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Thread: POW and Evaders Database Work

  1. #11
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    Default Re: CRETE 41 - Again!

    Hello Peter,

    If you have a list of PoWs taken in Crete, send me that list or put it here, and I'll have a look on my PoW questionnaires (WO 344 series), as I've copied a few pages for prisoners made in Crete.

    Joss

  2. #12
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    Default Re: CRETE 41 - Again!

    Hi Peter. Ref your list, I don't think TNA holds the ORB's (or equivalents) for FAA squdrons.
    Happy to be corrected though.
    Ian

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    Default Re: CRETE 41 - Again!

    Joss/Ian,
    Tks yr help.
    I have a fair idea of the number of Met Men who were probably on the island. What I am trying to do is to build up a picture of where the Air assets (including the Commander) were at any time as the battle progressed. From this I can possibly work out where the Met assets were. The problem with PoW lists is that they very rarely give the Unit from which the PoW came! I only have one definite. He is LAC John Oswald Weston. He was taken PoW at Sternes (GE 35.510795 24.145411) on 1 Jun 1941. Sternes is about 1 mile S of Chanea a/f which is on the Souda peninsular. Weston says that his two officers (the forecasters) escaped, but that he and “my mate” got captured. Reading that story carefully I am drawn to the conclusion that his “mate” was another meteorological Asst. This (nearly!) fits with the sort of numbers I am thinking of. But Chanea/Sternes is 16 miles from Maleme, 35 miles from Rethymo, and 75 miles from Heraklion! This small Met Det is unlikely to have been responsible for all the Met advice over the whole island! Where was the Air Commander located? Where was the Ground Commander located (remember that “Jointery” – two, or more, Services working together as a team - was still in its experimental stage until after El Alamein!!).
    My current thinking is that this western Crete Met detachment ( 2 x forecasters, 2 x Assts) was part of a larger Mob Met Unit. The remainder (numbers unknown) may have been in the Heraklion area and, when it all started falling apart, retreated over land to the S coast where they were evacuated by sea?
    Where were the Air assets based? This will give me an idea of where the Met might have been!
    Very little has been written (thus my request for anything Beamish may have written) about this episode which must rank high on the list of examples of very poor military Command & Control? There might well be very logical reasons for what happened to the Met Det. I wish I knew what they were!!!
    HTH/TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  4. #14
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    Default Re: CRETE 41 - Again!

    Peter, I may be missing something here but using AIR81 to identify pow information will give very meagre returns.

    AIR81 is a casualty file source for air operations and aircraft accidents. PoW are only mentioned in conjuction to other criteria that met the need for raising a P4(Cas) file in the Air Ministry Registry.

    In terms of detail for co-location I have always found the AHB post war Restricted history to be the best primary source general overview. Having been written for Official information they tend to be far superior in traceable detail than post war author interpretation of available sources and internet War Thunder/WoW fandom bite size rehashes.

    AIR 41/29 looks good at the TNA
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ails/r/C509298

    but copies are in other archives and specialist booksellers
    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ect/1500026261

    Final note is that the PoW list transcription that I did was, as stated in the original document, a snapshot of approx March 1944 so any PoW who had escaped/evaded/repatriated/died prior to that date would not appear.

    This also means that only those held by Italy and transferred to Germany prior/just post capitulation appear - those released and returned to Allied control do not.

    Edit: also those captured after that date to Nov 44 have incomplete or no entry - your thread on Twomey absence.

    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 16th August 2020 at 08:32. Reason: Sweeping up other points on PoW list
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  5. #15
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    Default Re: CRETE 41 - Again!

    found my pdf copy of the AHB Narrative - it contains Beamish paper references and odd details like Lt RN (Met) used as controller at Suda Bay.

    Narrative says gun position at Canea became Operations Room/Centre with Beamish establishing HQ there on appointment on 17th April. Suda Bay being main concentration of RAF evacuated personnel in well concealed PTC which remained in operation until final evac of RAF personnel on May 9th. (sic)

    Night 25/26 HQ withdrawn to house a few miles east of Suda....26th Beamish signalled intent to evacuate 22 Officer, 176 OR RAF operationally not fulfilling any useful purpose at Suda Bay...Tedder replied give priority to pilots and aircrew in Sunderland evac.

    Personnel from transit camp withdrew to Sphakia on 27th RAF HQ and Army HQ arrivin on 28th.

    PM your email address and I'll give you a drop box link for download so you can fill your boots with detail and post mortem from Tedder

    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 16th August 2020 at 13:57.
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  6. #16
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    Default Re: CRETE 41 - Again!

    Ross,
    Done! VMT yr help!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  7. #17
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    Default Re: CRETE 41 - Again!

    Was the narrative of any help.

    From what I understood there was a lack of functioning aerodromes so Air assets on the island were virtually non existent and did not remain on the island for long.

    Suda Bay was the main RAF evac 26th to 29th with minor additional events by sea elsewhere.

    Most RAF were evacuated early due to not having Air assets to support with only a small number being PoW or killed.

    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 16th August 2020 at 21:08.
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  8. #18
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    Default Re: CRETE 41 - Again!

    The Middle East Campaigns, Vol. VII: The Campaign in Crete, May 1941
    Although I do not quite understand what is meant by "specialist bookshops" (#7 above), by permission the whole set of once "Restricted" RAF Historical Branch Narratives of World War II air matters have for some years been published in facsimile by Military Library Research Service/MLRS Books, along with a great deal of other war-time original documents and maps, Allied and Axis. MLRS is a small family operation which continues to provide an invaluable service since the death of founder David Westwood in 2016.

    Each RAFHB Narrative volume is available from MLRS today, for modest price, by digital download only. Facsimile volumes are presented as one or more PDF files, printable but not searchable. On their Home page at https://www.mlrsbooks.co.uk/ follow the menu on the left to see all the available material.

    If the menu items might be better ordered and more consistently titled, then that I feel can be forgiven: the fact that MLRS and its site still runs at all is thanks to Ros Woodward, who took up the reins after David's death, as she explains here:
    https://www.mlrsbooks.co.uk/about_mlrs

    So The Middle East Campaigns, Vol. VII: The Campaign in Crete, May 1941 is available there, for download, for 7.13 See:
    https://www.mlrsbooks.co.uk/bookstor.../item1054.html
    Last edited by Don Clark; 16th August 2020 at 23:10.
    Toujours propos

  9. #19
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    Default Re: CRETE 41 - Again!

    Original reply got 'lost' somewhere!

    Ross,
    Mni tks yr help! That paper is just what I was looking for. Its the picture on the jig-saw box lid!!! Most grateful!

    Don,
    Tks for the heads-up for that site!

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

  10. #20
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    Default Re: 1283064 Gwyn Elwyn EVANS PoW

    Jagan thanks - will this include the W0392 list records as well ? Paul

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