Gresse, Germany RAF Friendly fire incident

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Davenport7, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. Davenport7

    Davenport7 Member

    All,

    My grandfather Les Davenport was one of the first blocks of 500 RAF prisoners to be marched out of Fallingbostel 357 POW camp on the 6th April 1945 to be held by the Germans at Lubeck as a potential bargaining chip with the allies at wars end.

    On the 19th April 1945 RAF Typhoons mistook the column of POWs moving along a small road for German troop movement. They attacked the column with rockets and cannon fire and killed close to 60 airman and wounded another 30 and killing some German gaurds. They did come in for a second run but for some of the brave prisoners actually ran in the field waving their arms to stop the attack, which the Typhoons did, realising their mistake. Sadly some of these airman killed had been POW s for near on 5 years and a couple of weeks before the end of hostilities in Europe were killed by the very own RAF they were part of.

    My grandfather did not speak much about it only to say he jumped in a ditch for cover and hid until the column moved off and he along with others made a run for it and a couple of days later met the allied advance and was re-patuated back to England around the 24th April 1945. I think he witnessed some bad things on that march not only the attack but earlier in that march they were marched close to Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp. So I can understand why he wanted to just get on with his life post ww2.

    There is a bit on this incident in 'Footprints in the sands of Time' Oliver clutton-Brock and Not all glory by vic f gammon but not any information on RAF Typhoon squadron that dealt the devistating blow. Is this something that the RAF have locked away never for the records to be made available?

    Does anyone know if I can obtain more information, documents, pictures, stories. I have only looked at these books and a quick online search and found the above out.

    Plus was anyone elses family members a part of this also?

    Any information will be greatly received.

    Ian Davenport
     
  2. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  3. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Ian, I don't know if it's intentional but your post sounds very accusatory.
    Surely, you can't seriously believe this is a "cover-up"?
    It was wartime, accidents happened even in the best run units.

    Like many thousands of others, your Grandad experienced the grimmest side of war, yet got over it in the best way he could.
    I'm sure he wouldn't want these old coals raked over, it doesn't change things

    What purpose do you think "more information" will achieve?
    You can't think this was a deliberate act, and those pilots surely suffered as great a remorse as was possible.

    The information is available as Smudger has directed.

    You're not going to change what happened, your grandad could move on, so where is this going?
     
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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Ian

    Something I would like to add on this - it is necessary to remember that these groups of POW's being 'marched' would have been wearing any clothes they could find to try and keep as warm and dry as possible. Most times this would be old German uniforms or civilian clothing, and they would probably have had sacks on their backs with all their personnel belongings in plus whatever food etc they could carry.

    So for a Typhoon pilot flying at XXX mph probably at a very low altitude, he sees a long line of men marching possibly towards the Allied front in field grey and assorted uniforms/clothes (ie not in recognisable Allied uniforms). The Typhoons are there to disrupt and destroy anything they see that they believe to be troops, equipment, etc etc moving east to reinforce the German front and therefore slow down the Allied advance.

    It is a very sad event, its a sad as other POW's who were shot as they did not want to cross the River Oder, or those killed in a train accident whilst being transported to Odessa where full liberty awaited them, I guess its why it was called a war.

    TD
     
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  5. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Ian,

    I think that you will receive similar replies from the Aviation Forum where you have posted the same Information.

    As previously mentioned, there were many instances of Friendly Fire casualties during WW2, but you have only to look at Military History to see that it is littered with such incidents.

    The famous Quote, "War is Hell" is absolutely correct.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I knew I had something on it somewhere:

    http://muse.aucklandmuseum.com/databases/Cenotaph/24131.detail

    Had been a POW in Stalag 8B after being captured in the Greek campaign. He was killed while being evacuated by train to Odessa, after liberation from the Russians. Two carriages telescoped, killing eight men, four of whom were New Zealanders. The Russians buried the victims with full military honours at Cracow.

