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Thread: Help please: 137 Sqdn Combat loss & French/German files

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    Default Help please: 137 Sqdn Combat loss & French/German files

    On the night of 17/18th May 1943 F/O Eddie Musgrave RAAF of 137 Squadron was lost in the Gravelines area - presumably shot down by flak.

    I had the opportunity in 2007 to visit his grave in Pihen-les-Guines cemetery.

    Other than what is recorded here, and in 137 Sqdn's ORB, I have no further details on the combat.

    File Number 61/3/AIR – Enclosure 86A

    FROM: 11 Group Intelligence.
    AI/708 The following received from Manston.

    Composite Ant-shipping Patrol Report. 17/18th May, 1943

    (A) 137 (B) 1 Whirlwind Bomber. F/O Musgrave (R.A.A.F.) (C) 0110
    (D) Shipping Gravelines area. (E) N/A (F) Not known
    (G) 1 Whirlwind Bomber, F/O Musgrave N.Y.R.

    GENERAL: - Informed by Swingate of Pilot making second attack with cannon 0132 hours. Not plotted or heard of since.

    I would be interested in seeing what records the French/Germans might have that could shed any further light on Eddie's final operational mission and P7063 the Whirlwind he flew. Is there anyone who could please point me in the right direction?

    Thank you all in advance.

    Paul

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    hello,

    I too would be interested in details about this loss. As you didn't say if you have checked national archives of Australia, both his service file (A9300) and casualty file (A705) are digitised. The former can be found at :

    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/imagine.asp?B=5251448&I=1&SE=1

    The latter can be found at :

    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/imagine.asp?B=1074480&I=1&SE=1

    Pages which you might find interesting are 38, 42, 48, 52 and 57 (this file is 65 pages long). While there's no clear mention of it, I'd say he actually came down in the North Sea, while making his second attack on a ship, off Gravelines. His body was later washed ashore, and he was buried in Pihen-les-Guines. There are several other airmen buried in Pihen who came down in the sea.


    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 22nd September 2009 at 15:32.

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    Default Help please: 137 Sqdn Combat loss & French/German files

    Thanks very much for that Joss.

    I do have a copy of his service record but was not aware of the additional digitised files you mentioned. After reading them I concur that it appears that his body was washed ashore after being shot down.

    I'd still be interested in any French or Grman files relating to the incident but have no idea where to search in order to find them (if they exist)

    Paul

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    hello,

    I have never found any Police or Gendarmerie report which would match this loss, but there are some areas that I've not checked yet, and even though, there are many "inland" crashes that were not reported by the Police / Gendarmerie or officials such as Mayors.

    There's no real M.R.E.S. investigation report in the casualty file, which would have given confirmation that the body was found on a French shore. This kind of information sometimes exists, but not always.

    I can't tell for German archives, but that's another option.

    Joss

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    Default Help please: 137 Sqdn Combat loss & French/German files

    Thanks very much for that Joss.

    I think that what happened will probably remain a mystery.

    Paul

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    Hello Paul,

    An interesting source may be the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) records. These seem to be surprisingly complete with regard to other surviving German documents.

    I cannot help you with the records of that area, but with reference to my own research area, NW Holland, I can point out that in the area of Gravelines at least Mine Sweeping Flottillas (Minensuchflottillen), Blokade Runner Flottillas (Sperrbrecherflottillen) and Outpost Flottillas (Vorpostenflottillen) may have been active. Apart from that small convoys (Geleiten) may have been there too.

    In the War Diaries (Kriegstagebücher) of this units I managed to find a lot of details related to the final moments of attacking aircraft. Apart from time of crash also expenditure of ammunition, or even combat reports with small maps.

    I've really no idea which Kriegsmarine units exactly were in the Gravelines region at that moment, but I trust that a Naval related forum might give you the answer.

    You can at least try this one:
    http://www.forum-marinearchiv.de/

    Although the main language is German, you can register in English. They're very well informed and with some luck there's somebody around who actually possesses copies of the War Diaries of the relevant units.

    Good luck!

    Hans Nauta
    Holland

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    Default Help please: 137 Sqdn Combat loss & French/German files

    Thanks very much for that Hans I'll look into it.

    Paul

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