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Thread: 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF Riccall 1943

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    Default 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF Riccall 1943

    Hi all

    Has anyone seen or have a list of crews passing out from 1658 HCU at RAF Riccall for the first quarter of 1943? I am not sure if such a document exists even?

    Thanks to everyones kind help I found my crew leaving 15 OTU and now trying to find how the crew looked leaving 1658, which I think was mid Jan 43. I know the crew was these men:-

    Pilot - Flying Officer Robert Hilary Vivian Thomas
    Nav - Flying Officer Stanley James Elphick
    Wireless Op. - Sergeant Eric Arthur Church
    Flight Engineer - Sergeant John Hewson Thomas
    Mid Gunner - Unknown
    Tail Gunner - Sergeant Charles Weston
    Bomb Aimer - Sergeant Charles Robert Borden Ainley

    Specifically did they have an upper gunner and who?

    After 1658 the crew were posted to RAAF 462 in the Middle East where the Halifax had its upper gun turret removed, so I am not sure if they had an upper gunner at 1658 or if they took one with them to the Middle East. I have the pilots log but its just says crew.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF Riccall 1943

    Hello,

    They seem to have scattered.

    This should help put some order: http://466and462squadrons.com/all%20crew%20462.html F/O Thomas is shown as pilot of Crew 45 but F/O Elphick is shown as Nav of Crew 9.

    If what you're seeking isn't there ie. no listing of Church, contact John Dann who runs the site. Very helpful chap.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Default Re: 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF Riccall 1943

    Thanks Dave. I know John quite well. Eric Church didn't go to RAAF 462 he was taken ill prior to departure. Stan Elphick was poached by W/C Warner crew before KIA. There are no upper gunners listed on any ops my crew did at 462 sqn alas. It wouldn't surprise me the upper gunner didn't go with them when they were posted to 462 or posted elsewhere when arrived in the Middle East as 462 squadron removed the upper gun turrets on the Halifax.

    I must admit I have trolled through the TNA catalogue and seen nothing that might hold the data I want. I know all the crew at 15 OTU and at 462 sqn I am just missing that small piece was there another gunner as part of the full time crew when passing out of 1658. I will probably never know but I never thought I would find the original WOP in Sgt Church but thanks to the guys here I did, so I live in hope :)
    Last edited by Welshbob; 14th July 2020 at 08:06.

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