Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: How to find 1939- 40 Squadron 75 sorties?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default How to find 1939- 40 Squadron 75 sorties?

    My relative Gordon Murray Cummings was killed in action with his crew July 20 1940 in a Wellington IC R3165 AA on Operation Horst with Squadron 75. I have the names of his flight crew from the RAF Bomber Command Losses by Chorley. Is it possible to find out the missions they flew prior to being killed? If so, how. Thanks Russ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aubers, France
    Posts
    2,377
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    hello Russ,

    Yes it's possible. You'll have to access the Squadron Operations Record Book, at The National Archives, Kew, London. This document is microfilmed and the reference is AIR 27/645. You may also want to check the appendice, in AIR 27/649. I usually go backwards, from the date the crew was lost, until I can't find them anymore. Depending on O.R.B.s, in the form 540 (monthly résumé), there's often a page with "postings in" and "postings out", which are also useful.

    Errol Martyn has an entry about this loss in his book "For your Tomorrow" volume 1, page 88. This book is about New Zealanders and list the other 4 crew members. Rear Gunner OWEN is mentioned as flying his 7th ops.

    In his volume 3, Errol mentions that Cameron was posted to No. 75 Squadron on 11th May 1940, that Owen was posted to the Squadron on 24th April 1940, but attached to No. 214 Squadron from late May to 9th June, and that Watson was posted to the Squadron on 27th november 1939 (when it was still designated NZ Squadron), and that he flew 15 ops.

    Cheers

    Joss

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    428
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hello Russ,

    I have the following entry in my latest book the Nachtjagd War Diaries re. the loss of your relative:

    Oblt. Siegfried Wandam: 1 Stab I./NJG1 Wellington Weseke, 7 km. N.W. Borken 02.33 75 Sqn Wellington R3165

    I would be interested to know if you have a photo of the Wellington and the crew?

    Cheers, Theo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,602
    Thanks
    34
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ Samson View Post
    My relative Gordon Murray Cummings was killed in action with his crew July 20 1940 in a Wellington IC R3165 AA on Operation Horst with Squadron 75. I have the names of his flight crew from the RAF Bomber Command Losses by Chorley. Is it possible to find out the missions they flew prior to being killed? If so, how. Thanks Russ
    Russ,

    I have the 75 Squadron ORB on micro-film. If you are happy to wait a week I will copy-out all the op's for you.

    Regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    1,929
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Russ,

    From my trilogy 'For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (Volume One: Fates: 1915-1942)':

    Sat 20/Sun 21 Jul 1940
    Bomber Command
    Raid on Horst, near Gelsenkirchen, Germany
    75 (NZ) Squadron, RAF (Feltwell, Norfolk - 3 Group)
    Wellington IC R3165 - brought down at Weseke, about 40km NNW of the target. All five crew were buried in a communal grave nearby, but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest, 5km SW of Kleve.
    Captain: 77026 Fg Off Samuel Miles Mackenzie WATSON, mid, RAFVR - Age 27.
    2nd Pilot: 36237 Plt Off Edward Colin Joseph CAMERON, RAF - Age 19.
    Front Gunner: A36139 Flt Sgt Ronald Alexander John ANDERSON, RNZAF - Age 26.
    Rear Gunner: A391332 Sgt John Lewis OWEN, RNZAF - Age 24. 46hrs. 7th op.
    This was the first occasion on which a combination of RNZAF airmen and New Zealander members of the RAF had lost their lives on the same flight.
    Owen was the first New Zealand-trained air gunner to lose his life overseas.

    Addendum from Vol 3 (Biographies & Appendices):

    p88; ANDERSON, R A J – delete ‘A’ prefix from his number. He was acting as wireless operator, a 75 Sqn casualty document makes no mention of a front gunner.

