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Post Info TOPIC: Bomb-Aimer friends


Air Commodore

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Bomb-Aimer friends
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Because of all the talent we have on this website, I would like to look into the fates of some other Bomb-Aimers who graduated with me on April 2nd of 1943 at Malton.  This eight (of a class of 18) were all killed overseas, and are in "They Shall Grow not Old".

I always wondered if there was any more to their stories than I read in "They Shall Grow not Old".

Cutler. Eric Herrington, P/O, KIA Feb 20, 1944
Mallette, Henri Clovis, P/O, KIA May 23, 1944
McCreary, James Duncan, P/O, KIA March 31, 1944
Panton, Charles Lawrence, P/O, KIA March 20, 1944
Preston, Stuart Marvin, P/O, KIA May 13, 1944
Smalley, Ronald Whitehead, WO1, KIA July 22, 1944
Szymanski, Chester, P/O, KIA June 22, 1944
Trueman, Harry George, F/O, KIA Jan. 31, 1944

Strangely, they all died in a period of less than six months.  There would have been one more, except that I was able to use my parachute.

Neal, John Arthur, P/O, Evaded, April 22, 1944

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John A. Neal


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I'm afraid I don't seem to have anything on any of those men in my collection John. Would you happen to have a class photo from Malton?

Matt

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Air Commodore

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Hi!
Cutler-Eric killed in 431 Squadron aged 20

Mallette-J.R.H.B.C.-killed in 425 sqduadron aged 25

McCreary-James-Killed in 514 squadron aged 20

Panton-Charles Killed in 192 Squadron aged 22

Preston-Stuart-Killed in 431 squadron aged 21

Smalley-Ronald-Killed in 582(RAF) Squadron

Syzmanski-Chester killed in 57 Squadron

Trueman-Harry. aged 24  CWG doesnt state Squadron but buried in Thurlby(St.Germans,Cemetery)Lincolnshire

What a waste!

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Linda R Ibrom


Air Commodore

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It has always made me sad  that almost one Half of the boys I trained with were killed.  If they had told us at B&G, I might have taken a walk.  Or, stayed in the Ordinance Corps, where the biggest danger came from nuts and bolts (or, shot up Locomotives).

There is a picture, Matt, of the class in my book "The Lucky Pigeon", and I'll try to scan it for you.

John

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John A. Neal
K for Kitty Crew

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Hi Linda & John,

Found these details in Chorleys 'Roll of Honour' and volume 8, HCU's.Page 86, 31st Jan 44,
1660 HCU, Stilring 111, EF232, -J, ' Training'

Take off from Swinderby for a night exercise, the crew, including pupil pilot and two flight engineers. At 21:32 hrs, soon after departing, the Stirling came down at Carlton-le-Moorland, 9 miles SSW from Lincoln.

The three injured airmen succumbed to their injuries on the 1st of February.

Crew lists ........

F/O JH Mason DFC RCAF inj.
F/S SE Martin inj.
Sgt. RH Appleton KIA.
Sgt. GB Lamb inj.
F/O JB McKnight KIA.
F/O Harry George Trueman RCAF KIA. Service No:J/25122
Sgt. RE Duke KIA.
Sgt. H Nelson KIA.

Regards,
John

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Air Commodore

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Thanks John; Harry George Trueman's number was J25122 and mine was J25125, so we were classmates.

John

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John A. Neal


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Hi John,
I'm not sure what is is in "They Shall not Grow Old" about these two airmen but here's what is on record with the 431 Sqdn. O.R.B. & C.W.G.C.

S.M. Preston J25123,  KIA 05/12/44. Buried Brussells Town Cemetery

Target, Louvain. Campbell crew.Mk. III Halifax MZ629 SE-B. Took off from Croft at 21.47hrs. nothing more was heard from them after takeoff. 6 crew K.I.A. Nav. - EVD.

H. Cutler J88600,  KIA 02/20/44. Buried Berlin War Cemetery.

Target, Leipzig. Howell crew. Mk.V Halifax LK964 SE-T. Took off from Croft at 23.36hrs. nothing more was heard from them after takeoff. All crew K.I.A.