    TD

    edited to add:
    FRAZERHURST, CONAN WILLIAM

    Rank:Staff Serjeant
    Service No:31154
    Date of Death:10/03/1945
    Age:34
    Regiment/Service:New Zealand Medical Corps
    Awards:Mentioned in Despatches
    Grave Reference: 2. A. 2. Cemetery:KRAKOW RAKOWICKI CEMETERY
    Additional Information: Son of Joseph Livingstone Frazerhurst and Constance Marie Frazerhurst, of Hastings, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.


    edit 2
    I assume these are the men killed in this accident, however there are 9 men not 8 as mentioned in the document linked to above:
    http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead.aspx?cpage=1&sort=name&order=asc

    For reference if this link is not working then go to the CWGC web site select 10 Mar 1945 for date and Poland for country that should provide the list of 8 men.
     
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  7. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member

    Ian,
    I have done a great deal of research into this very sad incident, those that suffered more than those flying the aircraft and l have yet to put it all together on my web site but there is certainly a great deal of information at Kew on it.
    I have been told that my Father was also there, involved with the burial of those killed and l cannot imagine what must have gone through their minds at the time or over the years afterwards, thinking about this very sad incident. As you say, a couple of those killed had been locked up for 5 years and were within a few days of release.
    Regards,
    Nick
     
  8. Davenport7

    Davenport7 Member

    To Kevin Battle,

    Whilst I thank you for your reply I think you have completely miss interpreted my post.

    Unfortunately my grandfather passed away when I was only 6 years old and I am merely researching and finding out as much information as possible of what he was involved with in WW2.

    I am no way offending anyone for what I put I am merely using the term 'information being locked away' meaning there does not seem to be much in the public domane in this accident. I was asking the question going down the lines of discussion around info being available at Kew of which Nick Fenton has assisted me on with a contructive post.

    I am fully aware accidents happen that is war and like Trickys post it is very hard for pilots to mistake marching prisoners for German troop movements, in fact the Germans did not mark the columns correctly to avoid this. We could deliberate on many points like white flags being waved, men waving, unarmed and marching away from the front, we could be here all night and for what point. I dont mean is it a 'cover up' I mean is the information still with the MOD not for public viewing yet at Kew or online, as certain records have retention periods.

    I feel dissapointed at your 'disregard' for your choice of words, I am not raking over old coals I am merely a lad who is researching into my grandfather and the good and bad times he experienced to gain knowledge and pass information down through my family, until now alot of the information on his exploits remained a mystery. As one of 6 grandchildren I am the only one to have bothered to research and remember and respect what he went through and did for his country what all the young men did.

    I seek more information like I have said is for me to have details of events, raids, training POW camp information to really treasure within my family and for my children to know what there great grandad did in ww2.

    I am in laughter that you think I believe it was a deliberate act - oh dear oh dear why so attacking, i know it was not, mistakes happen.

    Dont wish to be rude but why bother replying if it is not constructive enough to assist me.

    I hope this explains why I wish to know more on the subject as possible and just wondered whether there were accounts or infomation regarding this.

    Another point to note I plan to pay some sort of homage to the fallen and re-walk the route in a few years of all the places my grandfather went to from Fallingbostel to Gresse and raise money for charity.

    Nick he would be proud of my achievements and remembering him and what he did and it makes me feel closer to grandfather I love and miss.

    A bitterly dissapointed Ian,

    Thanks Nick and like you I just thurst for knowledge as my grandfather was involved and would like more details.
     
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  9. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Kevin

    What's wrong with someone trying to find more information on what happened?
    This could turn out to be a very interesting thread if more information came to light.

    Lesley
     
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  10. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member

    Guys,
    Let's move on as l do have quite a bit on this and will look it out later.
    As has been said, we can make this into a great thread.
    Regards,
    Nick
     
