Cpl Frank Williamson AAC

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by arnhem2280, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. arnhem2280

    arnhem2280 Member

    I am wondering if anyone can help me with this query. Whilst doing some research I came across a 3241840 Cpl Frank Williamson DCM who was also awarded the MM. Both of the headings in the London Gazette just show the awards as being for Gallant and Distinguished services in the Field but no clue as to the campaign.

    I have searched for the recommendations but so far can't find them anywhere. Williamson is shown on the Pegasus Archive as being a member of 2nd Parachute Battalion and for receiving his DCM for Arnhem. He is also shown in 'Honour to the Airborne' as being in the same battalion and receiving the DCM for Arnhem. It is quite possible that the information on the archive was just copied from the book.

    This all came about when I found a small photo of Sgt Frank Williamson as a member of the GPR being captured at Arnhem in his local newspaper and then went off at the wrong tangent and thought the two men were one and the same which they clearly are not.

    Any ideas re Cpl Williamson's battalion or citations would be gratefully received.

    I have just carried out a couple of extra checks and found he may have been a member of 2nd Parachute Battalion who was captured in N Africa and later escaped. He may then have served with 6th Airborne in 13th Battalion but all this is in the early stage of checking.


  2. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Here's what on Find My Past, tallies with what you said POW 1941 then 1943 then casualty lists 1945.

    The casualty lists would give his unit.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Interesting ...... a TNA search for service number 3241840 shows zero results

    There is a confusing entry when searching for Frank Williamson as it throws up Harry Frank Williamson Parker who won an MM in North Africa with the Army Air Corps
    Recommendation for Award for Parker, Harry Frank Williamson Rank: Private ... | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 373/1/382
    Name Parker, Harry Frank Williamson
    Rank: Private
    Service No: 4620407
    Regiment: Army Air Corps
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia)
    Award: Military Medal
    Date of announcement in London Gazette: 15 June 1943
    Date: 1943

    But his service number is nothing like the one in post 1

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  5. arnhem2280

    arnhem2280 Member

    Thanks for all the help. I think I have it sorted out now with a bit of help from those on and off the forum. I have attached an image of a press cutting that started it all which may be of interest to those like me that have an interest in the Glider Pilot Regiment.
    Apert from the subject of this thread I am also searching for info on two other glider pilots who were both captured at Arnhem 14323788 Sgt R E hanson who was a member of 'F' Sqdn and was posted as missing after Arnhem and 6343264 S/Sgt E Stephenson who was a member of 'D' Sqdn and was captured at Arnhem. I cannot find their Liberation reports and the only mention of either of them is from the list in Glider Pilots at Arnhem. I have trawled through the newspaper archives with no luck as I was hoping to find a photo of one or both of them.
    Once again thanks for all the help with the Williamson conundrum. I have seen his POW report and he was definitely captured in N Africa and awarded the MM for his successful escape. I still can't find anything on his DCM though.


    Attached Files:

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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945

    Name: R E Hanson
    Rank: Serjeant
    Army Number: 14323788
    Regiment: Army Air Corps
    Record Office: Army Air Corps and Army Catering Corps Record Office, Drill Hall, East Claremont St., Edinburgh 9
    Record Office Number: 45

    Name: E J Stephenson
    Rank: Serjeant
    Army Number: 6343264
    Regiment: Army Air Corps
    POW Number: 117747
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: XI-B
    Camp Location: Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony
    Record Office: Army Air Corps and Army Catering Corps Record Office, Drill Hall, East Claremont St., Edinburgh 9
    Record Office Number: 45

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  7. DougieC

    DougieC New Member

    Cpl Frank Williamson (3241840) was my grandfather. He was in AAC, as part of 2 Para 'C' (Jock) Company, seconded from the Gordon Highlanders. We tried to find out what his citations for both MM and DCM were, but the War Office and Military archives both claim that the records were lost in a fire 30/40 years ago. He never spoke about his war experience, as that generation didn't. We found out after his death that he was captured, detained as a POW, and escaped unsuccessfully several times until his final successful escape. We were also informed that he was wounded whilst on a subsequent operation, which prevented him from being at Arnhem with his company/battalion.
    If you have any information which you could share about his citations, or indeed anything of his war record, we would be incredibly grateful.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  8. wibs12

    wibs12 Well-Known Member

    Found this article in The Motherwell Times, 19th April 1946.... will keep looking,

    Screenshot 2019-12-19 at 17.15.40.png
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  9. wibs12

    wibs12 Well-Known Member

    More newspaper articles..... sorry they take up a chunk of space but they're worth posting. With the size of the files I'll put in separate posts.

    They are similar but have little titbits of info that dads to the story.

