Halifax HR750, RAF Snaith

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mikegunnill
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Halifax HR750, RAF Snaith

Post by mikegunnill » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:02 pm

I am the new boy on the block and wondered if you could help please?

I am writing a feature for a magazine on Flight Sgt Hector Felix Court 1267019 of 51 Squadron, living at the time in Tonbridge, Kent. As the wireless operator he was onboard a Handley Page Halifax 2, HR750 which left RAF Snaith on May 27th 1943. In the early hours of the next day, the aircraft was shot down close to Arnhem. All the crew safely left the aircraft and all were captured quickly, spending the rest of the war in two camps.

I have the location as: Oud-Reemst, Otterlo, in Gelderland province, Netherlands.

* I wondered if the crash site had been excavated or investigated, to provide extra detail? From my limited knowledge of the area, it was a forest now a large park.

* I am having great difficulty finding a photograph of Sgt Court. Could anyone point me in the right direction please?

* The pilot was W/O A.H. Beeston 903396 ( I have the rest of the crew names, if needed )

* Would there be any reports filed anywhere from the men themselves, when they were captured. Perhaps filed when they returned to the UK. Most went to Stalag 357 Kopernikus, two members from the same crew were sent to Heydekrug.

Grateful for any help. I would rather be pointed, if possible in the right direction as I don't wish to trouble members too much.

Thank you

Mike
MIKE GUNNILL

Upchurch, Kent. United Kingdom

www.upchurch-village.co.uk
www.bygonekent.org.uk

mikegunnill
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Re: Halifax HR750, RAF Snaith

Post by mikegunnill » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:18 am

Any suggestions please? Lots reading this, can you help?
MIKE GUNNILL

Upchurch, Kent. United Kingdom

www.upchurch-village.co.uk
www.bygonekent.org.uk

jamesinnewcastle
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Re: Halifax HR750, RAF Snaith

Post by jamesinnewcastle » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:01 pm

Hi Mike

Sadly there are no particular repositries of information such as you seem to be looking for, you will have to spend a while digging and following blind alleys, perhaps finding the odd piece of good luck.

You are only likely to find a picture of your man if someone took a pic and kept it - there are no official sources. See if there are 51 Squadron pages on facebook or other web sites.

It migh be an idea to canvass newspapers and relevant organisations in Oud-Reemst - contact the mayor or some other 'in' to people who might remember.

Records of captured airmen might be best found in German archives - I understand that they have similar organisations to our National Archives. However, there are POW liberation questionaires kept by the National Archives - several volumes. You might be lucky. They are a couple of pages that returning POWs filled in to reflect their treatment - it would be in his handwriting and his actual words though many of these are just people reflecting a need to get home rather than get verbose about their treatment.

Cheers
James

mikegunnill
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Re: Halifax HR750, RAF Snaith

Post by mikegunnill » Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:14 am

Thank you James. I will continue with my quest. His returning PoW questionnaire can't be found, as I have checked. The local newspaper in 1947 used an image of my man in RAF uniform and no one, family included knows where it came from. Only a digital version of the newspaper exists now and is very poor quality. I will take up some of your ideas. Thanks for your reply, I am grateful

Mike
MIKE GUNNILL

Upchurch, Kent. United Kingdom

www.upchurch-village.co.uk
www.bygonekent.org.uk

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PeteT
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Re: Halifax HR750, RAF Snaith

Post by PeteT » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:39 pm

Mike

There are a number of organisations documenting and researching losses in Holland at this moment in time. It may be worth contacting https://verliesregister.studiegroepluch ... .nl/zz.php to see if they can point you in the direction of someone researching your particular loss area.

Regards

Pete
Researching:
CA Butler, flight engineer Lancaster ME334 (KIA over Bonn with 35 PFF on 4th Febuary 1945) http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/
Ground Crew and Aircrew Training WWII
"The History of No 35 Squadron" http://35squadron.wordpress.com/

mikegunnill
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Re: Halifax HR750, RAF Snaith

Post by mikegunnill » Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:46 pm

I have tried that group. They carry details of those in the aircraft when it crashed etc.. Which I already had. On a good note, I spent a long time on the National Archives site and I have now found, I think his box file. It should hold his PoW questionnaire. However I am told only 50-60% of the forms were completed and filed. I have a four week wait while they can search the file for me, to see if my man completed a form on his return.

Your reply made me go back and re-do some of my research. So thank you for that.

Mike
MIKE GUNNILL

Upchurch, Kent. United Kingdom

www.upchurch-village.co.uk
www.bygonekent.org.uk

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PeteT
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Re: Halifax HR750, RAF Snaith

Post by PeteT » Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:45 pm

I will get in touch with my Dutch contact to see if he can offer any help / guidance; can you e-mail me (I think my contact details are in my profile) so that I have your contact details

Regards

Pete
Researching:
CA Butler, flight engineer Lancaster ME334 (KIA over Bonn with 35 PFF on 4th Febuary 1945) http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/
Ground Crew and Aircrew Training WWII
"The History of No 35 Squadron" http://35squadron.wordpress.com/

mikegunnill
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Re: Halifax HR750, RAF Snaith

Post by mikegunnill » Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:47 pm

All done, many thx

Mike
MIKE GUNNILL

Upchurch, Kent. United Kingdom

www.upchurch-village.co.uk
www.bygonekent.org.uk

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