Halifax Mk11 JD211

Halifax Mk11 JD211

Joined: March 17th, 2015, 9:15 pm

March 17th, 2015, 9:34 pm #1

Hi All,
This is my 1st post so bear with me. My uncle was a rear gunner on a Halifax Mk11 based at RAF Station Melbourne from April to July 1943. He took part in the 165 Bomber assault on the Peugeot Motor Plant at Montbelliard Eastern France. Unfortunately he failed to return home and was officially declared as Lost without trace. After 4 years of research I have found out what happened and where he crashed. He was attacked by a Dornier 217 twin engine German nightfighter. The pilot took evasive acti0on, he accelerated and dropped altitude and came into view from the ground. Eye witnesses saw my uncle shoot the engine of the night fighter but out of control it collided into the Halifax and with wings entwined both aircraft plummeted to the ground, crashing into the railway station at Besancon some 50 miles west of the target. I have been to the site and seen the grave that reads Two Airmen of the 1939-1945 War. Royal Air force 16th July 1943.
I have since presented all my research to the Air Historical Branch (RAF) and in December 2013 they wrote to me confirming that there was clear and conclusive evidence that my uncles plane did crash at Besancon and the grave does contain members of the crew of Halifax JD211. A further correspondence from the JCCC two weeks ago informed me that they intend to change the headstone to read Here lies members of the crew of the RAF Halifax Bomber JD211. Also they will hold at graveside blessing with the RAF Padre and Bugler, probably in June/July this year.
Is there any one who knew members of this crew or was at Melbourne around that time. Is there any pictures of the base at that time or indeed the actual aircraft. My father is now 90 years old and would love to see any pictures people might have.
Is there any one who may know relatives of the crew. I have managed to trace relatives of 4 of the crew members but 2 still elude me.
I would love to hear from anyone who may have anything of interest.
Sorry to ramble
may thanks
Andy
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Joined: October 29th, 2004, 12:19 am

March 22nd, 2015, 4:42 pm #2

Hi Andy, You said you found the relatives of 2 of the crew, I have all the names of the crew of Halifax JD211. Which ones did you find and which ones did you NOT find. This will help me with research on this Halifax as I am a Director of Halifax 57 Rescue.

The "Air Historical Branch" of the UK and the the Ministry of Defence of the UK most likely have the actual postwar crash investigation of JD211, called the "MRES report" but they will NOT give it out to the relatives. This is because it is "too sensitive" in nature with all the details of what bodies they found during investigation-exhumation. I do not agree with this Brit policy but there you have it. I live in Canada.

I will work with you on this if you send me more details BUT send it to my email address and not this forum.

My address is 57rescuecanada AT rogers.com replacing the spaces and "AT" with the correct symbol.

Cheers, Karl
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Joined: April 1st, 2015, 6:50 pm

April 1st, 2015, 7:05 pm #3

Hi All,
This is my 1st post so bear with me. My uncle was a rear gunner on a Halifax Mk11 based at RAF Station Melbourne from April to July 1943. He took part in the 165 Bomber assault on the Peugeot Motor Plant at Montbelliard Eastern France. Unfortunately he failed to return home and was officially declared as Lost without trace. After 4 years of research I have found out what happened and where he crashed. He was attacked by a Dornier 217 twin engine German nightfighter. The pilot took evasive acti0on, he accelerated and dropped altitude and came into view from the ground. Eye witnesses saw my uncle shoot the engine of the night fighter but out of control it collided into the Halifax and with wings entwined both aircraft plummeted to the ground, crashing into the railway station at Besancon some 50 miles west of the target. I have been to the site and seen the grave that reads Two Airmen of the 1939-1945 War. Royal Air force 16th July 1943.
I have since presented all my research to the Air Historical Branch (RAF) and in December 2013 they wrote to me confirming that there was clear and conclusive evidence that my uncles plane did crash at Besancon and the grave does contain members of the crew of Halifax JD211. A further correspondence from the JCCC two weeks ago informed me that they intend to change the headstone to read Here lies members of the crew of the RAF Halifax Bomber JD211. Also they will hold at graveside blessing with the RAF Padre and Bugler, probably in June/July this year.
Is there any one who knew members of this crew or was at Melbourne around that time. Is there any pictures of the base at that time or indeed the actual aircraft. My father is now 90 years old and would love to see any pictures people might have.
Is there any one who may know relatives of the crew. I have managed to trace relatives of 4 of the crew members but 2 still elude me.
I would love to hear from anyone who may have anything of interest.
Sorry to ramble
may thanks
Andy
Hi Andy

