Halifax L9524 (18/09/1941 [Non Op])

The AM Form 1180 shows “Pilot (P/O Creswell) overshot runway (Linton-on-Ouse), brakes applied too late. Swung at end of run and tail wheel struck built up earth”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft remained on charge of the squadron; it was operational again by 29th September 1941

Halifax L9503 (15/09/1941)

Halifax L9503 was one of four No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Hamburg on the night of the 15th / 16th September 1941.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Harold Stanley Brown (Pilot)
  • John Henry Barrett (2nd Pilot)
  • John Anthony Arnsby (Observer)
  • Henry Edward Greene (WOP / AG)
  • Ronald C Shaw (WOP / AG)
  • Sidney Thomas Fisher (Air Gunner)
  • James William Hays (Flight Engineer)

L9503 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Nothing more was heard of from this aircraft which is now officially reported Missing”

HalifaxL9503 at Northolt (IWM CH17539)

Halifax L9503 at Northolt [© IWM CH17539]

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 16th September 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 15th / 16th September 1941”.

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.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 91 (Flight 27/11/1941) reported HS Brown as “missing, believed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 123 (Flight 09/04/1942) reported HS Brown “previously reported missing, believed killed in action” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to the next of kin, along with any monies due.

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

  •  19/10/1941: Information received through the International Red Cross Society quoting German information states that P/O HS Brown, captain of the aircraft missing on operations 16/09/1941 was killed but that the remainder of the crew are all safe and prisoners of war.

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

JH Barrett, JA Arnsby, HE Greene, RC Shaw, ST Fisher and JW Hays 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:

  • JH Barrett (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag X-C, Stalag Luft III
    • Repatriated:
  • JA Arnsby (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • HE Greene (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • RC Shaw (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • ST Fisher (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • JW Hays (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of HS Brown were located at Kiel Garrison Cemetery.

L9503 Concentration

His remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at KIEL WAR CEMETERY on 20th May 1947 as follows:

  • BROWN, HAROLD STANLEY, Pilot Officer ‘108027’  Grave 3. J. 6.
Brown H S (findagrave)

[Source: FindaGrave]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

P4 Casualty Branch File

The following Casualty File is available at the National Archives:

AIR 81/9087 Pilot Officer H S Brown: killed; Squadron Leader J H Barrett, Sergeant J A Arnsby (RCAF), Sergeant H E Greene, Sergeant S T Fisher (RCAF), Sergeant J W Hays, Sergeant R Shaw: prisoners of war; aircraft shot down and crashed near Kiel, Germany, Halifax L9503, 35 Squadron, 15 September 1941.

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Coned by searchlights of M.Flak.Abt 251 for 17mins, hit by flak of M.Flak.Abt 211, 221, 231 and 251; crashed near Revensdorf at 23.37

spurensuchesh.de/revensdorf

  • Cause of Loss: Flak (Tuttendorf Battery)
  • Location of Loss: Revensdorf (Schleswig-Holstein), Germany

Halifax L9503 [Source: spurensuchesh.de]

Halifax L9569 (10/09/1941)

Halifax L9569 was one of three No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Turin on the night of the 10th / 11th September 1941.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • John Craig Hamilton (Pilot)
  • Thomas Craig Stobie (2nd Pilot)
  • Jeffrey Arnold Longford (Observer)
  • James Patrick Henderson (WOP / AG)
  • John Peter Burton Buckley (WOP / AG)
  • John Collins (Air Gunner)
  • Walter Roy Stapleford (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft returned safely, but forced landed near Eythorne, Kent due to petrol shortage, without casualty or damage to aircraft.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 1180

The AM Form 1180 (Accident Card shows “10/10th cloud and wireless trouble prevented the pilot from determining his position and force landed before running out of petrol. The pilot emphasised the urgent need for extra petrol storage for type, if they are to undertake long flights”.

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft remained on charge of the squadron and that no repairs were required

Halifax L9566 (10/09/1941)

Halifax L9566 was one of three No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Turin on the night of the 10th / 11th September 1941.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Gerald Standish Williams (Pilot)
  • Alexander Osborne (2nd Pilot)
  • James Oliver Hedley (Observer)
  • Charles Frederic Seymour Ryder (WOP / AG)
  • Ernest H Jackson (WOP / AG)
  • Alexander Urquhart (Air Gunner)
  • John Edmond Murrell (Flight Engineer)

L9566 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Task completed message was received shortly after 01.00hrs then at about 05.25hrs SOS received. Fix showed aircraft off track near St Marlo. QDMs were given. At approximately 06.00hrs signalled “30 minutes petrol left” but should have been near English Coast. “We are going out to sea if we follow QDMs” was received from aircraft at 06.15hrs. Radio location plot placed an aircraft then at twenty five miles north of Le Havre. This aircraft was not heard of again and did not return, presumably mistaking the Cherbourg peninsular for the coast of Kent and turning, actually, back to France”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 11th September 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 10th / 11th September 1941”.

