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Thread: 410828 - Unaccounted airmen - 28-8-1941

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Bewdley, UK
    Thanked 13 Times in 13 Posts


    Thanks for the prod Alan,

    This is the detail from the RNLI Records of Service 1939-46

    A British bombing aeroplane had come down in the sea about 11.30 in the morning, off Rhosneigr, Anglesey, twenty miles away on the other side of Caernarvon Bay, and at 12.36 P.M. a message was received from the naval officer at Holyhead asking that the life-boat should be sent at once to the rescue. The motor life-boat M.O.Y.E. was launched at 12.48
    and arrived off Rhosneigr at about 2.30. A moderate gale was blowing and the sea was
    rough. It was now three hours since the bomber had come down, and in the meantime
    very gallant efforts to rescue the aeroplane’s crew of three men had been made from the
    shore. All the attempts were unsuccessful, and eleven of the rescuers, as well as the three
    airmen, had been drowned. When the lifeboat arrived there was nothing to be seen
    except two aeroplanes overhead, and the life-boat searched for nearly an hour, but
    found nothing. She then returned to her station, arriving at seven in the evening.-
    Rewards, £4 12s.

    Thirteen Medals for Gallantry
    On the 28th August, 1941, determined efforts were made to rescue the crew of a British aeroplane which had crashed in the sea.
    MR. DERRICK H. BAYNHAM was awarded the silver medal.
    MR. JOHN L. S. WOOD was awarded the silver medal.
    SECOND LIEUTENANT PETER T. WHYSALL, R.A. was posthumously awarded the bronze medal
    BATTERY SERGEANT-MAJOR ALFRED W. MOGER, R.A. was posthumously awarded the bronze medal.
    GUNNER CLARENCE H. THORNTON, R.A. was posthumously awarded the bronze medal.
    GUNNER REGINALD EATON, R.A. was posthumously awarded the bronze medal.
    MR. ARTHUR J. OWEN, Second Officer, Mercantile Marine, was posthumously awarded the bronze medal.
    POLICE CONSTABLE GEORGE C. ARTHUR was posthumously awarded the bronze medal.
    SERGEANT C. JACKSON, R.A. was awarded the bronze medal.
    LANCE BOMBARDIER T. TAYLOR, R.A. was awarded the bronze medal.
    GUNNER J. W. PARKINSON, R.A. was awarded the bronze medal.
    COASTGUARD OFFICER EVAN JONES was posthumously awarded the bronze medal.
    AIRCRAFTSMAN 1st CLASS ALBERT E. ATKINSON was awarded the bronze medal.

