To Find missing relatives of lost crew members

Christine Astley
Christine Astley

October 29th, 2006, 11:46 am #1

I am trying to find out about the last flight my father made and also to find any relatives of the missing crew. The aircraft took off from RAF St Davids at 2135 hrs on the 10th June 1944 and was detailed to an anti submarine patrol in the area south of the Brest Peninsula. He was a navigator on a Halifax No JP.167which was operating with 58 Squadron(whatever that means) His name was Reginald Geoffrey Ash( known as Geoff)and he was a Flight Lieutenant He never returned from this flight and nothing was heard of him again Is there anything anyone can tell me about this battle what it was called and how many planes were lost how many came back Was the weather to blame or were there too many German submarines. Why was it that no messages were received from the aeroplane after the 1st one at 00 22 hrs giving a first sighting would they not have radioed to say they had been hit or wouldn't some of the other planes have seen what happened to them ?
My Father joined the RAF straight from school at 17 in 1936 and went right through the war until1944 when he was reported missing I need to find out more about his career and especially his death.

Crew details were:

84949 F/L JJ Hopkin-Hill Pilot
1316726 F/S E Wiles 2nd Pilot
48669 F/L RG Ash Navigator
1304764 Sgt PH Douglas Wireless Operator/air gunner
1374970 Sgt TB Preston Wireless Operator/air gunner
A.425345F/S HM Crostie Wireless Operator/air gunner
1567900 Sgt W Farquharson Flight Engineer
1524740 Sgt H Chadwick Wireless Operator/mechanic/air gunner



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Karl Kj
Karl Kj

October 30th, 2006, 11:03 pm #2

Dear Christine, I have just checked my sources and found out your father was on a Coastal Command Halifax and not a Bomber Command Halifax.

RAF 58 Squadron was used for anti-submarine duties to hunt down U-boats. In my record sources I find at least five 58 Squadron Halifaxes that were shot down by U Boat crews so this was dangerous duty.

BUT none of these Halifaxes that were recorded as shot down by the Uboats fit the date and time of the patrol of your fathers Halifax.

I will look further on his missing Halifax.

It should be pointed out that after mid-1943 the Uboat crews were told by their command to shoot it out with the Allied submarine partol aircraft and not to dive underwater when the aircraft attacked. This must be part of the story of the loss of JP167 and her crew.

With regard to your fathers crew and their relatives I found the following:

Hopkin-Hill, James no address - Squadron leader
Wiles, Kenneth Edward " "
Douglas, Philip Hulme - wife was Agnes Davis Douglas of Edinburgh
Preston, Thomas Baxter - father/mother John + Margaret of Edinburgh
Crostie, H M nothing at all!?
Farquharson, William -nothing
Chadwick, Harry - nothing

Hopefully this will help a bit.

Perhaps the other researchers here can add to this, please bounce back with any further info you have and we can help fill in more info for you.

Cheers, Karl


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Christine Astley
Christine Astley

November 6th, 2006, 7:01 pm #3

Thank You for your reply. I have re read the letter that was sent by the Ministry of Defence to me when I asked for my Fathers records-----
"Our records show thatF/Lt Ash was the navigator on HalifaxJP167which was operating with No 58 Squadron. The aircraft took off from St Davids at 21.35hrs on 10th June 1944, and was detailed to an anti submarine patrol in the area southof the Brest Peninsula.A message was received at 00 .20 hrsgiving a first sighting report of 3 enemy destroyers, and 2 E boats. No further messages were received from the aircraft, which did not return from the patrol."
I hope perhaps that some relatives of any of the other crew members might have seen this to see if they could tell me any more but nobody else has been in touch . Do you think that my fathers plane would have been blown apart in the sky or they would have been on fire and knew they were going to die if so wouldn't they have got a message back to say they were going down as they had been hit . Also one more thing . Inmy Fathers records it was said that he had been mentioned in dispatches in June 1942 can you tell me what this means and what ge would have done for this ?
I hope you dont mind me asking these questions. Thank you for your interest
Kind Regards
Christine
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Eddie Fell
Eddie Fell

November 6th, 2006, 8:19 pm #4

Your man shown as Crostie is actually 425345 Herbert McROSTIE RAAF.

