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Post Info TOPIC: 619 Squadron "The Forgotten Squadron"


Leading Aircraftsman

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619 Squadron "The Forgotten Squadron"
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Hi, my name is Clive Atkinson and I have been researching a bit of the Atkinson family history regarding my Great Uncle Jack. His name was John J Atkinson born 1922 in Ryhope County Durham he was a Sergeant Flight Engineer in 619 Squadron based at Dunholme Lodge Lincolnshire in 1944. He took off in Avro Lancaster W4127 - X1D - PG at 2207hrs on 21st April 1944 to bomb railway yards in La Chapelle near Paris. They were shot down sometime in the early hours of 21st April 1944 by a German aircraft (some internet sites suggest a Junkers 88) All 7 crew were killed.

From "Lost Bombers"

Those killed were buried within hours of their deaths in Poix-de-la-Somme Churchyard. Near Amiens.  It is noted that Sgt Atkinson came from Ryhope in County Durham, where a Bomber Command VC had been posthumously won by F/O Barton less than a month previously. P/O P.H.French KIA Sgt J.Atkinson KIA F/O E.T.Tinker RCAF KIA F/O J.S.Thomson RNZAF KIA Sgt R.Thompson KIA Sgt R.H.Hortie RCAF Evd Sgt J.W.Randall KIA "
I am trying to trace any surviving members of 619 Squadron or there relatives in a quest to find out more about "Uncle Jack" and the squadron . Being ex military myself ex officer 1st Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire (now 1st Bn Yorkshire Regt) I know how important things like cap badges and motto's are so I want to try to get the Squadron a Crest and Motto it should have had when it was formed  I think 1943. Which I hope to do with the help from surviving members of 619 Squadron and the families from squadron members no longer with us. I want to get this fully authorised by the RAF and MOD. Where do I start? Please either contact me through this forum or at atkinson345@btinternet.com A big thankyou in advance.

Clive


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Air Vice Marshall

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Hi Clive,

I dont know if you have researched who shot down Lancaster W4127. Two claims  for a 97 Sqd Lancaster ND748 or 619 Sqd Lancaster W4127 are made by the same  pilot, according to Theo Boitens; Nachtjagd War Diaries Vol 2 April1944 - May 1945.


20-21 April 1944

Hpptm. Fritz  Söthe: 6       4/NJG4  4-mot       N. Paris: 4000 m.                          00.50


Hpptm. Ftritz Söthe: 7       4/NJG4  4-mot      50-100 km.  N Paris:  4.000 m.      00.53   




Mike.




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Leading Aircraftsman

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Mike, thanks very much for your reply. No I haven't got that far yet I have literally just started my research on my Great Uncles aircraft. Could you expand on what the abbreviations mean - are they his squadron? etc.

Thanks again

Clive


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Air Vice Marshall

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Hi Clive,

Nachtjagdgeschwader 4(NJG 4) was a Luftwaffe night fighter wing, commanded by a Oberstleutnant Wolfgang Thimmig during Oct 43-Nov 44 . Hptm Fritz Söthe claimed 17 victories and was killed 28-29. 9. 44  in a crash at Lambrecht-Neustadt, shot down by Mosquito.  The link below maybe of interest.

Mike.

http://www.cieldegloire.com/njg_004.php












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Leading Aircraftsman

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This is an extract from CWWG website - got his Service number
3ATKINSON , JOHNSergeant102229121/04/194422Royal Air Force Volunteer ReserveUnited KingdomRow B. Coll. grave 29-30.POIX-DE-PICARDIE CHURCHYARD


-- Edited by CliveAtkinson on Wednesday 16th of September 2009 09:04:44 AM

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Air Vice Marshall

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Clive,

site below has information and a photo of F/O Jack Stewart Thomson.

Mike.



http://muse.aucklandmuseum.com/databases/general/RecordDetail.aspx?dataset=Cenotaph&SearchID=7730410&Ordinal=1&OriginalID=24462



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Air Commodore

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Hi-I see that Sergeant R H Hortie RCAF/Bob Hortie who evaded ,was part of Operation Marathon.If you google his name,there is quite a lot on him!

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Linda R Ibrom


Leading Aircraftsman

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Thanks very much Linda, I have in a few days become obsessed with finding out everything about my great uncle. Its amazing how no one ever seemed to talk about him at all. I'm putting that to rights and giving him the family honour he and all the other brave airmen deserve.