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Bill Heron



Wing Commander

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Hello John,

Do you still have the same e-mail address...I can't reach you by e-mail? I've received your e-mail but my mail delivery subsystem says that your mailbox doess't accept a mail from my mailbox...
Regards,

Alexandre

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      HIS NAME I OFT RECALL.
      THERE IS NOTHING LEFT
            TO ANSWER
BUT HIS PICTURE ON THE WALL


Air Commodore

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Hello Alexandre, I am still at nealpigeon1@aol.com, but to accept e-mails, I have to have yours in my address book. What is it.

John

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John A. Neal


Wing Commander

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Hello John,

It's bonnet.alexandre@skynet.be
Regards,

Alexander

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      HIS NAME I OFT RECALL.
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            TO ANSWER
BUT HIS PICTURE ON THE WALL
Jimmy (James) PARK (1361100)

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My Uncle was a bomb-aimer in 101 Squadron and was shot down over Holland in May 1943 after returning in a Lancaster from the bombing mission on Dortmund.

I have very limited information about him but he may well have trained at Maldon.

Any information would be appreciated.


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Tony Park

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Just read your post and thought you may have information that might help me in researching my Uncle - James PARK.

All help greatly appreciated

Tony


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Air Commodore

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Hi Tony-Was your uncle Sergeant James Park RAFVR kia on 24-5-1943  in 101 Squadron,on an op to Dortmund?
F/S J.Hayes RAAF the pilot?
I have no info,just checking it is the right man before i look any further!

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Linda R Ibrom


Flight Lieutenant

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Hello all former Air Bombers and those who are interested.

A slight deviation from topic:

I found a training handbook for bomb aimers in a second hand book shop a while ago.
It was issued by the Air Ministry in Oct 1944 and describes the operation of a bomb sight.

I've scanned it so if any one would like me to email a pdf then please let me know.

Best regards

Mike

p.s. My grandmother's first husband was an Air Bomber, KIA 24 Feb 1944.
      F/S LC Pillinger 156 Sqn

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Corporal

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Hi Linda,

Yep that's him!

All my family have sadly passed away so there is not a lot of family knowledge about what he did.

I would love to be able to put some form of picture together of his flying career.

I am planning to write to the war bods but thought I would try this forum first.

Cheers

Tony


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Squadron Leader

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Hi Tony and Linda

I have the 101 Squadron ORBS so I will do a little searching and see if I can come up with some information for you.

Leslie

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Corporal

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Hi Leslie,

That would be brilliant.

I am very ignorant of WW2 terminology and specific history, what exactly do ORB's actually show?

How would I tell how many ops he went on?

Cheers

Tony

btw.....I have a reference to the plane he went down in if that's any help?


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Squadron Leader

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Hi Tony

ORBs are the Operational Record Books for the Squadron.  They provide a monthly summary of the days activities along with a record of the operations on a daily basis by crew.  It lists the crew, the target, take off and landing times bomb loads and a very short summary of what the crew might have seen/experienced on the operation.

What I will have to do, is work backwards from their last sortie and eventually find all their ops with 101 along with when they transferred into the Squadron and hopefully from where they came.  ie another Squadron or a Conversion Unit.

This may take a little time as there may be 10 to 20 slides to review for each month, so I would ask that you bear with me on this.  I have to go out of town for about a week so I may not get back to you untill later in the month.

Kind regards

Leslie

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Squadron Leader

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Hi again Tony.

Sadly, the task was much easier than I thought.

F/S Hayes and crew were posted to 101 Squadron on May 16th,1943 from No. 1656 Conversion Unit. (This would be where they were trained on the Lancaster.

May 23 was their first sortie with the Squadron.

The Squadron summary recorded "F/S Hayes failed to return - another promising crew lost.

May 23 - Lancaster I W4919 (Call letter is unclear)
Crew:
F/S Hayes, J.H.T.
Sgt. Cook, W.R.
Sgt. Eames, P.G.
Sgt.Park, J.
Sgt. Evans, J.W.C.
Sgt. Sibson, O.H.
Sgt. Smith, L.
Target Dortmund
No take off time noted but given the other aircraft times, would likely have been somewhere between 22.10 - 22.30 hours.
Load: 1x4000 lb. H.C. + 600x 4lb.(Incl.30x"X") 48x30lb.
Aircraft outstanding - no news since take off.


Kind regards
Leslie

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Hi Leslie,

I have been chasing this for weeks now and have just had the most incredible luck.

A distant cousin in Scotland got in touch today after hearing that I was compiling a record of James Park's career.

