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Operation Freshman


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#1 englandphil

englandphil

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 09:01 PM

Operation FRESHMAN was an operation mounted during the night of 19/20 November 1942, using gliders and airborne Royal Engineers to sabotage German production of the atomic bomb at a heavy water plant at Vermork in Norway.

The heavy water plant was situated on a rock shelf 1,000 feet above a river requiring a precipitous climb and was unsuitable terrain for parachutists or gliders. It was decided a glider borne landing would be attempted on a landing zone five hours marching distance away. The raiders would be guided by a ‘Rebecca-Eureka’ radio location device to the landing zone and then by Norwegian guides to the objective. Once the objective was destroyed, the group had to extract across the mountains to Sweden.

The operation required a force of 12 to 16 skilled engineers, who had to be duplicated due to the hazardous nature of the task. They were selected from volunteer parachutists of the 9th Field Company and 261st Field Company RE and were commanded by two RE Lieutenants: A C Allen and D A Methuen. The group departed towed by two Halifaxes from 38 Wing RAF during the early evening 19th November 1942 in marginal weather conditions. Only the Halifax bomber was then capable of towing a glider for 400 miles and returning to base.

Only one aircraft returned. The fate of the others was not known until after the war.

The first aircraft reached its objective landing site, but ice formed on the tow rope which prematurely broke. The glider crashed on to the mountainside. Eight of the 17 men inside were killed and nine captured, of whom four were injured. Five were shot and the injured poisoned by a German doctor on Gestapo orders. The Halifax Tug got back.

The second tug-glider group crash landed near Helleland. The aircraft crew were killed and three of the glider complement also died. Survivors were shot within a few hours of capture under the terms of the infamous ‘Commando Order’ issued by Hitler.

Though Operation FRESHMAN failed, largely due the breakdown of the homing beacon, this first British glider operation demonstrated the range, versatility and flexibility of determined airborne soldiers.

Staff Serjeant Malcom Strathdee and Serjeant Peter Doig took part in operation Freshman, flying Airspeed Horsa Glider, serial number DP 349, one of two Gliders involved in the operation. Taking off at 17:45 on the 19th November 1942, from RAF Skitten, a Coastal Command Airfield four miles North-West of Wick, the Glider and Tug encountered dense fog northwest of Rjukan which it found it difficult to emerge from it. Fuel was getting low and both plane and glider started to collect ice, rapidly lost altitude. The glider released but crash landed at Fylgjesdalen north of Stavanger,killing the two pilots and 6 of the passengers.

Staff Sergeant Strathdee was born in Croydon, before moving to Southampton. At the outbreak of war, he was a member of Royal Armoured Corps before transferring to the Glider Pilot Regiment (Army Air Corps). Sergenat Doig was born and resided in Glasgow


Name: DOIG, PETER
Initials: P
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Serjeant
Regiment/Service: Glider Pilot Regiment, A.A.C.
Unit Text: 1st Glider Pilot Regt.
Age: 25
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 3250420
Additional information: Son of Alexander and Jean Lindsay C. Doig, of Glasgow.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 12.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: STRATHDEE, MALCOLM FREDERICK
Initials: M F
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Staff Serjeant
Regiment/Service: Glider Pilot Regiment, A.A.C.
Unit Text: 1st Glider Pilot Regt.
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 320272
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 11.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

As well as the two Glider pilot, 6 members of 9th (Airborne) Field Company where killed when Glider DP-349 crashed and after initially being buried in the hills near the spot where the crash took place, where later interred at the Eiganes Churchard at Stavanger. Lieutenant David A Methven, was commanding officer of the company of Engineers on board Glider DP-349