    About 11.30 in the morning of the 28th of August, 1941, a British bombing aeroplane crashed in the sea off Rhosneigir. A gale was blowing from the south-west, with a very heavy sea. The nearest life-boat, the Holyhead motor life-boat, was at a shipyard for overhaul, and her crew were away fetching a relief life-boat. The Porthdinllaen motor life-boat was called out and launched at 12.48 in the afternoon. She reached Rhosneigir about 2.30. By that time there was nothing to seen of the aeroplane, but even if the life-boat been able to arrive earlier the aeroplane was in water so shallow that it would have been impossible for the life-boat to reach her and rescue the crew. The most gallant attempts at rescue were made by four shore boats, and by many people working from the beach, but all the efforts failed, and not only were the three airmen lost, but eleven of the rescuers. The honorary secretary of the Holyhead life-boat station, who visited Rhosneigir afterwards, said that these gallant attempts must have been hopeless from the start, for the seas that were driving on shore with the tide running out against them were not rolling in and breaking on the open beach in the usual way, but moving like walls of water, with curling tops. Almost as soon as the aeroplane came down on the water two of her crew were washed off her. The third clung to the fuselage. He was seen by two boys of seventeen, Mr. John L. S. Wood, of Chester, and Mr. Derrick Baynham, of Walton-on-Thames. With a total disregard for their own safety they at once launched a small dinghy and set out to the rescue. It took them three-quarters of an hour of hard rowing to reach the aeroplane, and they showed wonderful seamanship in handling, and keeping afloat that small open boat through the heavy seas. But as they turned it to go alongside the aeroplane, a sea caught it broad-side on and capsized it. Both the boys were thrown into the water, but both succeeded in clinging to the over-turned boat. Then they left it and swam to the aeroplane on which the airman was crouching. When they had regained their breath they decided to make for their boat again. It was being driven shoreward and they feared that at any moment the aeroplane might sink. They persuaded the airman, a Pole, to go with them. He had been slightly injured in the crash, and was weak from shock and exposure. He was scarcely able to help himself, and was supported by the two boys as, battered by the seas, they struggled to keep their heads above water. The aeroplane as well as the boat was being carried shoreward, and in their struggle they used anything they could get hold of, an oar, the boat and occasionally the aeroplane itself. In this way they gradually drifted nearer
    to the shore and one of the boys and the airman managed to seize a beach defence post. It was not strong enough to bear their combined weight, so the boy left the airman to hold on to it, and again struck off towards the shore. Both the boys had now almost given up hope of reaching another defence post or the shore itself, but people on the shore, who had watched their splendid struggle, were preparing to go to their help. They formed a human chain, reaching far out from the shore, and this chain succeeded in seizing and passing in the two boys.
    Unfortunately it was not able also to rescue the Polish airman. He was actually then in his own depth as he clung to the post, but he was so
    exhausted that he could not hold on. He lost his grip, was swept away and drowned. Meanwhile other, very gallant, efforts had been made to reach the aeroplane. One man had put out in a boat alone, but was forced by the heavy seas to turn back. Then nine men put out in a whaler. Seven of them were soldiers and the other two were an officer of the merchant navy and a police constable. They must have realised that they were making an almost hopeless attempt, at the risk of their own lives, but they refused to listen to the warning of other people on the shore. They felt it their duty to make the attempt. They succeeded in rowing the whaler well out to sea, but in trying to bring her under the lee of the aeroplane they were caught and capsized by a heavy sea, and were thrown into the water in all directions. One of the nine men managed to struggle ashore himself. Two, neither of whom could swim, clung to an oar. A man swam out from the beach to
    help them, and brought them in. They were only half conscious, but were revived. The other six men were all washed up, but it was impossible to revive them. Yet a fourth boat put out with two men on board, a coastguard and an aircraftsman. This boat too was capsized.
    The coastguard was drowned, the aircraftsman was saved. People on shore saw the capsize of the boats and the men on board them
    thrown into the water, and fourteen soldiers and airmen swam out to help them. Four of these fourteen men lost their lives. During these heroic efforts aeroplanes were flying low overhead and dropping life-belts to the rescuers struggling in the water. The Institution made the following awards to those who had attempted rescue with the use of boats :
    To JOHN L. S. WOOD and DERRICK BAYNHAM, each the silver medal for gallantry, with a copy of the vote inscribed on vellum. They were also both awarded George Medals, and received money rewards from the Air Ministry, and silver cigarette-cases from General Sikorski, Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Forces, with his signature on them ;
    To SERGEANT C. JACKSON, LANCE BOMBARDIER T. TAYLOR and GUNNER J. W. PARKINSON, the three survivors of the nine men who manned the whaler, each the bronze medal for gallantry, with a copy of the vote inscribed on vellum ;
    To AIRCRAFTSMAN(1St Class) ALBERT E. ATKINSON the survivor of the two men who manned the fourth boat, the bronze medal for gallantry, and a copy of the vote inscribed on vellum.
    The bronze medal for gallantry, with a copy of the vote inscribed on vellum, was also posthumously awarded to each of the seven men
    who lost their lives in the boats, as follows :
    The Royal Humane Society rewarded those who had made attempts at rescue by swimming.
    Fourteen men put out in boats. Seven of them lost their lives. Fourteen men swam out. Four of them lost their lives.

    Sgt Kazimierz Stefan Rosiewicz (P-782028)
    Born 19 Feb 1917. In 1937 joined Air Force Cadet School (Szkola Podchorazych Lotnictwa) at Deblin. Discharged on the strength of Order No.117/38. Called up in August 1939, he managed to get the UK where he completed a flying training course and was posted to No.4 AOS at Valley as a pilot. On 28 August 1941 he took off on a training flight with two RAF airmen in Blackburn Botha LG417. The aircraft experienced engine failure and crashed into the sea. All the three crew members were drowned. Sgt Rosiewicz's body was washed ashore on 11 September 1941 and he was buried at Holyhead, Anglesey, grave 128.

