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Thread: 15 Operational Training Unit, Harwell

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    Default 15 Operational Training Unit, Harwell

    Has anyone got a copy or photos of this file form The National Archives?

    15 Operational Training Unit (OTU), Harwell (UK) - AIR 29/661

    The TNA Description says:

    15 Operational Training Unit (OTU), Harwell (UK) - Appendices. Contains nominal lists of pilots and pupils passing out and crews posting overseas. Includes photographs of minor bomb damage, base construction work and aerial views of RAF Harwell. 18 Operational Training Unit (OTU). Contains reports, postings and aerial photographs.

    I am looking for the names of a crew that were trained there between 02-08-1942 and 30-11-1942. I know the pilot was P/O Robert Hilary Vivian Thomas and the bomb aimer/observer was Sergeant Charles Robert Bordon Ainley and I got a hunch who the others maybe but the wireless operator in particular is a mystery.

    I will probably have to wait until the TNA reopens I know but thought I would ask if anyone has any info or pointers please.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: 15 Operational Training Unit, Harwell


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    Default Re: 15 Operational Training Unit, Harwell

    Thank you Col. Yes thats the crew at RAAF 462, I supplied a lot of that data for the site owner. It is not the original crew though that trained at 15 OTU, as with most crews some were lost, some left or posted out etc. I am trying to identify P/O Thomas's original crew he left 15 OTU with, then attended 1658 HCU with. As you know no ORB's are available as no ops made.

    I or I should say we as its me (family of flight eng Thomas) and the of son of P/O Thomas have done pretty well (to blow own trumpet lol) in documenting the crews life after leaving the UK but these early days are proving a tricky. We are particularly interested in tracing the WOP as he left the crew quite ill days before they were posted to RAAF 462 and he is not named anywhere in flight logs we have.

    Cheers

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    Default Re: 15 Operational Training Unit, Harwell

    Hello,

    Some major errors in the 462 Sqn RAAF site I supplied.

    Sgt Charles Robert Borden AINLEY RAFVR, did not do his training in Canada. The transcript of his Service File indicates he did most of his training (Nov, 1941-April, 1942), in South Africa. The Transit Camp (TC) mentioned, is actually, Pollsmoor, Cape Town, not Bullamore/Bullsmoor.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 3rd July 2020 at 13:00.

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    Default Re: 15 Operational Training Unit, Harwell

    Hi Col

    I agree. Borden did train in South Africa. I am in touch with Borden's family (via that site initially) and they have all the factual information on him and the book I wrote on him. There is data re the Thomas crew that is incorrect, I supplied her with data on my uncle and the aircraft. To be fair her priority is her families crew which is fair enough, I am the same. I also supplied the crew identified photo she uses and not happy she watermarked it with her site! I do not use the site now but she did put me in touch with the Ainleys which was good.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Welshbob; 3rd July 2020 at 13:26.

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    Default Re: 15 Operational Training Unit, Harwell

    I know that Sgt Weston (crew all the way through) and F/O Elphick (KIA 14/07/43) were at 15 OTU also and pretty sure thats where that part of the crew got together with Borden Ainley. P/O Thomas log doesn't put names only crew or Ainley and crew. Don Munroe was picked up at the last minute before leaving UK replacing standing WOP, its that lost WOP I am hunting for mostly.

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    Default Re: 15 Operational Training Unit, Harwell

    Welshbob.
    Here you go from the appends
    F/O RHV Thomas
    F/O SJ Elphick
    Sgt CRB Ainley
    Sgt EA Church
    Sgt C. Weston.
    The initials may be wrong as they are not clear.
    Regards, richard.k

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    Default Re: 15 Operational Training Unit, Harwell

    Wow Richard Thank You. Sgt EA Church is name I have never seen before, awesome! I will start digging into him. The rest of the crew were

    Robert Hillary Vivian Thomas
    Stanley James Elphick
    Charles Robert Borden Ainley
    Charlie Weston

    Thanks again
    Last edited by Welshbob; 3rd July 2020 at 14:54.

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    Default Re: 15 Operational Training Unit, Harwell

    Hello,

    Here is one possibility: https://losses.internationalbcc.co.uk/loss/204988/

    Col.

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    Default Re: 15 Operational Training Unit, Harwell

    Thank you Col, thats very interesting. I will save that page and study further, cool

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