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Thread: 40 Squadron 1942- 1944

  1. #1
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    Default 40 Squadron 1942- 1944

    40 Squadron 1942- 1944


    Hello All,

    I have just jointed this forum and I was hoping someone might be able to help.

    I am trying to find out any information about my Mothers Brother; He was a navigator on Wellingtons bombers in Italy in 1944. Unfortunately his aircraft never returned from a raid on the night 11th November 1944. His Name was Douglas William Ayers from Coventry in Warwickshire England.

    I have his service number and where he is buried but I was hoping I might be able to find out some other information about him as my Mother is now 90 years old and would dearly like to know what really happened.

    Many Thanks

    Regards

    Roger

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    Hello Roger,

    10/11 November 1944
    No.40 Squadron
    Wellington X LP511 'Q'
    Partisan supply drop: Chiapovano area.

    Crashed in the hills near San Severo shortly after take-off.

    1600479 F/Sgt (Pilot) James Potter BAKER RAFVR +
    1803760 Sgt (Nav.) Basil William WESTON RAFVR +
    1576340 Sgt (Air Bomber) Douglas William AYERS RAFVR +
    1851732 Sgt (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Jack WALARON RAFVR +
    1102489 Sgt (Air Gnr.) James MacPherson MacKENZIE RAFVR +

    The Italian drop was in the Chiapovano area, east of Udine, where small groups of partisans were harrying the German supply route to Ljubljana. Eleven aircraft operated, but in very bad weather, with electrical storms and a low cloud base, one (F/Sgt J. P. Baker) crashed into a hillside near San Severo soon after take-off, killing all aboard.

    All are buried in Bari War Cemetery.

    See:
    Sweeping the Skies:A History of No.40 Squadron, RFC and RAF, 1916-56.
    Gunby,David.
    Bishop Auckland:Pentland Press,1995.
    pp 276 & 380

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 7th October 2010 at 16:51. Reason: Correction of serial - per Henk.

  3. #3
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    Confirm likelihood of bad weather. On 10 Nov 44 a depression was centred over Austria, with (probably) a very active cold front from central Austria - NE Italy - Genoa and out into the Med. On 11 Nov 44 the depression itself had transferred south to the San Severo area. Very nasty!
    One should actually not have been thinking of even taking the dog for a walk let alone doing supply drops in Wellingtons!! But sometimes you just have to go do it!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Col,
    Serial of the Wellington was LP511.
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Henk,

    Thanks for the correction. Serial taken directly from reference, will edit.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 7th October 2010 at 16:50.

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    Default 40 Squadron 10th/11th November 1944

    Dear All

    Thank you for all your kind help in providing me with this information.
    Talking with my mother she has always believed that her brother was on the return trip, so to learn that their aircraft crashed shortly after take off will come as something of a surprise.

    Once again thank you for all your help.

    Kind Regards

    Roger

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