Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Peter Frederick Searl: Sgt, 1600379, RAFVR, 101 Sqdn.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Peter Frederick Searl: Sgt, 1600379, RAFVR, 101 Sqdn.

    As an inhabitant of Alconbury, I am researching the above man from the village who died, age 20, when Lancaster Mk III LM387, SR-O was shot down by a German night fighter on 20/21st January, 1944 on a mission to Berlin. I have managed to find out quite a bit so far, but would like some help trying to establish just where LM387 came down and if possible to identify the fighter that was responsible.

    I have seen a few pages from what appears to be a very comprehensive work about the mission at : https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/5a31...mplepages2.pdf

    The map included isn't of good enough quality for me to identify which of the crash sites is that of LM387. Does anyone have the book the pages were reproduced from that could provide me with a better copy? From what I have been able to deduce it looks as if one of two possible fighters may have been responsible, although they both seem to have claimed it as a Halifax. Any explanation of the units and the rank of the German pilots would be greatly appreciated.

    The rest of the crew were: Flying Officer SWW Perry RCAF; Sgt TW Durie RAF; W/O NG Dowler RCAF; Sgt RA Hart RAF; W/O F Stokes RAF; Sgt WE Whitfield RAF; Flying Officer R J Wilson RAF - The special operator

    Many thanks, Malcolm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: Peter Frederick Searl: Sgt, 1600379, RAFVR, 101 Sqdn.

    Sorry to 'Bump' the thread, but am still trying to figure out which of the downed aircraft symbols on the map referred to above is that of LM387, so would be very grateful for any assistance. As an update I have downloaded the ORB from the NA and found that Perry and his crew only joined 101 Sqn on 6 Jan 1944 from 1662 Conversion Unit at Blyton. Peter SEARLE was the Wireless Operator (Air). They flew one mission together, to Brunswick on 14 Jan 1944, and so the Berlin raid on 20/21st January on which they were lost was only their second.

    I believe that they may well have been downed by a Ju 88 night fighter based at Deelen airfield; either Ju 88 R-2 R4+AA flown by Major Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein of the Stab/NJG 2; or a Ju 88 C-6 flown by Oberfeldwebel Hans Berschwinger of the 4./NJG 2.

    If it was Sayn-Wittgenstein, he was himself shot down and killed shortly afterwards the same night. I believe by a Mosquito intruder, but haven't been able to find any accounts of Mosquito activity over Berlin that night - any suggestions?

    Thanks again,

    Malcolm
    Last edited by malcwayland; 2nd December 2020 at 14:58.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Northumberland, UK
    Posts
    4,397
    Thanks
    45
    Thanked 199 Times in 195 Posts

    Default Re: Peter Frederick Searl: Sgt, 1600379, RAFVR, 101 Sqdn.

    Malcolm

    The RCAF Service File of Sheldon William Wesley Perry available on ancestry.co.uk includes a report from the M.R.E.S., dated May 27th 1949, which gives the following reference for the crash site:

    Neu Fresenbrügge M 54/T 5225

    The record reports that the crew were initially buried at the Town Cemetery of Ludwigslust, but for reasons unknown they were exhumed in June 1944 to a nearby wood and buried on a Luftwaffe firing range (Schiesstand).

    They were again exhumed in May/June 1945 after the Americans had occupied the area, and taken to an unkown destination by what was presumed to have been the American Graves Commission. Also removed at the same time was an unknown fighter pilot whose grave lay near the Lancaster crew's remains. The report recommends that the American Graves Commission be contacted to find further details, but there is nothing further in the file.

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to wwrsimon For This Useful Post:

    malcwayland (5th December 2020)

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: Peter Frederick Searl: Sgt, 1600379, RAFVR, 101 Sqdn.

    Quote Originally Posted by wwrsimon View Post
    Malcolm

    The RCAF Service File of Sheldon William Wesley Perry available on ancestry.co.uk includes a report from the M.R.E.S., dated May 27th 1949, which gives the following reference for the crash site:

    Neu Fresenbrügge M 54/T 5225

    The record reports that the crew were initially buried at the Town Cemetery of Ludwigslust, but for reasons unknown they were exhumed in June 1944 to a nearby wood and buried on a Luftwaffe firing range (Schiesstand).

    They were again exhumed in May/June 1945 after the Americans had occupied the area, and taken to an unkown destination by what was presumed to have been the American Graves Commission. Also removed at the same time was an unknown fighter pilot whose grave lay near the Lancaster crew's remains. The report recommends that the American Graves Commission be contacted to find further details, but there is nothing further in the file.

    Regards

    Simon
    Simon

    For some reason I didn't get a notification of your input and so I've literally just seen it. Am most grateful for your information. The niece of the mid-upper gunner had also found something very similar some time ago, but with no mention of any American involvement. I'll have to go back into Ancestry to find Perry's Service File - don't know how I missed it, but appreciate very much you telling me of its existence.

    I have another conundrum about this crew I will put out tomorrow, but the Special Duties (ABC) Operator on the flight, according to the ORB, was a F/O RJ Wilson - but I've found no mention of him ANYWHERE!

    Kind Regards

    Malcolm

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Northumberland, UK
    Posts
    4,397
    Thanks
    45
    Thanked 199 Times in 195 Posts

    Default Re: Peter Frederick Searl: Sgt, 1600379, RAFVR, 101 Sqdn.

    No problem Malcolm.

    Ronald John Wilson is on the National Probate Calendar:

    WILSON Ronald John of 407 London Road, Reading, died 20 January 1944 on war service. Administration Oxford 5 July to Joyce Brenda Wilson widow.

    I think he may be on the 1939 Register living in Enfield, Middlesex, and a Metropolitan [Police?] Inspector.

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: Peter Frederick Searl: Sgt, 1600379, RAFVR, 101 Sqdn.

    Thanks again, Simon. Will look that up tomorrow. All adds a bit of humanity to the cold statistic. Also have finally managed to find him on CWGC - F/O Ronald John Wilson, 134708, RAFVR.

    Kind regards

    Malcolm
    Last edited by malcwayland; 6th December 2020 at 17:36. Reason: Response revised!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Northumberland, UK
    Posts
    4,397
    Thanks
    45
    Thanked 199 Times in 195 Posts

    Default Re: Peter Frederick Searl: Sgt, 1600379, RAFVR, 101 Sqdn.

    This is him on the lost of Met Police leavers:

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C13366308

    Last entry on the page:

    Ronald John Wilson, warrant number 122818. Joined on 6 March 1933, and left on 21 Jan 1944. Last posted to Y Division as a Station Inspector.

    The entry in the list, dated November 1944, records 'Presumed killed in action: R.A.F.'

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to wwrsimon For This Useful Post:

    malcwayland (8th December 2020)

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: Peter Frederick Searl: Sgt, 1600379, RAFVR, 101 Sqdn.

    Just in case anyone was wondering about the book mentioned in my original post, I can now confirm it is one of the many EXCELLENT books written by THEO BOITEN and published by Wing Leader Ltd. A remarkable coincidence that they used the pages I am particularly interested in (covering the raid that LM387 was lost on) to promote the book, but have just ordered it and am looking forward to getting it soon.

    I'm aware you subscribe to 'Commands', Theo, so if you read this well done on a superb series of books and I certainly know where to turn in future for authoritative information about Bomber Command WW2 losses. Malcolm

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •