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Thread: WWII - casualties Kenya

  1. #11
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    Pzulba,

    Sgt (Airgunner) William E.G. BAILLIE - 700739 of 223 Sqn may have been killed on Baltimore FA389 (shot down by Flak on tactical bombing mission). Killed same day, same unit, same cemetery: Sgt (WOp/Ag) Sidney UNDERWOOD - 1184552.

    F/Sgt (Pilot) Edwin A. CATTELL - 700912 of 146 Sqn was involved in an aircraft accident at Wangjing, India. Thunderbolt II KJ210 abandoned take-off and was hit by KJ367. Not known whether Cattell was on KJ210 or KJ367. Both aircraft write-offs; KJ367 destroyed by fire.

    Sgt (Pilot) Geoffrey B. COWEN - 776058 was killed on Oxford II W6551 of 3 FTS. Collided on training with another aircraft and crashed near Brockworth, Gloucestershire.

    P/O (Pilot) Malcolm S. DAVIDSON - 65981 was killed on Beaufort I W6472. Crashlanded near Croft 01.00 hrs.

    LAC Owen W. WYNNE - 1800503 was killed on Kaydet FJ923 of 32 EFTS. Killed in same incident and also buried Innisfail was P/O (Pilot) Gordon H. WILLIAMS - 115996 (RAF from Canada).

    F/Lt (Pilot) Charles S.B. MONTAGU - DFC - 86433 of 208 Sqn failed to return from a tactical reconnaissance mission El Imayed. His Hurricane I P2638 probably shot down by Bf 109s. 208 Sqn at that time based at LG.100, Wadi Natrun, Egypt. His name is commemorated on Column 247 of the Alamein Memorial.

    Best regards,
    Henk.

  2. #12
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    The crash location for FJ923 as been reported as Bowden, Alberta, which was the home base of 32 EFTS as the time. Williams next of kin were from Vancouver, according to the CWGC, so I wonder why they were buried 10 miles away at Innisfail?

    Added in edit: my puzzlement stems from the fact that the RCAF usually sent bodies to their home town, while the RAF in Canada seems to have usually sent bodies to the graveyard nearest the home unit or location of the death.
    Last edited by Bill Walker; 18th November 2010 at 13:53.

  3. #13
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    Default WII - casualties Kenya

    Everyone

    Many thanks for responses to date, of the 24 names listed/requested, only 4 to go

    Dyer MRC ? P/O pilot 84992 kia 27/03/1941 buried Keren, Eritrea

    Helberg F ? LAC 776096 kia 16/06/1941 buried Ismailia, Egypt

    Mason SL training Rhodesia 700712 28/05/1942 buried Gwelo, Rhodesia

    Wood JM no further info

    Of these Wood & Helberg (especially if he was non aircrew) would appear to be the hardest

    Though additional info on the others would be welcome

    Once again Thanks

    PZULBA Out of Africa (Retired)

  4. #14
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    Pzulba,

    I have held back on 84992 P/O Michael Rossiter Cotton DYER RAFVR, to see what came in. As nothing has been offered, I will impart the following:

    Thursday, 27 March 1941.

    Keren fell at last on 27 March 1941 with an estimated loss to the Italians of 40,000 prisoners and 300 guns. During an early patrol Hurricanes of 1 SAAF Squadron saw signs of withdrawal and a series of strafes were laid on, Vincents, Gladiators, Lysanders and Hardys from 237 Squadron, 'K' and 1430 Flights, joined by Hurricanes, attacking the retreating columns on the Keren-Asmara road again and again. One Vincent (Plt Off M.R.C. Dyer) was shot down and three Lysanders were attacked by three CR 42s, Flg Off Walmsley's aircraft being badly damaged and the gunner, Sgt Marshall, wounded. Lt W.J.A. White of 1 SAAF Squadron on one patrol saw three CR 42s chasing two Vincents and drove them off.

