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Thread: Operation "Prepix" 26 March 1945 – Norway

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    Default Operation "Prepix" 26 March 1945 – Norway

    Hello,

    Thank you again for your kind replies to my question re. the 28 Dec. 1944 off Norway.

    I am still progressing in the redaction of JG 5 vol. 4, but now the Operation "Prepix" on 26 March 1945 with its casualties / victories gives me some troubles.

    The German fighters apparently claimed not less than 6 Martlets, 1 Avenger and 1 Mosquito (this being probable). But I only find 1 Baracuda (from the "Puncher") shot down (crew S/Lt EJ Tracey & PO AG Sumner, of 821 Sqn, killed).
    Would someone have found any further Allied losses during this operation?

    Allied fighters claimed 3 Bf 109 + 1 probable which matches relatively well with the 3 10./JG 5 losses + 1 damaged a/c.

    Thank you in advance

    Erik
    www.luftwaffe.be

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    He is the list of killed of FAA on 26 March 1945:

    FAA, 821 Sqn, Puncher, air operations
    CORNISH, George F, Lieutenant (A), MPK
    SUMNER, Arthur G, Ty/Petty Officer Airman, FAA/FX 115100, MPK
    TRACEY, Eric J, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, MPK

    FAA, 854 Sqn, Illustrious, air operations
    BROWN, John, Petty Officer Airman, FAA/SFX 1328, MPK
    SLADE, William R, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, MPK
    TAYLOR, Hugh L, Lieutenant (A), MPK

    FAA, 1836 Sqn, Victorious, air operations
    TOMKINSON, Christopher C, Ty/Act/Lieutenant Commander (A), RNVR, MPK

    Both Victorious and Illustrious were with TF57 in the Pacific, attacking Japanese bases around Okinawa.

    But there is a third man of 821 Sqn in the list above.

    Three men aboard the Barracuda and no other loss are confirmed by the history of HMS Puncher, available on this page: http://www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk/ESCORT/PUNCHER.htm

    "Operation PREFIX:

    A further anti-shipping strike in Norwegian waters was undertaken by a Force Two, this time comprising the Cruisers BELLONA and DIDO, CVEs PUNCHER, SEARCHER, NAIRANA, and QUEEN and an escort of RN destroyers ONSLOW, SERAPIS, CARYSFORT and ZEALOUS, RCN destroyers HAIDA and IROQUOIS, sailing on March 24th. Although the weather was still not very co-operative a strike was flown off from SEARCHER and QUEEN on the morning-of the 26th to attack shipping in Trondheim Leads and North Kristiansand. As they approached the coastline at 300 feet, conditions were better and two ships were attacked. Two flights of Wildcats engaged eight or ten Messerschmitt fighters shooting down three and damaged two others. The Avengers in the strike package found no suitable targets so they had to jettison their bombs and return to the fleet. One of PUNCHER’s Barracudas, MD837, failed to return from an A/S patrol, the crew Lt GF Cornish, S/Lt EJ Tracey & PO AG Sumner were all killed.

    The last part of Operation "PREFIX" was a raid on enemy shipping at Aalesund carried out by fighters on the morning of the 28th. Two vessels alongside a jetty were attacked and a wireless station at Vikero Island was strafed and set on fire. A secondary strike, Operation "MUSCULAR", a night strike by NAIRANA's planes had to be cancelled due to the worsening weather. The force returned to Scapa Flow on the March 29th. "

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    Hi Laurent,

    thank you for your reply. Yes, I forgot to copy the thrid member's name.

    Nevertheless, I already had all the informations given by you and from this web site, including that the other crews lost on this particular day were in the Pacific.