C



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Leading Aircraftsman

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I have just spoken to Mrs Hortie widow of Sgt R.H. Bob Hortie RCAF. Sadly Bob passed away 18th December 2008. Bob was the only survivor from W4127 out of Dunholme Lodge 20th April 1944. He escaped from the wreckage suffering burns to his face and body and then evaded capture. He made contact with the resistance and worked with them for 3 months having been given a new identity. He eventually ended up in the Fréteval Forest meeting up with fellow airmen before returning to the UK. Mrs Hortie said that he then returned to flying duties and flew further missions but she did not have any details of these. She said that he did not speak very often about his wartime experiences but said that he still had dreams about it until the day he died. She has kindly given me the number of her son Michael whom knows a lot more than she did about Bobs wartime exploits and has a few pictures of Bob during the war both in the UK and France. I hope to be able to share these with you soon. I did not know how emotional this journey was going to be. I was truly amazed to speak to Mrs Hortie its a moment I will never forget.

Clive



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Air Commodore

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How sad that Bob Hortie is no longer with us.
I find these airmen's  personal stories /journeys so humbling,and I am sure that you will find it an emotional journey!
I will try and chase up the rest of the crew's relations,if possible,for you but hopefully Bob's son will maybe have a few leads.

If I find out more i will let you know via your e mail.


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Linda R Ibrom


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Linda,

once again many thanks for all your help.

Clive


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Jo


Aircraftsman 1st Class

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Hi Clive, I am doing some research on 619 Squadron for ITV, I wondered if you might be able to help?  Just for a research chat.

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Jo
Jo


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I was specifically wondering if you had any contact at all with Peter Brown, rear gunner; Bill Bishop, mid upper gunner and Stan Mays, bomb aimer.  Look forward to hearing from you. 



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Jo
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hi

im trying to trace any info on a relative off mine, who flew with 619 squadron. the only info i have so far is my uncle was flight sergeant ( royal air force volunteer reserve ) william arthur sharp his service number was 1575581 he was part of the crew S for sugar (lancaster). he took off night of the 23rd of july 1944 from dunholme lodge on a bombing mission on kiel harbour (sub pens). a plane was saw going down in flames beleaved to have crashed in or near nissan fjord only other details are that his name is at runnymede panel number 222.

Any more info will very helpful thank you very much

Karl Knott

 



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Air Vice Marshall

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Hi Karl,

info from the lost bomers site.

Mike H



Lancaster PB208 Information
Type Lancaster
Serial Number PB208
Squadron 619
X1D PG-S
Operation Kiel
Date 1 23rd July 1944
Date 2 24th July 1944

Further Information

"Serial Range PA964 - PD196 This aircraft was one of 800 Lancasters ordered from A.V.Roe (Chadderton) apr43 of which 756 were delivered as 255 Mk.1s, 500 Mk.111s and one Lancastrian between may44 and Mar45 mainly from chadderton with 87 from Yeadon. The Mk.111s had Merlin 38 engines initially installed except for the late production models with Merlin 224 engines. PB208 was a Mk.111 and was delivered to 619 Sqdn Jun44. Took part in an aborted raid against Courtrai 20/21Jul44. No other Key Operations. When lost this aircraft had a total of 49 hours. Airborne 2300 23Jul44 from Dunholme Lodge. Crashed in the sea in the possibly in the area of Nissum Fjord as WO2 Aumell is buried in Denmark at Sondre Nissum Churchyard, 9 km NW of Ulfborg. The others are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. F/O J.Parker KIA Sgt N.M.Rice KIA P/O G.A.Grigg KIA WO2 A.D.Aumell RCAF KIA Sgt W.A.Sharp KIA F/S J.Broll KIA Sgt A.Dickson KIA. This crew with the exception of Sgt Broll had survived a crash- landing at Woodbridge on return from Nuremburg 31Mar44. See LM418 The then Rear Gunner Sgt Wood**** was killed in ND730 "

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Anonymous

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Hello  Karl.

My uncle was P/O Allan Aumell. He was the Bomb Aimer on that plane. His body washed up in Denmark. He was buried in a small churchyard there. I don't know much about his service other than through some of his letters and his flying log. Allan apparently did most of his training with P/O Parker. Parker was also pilot on nearly all the missions he was involved in. i don't know if your uncle was a member of the same crew for any other missions or just the unfotunate final one. You might find this page helpful: http://www.flensted.eu.com/1944087.shtml

I hope you are able to find some more information. Would love to learn more myself. would also love to find out what happened to the English girl he was engaged to.

Shawn


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Group Captain

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Hi Shawn,

Could you contact me off board on harley.158ATbigpond.com replace the AT with the usual. Re your uncle lost with 619 Sqn.

Thanks,

John.

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John Sweetman

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Re Flight Sgt J Broll. 619 Squadron.

I live next door to the wife of one month of Flight Sgt Broll. he had completed 33 operations as a tail gunner and was asked to complete this last operation.

His wife Addie did not know any facts of his last flight and now we know he was shot down over or near Denmark. His wife now aged 85 years can now rest having found her dear husband of just one months resting place.

John Sweetman. 29/1/2012.