She has his original RAF Log Book and his Royal Canadian Air Force Observers and air Gunners Flying Log Book together with some photos and correspondence back to my Grandmother after he went missing in action.

She is sending it down to me by special courier today.

I'm not sure what it will tell me bit it should prove interesting reading.

Thanks for the information above

Tony


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Squadron Leader

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Your very welcome Tony.  Enjoy the information coming to you.  It should provide you with a lot more detail and give you more information to assist you in your research.

Keep us advised of your progress.

I have just published my Dad's wartime service story as a Pathfinder pilot, who served with 101, 156 and 582 Squadrons, was shot down on his 44th sortie,(1 short of completing his second tour,)captured, held at Stalag Luft III, on the Death March across Germany and finally home.  It took 3 1/2 years of research and even now all the questions have not been answered.

It was an incredible experience, made more so by the fact my Dad is still alive, and would have been an impossible task had it not been for the great experts on these type of forums.

Whatever you do, don't give up, just keep asking the questions.  Somebody somewhere can usually provide some type of answer.

Good luck
Kind regards
Leslie

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Wing Commander

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Just a reminder that you can get photos of most War Graves at a very modest cost
from the Commonwealth Graves Photographic Project. http://twgpp.org
James Park's is here : http://twgpp.org/information.php?id=1278539
Regards
Dave Wallace

-- Edited by dawallace on Wednesday 16th of September 2009 09:21:43 AM

-- Edited by dawallace on Wednesday 16th of September 2009 09:22:02 AM

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Thanks for the pics and link...I will certainly look into that.

Well, the log books arrived this morning and I have been piecing together all the information. Most of it makes senses but there are still some unanswered questions as well as new ones.

My Uncle's first log book shows that his first flight was on the 16 February 1942 in a DH 82 (T5704) with Sgt Knight as the first Pilot. It was only for 30 minutes and the notes say that it was Lesson 1. Air expereince and familiarity with ****pit layout. He went onto have a further 13 lessons up to 1st March all with Sgt Knight bar one which was with F/Lt Nicholas.

This was all undertaken at EFTS Ansty.

He then undertook a weeks flying in May with a civilian (J. B. Duncan).....and then a further week with two other civilian pilots (S.A. Beltz and J. Gardiner).

Was this normal?

There is nothing else in the RAF Log Book.

The next book shows him at Bombing and Gunnery School in Paulson, Manitoba and it shows plenty of flight training in Battle's and Anson's. All the numbers are laid out and it seems very comprehensive.

What was 'Drogue Target'? 'Splash Target'? 'Film Exposed'?

Anyway he had two months at Paulson and there are two RCAFR reports on his Bombing Course results and Gunnery Course results.

He was then posted to No. 5 AOS Stevenson in Winnipeg for Map Reading in September 1942 and received a 79.6% mark for 'Air Bombers Navigation Course'.

I have some lovely photos of him at the Esquire Club in Montreal in October 1942 and a couple more in California.

He was then posted home and his next flights appear in January 1943 at No. 81 OTU at Whitchurch Heath flying Anson's and Whitley's as an Air Gunner and Air Bomber. Lots of cross country stuff and bombing in Fenns Moss.......Circuits and Landings.

He first met Sgt Hayes (his pilot in his first and last mission) on a Whitley in early February.

Throughout March he was doing:

- 6 application Stick of 2
- live bombing in Cardigan Bay
- feathering
- flash and flare
- test beam approach
- cine camera gun 2 mags DCO
- Nickel - Lille

What do these mean?

Nothing for the whole of April.....would he have been on leave all this time?

In early May he then went to Lindholme for 1656 Conversion and flew in his first Lancaster I (5667) doing more of the above.

He was posted to 101 Squadron somewhere between the 15-18 May 1943 and only went airborne four times. The records don't give Lancaster reference numbers just letters.

1. 18.5.43 Lanc F - Air to Air Gunnery (1.30hr)
2. 20.5.43 Lanc J - Bullseye (4.30hr) at night
3. 23.5.43 Lanc A - Bombing (1.15hr)
4. 23.5.43 Lanc A - Ops A/C Missing

It looks like his first mission was his last. The Lancaster (I believe it was W 4919) took off at 10:30 and was shot down at 2:33am over Bergen in Holland. Would that have been going there or coming back? I assume coming back?

