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Thread: BOAC Liberator - G-AGDR - 15-2-42

  1. #11
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    Default BOAC Liberator

    Hi guys

    My information varies slightly - five crew and four passengers.

    The crew member not previously listed was Radio Officer R. Parker

    The four passengers were:

    Brigadier Frederick Morris CB MC ROAC
    Lt Col Townsend Griffiths (?Griffiss) USAAC
    Lt Charles Vine RNR
    Harold E. Bell (believe RR representative)

    The errant Spitfire pilots were from 317 Squadron:

    F/Sgt Stanislaw Brzeski
    Sgt Jan Malinowski

    Details from my forthcoming 'Blue-on-Blue in WW2' (Volume I)

    Hope this helps
    Brian

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    Hi Errol,

    Will do, after this session. Thanks.

    Just visited the old board ref. Noticed that Henk had already identified the four BOAC personnel. Franek Grabowski identifies one of the Polish pilots as; Stanislaw Brzeski. Aces High 2, mentions the following:-

    BRZESKI Stanislaw Flight Lieutenant/Kapitan.

    On 15 February 1942 he and another pilot were instructed to intercept and shoot down an unidentified aircraft, which turned out to be a Liberator I being operated by BOAC on the Lisbon-England route (AM918, registered as G-AGDR). The destruction of this aircraft was categorised as an accident at the subsequent enquiry, which ruled that no blame attached to the Polish pilots.

    See:
    Aces High Vol.2
    Shores,Christopher.
    London:Grub Street,1999.
    p.53.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 16th April 2009 at 09:32. Reason: Minor corrections

  3. #13
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    Hi Brian,

    Several sites mention the same crew/pass. mix as you ie 5 crew/4 pass. I can't locate R Parker on the CWGC. What can you tell us about him?

    Col.

    PS I will still buy the book!

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    Default BOAC Liberator

    Hi Col

    I can't tell you more about Parker, sorry. That's all I have. However, I notice there is a Thomas Parker (civilian) killed in 'air crash at sea' dated 28/2/42. I wonder is this is 'our' man and that his body was not recovered until that date?

    Cheers
    Brian

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    He is identified as H F Parker in the report on Brig F Morris's obit in The Times

    http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn31/amrit68/BrigFMorris.jpg

    A

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    Hi All.

    For something that was supposed to be Hush-Hush, The Times, Feb 21,1943, p.2, reveals most of what we have been chasing for the last few hours. Extraordinary!

    See: BRITISH AIR LINER'S CRASH - PASSENGERS' IDENTITY.

    From our Aeronautical Correspondent.

    Two of the four passengers killed when a British Overseas Airways Corporation aircraft crashed into the sea off the south coast of England recently when nearing the end of a flight to this country have now been identified. They are Brigadier Frederick Morris, of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, and Lieutenant C.L.M.Vine, R.N.R.. A third man was a senior United States Army officer, and the fourth is believed to have been a civilian employed by a British aircraft company.
    The crew of five, who were killed, were:-

    Captain R.Humphrey Page (first pilot), Captain J.A.S.Hunter (second pilot), First Officer R.J.Williamson, Engineer Officer H.R.J.Spicer, and Radio Officer H.F.Parker.

    Brigadier Morris served in France throughout the last war, was mentioned in dispatches and decorated twice. He was given a War Office appointmant in 1929 and was on the headquarters staff of Western Command.

    Captain Humphrey Page was an Empire flying-boat pilot. He was born at Great Clacton, Essex, in 1911, and educated at the Nautical College, Pangbourne. After service in the R.A.F., he joined the Imperial Airways in 1936. He had recently been engaged on the Atlantic ferry service. Captain Hunter, who was 28, was born at Leicester and served in the R.A.F. before joining Imperial Airways in 1937. Until the outbreak of war he flew on the European service to Paris and Budapest, but since the war had been engaged on Atlantic ferrying.

    What can I say?

    Thank you all for your contributions.

    Col.


    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 16th April 2009 at 12:25. Reason: major addition

  7. #17
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    Sorry, but the Times archive is not freely accessible.
    Anyway, the incident remains unclear. While pilots were not found guilty, it is not known who was responsible for the shot down, and how it occurred. Based on few documents and stories told by fellow airmen, the one may guess that they were told to shot down the enemy aircraft and intercepting it, they did not recognise it as a Liberator.
    BTW
    Does anyone have any photo of G-AGDR?

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    Amrit,
    I find it rather unlikely that Lt Col Griffiss was the first the first "American Air Force man to be killed in WW2" considering that the USA had been at war since 7/12/41. By "Air Force" it is obvious from the context and rank that this was the USAAF (rather then Navy or Marine Corps); perhaps he was the first USAAF officer of this rank to be lost? I must admit that I consider even this qualified statement unlikely.
    David D

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    A Rutgers University chronology of the war describes Griffiss as "the first US airman to die in the line of duty in Europe since the US entered World War II".

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    Ken,
    That sounds more like it! However there were numbers of USA airmen serving on attachment with the RAF prior to 7/12/41; I am thinking here of some US Navy aviators (experienced pilots mainly) with the early RAF Catalina squadrons, including the one (Ensign Smith?) who was aboard the aircraft which located the Bismarck in May 1941. Were any of these airman ever lost or killed/injured in RAF service I wonder? However not certain if there were any USAAC personnel serving under similar arrangements (perhaps on the B-17Cs?). Is so, were any of these deaths acknowledged at the time, when USA was ostensibly neutral? I believe that the attached US Navy personnel were listed as "advisers" or civilians during this period in 1941.
    David D

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