HALIFAX MkV LL 114 - Crash

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Bandy, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    Hi,
    I try to find all informations about the crash of this plane during the night of 7 to 8th feb 1944.
    I live near Autrans (France) where I can see the grave of the Crew.
    I have the name of the 7 members of the crew.
    My specific question is about the aim of this mission and also about the operation JOHN 35.
    Regards
     
  2. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    That operation name suggests a Special Duties operation to drop e.g. supplies, parachutists to Resistance groups. Assuming this is the Autruns near Grenoble that would make it even more likely. 138 (SD) Squadron at Tempsford, England, operated Halifax's in this role, as did 624 (SD) at Blida, Algeria. I know 624 flew operations to this part of France, no idea about anyone else. When I get a chance I'll check what records I have for 624 and see if anything matches, if nobody else has answered this by then (I bet they will!).

    Cheers, Pat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
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  3. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Cummings in ' Though Without Anger' gives the following.......

    8 February 1944

    Halifax LL114
    138 Squadron

    The aircraft crashed about 9 miles west of Grenoble (Autrans Isere, France) whilst on task John 35. The circumstances of the loss are not known

    Crew.

    F/O. Gerald Dennis Carroll 21 Pilot +
    P/O. Arthur Edward Reid 22 RCAF Navigator +
    Sgt. Ronald Denis Clement 22 +
    Sgt. Peter Theodore Thompson 21 +
    F/S. James Alvin Taylor 19 RCAF Bomb Aimer +
    Sgt. Gordon Stanley Woodrow 20 +
    Sgt. Kenneth William Radford 20 +
    Casualty
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  4. dp_burke

    dp_burke Junior Member

    Both the RCAF mens service files would be available to veiw on ancestry.com with a long or short subscription.
     
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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  6. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    The Aircraft was Halifax LL114 the pilot was flying his fifth SD Mission It was a resupply mission for F Section of SOE and dropped 12 containers and 8 packages with an additional task of dropping leaflets (NICKELS) of which 8 lots were to be dropped
     
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The area of the crash was in the northern area of the Vercors.I have not been able to ascertain the SOE DZ although it was in the area of the Jockey Circuit (Francis Cammaerts)

    The other thought is that the Halifax may have been off course and south of its DZ, for just north of Autrans was Richard Heslop's Marksman Circuit in the Ain.

    As regards organised resistance on the Vercors,by the summer of 1944,the Maquis declared the Vercors liberated territory which drew a German response in June and July.Two German divisions assaulted the plateau aided by air superiority, the vanguard being 300 paratroopers flown in by primitive but fit for purpose gliders.The result was that the Maquis,lacking heavy weapons were overwhelmed on the plateau.The usual reprisals were taken against the population,the memorials,cemetery and museum bearing testimony to the uprising 73 years ago.

    The Vercors...a beautiful area to visit on holiday and very interesting to gain an insight to the happenings all those summers ago.

    There should be some reference to John 35 in the appropriate official files.
     
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  8. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    Who is who

    I have only this picture without legend.

    Crew LL114 jpeg.jpg

    F/O. Gerald Dennis Carroll 21 Pilot
    P/O. Arthur Edward Reid 22 RCAF Navigator
    Sgt. Ronald Denis Clement 22
    Sgt. Peter Theodore Thompson 21
    F/S. James Alvin Taylor 19 RCAF Bomb Aimer
    Sgt. Gordon Stanley Woodrow 20
    Sgt. Kenneth William Radford 20

    May be my search is like looking for a needle in a hay stack, but why not ?
    In this 2d of January 2018, happy new year to all the readers.
    Andy
     
  9. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Andy,

    No. 6 is your Pilot, F/O Carroll. Look at the Flying Badge (full wing) above his left breast pocket.

    The attached photos are of the Air Bomber, F/Sgt Taylor RCAF who does appear to be No. 7 and the Navigator, P/O Reid, RCAF is No. 5.

    Regards,

    Dave
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  10. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Mayor Barnier's letter.png Burial service Halifax LL114 crew.png
     
  11. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    Hi
    A new step in my search
    I have found the BBC message to the start of the JOHN 35 opération.
    7 february - Nb 8 - "Fermez le gaz. Nous disons".

    This date in conform with the date of the crash (night 7 to 8 feb. 44)
    Message BBC 7 fevrier.jpg
    The destination of this operation is always unknow, but I dont despair...

    Regards
    Andy
     
  12. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    Hi,
    New picture :
    Today I do a short visite to the "musée de la Résistance" in Vassieux en Vercors:

    20180427_110918.jpg
    This is the Halifax LL114 compass.
    - The glass is broken
    - The magnetic arrow is always in order to point the North
    - The grey arrow is on the 310° direction.

