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Thread: Photo of an RAF sergeant made PoW

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    Default Photo of an RAF sergeant made PoW

    This photograph is included in the picture collections of the NIOD (Netherlands Institute for War Documentation) and the RAD (Regional Archive Dordrecht). It's source is not clear. It may have been a German propaganda picture. Prints of it seem to have been quite widely distributed in The Netherlands during the war. But nothing seems to be known of where and when this photograph was taken or who the airman on it is.
    Is there anybody out there who has a clue?


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    Default Re: Photo of an RAF sergeant made PoW

    Nobody seems to want to have a go at this one!
    So what do we know from the photo?:
    1. He is a Sgt
    2. He has the ‘sparks’ badge, so he is probably an aircrew Sgt Wireless Operator.
    3. It is a dull, cloudy, day – no shadows visible.
    4. It is probably early autumn – only one greatcoat, and the horticulture is in full leaf.
    5. The house roofs are not at a great angle – so the location is probably one of low winter snowfall.
    6. Our Sgt W/OP is in his ‘Best Blue’ jacket. When was the battle-dress blouse the ‘norm’ on Ops?
    7. His flying-boots/uniform is clean/dry – so no muddy fields, or ponds/rivers?
    8. Somewhere on the internet is a group/club/society/forum, etc, that researches the style and functionality of street-lights. They need to be found so that they can put a place/time to the one in the picture.
    9. Somebody will know the functions of those wearing the various uniforms?
    Regret that is the best I can do!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 24th September 2021 at 15:53. Reason: QSD
    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: Photo of an RAF sergeant made PoW

    Hi Hans & Peter-This photograph of the RAF Flight Sergeant was printed in an appeal article in the monthly magazine "Flypast November 1984" on page 8.From the brief article "this picture was taken in the tiny village of Wassenaar near The Hague,Holland in 1941?" From the article the person who was trying to identify the RAF chap was C Rijken,Schubertlaan 96,5633 En Eindhoven,The Netherlands.
    Regards,Philip

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    Default Re: Photo of an RAF sergeant made PoW

    Well found, Toml.

    Hope you'll excuse me pointing out that the RAF man is a Sergeant Wireless Operator or Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, as Peter has already noted.

    The photo enlarges quite well and it is clearly the WOp's fistful of sparks trade badge, not the Crown of a Flight Sgt, above his Sgt stripes.

    Nevertheless a good spot from an old Flypast - then and now, rather prone to such blunders, if that was in their text...
    Last edited by Don Clark; 24th September 2021 at 22:00.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Photo of an RAF sergeant made PoW

    Quote Originally Posted by Toml View Post
    Hi Hans & Peter-This photograph of the RAF Flight Sergeant was printed in an appeal article in the monthly magazine "Flypast November 1984" on page 8.From the brief article "this picture was taken in the tiny village of Wassenaar near The Hague,Holland in 1941?" From the article the person who was trying to identify the RAF chap was C Rijken,Schubertlaan 96,5633 En Eindhoven,The Netherlands.
    Regards,Philip

    Thank you, Philip! A very good lead!
    Mr. Rijken was one of the authors of 'Operation Oyster', a book about the the RAF raid on the Philips factories in Eindhoven on 6 december 1942. Did the knowledge that the picture was taken in Wassenaar come from mr. Rijken and was he trying to identify the wireless operator?

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    Default Re: Photo of an RAF sergeant made PoW

    Just another little item I've noticed.
    There are no weapons in the photo - not even Officers' side-arms!
    Must have been a posed photo?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    PS And only a few hundred metres from the airfield at EHVB (various names)
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 25th September 2021 at 07:45. Reason: PS added
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
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    Default Re: Photo of an RAF sergeant made PoW

    Quote Originally Posted by Resmoroh View Post
    Just another little item I've noticed.
    There are no weapons in the photo - not even Officers' side-arms!
    Must have been a posed photo?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    PS And only a few hundred metres from the airfield at EHVB (various names)
    As I wrote in my original post: it could be a photograph made by the Germans for propaganda purposes. The overall atmosphere is very relaxed: everybody is smiling.
    EHVB is the airfield Valkenburg. It was used by the luftwaffe until 1943. The nearest edge of the field as it was then lies 2,5 km. from the build up area of Wassenaar as it was then. There could be a connection, but the location could just as easy have been just outside the local Ortskommandantur. The party have just arrived at, or is about to leave, the location by means of the car at the right.

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    Default Re: Photo of an RAF sergeant made PoW

    Hans-From the Flypast magazine photograph and the brief appeal article Mr.Rijken was trying to identify the airman with regard to giving him a copy of the photograph.I forgot to ask if you e-mail me I will scan a copy of the article/photograph from the Flypast magazine.
    Regards,Philip

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    Default Re: Photo of an RAF sergeant made PoW

    Quote Originally Posted by Toml View Post
    Hans-From the Flypast magazine photograph and the brief appeal article Mr.Rijken was trying to identify the airman with regard to giving him a copy of the photograph.I forgot to ask if you e-mail me I will scan a copy of the article/photograph from the Flypast magazine.
    Regards,Philip

    I hope mr. Rijken has succeeded in finding the man on the picture.
    I greatly appreciate you offer! I have send you an email.

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    Default Re: Photo of an RAF sergeant made PoW

    But, on the other hand!!!
    If it was a propaganda picture shoot (as seems likely - with all laughing or smiling) then who is to say that the bloke inside the Sgt W/Op/AG's uniform (smiling) is actually the Sgt to whom it was issued and who flew in it? Might just be a German acting the part - everything is too clean and tidy?
    I will admit that I am a Committed Conspiracy Theorist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    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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