What is bullseye?
How would I find out what planes F and J were?

There are a lot of signatures and stamps and then that's it.

Very interesting......would he have done any basic training before being sent to EFTS?

I have tried to get more info on the Dortmund Operation....but it came so quickly after the Dambusters that many books just breeze over it. If anyone has more info I would appreciate it.

I then have numerous correspondence from the  War Ministry and the Red Cross plus the original telegram telling my grandparents of his confirmed death.

What would have happened to the wreckage? He was apparently buried first in Venlo? How long after his body was recovered would this have been?

Lot's of questions so any scrap of information is gladly received.



-- Edited by Parky on Wednesday 16th of September 2009 05:47:36 PM

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Squadron Leader

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This is all great stuff... I remember when I first started doing reserch into my families wartime past , coming up against a brick wall then suddenly out of the blue... more info appears and you are away again, what a feeling.
You stick in there and you will find out lots more this is one of the best sites around for reserch so you are in the right place.

Good luck
Terry

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Thundering Heard is the Nose art of  Halifax JD-158 my Uncles Aircraft in 419 Squadron


Warrant Officer

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Hi Parky;

Sounds like your uncle flunked out of pilot training before going into bomb aimer training. Civilian instructors were common at the EFTS. The last few changes in instructors could have been final evaluations by different instructors before transferring to another trade. This was actually quite common. I can help with a few of the terms, noted below:

****pit is most surely ****pit

Drogue Target is a large cloth flag towed by one aircraft, and used as a gunnery target by another aircraft. At Paulson both the tug and the trainer could have been Battles. A very long cable was used, but the tug pilot's job was still unpopular. The school at Paulson was No. 7 B&GS.

Splash Target I have seen as RCAF slang for a direct hit on the drogue. No. 7 B&GS also used floating targets on a nearby lake, maybe it was one of these.

Film Exposed probably refers to the practice of using gun cameras in place of live ammunitiion. This made grading simplier, and the tow pilot's job a little easier.

No. 5 AOS was the No. 5 Air Observers School. The former Stevenson Field is now Winnipeg International Airport, and is still home to the Canadian Forces School of Navigation.

test beam approach probably refers to the instrument landing system then in use

Nickel - Lille would be a leaflet raid to Lille, France. This was a common assignment for senior OTU crews.

What is bullseye? This was the code name for fighter affiliation training, where friendly fighters would do mock attacks on the bombers, to give the gunners more training.

How would I find out what planes F and J were? This might be in the Squadron ORB, but not always.



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Bill Walker Canadian Military Aircraft Serial Numbers


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I am still piecing together my Uncle's RAF career and I was wondering if others on this site went through similar training, firstly in England, maybe at Ansty, then in Canada before returning for OTU conversion.

It would be wonderful to hear first hand of how you heard you were posted to Canada....how you got there.....what it was like doing intensive training.....what you did in your free time.....how you got home....

All the stories on here (quite rightly) focus on what happened during the war.....the fighting...the planes....the squadrons....the lost heroes.....lost family...

But what about the journey to get there?

How he arrived at 101 Squadron on the 16th of May.....with hardly time to make friends...meet his fellow crew members and then a week later on his first ever ops he was killed.

I am just trying to build a picture.......

Thanks

Tony


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Hi Bill,

Thanks so much for all your info.

How could you tell my Uncle 'flunked' being a pilot?

I mean.....did kids just volunteer for the RAF as a pilot and then the RAF would assess them them after taking them on? Or were there assessments beforehand?

Clearly if his flying was not up to 'standard' or if there was clearly 'no potential' then it makes sense to train them as Bomb Aimers or Gunners or whatever.

How were all these decisions made?

Did the kids know all this when they enlisted?

Sorry for so many questions but it is all new to me....

Thanks




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Warrant Officer

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Parky;

Here are some links that will give you a feel for the training in Canada:

http://www.airmuseum.ca/bcatp.html
http://rcaf.com/archives/archives_features/bcatp/index.htm

I don't know much about what happened on the UK end, but new trainees would arrive in Halifax by ship, and spend a few days in the RAF manning depot there until their actual school assignements was arranged. Almost all travel from there was by train, and Paulson would be several days by train from Halifax.