    And crew bios:

    WATSON, Flying Officer Samuel Miles Mackenzie, mid.
    77026 (No.? in RAFO, no No. in NZAF/TAF); b Auckland 25 Jan 13; Wanganui Collegiate; to UK c.late 1930; Cambridge Univ/Pembroke Coll; rtd to NZ by 15 Mar 35; share broker - William Watson & Co, Wgtn. Cambridge Univ Air Sqn, RAFO Comm 14 Mar 32, relinq Comm 24 Apr 35; NZAF [redesignated TAF c.Aug 37] 2 Sqn (no a/c) [redesignated Wgtn Territorial Sqn 1.12.37 (Baffin)] & Comm 24 Apr 35 [att Wigram for r/cse 17-26 Mar 36, 2-11 Mar 37 & 15-21 Mar 38], 'A' Licence 25 Feb 36, Wgtn Aero Club by May 36, 'B' Licence 1 Jun 36, [& Pilots Badge in 1936?], emb for UK 4 Sep 39, arr & att RAF [at 1 Depôt?] 30 Sep 39, [relinq NZ TAF Comm 2 Oct 39], RAFVR Upper Heyford/7 Sqn (Anson/Hampden) & Comm 3 Oct 39, NZ Sqn [redesignated 75(NZ)Sqn RAF 8.4.40 & its RNZAF personnel att RAF] (Wellington - 15 ops) 27 Nov 39, kao 20 Jul 40. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - 21.F. coll. grave 1, Germany. Son of William & Louise Millicent Watson (née Browning), Wgtn. [OHT1, BSD & phot. TWN 31.7.40].

    CAMERON, Pilot Officer Edward Colin Joseph.
    36237 (no No. in RNZAF); b Gisborne 11 Jan 21; Waihi DHS (1st XI/XV); driver - Dominion Builders Supplies, Chch. Selected for SSComm e.1939; RNZAF & to Wgtn Aero Club as Pilot u/t 3 Apr 39, 1FTS & Comm 14 Jun 39, Pilots Badge, emb for UK 5 Dec 39, t/frd to RAF SSComm & 1 Depôt 17 Jan 40, Benson [= 63 Sqn (Battle) (which merged into 12OTU [Battle/Anson] 8.4.40)?] 31 Jan 40, 215 Sqn (Wellington) 2 May 40, 75(NZ)Sqn (Wellington) 11 May 40, kao 20 Jul 40. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - 21.F. coll. grave 1, Germany. Son of Alan Banks & Alice Ameila Cameron (née Anderton), Waihi. [phot. TWN 31.7.40].

    ANDERSON, Flight Sergeant Ronald Alexander John.
    36139; b reg Warminster, Wilts., England, b 13 Dec 13; to NZ 'at an early age'; 'Christchurch High School'; gardener - PWD, Wgtn. RNZAF Trentham as Wireless Operator 4 Nov 36, Hobsonville 14 Apr 37, Wigram 21 Feb 38, att RAF & emb for UK 17 Jan 39, arr & 1 Depôt 21 Feb 39, 99 Sqn (Wellington) 22 Feb 39, NZ Sqn [redesignated 75(NZ)Sqn RAF 8.4.40 & its RNZAF personnel att RAF] (Wellington) 27 Jul 39, Air Gunners Badge & remust as Wireless Operator/Air Gunner 27 May 40, Sgt [wef 27.5.40] 27 Jun 40, kao 20 Jul 40. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - 21.F. coll. grave 1, Germany. Son of Matilda Ethel Anderson (née Henstridge), Timaru. [OH BCmd, OHT1 & phot. TWN 4.9.40].

    OWEN, Sergeant John Lewis.
    A391332; b Wanganui 14 Feb 16*; Elam Sch of Art, Auckland; clerk - Shell Oil, Hutt, Wgtn. RNZAF Levin/GTS as Air Observer u/t 20 Nov 39, remust as Air Gunner u/t & 1AOS 18 Dec 39, Air Gunners Badge 14 Jan 40, att RAF & emb for UK 20 Feb 40, 1 Depôt 9 Apr 40, 75(NZ)Sqn (Wellington - 7 ops) 24 Apr 40 [att 214 Sqn (Wellington) late May-9 Jun], Sgt [wef 27.5.40] 27 Jun 40, kao 20 Jul 40. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - 21.F. coll. grave 1, Germany. Son of Wilfred & Norma Georgina Owen (née Dibble), Orewa, Auckland. Note: * gave birth year as 1915 on enlistment. [OH BCmd & phot. TWN 7.8.40].