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:

  • 16/10/1941: Information received through International Red Cross Society quoting Berlin states that F/O GS Williams and all members of his crew missing on operations on 11th September 1941 are all safe and prisoners of war in Germany

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

All crew members 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:

  • JE Murrell
    • Captured: Cherbourg Sep-41
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Lamsdorf Sep-41 to May-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan May-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
  • GS Williams
    • Captured: Near Barfleur, France (11/09/1941)
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Sep-41
    • Imprisoned: Oflag XC, Lubeck Sep-41 to Oct-41
    • Imprisoned: Oflag VIB, Warburg Oct-41 to Sep-42 [Escaped]
    • 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, Westertimke Feb-45 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • A Osborne (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • JO Hedley (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Not known
    • Repatriated:
  • CSF Ryder (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Not Known
    • Repatriated:
  • EH Jackson (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • A Urquhart (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

P4 Casualty Branch File

The following Casualty File is available at the National Archives:

AIR 81/8990 Flying Officer G S Williams, Sergeant A Osborne, Pilot Officer J O Hedley, Sergeant E M Jackson, Sergeant C F S Ryder, Sergeant A Urquhart, Sergeant J E Murrell: prisoners of war; aircraft force landed near Valognes, France, during return from operational flight over Turin, Italy, Halifax L9566, 35 Squadron, 11 September 1941. With photographs.

Halifax L9560 (02/09/1941)

Halifax L9560 was one of five No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Special Target “B” Berlin on the night of 2nd / 3rd September 1941.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Douglas Stewart Fraser (Pilot)
  • Robin Lyell Blin Beare (2nd Pilot)
  • John Peter Boston Cushion (Observer)
  • Arthur Henry Stroud (WOP / AG)
  • Denis Slater (WOP / AG)
  • Edward Wilkinson (Air Gunner)
  • Norman Willingham (Flight Engineer)

The route was Base, Flamborough, Meldorf, Neumunster, Target, Neumunster, Meldorf, Flamborough, Base

Halifax L9560 failed to return from the operation and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “The call sign on approach of the enemy coast on track for target was all that was afterwards heard of this aircraft. It is now officially reported missing” 

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 3rd September 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 2nd / 3rd September 1941”.

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.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 85 (Flight 23/10/1941) reported DS Fraser,  JPB Cushion, D Slater, AH Stroud and N Willingham as “missing believed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 121 (Flight 26/03/1942) reported DS Fraser,  JPB Cushion, D Slater, AH Stroud and N Willingham “previously reported as missing believed killed in action” now “presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to the next of kin, along with any monies due

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

  • 05/10/1941: Telegram received from International Red Cross Society through Air Ministry states that PO Fraser and PO Cushion, Sgts Slater, Stroud and Willingham of his crew, missing on operations on 3rd September 1941 were killed and that his second pilot and rear gunner Sgts Beare and Wilkinson are prisoners of war but wounded.

The following letter was sent by No. 35 Squadron to the family of AH Stroud:

letter

Image from “The Empty Bed” Exhibit Booklet

In a further letter (dated 2nd February 1942), the families were informed that Sgt Beare had advised that “after he and Sgt Wilkinson had escaped by parachute, the aircraft was destroyed by an explosion”.

Crew who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

RLB Beare and E Wilkinson 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:

  • RLB Beare
    • Captured: Nr Berlin (Hit in head by Flak Splinter) Sep-41
    • Hospitalised: Hohemark Hospital, Frankfurt Sep-41
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Sep-41
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Lamsdorf Sep-41 to May-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan May-42 to Jun-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Jun-43 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft IV, Keifheide Jul-44 to Feb-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag XI-B, Fallingbostel Mar-45 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: Apr-45
  • E Wilkinson
    • Captured: Nr Berlin (Injured) Sep-41
    • Hospitalised: Berlin Sep-41
    • Hospitalised: Hohemark Hospital, Frankfurt Sep-41
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Sep-41
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Lamsdorf Sep-41 to Aug-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Sep-42 to Jul-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Jul-43 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Jul-44 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

Post War search for missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of all the missing crew members were located at the Doeberitz Standhortfriedhof

l9560-concentration

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at BERLIN 1939-1945 WAR CEMETERY on 29th October 1946 as follows:

  • CUSHION, JOHN PETER BOSTON, Pilot Officer, ‘88456’,  Joint grave 4. B. 2-3.
  • FRASER, DOUGLAS STEWART, Pilot Officer, ‘88869,’ Joint grave 4. B. 2-3.
  • SLATER, DENIS, Sergeant, ‘755528’, Grave 4. B. 1.
  • STROUD, ARTHUR HENRY, Sergeant, ‘909968’, Grave 4. B. 4.
  • WILLINGHAM, NORMAN, Sergeant ‘922470’, Grave 4. B. 5.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

P4 Casualty Branch File

The following Casualty File is available at the National Archives:

AIR 81/8808 Pilot Officer D S Fraser, Sergeant N Willingham, Pilot Officer J P B Cushion, Sergeant D Slater, Sergeant A H Stroud: killed; Sergeant R L B Beare, Sergeant E Wilkinson: prisoners of war; aircraft shot down and crashed near Berlin, Germany, Halifax L9560, 35 Squadron, 3 September 1941.