Name: METHVEN, DAVID ALEXANDER
Initials: D A
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy;
Age: 20
Date of Death: 20/11/1942
Service No: 210866
Awards: G M
Additional information: Son of Maj. and Mrs. D. M. Methven.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 21.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: HEALEY, FREDERICK
Initials: F
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Serjeant
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 29
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 4385760
Additional information: Son of Frederick and Rhoda Alice Healey; husband of Thurza Healey, of Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 22.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: HUNTER, JOHN GLEN VERNON
Initials: J G V
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 22
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 2110332
Additional information: Son of John G. V. and Margaret Hunter, of Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire; stepson of Janet Hunter, of Lennoxtown.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 23.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: JACQUES, WILLIAM
Initials: W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 261 (Airborne) Field Park Coy.
Age: 30
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 2114930
Additional information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Jacques; husband of Elizabeth Jacques, of Arnold, Nottinghamshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 24.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: NORMAN, ROBERT
Initials: R
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 22
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 2110268
Additional information: Son of Robert and Annie A. Norman, of Brechin, Angus.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 25.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: SIMKINS, GEORGE
Initials: G
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Driver
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 261 (Airborne) Field Park Coy.
Age: 30
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 1884423
Additional information: Son of George and Alice Simkins; husband of Bessie Simkins, of Romford, Essex.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 26.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD


Nine members of those onboard Glider DP-349 suvived the crash, Corporal James Cairncross, Driver Peter Farrell, Lance Corporal Trevor Masters and Sapper Eric Smith, all suffered serious injuries, and after recieving help from locals become prisoners of war. They were were taken to the Lagårdsveien jail, where after having been given lethal injections by Werner Fritz Seeling, a German Luftwaffe Doctor. After falling into semi-conscious states, the four prisoners were subjected to tourture by the Gestapo, during which time 3 of the prisoners where strangled and a fourth shot in the head on the night of Thursday, 24 November and morning of Friday 25th November 1942.

The following day all the bodies were collected by truck and driven to the quayside. They still wore the head and arm bandages from after the crash at Fylgjesdalen. The four corpses were sunk at a few hundred metres’ depth off Kvitsøy Island. They have never been recovered.



Name: CAIRNCROSS, JAMES DOBSON
Initials: J D
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Corporal
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 22
Date of Death: 19/11/1942
Service No: 2110314
Additional information: Son of Robert and Elizabeth Cairncross, of Hawick, Roxburghshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 5. Column 1.
Memorial: BROOKWOOD MEMORIAL

Name: FARRELL, PETER PAUL
Initials: P P
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Driver
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 26
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 2010213
Additional information: Son of Michael and Elizabeth Farrell; husband of Bridget Farrell, of Marylebone, London.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 7. Column 3.
Memorial: BROOKWOOD MEMORIAL

Name: MASTERS, TREVOR LOUIS
Initials: T L
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 25
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 1872832
Additional information: Son of Harry and Lucinda Masters; husband of Teresa Jane Masters, of Cobh, Co. Cork, Irish Republic.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 5. Column 2.
Memorial: BROOKWOOD MEMORIAL

Name: SMITH, ERIC JOHN
Initials: E J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 24
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 1892979
Additional information: Son of Frank George and Daisy Amelia Smith; husband of Phyllis Smith, of Paddington, London.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 7. Column 1.
Memorial: BROOKWOOD MEMORIAL

The remaining five members of the 9th (Airborne) Field Company, who survived the crash of DP-349 despite all suffered injuries. After the crash they were given medical help by local norwegians but were taken prisoner by the Germans soon after. They were taken to a German concentration camp at Grini, near Oslo where they were in solitary until the 18th November 1943 when they were collected by the German security police and conducted to Trandum, where they were shot. Their bodies were recovered in August 1945. They were buried with full military honours at Vestre Gravlund in Oslo.



