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Thread: Lost Wellington X LP155 15.5.1944

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    Default Lost Wellington X LP155 15.5.1944

    I am looking for any information available on the above Wellington X that was lost on a lone Nickel raid to France on the night of the 15th March 1944. The aircraft was from 12 OTU Chipping Sudbury and the wireless operator was a friend of my father at 12 OTU. I have been given a copy of the Loss Card and the crew details are as follows:

    Pilot - F/O G. Coldwell-Horsfall, Nav Sgt H Daly, W/OP Sgt K James, Bomb A Sgt N Rushton? RCAF, MUG Sgt R Moyle, A/G Sgt N Walters?

    My father said he was told that the aircraft was posted as missing all crew lost. The loss card however shows G Coldwell-Horsfall as being a PW (Presumably prisoner of war).

    The bomb load on the loss card shows 27 or 47 x 07.43. Is this a leaflet dated July 43 that was to be dropped?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Regards,

    Paul Elliott

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    The Canadian was probably Sgt. Nicholas Clayton Rushton of Calgary, Alberta, 41 years old, as listed in CWGC but with a death date of the following day, possibly from injuries? At that age he was probably an instructor. Couldn't find his death registration in Canada but you could send to Ottawa for his file and it might have details on the crash. You would probably need more than the standard "genealogy package", however, which involves a copying charge.

    G.D. Coldwell-Horsfall 127257 RAF is listed in the PoW pages on this site as being from 12 OTU and captured 15 May 1944. No mention of which camp he went to, if he in fact did spend time in one or was possibly liberated shortly afterwards.

    http://www.rafcommands.com/Air%20Force%20PoWs/RAF%20POWs%20Query%20C_1.html
    Last edited by dfuller52; 24th March 2009 at 15:02. Reason: sp corrections and add'tl info
    David

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    Default Lost Wellington X LP155 15.5.1944

    Thanks David, I will investigate further as I can see he is listed as a POW via the link you gave me. My dad left 12 OTU on the 9th June so he never followed up anything other than being told that no bodies or wreckage had been found.

    I think I will check to see if there is a Ex POW form filled out on his return to try an establish a cause of the crash and where it was.

    Regards,

    Paul

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    hello,

    The link to the PoW section of the board won't give you the details about the loss of the crew (cause and location). But if you are able to go to the National Archives in Kew, his PoW questionnaire is likely to be in WO 344/68/1. (COID - COLLEY).

    No. 12 O.T.U. O.R.B. can be found in AIR 29/641. Some O.T.U. ORBs contain details about the ops made by the crews, others not. I can't tell whether this one will give you additional details.

    I've not studied this case, but volume 7 of Bomber Command Losses, by W.R. Chorley, states that " Oddly, F/O G.C. Coldwell-Horsfall is also listed in the Allied air forces prisoner of war file". But if he filed a PoW questionnaire, this will be solved. Note that a few prisoners didn't file a questionnaire either. It's a possibility that the plane crashed in the Channel, but he was able to get in a dinghy, and was captured by the German Air Sea Rescue. This happened a few times.

    Joss

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    The entire crew as listed by Paul save Coldwell-Horsfall are listed as dying on the 16/05/1944 and all are listed on Runnymede.

    As Coldwell-Horsfall was the only survivor it would be interesting to see what he said led to the destruction of the Wellington.

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    Default Lost Wellington X LP155 15.5.1944

    Thanks for the info,

    It is a bit strange as the last family case I looked into, the Loss card also had some info added after the POW questionnaires had been completed when the POW's returned (ie loss of plane info etc). This one dosn't show any edits or comments to the loss card at all.

    Joss, you gave me the info last time for the POW files so thanks again, (Lancaster crew LM463). I will get to the archives and see if one exists and if so (or not) post a reply.

    Regards,

    Paul

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    Default Lost Wellington X LP155 15.5.1944

    From the service file of R178903, Sgt Nicholas Clayton Rushton, B/A on LP155:

    This aircraft from 12 OTU was detailed on a Nickel operation in the St. Malo area on the night of 15/16 May, 1944. Route covered was from Portland 4920N 0318W - 4901N 0211W - 4901N 0206W - 4920N 0318W - Portland.

    Aircraft took off at 2230 hrs and nothing further was heard.

    The OC of RAF Chipping Warden goes on to mention that there was "considerable enemy air activity in the Channel and Portsmouth areas during this night"

    Despite Sgt Rushton's age (33, according to his service file) he was not an instructor. From 1935 until 1942 he had been a constable in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

    In a letter from the OC RAF Chipping Warden to Rushton's widow, Dallas Mary, he states that "I am able to say from my own knowledge and that of my instructors that your husband had shown considerable promise as an Air Bomber and I have no doubt that he would have turned out a most capable member of his crew when posted to an Operational Squadron. He had practically completed his course here prior to being posted for operational duties"

    It's interesting to note that the captain of this aircraft, 127527 F/O George Coldwell-Horsfall, is listed as a POW in various databases and literature. According to Missing Memorandum 6334, a copy of which is on Rushton's file, there was another Horsfall who was captured. This was 47784 F/Lt James Coldwell-Horsfall, a Spitfire pilot, captured 14-1-1945.

    A handwritten note note on this document states, "Wrong Horsfall. Member of Rushton crew is 127527 F/O G.D.C. Horsfall"

    I see now that the Horsfall of the Rushton crew is on the CWGC website under his full name of "Coldwell-Horsfall" and commemorated at Runnymede.

    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=1084694

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Default Lost Wellington X LP155 - F/O Coldwell-Horsfall

    Hi Dave

    I am a bit confused about this but is it that the other Spitfire pilot 47784 Coldwell-Horsfall was confused with the 127257 F/O Coldwell-Horsfall and possibly led to the mistake of believing he was a POW. Therefore leading to his name being placed as POW on the Loss Card. Also, as he is still on the POW register is this a mistake that has not been corrected? Maybe you could let me know your thoughts and clear it up for me.

    There was no POW questionaire held for 127257 Coldwell-Horsfall at Kew, Had it checked by a friend.

    I would be interested in any leads as to searching for records of losses in the St Malo area, possibly researchers in France or aviation organisations just in case the plane came down over land. Even any night fighter claims for that area / time would be helpful. Anyone please?

    Thanks,

    Paul

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    Default Lost Wellington X LP155 - F/O Coldwell-Horsfall

    Hi Paul,

    I would think the fact that 47784 F/Lt James Coldwell-Horsfall seems to have survived the war and was indeed a POW might indeed account for the mistake. "Your" Coldwell-Horsfall is listed on the CWGC website as being on the Runnymede memorial which, as I am sure you know, signifies he has no known grave.

    If you PM me an email address I would be happy to send you the documents I photographed from this file.

    I find the POW questionnaires in some Canadian service files to be very interesting so when I was planning my trip to Ottawa I added Rushton's name to my list of files.

    Sorry that there doesn't appear to be a better answer for you.

    Regards,

    Dave
    Last edited by alieneyes; 6th May 2009 at 16:25.

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    Default Lost Wellington X LP155 - F/O Coldwell-Horsfall

    Hello Dave,

    Thanks for the offer of sending the details, my address is paul.elliott@overbury.com. I am still working my way around the system so I hope you get this message.

    Thanks,

    Paul

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