78 Sqn Halifax W7698

Anonymous
Anonymous

December 24th, 2017, 5:03 pm #11

Hi All,

I'm after a bit more information regarding Halifax S/N W7698.

My Great Grandfather, 1378938 Sgt James Strang, was an Air Gunner on the aircraft (Rear I believe).

I've done a bit of research already and found what I seem to be able to online:

I know that it took off from RAF Croft at 2255hrs on 1 Jun 42 as part of the Thousand Bomber Raid of Essen. I believe it was involved in a collision before crashing on 2 Jun 42.

I have also found the details of the other members of the crew:

45071 Sqn Ldr Geoffrey Douglas Leyland (PoW)
J/4773 Plt Off Lloyd George 'Hap' Geddes, RCAF (PoW)
1307368 Sgt Claude George Pugsley (PoW)
1069578 Sgt Wilfred Brookes (KIA)
335281 Sgt Joseph Edward Richard Lyons (KIA)

My Gt Grandfather and the other two who were killed, are all buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Holland.

I've also found out through the National Archives that it was the same crew and airframe involved in the Thousand Bomber Raid of Cologne on 30/31 May 42.

What I would really like to know is, is it possible to find the fuselage code? Everywhere I have looked so far lists it simply as EY-?. It would be good to know whether or not it would be likely that I would find this out. Also it's probably a longshot but would anyone have any photographs of this particular airframe? I'm quite keen to get a model made up that would be as historically accurate as possible.

Anymore information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Ally
http://www.mhfh.com/geddes-lloyd-george-hap/
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Jan
Jan

January 19th, 2018, 4:58 pm #12

Hi All,

I'm after a bit more information regarding Halifax S/N W7698.

My Great Grandfather, 1378938 Sgt James Strang, was an Air Gunner on the aircraft (Rear I believe).

I've done a bit of research already and found what I seem to be able to online:

I know that it took off from RAF Croft at 2255hrs on 1 Jun 42 as part of the Thousand Bomber Raid of Essen. I believe it was involved in a collision before crashing on 2 Jun 42.

I have also found the details of the other members of the crew:

45071 Sqn Ldr Geoffrey Douglas Leyland (PoW)
J/4773 Plt Off Lloyd George 'Hap' Geddes, RCAF (PoW)
1307368 Sgt Claude George Pugsley (PoW)
1069578 Sgt Wilfred Brookes (KIA)
335281 Sgt Joseph Edward Richard Lyons (KIA)

My Gt Grandfather and the other two who were killed, are all buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Holland.

I've also found out through the National Archives that it was the same crew and airframe involved in the Thousand Bomber Raid of Cologne on 30/31 May 42.

What I would really like to know is, is it possible to find the fuselage code? Everywhere I have looked so far lists it simply as EY-?. It would be good to know whether or not it would be likely that I would find this out. Also it's probably a longshot but would anyone have any photographs of this particular airframe? I'm quite keen to get a model made up that would be as historically accurate as possible.

Anymore information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Ally
For those interested... Though the aircraft crashed in Germany, just off the Dutch-German border, it is listed in my "World War II Allied Aircraft Crashes in The Netherlands & North Sea"; Have a look at https://www.airwar4045.nl

Jan
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Joined: March 2nd, 2018, 11:27 am

March 2nd, 2018, 5:04 pm #13

Hello Sarah and any interested others,

                     At the beginning of this week your GG Joseph was on my tree as the husband of a 1st cousin once removed.  The only fact I knew of him was obtained from the CWGC.  Thanks to "freebmd" giving this childrens places of birth I summised he was a full time Airman not H.O.
                      
                     Given this I tried the National Archive, after much scratching around I managed to download the combat report or something like that for 78 Squadron 1/2 June 1942 which turned out to be right.  I then struggled to find a list of personnel and was redirected to "Find my Past".  Entered Joseph Lyons and his number 335281 1919 - 1940 and got zilch. Tried various combinations to no avail.  In desperation I just put his name in and up came his enlistment sheet giving a description of him and parents names etc. and a DIFFERENT service number 326830, if you have "Find my Past" just do that if not I can e-mail you a copy. 
     
                      Armed with this I went back to the National Archive and still got nothing.   As I live nearer to Kew than you (about 2 1/2 hours away) at some time I will go and hopefully get a copy of his later enlistment record.  Unless of course some kind soul reading this who lives nearer volunteers!  I won't be yet as we are snowed in.

                       My address is les.mills46@btinternet.com,  look forward to hearing from you.

                               Best regards,
                                                      Les 
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Joined: March 2nd, 2018, 11:27 am

March 7th, 2018, 10:42 am #14

Tony wrote: Hi Ally

Give me a couple of days on the ORB's (I have the ORB's from Sep '39 up to the end of '43) as I'll check backwards from the date of the last flight to see how many other Ops that specific crew flew. No problem in sending you the memorial images and should you need any further info on 78 Sqn please ask when convenient

Kind Regards

Tony H

tonyhibberd752@yahoo.co.uk
Hello Tony,
                      If possible I would very much like a copy of your 78 squadron group photo.  The husband of my mothers first cousin should be on it.  He was Joseph Lyons killed in W 7698 2nd June 1942.  I am in with a chance of recognising him as he was only 5ft. 4ins, a small chest and he was 40 years old.  I am at present hoping to get his record from Cranwell.

                      Best regards,
                                               Les
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