    Source: Olgierd Cumft, Hubert Kazimierz Kujawa. Ksiega Lotnikow Polskich Poleglych, Zmarlych i Zaginionych 1939-1946. Wydawnictwo Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowej, Warszawa 1989.

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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Stockport, UK
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


    As I have got on with typing up the entries I copied today I have a mention of AC1 Atkinson in 1942.

    April 22nd 1942, “Award for Courage – AC1 A.E. Atkinson, fitter marine, announced as having been awarded the Bronze Medal of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in recognition of the courage he displayed on August 28th, 1941, in connection with the flying accident described on page 9. To be presented at C.O.’s parade on May 7th.”
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Zelhem, Netherlands.
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


    Strange that Gunner S. WILKINS - 1832511, as mentioned by Al, is not listed having been posthumously awarded for his part in the rescue.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Unaccounted airmen 28-8-1941

    Unsure if you are still gathering information. Reginald Howard 1101868 was my father.
    I do have some documentation of the accident.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Thanked 47 Times in 43 Posts


    Welcome to the forum De,

    If you would like you coudl scan the information and place it on flickr, the photo hosting site or a similar one or send it on and i can pop it up on a adirectory on my website.

    Woudl you like to give us a synopsis of what the reports say? What kind of documents are they?

    Thanks for contacting us.

    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Northumberland, UK
    Thanked 198 Times in 194 Posts



    F/Lt Brian C. BLOOR - 76255 - the Staffordshire Advertiser of August 30th 1941 carried the following announcement:

    BLOOR - on Aug. 27, 1941, at the Staffordshire General Infirmary, Flight-Lieut. Brian Cotter, beloved husband of Vera Bloor and fifth son of Vincent and Mabel Bloor, of The Elms, Newport Road, Stafford.

    LAC (Pilot) Reginald HOWARD - 1101868 - 'Clipped Wings, Vol 1' by Colin Cummings, page 368 confirms him as being killed in T8367 of 9 F.T.S.

    LAC Clifford A. JOHNSON - 989623 - the Liverpool Evening Express of September 2nd 1941 reported the following:

    Airman Killed in Lift
    How a young airman met his death while visiting his father at his work was revealed at the inquest held today on Aircraftman Clifford Ambrose Johnson, aged 21, of Kaigh Avenue, Crosby, a silver fox farmer before joining the R.A.F.
    Aircraftman Charles Collins...who was with Johnson when he went to visit his afterh, said: "At about 5.45 we arrived at his father's office, but he was working, so we decided to wait.
    "We hung around the stairs on the ground floor...waiting for Mr. Johnson to appear. I heard Johnson say 'Here's a lift.' I did not take much noitice of this, but suddenly I heard the sound opf the lift in motion. When I looked around the lift was about two or three feet from the ground and Johnson appeared to want to jump out. The lift gained speed and he was jammed between the lift floor and the outer structur of the lift shaft." Witness was satisfied that Johnson had not opened the gates of the lift.
    William Henry Hall, manager of Messrs. E. P. Cottiers, Ltd., said that the lift...gates had an electro-mechnical locking system, which was not in order at the time. Arrangements had been made to carry out repairs during the following weekend. John Sutton, resident caretaker of th buildings, said it was due to that defect that the lift would be able to function without the gates being closed.
    The Liverpool City Coroner (Mr. G. C Mort) recorded a verdict of Accidental Death.

    AC2 William F. WATTIS - 1039244 - the National Probate Calendar recors that he died at R.A.F. Hospital, Locking, Weston-super-Mare.



  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Thanked 130 Times in 124 Posts



    One elimination, one (serial) correction:

    The pilot of who baled out of No.9 FTS Hurricane I P2558 was, 1312483 LAC Dennis Potter SMITH RAFVR (later 106189), survived. The serial for No.9 FTS Master I N8367, should read T8367.

    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 12th January 2019 at 07:47.

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