Name: BLACKBURN, JAMES FRANK
Initials: J F
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 28
Date of Death: 18/01/1943
Service No: 1900803
Additional information: Son of Frank George and Annie Jane Blackburn, of Isleworth, Middlesex; husband of Maisie Evelyn Blackburn.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 1. B. 8.
Cemetery: OSLO WESTERN CIVIL CEMETERY

Name: BONNER, FRANK
Initials: F
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 25
Date of Death: 18/01/1943
Service No: 1906932
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 2. B. 8.
Cemetery: OSLO WESTERN CIVIL CEMETERY

Name: JACKSON, WALLIS MAHLON
Initials: W M
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 18/01/1943
Service No: 4537415
Additional information: Son of Albert Edgar and Sarah Adelaide Jackson, of Meanwood, Leeds Yorkshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 2. B. 9.
Cemetery: OSLO WESTERN CIVIL CEMETERY

Name: WALSH, JOHN WILFRED
Initials: J W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 18/01/1943
Service No: 2073797
Additional information: Son of John and Mary Walsh, of Stretford, Lancashire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 2. B. 6.
Cemetery: OSLO WESTERN CIVIL CEMETERY

Name: WHITE, THOMAS WILLIAM
Initials: T W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 23
Date of Death: 18/01/1943
Service No: 1875800
Additional information: Son of Thomas and Ruth White, of Gilfach, Goch, Glamorgan.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 1. B. 9.
Cemetery: OSLO WESTERN CIVIL CEMETERY


The second Glider in the operation, a Horsa HS114, and its tug, a Halifax W7801 'B' Baker, took off at 18:00 from Wick. The tug was piloted by Flight Lieutenant A.R. Parkinson (Royal Canadian Air Force) and Pilot Officer G.W. Sewell de Gency RAF(VR) as co-pilot. The other crew members were Flying Officer A.T.H. Haward RAF(VR), Flight Lieutenant A.E. Thomas RAF(VR), Sergeant J. Falconer RAF, Flight Sergeant A. Buckton RAF(VR) and Flight Sergeant G.M. Edwards RAF(VR). This plane crashed at Helleland, Rogaland. All the crew were killed in the crash.

They were buried in the snow until Spring 1943, when their remains were recovered by local people and buried in herring boxes. In December 1945 their remains were reburied in


Name: BUCKTON, ALBERT
Initials: A
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Flight Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 23
Date of Death: 20/11/1942
Service No: 751516
Additional information: Son of Charles Gregory and Elizabeth Buckton, of West Hartlepool, Co. Durham.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 2.
Cemetery: HELLELAND CHURCHYARD

Name: EDWARDS, GEORGE MERCIER
Initials: G M
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Flight Sergeant (Air Gnr.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 24
Date of Death: 20/11/1942
Service No: 1259259
Additional information: Son of George Henry and Sidona Edwards.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 3.
Cemetery: HELLELAND CHURCHYARD

Name: FALCONER, JAMES
Initials: J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant (Flt. Engr.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force
Age: 20
Date of Death: 20/11/1942
Service No: 573120
Additional information: Son of Edward Smith and Jessie Falconer, of Edzell, Angus.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 5.
Cemetery: HELLELAND CHURCHYARD

Name: HAWARD, ARNOLD THOMAS HAYWARD
Initials: A T H
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Flying Officer (Obs.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 28
Date of Death: 20/11/1942
Service No: 115977
Additional information: Son of Henry Horace and Lilian Mary Haward, of Cuddington, Cheshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 1.
Cemetery: HELLELAND CHURCHYARD

Name: PARKINSON, ARTHUR ROLAND
Initials: A R
Nationality: Canadian
Rank: Flight Lieutenant (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Age: 26
Date of Death: 20/11/1942
Service No: J/5470
Additional information: Son of Arthur H. and Ethel Parkinson, of Lachine, Province of Quebec, Canada. B.Sc. (McGill University, Montreal).
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 4.
Cemetery: HELLELAND CHURCHYARD

Name: THOMAS, ARTHUR EDWIN
Initials: A E
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Flight Lieutenant (Obs.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 32
Date of Death: 20/11/1942
Service No: 101580
Additional information: Son of Edwin and Ethel Florence Maria Thomas; husband of Joan Cicely Thomas, of Bexhill, Sussex.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 6.
Cemetery: HELLELAND CHURCHYARD

Name: SEWELL DE GENCY, GERARD WALTER
Initials: G W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Pilot Officer (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 20
Date of Death: 20/11/1942
Service No: 116942
Additional information: Son of Rene Arnold and Suzanne Celine Lucie Sewell, of Bushey, Hertfordshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 7.
Cemetery: HELLELAND CHURCHYARD

