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Thread: 656076 P/O HW Thompson RAF

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    Default 656076 P/O HW Thompson RAF

    Morning all,

    I've encountered something of a mystery regarding the personal effects of my great uncle (AUS412686 W/O RW Purcell) and his crew. In his correspondence record is a report from the MRES which states the following:

    "On or about 8th September 1944, a Pilot Officer HW Thompson RAF No. 656076, called at the Mairie of Lezennes with a view of tracing some of his missing friends. It was not stated who these were, He was, however, handed certain effects asenumerated on Appendix No. 4. He stated he would return them to Air Ministry. He gave the Mairie a receipt, copy of which is attached."

    Included on the list of effects (which came from members of two crews lost 10 May 1944) os a penknife belonging to my great uncle.

    Receipt reads something like this (the scan is pretty poor so forgive any typing errors):

    "Je soussigne Aviateur Britannique 656076 certifie avoir recu de lar Mairie de Lezennes, les Objes des Aviateurs tues sur notre territoire le la 10 Mai 1944.
    [sgd] H.W Thompson
    Pilot Officer, RAF"

    Can anyone tell me anything about P/O Thompson? Particularly interested in the unit he was attached to - both crews from which the dead men came were Waddington-based (my great uncle with 467 Sqn and the other from 463) so if he was from Waddington this may explain his interest. Or was he perhaps a somewhat ghoulish opportunist going around claiming things from dead crew?


    Cheers,
    Adam

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    Adam

    I can find no H W Thompson in the London Gazette in the RAF.

    And the number returns nothing. Numbers close to this one (656071, 656072, 656074) are all non-commissioned numbers and in each one is given for a newly commissioned officer (who then got a new number).

    It sounds like the number and name were written down wrongly (whether intentionally or unintentionally I couldn't say)

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Copy that Amrit, thanks. Appreciate you looking for me.

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    Found a possible candidate. I went back to the original NAA file and noticed that Thomson was spelt without the 'P'.

    There is a 656876 Hugh Wallace THOMSON (175967) commissioned in May 1944. Notice the similarity in numbers - so could be a typo in the NAA file.

    He recieved a DFC in May 1945 whilst with 7 Squadron and a Military Cross in Sept 1945.

    Neither awards have a citation in the LG

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Thomson was pilot of Lancaster JB455 that was lost on 15 June 1944. The rest of the crew were killed but he evaded (I wonder if that was why he received the MC).

    If you google Lancaster JB455 you will find a number of articles about a memorial unveiling to the crew.

    Sadly killed in 1948:

    http://www.forcesmemorial.org.uk/roll-of-honour/R397-THOMSON

    http://www.rafcommands.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=4825&forum=DCForumID 6

    A
    Last edited by Amrit; 3rd January 2010 at 01:52.
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Hi Adam,
    Thomson left France for UK on 12th Sept, could it be that on his evasion route, he went through Lezennes, and called at the Mairie (Town Hall) enquiring after his crew, not knowing they were dead, and possibly thinking that if they had evaded like himself, they also passed through Lezennes. Whilst there, he was given the effects of the crews on the NAA list, then as promised, he handed them over to the AM and the penknife mentioned is one of the two listed among his effects on page 21 of his 705 file.
    Might be worth asking for Flt/Sgt Pate's 705 file to be digitised to see if the items given to Thomson are on his effects list.
    Regards......Alan.
    Last edited by AlanW; 3rd January 2010 at 10:12.

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    G'day Amrit and Alan,

    I reckon there's a very good chance that this is our man. It's certainly a plausible explanation. I'm planning a visit to the NAA in Canberra myself in the next few months and I'll be chasing all the 705s etc for the entire crew(well the Australians in any case)... see what I find. Interestingly my great uncle's pilot (400495 S/Ldr DPS Smith) was also the only survivor from his crew - and also returned to the UK in early September 1944, the same time as Thomson.

    I did see the Thomson written without the P - but elsewhere in the file found it with the P. Didn't think to look for both spellings!!

    Cheers!

    Adam

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    Adam,
    Forgot to mention that Thomson was lucky to survive the loss of his a/c, his evasion report states that the a/c exploded and he was thrown clear, he came to, to find himself descending with parachute fully opened.

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    Amazingly enough, this was precisely what happened to Phil Smith! Though in Phil's case he said he remained conscious throughout - suddenly finding himself flying without the benefit of his aeroplane - so pulled the chute.

    Phil passed away in 2003, I remain in touch with his widow.

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