Squadron 10 Halifax JD314 Z-AX and HX186 ZA-E, RAF Melbourne, Yorkshire

Joined: February 28th, 2007, 5:39 am

May 10th, 2018, 10:05 pm #1

My uncle David Charles Grant (RAAF attached to the RAF) , a rear gunner,  was lost over Germany (near Boppard) with HX186 on the night of 20/21 Dec 1943.  However he was only filling in for an ill crew member that night, his regular aircraft being JD314 which, tragically,  was lost with all hands only a week later over Holland on 29 Dec 1943.

Of the crew of HX186 only two survived, being taken POW, the remains of one  were located in part of the fuselage in the Rhine but the rest of the aircraft and remains were never recovered.  Over the years I have had a wonderful amount of help with trying to locate these without any success but I've often wondered about descendants of my uncles' crew mates. A few years ago a sister of Canadian Robert Roos sent me some photos of some members of the crew of HX186, including my uncle, which are very much treasured by the family.  I would love to hear from anyone who had a connection with crew members of these two aircraft.

The crew of JD314when it went down  were:

1556996 - Fl. Sgt. - Pilot - Paul Brian Green - RAFVR - Age: 22 - Dunstonon-Tyne, Co. Durham, UK
Grave 449 - Ruinerwold General Cemetery - CWGC ref. 2820849
R/145968 - W/O Class II - Air Bomber - Robert Edward Roos - RCAF - Age: 20 - Mount Forest, ON, CAN
Grave 450 - Ruinerwold General Cemetery - CWGC ref. 2820850
1474360 - Sgt. - Navigator - Andrew Colbourne - RAFVR - Age: 20 - Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire, UK
Grave 452 - Ruinerwold General Cemetery - CWGC ref. 2820848
1254960 - Sgt. - Flt. Eng. - Walter Douglas Hall - RAFVR - Age: 23 - Wimbledon, Surry, UK
Panel 152 - Runnymede Memorial - CWGC ref. 1799154
169387 - P/O - ?W/O - Air Gnr.? - Stanley Webb - RAFVR - Age: unknown - UK
Panel 133 - Runnymede Memorial - CWGC ref. 1531142
1604813 - Sgt. - Air Gnr. - Donald Robert Cox Appleyard - RAFVR - Age: unknown - UK
Grave 453 - Ruinerwold General Cemetery - CWGC ref. 2820847
1003229 - Sgt. - Rear Gnr. - Philip John Greenmon - RAFVR - Age: 20 - Buttershaw, Bradford, Yorkshire, UK
Panel 151 - Runnymede Memorial - CWGC ref. 1798806 - .................................................................................................Philip was Uncle David's replacement.
Another man from Uncle David's regular crew was Wireless Operator Robert (Bob) Harris who was not on JD314 but died when on JN883  Z-AS went down with all hands on a mission to Berlin.

The crew of HX186 with which my uncle went down were:
Sgt W Borthwick RAFVR  (Pilot) - Killed, never recovered, commemorated on Panel 143 at Runnymede
Sgt C J Baxter (Navigator) - POW
Sgt A Hayes RAFVR (Flight Engineer) - POW
Sgt T Paling RAFVR (Wireless Operator) - Killed, never recovered, commemorated on Panel 161 at Runnymede
Sgt J M H Rochecouste RAFVR (Air Gunner) - killed, buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery
Sgt T G F Kingham RAFVR  (Bomb Aimer) - POW
F/Sgt D C Grant RAAF (Air Gunner) - Killed, never recovered, commemorated on Panel 192 at Runnymede
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Joined: October 29th, 2004, 12:19 am

May 11th, 2018, 3:41 am #2

Hi Glorydee, I have looked at the RCAF personal file for Robert Edwards ROOS and have extracted a photo of him from the file. Also, I assume you have a copy now of the of David Charles Grant file from the Australian archives, it is now online-digitised and free to look at.

So if you want anything from the ROOS file let me know, the Brit files are a pain in the you know what, it must be some kind of "propah tradition" even after 70 plus years, to keep all the families of these you bomber boys in the dark.

My email is     karl kj at rogers dot com        making the changes into the correct format.