Posted Image

The funeral service at Helleland Churchyard

The glider was flown by Pilot Officer N.A. Davies and his co-pilot was Pilot Officer H.J. Fraser. Both were officers in the Royal Australian Air Force.
Norman Arthur Davies was born in Melborne, the son of Herbert Arthur and Sophie Davies. Prior to the outbreak of war, Norman Davies was a farmer and graduate of Dookie Agricultural College, residing in Queen Street, Melbourne. His stated next-of-kin was his Father.
Herbet John Fraser was born in Bendigo; a town in Victoria approximately 75 miles north of Melbourne. His parents were Herbet John and Ida Marion Fraser. Prior to the outbreak of war, Herbert Fraser was a Carrier and lived in Bramble Street, Bendigo with his wife Elyn Avery Fraser.

This glider crashed approximately 2.5 kilometres north-east of Lensmannsgard, 400-500 metres north-west of Gasetjern, some four kilometres north from where the towing Halifax crashed killing both pilots.



Name: DAVIES, NORMAN ARTHUR
Initials: N A
Nationality: Australian
Rank: Pilot Officer
Regiment/Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Age: 28
Date of Death: 20/11/1942
Service No: 401422
Additional information: Son of Herbert Arthur and Hannah Sophie Davies, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 9.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: FRASER, HERBERT JOHN
Initials: H J
Nationality: Australian
Rank: Pilot Officer
Regiment/Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Age: 28
Date of Death: 20/11/1942
Service No: 401601
Additional information: Son of Herbert John and Ida Marion Fraser; husband of Elva Avery Fraser, of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 10.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

As well as the two Glider Pilots, Driver Ernest Pendlebury was also killed in the Crash, and was buried in Eiganes Churchyard.



Name: PENDLEBURY, ERNEST
Initials: E
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Driver
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 261 (Airborne) Field Park Coy.
Age: 25
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 2000197
Additional information: Son of William and Polly Pendlebury; husband of Marjorie Pendlebury, of Batley, Yorkshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 7.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD


The remaining 14 members of the glider were soldiers were captured and taken to the Slettebø camp at Egersund and, after thorough interrogation shot by members of the German camp guard, including the commaning officer Lieutenant, Alex Charles Allen.


Name: ALLEN, ALEX CHARLES
Initials: A C
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 261 (Airbourne) Field Park Coy.
Age: 24
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 137173
Additional information: Son of Horace Charles and Edna Allen, of Hugglescote, Coalville, Leicestershire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 13.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: KNOWLES, GEORGE
Initials: G
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Serjeant
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 28
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 1871585
Additional information: Husband of Lilian May Knowles, of Bromley, Kent.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 14.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: THOMAS, JOHN GEORGE LLEWELLYN
Initials: J G L
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Corporal
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 261 (Airborne) Field Park Coy.
Age: 23
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 2076750
Additional information: Son of Stephen and Maud Elizabeth Thomas, of Bath, Somerset.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 15.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: BRAY, FREDERICK WILLIAM
Initials: F W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 261 (Airborne) Field Park Coy.
Age: 29
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 1884418
Additional information: Son of George and Alice Bray; husband of Lily Beatrice Bray, of Edenbridge, Kent.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 3.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: CAMPBELL, ALEXANDER
Initials: A
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 261 (Airborne) Field Park Coy.
Age: 24
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 1923037
Additional information: Son of Alexander and Catherine E. Campbell, of Grangemouth, Stirlingshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 2.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: WILLIAMS, GERALD STANLEY
Initials: G S
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 18
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 1948916
Additional information: Son of David Humphrey and Olive Williams, of Doncaster, Yorkshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 16.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: BAILEY, ERNEST WILLIAM
Initials: E W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 31
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 1869293
Additional information: Son of Walter and May Bailey; stepson of Mrs. L. E. Bailey, of Paulsgrove, Hampshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 17.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: GRUNDY, CHARLES HENRY
Initials: C H
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 22
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 1886725
Additional information: Son of Harold and Agnes Grundy, of Salford, Lancashire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 18.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: LEGATE, HERBERT J.
Initials: H J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 1922713
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 19.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: FAULKNER, THOMAS WILLIAM
Initials: T W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 22
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 2115238
Additional information: Son of Charles Henry and Florence Faulkner, of Hereford.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 1.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: BEVAN, HOWELL
Initials: H
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 9 (Airborne) Field Coy.
Age: 22
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 2074196
Additional information: Son of Lewis and Elizabeth Bevan; husband of Violet Irene Bevan, of Bermondsey, London.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 4.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: SMALLMAN, LESLIE
Initials: L
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 261 (Airborne) Field Park Coy.
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 2068169
Additional information: Son of Thomas and Ellen Smallman, of Hednesford, Staffordshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 6.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: STEPHEN, JAMES MAY
Initials: J M
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sapper
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 261 (Airborne) Field Park Coy.
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 2010697
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 8.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

