Harrow K7011 crew burial data

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Message par Invité le Lun 19 Mai 2008 - 9:17

Gentlemen,

On 19/12/1942 Harrow K7011, carrying 5 crew & 6 passengers, was lost to the sea, quite possibly close to Brittany, somewhere off Brest. Four bodies washed ashore, two in Finistère:

P/O PM Burton (RAFVR), buried Plouhinec Communal Cemetery
Lt AJ Hawkins (RN), buried Lanildut Churchyard

I would like to know when and where the bodies washed ashore, and/or when the bodies were buried.

Kind regards,

Rob

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Message par Admin-absa le Lun 19 Mai 2008 - 16:23

Hello Rob,
Very good question, why we must consult the register of the cemetery to PLOUHINEC and Lanildut.

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Message par Admin-absa le Lun 19 Mai 2008 - 16:39

Rob Philips a écrit:Gentlemen,

On 19/12/1942 Harrow K7011, carrying 5 crew & 6 passengers, was lost to the sea, quite possibly close to Brittany, somewhere off Brest. Four bodies washed ashore, two in Finistère:

P/O PM Burton (RAFVR), buried Plouhinec Communal Cemetery
Lt AJ Hawkins (RN), buried Lanildut Churchyard

I would like to know when and where the bodies washed ashore, and/or when the bodies were buried.

Kind regards,

Rob
Rob,
I look at the details about this crew and see that bodies are buried in the Cherbourg area.
Flying Officer. HENDERSEN.
Flying Officer. BOWEN.
It's far enough Finistère.
http://www.absa39-45.asso.fr/Pertes%20Bretagne/Finistere/pertes_raf_finistere.html

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Message par Invité le Lun 19 Mai 2008 - 19:16

Thanks, Dan. I'm aware of the burials in Manche, and I have burial data about F/O. Henderson, from the Cherbourg cemetery register. I would like to match that data to the burial data of the Finistère burials, as that might help to find out the area where the aircraft crashed. To that end, we are also considering factors such as body travel directions in these parts of the sea, prevailing wind conditions there and then, and sea depths. If we achieve results, then these shall be shared with ABSA.

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Message par Admin-absa le Jeu 22 Mai 2008 - 15:00

Hello Rob,

I think that with Rob and the topic has been discussed on the tail of the bodies of loss airmen at sea For several years I am looking to put a name on an airman buried in the cemetery of Dinard as unknown. (A second burial also unknown nationality, no date. Row 11).
I have the original register cemetery Dinard with this tomb. F / O RAF May 17, 1943. (Row 10).

I have also noted that in the archives of the gendarmerie Prefecture in Rennes. The body of a Canadian airman was discovered on May 18, 1943 on the beach at Saint Cast.

After several years of research we have not found any losses related to this dated 17 May 1943. We've known losses for the region of Saint Malo. Crew of the Mosquito DZ712. The crew is identified and is based in the cemetery of Dinard.

Since 2008 we have registered with Philippe Gildas and losses of Finistere.

This discussion with Rob makes me get back in the history of this stranger in Dinard, and without doubt a second body.

I think now the crew of the Wellington X HE386, disappeared at sea .
Including the scinq members are MIA.
http://www.absa39-45.asso.fr/Pertes% 20Bretagne/Finistere/pertes_raf_finistere.html

Good or wrong runway for this crew with his two body Dinard.

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default Re: Harrow K7011 crew burial data

Message par Invité le Jeu 22 Mai 2008 - 23:09


Gentlemen,

The matter of the unknown RAF F/O, buried in Dinard, may not be overly complicated. Pending answers to a few questions given below, it would seem that F/O. Anthony Stanley is the obvious candidate.

ABSA data:
1. Unknown RAF F/O., Dinard, Bretagne, buried 17-5-1943, row 10.
2. Unknown RAF, Dinard, Bretagne, no date, row 11.
3. Unknown RCAF, washed ashore at Saint Cast, Bretagne, 18-5-1943.

