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Thread: No.347 Squadron loss, Wangerooge, 25 April 1945

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    Default No.347 Squadron loss, Wangerooge, 25 April 1945

    I have been looking at the Wangerooge raid of 25 April 1945, which involved seven lost aircraft, six of them in collisions. What jumps out at me is the general inexperience of several crews involved. One had competed 28 sorties and another seven. In four more cases the crews were on their first or second sorties. My question involves Halifax NP921 (L8-E) of No.347 Squadron. Can any expert on Free French units advise me as to the experience (or lack thereof) of the crew ?

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    Hello,

    Brief biography of tail gunner of Halifax VI NP921:

    http://francaislibres.net/liste/fiche.php?index=80390

    and ...

    http://halifax346et347.canalblog.com.../14359556.html

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th September 2019 at 13:18.

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    Many thanks, mon Colonel. The second reference you gave suggests that the French crew were reasonably experienced. However, the manner in which they were lost appears more to have been due to collision between Halifaxes RG553 (No.76 Squadron) and NP921 (No.347 Squadron). An MRES report of 8 August 1946 stated “I identified both aircraft. They lay on the dunes within 100 yards of each other, and although badly damaged, the numbers could be read quite plainly. Neither aircraft had been burnt out.” (F/L F. H. Hodgson). Found in the RCAF service documents of Flying Officer Colin Ross Milne Morrison (killed in RG553).

    This, of course, contradicts Chorley who suggests that RG553 collided with RG591 (also of No.76 Squadron). The service file of Pilot Officer J.L. Outerson (RCAF and pilot of RG591, killed) includes the following: “According to a report received from a Dutch ex-Prisoner oof War interned on the island of Wangerooge, this aircraft crashed after being hit by anti-aircraft fire. All members of the crew were killed and buried in a common grave, although the only member identified was Sergeant J.L.Outerson.” It is evident that the island had been visited in mid-May by British personnel of No.151 Repair Unit and by F/L L.E. Crowe, No.664 (RCAF) AOP Squadron.

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    Hugh (et al), Hi,
    This is not answering your question, and it is not a lot of help!
    The only one of the three “Age Unknown” Brits lost on the Wangerooge raid that I could get anything on was a:-
    b. Q1 1921 SUTTON Eric T(homas?) W (MMS Hauslip) Reg Camberwell 1d 1631
    Jul 1940(?) Enlisted RAFVR 1183093 Cardington. Aged 19(?) and who might(?) (rpt, might!!) have dropped the Forename ‘W’ on Enlistment? His dates fit!
    d. 25 Apr 1945 on RG591 at Wangerooge.
    This now also conflicts with Malcolm's RAFWEB? Presume he will read this?
    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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    Outerson was posted to No.76 Squadron, 29 March 1945 (as was the Navigator, John Ramsay), so I assume that Sutton was as well. I do not know with certainty how many sorties this crew had flown (will have to get ORB for April 1945) but it could not have been many.

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    Hugh,

    Bill Chorley, in his History of No.76 Sqn states the following:

    Halifax RG591 - English Electric - on Sqn 20.3.45 - MP-A - 4 Ops* - FTR WANGEROOGE 25.4.45 crashed onto sea off Wangerooge, Germany (p.245) and, Halifax RG553 - English Electric - on Sqn 17.3.45 - MP-T - 3 Ops* - FTR WANGEROOGE 23.4.45 crashed in sea off Wangerooge, Germany (p.244). Chorley also gives a detailed account of this raid (pp.176-178).

    * The 76 Sqn ORB should indicate if RG553 (Lawson RCAF) and RG591 (Outerson RCAF) were flown by those pilots, on those ops. Regarding RG591, I don't think so, Chorley has a series of photographs (between pp.123-5), stating that; (p.123), A really nice shot of Halifax B.VI RG591 (MP:A) taken in April 1945. This aircraft was assigned to Flight Lieutenant Peter Collins and crew, but was lost in tragic circumstances on 25 April 1945, it was being flown by Warrant Officer Outerson RCAF. Their is also a grim shot of RG553 (p.125), disintegrating and falling out of control on, 25 April 1945.

    See:
    To See The Dawn Breaking 76 Squadron Operations.
    Chorley,W.R.
    Ottery St. Mary:Author,1981.
    pp.123-125, 176-178 & 244-245

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th September 2019 at 15:55.

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