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Thread: 610592 Sgt F Fitzsimmons and R173983 Sgt CALLON

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    Default 610592 Sgt F Fitzsimmons and R173983 Sgt CALLON

    Hello all,

    I'm attempting to find out what happened to the above two airmen. They were on the 49 Sqn crew of one AUS423311 F/Sgt GF PATE.
    I know they were on 49 Sqn between 22OCT-04NOV43. Then after their pilot - 158111 P/O JE TEAGER - was shot down and became a POW on Dusseldorf 03NOV43 the rest of the crew were posted with a Canadian pilot (apparently recovering from a bad crash) at 1654 CU. When the Canadian's nerves broke down they were split up.
    Gilbert Pate went via 1668 CU to 467 Sqn where he became the rear gunner in the crew of which my great uncle was navigator (hence my interest).

    Of the rest of the crew, it appears the flight engineer was KIA 08MAY44, the navigator was KIA 21FEB44 and the wireless op was KIA 04MAY44.

    The other two - I believe Fitzsimmons was the bomb aimer and Callon the other gunner - have no records on CWGC, suggesting they may have survived the war.

    One of Gilbert's wartime letters states that "two of the boys of the first crew 'drew the crow' on Stuttgart."
    As none of the burial places of the above seem to match it's possible these guys were shot down on a Stuttgart raid and became POWs, but that's only a guess.

    Any ideas?

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    Kookabat,
    They're not on any pow list, including Clutton-Brocks, so you can rule that out, can confirm Callon A/G and Fitsimmons A/B.
    Alan.
    Last edited by AlanW; 18th July 2010 at 05:11.

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    Promoted to Pilot Officer (Gunnery Officer)

    R1731183 WO2 Harold Joseph CALLON, J87396
    May 1944


    The undermentioned are transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force (Reserve) General Section, Class E

    H J Callon May 1945

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Thank you lads, that is a good start. It's good to know that one of them at least survived the war!

    I may have figured out what happened to Fitzsimmons as well. One of the other men on the crew was 1391163 F/Sgt DI Cohen. CWGC shows he was KIA 21FEB44 with 9 Sqn. I asked Roger Audis of IX (B) Sqn Assoc about him - revealing that Cohen was navigator on the crew of P/O Nice in Lancaster LM433 WS-H on that date, the aircraft going missing without trace. There was a Sgt F. Fitzsimmons on this crew too.... I've asked Roger if he has service numbers which will confirm one way or the other.

    Slowly but surely the picture is becoming clearer...

    Regards,
    Adam

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    Adam,
    Nice was posted in to 9sqdn from 51 base on 06/02/44, the squadron diarist seems a bit "snobbish" and only recorded the movements of officers. His first trip was on 19/02 to Leipzig. According to CWGC, and the GRO, the Fitzsimmons of Nice's crew was 632592 and Cohen 1391163. The first 3 digits of Fitzsimmons differ from those posted by you.

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    Oh bugger, that doesn't clear anything up, does it?
    The 49 Sq ORB shows 610592 in two distinct places so it's unlikely to be a typo. So I'll have to conclude it's a different bloke.

    Thanks for your assistance! I'll keep digging...

    Adam

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    Adam,
    Don't be too hasty in believing what's written in the ORB is the correct number because it's written down a couple of times. From past experience with many ORB's, i have seen far greater mistakes than this. Gut feeling would suggest that this is probably the same man as was with 49sqdn, going on the link with Cohen being also posted out of 49 at the same time as Fitzsimmons in Nov 43, and the mention in Gilbert's letter that "two of the boys from the first crew" were lost on the Stuttgart raid, i would definatley say that the two Fitzsimmons are the same person.
    Last edited by AlanW; 20th July 2010 at 08:33.

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    You know, Alan, you're probably right - there are a couple of other errors in on the same ORB page and on nearby pages as well so it is possible this is another one. I suppose compelling evidence (short of a service record) would be if I can't find any others in that crew who died on a Stuttgart trip, before 14APR44 when the letter in question was written.

    So let's go through it logically... if the names are correct in the ORB we have the following men on Gil's first crew, and what happened to them according to CWGC (or according to what was posted above):
    Pilot P/O TEAGER - shot down and POW with 49 Sqn on Dusseldorf, 03NOV44 - the reason the crew got split up in the first place.
    F/E Sgt JOHNSON - KIA 08MAY44 with 106 Sqn - died too late, it's not him.
    W/Op Sgt GLOVER - KIA 04MAY44 with 50 Sqn - also after the letter was written. Scratch his name from the list.
    Air Gunner Sgt CALLON - survived the war as posted above
    Nav F/Sgt COHEN - we know he was on the 9 Sqn aircraft on 21FEB44, missing without trace.

    Which leaves Sgt FITZSIMMONS the bomb aimer as the only one who could possibly be the second man Gil mentioned in his letter. If Gil was correct (remembering the letter was written a couple of months later, and under wartime conditions) that's fairly compelling. As you mentioned, a man named F Fitzsimmons was on the crew and a man named F Fitzsimmons was killed with Cohen. Only two digits of his service number are different.

    Thinking it through like that - while it's not 100% confirmed without a service record for the man in question, it's pretty good evidence for retracting my previous post.

    Adam

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