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Thread: Loss June 7, 1944 - No53 Squadron

  1. #11
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    Hi Fred,
    Not much to add to what's been posted, but the ORB states...

    That night (6/7 June) the squadron drew first blood for St Eval, Flt/Lt Carmichael making a double attack as a result of which at least one U/Boat was probably sunk. This was quickly followed by an attack by F/L Burton, the result of which was not apparent.
    Within two hours, two more U/Boats were sunk by F/O Moore of 224sqdn, with which 53sqdn had been in close association at St Eval since the beginning of the year.
    The night had, however, taken it's toll of Leigh Light aircraft, for S/Ldr Crawford, DFC, AFC, failed to return as did two aircraft of 224squadron. The enemy fighter activity had been slight, and it's felt that these aircraft may well have been lost during attacks on U/Boats, the results of which are, of course, not known.

    On looking back through the ORB, i notice that this crew last flew an operation on 2/3 May, on an anti U/Boat patrol to the North coast of Spain, with F/O J.R. Kenyon instead of F/O Richardson.
    Regards......Alan.

  2. #12
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    Bonsoir Alan,

    Thank you for these last details from the ORB. I now know all the (sad) story of this airman and its crew. Merci.

    Best regards,
    Fred

  3. #13
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    Merci beaucoup Henofred for starting this thread and I am glad that at least one of the crew has a known grave.
    It really is a testament that these men did not give their lives in vain for Freedom and that they are remembered.
    In exchange for the flowers, can any more be done to help with their memory for the Mayor?

  4. #14
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    Bonjour Kevin,

    I will translate and give all details collected in this thread to the Mayor. For my part I thought about a booklet (…in French and English) so this airman and its crew will not remain unknown. I will see with the Mayor if he agrees with this project. Perhaps he will have other ideas. The Air Force Museum of New Zealand photographs’ keeper answered to me today. I should soon have a picture of W/O O’Kane to complete this project.

    Warmest regards from France,
    Fred

  5. #15
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    Bonjour,

    Last year I had requested details on this forum regarding a Liberator lost on June 7, 1944.

    With your kind assistance I collected many details about the circumstances of the loss and the aircrew. So, today, after having contacted the Mayor of Poullan-sur-Mer, I have to tell you that the story of this plane and the only aircrew member buried in the town cemetery – Robert O'Kane - will be published into a forthcoming town bulletin of this little village of Brittany, France.

    I keep you posted and will attach a picture of the article when published. Warmest regards from France and once again, thanks a lot to all for your assistance.

    Frederic

  6. #16
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    Default Loss June 7, 1944 No 53 Squardron

    It was a lovely surprise when I goggled my uncle: Bruce George Barton to find your thread and discussion on what happened to the crew of the 53 Squadron RAF on 7 June 1944.

    As a young girl I remember Bruce’s photo on my Grandmothers mantel piece, and from an early age knew the story,that his plane was shot down somewhere over the western channel and his body was never found.
    When I was older I learnt of the friendship and service together that Bruce and Robert O’Kane shared.
    But what I didn’t know; was that Robert was buried at the Poullan-sur Mer Communal Cemetery Finistere, France.
    I was under the impression that all the crew had been lost at sea.

    I hope that one day soon I will be able to visit the “Poullan-sur Mer Communal Cemetery Finister in France, to pay my respect to Robert and to all the crew including my Uncle; who lost their lives from this mission.

    Thank you to everyone who has helped; now the story and crew is known behind Roberts O’Kanes lone grave.

    I found on the internet the Momoire of Robert O’Kane but it is in French; Can anyone tell me where I can get a copy in English?

    Many Thanks Anthea Burton (nee Barton)

  7. #17
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    Default Bz778

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinW4 View Post
    O'Kane is buried at Poullan sur Mer

    Name: O'KANE, ROBERT ALEXANDER
    Initials: R A
    Nationality: New Zealand
    Rank: Warrant Officer (W. Op./Air Gnr.)
    Regiment/Service: Royal New Zealand Air Force
    Unit Text: 53 (R.A.F.) Sqdn.
    Age: 23
    Date of Death: 07/06/1944
    Service No: 411577
    Additional information: Son of Francis and Esther O'Kane, of Te Kuiti, Auckland, New Zealand.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Cemetery: POULLAN-SUR-MER COMMUNAL CEMETERY

    so it may be of interest to families of the other crew to know that "somewhere" in the vicinity their aircraft went down.... rather than just the Runnymede Memorial.

    I see Errol had the fastest finger first....
    My uncle W/O Harry Ashley Corns was crew on this aircraft and it is of great interest to learn that another crew member of this flight was recovered and given a proper burial. Thank you.

  8. #18
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    Hello/Bonjour Chriscorns,

    Robert O'Kane's grave is decorated with flowers every May 8, thus, the missing aircrew members are also honoured. By the way, you have a picture of your uncle, W/O Harry Ashley Corns?

    Best regards,
    Frederic

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