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Thread: F/L George Platts from 541 Sqdn

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    Default F/L George Platts from 541 Sqdn

    Hello,

    F/L George Platts, RAFVR, 137655 from 541 Sqdn died on 9 March 1945. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    I am looking for details about the circumstances of his death.

    As far as I can see, he can have a connection with the loss of Spitfire RM631 from same unit.

    Best regards

    Finn Buch

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    Hi Finn,

    Yes, pilot of RM631.

    Took off Benson 09:56. Missing on mission to airfields in northern Germany. F/L Platts has no known grave and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Regards
    Ross

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    Default F/L George Platts from 541 Sqdn

    Many thanks Ross,

    Any idea of the route of his mission? A photo reconnaissance operation to the Baltic Sea area, along the German coast (Flensburg to Rostock)?

    Best regards

    Finn Buch

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    Finn,

    A Czechoslovak crew with No.544 Sqn often used the route Flensburg-Warnemunde-Rostock-Neubrandenburg when was on the reconnaissance operations over NE Germany. So along coast.

    Regards,
    Michal

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    Default F/L George Platts from 541 Sqdn

    Thanks Michal,

    The Baltic Coast area was covered with fog banks on this day, so maybe he lost his sense of locality. Another cause could be a shot down by a German fighter, or a collision.

    Best regards

    Finn Buch

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    Default F/L George Platts from 541 Squadn

    My name is Robert Wilson the son of George Wilson who was b1904 in Hathersage, Derbyshire. George Platts, b 10th Feb 1921, also in Hathersage Derbyshire was my fathers cousin. I attach information from the Wilson/Platts family tree concerning George Platts which may be of interest:

    Flight Lieutenant 137655. Served with 541 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Photographic Reconaissance Unit, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire. He was awarded the DFC (Flight Magazine May 18th 1944) and the Air Medal (USA) on 20 July 1943.

    The Air Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the armed forces of the United States, shall have distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. Awards may be made to recognize single acts of merit or heroism or for meritorious service.

    Killed in action, his name is recorded on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, Panel 265. This memorial is to airmen who were lost in the Second World War, and who have no known graves.

    He flew a Spitfire Mark XIX, Serial Number RM631. This plane had a maximum speed of 445mph @ 26,000 ft but could reach 470mph in a dive.

    [Related by Raymond Platts, George's brother] George was teaching at Hathersage school at an early age and was outstanding at Mathematics. He wanted to go to university and had the full support of his old school masters. However he was told that he could not go to university unless he volunteered for war service. He applied to train as a pilot in the Royal Navy Air Service but was rejected because he did not have a degree! He thus applied for the RAF and was accepted for training about 1941/42. He did his basic training at Morecombe and then his flying training at Blackpool then Benson, then Montrose, then Wick through to St Ives where he passed out as a pilot. He was then posted to RAF Benson as a Flying Officer where he saw three years active service. Whilst home on leave George left aerial photographs of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. The Scharnhost was sunk in 1943. Also village tales of George bringing his aircraft back to base by hand priming his engine are probably true. George flew photo reconaissence sorties over Berlin and Milan.

    George's mother recieved a letter sent by the RAF Casualty Branch written on 26 March 1945 which gave condolences and said that George's plane crashed into the sea 8 miles east of Manton (nr Ramsgate) and he was reported as missing.

    In Flight Magazine (June 13th 1946) he is included in a Roll of Honour (Casualty Communique No. 587) for those "Previously Reported Missing, Now Presumed Killed in Action"

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