Halifax L9502 (07/07/1941)

Halifax L9502 was one of ten No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Frankfurt on the night of the 7th / 8th July 1941.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • P Langmead (Pilot)
  • WT Hogan (2nd Pilot)
  • G Roberts (Observer)
  • RF Jackson (WOP / Air Gunner)
  • K Cattran (WOP / Air Gunner)
  • K Hartland (Air Gunner)
  • FH Brown (Flight Engineer)

L9502 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft was not heard of again and is now officially reported missing”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 8th July 1941 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 7th / 8th July 1941”.

telegram 2

An example of the telegram that was sent

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

For the remainder of the war, the Air Ministry Casualty Branch utilised information obtained from radio intercepts and from the German Authorities and prisoners of war (which was supplied via the International Red Cross) to establish whether lost crew had been killed, wounded, imprisoned or were “missing”; the squadron and the relevant families were kept informed.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 26th July 1941: Information received from the International Red Cross that P Langmead and all his crew, missing on operations on 8th July 1941 are safe and prisoners of war, but Sgt’s Jackson and Cattran are seriously wounded

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

  • K Cattran (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained)
    • Captured (Injured)
    • Hospitalised (wounded in the arm)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IX-C, Bad Sulza?
    • Repatriated: 1943?
  • G Roberts (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained)
    • Captured
    • Hospitalised?
    • Imprisoned?
    • Repatriated?

P Langmead, WT Hogan, RF Jackson, K Hartland and FH Brown survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following details:

  • P Langmead
    • Captured: Limburg  08/07/1941
    • Interrogated Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Jul-41
    • Imprisoned: Oflag VII-C, Laufen Jul-41 to Aug-41
    • Imprisoned: Oflag X-C, Lübeck Aug-41 to Oct-41
    • Imprisoned: Oflag VI-B, Warburg Oct-41 to Sep-42
    • Imprisoned: Oflag XXI-B, Schubin (Poland) Sep-42 to Apr-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Apr-43 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Marlag und Milag Nord, Tarmstedt Feb-45 to Apr-45
    • Imprisoned: Oflag XXI-B, Schubin (Poland) Apr-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated:  May-45
  • WT Hogan
    • Captured: Near Maastricht  08/07/1941
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IX-C, Bad Sulza Jul-41 to Apr-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Apr-42 to Oct-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft I, Barth Oct-42 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • RF Jackson
    • Captured: Belgium  08/07/1941 (wounded in the leg and face)
    • Hospitalised: Reserve Lazarett Münstereifel Jul-41 to Feb-42
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Feb-42 to Apr-42
    • Hospitalised: Reserve Lazarett, Ober Massfeld? Apr-42 to Jan-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft I, Barth Jan-43 to Oct-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Nov-43 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft IV, Kiefheide / Groß Tychow Jul-44 to Feb-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft I, Barth Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • K Hartland
    • Captured Holland  08/07/1941
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IX-C, Bad Sulza? Jul-41 to Apr-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Apr-42 to Jun-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Jun-43 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn Jul-44 to Aug-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Aug-44 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated   May-45
  • FH Brown
    • Captured: Limburg  08/07/1941
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IX-C, Bad Sulza? Jul-41 to Jul-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Jul-42 to Jul-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Jul-43 to Nov-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Nov-44 to Mar-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Flak Claim: Coned by searchlights, hit by 2./Res. Flak Abt. 264, 3./Res. Flak Abt. 233, 1.-5./Res. Flak Abt. 407, 4.&5./Res. Flak Abt. 141, 4.&5./Res. Flak Abt. 404 and 4.&5./Res. Flak Abt. 241, crashed at Meeuwen, NE of Hasselt ca. 01.54hrs

P.4 (Cas) Casualty Branch File

The following casualty file is available at the National Archives:

AIR 81/7458 Flying Officer P Langmead, Sergeant W T Hogan, Sergeant G Roberts, Sergeant R F Jackson, Sergeant K Cattran, Sergeant K Harland, Sergeant F H Brown: prisoners of war; aircraft shot down and crashed near Maastricht, Holland, Halifax L9502, 35 Squadron, 8 July 1941.

Information provided by SJ Cattran (2017)

Sgt Kenneth Cattran was my grandfather. After crash landing in July 1941 he was repatriated wounded in 1943. He spent time in various POW camps and escaped from one but was recaptured. My father says Sgt Cattran spent time in Stalag Luft VIIIB but I have not seen any records of his time as a POW anywhere. He was put in a “mental institution” as punishment for the escape attempt. The wound was to his arm. A British doctor wanted to amputate it but a German counterpart felt that he might still be able to make some use of it in later life despite having no elbow joint. He became a very successful house builder after the war and was grateful to that German doctor.