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Thread: Lancaster NN758

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    Default Lancaster NN758

    Hi all.Can anyone furnish me with info regarding the operational history of this "Lanc".My late fathers cousin was the navigator.It crashed,shot down by German night fighter on night of March 16th-17th 1945 over Laichingen,Southern Germany.In an investigative report it states wreckage was found near village of Merklingen,which is a stones throw from laichingen.My interest stems from the family history and my curiosity in visiting the crash site.It took off from Elsham Wolds at 17.15 on 16th March and the Lancaster was claimed to be shot down by pilot called Brummer,who was killed two weeks later in combat.Many thanks for ANY info regarding flight sergeant G.W Blackshaw.God bless you Georgie.

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    Hi Georgie,

    I can add that Lancaster NN758 was damaged by a night fighter attack on the night of 20-21 February 1945. It was later assessed as being hit by 2 x 20 mm cannon shells (fired from directly below) and 8 x 7.62 mm MG shells.

    With regard to the loss of your father's cousin in this aircraft on the night of 16-17 March 1945, it appears that the Lancaster was shot down along the homeward route from Nuremberg, and, yes, the German pilot involved was Feldwebel Josef Brunner, who made his claim at 22.12 hrs, to the east of Ulm at a height of 2,800 m. Brunner was probably flying a Bf110 aircraft and belonged to the unit 10./NJG6 and was based at Gerolzhofen.

    It has long been assumed that Josef Brunner and his crew went missing from a night ground attack sortie on 25-26 March 1945, but I can reveal that he in fact survived this incident and returned to his unit. He was transferred from 10./NJG6 to the Staff flight of NJG6 on 30 March 1945. I have no idea if he survived the remainder of the war or what became of him post-war.

    Cheers

    Rod

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    Default Nn758

    Thanks Rod,your a star mate.I had no idea of the initial info about the shells and it was a surprise to hear of Brunner.I have been in touch with the RAF and awaiting results of George's service record.I wonder if he made his 30?By the way Rod,the crash site,any ideas.Cheers Gary.

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    Garry & Rod,

    From 'History of the German Nightfighter Force 1917 - 1945 by Gebhard Aders.

    Fw. Brunner with 8 victories did in fact survive the war , it is noted in this book that he served with NJG1 & 6

    Cheers,
    Digger.

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    Thank you very much Digger.It seems there was a survivor of the crash,a gentleman with the name Bellisle,who was taken POW.I wonder what became of him?

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    Default Lancaster NN758

    Hi Gary,
    my late fathers first cousin, F/LT A.C. (Alastair) Watt was the skipper of this aircraft. I have just recently pulled his full service record from the National Archives of Canada. As you may know, he and 5 of the crew which included your relative were killed, with one, F/Sgt A.C. Bellisle, surviving. F/Sgt Bellisle, who was the mid-upper gunner was captured and was held as a POW at Stalag 5A. He was likely liberated sometime in April 45, and made his way back to the UK and eventually back to his hometown of Toronto. I am currently in the process of trying to track down his status or whereabouts. Also trying to track down what may have happened to F/Lt Watts log book, as it was returned to his mother. I do have an official account that was given by F/Sgt Bellisle in regards to the crash after he returned to GB.

    I have the full file, but there is some stuff posted on the web from an individual researching F/Sgt Featherston:

    http://www.veterans.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/virtualmem/photos&casualty=2103436

    F/Lt Watt also had a brother killed in a Spitfire in 1943 (F/O N.A. (Norman) Watt). The wreckage of his Spit was recovered in 1991, and is on display at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center:

    http://www.veterans.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/virtualmem/photos&casualty=2358967

    Anything I could help you with, please dont hesitate to let me know.
    Gord

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    Hi Gord,

    may I ask if F/Sgt Bellisle, in his account, states whether they were returning from Nuremberg at the time of the attack? I ask because although the crash location is astride the homeward route, it is also near the briefed outward route, although the Lancaster would have had to have been some considerable distance off track if shot down along the outward route.

    Cheers

    Rod

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    Default Nn758

    Hi Rod,
    by all accounts it was on the homeward route. Let me review the file and get some more definitive evidence. However, when I was going through the file, there was one account that an un-exploded bomb was found in the vicinity of the crash. According to Bellisle's account, 2 bombers went down in very close proximity. The report of the unexploded bomb is the only evidence to the contrary that they were on their way home. I will have to double check, but I think he stated they were returning in his interview. i will scan and send it to you for your review.
    Gord

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    Hi Gord,

    thanks for the reply and confirmation. The location of the crash site would suggest that the loss occurred along the homeward route, but it it good to receive some form of verification.

    The closest other loss, at least one this night, was 166 Sqdn Lancaster PB153 which crashed some 25 km north of where NN758 came down. PB153 was definitely shot down on the outward route, just after 21:00 hrs, so it is not clear what other aircraft F/Sgt. Bellisle may have seen.

    Cheers

    Rod

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    Default Nn758

    Hi Gord.The info you have gathered is beyond what I thought could have been dug up.You are related to a crew member too.Glad that you have the interest and desire to find out this info.Would have replied earlier,but been house moving.I have engaged with a German gent,and he informs me of much detain regarding Brunners exploits after the war.I have my late fathers cousins war record,but still need to find how many missions he flew.Just found out last week that a man from my village was tail gunner for Guy gibson,a chap called R.A.D Trevor-Roper.Hes on our local cenotaph!!!Keep the info coming,Thank you again,Gary

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