Karl Kj
Karl Kj

January 2nd, 2005, 4:29 pm #11

Does anyone have pictures of crews or individuals from the 420 Snowy Owl Squadron. In 1943 I beleive it was they were stationed at Tholthrope Yorkshire. I'm looking for pics of Norman Binnie, Normy Cooper, Ted Vigor,and Bill Brayley. I'm not sure if all were posted to the 420 Squadron.

Chris
If you check on Richard Koval's site www.rcaf.com/6group/left.html there is a photo of a J. Lancaster of 420 squadron under his photo section in the individual photos. Cheers, Karl
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Rodusek
Rodusek

January 2nd, 2005, 4:41 pm #12

Chris,

What does your information say about Binnie's trade with 406 Squadron? As i am sure you are aware (having done your homework), they were a NF Squadron and employed the services of Gunners (and Navigators / Observers) as well as Pilots. Is it possible that Binnie remustered from the trade of Gunner / Observer / Navigator etc., to the grade of Flight Engineer? Certainly not unknown in my own field of research (No.1 Bomber Group) and indeed relatively common throughout the RAF in WW2.

Perhaps you can check your sources and see what his trade was prior to his service with 420, and i suspect that you will find that Ian has indeed given a correct crew listing. I have checked it already against the official Bomber Command Loss Card and found Ian's listing to be correct as far as tallying with the Loss Card is concerned. In my experience, the Loss Cards are rarely wrong.

L/O

Greg

"You can take the boy out of Wales,
But you cannot takes Wales out of the boy"
Well I'm not sure of my great grandfather's trade in 406 squadron but unfortunatley he passed away 10 years ago. I can check with his son. The loss card is damn wrong I tell you. Norman survived if you check Riochard Koval's page it also tells you Binnie and Brakes survived. I have Binnie's account of what happened from a rough draft of a letter he wrote to Bert Brakes about 10/11 June 1944.

Chris
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Rodusek
Rodusek

January 2nd, 2005, 4:51 pm #13

If you check on Richard Koval's site www.rcaf.com/6group/left.html there is a photo of a J. Lancaster of 420 squadron under his photo section in the individual photos. Cheers, Karl
I'm aware of Richard Koval's site. I have seen the picture of JD Lancaster and also the daily operations page I've checked for the 10/11 June 1944 and found what I wanted.

Chris
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Joined: November 25th, 2004, 4:46 pm

January 2nd, 2005, 6:10 pm #14

Well I'm not sure of my great grandfather's trade in 406 squadron but unfortunatley he passed away 10 years ago. I can check with his son. The loss card is damn wrong I tell you. Norman survived if you check Riochard Koval's page it also tells you Binnie and Brakes survived. I have Binnie's account of what happened from a rough draft of a letter he wrote to Bert Brakes about 10/11 June 1944.

Chris
Chris,

You might want to read my message again a little more thoroughly old chap - it doesn't suggest, nor did i, and nor does the Loss Card, that Binnie didn't survive. It states that he escaped - a fact that i (nor indeed Ian i think?) have not argued with.

I think you'll agree that makes your statement that "the Loss Card is damned wrong" perhaps premature, inflammatory, and rather short-sighted?

As i mentioned in my previous post, which you'll note if you go back and re-read it *proprerly*, you may want to check his trade in 406 "Lynx" Squadron - it is my suspicion that he flew as one trade with 406 and then re-mustered to Flight Engineer sometime between then and joining 420. I believe (but am not sure) that relatives of RCAF airmen have relatively easy access to their service records, so this shouldn't be a mammoth task for you to undertake. Once you have, perhaps you'd like to post your findings back on this forum for us - i'm sure we'd all be very interested to read what you have discovered.

Finally Chris, i've only very rarely known a Loss Card to be wrong. They were mostly compiled post-war, using information from a great many sources, and cross referenced many times against each of these sources. Without the "hurried" nature of compilation that afflicted so many wartime records (including ORBs), their details are not only very often 100% correct, but rich in their content and revealing of the aircraft and airmen they concern. Whilst i would never be so crass as to say they are never wrong, i would suggest that the one appertaining to LW674 is correct in every detail (down to bomb load and route taken to and from the target) unless you can offer me pretty solid provenance that it isn't.

