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Thread: NZ4211008 Flt Sgt J Burgess - 620 Sqn

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    Default NZ4211008 Flt Sgt J Burgess - 620 Sqn

    The above was shot down on the evening preceeding the D-Day invasion and, as Vol Two of the official history of 'New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force' records, below, he and his crew had an unusually exciting two days following their crash landing in Normandy.

    Would anyone have details as to the aircraft (Stirling IV?) serial, take off time and names of the other crew members, please?

    All the crew managed to scramble uninjured from the blazing bomber but almost at once found themselves covered by German tommy guns. The prisoners were marched along with a retreating enemy detachment until dawn the following morning when, finding themselves in no-man's-land, the whole party took cover in a bombed chateau. The day passed with British and German shells whizzing overhead and the prisoners witnessed an aerial battle in which Spitfires sent a formation of Ju88s crashing in flames. During the afternoon British mortars began to get the chateau's range, whereupon the Germans and their prisoners – now more or less on even terms – moved first into a slit-trench and later to a cellar. Then, after a night of more shelling and bombardment, the German commander asked that he and his men be taken prisoners, so Burgess and his navigator set off in search of British troops. Having made contact, the airmen lined up the Germans and marched them to a brigade headquarters where they were handed over. Then after a few hours in the trenches the airmen obtained a captured German staff car and motored to the beach, where they found a ship about to return across the Channel.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance offered.

    Errol

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    Looks like LJ849

    620 Squadron website gives:
    No.620’s greatest moment came on 'D-Day' when its Stirlings Mk IVs (23 aircraft for Operation 'TONGA') by now-dropped a considerable part of the 6th Airborne Division’s paratroops near Caen. 3 aircraft failed to return (EF295 of Squadron Leader PETTIT OBE DFC, EF268 of Pilot Officer CASKEY, EJ116 of Flight Sergeant BARTON) and 4 were damaged. The following day the squadron towed part of the glider-borne force to the same area (18 Stirlings, Operation 'MALLARD'; one aircraft, LJ849 of Flight Lieutenant THOING, crash-landed in a field but Flight Lieutenant THOING escaped and returned, later with his crew)

    Aircraft Lost on Allied Force's Special Duty Operations:
    Date -6.6.44
    Aircraft - Stirling IV LJ849 E
    Unit - 620 Sqdn RAF
    Crew - F/Lt G. Thoing RCAF - Pilot
    Location - near Plumetot, France
    Cause - T/O Fairford a/c hit by flak over beach after releasing containers and glider on Operation MALLARD. Port engine caught fire, pilot belly landed a/c without injury to crew. A/c then blew up

    Sources Page 93 – 95 Stirlings in action with the Airborne Forces; http://www.raf38group.org/620squadron
    Listing compiled by Roy Tebbutt of the Carpetbagger Aviation Museum, Harrington, UK. email cbaggermuseumATaol.com

    From Conscript Heroes Site (note Thring not Thoing):
    F/Lt G H Thring - 620 Sqn Stirling LJ849 - FTR June 44 from dropping supplies into France
    F/O H Braathen RCAF - 620 Sqn Stirling LJ849 - Lost on supply mission to Normandy June

    Martyn

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    Hello Errol,

    Please can you send me an email at raf38groupATgmail.com (replace AT with @) because I'm not back at home until next Monday and I think that I've more details of this story and if remember I've some photos.
    If I also remember the crew took nearly 60 prisonners.
    Regards.

    Bruno
    Last edited by Bruno; 18th October 2009 at 14:20.
    Bruno LECAPLAIN
    Raf WWII 38 Group Squadrons Reunited <www.raf38group.org>
    Stirling Aircraft Society <stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org>

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    Bruno,
    Also intesrested in names of other surviving crew.
    Errol,
    Is svcnr NZ4211008 (7 figures) correct for BURGESS ?
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Martyn,
    Thanks for your assistance, most helpful.

    Bruno,
    Did you mean Hugh or me?

    Henk,
    Numbers allotted to RNZAF airmen enlisting during 1942 ran from 42100 to 4217354, though not all numbers were used.

    Errol

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    Errol,

    I have an unconfirmed note in my 620 Sqn file, mentioning that the tail-gunner on LJ849 was one; 52073 P/O Gerard Frazer McMAHON DFM.

    Can anyone confirm this?

    Col.

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    Hello Errol,

    I meant you not Hugh!!!
    Correction made.
    Regards.

    Bruno
    Bruno LECAPLAIN
    Raf WWII 38 Group Squadrons Reunited <www.raf38group.org>
    Stirling Aircraft Society <stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org>

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    Col,
    Esc/Ev report for this crew on way to you via email, confirms your man was in crew
    Cheers......Alan.

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    Hello,

    LJ849's crew:
    Flight Lieutenant G.H Thring (Pilot). A DFC was awarded to F/L Thring for having taken 61 german prisoners with his crew on D-Day.
    Flying Officer M.E. Price (Navigator)
    Flying Officer H. Braathen (Bomb Aimer)
    Sergeant W. Buchan (Flight Engineer)
    Flight Sergeant R.W.A. Burgess (Wireless Operator) - Errol is it 'J' or 'R.W.A'?
    Flying Officer G.F. MacMahon (Air Gunner). F/O MacMahon was awarded a DFM but at the moment I don't have the confirmation that it was also for having taken the german prisoners on D-Day.

    The crew took a total over ninety prisoners but when they arrived to the allied beaches some germans has been killed during their march (mainly by allied snipers) and it stood 61 german prisoners.

    Errol I'll be glad to send you a scan of the photo of the crew on which is F/S Burgess.

    Regards.

    Bruno
    Bruno LECAPLAIN
    Raf WWII 38 Group Squadrons Reunited <www.raf38group.org>
    Stirling Aircraft Society <stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org>

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    Bruno,

    Re McMahon's DFM.

    McMAHON, Gerard Frazer 618934 Sgt 97 Sqn 31.7.42

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 19th October 2009 at 11:13. Reason: minor correction

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