  11. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member

    OK Guys, this is very raw and thanks must go to Bill Chorley for some of this:-
    Those who died.
    1. Lance Sergeant Leonard Herbet John Goodfellow (2571861), age 35, of 13 Cleveland Gardens, Hounslow, West Middlesex. A member of 44th Division, Royal Corp. of Signals. He is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 11.E.16.
    2. Warrant Officer Kenneth Mortimer (1431168/POW No. 1094), aged 22, was aboard a 514 Squadron Lancaster, DS735 JI-A, when it was lost on 31st January 1944 on a raid on Berlin. The son of Dan and Mercia Mortimer, of Fairweather Green, Yorkshire. The aircraft was airborne at 17.22 hours on 30th January 1944 from Waterbeach with the cause of loss and crash location unknown. Those killed are buried in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery, poignantly alongside F/S Mortimer who was killed when the Typhoons struck near Gresse, on 19th April 1945. F/S K.Mortimer, was interned in Camps L6/357. POW No.1094. He is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.18.
    3. Warrant Officer Eric Bardsley (1455475/POW No. 1093), aged 34, was aboard a 576 Squadron Lancaster, W4245 UL-S2, when it was lost on 31st January 1944 on a raid on Berlin. The Son of David and Mary Bardsley; husband of Frances M Bardsley, of Paisley, Renfrewshire. The aircraft was airborne from Elsham Wolds on 30th December and crashed at Knigsberg, 11 km South South West of Wittstock, after exploding in the air. Sgt Bardsley was quite severely injured by the blast, but he landed safely and made a good recovery. Sgt E Bardsley was interned in Camps L6/357. POW No.1093 (or 357) . Bardsley was killed on 19th April 1945, initially buried in the village, he was re-interred in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery together with his comrades who died in the crash, having been found in graves at Knigsberg. He is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.9.
    4. Segeant S J Breytenbach (1520), aged 34, of the Umvoti moumted Rifles, South African Forces, the Son of Mr. and Mrs. J A Breytenbach, of Louwsburg, Natal, South Africa. He is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 11.E.8.
    5. Lance Corporal William Downie (3245722), aged 36, of the Cameronians, 6th Battalion Scottish Rifles, the son of William and Elizabeth Downie, of Larkhall, Lanarkshire; husband of Mary Tennant Downie. He is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 11.K.6-8.
    6. Lance Corporal George Moir (2874561), aged 34, of the 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders. He is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 11.E.12.
    7. Corporal Peter (M?) Paton (918030), aged 27, of the 4th Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). He is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 11.E.7.
    8. Warrant Officer John Gage (745360/POW No. 430), was aboard a 99 Squadron Wellington, T2501 LN-F, when it was lost on 5th December 1940 on a raid on Dusseldorf. The son of Clement and Annie Gage, of Harnham, Salisbury. The aircraft was airborne on 4th December from Newmarket but landed in error at Lille-Nord Aerodrome, the bomber was captured intact. Sgt J Gage was interned in Camps L1/L6/357, POW No.430, killed 19th April 1945. Sgt J Gage is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.11.
    9. Private Rex Woodgate (NX5318), aged 25, of the Australian Infantry, A.I.F. 2/4 battalian, the son of Osbert Wilfred and Annie May Woodgate, of Granville, New South Wales, Australia. He is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 11.G.1.
    10. 29815/VIIIA or B
    11. Corporal Allen G Hunt (A/22182), of the Canadian Essex Scottish Regiment, R.C.I.C. He is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 11.K.6-8.
    12. 26387/VIIIIB
    13. Flight Sergeant William Ellemor Lawton (1565563/POW No. 3263) , aged 24, was aboard a 76 Squadron Halifax, LK790 MP-K, when it was lost on 25th March 1944 on a raid on Berlin. From 22 Belle Vue Park, Turnstall Road, Sunderland, the son of Ralph and Margaret Ann Lawton, of New Silksworth, Co. Durham. The aircraft was airborne at 18.55 hours on 24th March 1944 from Holme-on-Spalding Moor. The cause of the loss has not been established but the aircraft crashed near Gatow. The two airmen killed in the crash are buried in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery together with their comrade Sgt Lawton, who was killed on 19th April 1945. Sgt W E Lawton in Camps L6/357, POW No.3263. He is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.15.
    14. 13857/XIA
