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Thread: 49 Squadron Lancaster PB353 6-7/10/44

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    Default 49 Squadron Lancaster PB353 6-7/10/44

    Lancaster PB353 was lost on 6/7 October 1944 on an op to Bremen with the loss of all onboard. According to the entry in W R Chorley the aircraft was believed to have been lost somewhere over the Baltic. One member of the crew was washed ashore in Norway and is buried in Risør, the other members of the crew are commemorated on Runnymede.

    Crew onboard were:
    F/O K Harrop (178049)
    Sgt J G McKenzie (1562476)
    P/O R D Scott RCAF (J/91113)
    P/O E A Russell RCAF (J/90451) - Buried Risør
    Sgt J S McClenahan (1566407)
    Sgt S Hodgkinson (1104619) - had previously served with Balloon Squadrons from 1940-1943 before training as an Air Gunner
    Sgt T Rees (1251817)

    Some questions if any one can help with them:-
    1. Does anyone have further information on any of the crew
    2. Does anyone have copies of the 49 Squadron ORB's, I'm interested to learn if this was a regular crew and how many ops they had flown.
    3. Was it common to train as aircrew after serving with a Balloon Squadron - I'm sure this has been discussed on here previously but I can't locate the thread, would be obliged if someone can direct me to it!

    Thanks in advance
    Linzee

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    Hi Linzee
    Any tradesman in the RAF had the opportunity to volunteer or apply for any other trade and would be taken on if health and circumstances(such as the need for new personnel in the new trade) permitted,so there is nothing unusual about a former member of a Balloon Unit volunteering for Aircrew and being accepted and re-trained. How common it was is not easy to determine.
    You know the local geography far better then I do so you will know that "lost over the Baltic" is slightly inaccurate, as for a crew member to come ashore at Risor suggests that the a/c came down in the Skagerrak or Kattegat and not strictly the Baltic. The coastline on which Risor lies is the nearest that Norway has to a Baltic boundary
    Regards
    Dick

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    Linzee

    Crew on 4th. op (Beware of the Dog at War - An Operational Diary of 49 Sq. - John Ward)
    Where crew washed up has little to do with location of loss - dyke in Holland produced a body in Denmark, Zyder Zee produced a body in Norway (Missing Belived Killed - The RAF and the Search for Missing Aircrew 1939- Stuart Hadaway)
    Your Balloon man at 36 was probably a bit old for anything apart from A/G.

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    Dick & John,

    Many thanks for your input, all much appreciated.

    Dick, I agree re Baltic, merely quoted the remarks in Chorley.

    John, thank you for the details from 'Beware of the Dog at War', not a book I have seen. I'm familiar with Missing Believed Killed by Stuart Hadaway. Having studied other cases I was not surprised to find a member of this crew buried in Norway.

    As a matter of interest, does anyone have an approximate course for routes to and from Bremen on the operation in question. According to the BC War Diaries Middlebrook/Everitt 276 Lancasters took part in this operation, perhaps someone has studied it and has info?

    Thanks & Regards
    Linzee

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    Linzee
    John makes a good point about the way bodies are carried some distance after immersion. Given the position of Bremen it would suggest the most likely route would be along the west side of Denmark and round past Kristiansand and the point of entry into the water would be somewhere to the NNw of Bremen and certainly not the Baltic
    Regards
    Dick

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    Default 49 Squadron Lancaster PB353 6-7/10/44

    Hi Linzee,

    P/O Ernest Albert Russel, RCAF (J/90451), born 1918, was buried in Risør on 11. December 1944. So probably found few days before. Have no details about the identification of the body and exact place of finding. Could be brought in by a fishing vessel?

    Regards

    Finn buch

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