    The Daily Record, 19th November 1943
    Screenshot 2019-12-19 at 17.20.11.png
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  10. wibs12

    wibs12 Well-Known Member

    Last one..... The Belshill Speaker, 6th October 1944

    Screenshot 2019-12-19 at 17.21.34.png
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  11. wibs12

    wibs12 Well-Known Member

    This is from the WWII DCM citations list..... frustratingly it's on a page where other citations have a full narrative as to why the award was made, but not in Cpl Williamson's case.

    Others may be able to answer these questions that the image prompts:
    1. What does the reference to ME 1942 suggest
    2. What does POW Pool mean
    3. What does the date 03.08.44 suggest re the MM ..... date of action, date awarded, date gazetted?
    4. Does the ref LG 11.4.46 suggest his DCM was awarded at that time or gazetted on that date (searched for it and cant find it)

    Screenshot 2019-12-20 at 12.16.37.png
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    DCM London Gazette entry is dated 11/4/46. Most dates in official lists refer to when awards were gazetted.
    I noted that the DCM article makes reference to "in action", possibly even prior to being taken POW. Many awards were delayed until facts could be verified, either because the potential recipient and or witness were POW.

    (It's also quite possible that citations were never kept on file... see just one example explanation below and see the note "No papers..." on the copy of LG stamped "449"
    Screenshot 2019-12-20 at 13.00.50.png )

    The MM was gazetted on 3/8/44 as per TD's link given previously

    Located some info in WO 373/95 but haven't time to go through the files thoroughly, one list states 2 PARA.
    Screenshot 2019-12-20 at 12.51.25.png
    Screenshot 2019-12-20 at 12.52.25.png
    Screenshot 2019-12-20 at 12.51.25.png
    Screenshot 2019-12-20 at 13.01.44.png

    By the way, I found the above by looking at the LG entry and searching for another name/number listed, ie 6977705 Brodison and so locating a TNA file within WO 373 series.

    Unfortunately I couldn't find any TNA entries for a couple of DCMs also listed in LG same date (11/4/46). It's been known for some time that there are some LG dates for which there are no corresponding files in Series WO 373.
  13. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    "M.E. 1942" I think (and I will happily stand corrected) refers to where and when Corporal Williamson would have firstly been made a POW. Middle East (maybe?) 1942. This would be in/around Oudna in Tunisia.

    "POW Pool" may well be a reference to the pool of prisoners taken by the Axis forces at that time.

    Kind regards, always,

    dbf likes this.
  14. DougieC

    DougieC New Member

    Wow! Thank you so much, everyone, for all of the information you have provided. It has really given us more of an insight into the reasons for his citations.

    Looking at all of the gen you have provided, I suspect that I'm going to have to pay a visit to Kew to do some further investigation! I have just finished reading an interesting book (SAS: Shadow Raiders by Damien Lewis), covering Operation Colossus and Operation Biting - my grandfather was part of the latter - and he has provided a full bibliography, including various National Archives reference numbers. I suspect that he was MID for this particular raid, and I am hoping that this will be a starting point to find out more!

    I will certainly post any relevant information, if found, on this forum to 'square the circle'!

    Thanks again,
    JimHerriot likes this.
  15. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    For DougieC (Dougie)

    I posted up a magazine article (from the 60s or 70s maybe) re Op Biting (Bruneval) in the thread "Airborne Ephemera" (link below).

    It won't add anything to Damien Lewis' recent book but it may still be of interest to you, and there's a whole host of other stuff within said thread that your Grandfather would have been through/around/recognised.

    Airborne Ephemera

    Good luck with all your endeavours Dougie, your Grandfather would truly have been "Ready for Anything".

    Kind regards, always,

    dbf likes this.
  16. Mr Brian C closs

    Mr Brian C closs New Member

    is Frank Williamson was my Grandad, was in 2nd Battalion C company. Took part in the Operation Biting raid, Capturing the radar operator. Was not in Market Garden due to being wounded.
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  17. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    Cpl Williamson was captured at Pondefar, near Tunis, on 3 December 1942 whilst attempting to capture the airfield. He escaped from Camp 70, Monte Urano, on 13 September 1943 in company with Sgt Laughland and Cpl Stirling, also members of 2 Para, and Pte Neston from the Royal Tank Regiment. there was one other member of the party but his name is not known. The party were recaptured by German paratroop troops at Calentino on 4th October but Williamson was able to escape by jumping from a window on 12th October. The others, with the exception of Cpl Stirling, who remained a POW, also made their escapes by the same route about 30 minutes later. Williamson met up with Allied troops on 14th October.
    Mr Brian C closs likes this.

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