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Thread: 26-27 July 44 Givors raid losses

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    Default 26-27 July 44 Givors raid losses

    Dear all,

    Who can confirm the cause of loss of Lancaster ND856 (83 Squadron) & the exact crash location & time of crash of this aircraft during the 26-27 July 1944 Givors raid? I am also looking for details about the cause of loss of 630 Lancaster ND527 during the same raid. (I have the details from Chorley's 1944 vol).

    Any help much appreciated!

    Cheers, Theo

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    Hello Theo,

    the cause was a mid air collision with the Lancaster ND527 of 630 squadron.
    They fell near Vichy.
    I have not my file with me to say more unfortunately.The weather was very bad this night,which caused the losse of the Mosquito of 627 squadron too..
    I did lot of research on ND856 and its crew,tracing the relative of the crew.
    S/L Eggins was a very experienced pilot having been trained in USA at the beginning of the war.He was on its second tour of operation when he died.
    My archive being at 20000km from here now, I cannot help more ...sorry!

    With all the sun from Moorea!
    Alain.

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    Hi Alain,

    Many thanks for confirming a collision as the cause of loss of these two Lancasters!

    Cheers, Theo

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    Default 26-27 July 44 Givors raid losses

    Dear Theo, Alain and all,
    I'm new to the forum so please be patient !
    A friend, Pierre Babin, recently informed me of your thread, sorry for the late reply.
    I've done some considerable research into the Givors raid also and live locally to the crash sight of the two aircraft in question. The planes came down simutaneously at around 0300 and within a few hundred yards of each other. ND527 exploded in flight near to the ground and came down near to the village of St. Ignat. ND856 managed to crash land in a field near to the neighbouring village of Surat but hit a row of trees and caught fire.

    From a very snowy Auvergne,
    Ian

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    Hi Ian,

    Many thanks for adding these interesting new details about the loss of ND856 and ND527!

    Cheers, Theo

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    Default Givors

    Theo/Ian/Alain:
    My father(navigator) was on this op and evidently had problems. Rob Eggins was his flight commander “A” flight 83 Squadron. Earlier in the year ND 856 “E” was taken on several raids by my fathers crew.
    Eggins was deputy controller on the raid. Dad’s log notes a TO time of 21:00. The Eggins crew would have taken of very close to this time with responsibility for direction and assessing illumination and markers, and correcting errant marking. Noting the area of crash it appears collision occurs on homebound leg. If Ian’s time is correct [ my understanding is that BC time was 2 hrs diff.], then about 4 hrs after TO at 01:00 Bomber time.
    My fathers had noted in his log “very severe icing” . I don’t know if he reached target on time although in the air a long time 7:15. My questions:
    a) Was the raid delayed by the controllers in order to best deal with conditions? Sometimes, this was done
    if a change in schedule or elevation allowed for a better chance of accuracy.
    b) Did the icing condition factor in on the collision of the two lancasters or the 627 Sq mossie?
    It appears that Eggins would have had to deal with a lot of issues on this night and was dealing with a tough situation to the end. Does anyone have history or ORP to confirm chronology?
    Ari

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    Default Astonished

    F/O Harold Wilson was my father's brother, the oldest of four siblings. The "one who had it all", as my father has said, meaning he was smart, athletic and good looking. My father, the youngest sibling - now 90 yo, still lives on the farm where he and his family grew up. My brother now farms there. Harold's sister, 92 yo, is also still living, in Toronto. A portrait of Uncle Harold, having recieved his pilot's wings, still hangs on the wall of the farmhouse.

    For over six decades now, all that any of us knew of Harold was that he was buried somewhere in France. My Grandparents first recieved an MIA telegram, and later a KIA telegram. Much more recently my father received a package from Veterans Affairs; a lake in Northern Manitoba had been named after Harold, as was/is being done for WWII veterans who lost their lives in action.
    Just a year ago I discovered where Harold was buried by searching the Canadian Virtual War Memorial after reading an article about the project.
    http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/sub.cfm?source=collections/virtualmem
    At that point, seeing a picture of the memorial at St Ignat, it was clear that Harold's Lancaster was destroyed with no survivors. It was also very gratifying to see the significant memorial that had been chiseled by those who were closest to the crash site. There is a reason the Louvre is in France.
    I passed the information on to my father. He was speechless. The next day, having had a chance to look at a map, he said, "What the h@## was he doing in that part of France?", thinking that he should have been on a flight path to or from Germany. I searched the internet again, found the list of RAF Bomber Command raids and was able to tell him the target was the railyards at Givors.

    My son will be spending a year in the Netherlands beginning later this month. I was searching for details to show him how to visit the grave, the first of our family to hopefully do so, and then realized that Harold was not interred at Saint Ignat, where the memorial is, but at Cleremont Ferrand, and wondered why. More searching led me to this forum, and others. This one, for example:
    http://maquisardsdefrance.jeun.fr/t8561-saint-ignat-63-crash-du-27-juillet-1944

    To discover that there is so much more to the history; that there was a storm, icing problems, likely a mid air collision, that his plane exploded in mid-air and that another Lancaster and crew also crashed and burned. It's a lot to take in. It's also a little troubling, and the question that remains is; how do they know there was a mid-air collision? Did the info come from other Allied planes who made it back? Did someone survive the crash long enough to tell of what had happened?
    I know these things may not be answerable after all these years, but I know my Dad will ask. If anyone has more insight or details, it would be very much appreciated.

