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Thread: Baltimore FA483 - unaccounted KIA and POW

  1. #1
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    Default Baltimore FA483 - unaccounted KIA and POW

    Hi,

    1943-10-24 Baltimore Mk.IV FA483 ‘‘B“, 13 Sqdn RHAF. Mission to Crete. Offensive reconnaissance off Cape Lithinos, Kavos Muros and
    Gavdos, Crete. Shot down by flak, ditched near the island of Gavdos.

    Crew, ORB:
    F/O COSKINAS N. (G)
    2/Lt TSIRICOGLOU P. (G)
    W/O POLYMENACOS P. (G)
    F/Sgt BANKS M. (Br)

    Full names:
    KOSKINAS Nikolaos 140, RHAF, pilot POW (ΚΟΣΚΙΝΑΣ ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟΣ)
    TSIRIKOGLOU Panagiotis, RHAF, navigator POW (ΤΣΙΡΙΚΟΓΛΟΥ ΠΑΝΑΓΙΩΤΗΣ)
    POLYMENAKOS Panagiotis, RHAF, bomb aimer KIA (ΠΟΛΥΜΕΝΑΚΟΣ ΠΑΝΑΓΙΩΤΗΣ)
    BANKS, Graham Nelson 411736, RNZAF, W/Ag KIA


    On Spartan Wings: The Royal Hellenic Air Force in World War Two by John Car

    … He (Koskinas) and Tsirikoglou were than put on the train to Stalag Luft I in Germany. …

    Koskinas PoW No. 1551, Tsirikoglou ???

    W/O Polymenakos is not listed in CWGC. Why?

    http://www.pasoipa.org.gr/lefkoma/pilot_details/?id=209

    His name is commemorated here:
    https://eleftheriaonline.gr/photo-vi...y25aac256a0-24

    Regards

    Mojmir
    Last edited by vrajm; 27th December 2021 at 20:57.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Baltimore FA483 - unaccounted KIA and POW

    Hello,

    Some additional detail:

    Sun 24 Oct 1943
    MEDITERRANEAN AIR COMMAND
    Offensive reconnaissance off Cape Lithinos, Kavos, Muros and Gavdos, Crete.
    13 Squadron, Royal Hellenic Air Force (LG143 [Gambut 3], Libya - 235 Wing, 201 Group, Middle East)
    Baltimore IV FA483/B - took off at 1007 piloted by Sqn Ldr N Coskinas, RHAF, and was ditched near the island of Gavdos on being shot down. The RNZAF wireless operator-air gunner and an RHAF airman, both wounded, sank with the aircraft. Coskinas and the fourth crew member, also of the RHAF, survived and were captured. The New Zealander is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial.

    WOp/AG: NZ411736 Wt Off Graham Nelson BANKS, RNZAF - Age 25.

    The CWGC register incorrectly identifies Banks' unit as being a squadron of the RAF.

    See:For Your Tomorrow 2/Martyn/p.154 & For Your Tomorrow 3/Martyn/p.75 (bio).

    And from MAW5:

    Sunday, 24 October 1943

    Four Ar 196s rescued a Baltimore crew shot down at Gavdos.

    British Casualties

    13(H) Sqn - Baltimore IV FA483 'B' left 1007, shot down near Gavdos Island and ditched; Flg Off N Coskinas and one rescued by Ar 196s, POW, two KIA.

    German Claims

    Flak - Baltimore - 5km S Gavdos - 1051.

    See:
    A History Of The Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945 Volume Five From The Fall of Rome to the End of the War 1944-1945
    Shores,Christopher et al.
    London:Grub Street,2021.
    p.57

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 27th December 2021 at 22:58.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Baltimore FA483 - unaccounted KIA and POW

    Hello,

    Interesting aside from Alex Gould DFC and 2nd/Lt P. Tsirikoglou: in, Tales from the Sagan Woods (Stalag Luft 3):

    Tales of Survival 1939 - 1945.
    To Berlin June 1944 - December 1944.
    Tale 113 - Log page 18.
    2nd/Lt. P. Tsirikoglu [sic] RHAF - Nav. - Baltimore - Oct.44 (Crete) (p.9)

    Log page 18 (Copy of actual YMCA/Red Cross Log page, in Greek/English).

    Tale 113 - Wartime Log page 18.

    The Greek Navigator of a Baltimore near Gavros (off Crete) swims for 4 1/2 hours before capture.

    2/LT TSIRIKOGLOU P. - R.H.A.F. - NAVIGATOR - GREECE -"BALTIMORE IV" -
    S. W. KREETE (GAVDOS) - OCT/44.

    The sun shines sudenlly. I see the small island of Gurdos S.W. of KRETE and its small port a ship. I dive and I see the GREEK flag, I turn right, but ACK/ACK hits us and we crash on the surface of the sea. After 4 1/2 hours swimming with my pilot we are captured. The A/G and W/OP remain in the eternal depths at the bottom of the GREEK Sea as guards of my aircraft.

    (Signed) P. TSIRIKOGLOU 2/LT.

    N.B. - Author wrote in Greek, and above, his own English.

    The translation from the Greek follows:

    The little island of Gavros appeared suddenly before me shining under the sunshine in the blue waters of the Greek Sea. My victim was a little ship anchored in the small harbour. I plunged a thousand feet but still I could see the white and blue flag waving from the mast. I steered right but the cannons from the island were still hitting us. We crashed in the water. Suffering eight wounds. I swam with the pilot for four and a half hours and we were captured prisoners. The wireless operator and the New Zealander anti-aircraft gunner keep their vigil watch eternally, of the wrecked craft, down at the bottom of the black Greek waters.

    See:
    Tales from the Sagan Woods.
    Gould,Alex H*. D.F.C., and 115 co-authors.
    Bundadoon (NSW):Author,1994.
    pp.9 & 93 (+ Log pages between pp.27-69).

    * Alexander Herbert GOULD DFC, (RAF 40692/RAAF 267901). FTR 20/07/1940 No.61 Sqn Hampden I P4358 - POW No.1269.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 28th December 2021 at 03:50.

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    Default Re: Baltimore FA483 - unaccounted KIA and POW

    Quote Originally Posted by vrajm View Post
    POLYMENAKOS Panagiotis, RHAF, bomb aimer KIA (ΠΟΛΥΜΕΝΑΚΟΣ ΠΑΝΑΓΙΩΤΗΣ)
    W/O Polymenakos is not listed in CWGC. Why?
    similar to the reasons I guess to the Polish war dead with no known resting place are not commemorated by the CWGC.

    Worth looking at how many RHAF airmen were lost without a grave and adding them to our list.

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