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Thread: P/O Clay crew members September 1943

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    Default P/O Clay crew members September 1943

    I can appreciate this may be a long shot but I am looking for any information of the crew members who flew with F/O LD Clay during early September 1943. I have been aware for many years that F/O Clay lost his life on ops on the night of 27th September 1943 with 199 Squadron when flying as “second dickey” in the crew of Sgt. Maurice Hodson operating to Hanover. My uncle was the wireless operator in the Hodson crew and only the bomb aimer escaped with his life.

    Bill Chorley in his Bomber Command War Losses (HCU) series has a report of an incident at 1657 HCU on 9 September 1943 where “T/O Stradishall for flying practice. Swung on landing at 12.58 and the undercarriage gave way, damaging the aircraft beyond repair… As was so often the case, his crew were left without a skipper”.

    F/O Clay’s crew on 9 September 1943 are recorded as follows : -

    Sgt. C N William
    Sgt. W Fletcher
    P/O A H Hall RCAF
    Sgt. T O W Purkiss
    Sgt. B M Slade
    Sgt. E J Bullock

    I can only assume that Bill Chorley’s listing of crew positions has been retained i.e. pilot, flight engineer, navigator, bomb aimer, wireless op and the gunners as per his other volumes.

    I only have access to 199 records from late July 1943 to late September 1943 although the returns for September 1943 indicate that both F/O Clay and a P/O C A Hall service no. J/23468 were posted to 199 Squadron wef 18 September 1943. The returns for October 1943, indicate a P/O C Hall service no. J/23468 was posted from 199 Squadron to 1665 HCU wef 16 October 1943. This P/O Hall may or may not be the same P/O Hall who flew with F/O Clay on 9 September 1943.

    I can appreciate that some of the men who flew with F/O Clay on 9 September 1943 could have remained with 199 and been used as “spare bods” or could have returned to 1665 HCU or other HCU’s to be crewed up with another pilot.

    I have checked on the CWGC for the names of Purkiss, Slade and Bullock and, assuming their initials are recorded correctly above, there is no evidence of a death.

    Does anyone have any information about the fate of the 6 men who had flown with F/O Clay?

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    Default Re: P/O Clay crew members September 1943

    The majority of this crew were by September 1944 flying with 171 Squadron

    e.g. 15th September Stirling "V" LJ562
    W/O V J TOWNSHEND Pilot
    P/O W FLETCHER Nav
    W/O T C W PURKISS Wop/AG
    W/O JONES Wop/Spec
    F/O C A HALL J23468 A/B
    P/O B M SLADE M/U
    F/Sgt E J BULLOCK R/G
    F/Sgt C N WILLIAMS F/Eng

    Chris
    Last edited by cozzy711; 28th April 2022 at 17:53.

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    Default Re: P/O Clay crew members September 1943

    Hello

    I think Sgt. T. O. W. Purkiss is possibly (probably?) 1271656 Thomas Osborn William Purkis (with one s - details from Air 78/130).

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: P/O Clay crew members September 1943

    B M Slade and E J Bullock

    B M Slade and E J Bullock are recorded as taking part in operational sorties with 199 Squadron until 6th September 1944. B M Slade and E J Bullock are then recorded as participating in operational sorties with 171 Squadron, the first on 15th September 1944, the last on 28th October 1944 (E J Bullock) and on 8th April 1945 (B M Slade]

    TOW Purkiss

    Also recorded as taking part in operational sorties with 199 Squadron until 6th September 1944. No information available after this date

    [All information taken from the indexed ORBs on The Genealogist site]
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Default Re: P/O Clay crew members September 1943

    Hi,

    R156155 Charles Archibald HALL (J23468) A/B comm 5th Feb., 1943

    Can Gaz 1943-04-10 Item 23 of 100

    Regards

    Mojmir

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    Default Re: P/O Clay crew members September 1943

    Thanks to Chris, Simon, Pete and Mojmir for their very welcome replies. I had previously not been on the forum for some time but it is good to see the levels of expertise has not diminished over time.

    It would appear as if F/O Clay’s crew were kept on the Squadron. I know that the Stirling was removed from Main Force duties by November 1943 due to the high loss rate the aircraft and crews suffered earlier in 1943. The Squadron was transferred to 100 Group around April – May 1944 when it moved from Lakenheath to North Creake whereupon it began RCM duties. C Flight in the Squadron was used to form 171 Squadron at North Creake so the information you have supplied fits the narrative.

    Thanks again for all your help

    Regards

    Douglas

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    Default Re: P/O Clay crew members September 1943

    Hi Douglas,

    F. O. Charles Archibald Hall (his bio to 50th and his photo)

    http://www.allanjohnson.ca/langruth/veterans.html

    His obituary: Passed on May 24, 2000

    https://passages.winnipegfreepress.c...ir-asc?page=21

    Regards

    Mojmir

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    Default Re: P/O Clay crew members September 1943

    171 Squadron p. 59/494 and forward...

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C2503742


    1605643 Colin Nevile WILLIAMS

    1814762 Edward John BULLOCK

    Regards

    Mojmir

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    Default Re: P/O Clay crew members September 1943

    Mojmir

    Thank you for the two additional pieces of information. It is appreciated.

    Regards

    Douglas

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