Paratroopers murdered in Herouvillette

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by roodymiller, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. roodymiller

    roodymiller Senior Member

    Thanks for that Drew. Just looked at casualties in Herouvillette. 11 paras there, all down as 6th june deaths. Does anyone have the names of the alleged murdered men?
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Roody the thanks go to Brian.....He did the hard bit :D

    The file says the men can not be identified due to another incident nearby in which five Para's in a car were ambushed and all were killed. They suspect this may have been excessive too but due it it being a single action they can not prove otherwise.

    Andy
     
  3. ranville

    ranville Senior Member

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    Thanks for that. I'm new a member so sorry if i make any gaffs,but do we know if the accused were found guilty[and if so did they get a personal meeting with Mr Pierrepoint?]
     
  4. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Finkenrath was found Guilty and Sentenced to Death by Hanging.

    Haven't checked to see if the Sentence was carried out.

    Brian
     
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Finkenrath was hanged at Hameln Prison on June 9 1948, the executioner being Albert Pierrepoint.One of 64 men and women hanged by the British for war crimes at Hamleln.

    Having said that they were some who got away with their crimes,notably those involved in the lynching and murder of Allied aircrew and the murder of persistent POW escapers, who for some reason were never brought to book.Regarding downed aircrew,it is likely that the cases were covered by the conviction of types such as Robert Wagner,the Gauleiter of Alsace who incited civilians and military personnel alike to murder what the German propaganda machine termed, "terror flyers"
     
  6. roodymiller

    roodymiller Senior Member

    Graves 1-5 all paras (6th June 1944)
    Graves 7-10 all paras (6th June 1944)
    Grave 12 para (6th June 1944)
    Grave 17 para (6th June 1944)

    11 in total.

    Graves 1-5 car ambush victims?
     
  7. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    He was originally charged with the Murder of five Paras.
    Found Guilty of Murdering the two he admitted to in a written statement. Finkenrath did not give any evidence on his own behalf other than the statement.

    He spoke of the killings to a German S/Mjr who later joined the Company; but his evidence was not considered enough to convict the man on all five charges.


    Perhaps the first five headstones belong to Finkenraths Victims. As there was doubt over the identity of the two he admitted to none were named in the Charges.
     
  8. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Petition by Karl Finkenrath to the British Military Court Hamburg

    Translation (ha ha!!)

    I have been Sentenced to Death on 1/4/48. The sentence was confirmed on 19/4/48.

    I ask for Clemency. I am married and a Father of three children who are in the age of 4.8 and 13. My Wife is ill and I am afraid her state of health will get worse when hearing of my execution.It will be tragically if the Children lose their Mother; two of the Children are killed already by fire. Herewith I ask once more for mercy:- Having returned from captivity of war,I did not know,having violated the Law. When I was interrogated I have explained the situation as I remember the instants happened during the war affairs:important witnesses who could serve statements counting for release,I can't recall anymore as my mental state according to the poor food is weak.

    I instantly ask the High Court for reconsideration.

    His appeal was turned down by Brigadier Halse D.J.A.G.
     
  9. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    Im not sure that the grave numbering gives any clues, as there is a mix of battalions across the 11 graves

    Grave 1. MEIKLEJOHN, MUNRO, 8th Bn.
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    Grave 2. LANGDON, RAYMOND WILLIAM, 8th Bn.
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    Grave 3. WALTON, SYDNEY STRINGER, 8th Bn.
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    Grave 4. ISAACS, JOHN, 8th Bn.
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    Grave 5. BURGESS, EDWARD JAMES 12th (10th Bn. The Green Howards [Yorkshire Regt.]) Bn.
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    Grave 7. RUSSON, DENNIS, 8th Bn.
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    Grave 8. O'SULLIVAN, DAVID, 12th (10th Bn. The Green Howards [Yorkshire Regt.]) Bn.
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    Grave 9. HOWE, RONALD, 12th (10th Bn. The Green Howards [Yorkshire Regt.]) Bn.

    Grave 10. HOWARD, THOMAS, 12th (10th Bn. The Green Howards [Yorkshire Regt.]) Bn.
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    Grave 10A. LEADBETTER, ROBERT, 7th Bn.
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    Grave 12. COOPER, CHARLES ANTHONY PAUL, 8th Bn.
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    Grave 17. HUISH, WILLIAM LOADER, 7th Bn.
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    SOURCE: Paras War Graves
     
  10. barbed wire

    barbed wire Junior Member

    Read on several occassions that the first wave of allied troops on D- day, ie paratroopers, british marines, rangers etc were told not to take prisoners, because they would prove to be a burden to guard etc: anyone got further verification on this?
     
  11. roodymiller

    roodymiller Senior Member

    Phil

    The mix of battalions all dropped on the same drop zones (DZN and DZK, above and below Herouvillette) and would probably developed into adhoc groups trying to find their objectives or ran into trouble. I already looked at the graves to try and get some clues, but same as you, found none. I did read somewhere once that 11 paras were alleged to be murdered. The way they are buried is confusing as the dates don't really tally (5 here, 4 there, 1 here etc).