    I just wonder if another a/c carrier didn't suffered further losses during the "Prepix" op, or a maybe Squadron coming from Scotland.

    best regards

    Erik

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    TRACEY, Eric J, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, MPK
    Good evening, I have just joined this forum, mainly because this thread came up in a google search I did for Arthur Sumnor. Although my main interest is Eric James Tracey who is my second cousin once removed and someone I have been trying to find out more on recently.
    I know he served on HMS Puncher and was killed in the barracuda on March 26th 1945 somewhere off Norway with his crew members.
    I am somewhat confused as he was in the Royal Naval Volunteer reserves and obviously was in the Navy but was serving in an aircraft which is part of the Royal Air Force and wondered if anyone might know what his job would have been onboard the aircraft ? Also I would love to know if there are any more details on this incident anywhere?
    He was an Essex man although he was born in Plumstead, Woolwich as far as I know he was never married but had several siblings.
    I have recently aquired his will written in February 1945 presumably just before he sailed on HMS Puncher and left all his money to his Mother and very helpfully listed all the places he had money.
    Finally he left a personal message to his family and friends which really brings him to life for me, it reads as follows;
    To all my very good friends, - my very best wishes. Cheerio, folks, - I hope that I batted doing something useful, - please tell all the necessary people , and if I bat along with my pilot Lt. A. G Cornish R.N and my T.A.G P.O (A) Arthur Sumner - please write a letter of sympathy to their wives , - they must be very nice people.
    Can anyone explain to me what the abbreviations mean ? I am assuming that (A) means acting? And P.O might be pilot officer? But what about T.A.G ?
    Many thanks in advance
    Carol

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    Hi Carol,

    Most commissioned naval aircrew were in the RNVR for the duration of hostilities. His unit and their aircraft were very much part of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) of the Royal Navy, not the RAF. Eric must have been an observer (FAA parlance for aircraft navigator). The (A) refers to Aviation Branch within the FAA. 'Ty' meant 'Temporary', though 'T' is more usual.
    P.O. means Petty Officer and T.A.G. is Telegraphist/Air Gunner (i.e. wireless operator and air gunner). There are varous books on Royal Navy carrier actions, the best is probably J D Brown's 'Carrier Operations in WWII', which may be on your local library shelves. Hope this helps.
    Keith

    Quote Originally Posted by CarolB08 View Post
    Good evening, I have just joined this forum, mainly because this thread came up in a google search I did for Arthur Sumnor. Although my main interest is Eric James Tracey who is my second cousin once removed and someone I have been trying to find out more on recently.
    I know he served on HMS Puncher and was killed in the barracuda on March 26th 1945 somewhere off Norway with his crew members.
    I am somewhat confused as he was in the Royal Naval Volunteer reserves and obviously was in the Navy but was serving in an aircraft which is part of the Royal Air Force and wondered if anyone might know what his job would have been onboard the aircraft ? Also I would love to know if there are any more details on this incident anywhere?
    He was an Essex man although he was born in Plumstead, Woolwich as far as I know he was never married but had several siblings.
    I have recently aquired his will written in February 1945 presumably just before he sailed on HMS Puncher and left all his money to his Mother and very helpfully listed all the places he had money.
    Finally he left a personal message to his family and friends which really brings him to life for me, it reads as follows;
    To all my very good friends, - my very best wishes. Cheerio, folks, - I hope that I batted doing something useful, - please tell all the necessary people , and if I bat along with my pilot Lt. A. G Cornish R.N and my T.A.G P.O (A) Arthur Sumner - please write a letter of sympathy to their wives , - they must be very nice people.
    Can anyone explain to me what the abbreviations mean ? I am assuming that (A) means acting? And P.O might be pilot officer? But what about T.A.G ?
    Many thanks in advance
    Carol

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    Most commissioned naval aircrew were in the RNVR for the duration of hostilities.
    Hello Keith
    Many thanks for the informed reply to my query, I must apologise for my ignorance and ask one more question ? When you say "most commissioned naval aircrew " does this mean they were brought to the RNVR from the airforce or straight from enlistment?
    Sorry to be a nuisance and many thanks for your reply.
    Carol

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    Generally straight from enlistment, there might have been the odd one from the RAF. There are various naval history websites which are much more authoritative than I can be.
    Keith

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    Many thanks Keith you have been a great help and I really appreciate your kindness.
    Carol

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