losses, Volume 7" page 130:

    Wellington 1c X3179 SJ-U.

    Took off from Edgehill at 22.29, and lost without trace. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Sgt. O'Quinn was a Newfoundlander from Loudres, serving with the R.A.F.
    F/S I F McManus, R.A.A.F.
    W/O J C Simpkin
    F/S F Cross
    Sgt A O'Quinn
    Sgt N F Poulton


    Regards

    Simon

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    Hello Ray, welcome aboard. The ORB for 21 OTU is at The National Archives in outer London. The file is:

    AIR 29/665
    Description:
    21 Operational Training Unit (OTU). Formed at Moreton in Marsh (UK) in January 1941. Also operated from Finningley (UK) from January 1947. Contains aerial photographs of Moreton in Marsh and several locations in France. Includes five copies of the 'Armament Bulletin'. With appendices

    Date: 1941 Jan-1947 Jan


    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C4100374

    This ORB is the original and has not been digitised so cannot be downloaded. It is very possible someone else on the forum already has the information from this ORB and will post it, but if not then contact me.

    Regards,
    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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    Ray,

    There's a 77 page file on the loss of this aircraft in the A705 of 404056 F/Sgt Ian Frank McManus, RAAF:

    https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/Sear...aspx?B=1058555

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Ray, Welcome!

    The block(s):
    339801-340000 (last used 339981) was for Transfers from the (Newfoundland?) Army to the RAFVR starting in Jul 1940.
    798500-799549 (last used 798857) was for "Local" Service(1) in Newfoundland starting in Aug 1940.
    135001-1360800 (last used 1360800) was for Enlistments in the RAFVR(2) at Blackpool starting in Jun 1940.

    (1) “Local Service” – as far as I am aware, but nobody has yet defined it! – was that the volunteer would do minimal Basic Training, would wear Uniform, be subject to the Air Force Act/KRs, etc, but not be expected (except under exceptional circumstances) to be employed away from their ‘home’ location?
    (2) His Enlistment was in the RAFVR (not RAF – as per the newspaper report), and was at Blackpool starting Jun 1940. I think a significant number of Newfoundland merchant seamen volunteered for the RAFVR at this time, and by this method. I am not suggesting he was one of them.

    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Ray,

    Further to Peter's reply, as O'Quinn was RAFVR it might be useful for the lady who contacted you to obtain her grandfather's service record. This will list the unit's with which he served, plus dates on which he was promoted. However, a service record is not a diary and will not include specific details about his last flight (or any flight/operation on which he flew); it will, however, allow her to see where he lived/served whilst in the UK. See my recent post #6 of http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...-Engineer-1939 .

    As always the forum would be happy to help interpret the entries if necessary.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 23rd June 2018 at 05:28.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wwrsimon View Post
    Hello, and welcome to the forum.]
    W/O J C Simpkin


    Simon
    Simon, not sure if it's a typo in Chorley, or just a slip of the finger, but it should be J G Simplon (James George).

    His rank and service number implies he had some history behind him.

    Cheers
    A

    Addendum: Seems Simpkin was with 75 Squadron in 1940
    https://75nzsquadron.wordpress.com/c/ (scroll down to Collett)
    Last edited by Amrit; 23rd June 2018 at 00:39.
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Amrit

    Chorley does indeed have J G Simpkin - my mistake with the middle initial. Must get new reading glasses...!

    Regards

    Simon

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    Simon,

    Of no great moment, but Arthur O'Quinn hailed from Lourdes, Newfoundland, not Loudres. Miraculously, Bill Chorley got it right in BCL3/134.

    Col.

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    Ray, According to a document on the McManus file, O'Quinn was the front gunner. Regards, Terry

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