Buried where and when? Saint Cast is 14 km East of Dinard. Same body as unknown RAF F/O., buried Dinard, 17-5-1943?
If yes, then we have an unknown RCAF F/O., washed ashore 17-5-1943 at Saint Cast, Bretagne.
If no, then we have an unknown RAF F/O. - and one clear and good candidate, F.O. A.H. Stanley, see below.

1. DD 661 Mosquito II 264 sqn PS- 11-3-1943
Colerne/Wiltshire - 21.15u Ranger - Rennes
Assumed missing at sea, possibly off Dinard, Bretagne

F/O
(P) PIERS, Arthur W.J. - 115435 - RAF - Runnymede Panel 128
F/Sgt(N) HILL, Thomas B. - 655059 - RAF - RP137
(also on ABSA website)

2. DD 721 Mosquito II 264 sqn PS- 11-3-1943
Colerne/Wiltshire - 21.15u Ranger - Rennes
Crashed at sea off Dinard/Ille-et-Villaine

F/O
(P) LAWRENCE, Charles R. - 133007 - RAF - Buried Dinard English Cem gr. A/7
F/O(N) STANLEY, Anthony H. - 119218 - RAF - RP129 = unknown RAF F/O. buried 17-5-1943 in row 10?

(also on ABSA website)

Candidate
aircraft that crashed at sea in the area, period 1-1-1943 to 17-5-1943, and that had one or more RCAF crew that are missing:

3. P 1151 Hampden TB.I 415 sqn GX-P 10-4-1943
4. V 8718 Beaufighter VIf 409 sqn 17/18-4-1943
5. W 4849 Lancaster I 156 sqn GT-G 18/19-4-1943
6. W 7637 Stirling I 214 sqn BU-W 15/16-1-1943
7. X 3284 Wellington III 426 sqn OW-X 9/10-3-1943
8. AE 715 Ventura I 21 sqn YH-X 5-4-1943
9. AE 852 Ventura II 21 sqn YH-S 5-4-1943
10. BK 165 Wellington III 426 sqn OW-F 14/15-1-1943
11. BK 296 Wellington III 420 sqn PT-D 13/14-3-1943
12. BK 343 Wellington III 427 sqn ZL-V 28/1-3-1943
13. BK 367 Wellington III 199 sqn EX-U 6/7-2-1943
14. BK 429 Wellington III 429 sqn AL- 9/10-3-1943
15. BS 135 Spitfire IX 402 sqn AE- 17-1-1943
16. DF 615 Wellington III 420 sqn PT- 29/30-1-1943
17. ED 484 Lancaster III 50 sqn VN-Q 13/14-2-1943
18. ED 754 Lancaster I 97 sqn OF-A 28/29-3-1943
19. HX 743 Wellington VIII 547 sqn ZV-C 23-4-1943

The list with full data about these crashes is available. I am not sure about the locations of some of these crashes. But even with this uncertainty, the following transpired:

No RCAF F/O. went MIA in this area in this period. RCAF crew may have washed ashore near Dinard, but not a RCAF Flying Officer. The body buried in Dinard on 17-5-1943 as an unknown RAF F/O. must, if F/O. is correct, indeed be a RAF F/O. The Gendarmerie report about RCAF is assumed to be in error, or the mention of F/O. is in error, and this body is buried in the grave in row 11.

My questions:
1. Exact text on the headstones & grave positions of the RAF unknowns buried in Dinard?
2. Dinard cemetery register text of burial of F/O. Ch. R. Lawrence?
3. Any other unknown Allied airmen buried in the area?
4. Confimation of what happened with the body found at Saint Cast? Buried Dinard? If true, which grave?
5. Can it be confirmed that F/O. Lawrence's body was found in the water shortly after the crash?
6. Is the crash site of Mosquito DD 721 known with some accuracy?

If we can clear the matter up some more, and if results are sufficiently positive, this might become an identity claim application, to be submitted to the Ministry of Defense in the UK. I'm quite willing to help with that.