    15. Flight sergeant John Arthur Gibbs (1338451/POW NO. 3566), was aboard a 578 squadron Halifax, MZ518 LK-C, when it was lost on 23rd April 1944 on a raid on Dusseldorf. This aircraft was one of two 578 Squdron Halifaxes lost on this operation, together with MZ563. The aircraft was airborne at 22.44 hours on 22nd April 1944 from Bourn but the cause of the loss has not been established, it crashed, however, on the East bank of the Rhine, 2 km West of Dinslaken. interned in Camps L6/357, POW No.3568, with Sgt J A Gibbs was interned in Camps L6/357, POW No. Gibbs was killed on 19th April 1945 and is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.13, together with those killed in the crash.
    16. Flight Sergeant Sydney John Wheadon (2213579/POW No. 2121), aged 22, was aboard a 425 Squadron Halifax, LW431 KW-U, when it was lost on 26th February 1944 on a raid on Augsburg. From 83 Ellor Street, Salford 6, Lancs, the son of Sidney and Matilda Wheadon, of Salford, Lancashire. The aircraft was airborne at 21.35 hours on 25th February 1944 from Tholthorpe. The cause of the loss and the crash-site have not been established. Sgt S J Wheadon was interned in camps L6/357, POW No.2121. Sgt Wheadon was killed on 19th April 1945 , initially buried locally, his grave is now located in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.19.
    17. Warrant Officer John Gow Shierlaw (416107/POW No. 918), aged 23, of the RAAF, the son Son of Howard A. Shierlaw and Margaret B. Shierlaw, of Medindie, South Australia. Shierlaw is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.22.
    18. Warrant Officer Frank Baker Duffield (647048/POW No. 39152), aged 23, 114 Squadron, the son of William and Janet Duffield, of Middlesbrough, Yorkshire. Duffield is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.17.
    19. Warrant Officer Warren Ellwood MacKenzie (R/65193/POW No. 874), aged 32, was aboard a 419 Squadron Halifax, DT731 VR-N, when it was lost on 21st January 1944 on a raid on Berlin. The son of David Ellwood MacKenzie and Katherine MacKenzie, of Durham, Pictou Co., Nova Scotia, Canada. The aircraft was airborne at 15.54 Hours on 20th January 1944 from Middleton St.George. Whilst homebound, the aircraft was attacked and badly damaged at 18,000 feet by a night-fighter and abandoned South West of Leipzig. WO2 W E MacKenzie in Camps L6/357, POW No.874 died on 19th April 1945. MacKenzie is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.21.
    20. Warrant Officer William Phillip Jeffrey Watson 9623703/POW No. 13064), aged 30, was aboard a 44 Squadron Hampden, L4088 KM-?, when it was lost on 22nd April 1940 whilst on a Gardening raid. The son of William Henry and Honor Watson, of Bucklands Beach, Auckland, New Zealand. The aircraft was airborne on 21st April 1940 from Waddington on a mine-laying sortie in the Baltic Sound (Nasturtium Region). It was hit by fire from Flak-ships near Kiel and crash-landed in Denmark, they were the first complete Hampden crew to be captured. Cpl W P J Watson in Camps 8B/357, POW No.13064, was killed on 19th April 1945. Watson is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.16.
    21. warrant Officer Charles Walter Heathman (1378655/ POW No. 24384), aged 38, was aboard a 214 Squadron wellington, X9762 BU-?, when it was lost on 13th October 1941 on a raid on Nuremburg. The husband of Gladys Heathman, of New Barnet, Hertfordshire. The aircraft was airborne at 19.39 hours on 12th October 1941 from Stradishall but the cause of the loss or the crash- site have not been established. Sgt C W Heathman was interned in Camps 8B/L3/L6/357, POW No.24384, Heathman was killed on 19th April 1945 and is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.10.
    22. Warrant Officer Robert Gordon (S) Douglas (R/106758/POW No. 3490), aged 28, was aboard a 419 Squadron. The Son of Aylmer Robert and Isal Velira Douglas, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Douglas was killed on 19th April 1945 and is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.7.
    23. Joyce C A, Lance Corporal, Essex Scottish Regiment, R.C.I.C.
    24. W/O Vincent (K?) Albert Fox (R/126002/ POW No. 994), aged 26, was aboard a 7 Squadron Stirling, R9149 MG-B, when it was lost on 10th March 1943 whilst on a raid on Munich. The son of William A. Fox and Irene F. Fox, of West Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. The aircraft was airborne at 20.04 hours on 9th March 1943 from Oakington and whilst on its outbound journey, was shot down by a night- fighter crashing at 22.10 hours at Elan (Ardennes) 11 km South South East of Charleville-M_zi_res, France. Sgt V A Fox in Camps L1/L6/L4, POW No.994. Fox was killed on 19th April 1945 and is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.6.
