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Thread: F/O Maxwell, RNZAF, 181 Sqn

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    Default F/O Maxwell, RNZAF, 181 Sqn

    Hi,
    I have found a remark in my notes, but I do not know where it is from:

    „He crashed at Lauf Fosse (?).The wreckage (along with Maxwell's body) was quickly removed by the German authorities and the location of his remains has never been established.“

    I am interested in Typhoons and the sole pilot of that name killed in the Typhoon (R8833/D), is F/O Maxwell, RNZAF, 413448, 181 Sqn, shot down 30 July 1943. But in several sources there is the place of the aircraft impact the sea near Poix. Can you help me?

    Regards
    Mojmir

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    Mojmir,

    From my 'For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (Volume Two: Fates 1943-1998)':

    Fri 30 Jul 1943
    FIGHTER COMMAND

    Escorting 175 Sqn Typhoons on a bombing raid of the airfield at Poix, France
    181 Squadron, RAF (New Romney, Kent - 124 Airfield HQ, 83 Group, Tactical Air Force)
    Typhoon IB R8833/D - took off at 1515 with eight others, being the only one not to return. The formation was attacked by enemy fighters when about to cross the French coast on the return journey, R8833 being shot down in flames. It was seen from the ground to dive about 5000 feet and crash at a place known as Lauf Fosse, about 5km south of Cayeux-sur-Mer. The wreckage was quickly removed and taken away by the German authorities, together with pilot’s body. As the location of his remains could not be established after hostilities he is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
    Pilot: NZ413448 Fg Off Neville Ronald MAXWELL, RNZAF - Age 20. 460hrs. 12th op.

    And from Vol Three (Biographies & Appendices):

    MAXWELL, Flying Officer Neville Ronald.
    NZ413448; b Auckland 26 Nov 22; Mt Albert Grammar; clerk - Native Dept, Auckland. RNZAF Levin/ITW as Airman Pilot u/t 15 Jun 41, 4EFTS 28 Jul 41, 3FTS 6 Sep 41, Pilots Badge [wef 18.10.41] & Comm 29 Nov 41, att RAF & emb for UK 13 Dec 41, 3PRC 9 Feb 42, 9(P)AFU 26 Feb 42, 55OTU (Hurricane) 29 Apr 42 [staff pilot from Jun], 181 Sqn (Hurricane, Typhoon - 12 ops) c.late Sep 42, kao 30 Jul 43. Runnymede Memorial - Panel 197. Son of Neville Newbold & May Elizabeth Maxwell (née Brooks), Devonport. [phot. TWN 13.10.43 & 31.5.44].

    Errol

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    Hello,

    Cayeux-sur-Mer, as the name implies, is a sea resort. So a crash at sea is quite possible. On the contrary, Poix is very much inland...
    I don't know of any name like Lauf Fosse which, for a Frenchman, looks like a wrongly spelt place name. This is very common.

    I'd suggest "La Fosse" as a "phonetic" option. For example, that's a hamlet's name some 20 km from my home in northern France, called "La Fosse Lestrem", and is indeed a hamlet of the village of Lestrem.

    South of Cayeux there are several ponds, may be one of them is known locally as "La Fosse".

    Joss

    PS : Errol, can I have a look at your MRES document which shows the name as "Lauf Fosse" ?
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 8th December 2010 at 19:47.

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    Joss,

    Copy of MREU report on its way to you per email.

    Errol

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    Hi,
    Errol, thank you very much for your reply. I have to agree with Joss. The Lauf is really a German word. For example “Le vieux Fossé” or “La Fosse” can sound to German ears as “Lauf Fosse”.
    Joss, would you so kind to let me know your opinion after the examination that document? Merci beaucoup.
    Regards
    Mojmir

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    Hello

    The MREU investigation report from November 1946 confirms there was a Gendarmerie report by then. Perhaps it still exists to this day, either in the Archives départementales of Seine-Maritime, and/or in the Service Historique de la Défense (département Gendarmerie Nationale).

    I don't live in that area so I don't have any access to the former, and I totally lack the references of the latter, in Paris, and one has to order in advance.

    I think the original Gendarmerie report would give the correct name of the crash site, but the MREU investigator, S/L DAY, who was probably a French speaking officer, may have misunderstood the place name. Or, it might be a kind of slang dialect.

    The crash site of MAXWELL's Typhoon is described either 5 km or 5 miles south of Cayeux, so the best option to know more would be a local contact. I'm not close enough for that.

    Joss

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    Thank you very much, Joss.
    Mojmir

    PS: Merci de votre amabilité.

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    Hello,

    While this location is out of my research area, the fact that this loss is a Typhoon (my favorite type too) and the pilot is a New-Zealander (a country I'm very fond of) are contributing towards me asking a couple of fellow Frenchmen living in that département for some help. Not sure they might know / help, but if we don't try, we'll never know.

    Joss

    PS : Errol, I did e-mail to acknowlege receipt of your e-mail. I'll resend it.

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    Hi,
    F/O Maxwell was shot down and F/L Peacock´s Typhoon damaged at about 16 o´clock. That time 3 German fighters claimed 3 Typhoons at those locations: S. Cayeux-sur-Mer; 2 km. N. Le Tréport; 05 Ost S/11/5/9. Can anybody help to decipher the last data? What place is it?
    Regards
    Mojmir

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    Hello,

    With the help of local researcher Alain Boutté, the correct place name has been found as "Les longs fossés" (the long ditches). Problably poor handwriting, deciphering and copying. This is indeed south of Cayeux-sur-Mer.

    Several unidentified allied airmen are buried in Cayeux. Some have dates on their grave markers, but none dated 1943, and obvioulsy not 30th July 1943. The MRES investigators would likely have spotted it at the time of their research.

    I was explained that many allied planes crashed in this area, and very little is known about them, in this marshy area.

    Joss

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