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Thread: No.70 Sqn. - Wellington T2987 - 19/20-12-1941

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    Default No.70 Sqn. - Wellington T2987 - 19/20-12-1941

    Hello,

    I have a problem with the following loss:

    19/20-12-1941
    No.70 Sqn.
    Wellington IC T2987 'O'
    Op: Benina

    Took off c.2145, LG 60. Shot down by flak, Benina. All are buried in Benghazi War Cemetery.

    103115V Capt (Pilot) Lewis Nurden EVANS SAAF +
    1058192 Sgt (Pilot) James Francis LILIES RAFVR + (LILES, on CWGC - parents LILIES).
    33393 S/L (Pilot) Harry PARKINSON RAF +
    628267 F/Sgt (W.Op./Air Gnr) Douglas Edward WEBB RAF +
    47408 P/O (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Harry Donald GREY RAF + (CAN/RAF?)
    R/52648 F/Sgt (Air Gnr.) Evan Ellis NELSON RCAF +

    The above, is basically as recorded in BLME1/111.

    My problem is; I have AUS400018 Sgt Patrick Fleming MATTHEWS RAAF (+), also as a member of this crew.

    I would appreciate any comments/corrections on MATTHEWS' presence aboard T2987.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 19th June 2010 at 19:02.

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    Hi Col,

    That service number returns Matthews' service record on the NAA website, but nothing under A705 which I gather there should be if he was killed or wounded. It does, however, turn up something under the name of

    CHRISTENSEN, George 404235; File type - Casualty - Repatriation; Aircraft - Hudson; Place - Bangka Straits; Date - 14 February 1942

    It's not digitised, but it might give you other lines of enquiry.

    Regards,

    Jeff

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    Hello Jeff,

    You will find Matthews' (undigitised) A705 here:

    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/ItemDetail.asp?M=0&B=1058727

    The NAA has listed it as -"Service Number - unknown" (incorrect spelling of surname doesn't help either).

    The reference to AUS404235 F/O George CHRISTENSEN RAAF, is a red herring. Christensen was lost aboard No.1 Sqn RAAF Hudson A16-21 on 14-2-1942, attacking Japanese shipping in the Bangka Straits. Matthews was not a member of this crew. See: Bloody Shambles 2/91-2.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 19th June 2010 at 20:05.

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    Gentlemen,

    Though I will have to check this out, being without reference for a day or two to the 70 Sqn ORB, I surmise that there was a seven man crew, with a Flight Commander, S/L Parkinson, flying as a supernumerary. I can think of other examples of this, as with the loss of 40 Sqn's HX373 on 12/12 July 1942, where S/L Steel was flying as a supernumerary with a six man crew.

    Matthews, I suspect, was the Observer in the crew.

    David

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    Hello David,

    Look forward to seeing what the 70 Sqn ORB brings forth.

    Flight tells us the following:

    Flight. February 19, 1942. pp.166-7. Cas. Comm. No.108

    Royal Air Force - Missing.
    Sgt. H.D.Grey*, Sgt. J.F.Liles, Sqn. Ldr. H.Parkinson, Sgt. D.E.Webb.

    Royal Australian Air Force - Missing.
    Sgt. P.F.Matthews

    Royal Canadian Air Force - Missing.
    Sgt. E.E.Nelson.

    South African Air Force - Missing.
    2 Lt. L.N.Evans.

    *No problem with Grey. He was promoted P/O on prob. (emergency) w.e.f. 5-11-1941 (NCO No. 641136).

    Couple of other anomalies, which I will discuss later.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 20th June 2010 at 01:05.

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    To Col,

    I have checked the 70 Sqn ORB and find that, like the adjutant of 104 sqn, about whom I have complained, the adjutant of 70 Sqn was loth to waste paper or carbon paper, and so did not list crews which did not return (gone: why bother!). But the monthly summary does say that S/L Parkinson, Navigation Officer at Group HQ, was flying with Captain Evans and his crew for operational experience. We have our answer therefore. I will put this in the addendum to BLME 2.

    Incidentally, Liles is so called in the ORB, and given that he is also so spelt in the CWGC entry, with only his parents called Lilies, I take it that the correct spelling was, in fact, Liles.

    David

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    David,

    Appreciate your comments. I concur on "Liles"

    Col.

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