Cheers, Karl - Director- Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada)
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Joined: February 28th, 2007, 5:39 am

May 11th, 2018, 10:48 pm #3

Hi Karj, I do have quite a few photos of Bob Roos among those his sister sent me.  The ones she sent included many of the crew members of the crew of JD314 including a group photo of the crew standing in front of their aircraft.  One of my surviving uncles at the time told me how David used to refer to the plane as "Ola" but nobody seemed to have a record of that.  Then, when I received the photos among them there was one of the whole crew standing at the front of the aircraft  and there, on the left hand side of the nose, is a painting of a woman with "Ola" printed underneath. What a wonderful surprise that was.  

The AWM (Aust War Museum) has digitised all of the WW1 service files but, with those from WW2, you have to request that a file be opened and examined (it used to be free to have it opened but now costs a fee) after which it's then digitised for public view at no cost to download.  Some years ago I paid the fee to have David's file opened which is why it's now available online ....did the same with my dad's although he made it home safely from the war. 

Regards, Gloria.
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Joined: October 29th, 2004, 12:19 am

May 12th, 2018, 2:28 pm #4

HI Glorydee, Have you seen or been emailing with Teunis Schuurman in Holland, he has a big website on crashes of WW2 aircraft in his local area and has this stuff from Halifax JD314  which I just saw, this may not be a live link but if you copy and paste it should work:  http://www.teunispats.nl/t3272.htm   I would like to get a photo of the GREEN crew in front of "OLA" if you would share that with me, my museum is the Bomber Command Museum of Canada and we are collecting "nose art" photos of all the bomber with Canadians on them, we have over 1,000 nose arts from Halifaxes and Lancs and Wellingtons. I see that JD314 has the squadron letter call sign "X for Xray" in RAF 10 Squadron. So "OLA" must be "O for OLA" but what is the serial number of "OLA", can you tell by looking in your Uncle's combat logbook what serial number is beside "O" when they flew "O"? You have my email address so hope you can share a photo of the OLA Halifax and Green crew. Cheers, Karl - Director - Bomber Command Museum of Canada
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Joined: February 28th, 2007, 5:39 am

May 13th, 2018, 1:41 am #5

Hi Karl...I'm sure that Bob Roos's sister would not mind at all if I send you the photo.  So many people have helped me thus far and paying it forward is a good thing.  I don't have David's combat log book as it now belongs to a cousin with whom I have little contact.  I've emailed her asking if she can check it out though and find out what serial number is beside "O"".

In the meantime, I'll email you with the photo.

Regards

Gloria
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Joined: February 28th, 2007, 5:39 am

May 13th, 2018, 11:25 pm #6

Hi Karl....... just checking that I formatted your email address correctly as I sent off two emails to you yesterday.  Did you get them?  

Gloria
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Joined: February 28th, 2007, 5:39 am

May 16th, 2018, 1:16 am #7

Karl,  my cousin has sent me the pages from David's combat log (or I guess that's what it is) and it gives no more clarity on whether JD314 was Ola. 

As I've said, David was lost when filling in as rear gunner on HX186 and JD314 went down a week later. David's log from December is, naturally incomplete, but in the first 3 weeks it shows that he was "attached to 1484 Gunnery Flight" on Whitley V's and he was on HX186 when he went down.

David was in Australia until Jan 1943 and in May arrived in Ab'don (Abbingson ??) where he remained from May until July 21.     In June and July it seems that he was in training on White V's and, in most cases, his pilot (or one of the pilots) was Green so I'm assuming it was Paul Green.  In August his unit is shown as being at Rufforth, 10 Sqdn Melbourne. For the next 3  months  he was always with Paul Green's crew  so I guess that Rob Roos was also on those same flights.  On 18.11.1943 the log shows that, on an ops over Mannheim "attacked by ME10 shot down same". 

However, the only IDs for the aircraft in which they flew  (and some of them were practice) are that it was always a Halifax II (shown at top of column) but with various alphas in the column.  In Sept, there were 4 flights with the alphas, L,O,K and K.  In Oct, there were 6 (J, H, E, E E, D) and 11 for Nov (E, E, D, E , F, G, G, C, S, S, G).

Hope this makes sense.
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Joined: February 28th, 2007, 5:39 am

May 16th, 2018, 1:16 am #8

**Abbingdon
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