    25. Warrant Officer Lawrence Beresford Hamilton Hope (40940/POW No.)24510?, aged 29, was aboard a 75 Squadron Wellington, Z8942 AA-?, when it was lost on 9th November 1941 whilst on a raid on Essen. The son of Percy Douglas and Martha Harriet Hope, of French Pass, Nelson, New Zealand.Picton, NZ. This aircraft was one of three 75 Squadron aircraft lost on this day, including X9628 and X9977. The aircraft was airborne from Feltwell on 8th November 1941 and was shot down by Flak and crashed at 22.15 hours at Zuidland (Zuid Holland), 20 km South West of Rotterdam. The sole survivor, Sgt Hope, was killed on 19th April 1945. Those killed are buried in the city's Crooswijk General Cemetery. Sgt Sir C T H Mappin was the 4th Baronet and
    26. Warrant Officer Gordon Cyril George Todd Hawkins (746982/POW No.131), aged 34, was aboard a 107 Squadrom Blenheim, R3606 OM-?, when it was lost on 10th July 1940 whilst on a raid on Amiens. The son of Henry F. Hawkins and Susannah J.of Wembley, Middlesex. The aircraft was airborne from Wattisham but the cause of the loss and crash-site have not been established. Hawkins was killed on 19th April 1945 and is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 8.G.23.
    27. Flight Sergeant Dandy Bauldie (1584485POW No. 3429), aged 21, was aboard a 76 Squadron Halifax, LK795 MP-P, which was lost on 31st March 1944 whilst on a raid on Nuremburg together with three other 76 Squadron Halifaxes lost on this operation, including LW628, LW647 and LW696.. The son of James and Emma Jane Bauldie, of Manchester. The aircraft was airborne at 22.13 hours on 30th March 1944 from Holme-on-Spalding Moor and was shot down whilst outbound by an ME110 night-fighter, crashing near the town of Hamm, 25 km South West of Siegen. Sgt D Bauldie was interned in Camps L6/357, POW No. Sgt P G G Wilmhurst, POW No.537 broke his right leg on landing and was hospitalised for four months. Bauldie was killed on 19th April 1945 and is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 5.J.25.
    28. Warrant Officer Douglas Jobson Clayden (901682/POW No. 9669), aged 24, was originally missed off Dixie Deans list of casualties but he was aboard a 405 Squadron Wellington, Z8344 LQ-F, which was lost on the 20th September 1941 whilst on a raid on Stettin. The son of William and May Florence Clayden, of Ilford, Essex. The aircraft was airborne at 22.22 hours on 19th September 1941 from Pocklington but the cause of this loss and the crash-site have not been established. Two of the crew, Sgt Lord and Sgt Clayden, were killed on 19th April 1945. Sgt D J Clayden was interned in Camps 8B/L6/357, POW No.9669, with Sgt J Lord, POW No.9659. Further information to the above indicates that Sgt Lord died in Hospital on the 22th April 1945 from injuries received on 19th April 1945 from the RAF Typhoon strafing. Clayden was killed on 19th April 1945 and is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.12.
    29. Warrant Officer George Albert Losh (623752/POW No. 335), aged 24, was aboard a 102C (conversion flight) Squdron Halifax, V9987 DY-U, that was lost on a raid on Bremen on 26th June 1942 and was one of four 102 Squadron Halifaxes lost on this operation, together with R9446, 7654 and W7759. The son of Harry and Elizabeth Losh, of Liverpool. The aircraft was airborne at 23.54 hours on 25th June 1942 from Topcliffe but the cause of the loss and crash-site have not been established. This five-man crew was the very minimum requirement for manning a Halifax on operations. Sgt G A Losh in Camps L3/L6/357, POW No.335. Losh was killed on 19th April 1945, buried initially at Greese near Mecklenberg, he is now interred in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery, 6.B.14.
    30. Warrant Officer William Andrew Irving Bone (581434/POW No. 143), aged 24, was aboard a 76 Squadron Halifax, L9531 MP-R, when it was lost on 13th August 1941 on a raid on Berlin and was one of three 76 Squadron Halifax’s to be lost on this raid, together with L9530 and L9562. The son of William and Mary Amelia Irving Bone, of Hunts Cross, Liverpool. The aircraft was airborne at 21.34 hours on 12th August 1943 from Middleton- St.George and was shot down by a night-fighter (Lt Hans Autenrieth, 6./NJG1) and crashed 500 metres East of Wittstedt, 15 km South South East of Bremerhaven. All baled out, but five fell into a swamp and drowned. Of the two survivors, F/S Bone was killed 19th April 1945 at Gresse. F/S W A I Bone was interned in Camps 3E/L3/L1/L6/357, POW No. Bone was buried initially at Greese near Mecklenberg but he is now interred in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery, 6.B.20.
     
