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Thread: 440526 - Unaccounted airmen 26 May 1944

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    Default Unaccounted airmen 26 May 1944

    Looking for aircraft, place and possible cause of crash of French Aircrew (BLOT/PONTON/FICHBACH) dead on 26 may 1944 when they were posting on 20 OTU.

    TIA

    Bertrand

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    Hi Bertrand
    The incident involving your 3 Airmen took place during the night of 25-26/5/44 when they left Lossiemouth for a night X-Country exercise, during which they encountered severe icing at 15000ft.They descended to 7000ft but it did not improve and they were all ordered to prepare to abandon the a/c.Before anyone did the captain felt a slight improvement in the a/c handling and attempted a force landing at what he thought was an airfield.In fact he came down at a place called Bunker Hill about 1 ml E of the town of Consett in County Durham.4 died and 3 were injured by the crash and fire but not seriously.Those who died were:-
    Capt R Richard the pilot
    Lt R Blot
    S/Lt A Pontin
    and Sgt J Fischbach.
    The 3 injured were
    Lt J Vles
    Sgt J Foury-Lavergne
    and Sgt G Allain
    They were all FFAF and the a/c was Wellington X ME553, JM-F
    This comes from W Chorley, Bomber Command Losses, Vol 7 who has no information as to where the dead were buried and believes that they may have been re-patriated to France after 1945 having been first laid to rest in Harrogate
    Regards
    Dick

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    Many thanks Dick for your ultra quick and precise reply !.

    René Richard (died some days after the crash) and Raoul Blot are buried in the Brookwood cemetery.

    Bertrand

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    Thaks all.
    Bertrand: Do you know the matricules of the crew and first names and burial locations of PONTIN and FISCHBACH ?
    Dick: ME553 was never allotted to any aircraft; correct serial was MF553 and ME553 may have been a printing error in Chorley's BCL-OTU.
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Hi Henk,

    Sgt Jean-Lucien FISCHBACH, Matricule 190 (Came from North Africa). I do not know if he had a bristish/french service number and Alexandre PONTON. I have nothing on him

    HTH

    Bertrand

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    Thanks Bertrand; enjoy the weekend,
    Henk.

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    Hello

    The re-arrangment of some old threads by the new mods brought up this old query.

    I have a Guy Soury-Lavergne (S, not F), service number 37968, who was shot down on 2 November 1944 during a raid against Dusselforf. He was by then a member of No. 347 Squadron (aka "Tunisie") from Elvington. He filed an evasion report which can be found in WO 3208/3324 (#2747). He was the rear gunner of his Halifax crew

    Just my two pence Worth, as I think this is the same man.

    Joss

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    Hello,

    It should also be noted, that Lt J Vles FFAF did not survive the war. He was aboard No.346 (Guyenne) Sqn Halifax III NA558, which failed to return from attacking Bochum on 4-5 November, 1944. (BCL5/476).

    Col.

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