Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27

Thread: Airman Missing in Action May 1940

  1. #1
    mikespeight Guest

    Default Airman Missing in Action May 1940

    Just wondering if anybody can help - or at least point me in the right direction. Is there a database I can check for airmen reported missing in May 1940. A body was washed up on the Essex shore (27.5.1940) - only means of ID was the name on the airman's shirt and was assumed therefore to be Flight Sergeant A H Payne 57 Squadron (Reconnaisance). Subsequently, it was found out that FS Payne had been shot down over France and was buried near Lille.
    Obviously, the airman was wearing FS Payne's shirt (for some unknown reason) - and is buried in the Payne family grave in Quorn, Leics.

    A mystery for sure - hope you can follow it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    54
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Airman Missing in Action May 1940

    Interesting case. I have Sgt PAYNE lost on May 27, 1940, while flying with No.53 Squadron and buried at Faumont as follows:

    RAF BOMBER COMMAND

    53 Squadron, Hawkinge Reconnaissance

    Blenheim L8735. Shot down by Oberfw Labusga of 6./JG3 and crashed near Faumont, north of Douai, 6.35 a.m. P/O P. F. C. Villiers-Tuthill, Sgt D. B. Mearns, and Sgt A. H. Payne killed. Aircraft a write-off.

    You will find all No.53 Squadron losses during May 1940 documented in The Battle of France Then & Now (After The Battle 2008).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    317
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hello Mike,

    Can PM you a database with all names mentioned on Runnymede, 1939 to 28-05-1940. 591 names in all, which gives you an indication of the magnitude of such puzzles. To make sense of this, you would need to match names in some way to Sgt A.H. Payne.

    Regards,

    Rob

  4. #4
    mikespeight Guest

    Default

    Many thanks to you both Rob - that would be useful.
    I doubt that I will be able to properly identify the airman - but an interesting exercise all the same.
    Somewhere down the line I got the Squadron number wrong - will check again.
    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    317
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hello Mike,

    Database comes as an attachment. Can't attach anything on this platform. Your email address is not listed. Please send that to rob.g.philips@qria.nl

    Regards,

    Rob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berkshire
    Posts
    2,210
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Mike
    This may complicate matters but in the 2 Quorn Cemeteries in the UK mentioned on CWGC there is no Payne recorded. In Quorn Baptist Churchyard they note one grave of an "Unidentified Airman of the 39-45 War". The fact that the second airman washed up in Essex wore a shirt with Payne on the collar could be explained from the common practice of distributing the personal belongings of deceased airman among their colleagues and the name was simply Payne's laundry mark when he was alive. It might narrow your search to other 53 Sqn personnel who died after Payne.
    As an interesting possibility, even if only for elimination, Peter Cornwell has given the details from his book on Payne's loss in France. He gives the a/c serial as L8735 and he is habitually careful with his data. Another book "Blenheim" by Graham Warner also records the loss but gives the serial as R3735 with a bracketed footnote that the ORB has the serial as L8735. The Air Britain R Serials has R 3735 as with 53 Sqn and lost in France in Jun 40 with no other details. So it could be that the "mystery" airman was on that a/c and that it came down in the sea from a sortie into France.
    Regards
    Dick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    317
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Dick,

    Mike stated 27-05-1940 as the date of washup of that body in Essex. It remains to be confirmed that this was indeed the date of washup, and not an assumed date of death. If true, then your hypothesis of distribution of laundry of deceased men cannot be valid, as F/Sgt. A.H. Payne died that same day. If the body in fact washed up after 27-05-1940, then the hypothesis would narrow down the search to 53 Sqn members. Still, the MR&ES in its very first shape would have done that. But it cannot hurt to try again.

    Regards,

    Rob

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    317
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    As far as the check goes, only one 53 sqn aviator was MIA prior to 27-05-1940, Lac Jack Bromley, lost 15-05-1940 near Templeuve, Belgium. Two crew buried Templeuve, one MIA. Lost over land, well away from the coast. Does not qualify.

    Rob

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kirkeby
    Posts
    446
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts

    Default Airman Missing in Action May 1940

    Hi Mike,

    I have found a strange coincidence in this case.

    A Sgt Donald Mayston Payne, 902467, RAFVR is lost without trace. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    He went down with Wellington IC P9245 OJ-W from 149 Sqn. The aircraft crashed into the sea of Clacton, Essex on 8 Sep 1940.

    Only one crewmember survived, a P/O Parish managed to swim and reach the coast. Rest of the crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Are you sure, the body was washed up on the Essex shore on 27.5.1940? Could be a mix-up with the death date of Sgt Alfred Hubert Payne, 366401, RAF.

    Sources: BCL 1940 - CWGC.

    Regards

    Finn Buch

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    317
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Good job, Finn! Date on the headstone is not yet confirmed as to its meaning. I believe that the date is intended as date of death, and came after the identification that was made initially. Meaning that the washup may have occurred later, even much later. This is now under investigation. The crash site of the aircraft you mentioned was very close to the Essex shore, if one crew managed to swim ashore. Therefore it is entirely possible that this crash produced a washup in Essex. You may have made the job, described by Mike as "clutching at straws", a lot easier.

    Regards,

    Rob

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •