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Thread: No. 437 (RCAF) Sqn, May 1945

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    Default No. 437 (RCAF) Sqn, May 1945

    Photo CL 2598 of the IWM Collections is identified as "ROYAL AIR FORCE TRANSPORT COMMAND, 1943-1945. Douglas Dakota Mark IV, KN427 'AY', of No. 437 Squadron RCAF, leads a formation of Dakotas over Copenhagen, bringing a SHAEF Mission to Denmark." on the 7 May 1945.

    437 Squadron history, Hangar Books, c1985 (isbn 0920497039) apparently tells the story of the Squadron from Arnhem, cross the Rhine and to victory.

    Does anyone know if it tells anything on the - I suppose - uneventful trip to B.160 Copenhagen/Kastrup on 7 May 1945?

    Does anyone know if the squadron was involved in the arrival of General Dewing on the 5 May 1945 to the same airfield as well? I have never found out exactly which squadrons were involved in this operation, apart from the fact that one of the pilots was Danish. See more on
    http://danishww2pilots.dk/articles.php?id=19

    Thanks
    Mikkel Plannthin
    Last edited by Mikkel Plannthin; 20th November 2007 at 22:30.
    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

  2. #2
    Timothy Dubé Guest

    Default 437 Squadron

    Nothing specific, but I quote from pages 19-21 of the 437 Squadron History:

    Unlike other squadrons with an offensive role, the Huskies did not cease operations with the downfall of Germany. On May 7th, 1945, the Squadron moved from Blakehill Farm to Nivells, Belgium and their work continued. They transported French, Russian, American and other allied ex-prisoners of war and displaced civilian personnel. ENSA troups and football teams were flown to and from various bases. Members of the German High Command, German scientists and other German prisoners were taken under guard to Great Britain. Greeks, Brazilians, Belgian children, Polish WAAFS and ATS girls added variety to their cargoes. Food and other supplies were ferried to the Continent or from Nivells to aerodromes in Germany and Denmark. On May 10th, S/L C.N. McVeigh and his crew flew from Nivells to Oslo, Norway, becoming one of the first allied aircraft to land at the Norwegian capital after the German surrender. Their RCAF Dakota was detailed to carry the Nazi Peace Delegation from Oslo to Scotland.

    Photos 7 & 8: Captured German officers at Copenhagen awaiting transportation.

    Timothy Dubé
    Chairman, Ottawa Chapter
    Canadian Aviation Historical Society

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    Thank you for the information, Timothy.

    Regards
    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
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    Default May 1945 for a navigator in 437 Squadron

    Hello Mikkel, January 10, 2009.

    Seems my father once flew in Dakota, KG427 and not the newer Dakota, KN427 that is in the picture.
    I do not know if this will help you much but here is a transcript of my father's flight log for May 1945.
    My father was Thomas W. Connolly and he was a navigator in 437 Squadron. He would have been a pilot officer that May.
    You can see the flights, as they change base from Blakehill Farm, Wiltshire to Nivelles, Belgium, but he did not get to Copenhagen until May 9, so it was not him bringing a SHAEF Mission to Denmark. My father was in "C" Flight so maybe it was "A", "B" or "D [if there was one]" Flight that brought the SHAEF Mission.
    This was a very busy time for 437 Squadron and Dad was having to note down so many bases in a day (that he went to) that he no longer had space, to in his log, to say what the plane was carrying. Thank you for your article which sheds some light on what he was doing.

    - Date - - - hour - - - Aircraft - - - - - Pilot - - - - Duty - - - - - - Remarks - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Flying times - Day / Night

    2 . 5 . 45 - - - - - - Dakota DU - F/Lt. McGregor - Nav. - Base [Blakehill Farm] . B56 [Evere, Bel.] . Base. - 4.20 -

    6 . 5 . 45 - - - - - - Dakota DU - F/Lt. McGregor - Nav. - Base [Blakehill Farm] . B75 [Nivelles, Bel.] . Base. - 3.55 -

    7 . 5 . 45 - - - - - - Dakota NS - F/Lt. McGregor - Nav. - Base . B75 . B56 . B111 [Ahlorn, Ger.] . B108 . B56 . B75. - 6.00 -

    8 . 5 . 45 -|V. E. - Dakota NS - F/Lt. McGregor - Nav. - B75 . B56 . B154 [Reinsehlen, Ger.] . B56 . B156 . B75. - 8.30 -

    9 . 5 . 45 -|Day - Dakota DY - F/Lt. McGregor - Nav. - B75 . B56 . B118 [Celle, Ger.] . B160 [Copenhagen/Kastrup] . B118 . B160. - 7.00 -

    10 . 5 . 45 - - - - - Dakota DY - F/Lt. McGregor - Nav. - B160 [Copenhagen/Kastrup] . B156 [Luneburg, Ger.] . B56 . B75. - 4.05 -

    12 . 5 . 45 - - - - - Dakota DS - F/Lt. McGregor - Nav. - B75 . B118 [Celle, Ger.] . B160 [Copenhagen/Kastrup] . B118 . B160. - 6.45 -

    13 . 5 . 45 - - - - - Dakota DS - F/Lt. McGregor - Nav. - B160 [Copenhagen/Kastrup] . B156 . B56 . B75. - 4.20 -

    14 . 5 . 45 - - - - - Dakota DS - F/Lt. McGregor - Nav. - B75 . B156 . B56 . B158 . B156 . B56 . B75. - 9.00 -

    15 . 5 . 45 - - - - - Dakota NT - F/Lt. McGregor - Nav. - B75 . B48 [Amiens Fr.] . B156 . B56 . Dunsfold . B75. - 9.10 -
    - [ - about 12 days in Nivelles, Belgium to sleep off all those flying hours, maybe - ] -
    28 . 5 . 45 - - - - - Dakota DW - F/Lt. McGregor - Nav. - B75 . B51 [Lille/Vendeville, Fr.] . B156 . B51 . B156 . B75. - 9.45 -

    30 . 5 . 45 - - - - - Dakota DG - F/Lt. McGregor - Nav. - B75 . B57 [Lille/Wambrechies Fr.].B154 . B156 . B56 . B75. - 5.30 -


    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - / Day / Night
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Total May 78.20 - - - - /78.20 / Nil
    C. Sanderson S/L
    O. C. "C" FLT.

    He was back to B160 (Copenhagen/Kastrup) for short stops on June 1, 3 and July 12. It seems he only stayed in Copenhagen overnight for the 2 times, that you can see, he stayed there in May.
    July 12, 1945 was his second last day of flying as his tour expired on July 15.
    On June 6, his base seems to have changed from B75 Nivelles to B58 Melsboek in Belgium.

    Regards, Patrick T. Connolly.

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    Mikkel, are you sure about the date and the serial number? From notes I made of the 435 Squadron diary on microfilm, KN427 was probably in India with the RAF in May 1945. It was transferred to 435 Squadron at Manipur, India in September 1945, from 235 Squadron RAF, for the flight to the UK. 435, 436, and 437 pooled their aircraft after that, and made numerous flights from the UK to the Continent up until they returned to Canada in the summer of 1946.

    Is it possible that the date is 7 May 1946, or that the serial is KG427? I think that KG427 was in the UK in May 1945, and as Patrick reports it was used by 437 Squadron.

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    Thank you Patrick and Bill!

    Bill I not more certain about the facts than that these are the facts given by IWM
    http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi.exe?AC=NEXT_RECORD&XC=/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi.exe&BU=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iwmcollections.or g.uk%2FqryMain.php&TN=Uncat&SN=AUTO27033&SE=8720&R N=16&MR=25&TR=0&TX=1000&ES=0&CS=1&XP=&RF=allResult s&EF=&DF=MainDetailed&RL=0&EL=0&DL=0&NP=1&ID=&MF=& MQ=&TI=0&DT=&ST=0&IR=0&NR=0&NB=0&SV=0&BG=0&FG=0&QS =

    From experience it is not at all evident that the serial number is correct.

    For instance, Gen. Dewing head of the SHEAF staff arrived on 5 May 1945 (the day of the liberation). Therefore I would have thought that the photo was actually taken on this day. The "production date" could be the day the photo was developed ?

    Patrick, 541 sqn took an aerial reconnaissance photo of B.160 on 12 May 1945. It shows around 10 Dakotas on the ground. You father's could be one of them, since he was in and out on this day. It was also the day Field Marshal Montgomery visited the city.

    Regards
    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
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    Thanks Mikkel.

    Is there someone with access to RAF records that could tell us what units KG427 and KN427 were assigned to in May 1945?

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    I guess the relevant Air-Britain RAF Serials book could give an indication or the Form 78 from the RAF Museum in Hendon.

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
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    According to Air Britain: -

    KG427 served with 233 and 437 Sqns

    KN427 served with 435, 436 and then 435 again.

    Malcolm

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    Default Dad flew KG427, glider tugging

    Thank you Mikkel, Bill, Malcolm and Timothy, January 12 & 17, 2009.

    It sounds like, it is more likely that, the photo is KG427 over Copenhagen in May 1945.
    Dad flew KG427, glider tugging, on January 4, 1945 and it was piloted by F/O Kertland.
    I do not know if Dad flew in it again because Canada changed the serial numbers to letters in about March 1945 (in Dad's book anyway) and I do not know KG427's letters.

    I think that Bill Walker would likely know most all the conversions of Dakotas in 437 Squadron.
    I had in mind to ask him about this some time later, when I was not so busy, or figure them out from his site.

    Crews seemed to have their own airplane when Dad was in 271 Squadron; but when Dad was in 437 Squadron he was always flying in a different plane, so a crew did not have its own plane then (by Dad's book anyway). Dad only flew with F/O Kertland two other times and in different plane so I do not think KG427 was F/O Kertland's plane.

    I was just introduced to the IWM Collections site by this page and have started to poke around a little. I found some of the 541 sqn reconnaissance photos but I could not find the 541 sqn aerial reconnaissance photo of B.160 on 12 May 1945. An interesting picture there, for me, is Catalogue Number: BU 3605 where "former POWs wait at Rheine aerodrome to board RAF Dakota aircraft" since Dad was at Rheine and went to Brussels on 15 April 1945.

    I see some pictures of Field Marshal Montgomery in Copenhagen on May 12, 1945 on Mikkel Plannthin's site and IWM. Dad was there that day but I think he was too busy to watch a parade. I do have a picture here that Dad took of General Charles de Gaulle in a parade in Paris in 1945.
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=10&pictureid=49
    Take care, Patrick.
    Last edited by Patrick; 6th February 2009 at 14:44. Reason: add picture

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