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Thread: Dakota Mk.III KG387/Z2-? - 437 Squadron RCAF

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    Default Dakota Mk.III KG387/Z2-? - 437 Squadron RCAF

    Hi all,

    another plane where I am looking for individual letter is Dakota Mk.III KG387/Z2-? from No. 437 Squadron RCAF - it failed to return from supply flight during operation Market-Garden on 21/9/1944.

    Again I have the full details including the crew but not the letter.. any help much appreciated.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default Kg387

    Hi Pavel,

    The code for Dakota KG387 was Z2-UF. Crashed South of Wilhelminacanal (Esp)at Son, near Eindhoven. Do you have any pics of more info regarding this a/c and crew??

    Regards,
    Adrian

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    Adrian,

    Pilot was F/L R.W. Alexander, who got killed. KG387 was shot down by enemy fighters.
    Two crew members could bail out: F/O Rechenuc and F/Sgt McHugh. First one could return to his station next day, McHugh was taken to a US hospital in Belgium.

    I don't know about other crew members.

    437 Squadron lost four out of ten Dakotas that day (KG489 crash landing at Eerschot, KG387 at Sonse heide, KG376 at Keldonk/Erp and FZ656 lost over North Sea).

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    KG387: also killed:
    F/O W.S. McLINTOCK - RCAF J/38773;
    Despatchers killed:
    Cpl A.E. HALL - T/187220;
    Driver H. WOODWARD - T/1455222, and
    Driver F.G.W. YEO - T/14673529 (servicenumber to be checked).
    Despatcher survived and injured:
    LCpl O.R. JONES.

    Henk.

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    Concerning FZ656: an earlier post on this forum, or maybe the old forum, reported this aircraft as crash-landing at B.56 on 21 September 1944, with flak damage. Was this possibly another 437 Squadron aircraft?

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    Default

    Bill/Leendert,
    AB has FZ656 shot down by Flak in the Arnhem area. I've four names on file, all PoW.
    F/O R.A. KENNEY - RCAF J/20134 - L1/6171;
    W/O R.E. ENGLISH - 1590341 - RAF - PoW;
    Sgt L. EVANS - 1607215 - RAF - PoW, and
    P/O A.H. MacALONEY - RCAF J/87683 - L1/6172.
    If names of crew correct than Arnhem area must be the crash area because most other parts of The Netherlands then were liberated by the Allies.
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Default The 10 pilots & Dakotas of Sept 21.

    Dear people, January 7, 2009.

    Thank you for writing this information that I have been looking for.

    So;
    From what I can gather, 3 of the pilots of the 4 returning (to Blakehill Farm) 437 Sqdn. Dakotas on September 21, 1944 were;

    - Flying Officer Errol Q. Semple in Dakota ?.
    - Joe Reed in Dakota ?KG395 (Z2-Y)?.
    - Flight Sergeant Lane in Dakota KG409, - where my father was the co-pilot.

    They say a 5th Dakota was destroyed in a crash-landing;
    ? " ... FZ656: an earlier post on this forum, or maybe the old forum, reported this aircraft as crash-landing at B.56 [Evere Belgium] ..." ?

    What I do not understand is wether or not F/O Gerald Hagerman's plane (were everyone bailed out) counts as one of the 4 downed Dakota, by Arnhem or if it is a sixth destroyed aircraft.

    The 4 Dakotas downed by Arnhem were;

    ?"FZ656 shot down by Flak in the Arnhem area"
    The pilot may have been P/O A.H. MacALONEY or F/O R.A. KENNEY.?

    "Dakota KG387 was Z2-UF. Crashed South of Wilhelminacanal (Esp)at Son, near Eindhoven." "at Sonse heide"
    "Pilot was F/L R.W. Alexander, who got killed. KG387 was shot down by enemy fighters."

    "KG489 crash landing at Eerschot"

    "KG376 at Keldonk/Erp"

    The airmen that died in KG489 or KG376 or another plane were;
    HACKETT, John C. H. F/Sgt
    MAHON, Michael S. R. F/O

    The airmen that died in KG489 or KG376 or another plane were;
    BLAIR, John S. F/O
    BRENNAN, Thomas J. F/O
    CRESSMAN, Charles H.
    STEFFIN, Paul F/O

    If anyone can make this clearer to me I would appreciate it.
    Patrick Connolly.
    E-mail - minchan@cba.att.ne.jp

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    Sorry to interupt, but...

