The Airmen of Aspull

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Jonathan Ball, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball From the North.

    Hi all

    Over the last month or so I've been attempting to identify the names of men on my local memorial who fell in WW2. I've managed to identify most of them. The following men were all in the R.A.F so I'm wondering if anyone could supply any information on the events that led to their death e.g aircraft type, the target the night they were lost etc

    Anything at all would be really appreciated.

    Thanks

    Jonathan


    Name: BIMSON, JOHN
    Initials: J
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.)
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Unit Text: 105 Sqdn.
    Date of Death: 01/03/1941
    Service No: 970880
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Cemetery: GRONINGEN (ESSERVELD) GENERAL CEMETERY
    Plot RP. Row Class 2. Grave 28.



    Name: HILL, GORDON LESLIE
    Initials: G L
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Flight Sergeant (Air Gnr.)
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Unit Text: 50 Sqdn.
    Age: 23
    Date of Death: 26/07/1943
    Service No: 1350603
    Additional information: Son of Sydney and Minnie Hill; husband of Alice Hill, of Wigan, Lancashire.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: 5. D. 1.
    Cemetery: Uden War Cemetery, Holland



    Name: SOUTHERN, ALBERT
    
Initials: A

    Nationality: United Kingdom
    
Rank: Corporal
    
Regiment: Royal Air Force

    Unit Text: 37 Sqdn.

    Age: 23

    Date of Death: 09/03/1942
    
Service No: 631521
    
Additional information: Son of Walter and Edith Southern, of Aspull, Lancashire.
    
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave
    
Memorial Reference: 1. F. 7.
    Cemetery: SUEZ WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY



    Name: WALMSLEY, WILLIAM
    Initials: W
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.)
    Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Unit Text: 433 (R.C.A.F.) Sqdn
    Age: 21
    Date of Death: 25/03/1944
    Service No: 1458471
    Additional information: Son of James and Ellen Walmsley, of New Springs, Wigan, Lancashire.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave
    Memorial Reference: 23. F. 2.
    Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany
     
  2. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Name: HILL, GORDON LESLIE
    Initials: G L
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Flight Sergeant (Air Gnr.)
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Unit Text: 50 Sqdn.
    Age: 23
    Date of Death: 26/07/1943
    Service No: 1350603
    Additional information: Son of Sydney and Minnie Hill; husband of Alice Hill, of Wigan, Lancashire.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: 5. D. 1.
    Cemetery: Uden War Cemetery, Holland

    DENNIS, Ernes Arthur - (Pilot Officer); Service Number - 405175 RAAF; File type - Casualty - Repatriation; Aircraft - Lancaster III ED; Place - Germany; Date - 25 July 1943 (KIA 26JUL43)

    In addition to the file subject, the following servicemen are mentioned in this record:

    ROGERSON H – (Sergeant); Service Number – 531582
    EVERY, Edwin Dan Pym – (Flight Sergeant); Service Number – 408293 RAAF (survived war as POW, discharged October 1945)
    YOUNG R F – (Pilot Officer); Service Number – 146159
    BECK L T – (Warrant Officer); Service Number – 755064
    TOULSON S T; Service Number – 1337153
    TANNER A G – (Flight Sergeant); Service Number – 551240
    HILL G L – (Sergeant); Service Number – 1350603
     
  3. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    These are some details of the cause:

    AWM 237 (65) NAA : A705, 166/9/130 Commonwealth War Graves records
    W R Chorley : RAF Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Page 240,
    Volume 1943.
    Aircraft Type: Lancaster
    Serial number: ED 753
    Radio call sign: VN – M
    Unit: ATTD 50 SQN RAF
    Summary:
    Lancaster ED753 took off from RAF Skellingthorpe at 2149 hours on the night of 25/26th
    July1943 detailed to bomb Essen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after
    take off and it failed to return to base.
    Crew:
    RAAF 405175 PO Dennis, E A Captain (Pilot)
    RAAF 408293 FO Every, E D P (2nd Pilot)
    RAF Sgt H Rogerson, (Flight Engineer)
    RAF PO Young, R F(Navigator)
    RAF Sgt R Toulson, (Air Bomber)
    RAF WO L T Beck, (Wireless Air Gunner)
    RAF Flt Sgt A G Tanner, (Mid Upper Gunner)
    RAF Sgt G L Hill, (Rear Gunner)
    It was later established that the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter and crashed at
    0055 hours on 26th July 1943 near Wijchen (Gelderland), 6kms WSW Nijmegan,
    Holland. Five of the crew were killed and Sgt Rogerson, PO Young and FO Every were
    POW’s.
    Those killed are buried in the Uden War Cemetery, Locality Noord-Brabant, Netherlands.
    Uden is a town on the main road between Eindhoven and Nijmegen.
    The then Flt Lt Every later reported “In the first attack by fighters at 21,000 feet, the port
    motors were set on fire then most of the aircraft in the second attack. I was in the WOP
    position whilst waiting for the Nav to go when the aircraft went into a steep forward dive
    which threw me to the floor. I became unconscious and came to falling through the air. I
    pulled the chute and landed safe. No news re the others but since learnt that the Nav and
    self were only ones alive. The aircraft crashed near the German/Dutch border south east
    of Nijmegan. Received help from civilians and told to go to Rotterdam. I walked for 7
    days and then captured by Dutch police in Herovarden, a small village on the Rhine.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  4. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Name: BIMSON, JOHN
    Initials: J
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.)
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Unit Text: 105 Sqdn.
    Date of Death: 01/03/1941
    Service No: 970880
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Cemetery: GRONINGEN (ESSERVELD) GENERAL CEMETERY
    Plot RP. Row Class 2. Grave 28.



