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Thread: Lancaster KB 708

  1. #1
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    Default Lancaster KB 708

    On August 26, 1944, Lancaster KB708 "VR-E" of 419 Squadron crashed in England after returning from a raid over Germany. Four crew members - Pilot - F/O William Arthur Milner (RCAF); F/Eng - Sgt. John Leonard Trotman (RAF), Bomb aimer - F/O Irving Jack Kirschner (RCAF); and, WO/AG - F/Sgt. Howard Anderson (RCAF) were all killed. Three other crewmen were injured: Nav - F/O Pierre E. Gariepy (RCAF); AG - Sgt. L.J. Weston (RCAF); and, AG - Sgt. Peter Wiens (RCAF). Gariepy's spine was severed and he became a paraplegic.

    I am interested in learning more about this flight and the individuals involved. I have seen the write-up on the Aircrew Remembered website but I'd like to make contact with any relatives of crew members or researchers who have looked into this crash in more detail.

    Any assistance or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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    Hello,

    Pierre Gariepy, as you probably know, passed away in Edmonton on 18 May 1995.

    Weston's next of kin was shown as Mrs P. Weston (wife) Temple Street Apartments, Woodstock, Ontario.

    Wiens was his mother, Mrs K. Wiens, 56 Shaftesbury Avenue, Toronto.

    Trotman's was his sister, Miss MA Trotman, 127 Lauderdale Mansions, Maida Vale, London W9

    Milner, Kirschner and Anderson all hailed from Vancouver. Milner's sister, Margaret Jeanetta, born 1927, deceased 21 January 2013.
    Kirschner had a brother, Manuel and a sister, Mrs Sally Ablowitz. No obituaries found for either. The family was originally from Winnipeg.
    Anderson had a brother, Harry, who signed off on their dad's death certificate in 1951. He was a navigator in the war flying a tour with No. 420 Squadron. Also a Guinea Pig. Deceased 15 May 2012.

    If your email address is on your profile I'll send you the obituaries I was quoting from.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Have court of inquiry and photos of accident if interested.

    Regards, Richard

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    Thanks for the additional information Dave. I would be very interested in seeing the court of inquiry results and accident crash photos, Richard. I will send you an e-mail with my coordinates.
    Cheers, Neil

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    A F/Sgt P. Wiens flew on 3 ops as replacement rear gunner with my father on November 2, 1944; to Dusseldorf, November 4, 1944 to Bochum and November 18, 1944 to Munster. He was killed whilst on a training exercise. From the Moose Squadron History:

    "TRAINING ACCIDENT

    For a further six days there were no operations, but an accident that befell an aircraft during a training flight took the lives of all seven crew members. At 1912 hours on 24 November, Lancaster "Y "-Yoke, which was returning from a cross-country flight, was contacted by R/T and ordered to proceed to the Bradbury Bombing Range to carry out practice-bombing. The instructions were duly acknowledged by the aircraft captain, P/O R. G. Mansfield. Thirteen minutes later the NCO-in-charge of the bombing range informed the squadron by telephone that a "great flash" had been seen in the air nearby, obviously emanating from an aircraft. Before the flash occurred, the aircraft's engines could be clearly heard, but afterwards they could not. The aircraft was "Y1'-Yoke, which presently crashed near the range. The evidence brought forward by the bombing-range personnel showed that it had been on fire before it crashed, but the cause of the fire was never learned. Killed with P/O Mansfield were, F/S D. A. Gunn, F/S G. H. Warren-Darley, F/O A.C. Hirst, FS J. J. Murphy, Sgt. D. G. Newland (RAF), and FS P. Wiens. In point of operational experience this septet constituted one of the top teams of the squadron, its members having logged from 21 to 29 completed sorties. All were interred at Harrogate Regional Cemetery. Only two days later notice was received that P/O Mansfield had been awarded a DFC for valour during a recent raid on Duisburg. The award was gazetted on 9 January 1945.”

    Dad said that Wiens was a very capable rear gunner: “On operations 7, 8 and 9, we flew without Dave Stevenson, who was sick in the hospital. We flew 2 with a Flight Sergeant Wiens, I remember him, he was an awfully good rear gunner and also another chap, Pilot Officer Rogers who flew with us to Oberhausen and we weren’t so impressed with him.”

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 12th February 2020 at 05:32.

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    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for the additional information about F/Sgt Wiens. Have you ever come across anything else written about him?
    Cheers, Neil

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    Neil: you could flip through the ORBs (September and October 1944) and see what other crews he flew with. For November 1944 and on, the “Battle Order” is separate from the form 540’s. Also look and see if he was in any combats, by looking at the combat reports. I will search through the Moose Squadron history for more references.

    Jim

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    HANG ON!!!! The Moose Squadron history is in error concerning the casualties on November 24, 1944. FS Toth, R213609, MUG was killed in this accident, Not FS Wiens. My sincere apologies, for any inconvenience!

    http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oo...92/901?r=0&s=3

    Edit: FS Wiens flew operationally in December 1944 and January 1945. I have not been able to determine when he was posted out from the Squadron.

    Again! I'm very sorry for this!

    Jim Cave
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 22nd February 2020 at 16:34. Reason: Additional info

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    No worries Jim - the change is duly noted.
    Cheers, Neil

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