    Errol

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Extremely greatful for your replies

    Hi
    Thanks so much for your detailed replies.
    I'll reply in order

    First Joss, Thanks Again, Your info. is great. I live in Vancouver Canada but I will be visiting the UK sometime and already have the Archives on my list and your direction will help me. I am also researching my family in the Scottish Rifles 2nd. Battalion and the Cameronians.

    Second thank you Theo, I googled your books, wow, looks like I'll be doing some reading. The entry in your book, does it indicate the pilot that shot the Wellington down. It would be interesting to learn about him and his fighter. I will check with the family about the photo you mentioned, I don't know. I know there is a great photo of my uncle David Samson a canadian in the RAF and crew in front of their bomber. He flew something like 50 missions as a tailgunner in a Lancaster and possibly a Halifax with a commonwealth crew.

    Third Steve, Thanks for the reply and yes I would definitely love to get a copy of the Ops. I'm not sure what that includes? Does that include who flew on what to which mission? Is it something that is best emailed or direct mail let me know. my email is russ.samson@shaw.ca An interesting note is that I was told by a relative that Gordon Cumming flew a Bolton Paul (if that is true)so I don't know if he was a regular member of the Wellington crew or a stand in . He is listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commision as Sgt. Obs. I don't know what that means.

    Fourth Thanks Errol, It's great to learn some more about Cummings crew mates, The reason if you didn't know that Gordon Murray Cumming isn't listed in your book is because he was from Glascow Scotland. Your book confirms my guess that they were on a mission to Horst Gelsenkirchen.


    How could I get his service record? Do I have to go to the National Archives?

    Thanks again, and please pass on anything you think might be pertinent. I certainly came to the right place.

    Thanks Russ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aubers, France
    Posts
    2,377
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    hello Russ,

    The information that Steve will pass you are exactly the Squadron Operations Record Book which reference I've mentioned. Thus it should save you a trip to Kew, unless you have other things there to check. That will answer your question if he was regularly flying with the crew, or just flew with them on this occasion.

    The reason why Gordon Cumming is not listed in Errol's books is because his books are about New-Zealanders, and New-Zealanders only. As this was a mixed crew, only the airmen with a New-Zealand connection are mentioned in it, although Errol made it clear that they were 5 on board, but he concentrated on the 4 New-Zealanders.

    Sgt stands for Sergeant, which is his rank.

    Obs stands for Observer, which was his trade.

    Boulton Paul (note spelling) was a British aircraft manufacturer. One of its most famous design was the Defiant turrett fighter, but they designed bombers in the 30es (Sidestrand, Overstrand), which may actually correspond to what you were told.

    Service Records are to be asked at R.A.F. Cranwell, not in the National Archives.

    At last, I note you mention your uncle David Sansom. I'm looking for a Flying Officer Donald Herbert SANSOM, service number J26701, R.C.A.F., air bomber, who was flying Lancasters with No. 12 (R.A.F.) Squadron, in 1944. Any chance it might be him ?

    Joss

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    428
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hello Russ,

    Wandam indeed was the pilot, he served with several units in NJG1 and with NJG5, achieved 13 confirmed victories and was KIA 3/4 July 1943 in a crash at Hoepertingen on landing at St. Trond airfield due to a combination of combat damage & engine failure on finals.

    I would be very interested in the photo that you mention -could you please send me a scan, my email address is theoboitenATversatel.nl

    Cheers, Theo

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi,
    Theo, It may take some time because my cousin with the photo doesn't live in my area but I will send you a copy when I get it.

    Hi,
    Joss, Thanks, You made a mistake in the spelling, it David Samson. He was a Canadian from Vancouver but I believe he was in an RAF squadron.
    Thanks Russ

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi,
    Theo, It may take some time because my cousin with the photo doesn't live in my area but I will send you a copy when I get it.

    Hi,
    Joss, Thanks, You made a mistake in the spelling, it David Samson. He was a Canadian from Vancouver but I believe he was in an RAF squadron.

    Heres another interesting person that you might have some info. on. I met a german pilot Fritz Jung who was shot down in North Africa in 1940. Captured by the British and eventually incarcerated in Stockton California where he said he learned how to type and picked peaches.Not a bad way to spend the war. He and the Brit that captured him phoned each other on their birthdays into his 80s.

    Thanks Russ

Posting Permissions

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