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Thread: RCAF Typhoon pilots POW fall of 1944

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    Default RCAF Typhoon pilots POW fall of 1944

    A reader of my website is trying to track down details about an incident related to him by a relative, who served with a German flak unit on the Dutch/German border late in the war. He recalls a Typhoon being shot down in the fall of 1944 while attacking rail transport, with the Canadian pilot bailing out and being taken POW. Hugh Halliday's superb book names some candidates, plus 3 pilots with the correct dates but no further details. Can anyone provide some info on the capture of these 3 pilots?

    F/O F. Major, 195 Squadron, captured 2 November 1944

    F/O W.B.T. Smiley, 197 Squadron, captured 13 October 1944

    F/O R.S. Wilson, 137 Squadron, captured 11 October 1944

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    Hi Bill:

    Had a look in Shores & Thomas' books on 2nd TAF. For October 11, they say "around 1410, 137 Sqn Typhoon 1B JP663 F/O R/S Wilson (PoW) Hit by Flak (?), force-landed 2m S Zaltbommel." The entry for 13 October is "around 1735, 197 Squadron Typhoon 1B MN921 S, F/O W.B.T. Smiley (Pow), Hit by Flak, force-landed near Heusden." Although not explicitly linked, the text for that day says 197 Squadron attacked buildings near Breda believed to house German generals - the attack went wrong as Dutch civilians were killed and the generals, who were in the house next door, emerged unscathed after sheltering behind a wall.

    Are you sure about the squadron for 2 November? There's nothing about a 195 Squadron loss on 2 November, either in Shores & Thomas or in the Fighter Command War Diaries, and Ross' site says 195 was disbanded in 1943. There was a 182 Squadron loss that day, but the pilot's name was strong, and he was KIA (Shores & Thomas).

    HTH,

    Mark

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    Thanks very much Mark. It looks like we can rule out Wilson and Smiley. Concerning Major, all I know is what is in "Typhoon and Tempest - The Canadian Story" by Halliday. Just checked again, and it says 195 Squadron for this officer.

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    Default RCAF Typhoon Pilots POW

    I may indeed be the source of an error re No.195 Squadron, as "Air of Authority" confirms it existed as a Typhoon squadron from 16 November 1942 to 15 February 1944 and that its later existance was as a Lancaster squadron, 1 October 1944 to 14 August 1945.

    A POW list in my data base insists that F/O Frank Major was a POW with No.195 Squadron, 2 November 1944. The list is clearly incorrect either to date or squadron, and neither of my two references ("The Hawker Typhoon and Tempest" by Francis K. Mason, "The Typhoon and Tempest Story" by Chris Shores and Chris Thomas) show Major as being downed about that date (or even 2 November 1943, which might have crept in as a typographical error).

    The list which appeared in my book was based on a portion of a document supplied to me by another party, and I will endeavour to check the card file on which said party based the list. This I shall not be able to do until about 2-3 October, but for the purposes of the main question posed in this thread, I am prepared to admit to error and await the punishment of my peers.

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    "No good deed goes unpunished", eh Hugh?

    (grins)

    I sense a-tarrin' an' a-featherin'!!!

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    hello,

    In his PoW questionnaire, William Bryant Thompson SMILEY said he was captured near Doordrecht, NL, on 13th October 1944. It's the only questionnaire I have, I copied it when I was looking for John Beverley SMILEY's, also because he was a Typhoon pilot. He doesn't give details about the circumstances of his downing.

    Joss

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    F/O Frank MAJOR - J/35774 was the air bomber on Lancaster HK663. The aircraft came down in an area already liberated by the allies; F/O Major and four other crew came down on still by the Germans occupied territory. (Source Chorley Vol.5 page 468).
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Default Tars and feathers

    They are indeed appropriate; No.195 Squadron was indeed a Lancaster unit and F/O Major has no place in a book on Typhoons. Those in possession of "Typhoon and Tempest: The Canadian Story" may amend their copies.

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    Thanks to everyone for their help.

    Hugh, I will amend my copy as directed, but only if you initial the change in the margin.

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    Default Typhoon amendment

    Bring the book to the October meeting, Ottawa Chapter, Canadian Aviation Historical Society (30 October, National Research Council, Sussex Drive).

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