Another Sunderland crash - RAF / RAAF

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by DaveB, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    I am trying to find out the fate of a RAAF casualty, who I think died in a Sunderland crash on 14th March 1945.

    The problem is that all searches for information keep coming back to aircraft ML743 which is relatively well known (see other thread link and attachment 1).

    This is what I know so far, any help would be appreciated -

    HUNT, Donald Eric (Warrant Officer) 423125

    Accidental (Flying Accident) (Cause of death from AWM ROH)

    Place - 75 miles south east of Sumburgh Head, Shetland Islands, North Sea

    14-Mar-45

    4 (C) Officers Training RAF (4OTU) - WO Hunt (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) was reported missing from a non-operational flight. No other information is recorded on the pers file. RAAF Casualty file not held by Archives. (AWM pdf - no known grave / no extra info) (cannot find on rafcommands). Info on the member's pers file points to him being part of a Sunderland crew at the time of his death




    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/war-air/18967-201-squadron-sunderland-ml743-crash.html
     

    Attached Files:

  2. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Best to look and ask on RAFCommands as not everything is on the web pages

    Sunderland DP178 of No.4 OTU
    Missing on night training exercise.
    15/3/45 - Sunderland III DP178 '-BA', crashed 14/3/45. Searches by 279 Sqn Warwicks 'D', 'E' & 'F' + two sqn Hurricanes. Rear gunner of 'F' caught fleeting glimpse of wreckage at 5945N 0020W at 14.40 on 15/3.

    Regards
    Ross
     
  3. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Best to look and ask on RAFCommands as not everything is on the web pages

    Regards
    Ross

    Thanks Ross - for some reason, I am struggling with the search function on rafcommands. I used to be able to check things pretty quickly to see if they have already been covered but it doesn't seem to work any more.

    Do I need to be logged on / registered to use the search function??

    Anyhoo, I might check my log-in details as I'm sure I have registered previously.

    Do you have a crew list for this flight?

    cheers


    Dave

    just found this, now that I have a tail number - F/O Peter W Berry was lost on 15/03/1945 while flying for Coastal Command, Sunderland DP178 alongside his Canadian companions F/L J M J Powell, F/L AG Rawland, F/O McElroy, W/O S G Cambell, W/O E W McCready, W/O W Gill, F/S E Dwyer, F/S W M Richmond, F/S E W Sivell.
     
  4. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    The story so far:

    Flying Officer Peter Warren Berry 174490 RAF was lost on 15/03/1945 while flying for Coastal Command, Sunderland DP178 alongside his Canadian companions (note: some casualties appear on the CWGC for 14/03/1945 & some for 15/03/1945):

    Flight Lieutenant Joseph Marcel Jacques Powell J/21587 RCAF

    Flight Lieutenant Arthur Gordon Rawland C/1841 RCAF

    Flying Officer Arthur Bowker Smith McElroy J/25428 RCAF

    Warrant Officer Class 1 Stephen Gordon Campbell R/92380 RCAF

    Warrant Officer Class 1 Ernest William McCready R/108312 RCAF

    Warrant Officer Class 1 Walter Gill R/142701 RCAF

    Flight Sergeant Eric Dwyer R/264718 RCAF

    Flight Sergeant William Merser Richmond R/225463 RCAF

    Flight Sergeant Edgar Walter Sivell R/271248 RCAF
     
  5. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    This is the list of Canadians killed on that day and the (3) on the 14th.

    Fallen Buddies Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force that fell on the same day as Eric Sivell:
    Arcand, Armstrong, Ball, Boddy, Bonter, Boulton, Bredin, Carleton, Cunningham, Davis, Edwards, Evans, Fournier, Galbraith, Garriock, Graham, Greenlee, Haberthur, Hamill, Haw, Holliday, Horne, Jones, Kossatz, Laing, Lawton, Llewellin, Marsh, Mccready, Mcelroy, Mcphee, Miller, Morin, Newton, Parkhurst, Paterson, Patry, Preston, Reeve, Repsys, Richards, Robinson, Small, Smith, Stafford, Stewart, Sutherland, Tait, Taylor, Thompson, Tree, White, Whitehead, Wort, Wright
     
  6. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    I have another Flying Boat crash that I am short a couple of bits of info for, this is what I have so far and I would like a complete list of who was on board and their fates. I have most of the names, but am lacking a few details:


    Short S.26 (G Class) Flying Boat X8274

    Place - Bay of Biscay

    20-Jun-41

    10SQN RAAF - aircraft attached from 119 Sqn RAF (info from AWM pdf). The aircraft “Golden Fleece” was lost during the course of a flight from RAF Mount Batten to Gibraltar. The aircraft crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, approx 100 miles north west of Cape Finnistere, Spain. (Nine on board killed, five survivors).