I also looked at aircraft that crashed at sea on 15 to 17-5-1943. None sufficiently close to Dinard for a body to wash ashore in 1 to 3 days only. You were looking at Wellington X HE 386, 466 sqn, lost 16/17-5-1943. Crashed 17-5-1943 at 01.10h at sea 70 miles south of The Lizzard, Cornwall, GB. That's much too far from Dinard for a body to wash up the next day.

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default Re: Harrow K7011 crew burial data

Message par Admin-absa le Ven 23 Mai 2008 - 9:39

Hi Rob,
Well, I commend this cooperation with our English friends, because for me it made several years that I try to identify the unknown aviator in Dinard.
Even last year I told the forum Raf Commands that the body of airman was there where he was among strangers.

A few years ago with great difficulty I managed to find the archives of the cemetery or cemeteries war in Dinard. I have stripped the entire register of the cemetery for German classify my aviators.
The British list of the square is well kept, when the tombs that the American list has disappeared.

To return to our history.
In this crew of Wellington X HE386 we have no member who is the grade of F/O.
It is a fact that we must abandon the runway.
By cons when gendarmes french indicates a Canadian airman, for me in need not take account of this, there were so many mistakes with Canadian airmen, the German side also, I know several cases.
A long time ago that I thought the F/O (N) STANLEY, Anthony H. But it is the date given by the Germans, 17 May 1943.

This date is given as a date of death. So if we assume that this is the body STANLEY, Anthony, this body has spent two months in water. Why the Germans have noted the date of May 17 as that of a recent death.
The police report does nothing, a body which has stayed in water for two months will on the part of gendarmes elicit additional information.
several cases.

My questions Rob:
1. Exact text on the headstones & grave positions of the RAF unknowns buried in Dinard?
I do not know. I would go see Dinard.
2. Dinard cemetery register text of burial of F/O. Ch. R. Lawrence?
LAURENCE C.R F/O. 133 007 R.A.F 11/03/1943. R.A.G. 8
3. Any other unknown Allied airmen buried in the area?
No nothing known in the region.
4. Confimation of what happened with the body found at Saint Cast? Buried Dinard? If true, which grave?

The date corresponds with the body found May 18 1943.
5. Can it be confirmed that F/O. Lawrence's body was found in the water shortly after the crash?

But no, we have nothing in our possession. A how Lawrence's body was found by the Germans.

6. Is the crash site of Mosquito DD 721 known with some accuracy?
Absolutely nothing, no evidence on this loss of Mosquito in the water.
There is also the second unknown in Dinard.
Nationality UNKNOWN. R.A.G. 11.
No date for registration by the Germans.
Is it one of two members below ?

This body does not seem to have been listed by the CWGC. Il is forgotten in Dinard. Nobody seems to have thought that this body is been an aviator.
F / O (P) PIERS, Arthur W.J. -- 115435 - RAF - 128 Runnymede Panel ?
F / Sgt (N) HILL, Thomas B. -- 655059 - RAF - RP137 ?
If we can clear the matter up some more, and if results are sufficiently positive, this might become an identity claim application, to be submitted to the Ministry of Defense in the UK. I'm quite willing to help with that.
Yes indeed it is worthwhile to launch this dossier idenfication of my two unknown at Dinard.

The Ministry of Defense can give this identification mission in 2008.
I have always heard that the English side unidentified bodies were left as such in the British cemeteries.
If this becomes a realistic mission indentification of his two body, I am quite happy that it succeeds.
The Americans are right to identify the bodies of their soldiers.
The German authorities also because I also worked in collaboration with the German service burials in this context of identification.
And the ABSA has already allowed the return of two German airmen to their families.

I will closely monitor this issue on Dinard.

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default Re: Harrow K7011 crew burial data

Message par Invité le Ven 23 Mai 2008 - 11:28

Thanks, Dan. I'm from Holland, not England. This certainly helps, but we need to do some more clearing up. In an earlier message you stated:



Crew of the Mosquito DZ712. The crew is identified and is based in the cemetery of Dinard.



