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Thread: Full names of S. Hill and L.J. Roper, RAF 159 Sqn airmen & PoW survivors

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    Default Full names of S. Hill and L.J. Roper, RAF 159 Sqn airmen & PoW survivors

    I am looking for the following names information on two Liberator crewmates, each a member of the RAF, who survived PoW incarceration in Rangoon Jail in 1944 and 1945. I am curious if anyone can provide these specifics:

    a) The full name of 1891770 Sgt Stan [EDIT: No, I meant Sid] HILL, a flight engineer, and

    b) The full name of 1338538 F/Sgt L. J. ROPER, Hill’s second pilot.

    Chindit researcher Steve Fogden had, a few years ago, located a source giving Hill’s first name as “Stan” [EDIT: No, Steve had it correct as "Sid", and I typed it wrong, making the name "Stan"], but Steve recently could not rediscover that source. Except in Steve’s excellent database of Rangoon Jail prisoners, I have only seen this airman mentioned as “S. Hill”.

    Roper's first and middle names are only identified by initials in the sources I have found.

    Hill and Roper were aboard 159 Squadron Liberator BZ978, which ditched in the Bay of Bengal after being attacked by fighters over Thailand on 6 October 1944. These two, plus one other, Canadian rear gunner R184955 F/Sgt Harry Richardson, made it into a dinghy but were soon captured. Richardson, wounded in the air by bullet strikes, was given no medical attention by the Japanese and died in Rangoon Jail on 28 October. Hill and Roper survived incarceration and were liberated in 1945, though I know nothing of their whereabouts post-war.

    I seem to have misplaced another book source of RAF PoW names, by Les and Pam Stubbs, that would possibly have the full names. Curse, curse...the book should be on a shelf with other PoW books. I think gremlins stole it, along with a set of car keys, the timer for cooking, and a DVD remote. Certainly, it's not MY fault they can't be found!

    Might a reader have access to a source or sources which will give fuller names?

    Thanks,

    Matt
    Last edited by Matt Poole; 12th January 2022 at 16:20. Reason: I corrected MY error, not Steve Fogden's

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    Default Re: Full names of S. Hill and L.J. Roper, RAF 159 Sqn airmen & PoW survivors

    Matt,

    Unsung Heroes of the Royal Air Force has the following information:

    HILL, Sid* - 1891770 - 159 Squadron - Held Burma (Rangoon) (p.147).

    ROPER, Leslie John - 1338538 - 159 Squadron - Held Burma (Rangoon) (p.210).

    *
    Should read, HILL, Sidney. 1891770.
    AIR 78/76/8
    HILL, Samuel Aubrey - HILLIER, Hilda.
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C15624247
    Image 6 of 225.

    ROPER, Leslie John -1338538.
    AIR 78/137/5
    ROPER, Leonard - ROSE, J.
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C15625619
    Image 3 of 229.

    Good to hear from you.

    Happy New Year.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 12th January 2022 at 06:29.

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    Default Re: Full names of S. Hill and L.J. Roper, RAF 159 Sqn airmen & PoW survivors

    Well, that was easy...as I knew it would be. Thanks, Col, and Happy New Year to you, too. It's probably on google that a person can wish an HNR through 20 January at 10:47 pm...or there's a Wikipedia site devoted to New Year's greetings. And, of course, if it's on Wiki, it must be correct, right???

    I'm really annoyed that I can't find my copy of "Unsung Heroes of the Royal Air Force". Maybe there really are gremlins in my house. This community was built for returning veterans from WWII, and I've always wondered who occupied this space prior to the previous owner. A Medal of Honor hero? Just a GI who did what was asked of him? I invite the person to send me a sign...and to return missing items.

    You've solved a very small bit of trivia, Col, and I will pass along the info to Hak Hakinson in northwest Thailand, who is deeply researching the aerial operation of 5 October 1944, when two Liberators from 159 Squadron and one from 355 Squadron were lost in attacking rail targets in Thailand in a coordinated assault upon the transport network. I'll also let Chindit reseacher Steve Fogden know (though he does pop in to this forum to read it), and, no doubt, he'll want to tweak his Rangoon Jail PoW database.

    Cheers, and stay away from Mr. COVID and his gang of henchmen,

    Matt

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

    Jagan (12th January 2022)

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    Default Re: Full names of S. Hill and L.J. Roper, RAF 159 Sqn airmen & PoW survivors

    Found it ("Unsung Heroes of the Royal Air Force") inside a box with some specific RAF Liberator items. What it was doing there is beyond me, but I'm very pleased to have found the missing book without too much trouble. I didn't even pull out any hair out of angst.

    Col, your info was important, and even if I'd found the book in time to get Roper's full name, it was you who led me to understand that Hill's name was Sidney, not just Sid.

    AND I MADE A MISTAKE IN MY ORIGINAL POST -- which pisses me off, as I always strive for accuracy (especially when asking a question) -- BY STATING THAT HILL'S FIRST NAME, PER STEVE FOGDEN'S DATABASE, WAS "STAN". Nope - the database had it correct as "Sid", and I typed it wrong. Sorry to Steve, if you read this. I'll be more careful next time...

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