My wife's uncle was a navigator, however on the night of the crash, he was the bomber in the Halifax JD211, and this week his sister saw a message in the local paper searching for any relatives - after contacting Nicola Nash, she was also informed of all the plans to hold a graveside blessing this year. His name was Reginald Arthur Burrell, and he was aged 21.
After many years of searching, to no avail, this has been news, although obviously sad, that the family have been desperate to find out.
Thank you so much for all of your perseverance - it's very much appreciated, and hopefully many members of the family will be able to attend the service in Dijon, where we can bring some photographs of Reg along with us, and hope to see you there.
If anyone reading this has any photographs / anything of any interest / are attending the service, it will be great to hear from you too.
Many thanks
Martyn
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Joined: April 1st, 2015, 6:50 pm

April 1st, 2015, 7:08 pm #4

Hi Andy, You said you found the relatives of 2 of the crew, I have all the names of the crew of Halifax JD211. Which ones did you find and which ones did you NOT find. This will help me with research on this Halifax as I am a Director of Halifax 57 Rescue.

The "Air Historical Branch" of the UK and the the Ministry of Defence of the UK most likely have the actual postwar crash investigation of JD211, called the "MRES report" but they will NOT give it out to the relatives. This is because it is "too sensitive" in nature with all the details of what bodies they found during investigation-exhumation. I do not agree with this Brit policy but there you have it. I live in Canada.

I will work with you on this if you send me more details BUT send it to my email address and not this forum.

My address is 57rescuecanada AT rogers.com replacing the spaces and "AT" with the correct symbol.

Cheers, Karl
Hi Karl
I have e-mailed you regarding the name of the missing airman
Many thanks
Martyn
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Joined: April 1st, 2015, 6:50 pm

April 5th, 2015, 11:51 am #5

Hi All,
This is my 1st post so bear with me. My uncle was a rear gunner on a Halifax Mk11 based at RAF Station Melbourne from April to July 1943. He took part in the 165 Bomber assault on the Peugeot Motor Plant at Montbelliard Eastern France. Unfortunately he failed to return home and was officially declared as Lost without trace. After 4 years of research I have found out what happened and where he crashed. He was attacked by a Dornier 217 twin engine German nightfighter. The pilot took evasive acti0on, he accelerated and dropped altitude and came into view from the ground. Eye witnesses saw my uncle shoot the engine of the night fighter but out of control it collided into the Halifax and with wings entwined both aircraft plummeted to the ground, crashing into the railway station at Besancon some 50 miles west of the target. I have been to the site and seen the grave that reads Two Airmen of the 1939-1945 War. Royal Air force 16th July 1943.
I have since presented all my research to the Air Historical Branch (RAF) and in December 2013 they wrote to me confirming that there was clear and conclusive evidence that my uncles plane did crash at Besancon and the grave does contain members of the crew of Halifax JD211. A further correspondence from the JCCC two weeks ago informed me that they intend to change the headstone to read Here lies members of the crew of the RAF Halifax Bomber JD211. Also they will hold at graveside blessing with the RAF Padre and Bugler, probably in June/July this year.
Is there any one who knew members of this crew or was at Melbourne around that time. Is there any pictures of the base at that time or indeed the actual aircraft. My father is now 90 years old and would love to see any pictures people might have.
Is there any one who may know relatives of the crew. I have managed to trace relatives of 4 of the crew members but 2 still elude me.
I would love to hear from anyone who may have anything of interest.
Sorry to ramble
may thanks
Andy
Hi Andy