All the best,

Greg

"You can take the boy out of Wales,
But you cannot takes Wales out of the boy"
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Joined: December 31st, 2004, 6:29 pm

January 2nd, 2005, 6:17 pm #15

Sorry Greg and Ian I apologize for my rather hasty replies, I thought that the loss report was trying to say that my great grandfather died but as my grandfather told me the loss report was correct at the time but is out dated if you know what I mean. Greg, I don't know how to pull up service records but if you could tell me how I would really appreciate it. Now to answer your question on what Norman did 406 Sqn I don't know. I found out through an article in an old Air Canada newspaper that my great grandmother must have saved that he was with 406 squadron then later trained to be a flight engineer with 420 squadron. I believe he did this in 1943. I know that 406 sqn was formed in 1941 as a night fighter sqn then in '44 swithced to something else I forget what it was.

Chris
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Joined: December 31st, 2004, 6:29 pm

January 2nd, 2005, 7:00 pm #16

I'm aware of Richard Koval's site. I have seen the picture of JD Lancaster and also the daily operations page I've checked for the 10/11 June 1944 and found what I wanted.

Chris
Thank you everyone for you're info, I appreciate it.

Chris
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Joined: November 25th, 2004, 4:46 pm

January 2nd, 2005, 8:45 pm #17

Sorry Greg and Ian I apologize for my rather hasty replies, I thought that the loss report was trying to say that my great grandfather died but as my grandfather told me the loss report was correct at the time but is out dated if you know what I mean. Greg, I don't know how to pull up service records but if you could tell me how I would really appreciate it. Now to answer your question on what Norman did 406 Sqn I don't know. I found out through an article in an old Air Canada newspaper that my great grandmother must have saved that he was with 406 squadron then later trained to be a flight engineer with 420 squadron. I believe he did this in 1943. I know that 406 sqn was formed in 1941 as a night fighter sqn then in '44 swithced to something else I forget what it was.

Chris
Chris,

As far as i am aware, you apply to Veteran Affairs in Canada, but i am really no expert on obtaining RCAF airmen's service history.

Perhaps Ian, or Karl can jump in here and offer Chris a more detailed reply on how to go about obtaining a copy of his Great Grandfather's service history?

Regarding the Loss Cards Chris - they appertain to an *aircraft*, not an individual crewman. They detail the circumstances surrounding the loss of an aircraft, but they also list, man by man, the crew. On the card for LW674 the Flight Engineer (Binnie) and the Wireless Operator (Brakes) are shown as having evaded capture and escaped back to the UK. I can't see any way that the Loss Card can be wrong there, as those two chaps were indeed the only 2 survivors. An Escape and Evasion Report for each airman is filed and available for viewing at the Public Record Office in London, UK. I have copies of all the Escape and Evasion Reports that appertain to 1 Group airmen, but as your Great Grandfather was in 420 Squadron, part of 6 Group, i'm afraid my collection doesn't really help you very much!! However, if you can provide me with a postal address, i will gladly send you a copy ofthe Loss Card. If you would like a copy of it, please send me an email with your postal address to gregATgreg-harrison.co.uk (replacing the "AT" with an "@").

Best wishes as always,

Greg

"You can take the boy out of Wales,
But you cannot takes Wales out of the boy"
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Joined: December 31st, 2004, 6:29 pm

January 3rd, 2005, 10:30 pm #18

Thank you everyone for you're info, I appreciate it.

Chris
This is nothing important but is humorus. My great grandfather and his crew accidentily got lost over Bremen during a mission and were dancing on top of flak. Both the outer fuel tanks were holed and they ended up landing at an American drome called Hethel or Ethel. When they tried to refuel he aircraft the gas poured on the ground and had to be sent bak to the factory.

Chris
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Joined: December 31st, 2004, 6:29 pm

January 3rd, 2005, 10:32 pm #19

Hi Chris

There was a William Etienne Joseph Brayley who was with 158 Sqn and was shot down on 10/4/44, succesfully evading capture. He came from Monreal West. Don't know if this is your man and unfortunately I don't have a photo either

Cheers

Eddie
This is the man I was looking for. He was shot down and ended up evading capture in the Fretval Forest along with my great grandfather.

Chris
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Rodusek
Rodusek

January 3rd, 2005, 10:56 pm #20

This is nothing important but is humorus. My great grandfather and his crew accidentily got lost over Bremen during a mission and were dancing on top of flak. Both the outer fuel tanks were holed and they ended up landing at an American drome called Hethel or Ethel. When they tried to refuel he aircraft the gas poured on the ground and had to be sent bak to the factory.

Chris
Forgot to add the ground crew counted 96 flak holes!!!

Chris
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