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1344522 Sgt H.B Crawford 57 Squadron 1943-44

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:01 pm
by Ludford101
Thought I would post this up to see if anyone could shed some light on this chap's movements other than from the ORB for 57 squadron late 1943 to early 1944 (John K4KittyCrew) has and is kindly helping on that front :)

1344522 Sgt H.B Crawford 57 Squadron 1943-44

Trained as a navigator in Canada at No7 AOS Portage La Prairie Manitoba qualifying for Air navigators brevet on 11/9/42

Returns to UK in late 1942 and is sent to No1 (AFU) Wigton Scotland from 6/11/42 - 21/12/42.

Next of to 29 OTU at North Luffenham from 8/1/43 - 18/6/43 and same OTU at Bruntlingthorpe from 19/6/43 - 23/8/43

It is at this stage he picks up his regular pilot one Sgt Grimbly.

Final stage of training was at 1660 HCU Swinderby from the 29/8/43 - 4/10/43.

From here he is posted with Girmbly and crew to 57 Squadron at East Kirkby (this dates in the back of log book state this as from 17/10/43 - 3/3/44)

It is what happens on the squadron interests me the most and I will post up images if the thread lets me.

Thanks to John I have managed to work out that his original crew carry on with out him during late December 1943 after he has completed only 3 Ops with them and one early return.
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1st Op : 18/10/43 Hannover EE 197 xx-Y ( log book entry 4 fighter attacks - landed at Coltishall - plane U/S)

ORB states : F/Sgt Grimbly was attacked just after leaving the target by cannon and machine gun fire from an M.E 109. The aircraft was badly damaged and the Rear Gunner and Mid Upper Gunner were wounded. Despite serious wounds to the Rear Gunner, Sgt Cowham, and the fact that his turret was virtually wrecked, he refused to leave and engaged two subsequent enemy aircraft, opening fire and driving them away. The Mid Upper Gunner also continued and tried to help the Rear Gunner. This was their first sortie.

2nd Op : 22/11/43 Berlin

E R Op : 23/11/43 Berlin

3rd Op : 26/11/43 Berlin ( log book entry landed Leconsfield "Y" )

He returns to base in that aircraft with Grimbly as pilot and his monthly totals for November are signed off by both the OC of B Flight and the OC of 57 Squadron.

This is the strange bit ... as mentioned his pilot and crew carry on without him throughout December and he does not fly again until the 2/1/44 with a new pilot F/O Harland.
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4th Op : Berlin (log book entry 1 fighter attach JU 88 "y")

The final entry is on the 7/2/44 on a fighter affiliation flight with a P/O Smith.

Again fully signed off by flight commander and squadron OC this time as summary for 57 Squadron.

What is strange is on that page and at the back in postings page he lists other flying as pilot hours and has a total flying hours listed as 627.40 ??

So I am wondering what happened to him ... did he get re-mustered as pilot ? .. was he a srubbed pilot that went onto navigator training and he just added on those earlier hours ? ( although have been reliably informed from a former Nav that trained in Canada late war that navigation was a specialized trade and not one for failed pilots .. 8-) 8-) ) .. was he injured and taken off flying ...or did he go LMF ?

Apart from a FOI request for his service file not sure how to find out much more and having difficulty with that as I can not find him on ancestry to gain a date of death, even with an idea that he may be Scottish as that is where the log book turned up ?

Re: 1344522 Sgt H.B Crawford 57 Squadron 1943-44

Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:15 pm
by Theletterwriter

His absence may also have been due to compassionate leave. As a matter of interest, do you know his first name and where did the logbook turn up?



Re: 1344522 Sgt H.B Crawford 57 Squadron 1943-44

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:34 pm
by Ludford101
Hi Douglas ..

First names were Hugh Boyd

I have an entry from a polling district index for Glasgow in 1961/62 that has a Hugh Boyd Crawford with a Christina Crawford living at 25 Jordanhill Crescent W3 Glasgow.

The log book turned up in Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway.

It may be that he is still alive .. but unlikely.

As for compassionate leave .. that would only explain a short period of absence .. it looks as though after a couple of quite hairy trips he is gone from the squadron by early March 1944.

From another forum has come info that the R G on the first sortie was awarded the CGM flying so that must have been a really rough encounter.



Re: 1344522 Sgt H.B Crawford 57 Squadron 1943-44

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:50 pm
by Theletterwriter
Hi Gary

This does not help your wartime query but Scotlands People has a Hugh Boyd Crawford death at Castle Douglas in 2000 aged 78. Castle Douglas is in the Kirkcudbright area so that is likely to be the HB Crawford of the logbook.



Re: 1344522 Sgt H.B Crawford 57 Squadron 1943-44

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:23 am
by Ludford101
Hi Douglas ...

Many thanks for that info .. I should be able to order a death certificate now .. :P