Name: BELFIELD, JOHN THOMAS VERNON
Initials: J T V
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Driver
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 261 (Airborne) Field Park Coy.
Age: 26
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 2016305
Additional information: Son of Thomas Henry and Eliza Belfield, of Longnor, Staffordshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 5.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD

A memorial now stands on the spot where they were executed.



Posted Image

Posted Image


Edited by englandphil, 06 February 2010 - 09:16 PM.

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#2 James Daly

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 09:22 PM

Sapper Bailey is on my Portsmouth ROH list. He's also from the neighbourhood where I live. I've tried to do some research on him locally to find out exactly where he came from, but I've drawn a blank so far.

Before and during the war Paulsgrove was a very small area - literally a few pig farms and a couple of streets. It only really expanded after the war as a new estate and overflow for bombed-out inner city areas. Theres still quite a few prefabs. Both of my sets of grandparents moved to Paulsgrove in the late 40's and early 50's from the inner-city.
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#3 Gage

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 09:28 PM

Some Operation Freshman here

http://www.ww2talk.c...s-norway-2.html
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'There I stood at the bar, wearing a Mae West, no jacket, and beginning to leak blood from my torn boot. None of the golfers took any notice of me - after all, I wasn't a member!' Kenneth Lee - after being shot down on the 18th August 1940.

Andree Borrel (Denise) SOE

♫ Now wicked tongues can speak and rewrite history But you can't keep the truth contained And like the song was sung Realize we're one and we're here to stay 


#4 Stormbird

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 10:18 PM

Additional information; source Ray Mears: The Real Heroes of Telemark

Op Freshman was the first WW II op for glider-insertion of commandos. Never before had a tow been tried over a similar distance.

After having performed the attack on the heavy-water plant at Vemork, the soldiers were supposed to have walked by foot in heavy winter conditions for more than 400 kms to the neutral Sweden.

The result was not only a human tragedy; it was a tactical disaster as well: 34 highly trained commandos and 10 aircrew were dead, 3 aircraft lost, and after having revealed the purpose of the mission, the Nazis performed heavy reinforcements of the plant at Vemork.

The Gestapos responsible were tried and sentenced in the War Crimes Court after the war.

:poppy: S

Edited by Stormbird, 07 February 2010 - 09:53 AM.
Misquoting

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#5 izzy

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 11:26 AM

Phil nearer to you Whiston Library had a copy of a book that had been Published by a Norwegian author who had researched Operation Freshman.The book was Translated from the Norweigan edition. Can't find it at hand at the moment but Author and Local Historian Chris Sheldon fron Derbyshire published a book on one of the the servicemen killed on Operation Freshman he was a local lad of the Village named on a war Memorial. Will dig it out and Give you the Soldiers name and were he came from.
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#6 wtid45

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 11:50 AM

There is a book called Operation Freshman by Richard Wiggan, and also a chapter on Op Freshman in the book The 9th, history of 9 Para R.E, by Tom Purves.
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#7 izzy

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 12:49 PM

Phil the book by Chris Sheldon is about John Thomas Vernon Belfield of Longnor Staffordshire. Published October 2009
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#8 spidge

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 01:38 PM

This is the Plaque of a group and the Australians.

