Which 3 Group HCU for Special Duties crew 1944?

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Pat Atkins
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Which 3 Group HCU for Special Duties crew 1944?

Post by Pat Atkins » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:49 am

After 12 OTU my uncle (1331986 F/Sgt Don Atkins) and his crew progressed to a 3 Group HCU at RAF Stradishall in May 1944, where they converted to Stirlings. This info comes from his RAF movements record, but I would like if possible to identify the specific HCU. I believe the options are 1651 HCU at RAF Waterbeach, 1653 HCU at RAF Chedburgh or 1657 HCU at RAF Stradishall. I'm assuming that generally crews were assigned to Stirlings at this time in preparation for parachute drop/glider tow operations on D-Day and beyond.

The crew went on to fly 36 Special Duties operations from N Africa and Italy; I think I've read something, somewhere, which suggests 1651 HCU had some kind of SD connection - but I don't know if this has any basis in fact at all. I don't know when or how Don and his crew were assigned to/volunteered for Special Duties (there seems to have been considerable variation), but I guess on completion of OTU is plausible.

What does the Forum think? Any ideas?

Cheers, Pat.

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AlanW
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Re: Which 3 Group HCU for Special Duties crew 1944?

Post by AlanW » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:39 pm

Which SD squadron was he with at time of his operations
There is no paralell in warfare, to such courage and determination in the face of danger, over so long a period. Such devotion, should never be forgotten.

Pat Atkins
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Re: Which 3 Group HCU for Special Duties crew 1944?

Post by Pat Atkins » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:11 pm

Hi Alan, apologies for the late response. He and his crew were originally with 624 Sqdn at Blida, North Africa; when the squadron was disbanded the summer of 1944 they were transferred to 148 Sqdn at Brindisi, Italy, where they converted to Halifaxes and carried out the vast majority of their operational flying until the end of the war.

Pat

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