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Thread: Loss of 77 Sqn Halifax (KM-A LK667) 15 Mar 1944 Amiens/Longueau

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    Default Loss of 77 Sqn Halifax (KM-A LK667) 15 Mar 1944 Amiens/Longueau

    On 15 March 1944 at 1812 hours Halifax (KN-A LK667) takes of RAF Station Elvington for Amiens. At about 2200 hours the aircraft crashes 500 meters north of Longueau. Different documents characterize the place as either a swamp or in front of the railway station (guess its one of the two, rather than both). The aircraft is completely broken up when hitting the ground.

    Every part of the crew was KIA
    J10600 Flying Officer Peter Charles Edwards (pilot captain)
    1044703 Sergeant Robert John Service (flight engineer)
    J24010 Flying Officer Archibald Edgar Guthrie (navigator)
    J26545 Flying Officer John Duncan (air bomber)
    1323374 Sergeant Douglas William James Smith (wireless operator)
    R183245 Sergeant John Norgaard (air gunner, Dane)
    926349 Sergeant Eustace Henry Orchard (air gunner

    Most sources that I have come a across states that the aircraft crashed for unknown reasons.

    I had the chance of going through Norgaard’s service record some days ago. A document herein states that "...a signal received from B.P.S.O. stated Halifax IX LK.667 and another heavy bomber collided in mid air and crashed..."

    Going though BCL lists of losses on this day a possible candidate could be 77 S, Halifax KN-Z LL229, but I have not found sources confirming this.

    Would anyone have information/suggestions regarding the fate of LK667?

    Regards

    Mikkel Plannthin
    Last edited by Mikkel Plannthin; 22nd August 2010 at 06:39. Reason: Squadron code changed from KM to KN following the reply from BillG
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    KM was the squadron code for 44 Squadron equipped with Lancasters.

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    Hi Mikkel,

    I see from Chorley' BC losses the aircraft took off some 38 mins apart, however according to Google earth the two crash sites are approx 31 kms apart, I guess it might be possible to fall that far apart but seems a long way to me. Chorley lists a pow from 77 Sqn Halifax LL229 a Sgt H M McAllister who went to Luft 1 as a pow. His pow file I undestand would be in the Public Records Office in Kew in London. Perhaps some on this forum may be able to add some light on how the aircraft crashed.

    Theo Boiten's book does not link to any nightfighter's claim on either bombers.

    Regards,

    John.

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    @Bill. My fault. Typo. Should have been KN, not KM

    @John. I remarked the time difference at take off as well. I had not thought of the POW-file. Thank you

    Mikkel
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    Mikkel,
    What about 149sqdn Stirling EJ124 as a probable, lost on same op and crashed at Boves, only about 4km from where LK667 crashed.
    Alan.

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    Alan
    Thats a good point. This crash is very close to LK667. But still t/o was 41 min later than this aircraft from Lakenhead.

    As two of the crew where RAAF it is possible to get to the casualty files. I'll intend to have one of them digitized to see if I'll get any closer.

    Mikkel
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    Mikkel,
    But we have to take into account, the distance between Elvington and Lakenheath, the take-off times would have been to put the aircraft over the target at same time.
    Alan.

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    Alan
    I agree about your point about the distance. Especially after looking at the two airfields on a map (c. 200 km).

    I had Chris Ward's squadron profile on 149 sqn at hand. He does not mention anything else, than that EJ124 OJ-C crash near Amiens.

    Regard

    Mikkel
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    Different pieces of the puzzle begins to add up. I have been through the files included in P/O Norgaard's service record again.

    The information on LK667 colliding with another heavy bomber is mentioned several times in the file. But no documentation given. On 27 Nov 1944 the Air Ministry asks for the a/c identity to be confirmed in an internal document to BPSO, RAF Station Clyfton, who has supplied this information. This is not confirmed in any of the papers that I have access to.

    On the other hand, I am quite sure, that if there was a mid air collision with another heavy bomber the other aircraft, then it must have been EJ124 as this aircraft is mentioned in many of the reports (directly or indirectly).

    Wonder when the aircraft were recovered from the area?

    Regards

    Mikkel Plannthin
    Last edited by Mikkel Plannthin; 23rd August 2010 at 20:11.
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
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    The casualty file of P/O Duncan John Munro, (409210, RAAF) has know been digitized, cf.
    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/DetailsReports/ItemDetail.aspx?Barcode=1074501

    The most specific information on the crash is cited in a letter to the next-of-kin:

    "From the time of take-off, no messages were received from the aircraft, and consequently it is not known what occurred. Other crews from this station engaged upon the same mission, sat three aircraft shot down, but they naturally could not say whether any of them were even of the same type of aircraft as that in which your son was flying, nor were they able to say whether anyone baled out."

    In other words no mention a mid-air collision. Rather the contrary, if the witnesses' report are to be believed.

    Regards

    Mikkel Plannthin
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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