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Anonymous

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Hi Clive I am the son of Jack Stewart Thomson who was one of the crew on the aircraft. I have three letters from your Uncles mother to my mother and one from Frenchs mother who had had Hortie to stay after his escape back to England. Apparantly he bailed out and us shown the site where the aircraft crashed by the French. I can scan these and send them to you . My email address is graemeandtini@xtra.co.nz.  Graeme Thomson



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Anonymous

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Dear Jo

I hope you do not mind me trying to contact you, I read this blog page awhile ago, but came back to it, I am reserching John Atkinson, i was always taken with his story as a child and 2011 fulfilled a long time ambition of going to see his grave, which I was overwhelmed by, I have a copy of brian clarke book, but would like to know as much as possible about my relative as possible yours gratefully Lindsay



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Abi walker

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Hi I'm looking for history on my grandpa, he flew with 619 squadron, out of either scampton or Woodall spa, between 1942 and 45. He was first known as Jefferey Skelton but later changed it to Jefferey Ripley towards the end of the war, so any information regarding both names would be very much appreciated.

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Aircraftsman 1st Class

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Hi My name is Brian and I'm looking for information about a friend of mine, Sgt. William A. Robinson who was reported missing . The War Graves Commission confirmed his date of death as 9th June 1943 but since 619 Squadron was not operational until the 11th June I am wondering if he died on a training mission. I would be grateful for any information at all. Please send replies c/o carolinebechambers@gmail.com

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Group Captain

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Frisbee wrote:

Hi My name is Brian and I'm looking for information about a friend of mine, Sgt. William A. Robinson who was reported missing . The War Graves Commission confirmed his date of death as 9th June 1943 but since 619 Squadron was not operational until the 11th June I am wondering if he died on a training mission. I would be grateful for any information at all. Please send replies c/o carolinebechambers@gmail.com


 Brian,

Sgt Robinson was killed with 8 others on Lancaster EE113, lost without trace during an air test.

Regards,

Dave



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Anonymous

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Hi Clive Just started to find out done details of the role my Grandad played in the war. All I know is that he was shot down in France with another Lancaster bomber. He survived, but all died in the other plane. He buried them in a churchyard. He was squadron 619. Just wondered if there might be a connection. Nicki

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Leading Aircraftsman

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Hi Nikki - I've not being doing research into my Great Uncle for years and I've just found out that the John J Atkinson from Ryhope was not my Great Uncle. Confusion has reigned in my family as my Great Uncle was called John J Atkinson and was almost the same age, a flight sergeant engineer and killed around the same time as the 619 Sqn John J Atkinson. We even have relatives from the same area of County Durham. I apologise for the mistake which was not intended and I truly believed the man I spent so much time researching was my Great Uncle. I hope my mistake has infact helped others trace a little of their own heroes. For me the research starts again on John J Atkinson who was also a flight sergeant engineer but in 51 Sqn out of Snaith in Halifax's. He was killed on 17 Jan 1945 over Germany. One of his crew also survive and was taken as a POW.

Best Regards

Clive D Atkinson

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Air Vice Marshall

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Hi Clive

have yo seen the link below?

http://www.aircrewremembrancesociety.com/raf1945/4/popplewellernest.html

 

Mike.



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Aircraftsman 1st Class

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Hi,
I am researching my uncle, Sgt (Nav) Thomas BELL 1509479, of 619 squadron, who was navigator of a Lancaster bomber which was shot down over Poland on 6th January 1944. He is buried in Poznan Garrison Cemetery. I would love to find photos or further information about the raid Tom was on, about members of the squadron he may have known and flown with and about the specific Lancasters he served on. It will be my dad, Tom's brother's 90th birthday on March 28th. I would love to be able to tell him and my son, grandson and cousin named Thomas more about Tom's time in the RAF.

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Aircraftsman 1st Class

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Flight Sgt Thomas Bell.JPG  Thomas BELL



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Anonymous

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Hi I'm trying to find any information about a relative. I have found out some information, but was hoping somebody with more experience could point me in the right direction or if somebody had information already that would be great.

Flight Sergeant Nav. Samuel Whitehurst KIA 19 July 1944

Service Number 1514358, 619 Sqdn, Royal Air Force Volunteer.

Buried at Saint-Utin Churchyard

Last take off Dunholm Lodge

Below is what happen on 19 July 1944

253 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3, 5 and 8 Groups attacked railway junctions at Aulnoye and Revigny. Both targets were hit and the railway lines to the battle front were cut. 2 Lancasters were lost on the Aulnoye raid but the No 5 Group raid to Revigny was caught by German fighters and 24 Lancasters were shot down, nearly 22 per cent of the Lancasters involved. No 619 Squadron, from Dunholme Lodge, lost 5 of its 13 aircraft taking part in the raid.



