Good afternoon Forum,
I am researching my Great Uncle - P/O Ralph Henderson DFM, who served with 83 Sqn at RAF Wyton between February and November 1943 following training in the US under the Arnold Scheme. I'm very much hoping the collective experience of the forum might connect some more information and details for me.
Ralph joined 83 Sqn in Mar 43 but was shot down in France on 11 Mar 43 whilst undertaking a famil flight in ED313 (only his 3rd flight). He baled out and landed safely, evading over several months with the help of the resistance, finally making it over the Pyrenees to Gibraltar from whence he was flown home - married, promoted to P/O and awarded a DFM. That account is well documented in a short book "All the Luck in the World" by Sqn Ldr Allan Ogilvie DFC RCAF (although I'm not sure whether it was ever actually published).
He then returned to the Sqn in Aug 43 and flew another 13 missions, the last of which over Berlin on 22/23 Nov 43 in JB424 (also OL-B, presumably the replacement airframe for ED313) he was sadly lost with the remainder of his crew.
I am particularly looking for:
- Any photos or film of 83 Sqn in 1943 which might show either Ralph, his crew or his aircraft OL-B;
- Contact with any one still living from 83 Sqn who may have known Ralph. Is there an 83 Sqn association?;
- Anyone with any info about the other crew members of either ED313 or JB424 which might help add to the story.
- Any class / course photos from the Arnold Scheme in 1942 / 1943 which might show Ralph.
And of course any other ideas or snippets of info which might help me bring the story to life.
Many thanks in advance!