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  12. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member

    Those not listed by Dixie Deans as being killed that day include:-
    Warrant Officer Arthur Haydn Porter (1318075/POW No. 44), aged 23, was aboard a 35 Squadron Halifax, HR795 TL-M, when it was lost on 28th May 1943 on a raid on Essen. The son of Victor and Mary Porter, Husband of Edith Ellen Porter, of Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. The aircraft was airborne at 22.58 hours on 27th May 1943 from Graveley and was shot down by a night-fighter. Sgt A.H.Porter was interned in Camps L6/357, PoW No.44 but was killed at Gresse on the 19th April 1945. His grave was never found and he is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 269
    Warrant Officer Kenneth Mortimer (1431168/POW No. 1094), aged 22, was aboard a 514 Squadron Lancaster, DS735 JI-A, when it was lost on 31st January 1944 on a raid on Berlin, alongside one other 514 Lancaster, DS706, . The son of Dan and Marcia Mortimer of Fairweather Green, Yorkshire. The aircraft was airborne at 17.22 hours on 30th January 1944 from Waterbeach F/S K Mortimer was interned in Camps L6/357, POW No.1094. F/S K Mortimer was killed on the 19th April 1945 and is buried in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery, 6.B.18, alongside his colleagues who were killed in the loss.
    This is the end of Dixie Deans list but does not include those taken to hospital with serious wounds, who were later to die:-
    Warrant Officer Hugh Percival Lowman (570626/POW No. 431), aged 25, was aboard a 1652CU Squadron Halifax, L9605 GV-Y, when it was lost on 31st May 1942 on a raid on Cologne. The son of Oercival Rodd Lowman and Maud Mary Lodman of Paignton, Devon. The aircraft was a brought into service for this raid to make up the numbers on one of the famous 1,000 bomber raids and was airborne at 23.59 hours on 30th May 1942 from Marston Moor. The cause of the loss has not been established but it crashed at Tegelen (Limburg), 4 km South South West of Venlo, Holland. Sgt H P Lowman in Camps L3/L6/357, POW No.431 and Sgt R J Tavener, POW No.447. Sgt. H P Lowman was listed as seriously injured after the attack at Gresse on 19th April 1945 and was taken to hospital, where he subsequently died, he is now interred in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery, 11.N.11.
     
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  13. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member

    There is your starter for ten.
    I believe there are many more, incuding those who received serious injuries. If you are hit by rocket firing Typhoon's, you do not get minor knocks and bruises, not that would have been noticed amongst the undernourished, 'battle' weary POW's anyway.
    Regards,
    Nick
     
  14. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member

    It was following this incident that Dixie Deans cycled back to the British lines, with his German guard in tow to warn the advancing allies of the presence of columns of POW's to avoid any further re-occurrence, before cycling through the lines again, back to the columns to take control once more. The allies also wanted to arrest the German guard but Dixie would not let them.

    He had promised his captors that he would return, hence they allowed him to leave the column and cycle off in the direction of the guns and he was true to his word.