What they did on their free time would depend very much on where the base was located. Paulson was a small town, and a long way from anywhere, so most of their free time would have been spent on base. Some bases built up excellent facitilites over the course of the war, with movie houses, reading rooms, pubs, clubs, lots of sports, etc. right on the base. The School diaries are all on microfilm at the Library and Archives Canada, and often contain a lot of details about spare time activities on the base.

At Stevenson Field he would have been a 30 or 40 minute streetcar ride from downtown Winnipeg, which was a very large place by Canadian standards. I suspect there were a large number of ways for a young single man to spend his money there. Most were even legal.

It was very common to get a few weeks leave between courses and before the final posting back to the UK, and train travel was cheap back then if you were on a military salary. That is probably when the photos from California and Montreal were taken. Montreal was Canada's biggest city back then, and had a reputation as a fun place. It would also be on the way from Winnipeg back to the manning depot in Halifax.

Hope that is of interest.

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Bill Walker Canadian Military Aircraft Serial Numbers


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Bill,

This great......thanks so much.

I will try to get some photos from the two sites you have given me.

Tony


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Warrant Officer

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Our postings are crossing here smile.gif

It was very common in the RAF and RCAF for entering trainees to pass all the aptitude tests and physical tests for pilot training, but then not make the grade for any number of reasons. They still had the basic aptitude and a strong desire, so they would usually wind up in another flying trade. The instructors tried to find this out early on, before a lot of time and money was wasted. The schools were under a lot pf pressure to turn out their quotas, so this selection could be very quick and brutal. I know that in Canada students would be sent out of pilot training for reasons like slowness to learn, poor judgement, lack of coordination, etc. All of these terms were very relative - the basic screening had already eliminated the obvious deficiencies. At this stage the instructors were looking for very subtle things.

Flying training was very much an art then, as opposed to a science, and a lot of this was based on the instructor's "feel". Your uncle's pattern of a few hours flying at an EFTS, then some time spend with other instructors, then posting to another trade, is a very common story. In the RCAF, the student would be given the choice of another flying trade, a ground trade, or transferring to another service. I'm not sure how the RAF handled this.

Almost all RAF trainees bound for Canada would get at least some training in their intended trade in the UK before the expense and trouble of shipping them across the ocean. If your uncle had done a few hours at a UK EFTS, and then showed up at a Canadian EFTS, it would indicate that the UK instructors found some piloting potential there before he was shipped off. If he had spent a brief time at an RAF B&GS before going to a Canadian B&GS, that would tell us that he had signed up to be a bomber or a gunner.

In Canada, most people signed up to be a fighter pilot. They were told from the beginning that very few made it to this, and that many would wind up not even as pilots of any kind, but everybody always thought they were talking about somebody else.

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Bill Walker Canadian Military Aircraft Serial Numbers


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Hi Bill,

Based on his log book, from 16th February to 1st March 1942, he underwent basic flight training on No. 3 Grading Course at Ansty near Coventry and was in the air for a total of 8:05 hours.

There was then a gap for all of March and April, perhaps he was on leave or maybe just doing lot's more training and course work.

He was back in the air from May 6-18 doing further flight training undertaken by civilian pilots.

There is no record of any attendance at a B&G School here in England.

He then next turned up in early July at Paulson.

Not sure how long the boat trip and train trip would have taken in total but it seems that after leaving EFTS in the UK he was posted almost immediately to Canada.

Would Paulson have been decided in advance or would that have been done once he reached Halifax?

Thanks

Tony





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Hi Tony;

I believe that the grading courses were used to determine if a pupil was fit for further training before shipping him overseas. The fact that he came back for extra grading may indicate he was borderline. He may have spent time in B&G training in the UK before going to Canada, and this would not show up in a log book, since it was probably all classroom work. Have you applied to the RAF archives for your uncle's records? These should show all postings.

My understanding is that the RAF in the UK was given general quotas to fill for Canadian students (so many of each category per month). The RAF in Canada would do the detailed allotments to individual schools. The ship sailings were not matched to classes starting, so I have seen records of new arrivals spending anywhere from a day to a few months at the manning depot in Halifax.

The ship convoy routes were set to avoid weather and u-boats, and based on where the majoirty of the ships needed to end up. The crossing could have taken anywhere from a few days to 2 weeks. There are cases of ships going to other Canadian ports like St. John in New Brunswick, or even to US ports like Boston and New York because that is where the convey was routed. In these cases the RAF trainees would first take a train ride to Halifax.