    Crew killed: BARRY, James (Pilot Officer) 400034 RAAF (Pilot) / CRAGO, William Thomas Roy (LAC) 205741 RAAF (Fitter 11E) / MEYRICK, David Francis (Flight Sergeant) 506585 RAF (119SQN) / WALLER, Albert Henry Sillifant (Sergeant) 759038 RAF (119SQN).

    365521 RAF Sergeant MASON, Henry Richard (119SQN) / Flight Lieutenant BOWES, George Henry 77027 RAF (119SQN) / Sergeant Fowler (?) + two others

    Survivors (all taken POW) : CORCORAN, Leonard George (Flight Lieutenant) (Air Gunner) 4503 RAAF - discharged 1946 / Sgt Alexander RAF (?) / Sqn Ldr S Long RAF (?) / Sgt J Hill RAF (?) / Brig Gen Tavenish (??)
     
  7. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Hi Dave

    F/Sgt D F Meyrick
    Sgt H R Mason
    Sgt A H S Waller
    P/O G H Bowes
    Sgt W F Alexander
    F/Sgt C E Fowler
    P/O J Barry RAAF
    Capt A Michel FAFL
    LAC W T R Crago RAAF
    Brig Gen Tavener
    P/O S G Long
    Sgt J E Hill
    Cpl L G Corcoran RAAF
    AC1 J Anderson

    Last five were PoW

    Regards
    Ross
     
  8. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Thanks Ross - that tidies up a few of the missing details and gives me a bit more to go on.

    Where is this info from?

    cheers


    Dave
     
  9. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Here is the update incorporating the info you provided plus some more details from the NLA newspaper archives:

    10SQN RAAF - aircraft attached from 119 Sqn RAF (info from AWM pdf). The aircraft “Golden Fleece” was lost during the course of a flight from RAF Mount Batten to Gibraltar. The aircraft crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, approx 100 miles north west of Cape Finnistere, Spain.

    Crew killed: BARRY, James (Pilot Officer) 400034 RAAF (Pilot) / CRAGO, William Thomas Roy (LAC) 205741 RAAF (Fitter 11E) / MEYRICK, David Francis (Flight Sergeant) 506585 RAF / WALLER, Albert Henry Sillifant (Sergeant) 759038 RAF / MASON, Henry Richard (Sergeant) 365521 RAF / BOWES, George Henry (Flight Lieutenant) 77027 RAF / FOWLER, Claud Ernest (Flight Sergeant) 512994 RAF / ALEXANDER, William Frederick (Sergeant) 508826 RAF/ Capt A Michel FAFL (Forces Aériennes Françaises Libres).

    Survivors (all taken POW) : CORCORAN, Leonard George (Corporal later Flight Lieutenant) (Air Gunner) 4503 RAAF - discharged 1946 / AC1 John ANDERSON / SqnLdr Samuel Godfrey LONG RAF / Sgt Julian Eustace HILL RAF / Brig Gen Roger Lewin TAVERNER 15972 of King's Shropshire Light Infantry who was awarded as Commander of the British Empire at the end of the war (for his actions as a POW ?)
     

    Attached Files:

  10. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    As normal a number of primary sources.

    Aircraft Movemet Card Form 78
    No.10 RAAF ORB
    No.119 ORB
    North Front ORB
    Pembroke Dock ORB
    CWGC cemetery/memorial lists
    FAFL commemoration lists

    Elimination from other ORBs

    Ross
     
  11. DonS

    DonS WO Donald Eric Hunt

    Dave B,

    423125 WO Donald Eric HUNT was my father's best mate through school at Newcastle Boys' High.

    I am about to travel to the UK and will be visiting Alness and Mount Batten where Don was based at various times with 10 Sqn RAAF - his actual squadron.

    The most detail I have found on the loss and location of Sunderland DP178 is in 'Dinghy Drop' by Tom Docherty. On pages 177-78 it records:
    "Then, on 14 March a Sunderland, DP178:B-A, on a training sortie from Alness, went missing. The next day WO Palmer was first away to commence a search in D/279 at 0711 hours from Fraserburgh, followed by F/O Coppock in Hurricane G/279, covering the area of the Morayy Firth out to Tarbet Ness. Neither aircraft had any success. Warwicks E/279 and F/279 were next away, flown by F/Lt Carmichael and F/Sgt Wood. At 1440 hours Carmichael's crew sighted the wreckage of a partially submerged aircraft, but unfortunately it was lost during a turn and could not be located. The rear gunner of F/279 also caught a fleeting glimpse of the wreckage in position 5945N 0020W."

    Don
     
  12. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Cheers Don - thanks for adding the extra info from the book to the thread, it helps fill in a lot of the blanks.

    Good luck with the visit to the UK, I believe that there are some good memorials to the basing of 10SQN RAAF in the Mount Batten area.


    Dave
     
  13. ChrisJohn289

    ChrisJohn289 New Member

    Hi, I dont know if this post is still being used, but I was searching Google and this came up!
    My Grandmother's first husband was Peter Berry, the Flying Officer onboard the flight which disappeared on 14th March 1945 (which coincidentally happens to be my birthday!) For this reason, I have always had/felt a certain connection to him.
    I dont know what information you know about the incident? Or if you are interested in what I know from my Grandmother (who has just turned 95, and is still with us!) I have the original telegrams she was sent when Pete, as he was known, was lost, and I also have somewhere a photograph she took of the entire crew when she travelled up to Scotland in December 1944.
    My uncle was just 3 weeks old when his father was lost. My Nan then remarried in 1952 to my grandfather, who served in the RAMC in Africa during WW2.
    I doubt, due to the passage of time, there are many other direct relatives of the Canadian crew still alive! ... I was truly amazed to find this information. I would love to know more. If you'd like to exchange info, that would be fantastic.

    I have added a photo of Pete as my icon on the left, just for posterity. Its nice to put names to faces, makes them real people I feel.

    Kindest regards, Chris John.
     
  14. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Thanks Chris John - I am glad that this info is still of use. Discussion threads like this never close so any new information is always welcome.

    Nice to see the photo of the pilot. Feel free to scan the crew photo & telegrams - I think it is a great way of making sure that the story of the loss gets remembered.

    cheers


    Dave
     
  15. Linda Kane

    Linda Kane New Member

    Hi Dave
    My grandfather was Henry Richard Mason and he was on the Golden Fleece flying boat that went down in the Bay of Biscay in 1941. My family were told very little about what happened. He worked with the flying boats and went with them when they were commandeered for the war. He was a ground engineer and should not have been on the plane. My grandmother always believed they were on a secret mission. I would be interested in any information that would explain why he was on the plane.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
    CL1 likes this.
  16. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron


    panel from Runnymede attached
    upload_2017-5-7_17-25-17.png
    MASON, HENRY RICHARD
    Rank:
    Sergeant
    Service No:
    365521
    Date of Death:
    19/06/1941
    Age:
    32
    Regiment/Service:
    Royal Air Force
    119 Sqdn.
    Panel Reference:
    Panel 48.
    Memorial:
    RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
    Additional Information:
    Son of Henry Richard and Anastasia Mary Mason; husband of Margaret Grace Mason, of Halton, Yorkshire.
     
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  17. DonS

    DonS WO Donald Eric Hunt

    Chris,
    I am very imterested in any information that you may have from your Grandmother in relation to the loss of the aircraft and crew.

    I am in contact with Don Hunt's sister, Margaret Sparke (93), and am in the process of trying to get a Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial for the Australian members of the crew (F/O Peter Berry and WO Don Humt)
     
  18. DonS

    DonS WO Donald Eric Hunt

    Chris,
    I imagine that your grandfather would be entitled to the same 5 medal set as Don Hunt was:
    1939/45 Star
    Atlantic Star (with Air Crew Europe Clasp)
    1939/45 Defence Medal
    Australian Service Medal 1939/45

    I would be very interested in a copy of the crew photo.

    My contact phone number is: 0428 657 806 03 9437 2383 (H)

    Don Shearman
     
  19. Berry

    Berry New Member

    Hi Dave and Don,

    With reference to your conversation regarding the loss of crew No.18 Group 4((C)OTU) aboard Short Sunderland 3 DP178 (Code 2TA) on 14th March 1945 and your search for, HUNT, Donald Eric (Warrant Officer) 423125 RAAF.

    Dave B was correct with the identification of the nine RCAF Canadian and one RAF UK Crew members, who can be pictured here;
    No18-4(OTU).JPG

    I've been trying to piece together information which could lead to Donald Hunt, but have so far not found anything substantial, have you yourself been able to find anything further ?

    Sincere Regards Stuart Warren Berry (Grandson of Peter Warren Berry (pictured front row far right)
     

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