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Thread: 83 Group and a visit to France in July 1944

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    Default 83 Group and a visit to France in July 1944

    F/L Clifford D "Billy" Cross, RCAF, was injured when he bailed out of his 411 Sqn Spitfire over the channel in April 1944, returning from an attack on a rail bridge. His chute didn't open but he survived the fall and was picked up with broken legs and other injuries.

    His subsequent service record has some interesting turns in it and I am looking for help in finding out what he was up to during this period.

    18 May 1944-Discharged from RAF Hospital Wroughton, Wiltshire, posted to No. 16 Personnel Transit Centre

    15 Jun 1944-83 Group RAF Support Unit

    1 Jul 1944-Returned to 411 Sqn. (Possibly visited his squadron in France at this time at airfield B.4 west of Beny-sur-Mer, east of Douvres-la-Délivrande)

    29 Jul 1944-Admitted to 32nd General Hospital, Fairford, Gloucestershire

    10 Aug 1944-Discharged from 32nd General Hospital, then repatriated to Canada.

    I know he took a considerable period to recover from his injuries but I have read a newspaper account that he visited his unit before being shipped home for a rest.

    My question is: what was he doing at No. 16 PTC and then 83 Group if he was still injured and not flying? He was a former instructor in Canada but seems to have flown ops with 415 and then 411 Sqn until his dunking.

    Would this also make him a member of the Caterpillar Club?
    David

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    I have made the mistake, once again, of rambling overlong with a query... here is one important shorter question for the group:

    If Cross's parachute failed to deploy completely, would he qualify for the Caterpillar Club because he survived the bale out?

    Conversely, if his chute failed to open and it was low height and water that saved him, is he disqualified?
    David

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