My other photos of the Church, cemetery and Headstones are Bitmaps up to 850kb however the forum limit is a mere 20kb so they will not upload.

Attached File  Stavanger Slettleboe Plaque Davis and Fraser.jpg   31.05K   3 downloads
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Spidge,


My project is the collection of over 11,400+ RAAF Headstone/Memorial photos located in 70 countries during WW2 and the 360+ from WW1. Can you assist? Do you know someone that can?
-------------------------------------------------------
My Signature photo is the Battalion history of WW2 and the patch of the 2/8th battalion. (Blood & Bandages)
My Avatar is my dad, Gunner Frederick Edwin Swallow "C" Company, 2/8th Battalion, 19th Brigade, 6th Division AIF. Critically wounded on the first attack on Tobruk, January 21st 1941.



 


#9 englandphil

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 01:40 PM

Phil the book by Chris Sheldon is about John Thomas Vernon Belfield of Longnor Staffordshire. Published October 2009


Cheers Izzy
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#10 wtid45

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 09:31 PM

IN REGARD TO., Name: BRAY, FREDERICK WILLIAM
Initials: F W

Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 261 (Airborne) Field Park Coy.
Age: 29
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 1884418
Additional information: Son of George and Alice Bray; husband of Lily Beatrice Bray, of Edenbridge, Kent.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 3.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD. I FOUND THIS LINK. Bill Bray - A Hero of Telemark - Raid on the Heavy water plant at Rjukan
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BORN BRITISH, WELSH BY THE GRACE OF GEOGRAPHY!

#11 Peter Clare

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 10:49 PM

IN REGARD TO., Name: BRAY, FREDERICK WILLIAM
Initials: F W

Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 261 (Airborne) Field Park Coy.
Age: 29
Date of Death: between 19/11/1942 and 20/11/1942
Service No: 1884418
Additional information: Son of George and Alice Bray; husband of Lily Beatrice Bray, of Edenbridge, Kent.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Z. 3.
Cemetery: STAVANGER (EIGANES) CHURCHYARD. I FOUND THIS LINK. Bill Bray - A Hero of Telemark - Raid on the Heavy water plant at Rjukan



The following is taken from. 'Though Without Anger' - Colin Cummings....


19 November 1942

Horsa I HS114

This glider crashed about 3 miles away from the tug aircraft and the two pilots and driver pendlebury were killed on impact. The remaining soldiers several of whom were injured were taken to an army barracks at Slettebo near Egersund where they were murdered and their dobies buried on the sea shore at Brusand.

P/O. Norman Arthur Davies 28 RAAF
P/O. Herbert John Fraser 28 RAAF
Lieutenant Alex Charles Allen 24 RE
Lance sergeant George Knowles 28
Corporal John George Llewellyn Thomas 23
Lance Corporal Frederick William Bray 29
Lance Corporal Alexander Campbell 24
Sapper Ernest William bailey 31
Sapper Howell Bevan 22
Sapper Thomas William Falkner 22
Sapper Charles Henry Grundy 22
Sapper Herbert J. Legate 24
Sapper Leslie Smallman 22
sapper James May Stephem 25
Sapper Gerald Stanley Williams 18
Driver John Thomas Vernon Belfield 26
Driver Ernest Pendlebury 25

May they rest in peace....:poppy:
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In remembrance of my father Sgt S. Clare R.A.F Missing from operations 13th August 1942. Never Known, Forever Loved.


#12 Simongt

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 02:08 PM

JGL Thomas was my father's cousin and they served together as Airborne Engineers. Dad was scheduled to go on this mission but was taken off to attend OCTU, another friend of theirs from Bath, Dusty Miller, was also scrubbed due to illness, leaving JGL to go. JGL lived at 1 Royal Crescent, Bath and I can remember attending his sister's funeral in the 1960's before the house was sold (now an hotel or museum?). Dad and Dusty both survived the war, serving in 4 Para RE at Arnhem, with Dad still ticking along heading for his 95th birthday
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#13 spidge

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 02:57 PM

Changed these from Bitmap to JPEG so I can load them.