A lucky few would get to travel on a big liner, and these generally travelled alone because of their high speed. My father was lucky enough to travel to the UK in 1940 on a Canadian Pacific liner, and from Europe on one of the Queens in 1946, and each crossing only took 3 days.

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Bill Walker Canadian Military Aircraft Serial Numbers


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Thanks once again Bill,

All this is very helpful.

I have just found a 200+ page report on the Commonwealth Air Training Plan that covers all the bases in Canada and has loads of fantastic detail.

I will write off to the Air Ministry and get his records and it will no doubt fill in many gaps.

It doesn't make senses to send him over to Canada if he wasn't going to make it.....so borderline could have been a fair assessment.

It looks like he had a week's break between Paulson when he finished his course on 28.8.42 and Stevenson Field when he started AOS on 31.8.42. But accounting for graduation, packing, travel, and arrival in Winnipeg there probably wasn't that much time for any proper leave.

I guess he was studying hard for virtually three months from July to September, finishing the AOS Course on 9.10.42.

I have a picture of him at the Esquire Club in Montreal on the 12th of October so he was either on leave then or on his way home.

Bit by bit it is coming together......

Thanks again

Tony


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Corporal

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By the way.....are there any records of 'ships passengers lists' for the toing and frowing between Britain and Canada?

Cheers


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Air Commodore

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Yes,there are some passenger lists for ships and by aircraft ( I think via La Guardia )on ancestry.co usually under immigration,if i remember correctly.
Sometimes you can strike lucky if they are "en masse"
Also under border crossings,usually from New York
If you do "pay as you go",you can sometimes find quite a few.

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Linda R Ibrom


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Parky

I had four uncles in the R.A.F. and all came back !
Bobbie D.F.C., J.P. - featured here in IX Squadron - Observer (Navigator)
Ken D.F.C., M.A.- 101 Squadron - Piilot
Reg - Armourer
Bill - Airframe fitter.
Reg and Bill told me that they wanted to be considered for pilot but were asked to sign as General Aircrew (or some such) and declined as they had no wish to end up as "tail-end Charlies."


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Leslie

I'm glad to have dropped inn on this forum accidentally because I had an uncle who was a pilot in 101 Squadron and I have a small amount of detail missing from a copy of his logbook.
I am missing a page for February 1944 - ops 11, 12, 13, 14.
Also probably June 1944 - for 30th and last Op ?

A few items of general interest - His second op was Berlin - Dec 2nd 1943, he did 8 (or more Feb?) to Berlin.
His remark on March 30 raid on Nurnburg (20th Op) (96 AIRCRAFT MISSING!) This was the infamous raid which was apparently sent directly to target!
April 1944 10, 18 and 20th. Aulnoye, Rouen and Maintenon ONLY COUNTED AS 1 Op!!! - his 21st. These Ops had a mention - 6 crew.
An Op on 22 May 1944 was noted as - Brunswick! -I wonder why?
May 27th Aachen - 3 engines back.

 



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Hi Manxix,

I guess luck had a lot to do with it as well.

Four people all returned in your family while my Uncle crashed on his first ever op!

Sad really.




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Hi manxix,

You don't mention your uncle's last name but if it's the Ken I am thinking of you might know that his Flight Engineer and Special Duties Operator are still with us.

As 101 accompanied every Main Force raid from October 1943 until war's end they were busier than any other squadron. Even if 1  Group was standing down the squadron would still fly. Often two targets a night so your comment about Brunswick makes sense.

I know from speaking to many veterans from the squadron how upset they were when told that those daylight French sorties only counted for 1/2 an operation. As many have said "We could just as easily get the chop over France in the daytime as over the Ruhr at night"

