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Thread: F/O Harold Thomas CRAMPTON, 514 Sqn

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    Default F/O Harold Thomas CRAMPTON, 514 Sqn

    hello,

    I'm looking for a picture of Flying Officer Harold Thomas CRAMPTON, NZ416861, No. 514 Squadron, who was killed in action on 11th August 1944 when the nose of Lancaster II LL697 in which he was flying as air bomber was struck by a bomb dropped by another aircraft, during a daylight raid against Lens marshalling yard. He's buried in Loos-en-Gohelle British cemetery.

    I have the details from Errol Martyn's FYT 2 and 3, also the ORB of No. 514 Squadron.

    I'm looking for a portrait of F/O CRAMPTON (no mention of a portrait published in The Weekly News), either him alone or with his crew, for a panel about him at Lens airfield airshow on 12th September 2009.

    Also interested in pictures of Lancaster LL697 A2-B2 (who knows ?), either before or after the collision. It might be possible that some pictures were taken when the damaged Lancaster was landed at Woodbridge, Suffolk (No. 514 Squadron was based at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire).

    TIA

    Joss

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    Default

    Joss,

    You could try placing a free notice in the 'Lost Trail' column of the NZ Returned Services Association quarterly magazine called 'RSA Review'. This might bring you into contact with a family member who has a photo. The email address is rsareview@rnzrsa.org.nz

    Errol

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    Default

    hello Errol,

    thanks for the tip. Some 10 years ago, Max Collett (485 Squadron) did the same on my behalf and it worked fine (that was before we had (at least me) internet and e-mails).

    I'll follow your suggestion.

    Thanks

    Joss

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    Default LInda re Crampton RNZAF

    Hi Joss,
    MY e mail to you keeps bouncing back!

    I have Cramptons sisters address and phone number for you if you would like to contact me

    Cheers

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    Default

    hello Linda,

    Thanks for your message. I received it all right in my e-mail box. I was away from home for the last 3 days, visiting a few places in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.

    There's no picture of Harold CRAMPTON in The Weekly News, and I have a notice which will be published in a magazine, following Errol's suggestion. Your contact is even better and obviously faster.

    Thanks again

    Joss

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    Default Linda

    A pleasure to help,Joss .

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    Joss,

    Harold Crampton was my great uncle. I would be very interested in any information you have regarding him.
    I currently serve with the RNZAF, and have contacted our records department to obtain his service record, and would be happy to share any information that might interest you.

    Rich

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    Rich,

    From my trilogy 'For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (Volume Two: Fates 1943-1998)':

    Fri 11 Aug 1944
    BOMBER COMMAND
    Raid on railway yards at Douai, Lens and Somain, France (459 Aircraft - 3 lost)
    514 Squadron, RAF (Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire - 3 Group)
    Lancaster II LL697/B2 - took off at 1413 captained by Wt Off D Brickwood, RAF, for the raid on Lens. Over the target the Lancaster’s nose was struck by a falling bomb, the air bomber being thrown out. His parachute failed to deploy, probably because he was killed or knocked out when the bomb hit. He is buried in the Loos British Cemetery at Loos-en-Gohelle, 3km NW of Lens. His six comrades, including RNZAF navigator Flt Sgt K V Stafford and wireless operator Wt Off R G Collender, returned safely to England, the badly damaged LL697 touching down at Woodbridge, Suffolk, at 1730. The Lancaster did not fly again, however, being struck off charge as beyond economical repair.
    Air Bomber: NZ416861 Fg Off Harold Thomas CRAMPTON, RNZAF - Age 27. 315hrs. 22nd op.
    Brickwood and his crew, with replacement air bomber, were shot down over Germany a little over a month later, on the night of 12/13 September. Collender and Stafford were amongst those killed, only the flight engineer and air bomber surviving to be taken prisoner.

    And from Volume Three:

    CRAMPTON, Flying Officer Harold Thomas.
    NZ416861; b Cheviot 20 Nov 16; Cheviot HS; farmer - father's farm at Cheviot. RNZAF Rongotai as Airman Pilot u/t 10 Dec 41, ITW 7 Mar 42, 3EFTS 1 May 42, pilot trg terminated, Rongotai 5 Jun 42, remust as Air Observer u/t 15 Jul 42, emb for Canada 20 Jul 42, att RCAF 18 Aug 42, 1 M Depôt 19 Aug 42, 10AOS 31 Aug 42, KTS 12 Dec 42, remust as Air Navigator u/t 23 Oct 42, remust as Air Bomber u/t 19 Dec 42, 31BGS RAF 20 Mar 43, 33ANS RAF 15 May 43, Air Bombers Badge & Sgt/Comm 25 Jun 43, 1 Y Depôt 7 Jul 43, att RAF & emb for UK 16 Jul 43, 12PD&RC 23 Jul 43, 4(O)AFU 24 Aug 43, 11OTU (Wellington) 5 Oct 43, 31 Base for 1657HCU (Stirling) 31 Jan 44, 3LFS (Lancaster) Apr 44, 514 Sqn (Lancaster - 22 ops) 18 Apr 44, kao 11 Aug 44. Loos British Cemetery - 18.G.28, Pas-de-Calais, France. Son of Robert Marlborough & Eliza Crampton (née Waters), Cheviot; h of Betty Hope Crampton (née Lewis, later Troutbeck), Epsom, Auckland.

    Errol

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    Default

    hello,

    Errol has given the information from his books, which I have also used.

    I've also pictured, but not yet renamed and trimmed, No. 514 Squadron Operations Record Book for the whole period he spent there. I'd be happy to send you this material, but that will be on a CD (too many pages) once the work is completed.

    With the great help of Linda and Lynne, I was given the address of a sister of Harold, in Auckland. I wrote her last week. The letter may have arrived by now.

    You can contact me direct at
    JossLeclercqATorange.fr (replace by the obvious) and I can send you pictures of his grave in Loos-en-Gohelle.

    Joss

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