Attached File  Slide3.JPG   67.98K   5 downloads

Attached Files


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Spidge,


My project is the collection of over 11,400+ RAAF Headstone/Memorial photos located in 70 countries during WW2 and the 360+ from WW1. Can you assist? Do you know someone that can?
-------------------------------------------------------
My Signature photo is the Battalion history of WW2 and the patch of the 2/8th battalion. (Blood & Bandages)
My Avatar is my dad, Gunner Frederick Edwin Swallow "C" Company, 2/8th Battalion, 19th Brigade, 6th Division AIF. Critically wounded on the first attack on Tobruk, January 21st 1941.



 


#14 Smudger Jnr

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 04:40 PM

Simon GT,

Hello and welcome to the forum.

Regards
Tom
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#15 horsapassenger

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 04:58 PM

Phil nearer to you Whiston Library had a copy of a book that had been Published by a Norwegian author who had researched Operation Freshman.The book was Translated from the Norweigan edition. Can't find it at hand at the moment but Author and Local Historian Chris Sheldon fron Derbyshire published a book on one of the the servicemen killed on Operation Freshman he was a local lad of the Village named on a war Memorial. Will dig it out and Give you the Soldiers name and were he came from.


I think the book you are referring to is called "Operation Freshman" by Jostein Berglyd translated from Norwegian by Tim Dinan. Published Leandoer & Ekholm Forlag, Stockholm 2006. ISBN 91-975895-9-4

John
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#16 Simongt

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 12:15 PM

Thanks Smudger, it looks interesting with a whole range of different areas of particular interest to me
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#17 Jedburgh22

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:29 PM

Attached are a few folios from DEFE2/219 the Combined Ops File on Op Freshman, the file also covers intelligence, glider pilot training. Engineer Training and E & E plans.

Attached Files


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#18 GPRegt

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:06 PM

Thanks for these. The comment from Churchill is brilliant.

Steve W.
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#19 James Daly

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:44 PM

I had a look at the missing personnel/war crimes investigations files at TNA when I was researching for my book - Sapper Bailey came from Portsmouth.
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#20 Philip Reinders

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:11 PM

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#21 Cee

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 02:43 PM

Hopefully this news report from 2009 on the expedition to recover the wreckage of Airspeed Horsa DP349 has not been posted before.

Operation Freshman Horsa Glider Recovery - YouTube
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#22 horsapassenger

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 04:40 PM

Thanks for posting - was it really only 2009? I saw some of the items recovered when I visited Shawbury.
Sqn Ldr Wann (featured in film clip)told me that he had a special interest as his father was an Airborne sapper.

John
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#23 Cee

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 04:59 PM

Thanks for posting - was it really only 2009? I saw some of the items recovered when I visited Shawbury.
Sqn Ldr Wann (featured in film clip)told me that he had a special interest as his father was an Airborne sapper.

John


John,

It was posted to Youtube in 2009. The story may well have been aired at an earlier time ... ?
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#24 Stormbird

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:53 PM

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There seems to be an imbalance in that the successful Telemark saboteurs have been appropriately recognised while - in my view- the operators of Freshman deserve a lot more acknowledge and fame for their bravery and sacrifice.

However, this can hardly be achieved by assigning new definitions to established terms. Is there any doubt as to who 'The Heroes of Telemark' were?

Disclaimer: I do not have access to the quoted magazine in question and have assessed from the presented front page only.
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#25 horsapassenger

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:52 PM

John,

It was posted to Youtube in 2009. The story may well have been aired at an earlier time ... ?



It would appear that the expedition was in September 2004. See attached link to Britain at war article. Britain At War March 2009

John
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#26 Cee

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:13 AM

It would appear that the expedition was in September 2004. See attached link to Britain at war article. Britain At War March 2009

John


John, thanks for clearing that up. By the way that's an excellent digital copy and I can't help but think my over sight was worth it. ...