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Anonymous

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Forgot to put a name on the post for a ref

Regards

Phil



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Air Vice Marshall

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Hi,

details regarding your relative below (Source: BCL 1944)

18/19 July 1944

619 Sqn         Lancaster I        LL969  PG-G         Op: Revigny

T/o 2256 Dunholme Lodge similarly tasked. Shot down by a night fighter while closing on the AP and fell at St-Utin (Marne), 20 km SSW from Vitry-le-Francois. Those who perrished rest in St-Utin Churchyard.  Sgt Mackintosh was the son of Col Ernest Elliot Buckland Mackintosh DSO.

F/O  S B Morcom      +

Sgt J E Mackintosh   +

F/S  S Whitehurst     +

F/S  W H G  Lebatt   +

F/S W J Thomas    +

Sgt  A  Myers       +

F/S C E  Ratchford  RCAF   evd

Regards,

Mike

 



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Anonymous

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Hello Abbi Walker ...would your relative have been  Sgt JGR Skelton a Flight Engineer with 619 Sqdn ?



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Aircraftsman 1st Class

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Hi Clive, I have just joined so I could tell you about 619 association on Facebook.  It is made up of relatives and surviving aircrew of that squadron, so take a look at 619 squadron ww2 on facebook.



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Anonymous

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My Great Uncle Ewart Laverne Morrison died July 19 1944 in France, as a member of 619 R.A.F..   I would like to connect with any one who have information or photos from the time.

joe.nagy@calgary.ca



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Aircraftsman 1st Class

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It might be that some researchers do not know that the UK National Archives at Kew hold the actual 619 Sqn daily war diaries.

These show details of a/c and crews lost , and where the a/c did make it home  things like the actual photos taken on that nights raid are included.

Kew Archives are a pain to get to,  but once there  and got hold of the right file (It takes a while),  its amazing what there is.

 



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J S Baker
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Hi.  My late Father, George (Geo) Lean flew with 619.  He enlisted as a New Zealand airman, but was in fact Adelaide, Australia born and breed.

He passed away in 2002 and as was the case with many war veterans did not talk a great deal about the experience.  I am just wondering if any readers on this site have any recollection of him and some information about who he may have crewed with.

Neill Lean



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AW


Air Commodore

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I have a copy of the 619 Squadron Operations Record Book



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AlanW



Aircraftsman 1st Class

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I see from my late Fathers Pilots log book ( Wing commander Maurice A Smith DFC ) He flew LL969 on Two Ops  Pommereval 4/6/44 + Creil 6/7/44 and on 6 other training / domestic flights between those dates before the sad loss.  Colin



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Aircraftsman 1st Class

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Hi Colin, my great uncle (Samuel Whitehurst) was the navigator on LL969 the night it went down. I have been looking for photos of the aircraft, do you have any? Cheers Phil



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Anonymous

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I also have the 619 Operations Record Book....Squadron ORB,s are very easy to obtain.....from The National Archives..albeit many are in very poor condition.



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Anonymous

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My uncle, Donald Washington, was a flying officer in 619 squadron. He was the rear gunner on a Lancaster during ww2 (I believe it was 'g' pa 180). I just recently found his record book in a bunch of old boxes.



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Anonymous

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Hello I´m looking for information about the 619 in the Night Raid 2./3. December 1943 to Berlin. I found the Summary of the NA, but I didn´t found the details about the crews and comments after the raid. 

Could someone show this sites here?

Thanks Thorsten



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Ratchford Relative

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I'm Paul O'Neil, Vancouver BC, the C.E. Ratchford who did not perish on this sortie is my uncle Charlie Ratchford, my Mom's brother.

Email is: paulonei12l@shaw.ca

Does anyone have info on what happened to Charlie after landing? POW I know.



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Group Captain

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Ratchford Relative wrote:

I'm Paul O'Neil, Vancouver BC, the C.E. Ratchford who did not perish on this sortie is my uncle Charlie Ratchford, my Mom's brother.

Email is: paulonei12l@shaw.ca

Does anyone have info on what happened to Charlie after landing? POW I know.


 He wasn't a POW. Evaded and was back in the UK by 1 September 1944.

There's an evasion report for him at Kew: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14078396

Also, in Oliver Clutton-Brock's book "Massacre on the Marne" there are two photos of your uncle and two pages with his story, which I've attached.

Regards,

Dave



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Anonymous

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Hi, I am researching 619 SQN as I am trying to find information on my grandfather , Auckland Horne. he was a Flight Sergeant and took part in contact over Stuttgart on 01/03/44 and 15/03/44. I have never met him and do not have any photos of him as my grandmother and him split up whilst my mother was a baby. I would loveit if ANYONE had anything extra they could add for me, maybesome relative remembering him? If so please contact me on stephyphillips@hotmail.com. TIA  



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