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Thread: Today’s POW Puzzle – Help Please

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    Default Today’s POW Puzzle – Help Please

    Hello All,
    WO416 has, this morning, coughed up a Falkiner FRASER. It tells me he was in the RAF, and that he was at Stalag IXC at Bad Sulza where his POW # was 39540. That is all it tells me!
    So I excavate in all the ‘usual places’ but can find nothing on him. I then check Stalag IXC. Wiki (caveat emptor!) seems to indicate that this was an all Army POW camp?
    My thinking is that Falkiner Fraser in the RAF is a WO416 typo (there are rather a lot!).
    Can anybody confirm?
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Today’s POW Puzzle – Help Please

    Peter

    Not a typo, just the right name, but in the wrong order? Its probably 40022 Fraser Falkiner R.A.A.F.

    His file hasn't been digitised at NAA.gov.au, but he's on the database on here [as Fraser Faulkiner]:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...php?uniq=W3704

    Although a newspaper clipping on ancestry.co.uk records that he was a Pathfinder, and spend 3 and a half years as a P.o.W...

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: Today’s POW Puzzle – Help Please

    Hello,

    FALKINER, "Jum" Fraser. W/O AUS400220 - Pilot - Born: Melbourne, Victoria. 06/09/1919. No.72 (Basutoland) Sqn. Spitfire Vb W3704 "QACHA'S NEK" 27/10/1941.

    He was flying alone, unaware that his wingman had aborted, when he spotted some Me 109s below and having called his wingman to attack, did so. His aircraft suddenly exploded into a ball of flame. Initially jammed in his cockpit, he probably was thrown clear in an explosion and recovered consciousness in time to deploy his parachute and land safely.

    A few weeks previously he had been involved in the escort for Blenheims which during a bombing raid (on 19/08/41 - Circus 81), had dropped the spare "tin legs" for captured Douglas Bader. Later, in POW camp, together with W/O Graham Williams* he "adopted" Russian First Lt Vladimar Mihialovitch Rasimov (name needs verificaion) and cared for him.

    Camps: St.IXC - Muhlhausen. POW No. 39540.

    * AUS407052 W/O (Obs.) Robert Graham WILLIAMS RAAF (later MBE)/ Shot down 14/06/41, in No.39 Sqn RAF Maryland II AH299? [AH300?], MAW1/Shores et al/219-20 and Wingless/Roberts/506)

    See:
    Wingless - A Biographical Index of Australian Airmen Detained in Wartime.
    Roberts,Tom.
    Ballarat:Author,2011.
    p.188

    Col
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 16th May 2021 at 05:38.

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    Default Re: Today’s POW Puzzle – Help Please

    Col (et al),
    I thank you for your response.
    That is one of the small - but important - sidelines of working in this area of research. Technically, and legally, the POWs are, in fact, just "Number, Rank, & Name" as required by the Geneva Convention, but as I work - back and fore - through the lists and spreadsheets one gets to know a large number of the folk therein as "PEOPLE"! You came up with the piece about Bader's tin legs. I live only a few miles from Woodley, and The Royal Berkshire Hospital, so Bader is, in effect, one of my 'local boys'!
    There are numerous other examples of the snippets of "real life" which make the POWs live, and which makes working in this area (whilst it is often tedious!!!) such a pleasure!
    Tks again!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Today’s POW Puzzle – Help Please

    Hello

    He was also nicknamed "tiny" Falkiner. He was posted to No. 72 Squadron from No. 57 O.T.U. on 9th June 1941. It was ironic as he was taller than the average.

    I've tried to find a PoW questionnaire for him in the WO344 series at Kew, but didn't find it. Either he didn't file one, or it's misplaced.

    Joss

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    Default Re: Today’s POW Puzzle – Help Please

    Hi Peter and others,

    An interview with ‘Jum’ Falkiner which may be of interest
    http://australiansatwarfilmarchive.u...raser-falkiner
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C87827

    Joss, Falkiner’s NAA service files may include his PoW questionnaire although unfortunately they have not been digitised yet. Also, ‘Tiny’ was a common Australian nickname for any tall pilot, am not sure whether this was a shared sense of humour across all services or with other nationalities!

    Regards, Drew

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    Default Re: Today’s POW Puzzle – Help Please

    Hello Drew

    Thanks for your information. I agree that he already had his nickname "tiny" when he was posted to the Squadron, so had probably acquired it during his initial training in Australia. As you say, only his service file would reveal his training syllabus (I haven't accessed the two links you provide, yet), with ITS/ITS in Australia, but what of EFTS/SFTS.

    I have downloaded / paid for / service files in the NAA, but I don't remember having found a copy of a PoW questionnaire in it, in the shape of the document held in Kew. Same for service files of R.C.A.F. airmen. They may have a description / statement about capture and PoW times.

    In some cases, when there's no PoW questionnaires in the WO344 series at Kew, it's because the airman / serviceman was repatriated back, on medical grounds.

    Combat reports he filed :
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/D7450677 (for the day he didn't return)
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/D7450652

    A probable relative ? Warrant Officer T K Falkiner (service number Aus 400701). Service: RAAF [Royal Australian Air Force] Evasion from Greece to Cyprus. in http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ls/r/C14083823

    Joss

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    Default Re: Today’s POW Puzzle – Help Please

    Hello,

    AUS400701 Travers Kilfera FALKINER RAAF, was an older brother of Fraser FALKINER.

    Sgt Travis Kilfera FALKINER RAAF was shot down on 7/8 November 1943, in No.38 Squadron Wellington XIII MP705. The aircraft ditched off the island of Sifnos and the crew paddled ashore. They were protected by the locals, and a Royal Navy boat later picked them up and returned them safely to Cyprus.

    See: http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...737#post113737 - see link to obituary of pilot (R. W. Adams RCAF) of Wellington MP705, Post #9.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 17th May 2021 at 00:03.

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    Default Re: Today’s POW Puzzle – Help Please

    Joss

    400701 Travers Kilfera Falkiner was indeed Fraser Falkiner's brother. His A705 and A9300 have been digitised on the naa.gov.au website.

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: Today’s POW Puzzle – Help Please

    Hello

    Thanks Col and Simon.

    from http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...861#post121861 and Mojmir's 2016 message, I understand that Fraser Falkiner was repatriated back, when a prisoner of war. Hence no PoW questionnaire in the WO344 series. And Mojmir lists him in the Guinea Pig club, which would go towards the same direction, if he became a member for medical treatment after his return from German PoW camps.

    Joss

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