Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Liberator AL588, 1653 HCU loss, 5 Aug 1942

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wheaton, MD, USA (Wash DC area)
    Posts
    348
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Liberator AL588, 1653 HCU loss, 5 Aug 1942

    Liberator AL588 of 1653 Heavy Conversion Unit lost its tail unit taking evasive action during a fighter affiliation exercise on 5 August 1942. Those aboard AL588 died in the resulting crash half a mile east of Marston Moor.

    Presumably the crew list is found in Chorley's "Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses Vol.8: Heavy Conversion Units and Miscellaneous Units 1939-1947."

    Would someone kindly list the crew details? I know that the pilot was 1312342 F/Sgt Bryn Williams. An airman named Oscar was aboard, as well; a diary entry from one of his pallbearers does not give his surname, however. Another eyewitness told me that a mate named Joe Foster was aboard, but this name does not show up in the CWGC database.

    Thanks,

    Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    1,765
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Matt,
    F/Sgt B. Williams.
    Sgt A.F. Bell.
    Sgt W.A Kup.
    Sgt S. Sampson.
    Sgt E. Thorley.
    P/O T.H. Jones.
    Sgt E.A. Smith.
    Sgt W.H.C. Booth.
    Sgt K. Castleton.
    Sgt D.A. Wood.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wheaton, MD, USA (Wash DC area)
    Posts
    348
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Ah, 12 minutes to get a reply to my query! Thanks so much, Alan.

    Now to figure out which one was Oscar, who came from the Manchester area, according to the diary of one of the pallbearers. I'll go through the Debt of Honour Register and see what shows up.

    Cheers,

    Matt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wheaton, MD, USA (Wash DC area)
    Posts
    348
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I found all of the aircrew in the Debt of Honour Register, with one exception: Sgt. K. Castleton.

    However, all, including Castleton, are listed in Flight magazine's Oct 8, 1942 issue as "Killed on active service". (S. Sampson is "S. Simpson" in this source, but "S. Sampson" in CWGC.)

    Looks like either a CWGC error or a surname spelling error in Flight and Chorley.

    Any clarification/additional info on Sgt. K. Castleton?

    Thanks,

    Matt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    1,765
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Matt,
    My apologies, spelling of surname is incorrect on my part, have found the man on the register.
    1270868 Kenneth Caselton, same as in Chorleys, my excuse is i was on a 12hr night shift last night and not quite as awake as i want to be.
    Last edited by AlanW; 27th September 2009 at 19:39.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wheaton, MD, USA (Wash DC area)
    Posts
    348
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Alan,

    You've solved the mystery...no apology needed!

    W/Op/AG Bill Kirkness told me he had flown aboard AL588 on a 1653 HCU fighter affiliation exercise immediately before the fatal flight. He recalled that a Joe Foster of Liverpool had passed him at the switchover of crews entering/exiting the Liberator. "See you at the pub tonight" were Joe's words, said Bill, and then he died in the accident.

    Per Chorley, though, there was nobody with this name, and the CWGC data links nobody to Liverpool. The closest is W/Op/AG Edward Thorley of Moss Side, Manchester. This must be the casualty whose burial in Manchester was attended by W/Op/AG Don Lomas, another 1653 HCU airman. Don's diary only named him as Oscar...and I have no doubt that Edward Thorley was called "Oscar":

    5 Aug 1942 WEDNESDAY Nothing doing today. Down to SELBY to cinema. No joy...Williams crew killed - (Oscar).

    11 Aug 1942 TUESDAY Up 9 a.m. 10.30 train to MANCHESTER. Bearer for Oscar. Grim.

    Bill Kirkness' recollection of Joe Foster must have been a simple memory slip.

    I'd queried the message board back in 2002 about this crew, but with my curiosity renewed by my transcribing work on Don Lomas' wartime diaries, I thought I'd try again. The Chorley book, I figured, must have the crew list. Success...and thanks once more, Alan.

    Cheers,

    Matt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,403
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 33 Times in 32 Posts

    Default

    Matt,

    A sad addendum to the loss of Liberator AL588:

    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11989738

    Fate can indeed be fickle!

    Col.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wheaton, MD, USA (Wash DC area)
    Posts
    348
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    A nice bit of detective work, Col. Thanks for that archival gem, sad though it is.

    Matt

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •