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Thread: HP Halifax crash 27 August 1944 Pembrokeshire

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    Default HP Halifax crash 27 August 1944 Pembrokeshire

    Hi,

    A Halifax crashed near the GCI radar station at Ripperston in Pembrokeshire at 11pm on 27 August 1944. The radar station had not seen any SOS or response. At 1.37 m on the 28th RAF Brawdy informed the radar station that the aircraft was located, all members of the crew being safe, except the pilot who was slightly injured.

    I can find no reference to this incident in the Bomber Command Losses books and assume this was probably a Coastal Command Halifax. Does anyone have any information about this incident, the identity of the aircraft and the names of the crew? Any information would be hugely appreciated.

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    Default Re: HP Halifax crash 27 August 1944 Pembrokeshire

    Ian

    A 517 Squadron Halifax LL485 crashed on approach to Brawdy at Castle Cenlan Farm, Mathry 157/866304 on this date. Some way from Ripperston however, which is adjacent to Talbenny airfield . Sorry I have no information about the crew.

    DaveW
    Last edited by davew; 2nd March 2021 at 15:02.

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    Default Re: HP Halifax crash 27 August 1944 Pembrokeshire

    Ian, Hi,
    Looks as if he was making for Talbenny?
    As far as I am aware (Lyffe to check?) no Met Recce Sqns were ever based at Talbenny (but some were at Brawdy).
    But if the weather is duff you will take any airfield you can find!!!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: HP Halifax crash 27 August 1944 Pembrokeshire

    Hello,

    Tentative ID of crew of No.517 Sqn Halifax LL485:

    AUS426479 F/O Alfred Edward STEEL RAAF*
    J3306 P/O (Pilot) 'Ed' AVELING RCAF
    1503652 Sgt LANE RAFVR
    1836218 Sgt (Flt.Eng.) D.F.C. HOPKINS RAFVR
    627435 Sgt (W.Op./A.G.) Wally CHANT RAFVR
    102732 FLYNN
    1525453 Sgt DENNIS RAFVR
    1876216 Sgt (MAO) Brian CASS RAFVR

    * https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C2703589?image=1

    Corrections/Additions welcomed.

    For mentions of Aveling's crew, see also:

    Even The Birds Were Walking - The Story of Wartime Meteorological Reconnaissance.
    Kington,John A, & Peter G Rackliff.
    Stroud:Tempus Publishing,2000.
    pp.78-81 & 208

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 2nd March 2021 at 16:26.

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    Default Re: HP Halifax crash 27 August 1944 Pembrokeshire

    1876216 Sgt CASS is likely to have been Sgt Brian Cass and was the Met Air Observer (MAO). Don’t know his uniform dates*, but after his MAO duties he was one of the early operators (still in uniform) of the Met Office radiosonde system at Larkhill (see “Even The Birds Were Walking” Kington & Rackliff p.83). He also pitched up at Lerwick. My main “mole” as far as Lerwick Met/RAF stories died a few years ago. And with him went a fund of stories about the Met/RAF in Shetland that – if repeated now – would get us all long sentences in Dartmoor. Times/attitudes have changed a lot since WW2! Not all, maybe, for the best!”
    * Our careers might just have overlapped, but we never served together!
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: HP Halifax crash 27 August 1944 Pembrokeshire

    A thread creep for Col.

    Col, could you tell me if there is a file for Flt Lt James Chambers Thompson RAFVR SN 140776 please? An Australian he had been working as a Quantity Surveyor in Malaya but was fortunate to be evacuated from Singapore during the Japanese invasion. He ended up in Ceylon where he was commissioned in the RAFVR (Met Branch) as a forecaster. In Jan 1945 he returned to Australia, Perth, on an exchange posting. It was there he died from pneumonia on 30 October 1945.

    That all comes from personal research, but I just wonder if, despite being RAFVR, as an Australian he might have qualified for a file in your source?

    Brian

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    Default Re: HP Halifax crash 27 August 1944 Pembrokeshire

    Brian,

    There's an A705, digitized, on your man. Use his service number to search if the link times out.

    https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/Sear...1081961&isAv=N

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Default Re: HP Halifax crash 27 August 1944 Pembrokeshire

    Many thanks, Dave. Despite Thompson being RAFVR, I had a vague hope an Australian record might add a little more to his background. In the event his file largely details his illness and subsequent death, but even that was useful in that I had been advised by his grandson that he died of pneumonia, whereas it was myocarditis.

    Brian

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    Default Re: HP Halifax crash 27 August 1944 Pembrokeshire

    Brian,

    Thompson was discussed at some length, five years ago, on RAFCommands. I provided all I had on him at that time:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...en-30-10-1945/

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 2nd March 2021 at 23:07.

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    Default Re: HP Halifax crash 27 August 1944 Pembrokeshire

    Yes, thanks Col. I remember those exchanges and it was about that time, and prompted by your post, that I started researching his story - which proved unusual to say the least. He was working as a Quantity Surveyor in Malaya at the time of the Japanese invasion, but was fortunate to be evacuated from Singapore on 11 February 1942 on the Empress Star, eventually reaching Ceylon, via the Netherlands East Indies. It was there he was commissioned as a forecaster in the RAFVR (Met Branch) - probably as part of his work in Malaya involved basic meteorology. Most of his time in Ceylon was spent forecasting at RAF China Bay. He returned to Australia on an exchange posting in January 1945, became seriously ill with myocarditis during August, and died less than three months later.

    His RAFVR status through all this was strange as he never visited the UK and it's difficult to see why he wasn't able to transfer to the RAAF.

    Brian

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