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Thread: F/Lt Edmond Charles Cathels RAF 37905

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    Default F/Lt Edmond Charles Cathels RAF 37905

    Hello all
    I would please like details on this Canadian pilot.
    Enlisted in the RAF on 6-7-36 on SSC as A/PO. 10-4-37 was with 47 sqn at Khartoum on Vickers Vincents.
    Promotion to PO on 11-5-37 and on 11-5-40 to FO then to 611 sqn as 'A' Flt CO on 3-6-41.
    Where was his postings from 1937 to 1941 please. He was shot down with 403 sqn on 27-8-41 in Spitfire IIa, P8726 and taken POW.
    When was he repatriated and when did he leave the RCAF which he transferred to on 24-11-44.
    With thanks,
    Roy

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    hello,

    I seem to remember that we have already mentioned this pilot, at least with Steve Brew, whose uncle was shot down and captured the same day, in the same area.

    I have Edmund Cathels' PoW questionnaire, in which he gave the following details :
    date of birth 1st June 1917
    date of enlisment : 11th May 1936 (different from yours, but exactly a year before he's confirmed as a Pilot Officer, though), on a short service commission in the RAF
    private address : c/o B.C. House, London SW1 (this won't help much)
    captured [near] St Omer, on 27th August 1941 (not wounded)
    Oflag XV Lubeck, 10th september to 11th october 1941
    Oflag VII B Warburg, 12th october 1941 to 1st September 1942
    Oflag XXI B Schubin, 1st september 1942 to 14th April 1943
    Stalag Luft III Sagan, 15th April 1943 to 28th January 1945
    Stalag IIIA Luckenwalde, 5th February to 5th May 1945.
    In the para about escapes attempted, he wrote that he worked on many tunnels (approx 10), in charge of one. None except one were successfull out of which five officers escaped but were recaptured. He never personnally got out of a camp. He didn't mention it specifically, but it's likely that he worked in the "X organisation" for the Great Escape.

    The Squadron ORB mentions he "was a Canadian from British Columbia, who has been in the Royal Air Force some years before war broke out. He had been stationed in the Near East before coming to the Squadron as Flight Commander to replace Sask Trevena [not sure of this one] Ted soon became popular in the Squadron and was known for his tremendous fund of good humour. He will be greatly missed."

    His first name is spellt Edmund in the questionnaire. Do you confirm Edmond (from the London Gazette presumably ?)

    Do you have further details about him (pictures, logbook ?)

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 13th November 2008 at 20:53.

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    Default EC Cathels

    Hello Joss
    Many thanks for your prompt reply.
    I was using the LG name but if it was Edmund in his Questionaire, fine.
    Thanks for his DOB and all his POW movements, all priceless.
    I think he was in the ME until his return to the UK in 1941.
    Regards,
    Roy

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    Default E C Cathels

    Joss
    I failed to say I do not have any photos or logbook copies of F/Lt Cathel.
    I would be interested to know what his RCAF service number was when he transferred from the RAF on 24-11-44 and when he left the RCAF.Also what date did he fill in the POW Questionaire.
    I have found he was granted on 22-5-50 a Qualified Service Pilot Certificate. R Ae C Aviators Certificate No. 26,561, possibly suggesting he was residing in the UK.
    One puzzle is that on 3-8-41 he flew a Rhubarb from Hornchurch in a 611 sqn Spitfire Vb, W3242 timed at 1445-1545 hrs to Calais.
    He had been with 403 sqn for a month before this date at Ternhill and 403 sqn moved to Hornchurch the next day , 4-8-41.
    Regards and thanks,
    Roy

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    hello Roy,

    As you showed interest in this pilot, I thought you might have some specific details about him, which I would have appreciated. He's "local" for my research in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais in France.

    The date of his PoW questionnaire is 9th May 1945, but he added a hand-written report in which he wrote that Stalag Luft IIIA was liberated by the Russian Army on 25th April 1945. He was one of a number of officers who volunteered to work in S4 (don't know what that it !) in Supply dept.

    The service number given in the form is still his RAF one (37905).

    I confirm the flight on 3rd August 1941 with 611 Squadron. He was wingman of F/L E.S. LOCK, DSO, DFC, who actually went missing during that mission.

    I can't answer your other questions, as I've only photocopied 403 Squadron ORB for 27th August 1941. I can add that P8726 was coded 'G'. Early that morning the pilots flew from Debden to Hornchurch, to take part in "Circus 86". They refuelled at Hornchurch and ten took off at 07:15 hours, plus W/C STAPLETON, DFC.

    Joss

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    Default EC Cathels

    Hello Joss
    Many thanks for all your detail on this gutsy Canadian pilot.
    What is confusing me is he is on 611 sqn as 'A' Flt CO on 3-6-41,
    Then is with 403 sqn at Ternhill on 16-7-41 when he force landed Spitfire IIa, P7355 11/2mls SW of Ternhill at 1620 hrs due to faulty fuel guage with Cat C damage.
    He then is back with 611 sqn on 3-8-41 on a Rhubarb to Calais in Spitfire Vb, W3242. Could he have 'borrowed' W3242 to go with Lock on 611 sqn?
    Finally on 27-8-41 is with 403 sqn when he is shot down and made POW.
    Anyway I thank you for sharing your records, I used to be able to go to the PRO but circumstances prevent me now so this forum is wonderful.
    Regards,
    Roy

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