RCAF No. 405 Sqdn, Lancaster PB451

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georgetanksherman
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RCAF No. 405 Sqdn, Lancaster PB451

Post by georgetanksherman » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:24 am

Greetings, Hope everyone is well, looking for clarification on Lancaster PB451, of RCAF No. 405 Squadron, aircraft was lost on March 19, 1945 while on a mission to bomb the refineries at Witten, Germany. I kept coming up in research that the cause of loss and location has not been established. Then today, I found a story saying that Lancaster PB451 had a mid-air with RAF No. 77 Sqdn. Halifax RG529, and both aircraft crashing near Merklinde, Germany. Any help clearing this up would truly be appreciated.

Crew Lancaster PB451:
Pilot: F/O G.E. Peaker, J/35687, RCAF, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Flt Eng: Sgt A Kirkcaldy, 1001793, RAFVR, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Nav: F/O E Hayes, J/40061, RCAF, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Bmb Aim: F/O R.S. Butterworth, J/38675, RCAF, Richville, New York, U.S.A.
Bmb Aim: Sgt R.P. Smith, 1305145, RAFVR, Tooting, Surrey, England
Wop/Gnr: W/O 2 R.M. Baker, R/198093, RCAF, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Gnr: Flt Sgt E.F. Perrault, R/215503, RCAF, Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada.
Gnr: Flt Sgt J.P.H. Adam, R/187844, RCAF, Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
Note: All Crew Members were killed in the crash

Crew Halifax RG529, RAF No. 77 Sqdn:
Pilot: Flt Lt E. Ward, 162829, RAFVR, Clayton, Yorkshire, England
Flt Eng: Sgt R.A.C. Pearce, 1593715, RAFVR, Scarborough, Yorkshire, England
Nav: P/O J.A. Anderson, 195050, RAFVR, Hounslow, Middlesex, England
Bmb Aim: P/O T.M. Kerr, 191000, RAFVR, Hometown unknown
Wop/Gnr: P/O S.G. De Vis, 423449, RAAF, Magill, South Australia
Gnr: Flt Sgt J. Dyke, 2221046, RAFVR, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, England
Gnr: W/O W.J. Edwards, 195404, RAFVR, Liverpool, England
Note: It is believed the crew was able to abandon the aircraft, but were murdered on the ground by an angry crowd

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Re: RCAF No. 405 Sqdn, Lancaster PB451

Post by Temujin » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:35 am

georgetanksherman wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:24 am

Crew Halifax RG529, RAF No. 77 Sqdn:
Pilot: Flt Lt E. Ward, 162829, RAFVR, Clayton, Yorkshire, England
Flt Eng: Sgt R.A.C. Pearce, 1593715, RAFVR, Scarborough, Yorkshire, England
Nav: P/O J.A. Anderson, 195050, RAFVR, Hounslow, Middlesex, England
Bmb Aim: P/O T.M. Kerr, 191000, RAFVR, Hometown unknown
Wop/Gnr: P/O S.G. De Vis, 423449, RAAF, Magill, South Australia
Gnr: Flt Sgt J. Dyke, 2221046, RAFVR, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, England
Gnr: W/O W.J. Edwards, 195404, RAFVR, Liverpool, England
Note: It is believed the crew was able to abandon the aircraft, but were murdered on the ground by an angry crowd
George, here’s the records I could find (this post and next post)......any mention of cause of Loss for both aircraft BUT both Squadrons were on the same Mission that night
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Re: RCAF No. 405 Sqdn, Lancaster PB451

Post by Temujin » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:38 am

georgetanksherman wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:24 am

Crew Lancaster PB451:
Pilot: F/O G.E. Peaker, J/35687, RCAF, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Flt Eng: Sgt A Kirkcaldy, 1001793, RAFVR, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Nav: F/O E Hayes, J/40061, RCAF, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Bmb Aim: F/O R.S. Butterworth, J/38675, RCAF, Richville, New York, U.S.A.
Bmb Aim: Sgt R.P. Smith, 1305145, RAFVR, Tooting, Surrey, England
Wop/Gnr: W/O 2 R.M. Baker, R/198093, RCAF, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Gnr: Flt Sgt E.F. Perrault, R/215503, RCAF, Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada.
Gnr: Flt Sgt J.P.H. Adam, R/187844, RCAF, Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
Note: All Crew Members were killed in the crash
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Re: RCAF No. 405 Sqdn, Lancaster PB451

Post by georgetanksherman » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:17 pm

Temujin, I was still looking around and I found this story on facebook this morning.

