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Thread: Sailor rescues downed Halifax crew on D-Day

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    Default Sailor rescues downed Halifax crew on D-Day

    I recently received this from Namrondooh and it contains a fascinating story that might relate to one of my crews which was also lost on that day. Can anyone identify the Halifax involved? The crew were rescued, so there won't be any clues in the CWGC data.

    Spink Medal Auction catalogue April 2010-11-19
    A good second war ‘D-day’ d.s.m. group of four medals to leading wireman, later petty officer wireman, W. Kavanagh, Royal Navy, who rescued the entire crew of seven of a Halifax bomber, shot down by enemy tank fire (?) and ditched in the sea off the coast of Normandy, 6.6.1944; Kavanagh swam out to the airmen, two of whom were wounded, and despite suffering from exhaustion and severe cold, brought all of the crew safely back to his vessel.
    David

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    no citation in Gazette!!

    Leading Wireman William Kavanagh, C/MX. 77836 (Salford).
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hello,

    Looking at Chorley's BCL5 '1944' doesn't really show a match :
    night 5/6 June 1944 :
    - Halifax LW382 no survivor at all
    - Lancaster NE166 no survivor
    - Halifax NA511 (77 Squadron) crashlanded six minutes after take-off some 400 yards E or Farfield Farm and within the boundary of the airfield, 7 injured
    - Halifax LW638 (76 Squadron) no survivor
    - Halifax MZ513 abandoned over the Channel, 4 KIAs (Runnymede) 3 rescued by a US Navy Tank Landing Craft
    - Lancaster ND574 6 KIAs, 1 evader
    - Lancaster ND739 no survivor
    - Lancaster ND815 no survivor
    - Lancaster LL833 (101 Squadron) ditched 0050 hrs roughly 25 miles S of Beachy Head. At 0200 hrs the destroyer HMS Orwell came alongside their dinghy and all were rescued.
    - Stirling LJ621 6 KIAs, 2 PoWs, 1 evader
    - Stirling LK385 no survivor
    + two Mosquitos, no survivor in either

    No match either for 6/7 June 1944.

    Could it be a Coastal Command Halibag ? Or one involved with Airborne missions ? (Glider towing)

    Joss

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    I also wondered about the tank that supposedly fired the shot that downed the a/c. Has anyone heard of such a thing happening? Is it possible?

    It might point to Joss's idea of a glider tug or coastal command a/c or maybe an SOE flight?
    David

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    Default Sailor rescues downed Halifax crew on D-Day

    Hi,

    Could it be Halifax LL407 from 298 Sqn. Please refer to the website by Bruno Lecaplain:

    http://www.raf38group.org/298squadron

    and crew details:

    http://www.conscript-heroes.com/MI9-04.html

    Sorry, that's all what I have.

    Regards

    Finn Buch

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    Excellent Finn, I would bet money that that's the one. But I could only find five 298 Sqn crew listed on the site:

    F/O Charles E Anderson
    F/O Charles F Evans
    F/Sgt David E Lewis
    Sgt Elliott Annon
    P/O Ronald F Reader

    Did the glider-tug Halifaxes carry fewer crew, i.e. no bomb aimer or flt engr.? What about a tail gunner?

    I found the a/c listed on this site too, where it mentions the pilot's name:
    http://www.robspad.republika.pl/inne/Aircraft%20lost%20on%20Allied%20Forces%20Speci al%20Duty%20Operations.pdf

    6.6.44 Halifax
    LL407
    T - H
    298 Sqdn RAF F/O R.I. Carpenter - Pilot North Sea T/O Tarrant Rushton 19:39 hrs towing
    Hamilcar glider No 235 on Operation
    MALLARD, part of Operation OVERLORD.
    Aircraft shot down by enemy flak after
    casting off glider and forced to ditch in
    the sea
    Tarrant Rushton

    Their destination was Benouville, near Caen, so the plane would have gone down somewhere south of Le Havre.
    Last edited by dfuller52; 19th November 2010 at 20:15.
    David

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    Default Flakpanzer 38(t)

    It might have been hit by a The Flakpanzer 38(t) ?

    According to Wikipiedia "it was intended to be issued to the anti-aircraft platoon of each tank battalion (Panzer Abteilung) in a Panzer division. Most of the Flakpanzer 38(t)'s were issued to Panzer Divisions on the Western Front, the remainder served on the Eastern Front. An example user being the 12th SS Panzer Division" which was stationed in Normandy.

    For those who were wondering.
    Chris...........

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfuller52 View Post
    Excellent Finn, I would bet money that that's the one. But I could only find five 298 Sqn crew listed on the site:

    F/O Charles E Anderson
    F/O Charles F Evans
    F/Sgt David E Lewis
    Sgt Elliott Annon
    P/O Ronald F Reader

    Did the glider-tug Halifaxes carry fewer crew, i.e. no bomb aimer or flt engr.? What about a tail gunner?

    I found the a/c listed on this site too, where it mentions the pilot's name:

    http://www.robspad.republika.pl/inne/Aircraft%20lost%20on%20Allied%20Forces%20Special%2 0Duty%20Operations.pdf

    6.6.44 Halifax
    LL407
    T - H
    298 Sqdn RAF F/O R.I. Carpenter - Pilot North Sea T/O Tarrant Rushton 19:39 hrs towing
    Hamilcar glider No 235 on Operation
    MALLARD, part of Operation OVERLORD.
    Aircraft shot down by enemy flak after
    casting off glider and forced to ditch in
    the sea
    Tarrant Rushton

    Their destination was Benouville, near Caen, so the plane would have gone down somewhere south of Le Havre.
    --------------------------

    For me, it seems to be a "fake" website, Details and PDF taken (2007?) from the original website by the Harrington Museum.

    I am familiar with investigations by Roy Tebbutt of the Carpetbagger Aviation Museum, Harrington, since many years.

    This is the original link - last updated 2009.

    http://harringtonmuseum.org.uk/Aircraft%20lost%20on%20Allied%20Forces%20Special%2 0Duty%20Operations.pdf

    http://harringtonmuseum.org.uk/CarpetbaggerMuseumHomePage.htm

    Best regards

    Finn Buch

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    You're right Finn. And the link to the Pegasus site is wonderfully full of information too.

    I have a post up on a naval site to see if they can determine what ship Kavanagh was on.

    And thanks for that additional info Chris. I figured it was some kind of 88, which started life as a flak gun.
    David

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    Hi again,

    Just found this:

    http://berksfhs.org.uk/journal/Jun2003/WhereWereYouOnD-Day1944.htm

    http://www.pegasusarchive.org/arnhem/batt_298.htm


    Best regards

    Finn

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