    There were other incidents on this march, including at least two where aircraft shot up barns where they thought there were Germans hiding only to kill or wound desperate, undernourished and suffering POW's.

    Regards,

    Nick
     
  15. CL1

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

    Andy copied me war diaries for
    116th Light Anti Aircraft Regiment amongst others


    Le Mont
    8/8/44 381 battery, 12.35hrs Fortress dropped 6 bombs crashed 1-2 miles

    8/8/44 engagement rep from C Troop 19.10 hrs ,20 round (bofors) fired at 8 Thunderbolts machine gunning and dive bombing also engaged by J troop
     
  16. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    obviously I did misinterpret that as meaning you felt that the details had been deliberately withheld.
    But, as I can't help you, I'm out...
    Good luck
     
  17. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    I don't know if this helps, but there is one mention of the Gresse incident in the caption of a photo available for viewing online at the Australian War Memorial (AWM - www.awm.gov.au), plus the National Archives of Australia (NAA - www.naa.gov.au) has a file specifically on the incident (see attached screenshot thumbnail):

    http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P03860.001/

    Group portrait of crew of 466 Squadron RAAF under the nose of their Wellington aircraft 'Y' Yorker, around the time of the Hamburg raids. Identified, left to right: Geoff Coombes, Pilot; 414121 Pilot Officer (PO) Leslie Dean (Les) Anderson, Navigator of Toowoomba, Qld; 409617 PO Clifford John (Cliff) 'Butch' Trotman, Rear Gunner of Essendon, Vic; Peter Balderston, Wireless Operator. Ron Last RAF, Bomb Aimer, was not present.

    Note the nose art of a kangaroo surrounded by 52 bombs, indicating the number of raids flown by this aircraft The kangaroo is 'depositing' three bombs and the wording reads 'We ?hit'em'. The squadron converted to Halifax aircraft at the end of August 1943, requiring two extra crew. Another two Englishmen, Roger Nelson, Mid Upper Gunner, and Jackie Causier, Flight Engineer joined this crew. They were shot down over Berlin on the night of 28-29 January 1944, resulting in the death of Anderson, Trotman and Nelson. The aircraft was also carrying Doug Hughes, a 'Second Dickie', the name given to a pilot flying to obtain experience on his first operation before receiving his own crew.

    Balderston escaped from the damaged aircraft and managed to evade the fires burning all around, landing through the slate roof of a house. He was captured after he had come out of the building and taken to a police station where a nurse dressed his facial and leg wounds. He and 60 other airmen were taken by cattle truck to Frankfurt Dulag Luft where he remained for questioning for two weeks. He subsequently spent time in Prisoner of War (POW) camps at Sagan, Heydekrug, Thorn and Fallingbostel.

    Before he could be liberated, he and other POWs were forced to leave camp and march for about six weeks, during which time they were shot at by British Typhoon aircraft near Gresse, causing approximately 50 casualties. The group finally met up with the some British tank crews who told them to make for Luneburg from where he was repatriated.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    9. Private Rex Woodgate (NX5318), aged 25, of the Australian Infantry, A.I.F. 2/4 battalian, the son of Osbert Wilfred and Annie May Woodgate, of Granville, New South Wales, Australia. He is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 11.G.1.

    17. Warrant Officer John Gow Shierlaw (416107/POW No. 918), aged 23, of the RAAF, the son Son of Howard A. Shierlaw and Margaret B. Shierlaw, of Medindie, South Australia. Shierlaw is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, 6.B.22.

    **********************************************************************************************************************************

    Just looking through the NAA casualty file for WOFF Shierlaw and it contains a list of casualties from the incident that were later re-interred in Berlin Cemetery. (see attached thumbnails 1 & 2). The file also contains a first-hand account of the incident from an Aussie army SGT (note incorrect date of the attack).

    The notification of his death sent to his family in May 1945 identifies his cause of death being due to being fired upon by an Allied aircraft
     

    Attached Files:

    Davenport7 likes this.
  19. Davenport7

    Davenport7 Member

    Hello DaveB,

    Thanks for sharing it is nice to piece together all 'accounts' and what the guys went through, a terrifying time im sure. Thanks for doing some digging and sharing thats what all the forums are about, to open dialogue and talk about experiences people went through in ww2.

