Not new ..but returning after 7 years

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by janine 15, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. janine 15

    janine 15 Member

    Hi my name is janine I am from sheffield I have used this site many years ago I am tracing my grandad and I have new info I am back asking for help ..found his squadron finally (189) ..and now I am bogged down with loads of numbers and aircraft ..and to be honest I don't know what I am doing. .apart from getting headache. . All help appreciated from the experts and anyone else really ..
    Thanks janine
  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Janine, welcome back. Could you please give your grandads full name and any other relevant info you have?

    Regards. Peter
  3. janine 15

    janine 15 Member

    Hi .
    It was ken pursehouse
    Squadron 189
    On his demob book group 55 27/6 pru
    I found him listed in the ton up Lancaster bomber book
    On nov 1 1944 with the crew on the spirit of russia. I know he made 13 outings and crashed on way back in Lincolnshire in about Feb 1945 he had a fractured skull and a few injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital..none of the crew died that night..He then went on to deliver food and repatriate prisoners in Italy. I have forgotten his number but I can find it if needed. The number at the side of the flight was 1416 - 1807 I don't know what that means
  4. RCG

    RCG Senior Member

    Had a quick look and found this, will see if I can find out who the navigator was.

    10th February, Lancaster PB146 No.189 Sqn Seacroft, nr Skegness Collided with PZ744 after following it into a turn, aircraft survived and landed safely, 1 Killed (Navigator).
    1945 Incident Logs -

    10/02/1945 Hurricane PZ744 1690BDTF Seacroft, nr Skegness This aircraft was airborne from Metheringham at 1016hrs. It was destroyed after it collided with Lancaster PB146 of 189sqn at the end of a fighter affiliation exercise after turning below the Lancaster. The aircraft was abandoned & crashed near Seacroft station at 1101hrs. Pilot F/Lt I.H. Hanlon (New Zealander) was injured.

    14.16 - 18.07 will be the time.
    Translated to Norfolk speech.
    It took off just arter quarter past two and landed just afore quarter past six.:D
  5. RCG

    RCG Senior Member

    Rank:Flight Sergeant
    Service No:702097
    Date of Death:10/02/1945
    Regiment/Service:Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    189 Sqdn.
    Grave Reference:
    Sec. 20. Grave 58.
    Additional Information:
    Son of William and Alice Mary Gothard, of Ipswich, Suffolk.

    SGT William Thomas Gothard ( - 1945) - Find A Grave Memorial

    William Thomas Gothard was born Colchester 3rd June 1918.
    Son of Farrier staff Sgt William Gothard of Royal Field Artillery. He enlisted 4th Aug 1899. Passed farrier and veterinary courses and served in S Africa, India and France. Left the army 23rd Sept 1920.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
  6. janine 15

    janine 15 Member

    Hi again
    Thanks for the information. . I have dug through old paper work I had years ago and with the experience I have gained since then I have made more sense of what I wrote down..I have looked in the book ton up and noted his crew . ....His f/o was d m s van cuylenburg . I have obtained 189 squadron logs for nov 1944- feb 1945 and my grandads f/o is listed as joining them along with his crew who it states all came from 44 squadron on the 18th of October 1944 ..It list operations but not individuals so I can't say which ones he took part in ..except 1 nov 1944..but it has given me his squadron previously ..which to be fair there isn't much info on that for the time my grandad was therefore. .and I don't want to spend any more money at the moment obtaining records but will do if necessary. .All in all I think I've done ok..
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member


    I remember this discussion going back to August 2009.Pleased to see that information on Ken Pursehouse's squadron service is unfolding.

    However the key to his RAF service will be contained in his RAF Service Record which can be applied for from RAF Cranwell.

    No 189 Squadron was one of the late wartime Lancaster squadrons formed in the autumn of 1944 when Lancaster production numbers were at peak and hence some squadron had a history of short wartime existence.

    15 October 1944 Formed at Bardney ...equipped with Lancasters Mark 1 and Mark 111
    As normal in the forming of new or reformed squadrons,an experience Flight would be posted in from an experienced squadron.In this case it was No 44 Squadron who were based at Spilsby near Boston.

    2 November 1944 Squadron moved to Fulbeck(between Sleaford and Newark off the A17)

    8 April 1945 Squadron moved to Bardney

    15 October 1945 Squadron moved to Metheringham

    20 November 1945 Squadron disbanded at Metheringham as RAF rundown gathered pace.

    I seem to recollect that the Spirit of Russia was a well known aircraft,it must have been transferred to No189 Squadron when the squadron received its aircraft....probably from No 44 Squadron.

    Aircraft losses from fighter affiliation exercises where the bomber was subject to dummy interceptions from the fighter and the bomber responded with corkscrewing and other evasive turns led to numbers of aircraft lost through collisions.

    Links to the threads of 2009.

    hello from sheffield

    hello from sheffield
    Peter Clare likes this.
  8. janine 15

    janine 15 Member

    Sorry for not replying I have been busy and done quite well! !
    I have the air 27 for 189 sq and ops logs and some for 44 squadron
    Facts off that..
    Kenneth pursehouse 1595275 14.9.1944 transferred from 51base (group 5 training base 1)Transferred to 44 squadron ..
    Transferred to 189 on 28.10.1944.
    I have the operations log and he is listed with his crew where he did 7 ops of which I have the details ..He did 2 ops for operation dodge then was still with them until he was demobbed in 1947 even though they officially disbanded in November 1945.
    I have him listed in the 189 appendices as being taken to raf ssq on the 13.2.1945 as we're some of the crew..He was signed off sick for 21days, transferred to rauceby hospital and was signed off from duty for a full six weeks.
    I checked 189 ops logs assuming it was the dresden raid but his crew are not listed and all 15 planes got back safely.
    However in 44 squadron ops logs grandad flew on 13/14 October 1944 (brunswick )it says his plane took heavy flak and was damaged. He then ends up in hospital for 9 days one in the family knew there is a possibility that the story belongs to this one.. but I still have no idea what happened to the feb 45 one..although I do have evidence of some accident I have checked training logs ..but I am not that experienced to really know where to look ..could it be a possibility that some of 189 sq flew from another base on the dresden raid.
    I know from the 89 things I have that the other air gunner a smith was also admitted to ssq on the same night, some of the other crew were signed of sick as well and none of them flew until 2/3 March 1945.
    I now know all this for definite. .but still no plane

    Yours disheartened
  9. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member Patron

    EE136 was "Spirit of Russia and completed 109 Ops and survived the War, presumably scrapped some time later.
    Initially with 9 Squadron as WS@R then to 189 as CA@R (presumably kept "R" for Russia?)
    100 Op Lancs

    From your 2009 posts, you have links to Sheffield, does that mean Kenneth was related to
    PURSEHOUSE, HENRY. Rank: Bombardier. Service No: 878629. Date of Death: 17/06/1940. Age: 19.
    Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery 281 Bty.
    Grave Reference: Sec. 18. Plot 2. Row B. Grave 1. Cemetery: RENNES EASTERN COMMUNAL CEMETERY.
    Additional Information: Son of Henry and Doris Pursehouse, of Sheffield.

    There is a reference way down in the text of this article Lost Lancaster crew identified after 68 years by wireless operator's wedding ring
    relating to Spirit of Russia and no doubt you've Googled plenty of photos for that aircraft.

    If you have his log books, that usually has aircraft serial numbers for each flight.......

    What's disheartened you? RCG gave an account of what happened.
    It seems he may have been injured in the collision of PB146 on 10th Feb with the Hurricane during simulated fighter attack manoeuvres, pretty hard landing if navigator died from his injuries, may have taken a couple of days to admit/notice something seriously wrong (fractured skull) after reporting to Station Sick Quarters and then hospital and off Ops for 6 weeks.
    RCG likes this.
  10. janine 15

    janine 15 Member

    I believe he was his cousin. .I sent of for his logs years ago but they said it wasn't there. .but I didn't have much info then and more things are online. .I will try again I need to know...This has crossed my mind before because my nan said when she went to see him he went mad at her because he didn't want her to see him like this and no one knew of the other time he was in hospital. .He was quite a private stubborn man
  11. RCG

    RCG Senior Member

    Janine. I suspect you are looking for something which is not there.

