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Post Info TOPIC: Beafort Torpedo Bomber Attack Brest 15 Feb 1941


Aircraftsman 1st Class

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Beafort Torpedo Bomber Attack Brest 15 Feb 1941
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My uncle, Pilot Officer Cilmyn Williams, was shot down in this attack and details are in Lostaircraft Ref.30176   The ref. has his crash at Saint-Pabu but the French 'Pertes RAF' Departement du Finistere has it at Saint-Divy, and the crash at Saint -Pabu as of Flying Officer Ronald Gair in  Beaufort Mk I W6493 Code MW-G 

Linked to the 'Pertes RAF'  is the report of a burial in the cemetery of Lannilis.   This identifies my uncle's aircraft crashing at Saint-Divy,  a second aircraft crashing towards the sea  and the third aircrft crashing on a farmhouse after one of the crew bailed out but did not survive.   The four graves in the cemetery are said to be Flying Officer Gair  and the crew of his aircraft,  presumably the third aircraft.  The report is confusing because it is headed by a notice, in latge letters with a black suround, of the details of my uncle.s aircraf as if it is he and his crew who are buried at Lannilis !

I should be most grateful if any one could help to claify this information:  is LA 30176 correct and my uncle crashed at Aber Benoit close to Saint-Pabu or did he really crash at Saint-Divy ?   Are there details in a Lostaircraft Reference  of Flying Officer Gair and his aircraft and if so how can I access it ?  Was it Flying Officer Gair's aircraft that hit the farmhouse ?  

Of course it is a long time ago but I had wondered if in fact it was my uncle and his crew who had ben buried at Lannilis  I dont now now think it very likely but it would be good to be sure so any help would be warmly appreciated.      Azygos.



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Trevor Williams


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Your uncle was on board Beaufort L9794, which was shot down, presumably into the sea, whilst on ops to attack the Admiral Hipper in Brest on 15th Feb 41. There are no known grave sites for any of the crew, and they are all commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, so it was probably the second aircraft crashing towards the sea as stated in the report

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Aircraftsman 1st Class

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Arnold: Many thanks for your comment. I am a little further forward from reading the book 'An Expendable Squadron' Apparently the third Beaufort L9807 was piloted by Frank Tams. From 'Pertes RAF' , the crash occurred in St Divy and Tams and two of his crew escaped and became PoWs. I find that Pertes RAF provides a Google map giving a precise location for each crash recorded. Of course there is no way of knowing how accurate this information is but it is certainly very convincing. For my uncle's Beaufort, L9794, it is shown to have occurred in a field immediately to the SE of St Divy. Flying Officer Gair's aircraft is shown to have crashed in the western outskirts of St Pabu. This all casts doubt on the Losaircraft.com data sheet LA;30176. Information for that was provided by FtL Wilson in 2014 and if he is still around I should be most grateful for an opportunity to get in touch with him. Azygos.



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Trevor Williams


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Trevor,

Fred Wilson passed away in April of 2016.

Regards,

Dave

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