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Thread: 622 Squadron Stirling EF123 in the news

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    Thanked 19 Times in 19 Posts

    Default 622 Squadron Stirling EF123 in the news

    Hi all,

    I did wonder if this is a suitable topic for this forum, but it does draw things together in one place. I noticed the following article in a NZ newspaper this morning, concerning F/Sgt Charles Frank Thomas, of Invercargill, NZ.

    Thomas was part of the crew of 622 Squadron Stirling EF123 (GI-A), details of which are readily available online.

    One of ten aircraft dispatched to attack Leverkusen on 19 Nov 43, on return they were diverted to Bradwell Bay due to fog. This order was then cancelled, but on return to Mildenhall the aircraft struck trees and crashed at Flint Farm, Isleham.

    The following were killed in the crash and buried Cambridge City Cemetery:
    409971 P/O Peter Francis Hughes (RAAF) – Pilot
    417053 F/Sgt Charles William Hannah (RNZAF) – Navigator
    423325 F/Sgt Peter John Ratcliffe (RAAF) – Bombaimer
    420816 F/Sgt Leslie Joyce (RAAF) – Wireless Operator

    422001 F/Sgt Charles Frank Thomas (RNZAF) – Rear Gunner

    The following was killed in the crash and buried at Blackpool (Carleton) Cemetery:
    966000 Sgt Arthur Taylor (RAFVR) – Flight Engineer

    The following survived the crash, and is variously reported as injured or uninjured:
    527682 Sergeant James McSpadyen (RAF) (Mid-Upper Gunner)

    Sgt. McSpadyen was subsequently killed in 622 Squadron Lancaster W4268 (also GI-A) on 15 Feb 44, and is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery

    F/Sgt Ratcliffe’s A705 file is available on the NAA site and notes that details of the Court of Inquiry are in P/O Hughes’ file, but this is not yet digitised.

    Seeing as it was a nice day today, I thought I’d pay a visit to the graves of the five men in Cambridge cemetery

    It’s ANZAC day tomorrow.

    Lest we forget.
    Last edited by RecklessRat; 25th April 2021 at 08:42. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Thanked 141 Times in 134 Posts

    Default Re: 622 Squadron Stirling EF123 in the news


    Re: AUS423325 F/Sgt Peter John RATCLIFFE RAAF. The Ratcliffe family had the misfortune to lose another member of the family. Peter's older brother, AUS403373 W/O (Pilot) Vincent Peter RATCLIFFE RAAF. Vincent went missing in action on a Day Intruder, on 2 June, 1943, in No.456 Sqn RAAF Mosquito NF.II DZ308 (His Nav/Rad., AUS404179 P/O Ronald Charles LOWTHER RAAF, was also lost). (FCL2/101).
    Another member of the Ratcliffe family, the eldest brother, AUS424461 F/Lt (Nav.) Henry "Harry" Stephen RATCLIFFE DFC RAAF, completed a tour on No.640 Sqn RAF.

    Lest we forget.

    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 25th April 2021 at 02:02.

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to COL BRUGGY For This Useful Post:

    jonheyworth (25th April 2021),RecklessRat (25th April 2021)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Sydney Australia
    Thanked 11 Times in 10 Posts

    Default Re: 622 Squadron Stirling EF123 in the news

    Hi RR,

    Thanks for the story and photos, a very moving story. My wife and I visited Cambridge War Cemetery on our last visit to the UK in 2018. We stopped to visit the grave of P/O Neville A Wilson 420310 RAAF who was killed on 1 May 1944 with 455 Sqn who I have a photo of while trying in Canada.



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