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Uffz. Karl Kupfer, 3./NGJ3, South of Kreuzbruch (Brandenburg, Germany) [Coned by searchlights and hit by flak of Flakgruppe Berlin-Nord]

POW March

The following map was drawn (in his POW Log) by E Wilkinson and shows the route(s) he took on the “March” when the German Authorities evacuated the prison of war camps in January 1945.

[Courtesy of Jamie Wilkinson]

Halifax L9526 (10/09/1941)

Halifax L9526 was one of three No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Turin on the night of the 10th / 11th September 1941.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Edmund Keith Creswell (Pilot)
  • Douglas Rowley-Blake (2nd Pilot)
  • Alfred Abels (Observer)
  • Stanley Turner (WOP / AG)
  • Walter Montague Gordon Wing (WOP / AG)
  • G Lowe (Air Gunner)
  • Frank Stewart (Flight Engineer)

L9526 returned safely but forced landed near Thetford due to lack of wireless assistance and petrol shortage. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair, but no member of the crew was injured.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM 1180

Low Cloud – Wireless Operator intercepted QDM for another aircraft as one for himself. After turning on to it, pilot realised the error and turning sharply back to original course momentarily starved port … engine which cut. Pilot forced landed (Riddlesworth, Norfolk) before other engines cut due to fuel shortage.

Pilot emphasised need for extra petrol tankage on the Halifax (although it was also noted on the card that most of them had been fitted with these)

WR Chorley (RAF Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

“Forced landed 06.22 in a field near Harling Road Station on the rail line between Thetford and Norwich. No one was hurt and the Halifax was not seriously damaged,. However, it never flew again and by mid-1942 the airframe was in use as instructional aid, bearing the serial 3034M”

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was allocated to 43 Group (Maintenance Unit) on 13th September and then to Handley Page on 17th September; it was not returned to the squadron


Halifax L9508 (02/09/1941)

Halifax L9508 was one of five No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Berlin on the night of the 2nd / 3rd September 1941.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Ross James (Pilot)
  • Stewart Richard Arthur (2nd Pilot)
  • Harold Sidney Oldman (Observer)
  • John Kenneth Young (WOP / AG)
  • Rodney Gordon Mullally (WOP / AG)
  • Thomas Edwin Allanson (Air Gunner)
  • Albert Robert Parke Mills (Flight Engineer)

The route was Base, Flamborough, Meldorf, Neumunster, Target, Neumunster, Meldorf, Flamborough, Base

L9508 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Except for the call-sign received from eighty miles north of the target going in, this aircraft was not heard of again and is now officially reported Missing”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 3rd September 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 2nd / 3rd September 1941”.

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.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 114 (Flight 05/03/1942) reported R James and JK Young “previously reported missing, believed killed in action” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to the next of kin, along with any monies due

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

  • 06/10/1941: News received from International Red Cross Society through Air Ministry that all the members of FO James crew, missing on operations 3rd September 1941, are prisoners of war except Sgt Young who was killed. No mention was made of FO James.
  • 19/10/1941: News received through International Red Cross Society quoting German sources states that FO James, missing on operations 3rd September 1941, was killed near Berlin.

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

SR Arthur, HS Oldman, RG Mullally, TE Allanson and ARP Mills 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:

  • SR Arthur
    • Captured: 17 miles NW Berlin (03/09/1941)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Lamsdorf Sep-41 to May-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan May-42 to Oct-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft I, Barth Oct-42 to Oct-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Oct-43 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft IV, Gross Tychow Jul-44 to Feb-45
    • Repatriated: Apr-45
  • HS Oldman
    • Captured: Berlin (03/09/1941)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Lamsdorf Sep-41 to May-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan May-42 to Jun-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Jun-43 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Jul-44 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: Apr-45
  • RG Mullally
    • Captured: Berlin Area (03/09/1941)
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Sep-41
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Lamsdorf Sep-41 to May-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan May-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
  • TE Allanson
    • Captured: Berlin (02/09/1941)
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Sep-41
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Lamsdorf Sep-41 to Apr-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Apr-42 to Oct-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft I, Barth Oct-42 to Oct-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Nov-43 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft IV, Gross Tychow Jul-44 to Feb-45
    • Repatriated: Apr-45
  • ARP Mills
    • Captured: Berlin (03/09/1941)
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Sep-41
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-B, Lamsdorf Sep-41 to Jun-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Jun-42 to Oct-42
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft I, Barth Oct-42 to Oct-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Nov-43 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft IV, Gross Tychow Jul-44 to Feb-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of R James and JK Young were located at Bernau New Cemetery

l9508-concentration

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at BERLIN 1939-1945 WAR CEMETERY on 23rd November 1946 as follows:

  • JAMES, ROSS, Flying Officer, ‘42062’,  Joint grave 4. J. 18-19.
  • YOUNG, JOHN KENNETH, Sergeant, ‘947403’, Joint grave 4. J. 18-19.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

P4 Casualty Branch File

The following Casualty File is available at the National Archives:

AIR 81/8804 Flying Officer R James, Sergeant J K Young: killed; Sergeant S R Arthur, Sergeant H S Oldman, Sergeant R G Mullally, Sergeant T E Allanson, Sergeant A R P Mills: prisoners of war; aircraft shot down and crashed at Basdorf, Germany, Halifax L9508, 35 Squadron, 3 September 1941.

Dr Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Hit by Flakgruppe Berlin-Nord, Crashed between Basdorf and Zühlsdorf (Brandenburg, Germany), time unknown

From the memoirs of SR Arthur [Courtesy of Elaine James]

“We came out of Berlin on a course of about 320 degrees and the searchlights and anti-aircraft were absolutely continuous. They were accurate and about eight miles north-west of Berlin we were hit on the inner port engine which caught fire at about 18,000 feet. We did all necessary to try and starve the fuel to that engine, feathered it and it didn’t go out, so the Captain said: ‘Abandon aircraft’. The crew jumped through very heavy flak and one of them was killed by anti-aircraft fire. With the crew out, the Skipper and I sat up in the cockpit. He then threw the aeroplane into a steep-angled dive in an attempt to blow it out, the theory being that if the engine was being starved of fuel maybe we could put it out. We ended up at 3,000 feet and levelled off and it was still burning. He told me to jump and I declined. One doesn’t normally use the word that I did but it was obvious that he was going to try to get the aeroplane home and I had the same idea. But we were a flying bomb. We had the full fuel load and the engine on fire. We resumed course for home and I had the hood open, we’d opened the hatch. My Captain had his parachute on and I had mine on and it was obvious that the aeroplane was going to blow up. He promised he would jump with me. As I jumped the aircraft blew up and I was just below it and bits fell past. It really was a bit frightening. I landed in what turned out to be Goebbel’s estate, north-west of Berlin, in a large wood. I was unhurt, I had no idea where I was but pulled the parachute in and sort of settled down for the night. I’d hurt my ankle. But the Germans were pretty quick off the mark and they had motor cycles and sidecars – with guns in the sidecars – combing the woods to find us. I was caught the following morning trying to steal a bottle of milk: I headed for the nearest sound of a cock crowing and went to a farm but I was caught”

Crew Information

The following link provides information on R James’ operational sorties as Captain of a No. 35 Squadron aircraft and the composition of his crew on these sorties:

Halifax L9504 (07/09/1941)

Halifax L9504 was one of five No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Berlin on the night of the 7th / 8th September 1941.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Robert Alexander Norman (Pilot)
  • Cecil Edgar Robertson Parsons (2nd Pilot)
  • J Watt (Observer)
  • Leslie Douglas Haig Izzard (WOP / AG)
  • RW Long (WOP / AG)
  • Ivan Jackson (Air Gunner)
  • Wilfred Thomas Palmer (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “On reaching enemy coast the Captain found time insufficient to reach primary target on schedule. Proceeded to Kiel but when within three to four miles the aircraft for some unknown reason went into a spin and out of control. Captain gave order to ‘standby to bale-out’, jettisoned bombs and succeeded in righting aircraft. Tail gunner Sgt Jackson found to have baled-out; apparently only heard “bale-out”, as the Flight Engineer did, although he could not do so before all well again”.


Post War search for the missing crew member

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of I Jackson were located at Kiel Garrison Cemetery.

l9504-concentration

His remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at KIEL WAR CEMETERY on 27th May 1947 as follows:

  • JACKSON, IVAN, Sergeant, ‘1019202,’  Coll. grave 2. C. 15-18.
Jackson I (findagrave)
[Source: FindaGrave]

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

P4 Casualty Branch File

The following Casualty File is available at the National Archives:

AIR 81/8989 Sergeant I Jackson: killed; Sergeant C E R Parsons, Sergeant J Watt, Sergeant L D H Izzard, Sergeant R W Long, Sergeant W T Palmer: uninjured; rear gunner baled out over enemy territory, Halifax L9504, 35 Squadron, 8 September 1941.

AM Form 1180

Rear Gunner abandoned aircraft over enemy territory