:)
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#27 horsapassenger

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 06:44 AM

Cee

Agreed

John
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#28 spidge

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 08:06 AM

The loss details of the two RAAF airmen.

RAAF FATALITIES IN SECOND WORLD WAR AMONG
RAAF PERSONNEL SERVING ON ATTACHMENT
IN ROYAL AIR FORCE SQUADRONS AND SUPPORT UNITS

Source:

AWM237 65) NAA : A705, 163/27/171 Commonwealth Ware Graves records
Aircraft Type: Glider
Serial number: HS114 (Towed by Halifax W7801)
Radio call sign:
Unit: 38 Wing RAF

Summary:

On the 20th November 1942, a Glider from 38 Wing RAF crashed at Helleland, near
Egersund in the Stavenger area of Norway. The glider carried two RAAF members and
15 British Army personnel. Three were killed in the crash including probably the two
RAAF crew members. The other 14 were shot by a German firing party in Egersund
Camp.

Two gliders set out for Norway on the night of 19/20th November 1942, in an attempt to
destroy a heavy water plant of vital importance in German atom bomb experiments. The
glider was towed across the North Sea by a Halifax aircraft without incidence, but
visibility was bad and the weather deteriorated until they were flying blind in thick cloud.
At the estimated time of arrival over the target area, ice formed on the towrope and
snapped it. The Intercom was also severed. That was the last seen of the glider. The
Halifax returned to base on thee engines.

Crew:

RAAF 401422 PO Davies, N A (Pilot)
RAAF 401601 PO Fraser, H J (Pilot)

Both the crew are buried in the Stavanger (Eiganes) Churchyard, Norway.

From: The Scottish War Memorials Project :: View topic - Skitten Airfield, Caithness (Operation Freshman)

Memorial on the roadside by the former Skitten Airfield.

Attached File  Skitten-Airfield 5.jpg   108.58K   1 downloads

Attached Files


Edited by spidge, 07 April 2012 - 08:19 AM.

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Spidge,


My project is the collection of over 11,400+ RAAF Headstone/Memorial photos located in 70 countries during WW2 and the 360+ from WW1. Can you assist? Do you know someone that can?
-------------------------------------------------------
My Signature photo is the Battalion history of WW2 and the patch of the 2/8th battalion. (Blood & Bandages)
My Avatar is my dad, Gunner Frederick Edwin Swallow "C" Company, 2/8th Battalion, 19th Brigade, 6th Division AIF. Critically wounded on the first attack on Tobruk, January 21st 1941.



 


#29 irmurray

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 10:12 AM

Hi all,

Does anyone know the names of the crew of the Halifax which returned safely from Operation Freshman? I have found online the names of all the men who died on the operation, but not the survivors, except for Hedley Duckworth, who was the Flight Engineer on the Halifax. Thanks for any information.

Regards,

Iain.
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#30 DaveB

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 12:02 AM

Does anyone know the names of the crew of the Halifax which returned safely from Operation Freshman? I have found online the names of all the men who died on the operation, but not the survivors, except for Hedley Duckworth, who was the Flight Engineer on the Halifax. Thanks for any information.

Regards,

Iain.





Missed this request the first time around – only noticed it now while looking for something else. The second pilot on the Halifax was apparently Flying Officer Victor David Kemmis RAAF 403594

He served pre-war in the militia and transferred to the RAAF in 1941 – he remained in the RAAF until he discharged 16 Sep 1957 as a Squadron Leader from TAS SQN ATC, by that time he had received a new service number under the post-war restructure - O21985.

Oddly enough, I can’t locate a service file for him at the NAA – he has a file held at the AWM, the NAA has his militia file and a casualty file from an incident in 1947

******************************************************************

Kemmis, Victor David; Army Number - 266134; Date of birth - 15 September 1914 (only digitised file – pre-war militia)

RAAF Headquarters - Accident to Viking VL 231 [A82-1] - Date 17.12.1947 at Mallala - Pilot Squadron Leader V D [Victor David] Kemmis 403594

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