Jack Aldridge RAF Bomber Command (Balkan Air Force)

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by 51MMO, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    This one is tricky:
    If we use the details from spidge #17 then we know this man was born in June (ish) 1922, we also know he died towards the end of 2002 - see #2 (link http://www.thefreelibrary.com/GRASSROOTS%3A+ex-service+notes.-a092287088) - and yet there is no record of a death cert for him on Ancestry which to me is odd???? :( and nor can I find an obituary for him in any of the Coventry newspapers - even more odd :(

    Also came across this from LG
    11th Nov. 1942.
    J. W. ALDRIDGE (125604).
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    On further checking and searching for an Aldridge born 1922 and death in 2002 I have found:
    England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007 about John William Aldridge
    Name: John William Aldridge Birth Date: 21 May 1922 Date of Registration: Sep 2002 Age at Death: 80 Registration District: Nuneaton and Bedworth Inferred County: Warwickshire Register Number: B44C District and Subdistrict: 7681B Entry number: 224
    which would tie in with the details in #2


    edited to add:
    on further research there is a family tree which shows John William Aldridge b 1922, d 2002 parents Charles Aldridge and Catherine Caulton (link that may or may not work http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/58160106/person/42030443938?ssrc=)

    51MMO - I have sent an internal Ancestry contact to the family tree above to see if they know more. I will update you if and when we can ascertain a connection between your details and his details, ie its the same person or not.
  3. 51MMO

    51MMO A Very Proud Grandson

    Guys - I really can't thank you enough for all you help with this. The way things have developed since I last checked this site is amazing and I am extremely grateful for all you efforts. I'll be seeing my Dad this weekend so may have a little more information to add - that is of course if you don't find it out before I do!

    Thanks again.

  4. spidge


    Seems to be coming together! Well done.

    I am researching the 48 Dambusters that survived the war and have found it very much hit and miss with family contacts on Ancestry.

    My John William is definitely the above as Maiden name Caulton is a clear match unless Aldridge brothers married Caulton sisters!

    Found this last night but too tired to post. I have not yet carried out a reverse check however it seems to me John W could be one of a "Dozen" through from 1911 - 1929.

    More later.


  5. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    On Spartan Wings: The Royal Hellenic Air Force in World War Two by John Carr (Author) - AU$10 for the Kindle Edition

    Just downloaded this brilliant book and the attached pages pretty much leave no doubt that this is your guy (also referred to in my earlier snippet (#8) and the 13SQN RHAF ORB (#12)).

    The other crew:





    Attached Files:

  6. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    To expand - I went through the RAF personnel cards for all those with the Aldridge surname and the initials of JW (based on the RAF Casualty List entries for November 1944) and got 5 hits. One of them was just JW, one James William and three John William.

    JW had the service number of 253216 - which dates back to WW1

    James William had the service number of 2469721 - which dates to National Service in the 1950s

    Two of the John William results received commissions prior to 1944 according to the London Gazette:

    John William Aldridge enlisted as 1381003 & commissioned from the rank of LAC to become a Pilot Officer with the new service number of 125604 in July 1942


    John William Gordon Aldridge enlisted as 1831326 & commissioned from the rank of AC2 to become a Pilot Officer with the new service number of 163192 in September 1944


    Which to me leaves the best match as John William Aldridge 1238668 - that number would have been allocated upon his arrival at RAF Cardington between April 1940 & April 1941 (probably in 1941 as it is towards the end of the block 1150001 - 1250000). Enlistment in early 1941 would be a perfect fit for a bloke born in 1922
  7. 51MMO

    51MMO A Very Proud Grandson

    That's incredible - great efforts guys. I really appreciate it and am so grateful. I might just have to get myself a copy of that book as well!
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi DaveB

    Stupid question as I am confused - where does the number 1238668 come from??

  9. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    See my post #18 - all of the OR numbers I am quoting come from the scanned personnel registration cards held by TNA

    I copied all of the possible JW hits onto one document with John WIlliam Aldridge 1238668 being the first one on the scanned document.

    The other two blokes who enlisted with the name John WIlliam Aldridge (John WIlliam Gordon Aldridge) both took commissions.

    PS - I have further expanded my post #26

  10. vathra

    vathra Junior Member

    just got here by googling Angelidis.
    There is mention of Angelos Angenilis (misspell in original) and John William in one book of partisan unit. In it they claim that in mid-July of 1944. they fell near village Jelasje, municipality Kralupi in Bosnia. They were burnt, and picked by chetniks of Sava Zekic. They were treated for their injuries, and later transferred to other place, after which authors don't know what happened to them.

    It is good to find they came home.
    Chetniks did help allies, but they were often trying to keep them for a while, in order to get contact with allies.
  11. Blaine Aldridge

    Blaine Aldridge New Member


    I'm not sure if you are all still interested as I realise it has been a number of years since this was first posted, but the John ("Jack") William Aldridge you are referring to is in fact my great-grandfather. He did originally live in Coventry, but later moved to Bedworth nearby. His very large family are now largely based in Nuneaton and Bedworth. His son, another John, is my grandad.

    Firstly, thank you for all you have posted, it has been a very interesting read. We have been trying to find out more about his experiences during the war. He was shot down over Yugoslavia and spent the next few months avoiding Nazi capture. The book you have mentioned has now been ordered and we look forward to reading more into it.

    Secondly, during the 1990's he wrote a short memoir of his experiences, which we have a copy of, and we own several photographs of him from this time, with the plane, crew and even with a Chetnik woman that found him after being shot down.

    If you are still interested I will happily share these at some point.
    51MMO, CL1 and Tullybrone like this.
  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Blaine


    Sometimes we have threads on here that come to a halt because we run out of information sources. It is really great when new details arrive espcially from a direct descendant, so post away

  13. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    OP hasn’t signed in on the forum for over 3 months so I’ve sent him a message to alert him to your post.

    alieneyes likes this.
  14. Blaine Aldridge

    Blaine Aldridge New Member

    Thank you for getting in touch so quickly.

    I'll of course try to give any information I can to help and intend on visiting the Imperial War Museum to see what photographs they have of him.

    For now, see the photos of him that I have attached (hopefully successfully) and I shall have a copy of his war stories uploaded as soon as I can, which I'm sure will give you far more information than I ever could.

    Attached Files:

    51MMO, CL1, spidge and 2 others like this.
  15. 51MMO

    51MMO A Very Proud Grandson

    Hi Blaine.

    I've just logged on to this forum for the first time in a very long time to find your posts. I originally started this thread because I was keen to find out more information about Jack, the brother-in-law of my Grandad (Graham Simmons) - Jack and Graham married sisters, Eileen (your Great-Grandmother) and Ruby (my Nan). I remember meeting Jack on a few occasions and was always intrigued by his story. I was amazed about how much information people shared on this forum and the pictures that you have kindly shared are a wonderful addition. I too have a copy of Jack's memoirs - they really do make for an amazing read.

    I hope you still have access to the forum and that you will pick this message up; feel free to contact me at any point if you would like to chat further.


    spidge likes this.
  16. bear.cub

    bear.cub Member

    Hi All, I’m interested in tracking down and replicating escape and evasion routes, it would be great to know more of this one to see if it’s traceable. Cheers Allan

Share This Page