    Cannot let pass the chance to repose my question regarding 437 sqn Dakotas in the skies over Copenhagen in May 1945. Any ideas?
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?t=93

    regards
    Mikkel Plannthin
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    Crew KG376:
    F/O G.P. HAGERMAN - J14437 - safe;
    F/Sgt John C.H. HACKET - 1290119 - Runnymede Panel (RP) 218;
    F/O Michael S.R. MAHON - J87637 - RP247,
    W/O J.P. DE CHAMPLAIN - R113044 - safe, and
    L/Cpl James ADAMSON - T249802 - Groesbeek Memorial of the Missing Panel 11.
    AHB/RAF has no info on the names of the other despatchers on board who may have survived the accident.

    It seems there was a communal report that near the house of Mr P. Biemans (address Hool No.6) three unknown allied airmen were buried. No annotation in the report on reburial. Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery has two unknown airmen buried 12.G.6.

    Crew KG489:
    F/O John S. BLAIR - J36992 - buried Groesbeek War Cem.; first buried St.Oedenrode;
    F/O Charles H. CRESSMAN - J35991 - Uden War Cem. (see note 1);
    F/O Paul STEFFIN - J24238 - buried Groesbeek, first buried St.Ooedenrode;
    F/O Thomas J. BRENNAN - J27326 - Groesbeek War Cem. (see note 2);
    Cpl George H. RHODES - T10694070 - buried St.Oedenrode.
    L/Cpl Reginald A. ADAMS - T3911832 - buried St.Oedenrode.
    Driver Rowland J. CLAXTON - T5770427 - buried St.Oedenrode, and
    Driver Donald F. TITE - T14418031 - buried St.Oedenrode.

    Note 1: May have been buried near the aircraft wreckage and reburied as an unknown airman. Definitive identification was in 1996 and on the grave stone is mentioned "Believed to be"; his name also on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Note 2: First buried in a fielgrave near the house of Mr L. van de Ven at Eerschot.


    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Default Squadron Leader R.W. Alexander

    Thank you Henk, January 11 & 12, 2009.

    That does make it clearer. I have started to write a little more but before diverting, from the original topic of the string, I want to add something on Dakota KG387 Z2-UF.
    A year ago I found some info. on a F/L R.W. Alexander and I guess this would be the same person.
    It says he was "a fine bomb aimer and an exceptionally good navigator" but I do not know what piloting experience he had but, I imagine, as a Squadron Leader it would have been considerable.

    The pilot of the plane would not always be the highest ranking officer on the plane. I am wondering; with a higher ranking officer on board who would be in charge of the plane? The navigator's Flight Log only asked who the pilot of the plane was, so I never know who else was in the plane that my father was flying in (in his latter years).

    This is the information that I found on the web and the page I found this on was;
    http://www.airforce.ca/wwii/ALPHA-AA.html

    "ALEXANDER, F/L Robert Wilfred (J2833) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.148 Squadron - Award effective 7 April 1942 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 611/42 dated 24 April 1942. Born in Norwich, Ontario, 20 August 1920, home there or Paris, Ontario; enlisted London, Ontario, 16 April 1940. Trained at No.1 ITS. Graduated from No.1 AOS, 17 August 1940 and No.1 ANS, Trenton, 26 October 1940. Medal presented April 1943. Photo PL-1819 shows P/O U.L.J.L. Bezaire, P/P J.H. Percer and P/O R.W. Alexander at Ottawa's Union Station, November 1940; PL-16042 shows him at Government House for investiture.

    As an air observer this officer has carried out 51 operational sorties against the enemy. He has participated in many attacks against objectives in Libya, Syria, Greece, and in the whole Mediterranean area. Flight Lieutenant Alexander is a fine bomb aimer and an exceptionally good navigator. Over a long period he has been carrying out duties of Squadron Navigation Officer with great success and his experience as an observer combined with his ability as an instructor have enabled him to attain a very high standard of navigation in the squadron. This officer has displayed consistent keenness, coolness and determination and has set a fine example to all."

    This page does not seem to be there anymore and the e-mail I sent there was not answered.

    Take care, Patrick.

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