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Thread: RNAF Grave Info

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    Default RNAF Grave Info

    HELLO. i was doing some research in a local cemetery at Newtownards (Northern Ireland) and i came across a grave i had'nt seen before.

    415030 Flight Sergeant R F Simpson
    wireless operator Air Gunner
    Royal N.Z. Air Force
    18th November 1943 Age 23

    Could anyone provide any information on the circumstances of what happened and what squadron he was attached to. As there is no sqn named on the gravestone it is possible he may have been attached to an Army-co-op flight from RAF Newtownards or perhaps an OTU although im just guessing.

    Many thanks and regards skyhawk.

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    Hello,

    "For your Tomorrow" volume 2, by fellow forumite Errol Martyn, explains on page 162 that he was a wireless operator air gunner, flying in Lockheed Hudson V serial number AE653, from No. 5 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit, based at Long Kesh, Co. Down. The plane took off at 1003 for a rocket projectile firing practice, piloted by Sgt W.E. FERN R.A.F., and 20 minutes later crashed into Stranford Lough. The pilot is commemorated on the Runnymede memorial, while the bodies of his three comrades were all recovered, the two RNZAF airmen being buried at Hillsborough (close to the airfield) and at Newtownards (at the northern end of the Lough). It was tought that the Hudson may have made too tight a circuit in making up for time lost when the first marker failed to ignite.
    The other RNZAF was also a WOpAG, F/Sgt Andrew Greenwell GIBBISON, 22, 162 hours.

    F/Sgt Raymond Farquhar SIMPSON, 23, 147 hours.
    Errol added that the CWGC register incorrectly records Simpson's number as 410530 (it is NZ415030) and his year of death as 1942. But it seems it has been corrected since the volume was published.

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 3rd May 2010 at 18:36.

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    Jossleclercq, thank you very much indeed. Great stuff. I had heard that there were some ranges situated in Strangford Lough. One mentioned is a "skip bombing" range at Gransha Point, a thin finger of land sticking out into Strangford Lough.
    Many thanks again and regards skyhawk.

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    Hello,

    I have a note in my 5(C) OTU file stating that the fourth crew member onboard Hudson AE653 was, possibly: 1901690 AC2 William John DOUGHERTY RAFVR.

    Maybe Errol can confirm.

    Col.

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL BRUGGY View Post
    Hello,

    I have a note in my 5(C) OTU file stating that the fourth crew member onboard Hudson AE653 was, possibly: 1901690 AC2 William John DOUGHERTY RAFVR.

    Maybe Errol can confirm.

    Col.
    Col,

    Unfortunately no crew list survives on the service records of either RNZAF man.

    Errol

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    Errol,

    Thank you. So, Dougherty remains unconfirmed, unless someone else can help.

    Col.

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    Hi Gents,

    I have the crew as

    F/Sgt Barraclough
    Sgt Gibbersley
    F/Sgt A G Gibbison
    Sgt W E Fern
    Sgt R McC Simpson RNZAF

    Crash call 3/4 way up east side of Lough Strangford. Tender 372 despatched, 2 bodies recovered RP range, South Island

    Regards
    Ross
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    I've FERN, GIBBISON and SIMPSON, and a note that four were on board. Barraclough must have been F/Sgt (Nav/Ba) William BARRACLOUGH - 1083474, buried Chorley Cemetery, Lancashire; unaccounted for in my files.
    What was his place of death registration ?
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Checking further into my original research notes, I see that the Form 1180 shows the crew as numbering four (2 killed, 2 missing, - injured). Fern was the pilot.

    Errol

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