    See:
    Dust Clouds in the Middle East.
    Shores,Christopher.
    London:Grub Street,1996.
    p.133

    Frank Paget, in an article in FlyPast (Sept,1991. pp.48-50), entitled; Bushwar, mentions the following:

    The day that Keren fell we lost our only Vincent, old '85 with P/O Dyer., a nineteen year old South African, with one ground-fired bullet through the back of his seat. He crashed in a plantation just past the town of Keren. At 4am I collected some mechs from the forward strip and climbed up the pass to salvage what we could. Apart from the extremely hairy road block, the conditions were terrible. Over 3,000 Italian dead plus our heavy losses, unburied in the rocks in that heat for three months, the stench was awful, we were black with flies. Found the aircraft on its nose bombs half buried in the ground, we took off the prop, carved his name and put it over his grave nearby, his observer had been injured and taken away by the Army. We salvaged what we could, dug the bombs out and I managed to cut out the fuselage roundel, which I still have.

    Paget goes on to speculate on the identity of Old '85:

    430/1430 Flight Vincents.

    And so to "Old '85" in which P/O Dyer was killed. There are but two possibilities for '85 on a Vincent, K4685 and K4885. The former served initially with 45 Squadron, was transferred to 430 Flight, and then to 47 Squadron and ended its days with 223 Squadron in June 1941. K48885 served in Iraq and the Middle East before transfer to New Zealand. As we often say, over to you, dear reader...

    A photograph of the crashed Vincent, Old '85, appears on p.49 of the article, unfortunately no markings are discernible.

    Lets see what others have to contribute.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 19th November 2010 at 17:51.

  5. #15
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    Hi all,

    Perhaps of any help to find nfo on the remaining airmen Pzulba is looking for:

    P/O (Pilot) Michael R.C. DYER - 84992 GRO-listed being "430 Flight".

    Sgt (Pilot u/t) Scot L. MASON - 700712 GRO-listed 22 SFTS.

    There are two persons J.M. WOOD known to the CWGC:
    AC1 Joseph M. WOOD - 996864 - commemorated Singapore Mem. Column 410; he was 27 Squadron and died 8-12-1941.
    F/Sgt (Pilot) John M. WOOD - 776194 - buried Ayr Cemetery. He was 186 Sqn and was killed 24-10-1943 flying Hurricane IV serial KZ707.

    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Pzulba,

    Helberg F ? LAC 776096 kia 16/06/1941 buried Ismailia, Egypt
    Unit - 70 O.T.U Ismailia (RAF Overseas War Deaths 1939-47)

    Finch AJH-DFC 217Sqdn F/Lt 39937 mia 12/02/1942 Runnymede Memorial
    I noticed his name on the Runnymede Memorial because it appears his D.F.C (engraved) was added after the memorial was erected. Probably brought about by his family ?

    Mark

  7. #17
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    Mark,

    That simplifies matters.

    No.70 OTU lost Blenheim I L8473 on 16-6-1941. Engine cut after take-off, stalled on single-engine approach, hit ground, destroyed by fire.

    776096 LAC Fritjov HELBERG RAF, was a Dane. His service number indicates he was a local enlistment in the Middle East, November 1939 - June 1940 (774000-776199).

    The Times. August 4, 1941. p.6, lists him as; Died of Wounds or Injuries Received on Active Service.

    Possibly other casualties. 77421 F/Lt John Lister SHAND RAFVR (Died on Active Service) maybe? What does GRO RAF War Deaths quote as his unit?

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 20th November 2010 at 10:49.

  8. #18
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    Hi Col

    Shand is shown being with 202 Group

    Malcolm
    Last edited by malcolm_raf; 20th November 2010 at 12:07. Reason: wrong name

  9. #19
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    Malcolm,

    Shand looks unlikely, he was 47 years of age. He is buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 20th November 2010 at 11:09.

  10. #20
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    Hi Col

    I agree

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