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Thread: 410819 - Unaccounted airman - 19-8-1941 (Malta)

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    Default Unaccounted airman - 19-8-1941 (Malta)

    Commemorated on the Malta Air Forces Memorial:
    LAC Alexander L.S. TENNENT - 840591 (Panel 2 - Column 2).
    Is it possible that he was a passenger on board of the SS Aguila in transit Liverpool to Gibraltar (Convoy OG71) torpedoed by U.201 and his name erroneously mentioned on the Malta Memorial, where other airmen missing same ship are mentioned on the Runnymede Memorial like there are:
    AC2 William ANDERSON - 1345323 - Panel 58;
    Sgt Geoffrey N. ARNOLD - 339020 - Panel 38;
    LAC (Meteo) Edmund BLACKBURN - 753561 - Panel 56;
    LAC Anthony R. BOYLE - 1276578 - Panel 56;
    AC1 Walter R. COOPER - 1162087 - Panel 57;
    P/O Duncan H. HOBSON - 102667 - Panel 33;
    P/O George W. PAYTON - 100795 - Panel 34;
    AC2 Elwyn T. REES - 1299493 - Panel 58;
    Sgt Harry VARLEY - 339022 - Panel 54;
    AC1 (Meteo) Collin G. WATSON - 1262984 - Panel 58, and
    Sgt Arthur N.P. WITTING - 339021 - Panel 55.

    Regards and thanks for your help.
    Henk.

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    Henk,
    Can confirm that he was passenger on Aquila as you thought.

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    Henk very interested in your request because of the two meteorologists. Could you advise how you traced such a large number of RAF personnel as being on the SS Aguila please? The book 'Nightmare Convoy' by Paul Lund and Harry Ludlam lists the Aguila as having 84 passengers in total, of whom 22 were WRENS. The book also records that the passengers were all RN personnel - something I know to be in error as AHB has confirmed Blackburn and Watson were definitely on board.

    Quoting from the book (page 25):

    " .... all the passengers were on board. There was a total of eighty-four, all naval personnel, including members of the Fleet Air Arm and, of course, the unexpected and attractive company of twenty-two Wrens."

    I can understand an error of two, but 11 seems a rather large number to overlook - unless the FAA personnel were actually RAF men.

    As an aside, Nicholas Monsarrat was an officer on one of the escorts, and his book "The Cruel Sea" was based on the events of this convoy - not one Merchant Navy ship reaching Gibraltar.

    Brian

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    AlanW, Hi,
    From the certainty of yr response one presumes you to have a copy of the Manifest (or Pax List)? If so we (the Met Section) would appreciate a sight of it. It may give us a clue as to where our two blokes were going - or even where they came from!
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Peter,
    Unfortunatley, no manifest, his name appears on the Death Registers for 1941 as being aboard the ship.
    Regards.....Alan.

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    Alan,
    Curses!!! Yet another "Good Idea" bites the dust!!!
    Nevertheless tks yr help!
    Rgds
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Peter,
    According to www.wrecksite.eu it's possible they were on their way to Gibralter. Aguilla left Liverpool bound for Gibralter and Lisbon with nearly 300 sacks of mail and 1288 tons of general gargo.

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    Alan,
    No - we'd got all that (and the U-boat stuff). We revisit the sites of some of our ROH "Customers" from time to time just to see if anyone had come up with anything new! When I saw yr post I thought "He's got A LIST!". When we started researching (some years ago!) the Met Office ROH WW2 casualties I sent our then known list to Henk (which is why his list of RAF persons on the Aguila has 'meteo' after our two blokes!). The differences between the various accounts of how many Pax of which Service were actually on the Aguila has yet to be satisfactorily explained (not, thankfully, the primary business of the Met Section!!!).
    Nearly a major victory! - but reducing to banging my head on my computer desk in frustration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Cat has departed - for reasons of safety - into the airing cupboard, on hearing the bad language coming out of my Den!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
    Tks again
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Gentlemen,

    AHB confirms their unit as Gibraltar.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanW View Post
    Hi Peter,
    Unfortunatley, no manifest, his name appears on the Death Registers for 1941 as being aboard the ship.
    Regards.....Alan.

    Brian,
    Info on Aguila-casualties came from archives of the late Hans de Haan, a Dutch Air War historian who passed away about four years ago.
    I know further that, except for ANDERSON * BOYLE * HOBSON, the indication "S.S. Aguila" is mentioned to their names in the printed versions of the Runnymede Registers.
    Regards,
    Henk.

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