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Thread: 218 Squadron - BF315 -shot down 28/8/1942

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    Default 218 Squadron - BF315 -shot down 28/8/1942

    Hi,

    My uncle, Edward Arthur Green (known as Nick) was shot down returning from a raid on Kassel and was one of two crew who survived and become POW's. He sadly died in or near Stalag 11A on 21.04.45 after having both legs amputated.

    I have read on an old post here the injuries occurred after a friendly fire incident when an Allied fighter strafed a column of POW's in error. Stalag 11 was liberated a month later. We also have letters from other POW's saying he had to have amputations due to frostbite. This seems unlikely, in early spring in southern Germany and possibly these letters were well intentioned fabrications?

    Later this year I will visit my uncles grave in Berlin, he was 24 and his amazing story and sacrifice is moving and inspirational at the same time. I would love to find out more about what happened on that raid and in the years between the shooting down and his ultimate death.

    The only survivor from his crew at the end of the was was E J Harding, service no. 1315802 and it would be great to trace his relatives or those of anyone else who served with my Uncle.

    Any info, help would really be appreciated.

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    Hello Andy,

    On page 210 of Bill Chorley's 1945 Bomber Command Losses there is a list of the 42 deaths caused at Gresse.

    Your uncle, and several others, are shown with an asterisk, denoting died of wounds.

    1315802 was Sgt. Edgar John Harding. A entry on ancestry indicates an Edgar John Harding died in London in 1984. Whether he is the same man on your uncle's crew, I do not know

    Regards,

    Dave
    Last edited by alieneyes; 18th June 2019 at 18:29. Reason: added info on Harding

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    Hello Andy ,

    Your uncle was shot down by Hptm Streib Werner from the Stab I.NJG1 at 0104 hrs 2 km west off Elst , south of Arnhem. Source Nachtjagd War Diaries by Dr Theo Boiten Vol 1

    Regards
    Alain12

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    Andy, Welcome,

    1315802 E J Harding did not, apparently, become Commissioned (that Service Number does not come up in the LG), or get a ‘gong’.

    It is possible that the Enlisted Number 1315802 was issued in the RAFVR Block 1311745-1325000 at Oxford between 01-Nov-40 and 31 -Aug-41 – possibly around early Feb 1941. If E J Harding was 18 when he Enlisted that would put his birth around 1923. You can have:-
    Births Q4 1923 Harding, Edwin J (MMS Hodges) Reg Bristol 6a 206
    Births Q2 1922 Harding, Edgar J (MMS Cowling) Reg Tiverton 5b 625
    Births Q1 1921 Harding, Eric J (MMS Williams) Reg King's N. 6d 148
    Births Q2 1921 Harding, Edward J (MMS Carey) Reg Reading 2c 739
    Births Q3 1921 Harding, Ernest J (MMS Griffin) Hertford 3a 1443
    (I didn’t go any further back. You may care to?).

    I looked for 1315802 E J Harding in TNA AIR 78/69/10 images around 120-130 but I couldn’t see him. But eyes younger and sharper than mine may find him!

    You might have to get his RAFVR Service Record (go to https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records) and jump through the various ‘hoops’! It will be full of acronyms, abbreviations, shortened-forms, etc. Worry not – many on this forum will lend their expertises to decipher!

    Good luck!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 19th June 2019 at 09:40. 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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    Thanks Alain12 really helpful

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    Thanks Dave, what a tragedy!

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    Hi again Dave,

    Gresse seems to be an odd place for him t have been, given that he was Stalag 11A was 200 miles away near Dornitz. Any idea why my Uncle would show up there??

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    Hi Peter,

    Edgar John Harding is on AIR78/69/10/2 pg. 5 of 66.

    Andy,

    I'd recommend "The Last Escape" by John Nichol and Tony Rennell to get an idea of the "Death Marches" of 1945.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Hi Dave,

    I have found some letters from POW's that knew my Uncle and a letter from the Red Cross all of which seem to give the following information:

    He was in Stalag Luft IV in Jan 45 and in Feb was forced to march West with 8000 others. He ended up at a hospital outside Stalag 2a (II not 11 as I had misread!) where he was suffering from dysentery, probably malnutrition and frostbite. He had a double amputation which he was too weak to survive.

    This would put him quite some way from the incident at Gresse so I think this information may be false. I have order the book Bomber Command Losses to read the entry for myself and will get the book you recommend too!

    Thanks again.

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    Hi Andy -here are the full claims details, it was Streib's 35th confirmed victory:

    Hptm. Werner Streib: 35 Stab I./NJG1 Stirling 2 km W. Elst, S. Arnhem: 3.000 m. 01.04 218 Sqn Stirling BF315

    Would you happen to have a crew photo?

    Cheers, Theo

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