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Thread: B17 KB818 A 1699 HCU Oulton

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    Default B17 KB818 A 1699 HCU Oulton

    I have been researching a chap called A. W. Holness
    (No. 3030890) who was a W/Op.

    He was with 1699 HCU at Oulton in June 1945 prior to
    moving to 214 Squadron when he crashed in B17 KB818
    "A" on the 20th June 1945 while on night curcuits and
    landings. His pilot was W/O Hall.

    I assume it must not have been a serious crash as he was flying
    again on the 21st, although his time with F/O Marwick in the
    morning and W/O Hall at night.

    He moved to 214 in late June, before joining 102 Squadron on
    Liberators inOctober 1945. He then had a short spell with 53
    Squadron fromMarch 1946.

    I would be interested in any information about the crash of B-17
    KB818 in which he was W/Op, or about the aircrafts service history
    prior to its crash (or indeed Fl/Sgt Holness).

    Johnnie

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    Default

    Johnnie,

    The serial number you have quoted (KB818) was a Canadian-built Lancaster delivered to 431 Sqn. It was DBR during a forced landing at RAF Ford, 7 Feb 1945.
    Last edited by Ken MacLean; 28th December 2007 at 13:46.

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    Default

    Probably HB818 I think.

    From a batch of 60 delivered between March and June 44. Served with 214 Sqn, 1699 Flt, and 223 Sqn. From Air Britain Serials HA100-HZ999.

    Cheers

    Jim

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    Default B-17 Hb818

    Hi Johnnie

    Posted this just now but it disappeared so, trying again ...

    214 Sqn's Fortresses were all in the HB-, KJ- and SR- serial range with one exception, KH999, so I think you must mean HB818.

    HB818 was coded BU-H with 214 and flew 25 ops (with 13 different pilots) between 11/11/1944 and 1/2/1945. These were 'Window patrols' and 'Jostle' jamming sorties, accompanying or otherwise in support of main force raids to such places as Wanne-Eickel, Sterkrade, Hagen, Duisberg, Gdynia, Osterfeld and Munich. One op, in December '44 was listed as a "Special Investigation Patrol" which I think was probably a 'Big Ben' sortie, searching for V2 control signals.

    Unfortunately my research primarily covers 214's operations so I don't have anything much about post-VE Day, nor much about 1699 Flt (or the personnel you mention). Sorry.

    I did once take a look at 223's ORB when up at Kew, to see what Fortress ops they flew. Contrary to the impression given by some books, I found that they only flew 10 sorties on B-17's before the war ended (compared with approx 1,250 by 214 Sqn): they were basically a B-24 Liberator squadron in 100 Gp. But in case it's of interest, the details of these 10 sorties are:

    A/c: KJ118 (4 sorties), KJ121 (x 4), KH998 (x 1), and one where the a/c serial isn't listed.
    Sorties: 18/4/1945 (1 sortie), 19/4 (x 1), 22/4 (x 2), 23/4 (x 1), 24/4 (x 1) and 2/5 (x 4).
    Pilots: F/L Wills (3 sorties), F/O Bremness (x 4), S/L McKnight (x 2), and F/O Cairney (x 1).

    Hope this might be of interest.

    Regards

    Ian

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    Many thanks for the feedback on this. I guess the aircraft must have been
    repaired after the crash however I will order the loss card and movement
    card for the aircraft to find out.

    Out of interest I an very interested in 214 Squadron as my grandfather completed
    a tour on Stirlings with the unit. As a result of this most of my research has looked
    at the Squadron from 1942 to 43 however I ave met a number of B17 aircrew while
    at reunions, and have a few books that cover the Squadron during the B17 period.

    Johnnie

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    Have you read "A Thousand Shall Fall" by Murray Peden? he was an RCAF pilot on 214 Sqn.

    http://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Shall-Fall-Murray-Peden/dp/0773759670

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    Hi.

    I have read that but thanks for mentioning it. There
    is also another good book about the Squadron while
    flying B17s called "The Cry of the Nightjar" by
    Gerhard Heilig who served on the Squadron.

    It is a work of fiction, but all based on his time
    in the RAF and with 214.

    There is also the Squadron history "Avenging in the
    Shadows", and quite large coverage of the Squadron in
    books such as "Confounding the Reich", sa well as history
    of RAF Stradishall, and RAF Chedburgh.

    Johnnie

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    Default 214

    Hi Johnnie

    To the books list might I add, if you haven't got them already, 'Even when the Sparrows are Walking' by Laurie Brettingham and (if you can get hold of a copy) 'Confound & Destroy' by Martin Streetly - both about 100 Group. Also Chris Ward's Squadron Profile (one of his series on different RAF Squadrons) on 214 Sqn: very good value for the price - was only about a tenner when I got mine some time ago.

    In addition there's 'Pathfinder Cranswick' (who flew more ops, it is believed, than any other BC pilot and who flew with 214 in 1940). I also saw on a website last week, another book about an early-war 214 pilot - but I didn't make a note of the details and will have to go and see if I can find it again! Doh!

    Apologies if I have already asked you this and can't remember doing so, but who was your grandfather and could you tell me anything about him? I have still to look at 214's ops in 1942 - next year's task! - but have info, primarily from the ORB, on the rest of their wartime ops and exploits. I am thus most interested in any other snippets of information that might be available from other sources.

    If you want, you can contact me on ian[DOT]hunt29[AT]btinternet[DOT]com.

    Regards

    Ian

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    Hi,
    Thanks for the list of otehr books about 214. I am always on the
    look out for more information on the Squadron.

    I will send you an email, but my grandfather completed a tour
    with the squadron from September 1942 to June 1943. During this
    time he crash landed twice, and had to bail out once (his pilot was
    killed when he bailed out to late and is burried in Haverhill).

    Johnnie

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