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Post Info TOPIC: 218 squadron August 1943


Leading Aircraftsman

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218 squadron August 1943
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Hello I am new on here, hoping someone has some info for me. Sgt Herbert Taylor was in 218 squadron and he was killed on 24 August 1943. Age 25, I would like to know the circumstances if possible, as I was never told. Yes, we were related, he was my dads brother. Thanks!

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Air Vice Marshall

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Hi,

Sgt Herbert Taylor Air Gunner onboard Stirling BF522.

 

 

Stirling III BF522 crashed in the North Sea south-east of the island of Sylt on 24/8 1943.


The aircraft belonged to RAF 218 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded HA-N.
T/O 20:40 Downham Market. OP: Berlin.


On the return flight from Berlin the Stirling was attacked by a German night fighter. At 03:34 it sent out a distress signal, and after this nothing further was heard from BF522.

On the same day Stirling EH883 from 149 Sqn spotted a dinghy in the area to the west of the island of Sylt. The dinghy had five airmen, probably from BF522, onboard. EH883 and one more Stirling circled the dinghy while they called for assistance from England to arrive. At 14:15 hours 2 Hudsons coded OS-H and OS-R from 279 Sqn (Air sea rescue) took off from Bircham Newton and reached the dinghy two hours later. The two Stirlings now returned back to England. The Hudsons each carried a lifeboat which could be dropped to the airmen. One lifeboat was dropped and the airmen managed to transfer to it from the dinghy.
Shortly after the Hudsons and the lifeboat were attacked bye two Bf 110 piloted by Oberfeldwebel Brannicke and Oberfeldwebel Statzinger from Epr. Kdo 25. The two Hudsons tried to protect the lifeboat but at 17:30 hours OS-H was damaged and OS-R shot down.
The crew on OS-R which consisted of F/O Alan Owen Whapham, P/O Douglas Cameron, F/Sgt John Galbraith Gourley and F/Sgt Ellis Lister Pennington have never been found and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.
After this, the lifeboat was attacked and sunk with the loss of the five onboard.

On September 24 the body of Air Gnr. Sgt George A. McArthur was found in beach area no. 35 near Fjand on the Danish west coast by Receiver of Wrecks Milter Jeppesen. He was laid to rest in Lemvig cemetery on September 28.

Flight Engineer Sgt Keith Robson was found drifted ashore near Bjerghuse on September 30 by receiver of Wrecks Anders Chr. Eriksen and was laid to rest in Gravlunden in Esbjerg on October 4 1943.

The rest of the crew have no known grave and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memoria. They were Pilot F/S William Martin RCAF, Navigator Sgt Evan R. Lowe, Air Bomber F/O Leslie J. DeAth, W/Op F/S James Cassidy and Sgt Air Gnr. Herbert Taylor.

The German night fighter which shot down BF522 is believed to have been piloted by Oberleutnant Hermann Müller of 10/NJG3 who operated from Denmark and claimed a Stirling in the above mentioned area on this night at 02:15 hours.

 

Source:-

http://www.flensted.eu.com/19430085.shtml

 

Regards,

Mike

 



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Leading Aircraftsman

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Mike,

Thank you for your full and prompt reply.
It has been difficult to take this in, but at last we know the truth about what happened.
I am shocked that defenceless men in a lifeboat met their end in this way.
Thank you for opening my eyes.

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Leading Aircraftsman

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I am no expert by any means, but I would think it is a pretty cowardly and heartless
act to machine gun a lifeboat.
I know that many atrocities are committed in wartime but would this be classed as a war crime?
Naturally I am shocked by the events which occurred; I am sure that's understandable.
Thanks.

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Squadron Leader

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Hi,

 

I have a full report on this incident and the crew.

If you care to contact me off board I will be happy to send it on to you.

 

Kind regards

 

Steve



-- Edited by smudgersmith on Wednesday 16th of January 2013 01:57:18 PM

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No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian



Air Vice Marshall

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Hi,

I wondered if you have checked the National Archives online combat reports.  There are quite a few submitted by a Sgt Taylor of 218 Squadron.

You will need to find out his operational history to see if the dates match, but a good chance it will be him.

 

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Result/?discoveryCustomSearch=true&_t1=&_t2=TAYLOR&_t3=&_t4=218&_sd=&_ed=&_ser=AIR+50&_col=online&_sf=DRETITLE&image1.x=0&image1.y=0

 

 

Mike.



-- Edited by MikeH on Wednesday 16th of January 2013 03:19:04 PM

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Leading Aircraftsman

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Thank you - this was very helpful. I ordered them from National Archives.
Two of the reports referred to a Robert Taylor but the other five matched my relative.
There was no way of knowing this before they were purchased, but they may be of use to someone else.
Have learned so much over the last couple of days thanks to this site. Fantastic...


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Leading Aircraftsman

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smudgersmith wrote:

Hi,

I have a full report on this incident and the crew.

If you care to contact me off board I will be happy to send it on to you.

 Kind regards

 Steve


-- Edited by smudgersmith on Wednesday 16th of January 2013 01:57:18 PM


 Hi Steve, thanks for this offer - I would really appreciate this, many thanks!!



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Jo

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Hello; 

My late mother's fiance, was Jimmy Cassidy, air gunner for the BF 522 Stirling Bomber which was shot down over the North Sea on August 24, 1943.   I have a copy of the transcript of what occurred on their return flight from Berlin and their demise.   Please contact me off board and I will be pleased to provide you with the information.   



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Leading Aircraftsman

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Jo, i would be very grateful for any more info on this incident. Herbert Taylor was my dad's brother who died with your Jimmy Cassidy.
Deeply in my thoughts please rsvp. asap huge thanks.

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Group Captain

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Hi

Follow this link and you will see your aircraft under the date of loss. http://www.flensted.eu.com/19430085.shtml

Regards,

 

John.



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Aircraftsman 1st Class

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I have a copy of the transcript of what occurred on their return flight from Berlin and their demise. Please contact me off board and I will be pleased to provide you with the information.

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