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Thread: F/Sgt P.D. COOK, No. 61 Squadron

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    Default F/Sgt P.D. COOK, No. 61 Squadron

    hello,

    I'm looking for the first names of F/Sgt P.D. COOK, No. 61 Squadron, who was the flight engineer in the crew captained by F/O D.C. FREEMAN, D.F.C., lost during a raid against Calais on 24th September 1944.

    According to Duncan GORDON's evasion report, and contrary to the details given in Chorley volume 5, 3 airmen actuallly survived the crash of Lancaster I NF914 in the sea off Calais : COOK and GORDON, and also the rear gunner ROSHER. They were rescued / recovered by the Germans and were in the town's hospital which was bombed at about 11 o'clock the day after. GORDON seized the opportunity to evade and was able to get out and met a French policeman in a café. This policeman then entered the hospital and brought back F/Sgt COOK. It seems F/Sgt ROSHER was killed in the bombing during this raid.

    I'm looking for the first names of F/Sgt P.D. COOK and any other detail about him. He didn't file an Escape & Evasion report (WO 208 series in Kew)
    I know the webpage about D.C. Freeman which is unfortunately not detailed enough.

    TIA

    Joss

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    Hi Joss,
    According to RAF Evaders (Clutton-Brock) his first name was Phillip, one reason for him not filing a report is that it seem from the book that he never actually evaded. Just after the policeman came back with Cook to the cafe, the Germans came, and while Gordon made his escape through a back window, Cook was caught and taken back to the hospital, Rosher died of his injuries later.
    Last edited by AlanW; 23rd December 2009 at 13:10.

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    Hello,

    thanks Alan. So it seems Bill Chorley confused the cases of Gordon and Cook. I'll give it a try during my next visit to Kew, to see if there's a PoW questionnaire (WO 344) series pour P.D. COOK, but I doubt it, as these questionnaire were filled in by servicemen liberated in April and May 1945. In the case of COOK, at Calais it was just a matter of days, as the town was taken over shortly after.

    Thanks for the first name.

    Joss

    PS : Rosher was actually the mid-upper gunner, not the rear gunner as I wrongly stated in post #1.

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    Hi Joss,
    Only two days according to RAF Evaders, then Cook fell into Canadian hands as did Gordon.
    Cook was originally held by a German gun crew, after whilst still attached to his chute, he was blown onto the shore by wind, he had burns to his face and arms, which was why he was taken to the hospital in Calais. I will check my copy of the 61sqdn ORB just in case of further information.
    Last edited by AlanW; 23rd December 2009 at 15:36.

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    Hi again Alan,

    I only have a low resolution digital picture of GORDON's evasion report, and I know that Oliver Clutton-Brook has largely quoted from them.

    Nice of you to check in the Squadron ORB if you can. May be the fact they were safe may have been mentioned (always good for the morale), and may be even their return to operational status.

    Cheers

    Joss

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