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Thread: Looking for a place to start

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for a place to start

    Hello. I'm new here.
    I'm trying to research a relative of mine who was lost in January 1945 on a bombing mission and wanted to ask your advice on where to look. I have no experience in researching military matters.
    I was hoping someone on here might be able to offer me advice on where to look for more information.

    He was the younger brother of my grandmother. Recently some of his possessions came into my keeping which is the reason for starting to find out more about him.

    I know his name, service number and both of the squadrons he served with (467 Squadron and 617 squadron).
    Also I have some basic information about the sad story of his final mission, how his plane was shot down over sea, crew emerging and making it to a lifeboat.
    I have the medal (DFM) which he was awarded I believe in 1943, although I have no knowledge of what this award was for. I also have some photographs of his which look like a crew being briefed before a mission. (Documents on the table have been blacked out.) And many family photos.

    He is well remembered within my family, but very little is known about his service career and we don't even know what mission the medal was awarded for, although I think it was awarded in 1943.

    I would be very interested to find out more about him, what missions he took part in, and the story of his medal.

    Should I contact the individual squadrons to ask about his service record?
    Or is there some central database that details this? I have found a few references to his award online, but only that he was awarded. No detail about the mission.

    Any advice you can offer me on where to look would be most appreciated.

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    Franko, Hi - and welcome to the Forum.
    You need to get a copy of his Service Record. See https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records, and jump through the various hoops! The Record will be full of acronyms, short-forms, and abbreviations. Lots of folk on the Forum experts in various fields, and will help decrypt!
    In the interim, if you will give us his full name and number then we will see what the various on-line databases might produce, in addition to the databases held by various members. We might not know the answer(s) - but we might know who does!!
    Welcome
    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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    Thank you very much Peter.
    I have just downloaded and completed the forms and posted them off to the RAF to get the service records. Fingers crossed.

    His name is Sydney Ross Anderson. He was a navigator with 467 and 617 squadrons.

    Sydney Ross Anderson DFM 1098277 RAFVR
    617 Squadron Lancaster BI NF992 KC-B

    This is the story of his final mission told by a friend of the pilot:

    http://www.edenbridgetown.com/in_the..._mission.shtml

    If anyone has any leads or ideas on how I can track down more information that would be greatly appreciated.
    In particular I'd interested to know what his medal was awarded for in 1943 which I believe was when he was with 467. I believe he transferred to 617 after the dam raids, (but I'm not really sure). I'd be interested to know if he was involved with the Tirpiz raids. But any information at all would be very welcome.

    Also if its appropriate I would be interested to post the above mentioned briefing photographs. Maybe someone can shed some light on who the other people in the pictures are and whats going on in the pictures.

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    Franko

    I'm sure you've seen this, but he's commemorated on a family headstone in the churchyard at Ovingham, Northumberland:

    http://www.newmp.org.uk/article.php?...isplayorder=13

    His D.F.M. was gazetted in September 1943. The Citation for the D.F.M. doesn't give much away, apart from that he has completed 28 Ops, including 12 to the Ruhr and 2 to Berlin. He was posted to 617 Sqn in August 1944 from 29 O.T.U.

    There's a photo of him with his mother and wife outside their home at Dene Grove, Prudhoe, in the Newcastle Journal of Friday November 17th 1944, and the article relates his story of the sinking of the Tirpitz. There's another article in the Journal from 1975, which is a letter they received from his Uncle, Mr. A. A. Anderson of South Gosforth, and it has a photo of him standing next to a two seater biplane (a Stearman?). It doesn't seem his D.F.M. award was reported in the local press at the time of its announcement, though.

    You can see the 467 Sqn Operational Record book online on the naa.gov.au website - search for 467 Squadron, and then view by Digistised Items and look for this file:

    'A9186 153 Unit history of number 467 Squadron - December 1942 to October 1945'

    His D.F.M. award is also mentioned briefly on the last page of this file - note the hand-written appendmentd 'posted':

    'A11343 900/1/P1 PART 2 [No 467 Squadron] Honours and Awards - Pro Formae'

    Regards

    Simon

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    Simon, Thankyou very much indeed.
    In fact I did not know about this grave at Ovingham. I am so grateful to you for finding this.
    Norah and Robert are my great grandparents. I have many of their possessions and photographs but I was not aware of the existence of this grave. I was very touched to read your message.

    Also I had no idea about the 2 articles in the [COLOR=#333333] Newcastle Journal. Maybe I can contact them to ask to see it? May I ask how did you see that? I was so surprised and delighted to see how quickly you were able to find information about Sydney.[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#333333]From your description I think I know both the photographs you refer to and I have the original prints. The one in front of the biplane is hanging in my living room.[/COLOR]

    I will also look up the files you mention from 467 Squadron.

    Thank you so much for your help. I'm ever so grateful to you.

    (I notice that you are in Northumberland. Is there any connection or did you look this up from the information in my post?)

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    Franko

    I've been researching local airmen for the NEWMP for a few years now, and have a folder for Sydney in my Ovingham file. The two newspaper articles are from FindMyPast.

    Drop me an e-mail at smg1967<at>btinternet.com (replace <at> with @) and I can e-mail the articles over to you.

    Regards

    Simon
    Last edited by wwrsimon; 23rd May 2019 at 14:59. Reason: typo

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    Hello,

    Take a look here:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20100627...7/hoopersr.htm

    Go to 467 Sqn RAAF ORB - pp.1046 to 1210 of 1238 (work forward from here) - final op: 21/22 June 1943 (Friedrichshafen) Pilot: AUS408844 P/O Stuart Reginald HOOPER RAAF (DFC - 17-8-1943) - crew posted to 29 OTU 26 August 1943.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 23rd May 2019 at 18:10.

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    Franko

    His DFM citation is recorded in Ian Tavenderís book : The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War : -

    ANDERSON, Sydney Ross 1098277 Sergeant No. 467 Sqn.
    L.G.14/9/1943 : Sorties 28, Flying hours 170.00 Navigator. Air2/8979

    Sergeant Anderson has completed 28 successful bombing sorties as Navigator against targets in enemy occupied territory including 12 to the Ruhr and 3 to Berlin. His unconquerable spirit of determination to reach his objective has to a great extent been responsible for the success of each of his operational sorties, most of which have been to heavily defended targets. I consider this NCOís tenacity, courage and fine offensive spirit merit the award of the DFM.
    26th. July 1943.

    --
    Regards

    Douglas

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