The CWGC knows the crew of this Mosquito as follows:

F/O(P) LAWRENCE, Charles R. - 133007 - RAF - Buried Dinard English Cem gr. A/7

F/O(N) STANLEY, Anthony H. - 119218 - RAF - Runnymede Panel 129



From your latest message I understand that the CWGC is correct, and that only F/O. Ch.R. Lawrence has been identified.





The body buried as unknown airman in Dinard is probably known to the CWGC, and most certainly so if there is a CWGC headstone, but there is no list of these burials available to the CWGC. Knowledge about this burial is probably present in the CWGC archive, that holds the reports of the Missing Research & Enquiry Service (MR&ES). The MR&ES is likely to have investigated this grave, after the liberation. The forensic exhumation report may also be kept in the Casualty Files, that are in the care of RAF Air Historical Branch. This archive is closed to the year 2040, but the relevant data shall surface if an identity claim application is presented to the Ministry of Defence.



Unfortunately, data was not registered in May 1943 with a lot of accuracy. Dates mentioned do not always clearly state if the casualty died on that date, or if his body was found on that date. Therefore, and for the time being, we need to fill the gaps with imagination. I believe that the following scenario may have taken place:



1. A body was found in the water close to Dinard. Most likely by the Germans. This body was identified by the Germans as F/O. Ch.R. Lawrence, possibly via his ID disk, but his RAF Form 1250 identity card may have been readible too, if it was in the water for hours only. A date of death was known, and is given as 11-3-1943. This would indicate that the Germans may have seen the crash at sea. The body was buried in Dinard, grave A/7. There is no mention in the cemetery register of the identifying evidence, and this evidence may not have survived the war. The MR&ES have probably investigated the grave. The ID disk may still have been present and readible. If not, then the British have accepted this identification made by the Germans.



Note: the handwriting in the cemetery register can reveal if the date of death was written in the register when the body was booked in, or if the date was added much later.



2.a. A body washed ashore at Saint Cast, on 17-5-1943 according to the Germans, and 18-5-1943 according the the Gendarmerie. This body was believed to be of a RCAF Flying Officer, but it was not identified with a name. The Germans could identify only if there was an ID disk in good shape, or the RAF Form 1250 identity card. The RAF aviators were not allowed to have any other personal effects with them on operations. The Germans did not use a hot line to call London and ask about lost men.



2.b. We agree that the either the French or the Germans or both may have been in error, when stating that the body found at Saint Cast was RCAF. I believe to have demonstrated that no RCAF Flying Officer was lost at sea there and then, period 1-1-1943 to 17-5-1943.



2.c. If the date registered by the Germans as the date of death, 17-5-1943, would be true, then there would have to be a crash of an Allied aircraft very close to the shore of Saint Cast on that date. That did not happen. I conclude that the Germans have confused the date of death with the date that the body was found.



2.d. We assume that the body found in Saint Cast was buried in Dinard. It seems unlikely that the body was buried in a field grave near St. Cast, and was forgotten or lost later. May 1943 in Brittany was not a time of high anxiety, in which bodies could get lost.



Now that more has become clear, we no longer have a clear link between the two bodies as coming from the same aircraft, as another Mosquito was lost in that area on 11-3-1943, with one RAF F/O. aboard. Therefore we now have two good candidates.



In theory bodies washing ashore may have come from anywhere. In practice however we can apply statistics to this phenomenon. These are my statements:



A. Bodies, as a rule, do NOT wash ashore when lost in the Channel. Only a small percentage of the bodies of the men lost at sea in that area washes ashore.



B. Bodies, in this area, are more likely to wash ashore here if the crash took place close to the shore. If the crash took place in mid Channel, then it is more likely that, if at all, the body washes up on the beaces of Northern France, Belgium, Holland, or even Denmark. An example of this would be the washing ashore near Dinard of the sailors who died in the Charybdis disaster, and who were buried in Dinard.