    Thats something I did not know, seems like it was not that organised the walk and was probably changing course all the time.

    Regards

    Ian
     
  20. Davenport7

    Davenport7 Member

    Hello All,

    I have hit the 'motherload' of information regarding my grandfather and his time as POW. A Charles Frederick Hall did some art work in my grandfathers POW Wartime log book and put his name and addess in the book. I did some digging regarding him, he was an AG on 207 Sqn Manchesters. His bomber L7380 EM-W was shot down the same night as my grandfather 7/8th September 1941 on route to Berlin on the dutch island of Ameland.

    I contacted the Sqn association and they put me in touch with someone that did an orration at his funeral in 2006. Then I was put in touch with the son of Charles and this was the response I received, along with a photo of a poem my grandfather wrote by Omar Khyyam entitled Madness and a picture of them in summer 1945 on their rehab in Scarborough!! I am blown away. Please see email:

    Thank you for your email. My Dad did talk about his war time experiences and wrote them down in so far as his time as a POW was concerned, for the benefit of his children (me and my brother and sister) and grandchildren. My Dad was shot down on 7th Sept 1941 on the Dutch island of Ameland on his 25th birthday. I visited Ameland with my wife and brother in 2007 on that same date in September and met up with a local who takes an interest in WW2 and who showed us the crash site. As in your grandfather's case, it was a miracle that they survived the crash. The story of how this guy contacted my Dad is another episode in itself. My dad died in 2006.
    Leslie Davenport is mentioned twice in his account; early on after being shot down they met up in a transit camp Dalagluft, Frankfurt, and in his first camp at Stalag Luft V111 B, Lamsdorf. He talks about how they had trained together and how they agreed to "combine" as a two in sharing Red Cross food parcels and how this arrangement lasted during the war. Leslie is also mentioned towards the end of his time in captivity when the two of them made an escape from the forced march from Stalag 357 Fallingbostel which started on April 6th 1945. They escaped from the column on 13th April 1945 and were eventually reached British forces on April 18th 1945 at Vendishaven. (I have checked and this is incorrect as it is not a place in Germany) There are no drawings by Leslie in his log book, but plenty from my Dad and some from other POWs, as well as a number of poems, reflections and introspection. I looked at them again yesterday and the whole log is extremely moving. I do remember asking him whether he'd tried to contact Leslie after the war, because my Dad was a member of the RAF Aircrew Association and went on some reunions of POWs. I think he said that Leslie wanted to forget about the war and was not very interested in meeting up, but my recollection may not be 100%. There's a photo of the two of them plus a Bill Jones prior to demobilisation dated summer 1945 which I attach. My Dad is on the left. I also attach Leslie's entry in the log, a poem by Omar Khyam called 'Madness' dated 26/7/1944 Thorn, Poland. I attach this although the ink is faint. Like you, I'd appreciate it if you would have these for personal use only, and I will do the same for the items you have sent me. My Dad's log has the photo of sports day at Sagan in it as well, but I can't see him- he may be the chap with the cigarette in his mouth but it's not easy to make it out.
    We live in Taunton, Somerset. Although we're some distance from each other, it would be good to meet up some time if that were possible.

    What an early Xmas present I am so pleased that I have closed a chapter in my reseach, to know that he 'combined' with Charles Hall through the war and made their escape together, before the Gresse incident even happened. When they escaped on the 13th April 45 I know from a diary kept by another airman on the internet I found this was a rest day. The next day they marched 10-15 kilometers to Sudergellersen South East of Lunenburg heath area. So they were on the run for 5 days, how much ground could they have covered?

    I would like to know more regarding this 'Bill Jones' perhaps William Jones, in the picture he is wearing pilot wings, can someone check Footprints in the sands of time for me for that name?

    Also Vendishaven they met British forces on the 18th April. This is not a place in Germany and obviously Charles account was written in the 90s so he may have got the place wrong. Where were the british forces on the 18th April 45? Lunenburg heath area?

    Any help would be appreciated.
     

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