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Thread: Looking for 20 year old Pilot, crashed March 1945

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    Default Looking for 20 year old Pilot, crashed March 1945

    Looking for information about an unknown 20 year old lieutenant who crashed his fighter plane in Germany near Oberhundem and Erndtebrück on March 3, 1945 and was taken prisoner.
    The site is about 10 Miles east of Siegen.
    The pilot was probably taken afterwards to the Werl prison camp, east of Dortmund. No further details are known. The pilot's trail is lost on the way to Werl.
    Which RAF-units were operating in the area 65 miles east of Cologne on March 3? Could he have flown as an escort?
    Need this information for a documentation. Grateful for any information.

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    Default Re: Looking for 20 year old Pilot, crashed March 1945

    Interesting, Klaus! I have checked the "Day Raid" sheets and there does not seem to be a daylight raid on March 3, 1945. There was a raid to Cologne on March 2, 1945 with fighter protection provided in the form of 6 squadrons of Mustangs and 6 squadrons of Spitfires with the rendezvous point at 05o30’E on track. It's doubtful this would be a TAF aircraft as it is considerably east of the front.

    But I think I may have identified the individual: 541 Squadron, Spitfire XI, PL 966, F/O W.G. Brooks. ORB detail: “Targets Job 615 BC Bohlen D/A. Job 668 AM Pts 1 & 4 Bohlen and Lutzendorf-Job 669 AM Pt.5 Oil Job 519 AM Pt.2 Aschersleben Job 688 8 AF Pt.2 Rositz D/A. A/C failed to return.” Bohlen is considerably east of the town in question but it is on the same Latitude. There may be other candidates but this one stands out to me.

    The Spitfire PR Mk XI was a purpose-built long-range, high-altitude reconnaissance variant that was capable of flying from airfields in England and photographing as far afield as Berlin. A photo of the "sister" aircraft can be seen here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial...n_World_War_II


    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/D8414700

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._541_Squadron_RAF

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 2nd May 2021 at 01:34.

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    Default Re: Looking for 20 year old Pilot, crashed March 1945

    Morning all,
    It seems that it isn't F/O Brooks - he was killed on 03 Mar 45 and buried at Eulau before his grave was later concentrated to Berlin War Cemetery. Eulau seems to be about halfway between Bohlen and Lutzendorf
    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...php?uniq=PL966
    Also, there seems to be some doubt about the serial number. This thread of TOCH seems to cover everything
    http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=43705
    Regards,
    Jeff

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    Default Re: Looking for 20 year old Pilot, crashed March 1945

    All,

    Thank you for the precise information.
    The area was not part of the RAF's main area of operation. The USAAF was more frequently in action here.
    Therefore, a photo reconnaissance plane of the 541st Squadron may fit into what happened. In contradiction it says that the pilot was captured. Will try to find more here at this point, though.
    There was the work of the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service from 1944-1952.
    Is it known if there were any other searches for aircraft after that? That perhaps they were trying to get the photographs of the aircraft?

    Regards,
    Klaus

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    Default Re: Looking for 20 year old Pilot, crashed March 1945

    I haven’t checked the other reconnaissance squadrons. There may be other individuals who might be possible candidates.

    Jim

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