Crew of Wellington NB824 524 Squadron, Langham, Norfolk

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by clothesnorth, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. clothesnorth

    clothesnorth Member

    I am searching for relatives of the Crew of Wellington MKX111 Serial NB824. 524 Squadron Coastal Command. This aircraft crashed on take-off at RAF Langham, Norfolk on 26 March 1945

    W/O John Brogan Pilot )
    Flt/Sgt Frederick A Harris Co-pilot )
    Flt/Sgt Leonard Shelton Cuthbert Navigator ) All killed
    Sgt Leonard Lewis Laming )
    I am a relative of Flt/Sgt Harris and am in touch relatives of W/O Brogan and Sgt Laming, but to date I have been unsuccessful in finding relatives of Flt/Sgt Cuthbert.

    Survived
    Sgt J Marston I know that he came from Hathershaw, Oldham.
    I have had no success from writing to the local press.
    Sgt D R Carter
    W/O C E Loftus
    I do not know the Christian names of the three survivors or their service numbers. It is possible there will be a ceremony for the 70th anniversary of this crash in 2015 so I am keen to find relatives of all the crew if possible. .
    Any help would be much appreciated
    Pat H.
     
  2. CL1

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

    Hello Pat

    casualties from CWGC below


    BROGAN, JOHN JOSEPH

    Rank:

    Warrant Officer

    Trade:

    Pilot

    Service No:

    655067

    Date of Death:

    26/03/1945

    Age:

    25

    Regiment/Service:

    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve



    524 Sqdn.

    Grave Reference

    Sec. K. Grave 1B.

    Cemetery

    STAMFORD CEMETERY

    Additional Information:
    Son of John and Mary Brogan, of Stamford.
    http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2359093/BROGAN,%20JOHN%20JOSEPH



    HARRIS, FREDERICK ARTHUR

    Rank:

    Flight Sergeant

    Trade:

    Pilot

    Service No:

    1399889

    Date of Death:

    26/03/1945

    Age:

    24

    Regiment/Service:

    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve



    524 Sqdn.

    Grave Reference

    Grave 2924.

    Cemetery

    ROMFORD CEMETERY

    Additional Information:
    Son of Cecil Frank and Alice Harris, of Dagenham.
    http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2427063/HARRIS,%20FREDERICK%20ARTHUR




    CUTHBERT, LEONARD SHELTON

    Rank:

    Flight Sergeant

    Trade:

    Nav./Bomber

    Service No:

    1339638

    Date of Death:

    26/03/1945

    Age:

    21

    Regiment/Service:

    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve



    524 Sqdn.

    Grave Reference

    Sec. M. Grave 201.

    Cemetery

    SALISBURY (LONDON ROAD) CEMETERY

    Additional Information:
    Son of Richard Henry and Ellen Adelaide Cuthbert, of Salisbury.
    http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2710167/CUTHBERT,%20LEONARD%20SHELTON


    LAMING, LEONARD LEWIS

    Rank:

    Sergeant

    Trade:

    W.Op./Air Gnr.

    Service No:

    1603656

    Date of Death:

    26/03/1945

    Age:

    22

    Regiment/Service:

    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve



    524 Sqdn.

    Grave Reference

    Sec. B. Grave 1002.

    Cemetery

    BLACKPOOL (CARLETON) CEMETERY

    Additional Information:
    Son of Leonard Lewis Laming and Elsie May Laming; husband of Joyce Hilton Laming, of Blackpool.
    http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2697665/LAMING,%20LEONARD%20LEWIS


    regards
    Clive
     
  3. CL1

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

  4. clothesnorth

    clothesnorth Member

    Thank you for the above. My biggest problem is that to find relatives of the three survivors I need their Christian names and/or service numbers. Particularly with Christian names I can go to Ancestry. I cannot think how to find these. I have got the ORBs for April and May, but although there is a number for Sgt Carter - he was posted out sick the next day - Forces War Records doesn't seem to find him and the ORBs do not give Christian names. Any ideas would be gratefully received!!
    Pat
     
  5. CL1

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

  6. clothesnorth

    clothesnorth Member

    Clive,

    I did this the other day, but to date have not had a reply. I guess it will take time. Having service numbers of the
    survivors would help. In the ORB it said that an inquiry would be held and I asked Hendon about this.
    It may not give us any more than the Wing Commander gave in the letter he wrote to my father-in-law, which we have.

    Regards.
    Pat
     
  7. clothesnorth

    clothesnorth Member

    Clive,

    For your interest. I have now received the Flying Accident Card. The starboard engine failed immediately on take-off, the failure being due a fatigue fracture of the crankshaft leading to severe internal damage. Possible cause was prolonged period ground running prior to take-off. The engineers in my family are interested in this.