    As usual I am just guessing.
    If he was with the crew on 10/2/45 in the incident Lanc PB 146. In which they had to bale out.
    He gets back to base reports to M.O. with badly swollen ankle, MO says he has possibly a sprained ankle, advises him to rest it for a couple of days and will check it again when swelling has gone down.
    Reports back to MO on the 13th. MO is concerned about it signs him off for 21 days and send him to the Hospital. Where they find that he has actually broken his ankle and they sign him off for six weeks, which is the normal time to be signed of for such an injury even today.
  12. janine 15

    janine 15 Member

    He had a fractured skull which is definite. .His last op before his hospital was 8/9 feb on the Lancaster pb879. .This was used in the dresden raid but different crew no crash there ...His crew were
    F/o d m s van cuylenburg, sgt c e thomson, w/o a c h hayes, f sgt ostopovitch, sgt k pursehouse, sgt n e goodhand, f sgt a smith,
    A smith and grandad went to hospital 13.2.1945 d m s van cuylenburg sick leave 15.2.1945/23.2.945..
  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Post deleted as it appears it did not help enlighten this thread

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  14. janine 15

    janine 15 Member

    Who ever put this is wrong I am his granddaughter and he died 24th January 1981..its just the crash I was after I know everything else
    Thanks anyway
  15. RCG

    RCG Senior Member

    To solve this puzzle we need to find out.
    What Aircraft 189 Sqd had available to fly on 12th and 13th Feb 1945.
    which if any Aircraft took off for any mission from midday 12th of Feb 1945 to midnight 13th Feb 1945. And those that returned from Midnight the 12th to midday the 13th.or any on training missions during the day of the 13th.
    We might then find those that had been Struck of charge.

    Another thought is that it was a take off accident, as this one was.

    1st January 1945 Lancaster I NG127 No.50 Sqn Skellingthorpe Coded VN-D. Tasked to bomb the Mittelland Kanal near Gravenhorst but swung out of control on take- off, whereupon the undercarriage collapsed. No injuries, but the Lancaster was written off. Crew details are omitted from 50 Sqn records and details of the incident have been obtained from the Accident record Book. Such practices of ignoring take-off accidents were not unusual at this stage of the war.
    So the Accident book is another avenue to look for.
  16. janine 15

    janine 15 Member

    I have checked the logs and no planes were reported crashed or struck off but even if it was an accident 4 of the crew injured ( I have seen them signed of sick in the appendices ) there should be something? . The last ops the crew did was 8/9 feb arriving back at base at 02.14.,the plane that was used that night was pb879 ..and it was used in the dresden raid on the 13 feb but it wasn't there crew and they are not listed on any plane for that day..The story was crashed on way back from a mission after being shot at crashed landed no one died ..but grandad and another gunner was taken straight to hospital..sgt a smith.. They received promotion after this which I have found grandad promoted to flight sgt 1.4.1945..but it could be an accident as he was shot at and ended up in hospital in October 1944 with 44 squadron. .and no one knew this ..stories cross.. I feel like I got a 1,000 piece jig saw and the middle bit is missing :D
  17. RCG

    RCG Senior Member

    You will never finish the puzzle, if you do not throw away the pieces that don't fit, and not add other pieces to it which have no relevance to it. :)
    You said
    I have him listed in the 189 appendices as being taken to raf ssq on the 13.2.1945.
    So the Injuries must have occurred on the 13th or late on the 12th.
    you have said that no planes were lost at that time and they were not listed for any plane that day.

    So that only leaves another kind of accident. A Motor accident, a bomb going off etc.
    Or more likely a brawl or high jinks in the pub. :D
  18. janine 15

    janine 15 Member

    I thought about a motor accident.earlier ..I have managed to find the navigators family on another site so I have emailed them maybe just maybe...If not I could see when other crew members died and if it's 30 years ago I could send off for there logs myself. ..either way I still love the bomber command history and will still read and find out other stuff ...It never ends.:plane:

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