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Thread: Sgt KNIGHT & THOMPSON PoWs

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    Default Sgt KNIGHT & THOMPSON PoWs

    Hello all,

    The two NCOs above are known to have been taken prisoner by the Japanese on 06.10.44 when their Liberator of 355 Sqn was shot down. They were the only survivors.
    This information can be found in the book 'Burma Liberators' by J.R.W. Gwynne-Timothy.

    Does anyone know the full identity of those men?

    Thanks

    Phil

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    Hi,

    3025036 Sgt (Air Gnr.) Raymond Arthur THOMPSON
    1603067 F/Sgt (Air Gnr.) N H KNIGHT

    6-10-1944
    No.355 Sqn
    Liberator VI EV940 'F'

    Failed to return from low bombing attack on locomotives on the Bangkok-Lampang railway. Locomotives sighted UTTRADIT station and attacked. Hit by fire from a M.G. nest just beyond the target, crashed, and blew up on impact four miles north of the UTTRADIT Railway Station.

    1575095 F/Sgt (Pilot) Harold Norman HARRISON RAFVR +
    AUS410876 W/O (Co-Pilot) Murray Bernard CROCKETT RAAF +
    996520 F.Sgt (Flt. Eng.) Roy PAGE RAFVR +
    1320361 F/Sgt (Nav.) Charles NUNN RAFVR +
    1579345 Sgt (Air Bomb.) Harry LAW RAFVR +
    AUS421713 W/O (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Alfred Milne Hunter DAVIDSON RAAF +
    AUS421757 W/O (W.Op./Air Gnr.) John Knox Stewart RADNIDGE RAAF +
    1796212 Sgt (Air Gnr.) Hugh Cecil MARTIN RAFVR +
    3040082 Sgt (Air Gnr.) Thomas AISBITT RAFVR +
    3025036 Sgt (Air Gnr.) Raymond Arthur THOMPSON - POW (recovered safely, post-war)
    1603067 F/Sgt (Air Gnr.) N H KNIGHT - POW (recovered safely, post-war)

    All dead buried, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. Coll, grave 4. G. 67-75.

    See also:
    Air War Over Burma:The Allied Air Forces Fight Back in South-East Asia 1942 -1945.
    Shores,Christopher.
    London:Grub Street,2005.
    p.270

    Not quite what your after, but its a start.

    Col.

    The latest info from Matt Poole, is as follows:

    Low-level dive bombing attack on locomotives in the Uttaradit rail station, Siam. EV940 pulled up sharply after dropping bombs across the target and was hit by fire from a machine gun nest just beyond the target. Crashed in flames 7 to 8 km north (or northwest) of the target. Of the eleven-man crew, nine were killed in the aerial combat or crash, including the skipper, 1575095 F/Sgt Harold Norman "Darky" Harrison. They are buried in Collective Grave 4. G. 67-75 at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand. Three crewmen bailed out, but one died when his parachute failed to open. Two others were captured, imprisoned in Bangkok, and liberated in 1945. They are 3025036 Sgt Raymond Arthur Thompson (Mid-upper gunner) and 1603067 Sgt F H Knight (Rear gunner).
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 28th April 2010 at 13:38.

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    Hi, Phil and Col,

    Mid-Upper Gunner: 3025036 Sgt Raymond Arthur THOMPSON, RAF

    Rear Gunner: 1603067 Flight Sgt Norman H. KNIGHT, RAF

    Both Thompson and Knight were held as POWs in Bangkok (in Thai hands, not Japanese -- fortunate for the POWs) and released in 1945. Thompson, but not Knight, is listed in the book "Unsung Heroes of the Royal Air Force, the Far East Prisoners of War 1941-1945" by Les and Pam Stubbs. I updated Pam on the Knight omission (one of apparently only a few omissions in their superb labor of love).

    The A705 Casualty Files on Davidson and Radnidge, two of the three Australians in the crew, have been digitized and are on-line via the National Archives of Australia. (Search on either 421713 or 421757 - the service numbers of Davidson and Radnidge, respectively.) The A705 of Crockett, the 2nd pilot, is not listed, but he was definitely killed.

    There is some excellent additional detail in the A705s, including signed statements by both survivors. For example, see pg 29 of the Radnidge file.

    A signed document in pg 36 of Radnidge's A705 (this is pg 25 in Davidson's file, but it is unsigned) shows that Knight's name was Norman H. Knight.

    Note also that Knight's rank is F/Sgt in all documents (as Col listed), while Thompson's rank is Sgt.

    (Col, in reviewing my info before posting this reply I have now caught my own typos in the info you quoted -- wrong rank for Knight, wrong first initial for Knight -- and I have now realized that his name was Norman. Your quoting of my info, then, has the added benefit of leading me to update my own entry on the EV940 crew. Thanks for that.)