    I am no further forward with relatives. I am hoping that the RBL will publish my letter and a photograph in their Lost Trails section of the Legion magazine.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Pat
     
  8. me474

    me474 Junior Member

    PAT, I have looked at the 524sqdn operational record book and the only member of the crew who survived and was posted sick was 1295425 sgt dr carter.
    The ORB does not list the crews service numbers when they were posted in on 6/12/44.
    The other 2 crew you may possibly track down there christian names from AIR78, because of there surnames being of the more uncommon it may be possible to find them by down loading the relevant AIR78 documents from the TNA at KEW, they are free to download.
    They contain allmost all of the enlisted raf personnel from its formation until 1972, listed in alphabetical order, service number and christian names are the only things listed.
    I have tracked many airmen who were survivors from a/c but had no other information, just need to search.
    My father was a w/op on 524sqdn 1944-45 and flew on several nights that the BROGAN crew also operated.
    regards GRAHAM.
     
  9. clothesnorth

    clothesnorth Member

    Graham, Thank you very much for your advice about AIR78. We were very interested to read that your father flew on some of the same operations that the Brogan crew were on. I have found an airman who I think is W/O Loftus in AIR78 and who became a Flying Officer - Gazetted in 1947. My next one is Sgt Marston. I wonder if you have any photographs of RAF Langham and/or personnel that you would be prepared to share with me. We do have a photo in the family archives of the crew in Palestine in 1944. I have identified John Brogan, Frederick Harris and David Laming in it. There are 6 in the photo, but of course, there were 7 in the crash. I would be happy to send you a scan of the photo if would send me your email address - not sure how we go about this!!
    Regards
    Pat
     
  10. me474

    me474 Junior Member

    HI PAT, glad the AIR78 was of some use, I will send you a pm with my details on I do have a photo of 524 sqdn from 1945 but it is I believe only officers, and I dont know what date it was taken, they are all seated in front of a WELLINGTON.
    My DAD is still with us, he is now in his 91st year and is in a nursing home, he has dementia so is not much use for information, although some days he does make sense.
    I do have his log books, but they only cover him and the operations he flew on, so do not contain any details which could be of use to you.
    GRAHAM.
     
    Carol Johnson likes this.
  11. clothesnorth

    clothesnorth Member

    This week sees the 69th anniversary of the crash of this Wellington bomber - Wednesday 26 March. I have now found relatives, including my own, of the four who lost their lives. However, may I appeal to anybody who has any knowledge of the three survivors or their relatives to get in touch with me via this website. With the possibility of a commemoration next year it would be a great pity not to have any representation from them.

    The survivors were:-

    Sgt J Marston I know that he came from Hathershaw, Oldham.
    I have had no success from writing to the local press.
    Sgt D R Carter
    W/O C E Loftus


    Pat
     
  12. clothesnorth

    clothesnorth Member

    I have had no success with finding relatives of the survivors, but I am now keen to find any relatives of LACW Ivy Cross BEM. Ivy drove her van across fields to try and rescue the crew of this bomber. She helped the survivors but was driven back by the flames from helping the others. For this, and other acts of bravery, she received the BEM. There is to be Commemoration of this crash and those KIA in March next year, the 70th anniversary. We are keen to find any relatives so that she is represented at this event.
    I have a photograph of her and also a copy of the citation for her BEM.

    Pat
     
  13. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    I did a birth search for LOFTUS from 1918 to Dec 1923 and only came up with two Males with the christian name beginning with "C" and one was C.G.

    This Charles LOFTUS would have been 22 which may be a little young for a Warrant Officer. Mothers maiden name CASSON. Loftus Charles Casson Prescot

    Going back further 1914-1917 there are no Males beginning with "C"!

    This is only for England and Wales however strange that there is only one possible.

    A further search for births Father LOFTUS? / Mother CASSON reveals a family of five daughters and two sons from 1917 to 1925.
    Surname First name(s) Mother District Vol Page
    Births Dec 1917 (>99%) Loftus Mary C Casson Prescot
    Births Jun 1919 (>99%) Loftus Elizabeth Casson Prescot
    Births Sep 1921 (>99%) LOFTUS Annie Casson Prescot 8b
    LOFTUS Winifred Casson Prescot 8b
    Births Mar 1923 (>99%) Loftus Charles Casson Prescot
    Births Sep 1924 (>99%) Loftus Thomas Casson Prescot
    Births Sep 1925 (>99%) Loftus Kathleen Casson Prescot 8b 1207


    The furthest back I went was to 1908 and there was a Charles born in the first Qtr which would make him 37!

