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Thread: Canadian ABC Operator, 101 Sqn

  1. #1
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    Default Canadian ABC Operator, 101 Sqn

    I am hoping someone can shed some light for me.

    I was speaking to a former 101 Sqn Flight Engineer and he asked me about his ABC operator, Bill Lemke, "a Canadian". They were both part of a crew skippered by P/O Ignatius in the spring of 1945. The crew survived their tour intact with Ignatius being awarded the DFC.

    I asked the F/E for a little more information on his ABC man but he had none. He told me all other members of his crew are deceased and he just wanted to know if Bill was still with us.

    Not having too much to go on here but I would be extremely grateful if someone can add something which narrows down the search for "Bill"

    Many thanks in advance.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    For starters, he may have had a brother, who unfortunately was KIA
    F/Lt R. Lowe, RCAF Pilot
    F/Sgt I. McLeod, RCAF 2nd pilot
    F/Lt A. Sprosen, RAF Navigator
    F/Sgt J. Lemke, RCAF Bomb aimer
    F/O G. Fitzgibbon, RCAF Wireless operator
    Sgt H. Riles, RAF Rear gunner
    426 Squadron. Flying Wellington III Z-1689 coded OW-R, failed to return from this operation. This crew gave a position report over the sea, all were lost without a trace.

    The aircraft belonged to RCAF (RAF) 426 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded OW-R.
    T/O 12:54 Dishforth. OP: Hamburg.
    Detailed to raid Hamburg using cloud cover. Plotted by Hull D/F at position 54`00N 08`10E at 16:29 hours. The Wellington must subsequently have crashed into the North Sea.
    Pilot F/L Robert H. Lowe, W/Op-Air Gnr. Sgt John J. Lemke and W/Op-Air Gnr. P/O George D. Fitz-Gibbon have no known graves and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Air Gnr. Sgt Henry Riles RAF was found drifted ashore on the island of Fanø on 7/2 and was laid to rest in Fovrfelt cemetery in Esbjerg on 12/2.
    The body of Co-Pilot F/Sgt Ivor G. McLeod was found at sea and brought to Esbjerg harbour on 26/4. He was laid to rest in Fovrfelt cemetery in Esbjerg on 30/4-1943.
    Navigator F/Lt Arthur T. Sprosen RAF was found on Peter Mejers Sand near Sønderho on the island of Fanø on 14/5 and was laid to rest in Fovrfelt cemetery in Esbjerg on 18/5-1943.

    Also found reference for RCAF Station, Edgar, Ontario of a visit on 11th December 1959 by a Sqn/Ldr Lemke, but whether this is your chap who stayed on at least till 1959 in the RCAF, you’d need to check further. Some of the other Google hits suggest a Lemke involved in Radar and Signals equipment in the late 50's, but hope this gets you a bit further.

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    Thank you for this, Kevin.

    I'll follow up the British Columbia angle. It seems most of the Lemke's in Canada live in southern Ontario and Saskatchewan.

    The chap who asked me about him could not recall whether Lemke was commissioned or not so I really am going on very little here.

    Thank you again.

    And paging the ghost of the long lost man from Wales, Greg Harrison:

    Come back, mate, all is forgiven....and do you happen to have 101's ORB for March 1945 handy?

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Default Regina, Saskatchewan

    The two RCAF casualty lists that report John Julius Lemke missing and later presumed dead both name Mrs John Lemke (mother) Regina as n-o-k.

    It is possible the parents relocated to B.C. between the time of his enlistment and when IWGC contacted them for Final Verification after the war.

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