Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Wellington 179 Sqn - 2/3-6-1943

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Zelhem, Netherlands.
    Posts
    6,313
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Wellington 179 Sqn - 2/3-6-1943

    F/O Frank A. SIMON - 130253 - Runnymede Panel 129;
    Sgt (WOp/Ag) Albert A. ROSS - 1331478 - St.Georges British Cem., Malaga, Spain;
    Sgt George A. KING - 1219009 - Runnymede Panel 155;
    Sgt Eric PRESCOTT - 1086979 - Runnymede Panel 162,
    F/O W.A. MACHIN and F/O C.R. CHARNLEY swimming to the Spanish coast for help were picked up by a Spanish fishing vessel and admitted to a hospital in Seville.
    Can't find a matching aircraft serial number. Could this have been Wellington VIII serial HX379 lost over sea W of Gibraltar and listed by Air Britain for 3rd MAY 1943.
    Regards,
    Henk.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    1,765
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Henk,
    Just to let you know, it's F.R. Simon, not F.A as you noted, and not sure if HX379 was a 172sqdn a/c, unless of course it was transferred to 179sqdn, but may be wrong.
    Last edited by AlanW; 6th September 2010 at 14:20.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,543
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 44 Times in 42 Posts

    Default

    Gents,

    No.179 Squadron

    Main Equipment:

    Vickers Wellington VIII (Sept 1942 - Aug 1943)

    ES986, F; HX379, A; HX444, K; HX504, N; HX531, A; HX629, Q; HX776, B; LA976, R; LB145, X; LB190, K.

    No.179 Squadron was formed at Wick on 1-9-1942 from a detached flight of No.172 Squadron, equipped with Wellington VIIIs. So always the possibility of hand-me-downs.

    See:
    Coastal,Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft
    Rawlings,John D R.
    London:Jane's,1982.
    p.123

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th September 2010 at 15:11.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,822
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 78 Times in 71 Posts

    Default

    From Google Books

    "Vickers-Armstrongs Wellington
    Ken Delve - 1998 - 192 pages - Snippet view
    179 Squadron Wellington VIII HX379 in distinctive Coastal Command scheme and sporting the four ASV aerials that led to this variant being nicknamed 'Stickleback'. The overpainted codes of 172 Squadron can still be seen
    "

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Zelhem, Netherlands.
    Posts
    6,313
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks Gents; let's see what Ross could say to this incident.
    I do believe that the serial number HX379 may be correct but wrongly listed by Air Britain for 3-5-1943. "03.05" was the time that a distress signal was received from the aircraft.
    This is what a friend researcher (Adrian Varten) found for me from AIR 27/1127 - June 1943:
    Up at 21.19. At "03.05" a distress signal "engine trouble" was received from the aircraft, no position being given. The aircraft was last plotted at 02.41 19 miles West of Gibraltar on a bearing of 250 (or possibly 256) degrees true. Aircraft did not return to base.
    Monthly Summary:
    2/6/43 - During the night 2/3 June four operational sorties were dispatched. One aircraft sighted an oil patch - no subsequent developments.
    Another aircraft, F/O Machin, developed engine trouble and after flying as far as possible on one engine was forced to ditch upwards of five miles from the Spanish coast. The crew, all of whom suffered some injury, took to the dinghy but this foundered shortly afterwards owing to being cut when the aircraft ditched.
    F/O Charnley, the Navigator, was badly injured in the shoulder through impact of ditching and F/O Machin sustained shock and lacerations. When the crew were thrown into the water on sinking of the dinghy, they clung for some time to odd wreckage, then the Captain (Machin) and Navigator decided to swim to the Spanish shore to fetch help. When on the point of exhaustion they were ultimately picked up by a Spanish fishing vessel. The remainder of the crew have not been heard of.
    Regards,
    Henk.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    925
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Hi Henk:
    I was in touch with Bill Machin's family - he flew Fortresses with 220 Sqn before joining 179 Sqn - and have sent off a request for a scan of the page from his logbook and any other background info... the email hasn't bounced back so fingers crossed!
    Regards:
    Robert

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    925
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Hi Henk:
    Have just heard from Bill Machin's family and a scan of the logbook page will be coming. There is also the offer of a transcript of a tape Bill made describing the incident.
    Regards:
    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 17th October 2010 at 22:22.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Zelhem, Netherlands.
    Posts
    6,313
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks Robert; please keep us informed by means of this board.
    Regards,
    Henk.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default wellington 179 sqn-2/3-6-1943

    I have received the following from the Air Historical Branch RAF, in response to my request for infomation regarding the death of my uncle F/O Frank Simon. 179sqn.

    Our records show that Flying Officer Simon was the pilot of Wellington HX379 which took off from RAF Gibraltar on 3rd June 1943 armed with Leigh Lights to patrol the approaches to the Mediterranean against enemy submarines. At approximately 0305hrs a message was received from the crew to confirm that they were returning to base, however, the engine cut out and the aircraft ditched 19 miles west of Gibraltar, outside territorial waters. Two crew members survived the crash but unfortunately the other four including your uncle lost their lives at sea.

    Flying Officer Simon and three other crewmembers are commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede. This memorial is situated on a spur off Coopers Hill, Egham near Windsor and overlooks the River Thames. The memorial commemorates those airmen who lost their lives in North West Europe and the adjacent seas and have no known grave. The name of Flying Officer Simon is inscribed on panel 129.

    Flying Officer Simon is also commemorated in the Books of Remembrance held in the RAF Central Church, St Clement Danes, The Strand, London. Prior to a visit, a phone call beforehand will ensure that the book in which his name is recorded will be opened for you at the appropriate page; the telephone number is 020 7242 8282.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Zelhem, Netherlands.
    Posts
    6,313
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks Robert.

    Henk.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •