Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Mavis Williams, May 31, 2018.

  1. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Hi Everyone, I have a mystery, Charles Clifford Reid below, is said to have been buried in our local Cemetery, but I have the Royal Air Force Record book entries for the 83rd Sqn for the night of the 17th December 1943 (National Archives) when the Sqn was bombing Berlin. 14 planes “went up” starting at 16.26, the last on at 16.40, from RAF Wyton, and Charles is listed on the Aircraft Lancaster “K” J.B.344. His aircraft “went up” at 16.39 on the 16th December and crashed on landing owing to nil visibility, no fires seen, at 00.40 on the 17th December 1943.

    The list of the crew:-
    P/O. McLean F.E.
    Sgt. Day, H.
    F/S. Lindsey, R.A.
    Sgt. Henderson, J.
    F/S. Tankard, V.G.
    F/S. Fairthorn, L.E.
    Sgt. Reid, C.C.

    Details of the Sortie of Flight:-

    Bombed T.I. red at 19.58 hours 19,000’ 120 degrees M. 150 knots 10/10 cloud tops 5,000’ vis good. First T.I. red went down at 19.57 hours. A fairly good concentration was achieved. No fires seen aircraft crashed on landing owing to nil visibility.
    1 Aircraft, Lancaster “W” J.A, 928 took off at 16.28 and returned early at 19.30. Turret u/s.

    Commonwealth War Graves Commission
    Sergeant (Air Gunner)
    Service Number 1459932
    Died 17/12/1943
    83 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Son of Clarence Reginald and Catherine May Reid, of Shotton.
    Location: Flintshire, United Kingdom
    Number of casualties: 42
    Cemetery/memorial reference: Sec. 1F. Grave 68.
    Country United Kingdom
    Region Flintshire

    How can he be buried in Hawarden yet crashed, if I have the correct entry/man, in Germany. Any help to explain would be gratefully received. Kindest regards,
  2. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    You state he crashed on landing which suggests he was returning back to base in UK. The flight times certainly suggest that too, approx. 4 hours to target and approx. 4 hours home.
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Moved thread to 'War in the air' section of forum from 'Airborne'.
  4. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Thank you 51 Highland, I assumed that he crashed in German, lot's to learn here! I have to look for his death i the UK then. Apologies Owen. I am still learning. Kind regards, Mavis.
  5. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    Reid is the only fatal casualty listed for 83 Sqn in the CWGC for that night. The other crew members must have survived the crash landing, which given the phrase"crashed on landing" must have been in the UK.

    WW2 aircraft were not easy to fly. There were many accidents on takeoff and landing.
    Between September 1939 - May 1945 RAF Bomber Command lost 47,268 men killed on operations. Another 8,303 killed in flying or training accidents. A proportion of those lost on operations were also due to flying accidents - crashes and collisions. Probably one in six fatalities were from accidents.
  6. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much, I will have to apply to Cambridge Register Office as Wyton is in that County, just to to see if they will confirm his death there. Thank you so much Sheldrake for clarifying what happened. Kind regards, Mavis
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    A raid associated with the bomber offensive on Berlin,dubbed the Battle of Berlin which took place from 18 November 1943 to 24 March 1944 using the heavy bomber force leading to unsustainable losses.Berlin was bombed many times to the end of the war but using Mosquitos of the Light Night Striking Force.Shortly afterwards,the Bomber Command heavy force was given the task of concentrating on targets in preparation for the Normandy invasion.

    16/17 December 1943 was a black night for returning Bomber Command aircraft....poor weather,low cloud and fog over home airfields caused 29 Lancasters to crash with the PFF Squadron No 97 Squadron (sister squadron to No 83 Squadron within No 8 Group PFF..both on loan from No 5 Group) losing 7 aircraft....148 crew killed on crashing,6 lost at sea and 39 injured recorded.

    Regarding the crew of Lancaster JB 344 OL-K

    Sergeant C.C Reid, Rear Gunner is recorded as being injured on the crash and may have died in the RAF Wyton SSQ.

    Flight Sergeant V.C Tankard.... may have been the Bomb Aimer was killed during the crash and is interred at Cambridge City Cemetery.

    The other five crew are recorded as injured

    As it was, the bomber force was routed to Berlin over the Ruhr and Northern Germany.It fared better on the return leg via Denmark.However with 25 Lancasters lost over Germany including on the return leg and 29 Lancasters lost over England,the losses represented the loss of two squadrons.
    CL1 likes this.
  8. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    I cannot thank you enough for illuminating what happened to all these young men and Charles in particular. His family will be very indebted to this Forum, as I am. Kindest regards, Mavis
  9. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Hi Mavis, death recorded in Manchester. I think you can still get PDF copies of death certs by email for £6.
    FreeBMD District Info
  10. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I think we have the wrong man here.The Manchester C.C Reid's age is given as 43 years which is unlikely for aircrew.

    Sergeant Reid died from injuries on 17 December 1943 following a return from ops.Since the death most likely occurred at RAF Wyton,I would have thought that the death would have be registered at Huntingdon in Huintingdonshire. It's unlikely that he was taken to the large RAF hospital at Ely in Cambridgeshire.

    His place of internment would have been determined by his NOK.
  11. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    1939 Register has him living at, 1 Clarence street, Hawarden, Flintshire. Born 12th October 1923.
  12. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    A relative of Reid has published a comment/research in which an attempted rescue earned a BEM ? Article here;-

    25th June 1942: Third thousand bomber raid hits Bremen

    Harry Ree and ozzy16 like this.
  13. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Attached Files:

    Harry Ree and ozzy16 like this.
  14. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I have the photographs of the interred at Cameret sur Mer somewhere so I would think that the grave of P/O McLean RAAF is among them....Geoff (Spidge) should have them.
  15. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    F/L F E McLean.Pilot RAAF interred at Cameret sur Mer.

    Grave photograph to follow

    Update...... found it but too late.

    Incidentally the south side of the Brest Rade is ideal for a holiday....Cameret, Crozon and Morgat...well removed from Brest,it's a different world although you wouldn't think that you were virtually on top of a submarine base at Le Fret.

    A good day out by boat from Cameret to Ushant (Ile D'Quessant) calling at the beautiful little port/fishing village of Le Conquet....German Atlantic Wall fortifications are still evident at the entry to the port.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  16. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

  17. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Photo by Michel SCHREIBER

    alieneyes likes this.
  18. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Mark C Reid, CL1 and alieneyes like this.
  19. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Words fail me everyone! I am running out of words of praise, but thank you so much for the above, above, over and beyond you have all gone. Kindest regards, Mavis
  20. Mark C Reid

    Mark C Reid New Member

    Hello Mavis.

    I'm the grandson of Charles Clifford Reid's brother: Christopher.

    You can find more information here as to the location of the grave:

    Hawarden War Memorial

    Charles Clifford Reid was much missed. As my grand mother (Christopher's wife) would frequently say to her grand children.

    Currently researching myself.


    Mark Reid

Share This Page