Assistance with RAF Glider Pilot killed on Varsity 24.03.45

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by welshmedals, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Good stuff Cee,

    I know (somewhere!) I have a few old history society newsletters (in German) from the area. When (if!) I can get to them tonight I'll post up anything that looks connected.

    Kind regards, always,

    Jim.
     
  2. VarsityGlider305

    VarsityGlider305 Active Member

    Going back to the pilots, Kelsall was reported as missing in the Manchester Evening News on 6th April 1945. I don't have a subscription to the British Newspaper Archive but maybe someone who does would be kind enough to take a look. This is cut and pasted from the search results page. I used the search terms "Kelsall Glider Pilot" date range 1945-1945.

    Manchester Evening News Lancashire, England
    6 Apr 1945
    ROLL °F I 1. Sergt. Pilot K. A. Kelsall ' (R.A.F.H aged 21, Cricket-st., Old Traflford (missing, believed killed).

    (I take no credit for the odd characters which have been copied over!)

    Couldn't find anything for Wates. Maybe someone else will have better luck.


    Jenny
     
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  3. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    VarsityGlider305,

    Excellent find, here is the article you found with a photograph of Kelsall too!
     
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  4. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Good morning Cee, and all.

    Apologies for not getting to post this last night. Here now is the complete paragraph regarding the 1st (Airborne) Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles initial objectives on landing for Operation Varsity (from "THE RIFELS ARE THERE" by David Orr and David Truesdale).

    Kind Regards, always,

    Jim.

    RUR Tasks.jpg
     
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  5. VarsityGlider305

    VarsityGlider305 Active Member

    Thanks brithm. Always good to put a face to the name too.

    Jenny
     
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  6. welshmedals

    welshmedals Junior Member

    Folks so in summary

    All it look like two Gliders Crashed here at Hamminkeln the same time approx 10.30 both crewed by RAF Pilots:

    Chalk 19 flown by F/O WJ Wates and Sgt F Kelsall which carried the Ox and Bucks. This hit the railway line and disintegrated as featured in the photos.

    Chalk xx flown by F/Sgt T Parkinson and Sgt W Tyson which carried Major Vickery and a detachment of the Ulster Rifles. This hit the station building.

    The four RAF pilots were buried together at the time in the field at the west side of the station by the Army Chaplain, this was north of the RUR men who were buried separately adjacent the station. The Chaplain could have been Rev A Nimmo 1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles Chaplain?
     

    Attached Files:

  7. VarsityGlider305

    VarsityGlider305 Active Member

    Hi welshmedals,

    Can you confirm where this pairing comes from please? Wot! No Engines? has GPR pilot S/Sgt WC Pavitt paired with Tyson (page 237). The same also says Parkinson served in E squadron rather than F (page 235). Sorry to throw a spanner in your fine work.

    Jenny
     
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  8. welshmedals

    welshmedals Junior Member

    Jenny,

    Well done, I stand corrected yes you are quiet correct it was possibly Tyson and Pavitt in the other Glider which crashed. Pavitt was an Army Glider Pilot Regiment member. He was buried with the other Army casualties in the same location as Vickery. Including other GPR members so my hypothesis could be wrong.

    Glider Regiment Casualties Database
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi welshmedals,

    That's an interesting theory. I just assumed it was one glider that smashed into a station building and disintergrated partially on the track near the Bruner crossing. Sgt. Christie, AFPU was in an elevated position when he took photos BU2305 and BU2404. All he had to do was turn a little to his left and he would have captured the remains of the building that was supposedly struck.

    I started off this thread being confused by what was being called the "station" and its location. The actual Hamminkeln Railway Station is to the north situated near the end of An der Windmuhle on Guterstrabe. It was built in 1917 and is still in use today. During the battle the Ox & Bucks used this building as their Regimental HQ. For example the station mentioned in an account of CQMS Thomas Faulkner on the Pegasus Archive is the same one. As you say field grave site 216493 was located near here.

    Hamminkeln Station Today.jpg

    The December 2002 edition of the Hamminkeln Ruft magazine is devoted almost entirely to the history of the Station. There is not a great deal of WW2 coverage but does contain a few interesting photos.

    H---Ruft-Nr.-40g_01.jpg

    Regards ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
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  10. alberk

    alberk Member

    Hello welshmedals,

    do you have the complete filled in "Graves Concentration Report Forms" for the whole 6th AB div for Operation Varsity? These would be of great interest to me. How many men are listed as killed during Operation Varsity?
    Thanks you - best
    alberk
     
  11. welshmedals

    welshmedals Junior Member

    Alberk I am afraid not these were just from the CWGC website.

    Richard
     
  12. alberk

    alberk Member

    Thank you, Richard!

    So, this probably means that I may find the complete lists there. I'll try my luck...

    Best
    Alex
     
  13. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hey,

    I'm not sure if this will be of interest? Sgt. Christie also captured the damaged locomotive and eastern fields north of his position near Bruner Strabe. He and his cine partner Sgt. Harry Oakes often shot the same scenes together. There is a static clip in a newsreel which shows a similar view north and was probably taken by Oakes. His Varsity clips compilation (A70 278-5) if it ever becomes available could have other shots near the crash site.

    Compare-Christie, Oakes.jpg

    Regards ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
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  14. alberk

    alberk Member

    Hello Richard,

    I visited the website, which has great research facilities. However, the copies of the form that you posted do not seem to be accessible.Or do you know how to do the trick?
    Regards
    Alex
     
  15. welshmedals

    welshmedals Junior Member

    Alex it’s on the individual persons result scroll down it took me a while to find. You have three options.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. alberk

    alberk Member

    Excellent - I followed your advice and got there. Thank you, Richard!
     
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