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Thread: Met PoWs

  1. #1
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    Default Met PoWs

    Hello All,

    753715 Cpl/LAC J O Weston was a Meteorologist captured on Crete in 1941, and became PoW in Germany. The organisational/military circumstances of his capture still remain a bit unclear. However, during his time in captivity he did some considerable work in managing to set up a small weather station, and did a great deal of lecturing on meteorology. This was much appreciated. He was awarded a BEM on his return from captivity in a singular – and very unusual – announcement in the LG.

    In his account of his met work he makes mention of help given him by a ‘M A Oliver’ who was in the same camp. It seems this Oliver was not a ‘Met Man’ – I have no accounts of him as a meteorologist from elsewhere. He was, probably, 580573 Wt Off (or Sgt - depending upon which account you read!) M A Oliver (580000-581786 RAF Direct Entry a/crew 01-Aug-35). It is likely, we think, that he was a bomber Nav shot down over Europe. This might explain his meteorological interest?

    Does anybody know his full name, and the circumstances whereby he became PoW (his MI9 Repat Chit has not been digitised according to TNA).

    TIA

    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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    Various sources provide the following possible:

    77 Squadron Whitley V N1522 KN-G

    4-5 June 1940

    T/O Driffield

    Mission: Gelsenkirchen-Buer An engine caught fire

    - P/O AC Meigh POW Sagan
    - Sgt WG Best POW Heydekrug
    - Sgt MA Oliver POW Heydekrug
    - LAC VG Allen POW Heydekrug
    - AC1 DV Browne POW Heydekrug

    The Loss Card shows his Service Number as: 580873 (3 may be incorrect as writing not clear)

    Note: Some sources show "Olivier"
    Last edited by PeteT; 15th October 2018 at 10:17. Reason: Info Added
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Peter

    Air 78/120 has OLIVER Morris Albert 580873. Possibly b.1918, Milford Haven, m.m.s. Morris?


    Regards

    Simon

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    Definitely the same man, Pete. In 1947 Oliver wrote about the collaboration with Weston, and his version includes several references to Heydekrug. In July 1944 the POWs were evacuated to Fallingbostel.

    Oliver also includes a reference to two RAF fitters, WOs Clifford and Springett, who constructed met instruments from what was effectively rubbish.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 15th October 2018 at 10:44. Reason: Two more names added

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    Hello

    Brian and Peter, I have M.A. OLIVER's PoW questionnaire from Kew (WO 344 series). Drop me an e-mail if you want it to check détails from that document to compare with your own research.

    Joss

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    UPDATE.
    From FMP:-
    Morris Oliver
    Male. Age 30. Birth year 1918
    Occupation MATHEMATICIAN
    Departure 18 Aug 1948,
    From Southampton, To New York
    Aboard Mauretania

    Looks like the same guy? One might assume (v dangerous) that he never returned to UK? His Occupation Description of ‘Mathematician’ is interesting. Points towards his post, in the Whitley, being that of Co-pilot/Nav?

    He is now:
    b. 12 Feb 1918 Haverfordwest 11a 2403 (MMS Morris)
    m. Q3 1948 Josephine Burn. Reg Oxford 6b 2414
    d. 9 Oct 1997 US SSN: 008-22-8547. Last Residence: 17112 Harrisburg, Dauphin, Pennsylvania, USA.
    Did he do a Maths degree at Oxford before emigrating (with new wife) to the USA? What did he do in the USA? The investigation now passes, I think, to our American colleagues who will be more familiar with interrogating the US SSN system than I!!! Be interesting - simply as an exercise - to see what we can find?

    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 15th October 2018 at 15:31. Reason: QSD
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Peter,

    Given his age he would probably have completed a degree (not necessarily at Oxford) in 1938/9 before enlisting.

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    Brian,
    He was in the RAF as Sgt aircrew from late 1935 until he went in the 'bag' in 1940!!! He might very well have done some of the preliminary degree work whilst in the PoW camps, and done the last year (or 18 months) In College before, formally, getting his hood?
    Problem is that it is becoming more difficult to get info out of these educational locations. They increasingly claim they can't tell you anything because of Data Protection legislation, whereas - in actual fact - it's because they either can't be bothered, or nowadays have no staff to do the digging into their records!
    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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    Hello

    from his PoW questionnaire, I confirm date of birth. He joined 1st April 1939. His civilian trade or profession was S.C. & T. G.P.O. (or D. ?), or it may have been an examination passed while PoW. The standard form is open to confusion because of this double possibility. I don't know what that means.

    Peter, I'll send the PoW questionnaire by e-mail.

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 15th October 2018 at 20:11.

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    Gents

    'SC & T' according to The Post Office Museum was 'Sorting Clerk & Telegraphist'.

    DaveW

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