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Thread: Met Men - Belfast 1944

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    Default Met Men - Belfast 1944

    No. 12 Halifax Conversion Course commenced on 2 Oct, 1944 at Aldergrove, Northern Ireland. Of the three crews, one was on V.L.R. instruction and the other two on Met(eorological). One of these three crews was involved in a crash (JB-963) near the airfield and the crew of F/L Evans, Saunders, Gillis and Dixon all perished.
    I have already acquired a certain amount of detail with the help of this forum and others, but have not been able to find out whether this crew was on the VLR or the Met course.
    I have no details currently of the names of any of the other two crews.
    Can anyone eliminate these other two crews and enlighten me as to which instruction Evans and his crew were engaged in. Even the family don't know.
    Regards
    Stewart McLoughlin

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    Hi Stewart,

    The accident on 2 Oct 44 did not involve either of the two Met crews - at least I have no met casualties for that date.

    Brian

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    Thanks Brian.
    Is there a separate list of Met. crew members that were kia, or is this from your own research? I would presume there isn't a list for crews on a VLR course, but I see that this forum has a strong interest in Met. crews and it was to them (you) that I was leaning.
    Many thanks
    Stewart

    Presumably also, if they were on a course to be Met. men, they wouldn't necessarily have passed out and qualified as Met. men to appear on a list of Met. men if you see what I think mean.
    Last edited by Stewart McLoughlin; 16th November 2007 at 16:53. Reason: additional thought

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    Stewart,

    I have a personal list of all met personnel, including MAOs, who were 'Killed on active service'.

    My apologies if I'm repeating what you know, but to be listed as 'Killed in action' the causualty had to be attacking the enemy - and only one metman so qualified (S/L Campbell Crichton-Miller, Senior Met Officer of both RAF Netheravon and HQ 38 Wing {later 38 Group}). All MAOs were qualified meteorologists, that was one of the requirements before they were considered for the trade group. They were not training to be meteorologists on the conversion courses, but learning their position within the crew - as were all the others.

    I should add that the first five courses of MAOs were given basic training as air gunners and navigators. After that they were only given rudimentary training as navs but were expected to be sufficiently proficient to stand in for the navigator should he become incapacitated.

    So far as I'm aware just three MAOs were lost whilst training.

    As an aside the CWGC gives Crichton-Miller as being on 295 Sqn, and his headstone has him as a Flight Engineer - but that's all part of a remarkable story.

    Sorry that I can't help with a list of the VLR crews - not my area I'm afraid.

    Brian

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    Thanks again Brian.

    I was just using the term kia generically as covering "died during service in any form".
    Appreciate your contribution. Suppose I'll have to find another way of elimination.
    Family don't want to apply for deceased service record which would idenitfy his original squadron, so that stumps me also.
    Ah well......
    Stewart

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    The crash occurred on the 23rd October 1944. The cwgc details of the members of this crew do not indicate that any involved a met man either. The F/O instructor, David E Evans who was with them had been awarded a DFC.

    Howard

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    Default No 1674 HCU

    Stewart,

    I suspect you probably have this information already, but if not your crew was almost certainly with No 1674 HCU at the time. I have a met casualty who died whilst training with this unit on 29 July 1944. Its ORB, covering Mar 1943 - Nov 1944, can be found under AIR29/614 in the NA. I can't remember how much (if any) detail it contains in respect of course members, but it is clearly worth a look.

    Brian

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    Thanks Brian.

    Yes I've got the 1674 reference, but on my last visit to the N.A.'s the 'snowdrops' threw me out at 5pm and this was one of the searches I hadn't concluded. Have to plan another trip, but before then I'm going to a, b, c, etc.....
    Thanks again for the reference.
    Stewart

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