    Thank You very much.

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    Hello Tom,

    I sent you an email, I did some research on this crash and I am in contact with relative of the other Lancaster involved in the collision .

    Alain.

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    Default Givors op

    Hello Theo,

    Here's a pers. account of this raid from my cousin's mug, Ken Johnson, 61 sqdn.
    This was the crew's 1st op. (on the following night, no less) after losing their R/G (my cousin P/O Carson Foy) to friendly fire on the St. Cyr op. the prev. night.

    " PAUL,
    YOU REMEMBER I MENTIONED THE VERY NEXT NIGHT AFTER THE ST.CYR,TRAGEDY ? WE WERE SENT OUT TO BOMB A PLACE CALLED GIVORS (NEAR LYON),AN IMPORTANT RAIL YARD. AFTER THE BRIEFING IN THE LOCKER ROOM I WAS CONTEMPLATING ABOUT ANOTHER GUNNER .THE SKIPPER CAME IN WITH THIS CHAP AS REPLACEMENT .HE SEEMED VERY UNEASY DESPITE ALL MY EFFORTS NOTHING SEEMED TO CHEER HIM .WE FINALLY TOOK OFF LATE EVENING FOR THIS NIGHT RAID,THINGS WENT WITHOUT A HITCH APART FROM A BIT OF FLACK AT THE FRENCH COAST. AS WE GOT DEEPER IN TO FRANCE WE RAN INTO AN ELECTRICAL STORM.
    WE HAD NEVER ACCOUNTED THE LIKE OF THIS.AROUND EACH PROP WAS AN ORANGE FLAME ,ALL THE RADIO CABLES HAD BLUE BLOBS LIKE FAIRY LIGHTS,MY TURRET BEING BOUND WITH METAL STRUTS HAD SMALL ORANGE FLASHES RACING MADLY AROUND,AT INTERVALS LONG STREAKS OF FLAME (AS THOUGH THEY WERE BEING FIRED) I TOUCHED THE GUNS SPARKS RAN FROM THE GUNS UP MY ARMS AROUND MY BODY. THERE WAS NO PHYSICAL EFFECT BUT I KEPT MY ARMS TO MY SIDE TO AVOID THEM .THE WORST THING WAS AT INTERVALS THE AIRCRAFT DROPPED LIKE A STONE QUITE A FEW HUNDRED FEET NO SOONER GAINING HEIGHT FOR IT TO HAPPEN AGAIN.NO WAY COULD ENEMY FIGHTERS TAKE OFF NONE THE LESS THERE WERE QUITE A NUMBER OF LOSSES NO DOUBT DUE TO CONDITIONS.
    AFTER A WHILE THE REAR-GUNNER BEGAN SCREAMING NOTHING WOULD STOP HIM SO THE ENGINEER, EVENTUALLY HAD TO DISCONNECT HIS INTERCOM SO WE COULD NOT HEAR HIM. AS WE AT LAST GOT TO THE TARGET THERE WAS A PATCH OF CLEAR SKY .IT WAS UNCANNY,THE PROBLEM WAS THE DANGER OF COLLIDING WITH OTHERS AS WE MILLED AROUND TO RUN AT THE TARGET. SUDDENLY SOME ONE PUT THERE LIGHTS ON SOON EVERY ONE FOLLOWED SUIT WHICH SOLVED THE PROBLEM .WE BOMBED TURNED FOR HOME .ON THE WAY BACK THE RADIO OPERATOR LET BASE KNOW ABOUT OUR GUNNER .AS WE LANDED TWO SP,S WERE WAITING WHISKED HIM OFF BEFORE WE WERE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE AIR-CRAFT. UNTIL THAT TIME WE DISCOVERED HE HAD JUST COME FROM THE HOSPITAL AFTER BEING WOUNDED ON HIS PREVIOUS TRIP.
    WE WERE SENT ON A TEN DAYS LEAVE SO SPARED WHAT HAPPENED NEXT.HE REFUSED TO FLY AGAIN SO PARADED IN FRONT OF ALL THE STATION STRIPPED OF HIS RANK TO AN A/C TWO WITH L.O.M.F. ENTERED ON HIS SERVICE RECORDS,POSTED HE WOULD GET ALL THE WOST JOBS THROWN AT HIM.REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY TRIPS HE DID BEFORE THIS IT WAS HARSH PUNISHMENT.I,M PLEASED WE DIDN'T WITNESS IT. WHEN WE GOT BACK THE A.O.C. OF 5 GROUP HAD SENT US A GUNNER WHO HAD ALREADY DONE A TOUR SO HE COMPLETED HIS 2ND TOUR WITH US."

    All the best Theo.
    Cheers.
    Paul G.

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    Default

    Paul:
    Your posting substantially answers my questions (Dec 09) on weather conditions in the target area. Timing does suggest collision was on return leg, possibly when back in cloud. Is there any records of sightings of collision by other aircrew?
    Chorley has ND527 as a 630 sq A/C with a 57 sq crew. Correct? Eggins’ A/C was navigated by the CO’s regular navigator, but G/C Deane not involved with this raid. Who was Eggins’ normal navigator? What became of him?
    Incident another example of the weather perils and bad luck. Ari

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