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Thread: Squadron 7 Stirling Bombers - Can you help?

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    Default Squadron 7 Stirling Bombers - Can you help?

    Hello, I am new to the forum,

    I have done alot of research on my Grandad Leslie Ernest John Davenport.

    He volunteered for the RAF and was posted with 7 Squadron WW2. At the start of the war he was in training and flew with a Wellington Squadron in Lincolnshire but I have been unable to find any information on this.

    I am aware he was with 7 squadron at Oakington in Cambridge.
    I am aware of only 13 of his missions, then on the Sept 7th 1941 he was shot down over Recklinghausen Germany, after a bombing raid to Berlin.

    He flew with some men I will list below:

    This was his regular crew:

    F/O D.T Witt
    Sgt. J.H Boulton
    P/O D.K Deyell
    Sgt. A.E Burrows
    P/O J.L.A Mills
    Sgt J.T Prentice

    Other names I am aware he would have knew were:

    L.D Bolton
    A.H Piper
    D.H Williams
    F.C Williams
    K.O Blunden
    E.S Baker
    R. Blacklaw
    Sgt. Hale
    K. Huntley
    J.T Copley


    This is the crew he was shot down with: 7th September 1941. All were POWs.

    F/sgt A Yardley - Serv.No 748748
    F/O C.M Hall (RAAF) 402002
    Sgt. J.H Boulton 742790
    Sgt J. Sutton 746720
    Sgt A. Speakman 551472
    Sgt D. Owens 528924

    I have been to the records office at Kew and found all about the raids he was on I know he was based at Bourn but mainly at Oakington with 7 Squadron. He saw active service with his 13 missions that I am aware off between february 1941 - September 1941. I am aware of the POW camps he was in aswell.

    I am interested whether anyone has photo's of squadron 7 (Aircrew and planes) or knows if any of the above airmen are still alive and how I could trace them or their families if they have passed?

    I am aware that my grandads pilot Dennis Witt went on to fly over 100 sorties and be awarded the DFC, DFM. Is he still alive??
    Also Prentice and Burrows spoke in qoutation in Tom Docherty's (7squadron) book, are they alive.

    My grandad was a navigator and mainly a front gunner. He went on raids such as Cologne, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Bethune (France), La Pallice (France), Borkum Seaplane base, hannover, Keil, Duisburg, Huls to name some.

    I am aware of the many books which some are in my posession but I would love to know whether any of these veterans are still about.

    Any information that can be emailed, posted or contact numbers or a list of squadron 7 veterans from around 1939-41 will be greatly recieved. I would love to meet or speak with people that may know my grandad or served in the same squadron. My grandad has sadly passed away in 1986. I was unable to speak to him about the war.

    I do have photos in my family of some of my grandad and colleagues that maybe of interest to others.

    Look forward to any info that comes up.

    Ian Davenport

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    Hi Ian,
    I have some images of 7 Squadron aircraft from 40-41.
    I was also friendly with Arthur Piper and have a copy of his log book, though I can't find any mention of your grandfather.
    If you pm me or mail me at gedburke3@yahoo.co.uk I can let you have copies for your collection.
    Gerry

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    Default Squadron 7 LEJ Davenport

    Hi mate,

    I have sent you an email to your email address you provided.

    If anyone else can assist it will be greatly recieved.

    Ian Davenport

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    Hello Ian,

    A little more information on, AUS402002 Clive Mayor HALL RAAF. Hall's rank on becoming a POW, was Pilot Officer, not Flight Lieutenant, as published elsewhere. His ultimate rank on discharge from the RAAF (on 3-10-1945), was Flight Lieutenant.

    Hall became a member of the 'Caterpillar Club', on 7/8-9-1941. I can't speak for the rest of the crew, although, Clutton-Brock in 'Footprints on the Sands of Time' (p.441), indicates that there is more information on Yardley in, 'Silk and Barbed Wire' (p.137), suggesting he had no parachute.

    Was your Grandfather a member of the 'Caterpillar Club'?

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 26th November 2009 at 00:27. Reason: Minor correction

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    Default Squadron 7 Stirling Bombers - Can you help?

    Hello there,

    Many thanks for the info, yes my grandad was a member of the catterpillar club, because he had to bail out over Newton Flotman Norfolk on the 15th July 1941 then again on the 7/8th September 1941.

    Is HALL or any other veterans still alive??

    I have footprints in the sand of time I will look in there about Yardley.

    Keep the info coming people!!

    Ian

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    Ian,

    I know about the 1st July 1941 when D T Witt witnessed my Father in the sea.

    "The dinghy was spotted by 3 Short Stirling 1ís from 7 Squadron, N6013 MG-A piloted by F/O John Kinnane, N6005 MG-G piloted by F/O D T Witt and N3655 MG-? piloted by Sgt. B K Madgwick, returning to Oakington from a daylight attack on Emden and Aurich. They had experienced lack of cloud cover over the target and bombed Borkum seaplane base by daylight with 16 x 500lb bombs as an alternative on their return. Bursts were seen across the harbour and on the slipway. They met a considerable defence from fighters. The Germans claimed 2 Stirlings at this point but none were lost at that time. Uffz Summerer from 3./JG52 claimed a Stirling at 14.00 hours 15Km West of Bokrum and another claim was made at 14.05 hours by Uffz Brey of 1./JG52 North of Bokrum."

    F/O Kinnane's crew were lost trying to co-ordinate the rescue attempt.

    Does this correspond with one of your Grand Fathers ops? If so, l have quite a bit more information.

    Regards,

    Nick

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    Default 7 Squadron Stirling Bombers

    Hi Ian,
    My father was one of the crew shot down with your grandfather, his name was Don Owens and I have some information that you might not have. If you want to e-mail me with a contact phone number I will give you a call and give you any info I might have. My e-mail address is: darrell.owens@live.co.uk
    Regards,
    Darrell Owens

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    Default 7 Squadron Stirling Bombers

    Hello to all of you,

    The website Airwar over Denmark has more about this incident.

    Stirling I N6013 shot down over the North Sea on 1/7 1941.

    http://www.flensted.eu.com/194108.shtml


    Regards

    Finn Buch

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    If Ian hasn't already found the 7 Squadron Association website:-
    http://www.7squadronassociation.org/association.htm

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    Dear all,

    I was interested to see this thread developing. During the research of my book the Nachtjagd War Diaries I have been unable to find any details about a possible German night fighter claim for 7 Sqn Stirling N6046. (In Chorley's 1941 Volume on Bomber Command losses he mentions that this a/c was shot down by a night fighter and crashed at Recklinghausen). Do any of you have further info on the cause of loss of this aircraft and the time of the loss?

    You can reach me at

    theoboitenATversatel.nl

    Cheers, Theo

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