I have checked his record at the National Archives of Australia but his Service Record is not yet open

If you go to

http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/ResearcherScreen.asp

and enter his service number you will find 2 files. One is his service record, the other (A705) is his casualty file. You can e mail the NAA at

ref@naa.gov.au

Put his name in as a heading and then as the content of your message write

'Could you please open and place onto your searcheable database the Service Record of 425345 Herbert McRostie'

His Casualty file is open but not yet digitised. Click on the A705 and follow the instructions.

With these files you will generally find copies of correspondence and anything that may be known about the loss. They don't open instantly and you will see in the instructions that you should check back from time to time

Good luck

Eddie
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Anonymous
Anonymous

November 12th, 2006, 10:55 pm #5

Thank You for your reply. I have re read the letter that was sent by the Ministry of Defence to me when I asked for my Fathers records-----
"Our records show thatF/Lt Ash was the navigator on HalifaxJP167which was operating with No 58 Squadron. The aircraft took off from St Davids at 21.35hrs on 10th June 1944, and was detailed to an anti submarine patrol in the area southof the Brest Peninsula.A message was received at 00 .20 hrsgiving a first sighting report of 3 enemy destroyers, and 2 E boats. No further messages were received from the aircraft, which did not return from the patrol."
I hope perhaps that some relatives of any of the other crew members might have seen this to see if they could tell me any more but nobody else has been in touch . Do you think that my fathers plane would have been blown apart in the sky or they would have been on fire and knew they were going to die if so wouldn't they have got a message back to say they were going down as they had been hit . Also one more thing . Inmy Fathers records it was said that he had been mentioned in dispatches in June 1942 can you tell me what this means and what ge would have done for this ?
I hope you dont mind me asking these questions. Thank you for your interest
Kind Regards
Christine
Re: Looking for information on Father Geoffrey Ash
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Christine Astley
Christine Astley

November 16th, 2006, 9:32 am #6

No message has come through it just says" message from anonymous"
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Christine Astley
Christine Astley

December 10th, 2006, 4:47 pm #7

There wasn't any message attached to the heading please get in touch again
Regards
Chris
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Christine Astley
Christine Astley

December 10th, 2006, 4:57 pm #8

Your man shown as Crostie is actually 425345 Herbert McROSTIE RAAF.

I have checked his record at the National Archives of Australia but his Service Record is not yet open

If you go to

http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/ResearcherScreen.asp

and enter his service number you will find 2 files. One is his service record, the other (A705) is his casualty file. You can e mail the NAA at

ref@naa.gov.au

Put his name in as a heading and then as the content of your message write

'Could you please open and place onto your searcheable database the Service Record of 425345 Herbert McRostie'

His Casualty file is open but not yet digitised. Click on the A705 and follow the instructions.

With these files you will generally find copies of correspondence and anything that may be known about the loss. They don't open instantly and you will see in the instructions that you should check back from time to time

Good luck

Eddie
How did you find out that Herbert Mc Rostie was Australian I have done what you said and have got all his records Do you know if there is any way I can get hold of my fathers records( Geoffrey Ash) when I asked at the archives for them about 10 years ago they sent me very few details about him nothing hardly about what he did in the warand most of them were illegible anyway do you know if the service records of Air Force men who served in the war are on line as the Australian ones are?
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Eddie Fell
Eddie Fell

December 10th, 2006, 9:18 pm #9

Hi Chris

McRostie's Service No. tells me he was an Aussie. Unfortunately our Govt. isn't as forthcoming as the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian authorities. In the UK they seem to think it is some sort of state secret as to where a man trained etc. Nothing on line at all I'm afraid

If you have already tried the Personnel Management Agency at Innsworth then you have the places he trained and served.To find out the details of any Operations he flew, you will need to examine the Sqn Operations Record Book. These are held at the National Archives at Kew. The reference is Air 27/553 for 1944/45. Avisit there would be your best bet.

Suggest you look at

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/default.htm

This gives information you will need

Cheers

Eddie
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Chris Astley
Chris Astley

December 11th, 2006, 4:53 pm #10

Thanks for the information
Regards
Chris
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