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Thread: Sgt William M. KNOWLES - Lost Bay of Biscay - 30 Nov 1942

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    Default Sgt William M. KNOWLES - Lost Bay of Biscay - 30 Nov 1942

    Good evening all.
    Looking for anything on latest casualty research on our local war memorial.
    1434075 Sgt. William Mark Knowles, k.i.a. 30 November, 1942, aged 21,
    remembered Runnymede Panel 87.
    On board Whitley V, on 10 OTU detachment to RAF St. Eval, Cornwall.
    Attacked by Ju 88 during ASW patrol in Bay of Biscay. (Allied Airmen Roll of Honour)
    Any information on him, colleagues, aircraft, etc., appreciated.
    Been going round and round to no avail.
    Stewart

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    Default Re: Sgt William M. KNOWLES - Lost Bay of Biscay - 30 Nov 1942

    Stewart,

    Pg 177 of Chorley's Vol 7 (OTUs) has the Whitely's serial as AD691.

    Crew:

    Sgt G. Bagshaw
    Sgt EOP Bell
    P/O DV Smith
    Sgt B Briscoe
    F/Sgt WH Mackintosh MiD
    Sgt WM Knowles

    Anti submarine patrol. Lost without trace.

    A comment is made that Sgt Bagshaw had saved his life by parachute, at the end of October 1942 (Whitely Z6959, Pg 170 of Vol. 7)

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Default Re: Sgt William M. KNOWLES - Lost Bay of Biscay - 30 Nov 1942

    Thanks once again Dave for your information and reply.

    As usual, a reply raises further questions on various aspects. It’s rarely simple. Now that I can start looking, it would appear that Chorley’s comment, which I haven’t seen, that Bagshaw saved Knowles’s life in Oct, 1942, has a wider dimension. Bagshaw was an observer (second pilot) on Sgt 1215278 Howarth A.V.’s flight in Z6959, when an engine fire caused a return to base at St. Eval where they had been seconded from 10 OTU. On reaching land-fall, the four crew were instructed, presumably by Howarth, to bale-out, whereupon they all survived, except Howarth who stayed with the aircraft and was subsequently killed. This was on 27th October, 1942. See:- http://aircrewremembered.com/howarth-arthur.html Bagshaw was then as you say, lost on AD 691 with Knowles. Sgt Harris, crew member of Z6959, was injured in the bale-out, but returned to duties with another squadron and subsequently lost his life in Belgium. There are two unnamed crew on this web-site, presumably one being A/G Knowles and the second unknown A/G. There are photos of this crew but they are not individually identified. It is believed that KNOWLES had a younger sister, Martha Patricia, but there is presently confusion as to her subsequent life. Enquiries continuing.
    It would appear that 10 OTU’s ORB’s have yet to be digitised by the N.A.’s
    Not having access to KNOWLES’s records restricts how far I can trace his career in the RAF.
    Local newspapers still to be consulted. Many KNOWLES’s in the local phone directory.
    Thanks again Dave, would never have got this far without you.
    Stewart

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    Default Re: Sgt William M. KNOWLES - Lost Bay of Biscay - 30 Nov 1942

    Individual RAF service records are open to all to request - as long as the person in question has been dead for more than 25 years. If they survived the war then a copy of the death certificate is needed with the application.

    In the case of Knowles then as a death in service, commemorated on the CWGC site then a copy of death certificate is not required the entry on CWGC is sufficient.

    In the last few week the system for RAF Disclosures has been altered to accept online application via a few simple questions, but with boxes to add further support, and pay via online debit/credit transfer.

    The minimum you will need for the application is a Year of Birth (full date of birth is better) full name and date of death and payment of £30 fee. Addition info of service number will enhance the search.

    https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military...-elses-records

    At the moment the general email reply advises 6 months wait but my most recent online request had 6 weeks advised, subject to any changes in restriction applied between order and delivery.

    You will get an email a few days after application asking if electronic or post response is preferred.

