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  #1  
Old 30th November 2009, 07:38
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Halifax LL343 August 31, 1944

I am researching the service of my grandfather "Wally" Brown as an RAF Pilot with 298 Squadron.


I am interested in:
  • any information about his last flight. The plane (LL343) was apparently hit by flak off Walcheren Island.
  • any information of his squadron 298 including any pictures, logs or records from March - September 1944
  • contact with relatives of the crew
The crew's last operation was Osric 122. The crew were as follows:


BRADLEY William Age: 33 2209464 Sergeant. (Flight/Eng)
BROWN William, Wallace Age: 30 CAN J20649 Flying Officer. (Pilot)
MacDUFF Robert, Denver Age: 26 NZ 417149 Flying Officer. (Nav)
PEARSON Frederick Age: 21 1578265 Flight Sergeant. (WOP/AG)
SAYLES (DFM) Francis Age: 22 52592 Flying Officer. (B/Aimer)
SMITH John, Bonsall Age: 33 1496761 Flight Sergeant. (Wop/AG)

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Regards.
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Old 30th November 2009, 11:33
Icare9 Icare9 is offline
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Re: Halifax LL343 August 31, 1944

Hi, whilst waiting for the experts to come along, I presume you have the additional information from the CWGC records as below?

Name: BRADLEY, WILLIAM
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 33. Date of Death: 31/08/1944
Service No: 2209464
Additional information: Son of Thomas and Margaret Bradley; husband of Mary Bradley, of Euxton, Lancashire.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 225. Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

Name: PEARSON, FREDERICK
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Flight Sergeant
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 21. Date of Death: 31/08/1944
Service No: 1578265
Additional information: Son of Frederick and Harriet Pearson, of Wolverhampton.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 221. Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

Name: SAYLES, FRANCIS
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Flying Officer
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force
Age: 22. Date of Death: 31/08/1944
Service No: 52592
Awards: D F M
Additional information: Son of Larrett and Clara Sayles, of Fitzwilliam, Yorkshire.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 209. Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

Name: SMITH, JOHN BONSALL
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Flight Sergeant
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Date of Death: 31/08/1944
Service No: 1496761
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 222. Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

Name: BROWN, WILLIAM WALLACE
Nationality: Canadian
Rank: Flying Officer
Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Age: 30. Date of Death: 31/08/1944
Service No: J/20649
Additional information: Son of James Nelson Brown and Gertrude Brown, of Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada; husband of Marion H. Brown, of Woodstock.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 245. Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

Name: MACDUFF, ROBERT DENVER
Nationality: New Zealand
Rank: Flying Officer
Regiment/Service: Royal New Zealand Air Force
Age: 26. Date of Death: 31/08/1944
Service No: 417149
Additional information: Son of Robert B. Macduff, and of Amelia Macduff, of Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 262. Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

As F/O Brown was RCAF there may be access to the RCAF records, but others will be better able to advise on that, but at least you have some addresses that might help locate surviving relatives via Ancestry, telephone books etc.

Hope this helps
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Old 30th November 2009, 12:37
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Re: Halifax LL343 August 31, 1944

Hi,

I have the following taken from 'Though Without Anger' - Cummings

30 August 1944

298 Squadron
Halifax V LL343

This aircraft was tasked to drop supplies to partisans near Diest at position 51.03 North 05.34 East. However, the mission was not accomplished and it seems probable that this was the aircraft seen by another crew to be shot down in position 51.46 North 05.34 East.

Crew as listed above.

Regards
Peter

Last edited by Peter Clare; 30th November 2009 at 13:31.
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Old 30th November 2009, 13:25
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Re: Halifax LL343 August 31, 1944

Thank you both for your responses. While I have been able to collect some information, icare you have added a little more detail about the crew.

Also I did not know the position of the crash. Thank you Peter.

I appreciate the quick response.
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Old 30th November 2009, 14:09
dp_burke dp_burke is offline
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Re: Halifax LL343 August 31, 1944

Contact the Canadian National Archives here. You can request an extract of his record for free or the full record for a fee.

Personnel Records Unit,
Library and Archives Canada,
395 Wellington Street,
Ottawa,
ON K1A 0N3
Fax: (613) 947 8456

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-909.007-e.html

regards

Dennis
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Old 30th November 2009, 18:06
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Re: Halifax LL343 August 31, 1944

Thanks Dennis. I will check that out.
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Old 30th November 2009, 18:12
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Re: Halifax LL343 August 31, 1944

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Clare View Post
Hi,

I have the following taken from 'Though Without Anger' - Cummings

30 August 1944

298 Squadron
Halifax V LL343

This aircraft was tasked to drop supplies to partisans near Diest at position 51.03 North 05.34 East. However, the mission was not accomplished and it seems probable that this was the aircraft seen by another crew to be shot down in position 51.46 North 05.34 East.

Crew as listed above.

Regards
Peter
Peter,
the reference of the crash site is interesting because my grandmother thought that the plane had gone down on land - which is where 51.03 North 05.34 East is according to Google earth. Official records as sketchy as they are indicate that the plane was seen in flames off the coast of Holland or Belgium.

It will be interesting to see if anyone else weighs in on this.

Regards
Jeff
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Old 30th November 2009, 19:32
Icare9 Icare9 is offline
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Re: Halifax LL343 August 31, 1944

Jeff, crashes in Occupied Territories were usually recorded by local villagers.
Today, there are many active Belgian, Dutch and French groups dedicated to the memories of the crews that helped liberate them. I'm sure you know that 298 Squadron were tasked with supplying Resistance groups and dropping agents etc.
There may be some websites in Belgium that have some more details, however I would caution that most crash sites were thoroughly investigated after the War by RAF and other investigation teams, not only for the crew but cause of loss.
As this crew is only recorded on the Runnymede Memorial, it is more than likely that they crashed into the North Sea. They may have been hit over land and struggled to make it to the UK, but in a similar situation, some crews would try to head to Normandy where they may have been able to parachute into the Allied zone.
They didn't make the rendezvous with the resistance cell, so they may have been hit by flak ships just as they reached the coast. None of the crew was able to exit in time to be found and identified.
The RCAF records may contain details of any investigation after the war and hopefully any eyewitness accounts.
I'll now let others more knowledgeable add what else they may know.
Regards, Kevin
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Old 30th November 2009, 21:29
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Re: Halifax LL343 August 31, 1944

Thanks Kevin,

My grandmother tried for over a year to get more information. As you suggest they may have been able to make it some way before the crash.

Thanks for passing this on to others who may have access to other details.

Regards
Jeff
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Old 1st December 2009, 17:44
Henk Welting Henk Welting is offline
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Re: Halifax LL343 August 31, 1944

LL343 is not listed in the crash list 1939-1945 of aircraft crashed on Dutch territory or within Dutch territorial waters. This means that the loss was over the North Sea more than 20 kms off the coast. I've a note (unconfirmed source) that the Halifax was hit by a flakship 02.01h and crashed at the position 51.46N - 03.50E.
Regards,
Henk.
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