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Thread: Help to identify AGs on Halifax “E” 138 Sqn on the night 8th/9th July 1944

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    Default Help to identify AGs on Halifax “E” 138 Sqn on the night 8th/9th July 1944

    Hi,

    The Monthly Supplementary Narrative of Operations for July 1944 has a claim for one damaged Do 217 by Halifax “E” of 138 Squadron on the night 8th/9th. The only crew member included in the squadron ORB is the pilot Sgt Louis Alexander Ouelette RCAF J.92633 but I also need the name of the air gunners.

    P/O Peter Barnicke RCAF J/92693 is probably one of the air gunners. He was lost together with Ouelette and the rest of the crew in a Stirling lost at sea on the 9th November 1944. The Stirlings which replaced Halifax in 138 Sqn had only a rear gunner unlike the Halifax which had two air gunners.

    Serial number of the Halifax is also of interest.

    Thanks in advance
    Peter

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    Default Re: Help to identify AGs on Halifax “E” 138 Sqn on the night 8th/9th July 1944

    Hello Peter,
    Stirling IV
    138 Sqn
    LK198
    NFฎH
    Crew
    WO2. Louis, Alexander, OUELLETTE, J/92633, RCAF.
    Sgt. Arthur, John, JEFFERY, 1835953, RAFVR.
    F/Sgt. Lloyd, William, NELSON, J/95449, RCAF.
    F/O. Sidney, Harry, SHARPE, 153234, RAFVR.
    F/Sgt. Alexander Frederick, BIRDSEYE, 1395146, RAFVR.
    F/Sgt. Robert, Augusta, BEST, R/221087, RCAF.
    Sgt. Peter BARNICKE, J/92693, RCAF

    All reported as "Lost without trace".
    All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.

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    Default Re: Help to identify AGs on Halifax “E” 138 Sqn on the night 8th/9th July 1944

    Hello,

    A possibility for No.138 Sqn NF-E, could be Stirling IV LK151*. The previous NF-E, appears to be Halifax V LL284, which was burnt out on 2/3-06-1944, at Sandy, Beds, after taking off from Tempsford on Operation "TYBALT 29" (BCL5/254).

    * Michael Bowyer, in his book, The Stirling Story (Crecy, 2002), records the following history for Stirling IV LK151:

    LK151 (SD/Tropical)
    10 MU 30.6.44
    NF-E /138 Sqn 22.7.44**
    FTR 27.11.44, shot down by fighter during SOE op to Denmark, crashed in Little Belt, near Assens, Denmark http://www.flensted.eu.com/194040.shtml and BCL5/494.

    ** I can't locate my copy of Bryce Gomersall's revised A-B, The Stirling File. Can someone tell us what he has to say about that date (22.7.44), and Stirling LK151?

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 2nd November 2020 at 03:36.

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    Default Re: Help to identify AGs on Halifax “E” 138 Sqn on the night 8th/9th July 1944

    Lk151, "NF-E" lost 26/27 November 44 with F/Lt. Witham, DFC, RAAF.

    The earlier a/c "NF-E" was LL248 lost with Stiles DFC, on the 2/3 June 44. So was replaced by another, Which in turn was presumably was replaced by the Stirling LK151.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Help to identify AGs on Halifax “E” 138 Sqn on the night 8th/9th July 1944

    Hello,

    Thanks.

    Col.

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    Alex Smart (2nd November 2020)

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    Default Re: Help to identify AGs on Halifax “E” 138 Sqn on the night 8th/9th July 1944

    Hello Alex and Col,

    Thank you for your replies.

    When I checked in the Aircraft lost on Allied Force’s Special Duty Operations & Associated Roll of Honour I missed that there were two air gunners on Stirling LK198 when it was lost. The other was F/Sgt. Robert, Augusta, BEST, R/221087, RCAF mentioned in Alex post. I find this surprising as the Stirling lV only had one turret (rear) or have missed something. Best and Barnicke were probably the air gunners involved on the 8/9 July unless the crew had been changed.

    Regards,
    Peter

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    Default Re: Help to identify AGs on Halifax “E” 138 Sqn on the night 8th/9th July 1944

    Hello,
    Just thought that this a/c may be worth a look ?
    DT543 which was SOC on the 20th July 1944.
    Alex

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    Default Re: Help to identify AGs on Halifax “E” 138 Sqn on the night 8th/9th July 1944

    The ORB has it as NF-H which was Stirling LK198
    The oRB also shows 2 A/Gs in the crew one of which would have acted as despatcher.
    Some years back I did some research into Barnicke for a Canadian TV company and Barnicke,from what I was told, would not have been the despatcher.
    Last edited by Bob; 3rd November 2020 at 15:06.

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    Default Re: Help to identify AGs on Halifax “E” 138 Sqn on the night 8th/9th July 1944

    Hello,

    I had the answer nearer than I expected or at least partly. I was checking my microfilm copies from AIR 50/215 and to my surprise I found a few combat reports from 1944 not available to download from the NA possibly due to the low quality. I guess the bad quality can be the reason why I missed to connect the CR with this claim.

    From what I can see on the CR Halifax V – “E” is possibly LL290 (comparing with the a/c in 3 Group Bomber Command by Ward/Smith this seems to be the most likely alternative).
    The name of the rear gunner was possibly Sgt Dunning (but only D…i.g are readable). The air gunner was trained at No.7 AGS, 11 OTU and 1653 CU. Neither Best or Barnicke seems to be possible alternatives.

    I will check in the ORB if Dunning can be correct.

    Regards
    Peter

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    Alex Smart (3rd November 2020)

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    Default Re: Help to identify AGs on Halifax “E” 138 Sqn on the night 8th/9th July 1944

    To be sure, LL290 was first with 138 Sqn, then went to 1667 CU then 1FU and finally 148 Sqn. Being SOC on 12/7/1945.
    So it may be possible to find the date it left 138 Sqn for 1667 CU ?

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