Therefore, the chances are high that the unknown F/O. buried in Dinard comes from one of the two Mosquito's, meaning that it is either F/O. A.H. Stanley or F/O. A.W.J. Piers.



C. If a body washes up from an aircraft that crashed at sea, and if that aircraft had two or more crew, than the chances are that more than one body shall wash up from that aircraft. Again, chances are higher if the crash took place closer to the shore.



For the second burial of an unknown in Dinard, we have no burial date, and no information where and when the body was found. Is this body buried as an (Allied) airman? Headstone supplied by the CWGC? We need such basic information first.



Typically, bodies would be buried within a few days of discovery. It stands to reason to assume that this body washed ashore too. You can check this better, but I believe that we are not missing an airman who baled out of an aircraft alone. It would be good to check if there are fighter pilots, who went missing-in-action after a crash over Brittany, in that period.



From the grave position in Dinard, you may be able to estimate a time frame for this burial. I assume that the cemetery layout did not change after the war, and anyway you have the wartime register. If we have a time frame, then we can see if this matches the Saint Cast washup.



It would be most helpful if CWGC and RAF AHB opened their archives to us. Unfortunately, they shall not do that. This shall only be done via the MoD, after an identity claim application. And for that, we need to make the data as good as we can. That means at least going to Dinard, photographing the 3 headstones, and taking notes of the grave locations, and the dates on the headstones close to these three. Best would be to make a full map of all military burials in Dinard, with the full texts on all headstones. Perhaps via an ABSA member that lives close to Dinard?



You heard correctly that the British, very much unlike the Americans, no longer have an active policy regarding the identification of servicemen buried as unknowns. But the MoD has an office that still deals with these matters, if claims for identities are received. Forensic exhumations and the use of DNA technology are not allowed, so we need to build cases based solely on the logical process of elimination. Be prepared that de MoD takes a very long time for these matters, typically about 1,5 years for the initial case evaluation. This cannot be called encouraging.

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Message par Invité le Ven 23 Mai 2008 - 19:45

Hi Dan,

I have found that the undated grave of an unknown in Dinard is of a "victim", no unit or nationality given. You probably know this already. I have made a map of all burials of unknown Allied, non-US, Airmen in Northern France. This is not the same as a map of all washups, but it does give an idea of where the bodies washed up in most cases. Hardly any washups in Brittany as compared to Haute-Normandie, Seine Maritime & Nord. This strengthens my belief that the two bodies found near Dinard came from one or two aircraft that crashed close to the shore. Shall send the map to your email address, if I can find that.

Ciao,

Rob

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Message par gildas le Dim 25 Mai 2008 - 16:16

Dear Rob,

As I live in this village of Lanildut, I did read on the town hall register that Lieut. HAWKINS Andrew Jervis body was found on the coast by a farmer on Febr 1st 1943, so close to one and half month after the loss. And can confirm his garve is still there, and was lastly honored on 8th May.

Regards
Gildas

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Message par Invité le Dim 25 Mai 2008 - 17:21

Thanks, Gildas, well done!

Rob

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Message par Admin-absa le Lun 26 Mai 2008 - 7:38

Hello Rob,

Not all that easy, at one time or another, I'll go back to the archives to Dinard.
For a few years ago when I recovered the lists, the person in charge of its archives had just arrived. There was a great job classification to achieve. I remember seeing the tombs plans drawn in pencil on sheets.

I also remembered to have received letters or testimony are graded on air events occurred in the region west of St Malo.
The discovery of the body of an English airman was rejected by the sea Cherrueix. (West Mont St Michel) the date of 5 March 1943?

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Message par Invité le Lun 26 Mai 2008 - 14:05

Thanks, Dan. Dinard is 870 km from my place, so that would have to wait to a convenient time. If you are allowed to do so, do make photocopies in the Dinard archive.

Rob

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