My wife's uncle was a navigator, however on the night of the crash, he was the bomber in the Halifax JD211, and this week his sister saw a message in the local paper searching for any relatives - after contacting Nicola Nash, she was also informed of all the plans to hold a graveside blessing this year. His name was Reginald Arthur Burrell, and he was aged 21.
After many years of searching, to no avail, this has been news, although obviously sad, that the family have been desperate to find out.
Thank you so much for all of your perseverance - it's very much appreciated, and hopefully many members of the family will be able to attend the service in Dijon, where we can bring some photographs of Reg along with us, and hope to see you there.
If anyone reading this has any photographs / anything of any interest / are attending the service, it will be great to hear from you too.
Many thanks
Martyn
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HAROLD DUMMER
HAROLD DUMMER

April 5th, 2015, 1:21 pm #6

Hi All,
This is my 1st post so bear with me. My uncle was a rear gunner on a Halifax Mk11 based at RAF Station Melbourne from April to July 1943. He took part in the 165 Bomber assault on the Peugeot Motor Plant at Montbelliard Eastern France. Unfortunately he failed to return home and was officially declared as Lost without trace. After 4 years of research I have found out what happened and where he crashed. He was attacked by a Dornier 217 twin engine German nightfighter. The pilot took evasive acti0on, he accelerated and dropped altitude and came into view from the ground. Eye witnesses saw my uncle shoot the engine of the night fighter but out of control it collided into the Halifax and with wings entwined both aircraft plummeted to the ground, crashing into the railway station at Besancon some 50 miles west of the target. I have been to the site and seen the grave that reads Two Airmen of the 1939-1945 War. Royal Air force 16th July 1943.
I have since presented all my research to the Air Historical Branch (RAF) and in December 2013 they wrote to me confirming that there was clear and conclusive evidence that my uncles plane did crash at Besancon and the grave does contain members of the crew of Halifax JD211. A further correspondence from the JCCC two weeks ago informed me that they intend to change the headstone to read Here lies members of the crew of the RAF Halifax Bomber JD211. Also they will hold at graveside blessing with the RAF Padre and Bugler, probably in June/July this year.
Is there any one who knew members of this crew or was at Melbourne around that time. Is there any pictures of the base at that time or indeed the actual aircraft. My father is now 90 years old and would love to see any pictures people might have.
Is there any one who may know relatives of the crew. I have managed to trace relatives of 4 of the crew members but 2 still elude me.
I would love to hear from anyone who may have anything of interest.
Sorry to ramble
may thanks
Andy
Hi Andy
I had a brother who flew with 10 Squadron,unfortunately he lost his life In 1944 ,Do you know there Is a 10 Squadron Association,I f you join they have all of the Orbs and Diaries on line
but you must be a member to use these, there Is also a book called Melbourne Ten author Brian Rapier you should be able to get this through your Library 10 Squadron hold a memorial service at the entrance to the old airfield at Melbourne on each rememberance Sundays,they then all go to the local pub for Sunday luunch,the tower at Melbourne has been refurbished and has many photos and
memorabillia are on show, Hope this Is of some help
Harold Dummer
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Joined: March 17th, 2015, 9:15 pm

April 8th, 2015, 7:42 am #7

Hi Harold,
Thanks for you entry. Yes I am a member of 10 squadron and they have been most helpful. I also have the book titled Melbourne Ten. I have many docs to hand including the Night Raid Report, Loss Report Card, Operations Book entries etc. I have not got the Burial Detail docs as they are not in the public domain so remain locked away at the records of the CWGC.
We have had all our research investigated and varified by the AHB and will be attended the graveside blessing and unveiling of the new headstone in Besancon in July this year.
Thanks
Andy Clark
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Joined: April 29th, 2015, 8:14 pm

April 29th, 2015, 8:44 pm #8

I have details of the rededication service for JD211. It will take place on 10th June 2015 at 10.30 hrs. The location is at Besancon (St. Claude) Communal Cemetery in Besancon.
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