    More informations about this item are welcome.

    Other picture will be sent tomorrow.
    Regards
    Andy
     
  13. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron


    Taylor, James Alvin

    138 Squadron (R.C.A.F.)

    Flight Sergeant

    R/168071

    8th February 1944

    Age 19

    Autrans Communal Cemetery,France Grave 5

    Son of James Prunty and Mary Olive Taylor,200 Balsam Avenue South,Hamilton,Ontario,
    Canada
    educated Wentworth Street Public School
    educated Central Collegiate Institute
    joined RCAF July 1942
    air bomber
    SOE Op.John 35,France
    Halifax LL114
    crashed Autrans,Isere,France

    taylor.jpeg
     
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  14. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron


    Reid, Arthur Edward

    138 Squadron (R.C.A.F.)

    Flying Officer

    J/22367

    8th February 1944

    Age 22

    Autrans Communal Cemetery,France Grave 2

    son of Robert and Mary Reid,Windsor,Ontario,Canada
    navigator
    SOE Op.John 35,France
    Halifax LL114
    crashed Autrans,Isere,France

    reid.jpeg
     
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  15. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    Hi,

    New pictures of the Halifax LL114 piece keep in the "musée de la résistance" Vassieux en Vercors.

    I think that is the a command system, but what command ?

    20180427_111027.jpg

    This is a détail part of this command:

    20180427_111306.jpg

    More informations are welcome.

    Regards
    Andy
     
  16. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    Hi,
    After a new year of search, nothing exceptional found.
    the only pist for now is to find the ATF N°6 of this operation.
    Where I have to search this one ?
    For a french guy it's not easy to know the right way.
    Waiting for your help (again).
    Regards
    Andy
     
  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Having just picked up this thread after some time.

    I think that the first photograph is the control unit. for the Undercarriage,Flaps and Bomb doors.

    The Halifax V was powered with the Merlin type XX engine.The item shown in the second photograph appears to be the throttle control unit but the extreme left hand engine throttle lever is missing.The scales shown are engine boost and are common across the four engines

    The centre control lever has the following scale.(Rated boost position not shown as below)

    Slow Running engine as appropriate to how the aircraft is being flown.

    Cruising Speed of the aircraft which would be recommended by Handley Page.

    Rated Boost position which would be achieved with the lever up to maximum position at the boost gate (is not in the photograph.) The boost beyond "the gate" or "through the gate" as it is also referred to, is maximum boost which would be used only for take offs or emergencies...usually rated at 5 mins maximum and also referred to as "war emergency boost" or "combat" boost.

    The boost position of each engine would be determined by the individual throttle lever position.The two outside throttle lever scales would indicate the boost from zero up to the maximum boost at the boost gate and beyond if the scale could be seen..The scale is missing from the 2nd throttle lever.

    On the Lincoln B2 (Packard built Merlin 68As) the engine throttle lever tops were so configured that only the right hand of the pilot was required to move the levers in a ganged movement.The practice on take off was that the Flight Engineer would cup the pilot's right hand on the lever with his left hand to ensure that there was not a loss of throttle control during the critical period of the take off task.

    On the same night as LL 114 was lost,LW 275 was lost also from No 138 Squadron....it was on a Jockey operation....associated with the Jockey Reseau?. Could it be that the John 35 operation related to a sub Reseau designated as John but not associated with Jockey.

    Unfortunately I cannot read clearly the BBC Message text as shown in #11.
     
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  18. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    Tnx Harry for all these explanations.

    This is the BBC message text: (Show in # 11)

    1734/FF Le 7 février 1944

    NOTE POUR M. LE CAPITAINE LECOINTRE.
    Du commandant Johnson
    Les messages suivants seront transmis
    aux émissions de 1330, 1930, et 2115, aujourd’hui le 7 février