Regards,

Dave

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Dave

Interesting, as are most postings.
My uncle was Kenneth David Corkill - latterly Flight Lieutenant, D.F.C., B.A.ken copy.jpgPILOT OFFICER CORKILL2.jpg
I would be interested to know who the Flight Engineer and Special Duties Operator  are.
I know that his Navigator, later in another crew, was killed. I don't know his name but he was a Canadian. The two of them came to Ballasalla, on the Isle of Man (home) some time during the war.
His elder son's daughter has Ken's log book and I was able to photo the pages and the went and missed a page with 4 of the missing ops.
I mentioned this to her and got the old fobof, friendly some relatives, with the tale that some of the ops were so secret that they couldn't be written on the log!!!!!!!
The write-up showed that he did 3 ops counting as 1 and the remark that there were 6 crew probably meant that he carried no Special Duty Operator, I wonder which other crew member was omitted?
Another little tale.
Ken got leave and thumbed a lift on a kite going to Northern Ireland, over the IoM.
The pilot crossed the airfield (Ronaldsway or HMS Urley) a couple of times and then said he wasn't going to land on such a short runway. Ken took over and landed. The other poor guy was left with the problem of take-off! Must have been successful. Incidentally, Ken would have been able to walk the 1 mile home!
2 photos attached - Pilot Officer Corkill was me in Ken's flying gear during the above leave!
The second one was Ken as a brand new pilot, I think. He was very young then.

Phil



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Phil,

I had your uncle as Ken Fillingham. My mistake. Part of the problem stems from the fact the ORB lists K.D. Corkill as B.D. Corkill in some cases. When I saw your uncle's name was Ken and the timeframe involved I made an incorrect assumption.  Ken's F/Engineer Dennis Goodliffe and his Aussie ABC man, Adrian Marks are still with us.

Thanks for posting the photograph of him.

As Leslie has so generously given me 101's ORB I have looked up the missing raids for February:

15/2/1944 Berlin in ME616 up 1730 down 0030

Pilot F/Sgt KD Corkill
F/Engineer Sgt EA Cole
Navigator F/Sgt KC Thompson
W/Op F/S C Manser
Bomb Aimer F/Sgt RH Gundy, the only Canadian on this crew (survived the war)
M/U Gunner Sgt L. Swales
Rear Gunner Sgt G. Welsh
ABC Operator Sgt PN Skingley

19/2/1944 Leipzig in ME616 up 2355 down  0650
Same crew minus Skingley

20/2/1944 Stuttgart in ME616 up 2359 0735
Same  crew minus Skingley

24/2/1944 Schweinfurt in ME616 up 2010 down 0445
Same crew minus Skingley but with F/Sgt Ken Fillingham on his 2nd Dickey trip

There is also an aborted trip in February:

25/2/1944 Augsburg in LM369 up at 1830, mission abandoned at 1945 (starboard inner engine u/s) down at 2140
Same crew but with A422348 F/Sgt WC Napier as ABC man

Skingley with them on Aachen on 27/5/1944. No mention of three engines back.

Last operation seems to be 31/5/1944 Trappes with crew of nine F/Sgt RJ Hopes on 2nd Dickey. Nothing after this date for the Corkill crew.

The only man listed here who didn't survive the war was Sgt William Napier who was lost when the Rowe crew went down on  raid to Schweinfurt on 26 April, 1944 with all hands lost.

"Their" Lancaster, ME616, was one of three 101 Sqn aircraft lost on a raid to Vierzon on 30/6 - 1/7, 1944. Of the 24 men on these three aircraft 23 were killed.

As I looked through the ORB I saw the names of men still with us, fellows like Rusty Waughman, who would probably remember your uncle.

I get your point about relatives. It's too bad they won't allow you to scan the missing pages. And yes, ABC was top secret equipment and not spoken about for quite some years after the war but the only target not written in the ORB is 101's participation of the events of D Day. It's merely listed as "Special Duties Patrol"

Hope this fills in the blanks.

Dave


-- Edited by alieneyes on Monday 12th of October 2009 07:09:17 PM

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Dave

Wonderful, thanks very much.
Ken appeared to have only done 29 ops. He did, however, get the D.F.C.
He also was a Flight Lieutenant on demob.
He also went back to university and got his degree, which he interrupted to go 'bus driving' for a while.
Any chance of being to get in touch with the remaining crew members?
List of his ops later.


Phil (Corporal substantive)

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Phil,

Also not unheard of to screen a crew or a pilot for their last couple missions. I know of one Halifax crew in 6 Group who were screened at 27 ops and went on to be instructors.

Without knowing the first names of the crew it is somewhat difficult to begin tracing his crew. I did however ascertain that Skingley was commissioned Pilot Officer in late 1944.

There are no listings in the entire Canadian telephone directory for an RH Gundy. Without knowing his hometown I would not be able to trace his family.

