RAF Rear Gunner

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by ozzy16, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I have not found any Ludlow reference in a front line squadron via Bill Chorley for the second quarter of 1944......or could it be an OTU or HCU accident.

    The superior survival rate of the Halifax was credited to be better for bailing out.perhaps it was a question of better egress for the crew to the hatches or doors ..the other point about the Halifax was that its buoyancy was better than the Lancaster giving the crew more time to evacuate the aircraft when ditching and getting into dinghies.

    Incidentally the rank of W.O 2 is not a rank I recognise in the RAF rank structure.
    ozzy16 likes this.
  2. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    cheers Harry,thanks for looking.

  3. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Ordered, Bomber Command Losses, vol 5 by W. R. Chorley tonight £22.It looks an excellent ref book.Hope to get the other 8 volumes Christmas ???.(will start making her a cup of tea first thing in the morning)

  4. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    If you're serious about getting all 8 volumes, then it might be worth adding them to your basket and only purchase when the price drops... but they can be rare beasts so patience is your watchword.
    ozzy16 likes this.
  5. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Had a look at no 6 Group RCAF as mentioned earlier in this thread.

    The group was formed in Yorkshire on Oct 25-1942 and was declared operational Jan 1st-1943.It was interesting to note that over a third of all aircrew in bomber command were Canadians.
    No 6 Group flew a total of 40,822 sorties,(271,981 flying hours) with 814 aircraft lost.5700 airmen did not return from operations,and 4203 airmen lost their lives.The group received 8000 decorations for bravery.
    The Group was disbanded in 1945.

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  6. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Nothing in Chorley's OTU in the timeframe given.

    In Chorley's HCU, the following but the annoying lack of initials and the date may discount:

    No. 1654 HCU Stirling III LJ628 21 July 1944

    F/O J O'Leary
    P/O L Gardiner
    Sgt Ludlow
    Sgt McDonald
    Sgt T Burroughs (inj)
    Sgt Coulson
    Sgt Walsh
    Sgt LS Van Nierkirk (inj)

    T/o 1005 Wigsley to practice both two and three-engined flying. On two engines, the Stirling would not hold it's height and before remedial action could be taken, the aircraft emerged from the cloud base and flew into the ground, circa 1045, on Upper Commons, between Margery Hills and Bradfield in the Peak District. The tail gunner came from Shabani in Southern Rhodesia.

    ozzy16 likes this.
  7. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hi Kevin,
    All volumes are currently available and the prices vary according to the condition of the books.(might go for them now)

    Thanks for having a look,
    I'm currently looking at Chorley's volume 5 1944. It arrived early today.

    regards ....Graham.
  8. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    For someone like TD, this may be of interest..
    India, Marriages, 1792-1948
    Annie Pammant, born 1888
    Annie Pammant was born in 1888, to George Pammant.
    Annie married Herbert Guest Ludlow on month day 1912, at age 24 at marriage place.

    but no help moving this forward - sorry!

    Graham, yes, but price also reflects scarcity.
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  9. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Sod it, pushed the boat out and ordered another 3 volumes of Chorley's to go with volume 5 which I already have.
    If nothing else, they will come in handy helping people/member's researching their relatives.An excellent set of reference book's,
    (only 4 more to get)
    Update regarding this thread.Due to this chaps death certificate being mislaid,(now rectified) The application for his service records was posted today.
    I'm not expecting a reply until mid/late November,could be longer.

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  10. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hi Dave (Alleneyes)
    Checked out your post (26) in this thread.BTW, thamks for the info in it.
    Another website has covered this crash, and shows pictures of the wreckage.They claim there were 10 crew aboard (all survived)
    The pilot was Squadron Leader Hadland.
    Due to copyright,i can't upload the pictures or text.

    nb, the post I read was dated March-2011.

    Short Sterling LJ628 - 21/July/1944

    alieneyes likes this.
  11. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

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  12. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Evening Dave,
    I've sent out several e.mails to various websites requesting further information regarding this crash ( one site has him onboard as flight
    engineer) they also date the crash as 21/June/1944 and not 21/July/1944 ? could be a typo error.

    Thanks for the link, will have a look later.

  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    CoIncidence....just looking at the same page on the Peak District air crash website as Dave posted.

    Ludlow still no initials but is shown as a Flight Engineer.

    A couple of days ago passed on the country road which splits Wigsley airfield.The airfield was in good condition for a few years after it was given up by the RAF in 1958....sold off in the 1960s....all three runways were clearly visible and were road worthy.Since then it is hard to recognise the site as a former airfield as it has been recovered for agriculture although the brick built control tower continues to deteriorate.....it was once up for sale but there has been no apparent development and it remains the only building marking the site as of previous military use

    The south west side sector has now used for a large piggery with pigs free ranging over the site....they might have dug a few items of yesteryear.
    ozzy16 likes this.
  14. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    evening Harry,

    The link Dave posted, I saw it and the pictures earlier today.It's a very good website,i have sent them an e.mail.Of course I do realise
    this may not be the chap (Richard Lewis Ludlow) I am looking for.Will see what if anything comes back from the e.mails.

    cheer's Graham.
  15. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Without wanting to build up hopes that the Stirling Ludlow is your Ludlow, it would be more likely that a Flight Engineer would stay aboard to help the pilot with a damaged aircraft than all go except the rear gunner.
    Obviously there's a lot of discrepancy from the initial family information but possibly garbled down the years.
    Do you know of any other memorabilia, medals etc that may have been overlooked?

    It is mentioned that his brother was also RAF, what do his side of the family know, that might clarify things more?

    PS: Whilst I believe the crash date is July, IF it was 21 JUNE then that would seem to have been your Ludlows birthday, surely something that would be linked to the story and survive better than the accident details.... just a comment...
    ozzy16 likes this.
  16. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Overall,I think that the solution to the mystery of R L Ludlow service background will be access to his service records.

    One of the submissions speaks of being the only ultimate survivor of a crash....if that is the case then his service record should show a stay in a military hospital.
    ozzy16 likes this.
  17. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    I received a crucial e.mail late last night, and I think I've found him.The Ludlow involved in crash (Short Sterling LJ628 -21/July/1944)
    is not the chap I'm looking for.
    I will upload the e.mail later as I have to go out now.

  18. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Received this e.mail among'st others late last night,from a former member of this forum.Member's might recognise his name in the e.mail.We have exchanged many e.mails,and he's quite happy for me to upload the information supplied. richard.jpg
  19. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    what I have so far.

    HX285 Handley Page Halifax B.MK.111
    Richard Lewis Ludlow,
    served with No.433(B) Squadron RCAF at Skipton-on-Swale, Yorkshire,
    Coded "BM" tried to land at Catfoss due to a fuel shortage after attack on Berlin on 28/29 January 1944.The aircraft crashed into trees at Brandesburton,and the pilot W,A, Stiles was killed.The rest of the crew survived.

    see below a couple of snippet's from Alan. snippets.jpg
  20. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member


    Unfortunately Ancestry did not scan any crash related documents.....if they even existed in his full RCAF file.

    Attached is the only page in Stiles' file which relates but little more.


    Attached Files:

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