Report 1st August 1950, reporting Flt. Lt. W.R. Lott (NAA: A705, 166/9/572)

“ … The crash list for Dortmund showed that on 19/03/1945 two aircraft (Halifax RG529 and Lancaster PB451) crashed of each other at the same time in circumstances, which indicated a mid air collision.
Fifteen bodies were recovered from the wreckage and were transferred tot he mortuary of the military hospital at Luetgendortmund.
Our investigations located the place of crash, but no wreckage remained from which the aircraft could be identified and no-one could give any information as to what had happened tot he bodies after their removal from the place of crash.
Local opinion was that the bodies had been taken tot he main cemetery in Dortmund, but the cemetery Lists there made no mention of these bodies … “.
.
“ … In the early part of June 1950. I went again to Dortmund Cemetery and opened an unmarked part of Plot 17.
The result was the recovery of 15 bodies which proved to be the crews of Halifax RG529 and Lancaster PB451, both missing on 19/03/1945 after attacking Witten, a Kreis bordering on Dortmund (Germany) … “.


Also see where I made the error of calling F/O R.S. Butterworth from Richville, New York, he had married a young lady from there, and went to Clarkson College in New York ! Born in Ottawa, Ontario.

Thank You for your help and assistance Tamujin, Hope all is well and safe !

Cheers
George

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Re: RCAF No. 405 Sqdn, Lancaster PB451

Post by Temujin » Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:53 pm

Just a confirmation, I found this record on the 77 Squadron Association website
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Re: RCAF No. 405 Sqdn, Lancaster PB451

Post by Temujin » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:01 pm

georgetanksherman wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:24 am

Crew Lancaster PB451:
Pilot: F/O G.E. Peaker, J/35687, RCAF, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Flt Eng: Sgt A Kirkcaldy, 1001793, RAFVR, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Nav: F/O E Hayes, J/40061, RCAF, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Bmb Aim: F/O R.S. Butterworth, J/38675, RCAF, Richville, New York, U.S.A.
Bmb Aim: Sgt R.P. Smith, 1305145, RAFVR, Tooting, Surrey, England
Wop/Gnr: W/O 2 R.M. Baker, R/198093, RCAF, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Gnr: Flt Sgt E.F. Perrault, R/215503, RCAF, Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada.
Gnr: Flt Sgt J.P.H. Adam, R/187844, RCAF, Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
Note: All Crew Members were killed in the crash
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Crew of Lancaster PB451. On 19 March 1945, PB451 was airborne 0132 from Gransden Lodge O/P Witten, Germany, from which it failed to return. The crew are buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery. They are: F/O (P) G.E.Peaker age 33 from Saskatoon; Sgt A.Kirkcaldy, F/O (N) E.Hayes age 21 Vancouver; F/O (BA) R.S.Butterworth age 26 Ottawa; Sgt R.P.Smith RAF; WO2 (WAG) R.M.Baker age 22 Toronto; F/S (AG) E.F.Perrault age 20 Fort Francis; F/S (AG) J.P.H.Adam age 21 Tecumseh, Ontario. (F/O Butterworth was from Richville, New York.)

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Re: RCAF No. 405 Sqdn, Lancaster PB451

Post by Temujin » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:28 pm

More info (which makes it even more confusing)

Aircraft Handley Page Halifax VII
Serial Number RG529
Markings KN-C
All baled out but were shot within hours of being captured. At least three Germans were implicated, one of whom served a 15 year sentence for his crime. One of the others escaped and the third was executed. The situation is somewhat confused by reports held at TNA (WO 309/264) which state that the murdered airmen were all Canadian, yet there were no Canadians aboard RG529. Such confusion probably arises from the fact that 6 of the 8 airmen aboard PB451, which crashed less than 100m from RG529 WERE Canadian. The war trial was known as the Opladen Case.

Additional information

Many sources state that this aircraft collided with Lancaster PB451 yet in his combat report, Hptm. Fritz Lau stated: "I never lost sight of the aircraft from the moment of my first attack until it crashed". He was unable to identify the aircraft so it remains unclear whether it was RG529 or PB451 but it is at least clear that they did not collide. The presumption that they collided is almost certainly due to the proximity of their respective crash sites as it is said that the wrecks were less than 100m apart in Merklinde.

https://losses.internationalbcc.co.uk/loss/208089
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Re: RCAF No. 405 Sqdn, Lancaster PB451

Post by georgetanksherman » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:27 pm

Temujin, so I think it is safe to say, that I am just as confused now, as I was before, as one report states that the crew of both aircraft were found in their crashed aircraft, another report say the crew of Halifax RG529 were able to abandon the aircraft, and were caught and killed on the ground by angry civilians, so I am thinking that is why some of the sites just listed the cause of crash as "Unknown"

Thanks Temujin, appreciate the attempt to unravel the unknown :-)

George

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