425 Sqn RCAF

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by VicInIbstock, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. VicInIbstock

    VicInIbstock Member

    I'm trying to locate a local WW2 casualty by the name of Harry Gray (see alternative posting for HMS Registan). Harry was born in 1923 and a second potential candidate was a Flying officer with 425 Sqn.

    I've found a couple of search results that mention 425 Sqn was French-Canadian which probably rules out a lad born in a Leicestershire mining village. Can anyone confirm that 425 Sqn were manned by Canadian's and if there are any sources I could refer to find the date of birth for Flying Officer Harry Gray.
  2. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    No. 425 Sqn was a 6 Group unit so yes, RCAF. However not manned exclusively by Canadians.

    In this case, this Wellington (HE475) had 2 RCAF, 2 RAF and one RAAF as crew. Gray, the Air Bomber and R95511 Sgt John Maurice Leblanc, the Rear Gunner, were killed. The other three were POW.


  3. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Dishforth was the location where 425 Squadron was formed on 25th June, 1942. The nickname "Alouette" signifies the unique French-Canadian aspect of the squadron. The banner under the squadron crest in French reads "Je te plumerai," which translates to "I shall pluck you" in English. Prior to their first operational mission, 425 Squadron transferred to No. 6 (R.C.A.F.) Group on 1st January, 1943.Dishforth remained the base of operations until the unit moved to North Africa. Together with two other Canadian squadrons, 425 Squadron arrived at Beaufarik in May 1943, transferred to Kairouan/Zina in June, and finally moved to Hani East L.G. in September, spending about a month at this base. In November of 1943, the unit resumed operations from Dishforth following their return to England. In December the squadron was transferred to Tholthorpe where they spent the rest of World War II.

    Aircrew of 425 Squadron logged 3,649 sorties in Wellington and Halifax bombers. Lancasters were used for non-operational use at the end of the war to bring the crew home to Canada. The code "KW" designated aircraft operating with this squadron.
  4. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    wellington.jpg well1.jpg
    Gray H
    Pilot Officer 124318
    425 Sqd
    [​IMG] Wellington X HE475 KW-E
    Crashed near Lotzbeuren Killed
    Koln (Sud Friedhof

    Wellington X-3763 served with No. 425 Squadron, RCAF in the UK from September 1942, also coded "KW*E". Failed to return from mission to Stuttgart on 15 April 1943. Crashed at Mussey-sur-Marne (Haute Marne), on the W bank of the Marne, 8 km south of Joinville, France.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  5. dawallace

    dawallace Junior Member

    canuck likes this.
  6. VicInIbstock

    VicInIbstock Member

    And we have a winner, this is the lad. Many thanks all for the contributions especially dawallace for nailing that for me.
  7. GaryBrooks

    GaryBrooks New Member

    Hi there, Harry was my Grandma's (Ethel) brother. I'd like to collate as much information about his service as possible in terms of completed missions, any suggestions on resources would be greatly appreciated.

    I have one question, the pictures of KW-E about carry the serial number X-3763. Yet it would seem that Harry's KW-E was serial HE-475.

    Is likely that its the case that the KW-E was assigned to another new plane after the loss of Harry's plane? It's interesting as there is a lot of material about X-3763 (Airfix model, stamps and images).

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