I am trying to resolve a loss discrepancy in the Oughton book, "The Liberator in Royal Air Force and Commonwealth Service", and to arrive at a definitive crew listing. I have come up with the names of ten missing airmen commemorated on the Singapore Memorial, some or all of whom may be from this particular crew. I wonder if anyone can more solidly tie any of them to a Liberator loss over Burma on 23/24 Feb 1944, and can link Liberator BZ951 to this date.
In BZ951's individual history on pg 136 Oughton says that it was on 1673 HCU as of 1.2.44. This makes sense to me. However, Oughton's next info is "missing on navigational exercise, 25.7.44; SOC 15.11.44." This is a problem.
I strongly suspect that the loss date is wrong and that BZ951 was really the known 1673 HCU loss of Liberator “Y” over Sinde, Burma on the night of 23/24 Feb 1944. An official 1944 report: "Review of the Night Operations of 231 Group, Strategic Air Force, Eastern Air Command (17th February - 16th March, 1944)" lists the following info:
Av. Ht. Of Sqdn: 10,000
Cause: Air explosion seen.
The serial number of aircraft "Y" is not given. It is definitely a Liberator, as 1673 was a Lib HCU.
Contrary to this evidence, no Far East RAF losses for 23 or 24 Feb 1944 appear in the Air-Britain or Joe Baugher B-24 serial number lists. It looks probable to me that these lists are in error, and that BZ951 "Y" was lost on 23/24 Feb 1944, not "on navigational exercise 25.7.44".
Neither a loss on 23/24 Feb '44 nor a loss on 25 July '44 is mentioned in "Air War For Burma" by Shores.
I welcome any further evidence.
The 10 names I've come up with include a Canadian. Perhaps the book "They Shall Grow Not Old" will reveal the truth? I don't have this book and kindly ask for someone to peek at a copy for me.
ALLITT, Flight Lieutenant, ROBERT EDWARD, D F C, 40594. Royal Air Force. 23rd February 1944. Column 431.
BEATEY, Warrant Officer, THOMAS ATKINSON, 1104751. Royal Air Force. 23rd February 1944. Age 28. Son of Thomas Beatey, and of Catherine Beatey, of Percy Main, Northumberland. Column 433.
BOYD, Sergeant, TREVOR BARKLEY, 1145139. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 23rd February 1944. Age 22. Son of A. Edgar and Margaret Jessie Boyd, of Greenisland, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. Column 435.
FLETCHER, Sergeant, WILLIAM KENNETH, 1601738. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 23rd February 1944. Column 436.
FRASER, Flight Lieutenant, FRANCIS JAMES, 66511. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 23rd February 1944. Age 25. Son of James and Janette Fraser, of Hove, Sussex. Column 431.
HOUGHTON, Flight Lieutenant, RAYMOND DOUGLAS, 109364. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 23rd February 1944. Column 431.
NELSON, Flight Sergeant, DAVID, 533351. Royal Air Force. 23rd February 1944. Age 26. Son of Hugh and Nancy Nelson, of Ballyhampton, Larne, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. Column 435.
O'DONNELL, Pilot Officer, ERNEST WILLIAM, J/86852. Royal Canadian Air Force. 23rd February 1944. Column 444.
RICHARDSON, Flight Sergeant, HERBERT ARTHUR, 517958. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 23rd February 1944. Age 29. Son of Herbert George and Selena Richardson, of Southsea, Hampshire. Column 435.
MERRIMAN, Flying Officer, SYDNEY, 1791. Royal Indian Air Force. 23rd February 1944. Age 21. Son of Ernest and Gladys Merriman, of Agra, India. Column 445.