    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015 to 2022 - All rights reserved.

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    Default Re: Sgt William M. KNOWLES - Lost Bay of Biscay - 30 Nov 1942

    Thanks for that Ross.
    Haven’t been doing RAF casualties for a while and obviously I’m out of touch with the latest for record applications. Besides, being a complete amateur, there is no budget for records and certificates that I would have to buy to do a complete job. Makes me try harder to find a living relative and hopefully get them interested and see if they will pay for the documents. Sounds mercenary, but the budget just isn’t there. Have today spoken with a niece of our casualty’s sister, nothing herself, but pointed me to nephew of casualty who I hope to see in Blackpool tomorrow. Onwards and upwards. Getting there, hopefully.
    Thanks again.
    Stewart

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    Default Re: Sgt William M. KNOWLES - Lost Bay of Biscay - 30 Nov 1942

    Hi Stewart,

    There is a report on this loss in Chris Goss book ‘Bloody Biscay’ they were shot down by Lt Thies of 14/KG 40 his report is in the book. I would be happy to scan the pages for you if you would like. Please feel free to contact me at harleyDOT158ATbigpondDOTcom replace the DOT & AT with the usual.

    Cheers,

    John.
    Last edited by John Williams; 10th November 2021 at 01:32.

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    Default Re: Sgt William M. KNOWLES - Lost Bay of Biscay - 30 Nov 1942

    Good morning John
    Thank you for the reply on the Forum.
    I should be exceedingly obliged if you could scan and forward the item.
    There are no commercial considerations in my research. All will be placed in the public domain i.e. libraries etc.
    Be obliged also if you could include the publisher/isbn so that due acknowledgement is given.
    Thanks again for the offer. Will add greatly to the story.
    Stewart

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    Default Re: Sgt William M. KNOWLES - Lost Bay of Biscay - 30 Nov 1942

    This saga continues.
    There are potential members who served during the losses of Z6959 and AD691, but I am still missing a couple. Can anyone assist? I understand 10 OTU’s ORB’s haven’t been digitised and I can’t check them.
    Z6959 AD691
    27 Oct 1942 30 Nov 1942
    (P) Sgt. A.V. Howarth + (P) Sgt. G. Bagshaw +
    (2nd P) Sgt. Bagshaw (2nd P) Sgt. E.O.P. Bell +
    (Obs) Sgt. L. Harris inj. (later kia) (Obs) Sgt. B. Briscoe +
    (AG) ??? (Could be Sgt. Knowles) (W/Op) F/S. W.H. Mackintosh +
    (AG) ??? (AG) P/O/ D.V. Smith +
    (AG) Sgt. W.M. Knowles +
    Why is there six on board but on another occasion five, or is there a sixth to be found on board Z6959?

    Have spoken to the nephew and niece (separate families) of our casualty KNOWLES but neither have any memorabilia or relevant information. No other living relatives. Seems the search ends here, barring newspaper result to come.

    Stewart
    Last edited by Big Makk; 12th November 2021 at 00:13. Reason: tabulation

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    Default Re: Sgt William M. KNOWLES - Lost Bay of Biscay - 30 Nov 1942

    Stewart,

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...rth-mackintosh

    Links on Mackintosh's page take you to:

    127009 Pilot Officer Derrick Vincent Smith

    657322 Sergeant Ethelbert Oswald Peter Bell

    1383102 Sgt Gerald Bagshaw

    1300474 Sgt Benjamin Briscoe

    1434075 Sgt William Knowles

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Default Re: Sgt William M. KNOWLES - Lost Bay of Biscay - 30 Nov 1942

    Thanks again for that pointer Dave.

    Have incorporated it into the file of some now 50 miscellaneous pages. Certainly moved on. Just a pity about no family memorabilia.

    I see that site has also listed the aircraft as AD961 which was a Hampden. Simple typo.

    Stewart
    Last edited by Big Makk; 12th November 2021 at 12:41. Reason: extra bit

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