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Thread: Lancaster PD320 550 Squadron 24/03/1945

  1. #1
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    Default Lancaster PD320 550 Squadron 24/03/1945

    Hi,
    Trying to find a bit more about the loss of this aircraft, from searching around all I can see is that it took off from North Killingholme for Harpenerweg then nothing about how it was lost or where it came down - the crew are all buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery so the crashed aircraft would appear to have been found.

    Thanks in advance

    Alistair

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    hello,

    There's no details about the crash site location in Chorley, which means that there was no information about it in the "loss card", which is the primary source used by the author.

    There may be some German archives about this crash, as there is French archives which usually (when they still exists) can complete (or correct) the informations from the "loss card" and allied sources.

    Time of take-off is given as 12:51 hours, target being Harpenerweg benzol plant in Dortmund. As you know where the crew is buried, you have their names.

    Lancaster I PB583 of No. 150 Squadron (5 KIAs, 2 PoWs) and Lancaster I NG114 of No. 166 Squadron (6 KIAs, 1 PoW) were also lost on that daylight raid, the former crashed at Witten-Herbede (I quote : "All baled out safely but five had the tragic misfortune to be killed after being taken into custody. They now rest in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery"), the latter crashed east of the Rhine into Arecaseadlieng strasse at Hilden, some 12 km SSE from the centre of Düsseldorf). Also buried in Reichswald, pilot F/O DEFRAIGNE being later reinterred in the Field of Honour in Brussels.

    That day Halifax III MZ759 of No. 158 Squadron (4 KIAs, 3 PoWs) was also lost, but during a raid against Gladbeck, crash site not specified but shot down "over the target area".

    Your best best would be to contact "Library archives of Canada" and ask for the genealogy package of one of the three Canadians on board (J.B. BARNES, W.E. McDONALD or E. LINDSAY), which could give you some clues about the exact crash location.

    Joss

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    From RCAF casualty list in Toronto Star, 22 Dec 1945

    Presumed dead

    McDonald, Wesley Ernest, Flt-Sargt. E.C. McDonald (father) 277 Eyre St. Sudbury [Ontario] (wife overseas).

    The request to Library & Archives Canada will take you 6-8 months, so not a quick solution, unfortunately.
    David

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    Joss,
    In your msg # 2 serial PB583 should read PB853 !

    Henk.

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    Thanks for the replies - I have several RCAF casualties to check up on so at some point I am planning getting a researcher to have a look, just waiting til I have a little disposable cash (could be waiting a while)

    Thanks again

    Alistair

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