    Details of the above loss.....

    28 February 1941

    105 Squadron
    Blenheim IV T1895

    Failed to return: The aircraft took off from Swanton Morley at 2325 hrs and was shot down at 0258 hrs by Me.110 night-fighter of NJG1 (Ofw. Paul Gildner) over Holland (5 km east of Groningen) returning from Wilhelmshaven. Sgt. J. Heape (Pilot) was thrown out of the exploding aircraft and came down by parachute and became a pow. Crewmen, Sgt. S. Jones and Sgt. J. Bimson were killed in action and are buried in Groningen Cemetery.

    'The Bristol Blenheim' - G. Warner
    'Bomber Command Losses Vol.2 - W R. Chorley
     
  5. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball From the North.

    Peter, Geoff and Dave - Thank you ever so much for all the detail. It's all being added to my database. I'm hoping to track down some of the relatives of the men and all this extra information will be so useful.

    Cheers

    Jonathan
     
  6. Hello Jonathan,

    I ve researched the crash of Halifax MK III, BM-B, HX284,433 RCAF. Sgt. William Walmsley was wireless -operator of this crew. The plane was shot down by a night-fighter when the crew was on return leg from a Berlin mission. All bailed out. Sgt Walmsley's chute did not deploy or he fell out of the harness. He was found dead close to the village of Heek (German /Dutch border).He was buried in the roman-catholic churchyard of the village of Nienborg. I have a police report of thid. PO Howell who was the midupper helped the rear gunner who was trapped in his turrett out and to jump. Unfortunately his harness was damaged by the fire aboard;Howell hit the ground with full force. He was found terribly injured and instantly moved to the german military hospital at Gronau where he passed away on March 26,1944. Pilot William Francis Russell left the Divisional ship last and shared the aftermath of Howell and Walmsley. Bombaimer James Shea,Flight engineer Mcluskie, Sgt Cossar, Navigator Mack Topplin were taken prisoner.
    I was able to reach all but Walmsley relatives and we all in good contact.
    We ve made a short movie about the crew. You can find on YouTube.HX284 'BM-B' Beer is Best" auf YouTube an
    https://youtu.be/ChodilSjUaI
     
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  7. SandraS

    SandraS New Member

    My Uncle if G L Hill and I have been researching also. I have come across this additional information regarding this mission:
    No. 50 Squadron Royal Air Force In World War Two The Diary of a WWII Bomber Squadron- Part 5, 1942 to 1943.

    49

    July 1943, Based At RAF Skellingthorpe, Lincoln.

    25/ 26 July 1943- Night bombing ESSEN

    A very much harder target was attacked tonight when nine aircraft departed for the Ruhr Valley again, target Essen. During take- off tonight, fully- laden ED430 swung on accelerating and the undercarriage collapsed. Miraculously the aircraft did not catch fire and all the crew escaped unharmed. Three aircraft returned to Base early with six attacking the target. Although defences were not commented upon by other crews, one aircraft was severely damaged by flak over the target and night fighters after leaving the target; eight aircraft safely returned to Skellingthorpe. One aircraft ‘Failed To Return’.

    Lancaster B. Mk. III ED753 ‘VN-M’ was believed to have been shot down by a night fighter flown by Hptm Hans Dieter-Frank of 1/NJG.1 and crashed near Wijchen, Gelderland, Occupied Holland at around 1am on the 26th July. Wijchen is but a few Miles from Nijmegen. Five of the crew perished and were probably buried locally but moved into Uden War Cemetery when it opened in late 1943. Three survived and were captured and made POW’s. The aircraft was carrying a second ‘Dickie’, pilot P/O Every RAAF who most likely was on his first operation with a seasoned crew, for experience prior to flying with his own crew.

    ED753 Crew details are as follows:

    Pilot 405175 P/O Ernest Arthur DENNIS RAAF, age 31. Buried at Uden War Cemetery, near Nijmegen, Holland, Grave 5.E.11.

    2nd Pilot P/O E. D. P. EVERY RAAF, survivor, POW #1302. 53158

    Sgt. H. ROGERSON RAFVR, survivor, POW #222471 146159

    Sgt. R. F. YOUNG RAFVR, survivor, POW 1948 WOP/ AG 755064

    W.O. Leslie Thomas BECK RAFVR, buried at Uden War Cemetery, Joint grave 5.E.12-13.

    A/B 1337153 Sgt. Reginald TOULSON RAFVR, 22, buried at Uden War Cemetery, Joint grave 5.E.12-13.

    A/G 551240 F/Sgt. Anthony George TANNER RAFVR, age 22, buried at Uden, Grave 5.D.2.

    A/G 1350603 Sgt. Gordon Leslie HILL RAFVR, age 23, buried at Uden, Grave 5.D.1.
     
  8. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Good to see the extra info Sandra!
     
  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Interesting op out of Skelly,the only RAF Bomber Command airfield to be located within a city boundary (Lincoln) but yet in the era, occupying a rural setting.

    A graduating pilot acting as a second pilot was ultimately dropped as it was thought too wasteful on pilots.As said by Sandras,the indication of a second pilot in the crew was that the pilot was soon to be the skipper of his own crew.Some pilots were lost before they had chance to lead their crew as skipper.

    The practice adopted was that where possible freshman crews were given an op to France or a leaflet raid.There was some disquiet regarding ops to France as initially they were to be regarded as half an op in contributing to a tour.Crews had the opinion that any op over enemy territtory should count as one op for totalling.
     

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