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Thread: F/O Archie P Blackie 143 Squadron Lost 18/7/1943

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    Default F/O Archie P Blackie 143 Squadron Lost 18/7/1943

    Hi Folks

    Can anyone help a friend of mine with this casualty.

    I think he may not be an actually a 143 Sqdrn casualty as his medal awards appears to be only the 39-45 & Africa Stars and a War medal. I wonder if he was on his way to 143 Sqdrn and was killed over the sea on his way back from Africa. Of course some of his medals could have gone astray over the years.

    Any help, pointers etc would be welcome. This man actually holds the Boy Scouts Silver Cross for saving someone life in the 1930's. So must have been quite a guy.

    Thanks
    Alastair

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    Another 143 casualty for that date:

    Name: FARROW, RICHARD NORMAN
    Initials: R N
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Flying Officer
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force
    Unit Text: 143 Sqdn.
    Date of Death: 18/07/1943
    Service No: 50042
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 124.
    Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    Nesbit in "The Strike Wings" states that a convoy was attacked by 143 and 236 Squadrons near Den Helder (Netherlands), where a battle between the escorting Spitfires and enemy aircraft ensued. Two aircraft were lost with their crews, but Nesbit doesn't give names or aircraft serials. So this looks like the 143 loss.

    The 236 casualties seem to be:

    Name: KIDD, ERNEST FREDERICK VICTOR
    Initials: E F V
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Pilot Officer (Pilot)
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force
    Unit Text: 236 Sqdn.
    Age: 24
    Date of Death: 18/07/1943
    Service No: 148792
    Additional information: Son of Ernest and Catherine Emily Kidd, of Canvey Island, Essex.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Joint grave 29. A. 1-2.
    Cemetery: BERGEN-OP-ZOOM WAR CEMETERY

    Name: STEVENSON, HAROLD CUTHBERT
    Initials: H C
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Pilot Officer (Nav.)
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Unit Text: 236 Sqdn.
    Age: 22
    Date of Death: 18/07/1943
    Service No: 149154
    Additional information: Son of William and Dorothy Spours Stevenson; husband of Audrey Dorothy Stevenson, of Dursley, Gloucestershire.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Joint grave 29. A. 1-2.
    Cemetery: BERGEN-OP-ZOOM WAR CEMETERY
    Last edited by Amrit; 31st January 2008 at 18:00. Reason: Added details from Nesbit

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    Hi Alastair
    At the time of Blackie's loss 143 was operating out of North Coates with Beaufighters on Anti-Shipping strikes for Coastal Command (RAF Squadrons , C G Jefford). His medals would be consistent with this as the other Aircrew Medals ,I think , required service over Europe and not just around it's coast , as important as Anti-Shipping strikes were. It is possible that he was newly arrived on 143 from service in Africa but I have no source that could confirm this. As you have seen from Amrit's post, CWGC has him in 143 Sqn and he clearly has no known grave. There is a Sqn Association and from the 207 Sqn websit the address is 143 Squadron Association Sqn Ldr P Fry, 57 Marine Drive, Rottingdean, Sussex BN2 7HQ [AA 10/00 updated]

    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 31st January 2008 at 18:08.

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    According to this site the 143 Beaufighter was JL890 and the 236 (Kidd and Stevenson) Beaufighter was JL575:

    http://www.hansonline.eu/den_helder/beaufighter.htm

    A

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    Default F/O Archie P Blackie 143 Squadron Lost 18/7/1943

    Thanks Amrit & Dick.

    Very impressed with both of your knowledge on this matter.

    I would say from your comments that the group could be missing an Atlantic Star, or the medal office short changed his folks (not unknown to happen).

    Thanks for all your help

    best regards

    Alastair.

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    Hi Alastair
    The operational area for the Beaufighter and Mosquito anti-shipping was mainly over the N Sea although they were also used along the W Coast of France If Blackie was only recently on 143 Sqn it is possible that he never went on such a trip and most of the Campaign Medals had time qualifications in the theatre for which they were awarded and he ,sadly,may not have had enough time to qualify, when others on the Sqn did. Not long after his loss the Sqn went to St Eval in Cornwall and would likely have operated on the French W Coast and in the Bay of Biscay.
    Regards
    Dick

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    Default Blackie and Farrow 143 Squadron KIA 1943

    From this old thread I am assuming that the two losses on the same day 18th July 1943 indicate possibly/probably the same crew from the Beaufighter.

    Has anyone checked this on the Squadron ORB's at all. I hope this message will pop the subject up to promote additional information.

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    Default F/O Archie P Blackie 143 Squadron Lost 18/7/1943

    While carrying out some research into 143 Squadron I came across this old thread and thought it was worth adding some additional information.

    The Squadron ORB confirms that Blackie and Farrow were the crew of Beaufighter JL890 which was lost on 18th July 1943. It would also appear that both men had newly arrived at 143 Squadron as their first recorded operational flight was only a few days earlier on 13th July when their aircraft was one of two which carried out reconnaissance off the Dutch coast.

    The ORB gives quite a detailed account of events on the 18th July.

    Blackie and Farrow were involved in two operational flights that day. In the afternoon a Strike Wing consisting of twelve aircraft from 143 Squadron (including Blackie & Farrow's), twelve from 236 Squadron and nine from 254 Squadron took off from North Coates escorted by Spitfires to attack a north bound convoy off Den Helder. As it turned out the convoy was too near land for torpedo attacks so all aircraft returned to base. The ORB records that the escorting Spitfires shot down two ME.109's.

    Later that day six Beaufighters from 143 Squadron (Blackie & Farrow in JL890) along with six aircraft from 236 Squadron and escorting Spitfires returned to Den Helder to attack shipping targets. This time attacks were carried out and two ships were damaged and set on fire. The escorting fighters are reported to have shot down four FW190's. Blackie & Farrow's aircraft did not return and they were reported missing. All the other aircraft involved in this operation were damaged by flak.

    Two aircraft from 143 Squadron were involved in an Air/Sea search of the area the following day but nothing was seen.

    RB

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    Default F/O Blackie

    Hello Alastair
    I have recently joined the forum, in fact this is my first post. I have recently come into possession of a hand written chornicle of 143 Squadron and also a hand written folder detailing squadron personalities with their photographs. I don't think I can add to the information already put forward for F/o Blackie, but I do have a picture of the gentleman and his navigator P/o Farrow. I have downloaded these photographs and would be happy to e-mail them to you if you are still interested.
    I cannot see on this site whether it is possible to add them to this thread as an attachment. Possibly you may know how to get them to you.

    Melvyn

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    Malvyn.

    E mail sent to you - exciting news for me thank you for following this up and adding your information.

    Colin.

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