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Welshbob
13th May 2014, 15:25
Does anyone know what RAF Sunderland squadrons had bases in India in 1943/44?

My cousin has asked for help to research is late father George Burgess who was a flight engineer on Sunderlands, we do not know his rank sergeant probably. All we have is a picture of him in hot weather gear and scrawled on the back is a base name which we cannot read and India 43.

Not much to go on at all. I have found a few web pages that list Sunderland squadrons and bases but nothing seems to be India, I suppose it may have been a temporary stop. I was thinking if we found the squadron we may find him that way.

Cheers
Rob

Jagan
13th May 2014, 17:29
rob, can you post an image of the scrawled base name - might be illegible for you, but may strike a chord if it rings a bell..

Edit: this may be a good resource Sunderland Squadrons of WW2 by Jon Lake (Osprey Publications)
http://books.google.com/books?id=RMZ1TIasqngC&pg=PA85&lpg=PA85&dq=Sunderlands+at+korangi+creek&source=bl&ots=i74XrpRtRb&sig=ybrkNU2JizIsq3BMdA6fIEY-Wcw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=iUhyU8bNC8blsATlwYGICw&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Sunderlands%20at%20korangi%20creek&f=false

The book mentions 230 Squadron Sunderlands transiting through Korangi Creek (Karachi), Bombay, Cochin, Koggala (Ceylon/Sri Lanka) and Brahmaputra river.

Welshbob
14th May 2014, 09:34
Hi

I will get a copy of the base name and post it soon, I have only seen it not have a copy with me my cousin still has it.

Thank you for the link thats great, Jon Lake's books are good I will read that.

Cheers
Rob

Welshbob
19th May 2014, 13:15
We know think flight engineer George Burgess may have been in 230 squadron. Does anyone have any ORBs for 1943 for 230 and could look to see if he is in them? I know I can buy them form the archives but as I am only helping out my cousin I reckon he should lol. (not that he will!)

Cheers
Rob

greg
20th May 2014, 11:01
Rob,

Are you certain he wasn't there any earlier than 1943? I have the 230 Squadron ORB up to December 1942. Do you (or your cousin) have a copy of his service record? If not, that would be a good place to start, as it will give a comprehensive list of the units he served with, with definitive dates. Once we know that, we can start looking through the ORBs for you with a degree of certainty, rather than just trying to find his name in pages and pages of ORBs.

Cheers, all the best,

Greg

Welshbob
20th May 2014, 21:36
Hi Greg

No we do not know if he was there before 43, he well might have been. We said 43 as we have a picture which is dated then but of course he may have been out there a long time before. No we do not have his service records or anything much on him, he would not talk about the war to his son or anyone. We know he was on Sunderlands and pretty sure he was a flight engineer, we also know he was in India. We were hoping to trace his squadron then dig deeper from there, its an approach I have used successfully before so figured to try it again. We thought 230 Sqn as it seemed to tie up with what we know and its a good as place as anywhere to start, if we are very lucky it is the one and we may even find his service number. Its a bit thin I know :) His full name was George Frederick Burgess and probably a sergeant engineer.

Cheers
Rob

Ross_McNeill
21st May 2014, 07:26
Rob,

You can get his service number from AIR 78 as well.

Download for free from the TNA AIR 78/25 (large documents so will take a bit of time)

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C4004601

These are the index cards for all RAF Other Ranks from 1918 to mid 1970s.

Only two George Frederick Burgess are listed

635074 (stamped F in a circle)

and

1495414

The first card is pre war (Class F reserve graded) and is unlikely for a Flight Engineer unless he was a re-muster from RAF Civilian entry circa 1938/39.

The second card is most likely him as it relates to a serviceman who entered service at RAF Padgate Summer/Autumn of 1941.

To complete the record scan a third card is marked initials only G F for 264229 but relates to a serviceman who entered the RAF on 1918.

Regards
Ross

Welshbob
21st May 2014, 08:38
Hi Ross

Youíre a star thatís great. I didnít know such a list existed or you could get anything free from the TNA. I have downloaded that now and agree with you it would be the second one, George would have been 19 in June 41.

How did you find out it was for a serviceman who entered service at RAF Padgate Summer/Autumn of 1941?

Many thanks
Rob

Ross_McNeill
21st May 2014, 08:42
All the nuggets are in various sections of this forum.

http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?27-RAF-RAF-OR-Service-Numbers

Regards
Ross

Welshbob
21st May 2014, 08:50
Awesome :)

Thanks Ross

Welshbob
21st May 2014, 10:10
Any idea what the stamped F in a circle means? I also downloaded Air78/156 which lists John Hewson Thomas (P1744) and says his number was 572611 which is spot on but there is the F in a circle.

Cheers
Rob

Ross_McNeill
21st May 2014, 10:33
Hi Robb

Same as I put in my first post on AIR 78/25

Class F Reserve

See this thread for more details on reserve, both Officer and OR.

http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?13206-RAF-Manpower-and-Deferred-Service

Regards
Ross

Welshbob
21st May 2014, 10:42
Sorry Ross I missed that DOH! I was so intent on getting the files off TNA. It makes sense as he would have been classed as a boy entrant as we are sure he volunteered as soon as he could and was already an air cadet.

Thanks Ross.

Ross_McNeill
21st May 2014, 11:43
Rob,

I think things are a bit muddled for Thomas at the start of his RAF career.

I have him as 36th entry at Halton which commenced August 1937. His age on enlistment would define him as boy or man on entry.

The predecessor of the Air Cadets was Air Defence Cadet Corps, ADCC, and this did not come into being until 1938 - a year after he started at Halton. The Air Training Corps, which you say he was an air cadet in, did not form until Feb 1941.


Regards
Ross

Welshbob
21st May 2014, 13:55
Hi Ross

John would have been 16 in September 1937 and fresh out of grammar school (assuming he left at 16), virtually nothing is known of John apart from what I have uncovered so those early years are grey to say the least lol.

I use the term air cadet loosely as all his daughter said was that he was in the air cadets before the war and that enabled him to fly and that he was nuts about planes. As John died in 1949 at only 27 there is no one alive now who knew him and he was rarely spoken of, well not to us kids anyway. His own children were babies when he went too so all we have is hand me down stories via their mother who herself has been gone over 40 yrs. I am hoping his service record when it arrives will clear up a lot of questions, as well as pose many more I am sure hahahaha.

There nothing like a good puzzle to solve hahahahaha.

Cheers
Rob

Welshbob
22nd May 2014, 11:52
How common is it to find a spelling mistake in the AIR 78 cards?

I downloaded AIR 78/23 Name Range Brown, Ashley - Brucciani, Lawrence to look for Jean Brownhill. I found a Joan Brownhill (P931) and it stated now Thomas, this ties up with the person I am looking for who was the wife of John Thomas. There isn't that many Brownhills and few WAAFs this one is the only one that seems right so I am thinking typo and wondered if others had found similar issues in the cards.

Cheers
Rob

Welshbob
6th July 2014, 18:09
I can now confirm that John Thomas did indeed join at Halton in September 1937.