    TOM 45 1. L’EGLISE EST EN FACE.
    TOM 32 2. LES FRUITS SONT ESQUIS.
    TOM 4 3. ROLAND N4A PLUS DE DENTS.
    HARRY 17 4. LE VIOLON SANGLOTE LONGUEMENT. NOUS DISONS.
    HARRY 25 5. L’HOMME A QUATRE MEMBRES. NOUS DISONS .
    HARRY 26 6. MICHEL A PERDU SON CHAT. NOUS DISONS.
    JOHN 29 7. LE CIRCUIT EST FERME. NOUS DISONS.
    JOHN 35 8. FERMEZ LE GAZ. NOUS DISONS.
    HARRY 18 9. O RAGE O DÉSESPOIR. NOUS DISONS.
    WIMOR 1 10. LA SERRE EST PLEINE DE FLEURS. NOUS DISONS.
    KRIS 11. LES BOURGEOIS SORTENT LEURS TETES. NOUS DISONS.
    KRIS 12. DE SAKI A CAILLLE MAILLE. L’OISEAU DES MER S’ENVOLERA CE SOI ; NOUS DISONS.
    HARRY 17 13. DE NINOS A RHADAMANTE. UN VIOLONISTE FERA SANGLOTER LONGUEMENT LE VIOLON.
    WIMOR 1 14. CHAPEAU A CULOTTE. TROIS JARDINIERS VOUS AMENERONT 54 FLEURS AMITIES DE TOUS. NOUS DISONS.
    JOHN 29 15. DE CARANVAL A MARDI GRAS. NOUS RESPIRONS SIX FOIS LA FEUILLE D’ACANTHE.
    16. LE CERCLE A CONTRECARRE NOS PROJETS (Massingham)
    17. LA PIROGUE EST RAPIDE
    18. IL RETOURNE SA VESTE.
    19. LES SAPINS SONT DE BEAUX ARBRES .
     
  19. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Apologies Bandy for not getting back sooner.

    Looking at the BBC transmissions and the French map entitled French Military Regions of DZ SOE RF.....this references the military regions all designated with male first names (cannot find KRIS and WILMOR on the map).Some areas carry the same name for example JOHN R1 is the military region based on the Ain et Savoie. This was the area under SOE's Richard Heslop ( fieldname Xavier) head of the Marksman reseau and whose role was to train and coordinate clandestine warfare of the Maquis against the German occupiers and their military infrastructure.Marksman would be responsible for determining the DZs and arranging the drops in conjunction with the Maquis leadership.I have no reason to doubt that the same map was used by SOE F Section.

    Note that the map is entitled SOE RF which means that it refers to the SOE Republic of France Section run by the Free French as distinct from SOE F Section,the British organisation.French BCRA agents were infiltrated into France by the RF Section.

    There is a second JOHN region to the south down to the Med which is identified as JOHN R2 marked on the map...

    These military regions are indicated on the map attachment as below.

    http://www.plan-sussex-1944.net/anglais/pdf/infiltrations_into_france.pdf


    From the transmissions it looks on the night in question there were a number of drops in the regions mentioned with their own BBC messages for the individual receptions.... messages which would mean nothing to the Germans unless they could relate them to the military region and DZ.....prearranged BBC messages were broadcast which was a confirmation signal to the various receptions of a forthcoming drop .The last number in the message might refer to the DZ.

    The BBC message referenced to Massingham,I would think this refers to the clandestine name of the SOE base in Algiers, located at Le Club des Pins....agents and arms were sent from here to Southern France,probably by boat and by air from Algiers.

    Cannot trace Commandant Johnson .However Owen Denis Johnson,an American served as Heslop's wireless operator throughout the duration of Marksman but he was known as Paul Johnson to Heslop. (Later there was a US Colonel Johnson of the Southern France invasion force in August 1944 who liaised with Heslop.)

    Capitaine Lecointre could be Guillaume Lecointre whose identity was aka Leveleller (Attorney) I cannot trace him,he may have been a member of the French BRCA.

    If he was, he must have survived the war as he is not on the Roll of Honour of the Counter Espionage and Military Security Services 1940-1945 or the that of the French Intelligence Service 1940-1944.

    For an account of Marksman's and Maquis clandestine activities in the Ain et Savoie,Richard Heslop's "Xavier,A British Secret Agent With The French Resistance" makes a worth while read of the harassment and destruction of the German occupational forces and what was accomplished in the JOHN R1 military area.
     
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  20. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    Carte France Zone SOE.jpg Tnx Harry for this new post.

    I have read before your msg the Sussex-Plan, but nothing about JOHN35 operation.

    This is the list of all JOHN opérations on this plan

    7/11/43: John 26
    25/11/43: John 36
    06/11/44: John 11 and John 38
    5/02/44: John 52
    3/03/44: John 22 and John 23
    22/03/44: John 75
    10/04/44: John 38A
    11/04/44: John 12
    21/04/44: John 25A
    24/04/44: John 67A
    5/05/44: John 111
    7/06/44: John 87A
    9/07/44: John 22A and John 60
    10/08/44: John 133A
    16/08/44: John 67C

    The plan give a lot of interesting informations about each mission, name of the agents, of the crew and also the DZ location.
     

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