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Thread: 31 Squadron Airman

  1. #11
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    As a start off, you can us Geoff Sullivans website which reads the CWGC and you can pick out 31 and 194 Squadron airmen that way. YOu must serach for Canadian and New Zealand and Australian airmen separate from the RAF.

    http://www.hut-six.co.uk/cgi-bin/search39-47.php

    Hmmm, this only turned up one 194 Sqn airman:

    Search results for: + 08/03/1943-30/05/1943 + ROYAL AIR FORCE. records found: 1
    Page 1 of 1
    001 BROWN A 1265761 194 SQDN 15/04/1943 ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE

    Similarly, there are no RAF casualties of 31 Squadron for the period I chose above.

    I found no Canadians, and I have to dash off now. Your best bet would be to get a look at their archive ORB in the UK national Archvies at Kew.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

  2. #12
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    Default 31st Squadron, Burma 1942-3

    Dennis, many thanks for the idea of using the search engine. I have used that many times and did not even think to use it in this instance.

    With regards the National Archives, do you know the general reference title for these records?

    Thanks again for your reply.

    Bamboo.

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    Hello Bamboo,

    No. 31 Squadron RAF Operations Record Book is in AIR 27/351 for the period september 28 to December 1943, /382 for 1944, / 353 for January to April 1945 and /534 for May to December 1945. Appendices in AIR 27/355 for February 37 to April 1941 and /356 for January 1945.

    No. 194 Squadron ORB is in AIR 27/1159 for September 1942 to December 1944, /1160 for January to May 1945, /1161 for June to September 1945, /1162 for October 1945 to Februayr 1946. Appendices in AIR 27/1163 for October 1942 to August 1944.

    I take advantage of your interest in the Chindits. Do you happen to have any detail about Corporal Walter PEACOCK, 3660687, who was one of them. He died in the crash of Dakota IV KN557 in which he was a passenger, on 16th January 1946, and is buried in Mazargues (Marseille) cemetery. I have the CWGC details, but in case you would have other informations, that'd be welcome. I'm helping of group of locals who intend to build a memorial for the crew and passengers, to be dedicated next January, and any help is appreciated to trace families.

    Joss

  4. #14
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    Default 31st Squadron, Burma 1942-3

    Hi Joss,

    Thanks very much for the Kew references, they will come in very handy soon. I have picked up some crew of 31 Squadron through the internet, but was hoping there might be a personnel listing in one of the Operation Record books?

    Walter Peacock has not featured in any research I have come across, but his service number tells me quite a bit. With that number he almost certainly was with the 2nd battalion Yorks & Lancs. who formed part of the 14th British Infantry Brigade in the second Chindit operation in 1944 (his number is not in sequence for the original operation in 1943).

    His flight in Dakota IV KN557 would not have been the first time Walter had experienced that type of aircraft. His Chindit unit was a secondary back up group that flew in to Burma at a landing strip codenamed 'Aberdeen' in early April 1944.

    They immediately mobilised and marched out to the Indaw area looking to support some of the gains achieved by the initial Chindit advance. They were involved in some horrendous forced marches over difficult terrain and in extremely arduous weather conditions.

    For a good overview of the battalion's involvement in operation 'Thursday', the book 'March or Die' by Phil Chinnery would be my recommendation.

    The battalion War diary reference at Kew is WO172/4934.

    Bamboo.

  5. #15
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    Bamboo,

    Re: 1265761 F/Sgt Arthur BROWN RAFVR, of No.194 Sq., mentioned in post #11.

    There were other Commonwealth airmen involved. To start you on your journey, here are the details:

    15/16-4-1943
    No.194 Sqn.
    Hudson VI FK411

    Hudson FK411 crashed at Palam, India on 15th April 1943. The aircraft had just become airborne with the undercarriage nearly or completely retracted, when it banked slightly into wind, lost height and struck the ground with both engines running. The aircraft burst into flames and was destroyed.

    AUS416016 F/Fgt (Pilot) Ansell Edward BRITTEN-JONES RAAF + (CWGC 15-4-1943)
    1265761 F/Sgt (Nav.B) Arthur BROWN RAFVR + (CWGC 15-4-1943)
    136726 P/O (Nav.B) Frederick James ANDREW RAFVR Injured
    J/16520 P/O (Pilot) Joseph Robert CURTIS RCAF Injured
    141858 P/O (Pilot) Edward Leonard HERRING RAFVR Injured
    AUS405582 Sgt (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Francis Thomas Joseph de Warren GLOSTER RAAF Injured

    The above, slightly amended from:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5931

    Best of luck,

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 27th July 2010 at 01:35.

  6. #16
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    Thanks Col.

    Do you think there is a fair chance that the plane was beginning a mission into Burma to supply the Chindits? It is very near the time when Pilot Vlasto collected the 17 or so ill and wounded men from the landing strip later called 'Piccadilly'.

    I would like to add these men to my Roll.

    The Chindits were supplied in 1943 from a Rear Base at Agartala, which is on the India/Bangladesh borders today.

    Many thanks again.

  7. #17
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    Bamboo.

    I doubt that FK411 was on a supply mission at the time of its loss, not with two extra pilots on board.

    Col.

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    Col Bruggy

    Many thanks, I will follow up. Apologies for seniors moment on my earlier post: Cam's uncle killed at Gallipoli was not also HJM Campbell but Captain (Dr) Sydney James Campbell (see John Hamilton, Goodbye Cobber, and God Bless You (2004) - chapter 6). Cam's father was Hugh Munro, his grandfather, Hugh John Munro and his nephew again Hugh Munro (also known for a while as Cam but now preferring Hugh) so my confusion perhaps understandable. David S

  9. #19
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    Default 31st Squadron, Burma 1942-3

    Hi all,

    Thanks for your input on this matter. Col. I think you are right about FK411.

    I have contacted the secretary of the 31 Squadron museum/association and am awaiting a copy of 'First in Indian Skies' from Amazon. So I expect to receive or learn more very shortly. If anyone else is interested in the names of personnel from that era 1941-46, then let me know and I would happily share the info.

    Thanks again.

    Bamboo.

  10. #20
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    Default 31st Squadron, Burma 1942-3

    Hi all,

    Thanks to sound advice from the forum and quick work by Amazon, I already have a copy of 'First in the Indian Skies'. What a wonderful if somewhat large book. I shall enjoy reading it soon. It is already a winner for me with its personnel lists at the back and a ground plan of the Agartala air base in 1943, priceless info.

    Can I ask everyone's opinion with one question? Would it make sense to credit the whole Squadron whose service includes the dates 01/12/1942 through 01/05/1943, with "probably" having participated in Chindit supply that year? I know we can never be sure, but I wondered what your views would be.

    Many thanks for all your help.

    Steve.

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