    A summary of the more useful documents from the Davidson and Radnidge A705s:

    421713 Davidson of EV940 crew:

    Of the 55 pages in the casualty file, the following are the most appropriate documents with details of the crash and/or aftermath:

    4 4 November 1946 letter on the removal of bodies from original burial site for reburial.
    9, 10 Crash investigation report, 19 June 1946. Incorrect aircraft serial, “EV540”, given on page 1. Correctly given as EV940 on pg 2.
    11 28 March 1946 casualty report
    18 8 May 1946 casualty inquiry
    19 Kanburi reburial form
    22, 23 21 November 1945 letter to Davidson’s father, with many details; body not yet found at this time.
    24 17 September 1945 post-captivity statements from released POWs
    25 12 September 1945 post-captivity statement from Norman Knight
    26 27 September (1945) cable, with post-captivity statements of EV940 POWs
    27 27 September 1945, minor document.
    28 15 September 1945 minor document.
    29 18 September 1945 letter to Davidson family, minor details.
    30 11 September 1945 cable
    41 29 November 1944 letter to Davidson father, basic details of the crash
    44 19 October 1944 “Circumstantial Report”. EV940 crew listed, crash details given.
    46 7 October 1944 letter from 355 Sqn C.O. to Davidson father
    47 7 October 1944 letter from 355 Sqn C.O. to Davidson’s girlfriend in New York
    55 8 October 1944 cable listing EV940 crew, kin addresses


    421757 Radnidge of EV940 crew:

    Of the 78 pages in the casualty file, the following are the most appropriate documents with details of the crash and/or aftermath:

    9 4 November 1946 letter on the removal of bodies from original burial site for reburial.
    18,19 Crash investigation report, 19 June 1946. Incorrect aircraft serial, “EV540”, given on page 1. Correctly given as EV940 on pg 2.
    20 28 March 1946 casualty report
    24 8 May 1946 casualty inquiry
    25 Kanburi reburial form
    29, 30 21 November 1945 letter to Radnidge widow, with many details; body not yet found at this time.
    34 11 November 1945 statement from F/Sgt Knight of EV940 crew
    35 12 September 1945 statement from Sgt Thompson of EV940 crew
    36 18 September 1945 statement from F/Sgt Knight of EV940 crew
    37 11 November 1945 statement from Sgt Thompson of EV940 crew
    38,39 27 September (1945) cable, with post-captivity statements of EV940 POWs. Hard to read.
    42 1 October 1945 cable to Radnidge father
    45 28 September 1945 cable to Radnidge father
    47 18 September 1945 cable to Radnidge father
    49 11 September 1945 cable
    61 29 November 1944 letter to Radnidge widow, basic details of the crash
    63 24 November 1944 cable, minor document.
    65 19 October 1944 “Circumstantial Report”. EV940rew listed, crash details given.
    67 7 October 1944 letter from 355 Sqn C.O. to Radnidge father
    68 7 October 1944 letter from 355 Sqn C.O. to Radnidge widow
    71 Original telegram sent to Radnidge father
    78 8 October 1944 cable listing EV940 crew, kin addresses

    Cheers,

    Matt
    Last edited by Matt Poole; 29th April 2010 at 14:16. Reason: Correcting a typo

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    Hi Matt,

    I must rather sheepishly admit to not fully re-reading the A705s of Davidson and Radnidge. I worked from notes taken back in 2006.

    Also, apologies for not fully accrediting your work on the Oughton,Hamlin & Thomas book, which I now do:

    http://www.rquirk.com/RAFLiberators/Oughton/OUGHTON Lib book NOTESVer1.pdf

    There is definitely no A705 available online for Crockett at the NAA.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 29th April 2010 at 15:44.

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    Col,

    Wading through those A705 documents and compiling notes is often a chore, as there are so many items in a typical casualty file, such as inventoried personal belongings and insurance-related business, that add to the human story, but not to the details of loss/imprisonment, etc. It just so happened that I'd already compiled a list of the more pertinent documents in the two Aussie A705s, so I thought I'd post it for anyone interested.

    There was no need to apologize to me! I appreciate that you did credit me in your first posting, and I owe you an additional thanks for your followup link to my document posted as a pdf on Robert Quirk's website. (It needs a Version 2...but time is hard to find lately.)

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    A tad more from a book:

    I found a deeply personal passage about the EV940 loss and, in particular, F/Sgt Norman H. Knight in the diary of his friend, 356 Sqn 2nd pilot Tony Donell, also stationed at Salbani, W. Bengal, India. The diary excerpt is found in the book "Signed With Their Honour", which is a privately published (and out of print) history of 355 and 356 Squadrons comprised largely of veterans' recollections. Published by the 355/356 Squadrons Register four or five years ago. The Donell passage:

    "Saturday 7th. . .Darky Harrison of 355 [EV940] crashed in flames over the target and another of their kites went into Jassore [Jessore, an RAF airfield; not a loss, just a landing short of Salbani]. A very costly day. Does not seem much hope for any of them. I'll let Johnny know and he can write to Norman's wife. Bloody difficult, one hell of a blow to his [Norman Knight's] wife and kid and father and mother, and the latter had been very ill. I know it's happening everywhere but that doesn't distract from the bloodiness of it, seems so futile. Guess it's no use moping about, tuck it all away behind the surface."

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    Default book?

    Matt is there possibly a book coming out of Version 2? Sounds like you guys need your hard work propagating through the book world...
    Dee

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    Thanks, Dee.

    No plans for a book right now...too harried with professional duties and mowing the weeds, etc., and living on the wrong side of the Atlantic from Kew. To collaborate one day might be nice, or to develop a website of my own, but I have a unique lazy streak, too. In the meantime, occasionally I get some goodies onto the websites of friends Robert Quirk and Gary Fowkes (thank you, guys).

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Hi
    I am John Knight son of the then Sgt Knight. Could you let me know the exact information you require on him.

    John

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