    Births Mar 1909 Loftus Charles Oldham 8d 585

    This is the only Charles E that that shows up anywhere!
    Marriages Sep 1940 (>99%) Loftus Charles E Siddle
    Marriages Sep 1940 (>99%) Siddle Ruby D LoftusGrimsby


    This could be the same Charles married in 1940. There were 1973 Warrant Officers killed with the RAF and range from 18 - 63. The firrst I could find that was presumably KIA (Reichswald Forest Germany was 42 however there are a couple of hundred with no age listed.

    I can find no children from that marriage!

    I can find no death for Charles E or Ruby D up to 1983.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  14. clothesnorth

    clothesnorth Member

    Thanks Geoff for this. Like you I have been through the genealogy sites for Charles Loftus. I found one who took his pilot's licence in 1947 but could get no further. I also have been in touch with the Loftus in Grimsby. He said that his father was indeed C E Loftus, but he had not been in the RAF. So at the moment I am no further. LACW Ivy Cross at some point after marriage, and I don't know her married name, lived in Mansfield Woodhouse. I have written to the local paper to see what that brings forth. Any advice is very welcome.

    Pat
     
  15. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Could they perhaps have been Commonwealth nationalities, which is why finding them on UK registers is so difficult?
    Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand or somewhere even more remote?
     
  16. clothesnorth

    clothesnorth Member

    Tomorrow, 26 March 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the crash of this Wellington bomber at RAF Langham. Let us remember with gratitude the four who were killed: W/O John Brogan, Pilot; Flt Sgt Frederick Harris, co-pilot: Flt Sgt Leonard Cuthbert, Navigator.
    Sgt Leonard Laming, Gunner. On Saturday, 28 March 2015 there is to be a Commemoration service and the unveiling of a plaque at the Langham Dome in memory of the crew. We will remember them.
     
  17. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    Rich Payne likes this.
  18. clothesnorth

    clothesnorth Member

    Thank you RCG for your comment. It was worth all the effort for we had a wonderful occasion with close on 40 relatives and Langham church was almost full with around 150 people there to remember this brave crew. The plaque is close to the Langham Dome and was unveiled by Air Vice Marshal Nigel Bairsto who spoke of the importance of these Commemorations to the RAF. I had traced the son of the CO of 524 squadron, Squadron Leader A H Comfort DFC (dec'd) and he was present as were the children of LACW Ivy Cross who tried to rescue the crew.
    Pat
     
    Carol Johnson likes this.
  19. Carol Johnson

    Carol Johnson Member

    Hi Pat,

    I have just been researching my Dad's history having requested details from RAF disclosures, leading me to find this website. How I wish I had researched earlier! I am the daughter of Sgt J Marston. His christian name was Jack and I know he called his best friend Titch, if this crash was the one where the fuselage split in two, then I think Titch died in this accident. Would love to know more about him and also my Dad's career. I believe he was a radio operator and rear gunner but can't work out the concept. I think he met my Mum at Langham too, she was a barrage balloon operator and her name was Alice Sellen but she was known as Joan. Both my parents are deceased, Jack died at a very young age (60) of Alzheimers and my mum died in 1992 of Multiple Sclerosis. Both had fond memories of their friends in the RAF but didn't really tell my brother and I much about the war. Thank you for organising the commemoration plaque and ceremony, I only wish I could have attended but will visit Norfolk to find the plaque and remember that brave crew.
     
  20. Carol Johnson

    Carol Johnson Member

    In case this is of interest to you, I have copied the text I just sent to Pat, the originator of this thread:

    Hi Pat,

    I have just been researching my Dad's history having requested details from RAF disclosures, leading me to find this website. How I wish I had researched earlier! I am the daughter of Sgt J Marston. His christian name was Jack and I know he called his best friend Titch, if this crash was the one where the fuselage split in two, then I think Titch died in this accident. Would love to know more about him and also my Dad's career. I believe he was a radio operator and rear gunner but can't work out the concept. I think he met my Mum at Langham too, she was a barrage balloon operator and her name was Alice Sellen but she was known as Joan. Both my parents are deceased, Jack died at a very young age (60) of Alzheimers and my mum died in 1992 of Multiple Sclerosis. Both had fond memories of their friends in the RAF but didn't really tell my brother and I much about the war. Thank you for organising the commemoration plaque and ceremony, I only wish I could have attended but will visit Norfolk to find the plaque and remember that brave crew.

    My dad's regimental number is 1622997

    Carol Johnson
     

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