If you have any more information on any of the crew I'd be more than happy to try.

Of course, that may involve talking to the rels again.

I would be interested in any bio on your uncle ie. place and date of birth, schooling, where he went to uni and when and where he passed. I am compiling a database of all 101 crews from October 1943 onwards.

Dave

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Hello !

I am born in Vierzon, and I did lot of research on the raid of 1 july 1944 which saw the loss of 14 Lancasters of 1 Group whom 3 of 101 squadron with only one survivor, Harry Taylor.
I knew him well, he came back in 1995 at the unveilling of a monument in memory of its crew at Massay where he came down .
Harry changed his name after the war, and became Harry Doniger.
101 Squadron came to the ceremony, it was a great day ...
I was in contact with Pat Fillingham, a pilot, is he the same on which you speak ??
Is he still alive ?
I have pieces of DV301 SR-Y and LL863 SR-M. I found a lot of DV301 at the crash-site, it was very moving .I gave some to the son of the Flight-Engineer,John Offord.
And someone of the village gave him a colt45, that was found on one of the crew after the crash...

Alain Charpentier

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Dave

Will look up Ken's details, as much as I can.
In the meantime I will try and attach Ken's logbook entries as I recorded them and amended with your new information.
I had to photograph the computer screen because I cannot think of a way to attach Excel pages!
here goes.............

Attachments
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Dave
What's a "Lindy" ?

Phil

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Phil,.

Your uncle did his 30 operations. On 11 May 18 101 Lancasters took off for Hasselt. Of the 18 who arrived over the target, 11, including your uncle heard the Master Bomber order the mission scrubbed. The other seven crews could hear him faintly and bombed.

Upon return to Ludford Magna, the Corkill crew made these comments on the operation:

Mission abandoned over target at 00.02 hours from 11,000 ' as ordered by M.C. (Master of Ceremonies aka Master Bomber). 2 x 1,000lb MC (Medium capacity) jettisoned "safe" 5140 N, 0300 E at 00.36 hrs from 10,000 '

While the Corkill crew was one of six aircraft on Brunswick (Brunschweig) on the 22nd of May, another 15 101 Lancasters were on Dortmund.

I'm sorry but other than the Lindy dance I have no idea what he means here. Was it the nickname of an aircraft? It seems from the date (June 1945) and the number of places visited that he could have been flying these people. Without his service record there's no way to tell.

Dave

-- Edited by alieneyes on Wednesday 14th of October 2009 08:43:58 PM

-- Edited by alieneyes on Thursday 15th of October 2009 06:07:15 AM

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Hi Alain,

I am interested in the career of Harry Taylor and his fortunate escape from death while on ops to Vierzon 30/6 - 1/7 1944

Did he speak of his escape? I see there's an evasion report at Kew which I will have to obtain a copy of.

I have a note here saying that he was an American, or had next of kin living in New York City and that he was the nephew of an M. Doniger of St. Annes, Lancs. Interesting to hear he changed his name to hers.

I'm sorry but the only Fillingham I know of is Ken Fillingham from 101 Sqn.

Dave

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Anonymous

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hello !

Harry was thrown clear from the canopy of his lancaster after being hit when leaving the target.
He had a deep cut at his head, but landed safely not far the crash site at Massay.
He walked south during the night and saw an other crashed Lancaster in a field.
It was JB743 of 625 Sq.
He hid in a wood, and in the morning called a young man. He was put in contact with the teacher of St Pierre de Jard where he was hid in her flat over the school for some days.
Then he went to a farm and to Reuilly , he joined the local group of resistant in august, and leave them to be in an other farm until the liberation of the area.
He was horrified by the bad treatment given to some germans POW, who were in resistant hands...
Harry was deeply affected by the loss of its crew, he never spoke of all this to his family until we traced him in 1994.When he came on the grave of his crew for the first time, it was a very hard time for him and in the same time a sort of liberation ...
Harry was a great man and a gentleman, he met all those who hid him, in 1995 at Massay, it was a very special day for all who were there ...
His name is on the monument unveilled in 1995 at Massay as all the other of the crew.
We will remember them ...


Alain


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Hi Alain,

Thank you for that.

Can you confirm his nationality? Was he an American serving in the RAF or just happened to have next of kin living in New York?

He was a very fortunate man. I am glad to read there is a tribute to the lost.

Dave

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