    Andy.
     
  12. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    Andy, it was in one of the links poster by Verrieres

    Spring 2006

    WAR CRIMES IN NORMANDY.
    While many of our members will no doubt be aware of the 1940 murders of British and Commonwealth prisoners of war, it may come as a surprise to learn that similar incidents also took place in Normandy, following the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944. The first recorded incident involved some of the British paratroops dropped behind the beaches and they may have become the first casualties of D-Day. In the early hours of 6th June 1944 a company of the 716th Engineering Battalion of the German Army was stationed in the village of Herouvillette, just east of the River Orne and slightly to the north-east of Caen. Company headquarters was stationed at a farm which had been a former training stables for race horses. Around one or two o’clock in the morning members of the 6th Airborne Division began to descend in the area. Considerable confusion seems to have been caused as the Germans were caught very much unprepared and the standard of efficiency in the unit was not very high. It appears that during the night some ten or eleven paratroopers were taken prisoner and brought to the farm. The first, possibly an officer, was taken to divisional headquarters but at least six others were shot by a German NCO by the name of Finkenrath. Following a war crimes investigation, both the NCO and his superior officer Kaptain Molters found themselves in custody in 1948. Their subsequent fate is not known
     
  13. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    Petition by Karl Finkenrath to the British Military Court Hamburg

    Translation (ha ha!!)

    I have been Sentenced to Death on 1/4/48. The sentence was confirmed on 19/4/48.

    I ask for Clemency. I am married and a Father of three children who are in the age of 4.8 and 13. My Wife is ill and I am afraid her state of health will get worse when hearing of my execution.It will be tragically if the Children lose their Mother; two of the Children are killed already by fire. Herewith I ask once more for mercy:- Having returned from captivity of war,I did not know,having violated the Law. When I was interrogated I have explained the situation as I remember the instants happened during the war affairs:important witnesses who could serve statements counting for release,I can't recall anymore as my mental state according to the poor food is weak.

    I instantly ask the High Court for reconsideration.

    His appeal was turned down by Brigadier Halse D.J.A.G.

    The sentance was carried out on the 9th June 1948, at Hameln Prison
     
  14. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    The war diary for the 8th battalion states the following.

    1330 - O.C. "C" coy arrived with 4 offrs and 51 ORs. He met Bn at 143702. He stated that he had been landed on RANVILLE DZ and gathered together 51 members of the Bn. He saw in the distance the green verey lights being fired at the Bn R.V. and decided to make straight for them. His route took him through HEROUVILLETTE where they ran into the enemy and had to fight their way through the village. Force suffered 6 casualties.

    Maybe a coincidence but there are 6 members of the 8th Bn buried at Herouvillette.

    MEIKLEJOHN, MUNRO
    LANGDON, RAYMOND WILLIAM
    WALTON, SYDNEY STRINGER
    ISAACS, JOHN
    RUSSON, DENNIS
    COOPER, CHARLES ANTHONY PAUL

    There is no mention of Herouvillette, in the war diary for either the 7th or 12th Bn on the 6th June, which leaves 5 names from the 2 battalions

    SOURCE: War Diaries
     
  15. roodymiller

    roodymiller Senior Member

    Phil

    Tried that also... Great minds think alike!!

    A friend of mine is convinced some of the men were from the 13th battalion, but we cant find any evidence. So I'm trying to narrow the possibilities down. There are 3 casualties I don't have any circumstances for on 6th June, from the 13th. They are all buried in Ranville, he (my friend) has vague memories and is convinced some were from the 13th. There are a few 'gaps' in the cemetery at Herouvillette. Could the bodies have been moved to be with the majority of the 13th? I'm probably barking up the wrong tree though. Still, I would really like to find out the names of the alleged murdered paras to clear this up...

    Thanks for your help Phil.
     
  16. roodymiller

    roodymiller Senior Member

    13th casualties with no circumstance

    Pte HARGREAVES Arnold 06/06/1944 Ranville 3A-J-8
    Pte JOHNSON Thomas H. 06/06/1944 Ranville 2A-L-10
    Pte POTTER Ernest E. 06/06/1944 Ranville 2A-L-6
     
  17. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    13th casualties with no circumstance

    Pte HARGREAVES Arnold 06/06/1944 Ranville 3A-J-8
    Pte JOHNSON Thomas H. 06/06/1944 Ranville 2A-L-10
    Pte POTTER Ernest E. 06/06/1944 Ranville 2A-L-6

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  18. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    not directly related, but details on two further 8bn believed to have been murdered.

    Private Arthur Platt
     
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I noticed today on the After The Battle website that one of their quarterly magazines covers these murders.
     
  20. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    I noticed today on the After The Battle website that one of their quarterly magazines covers these murders.
    Yes I got it, issue 145 need any info?
     

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