Sgt Kenneth Austen Thomas, pilot. Help please

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Mancpal
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Sgt Kenneth Austen Thomas, pilot. Help please

Post by Mancpal »

I am trying to find details about my uncle Ken Thomas. I know he received his wings in 1943 in Manitoba but that's about it. There was more information but sadly on the death of his widow everything left the family. I have one poor copy of him and his crew standing in front of their Lancaster. He came from Levenshulme, Manchester.
He had 2 brothers in the RAF but they were both ground crew I believe, I have their service numbers but can't lay my hands on them imediately.

They were the sons of Herbert Austen Thomas, a WW1 soldier and POW. Their uncle was Lt William Lewis Thomas who after 8 yrs with the Manchester's joined the RFC in 1916/17 as a pilot. He became listed as one of Lothar Von Richthofens 40 claims while flying a Bristol F2b (A7227) on 11th March 1918. His plane was shot up though he was unscathed.

Any direct information or links gratefully received

Thanks

Simon

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Re: Sgt Kenneth Austen Thomas, pilot. Help please

Post by K4KittyCrew »

Hello Simon,
I've had a look at the CWGC site but I can't find him listed. I was hoping it would show me which squadron he flew with.
I've listed some examples.
John

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K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
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Mancpal
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Re: Sgt Kenneth Austen Thomas, pilot. Help please

Post by Mancpal »

John

Thanks for your reply. I'm not surprised CWGC don't have anything on him, he didn't die until the '90s!
The most irritating part of this is that his effects are no longer accessible to me. I'm not absolutely sure what was there but I know of his medals, a signed photo of him and his crew and a log book of some description. I'm also fairly sure there would be letters and other such ephemera as his entire family were great letter writers. He was RAF/Aeroplane mad all his days, at his funeral he had the RAFA flag draped over his coffin. As we stood outside Norwich Crematorium after the service an RAF jet came screaming directly overhead, he'd have loved it.
I'm new to WW2 research as I'm usually to be found with my head "in the trenches" so to speak. Do you know if there is a searchable medal roll index for RAF personnel?

Thanks again

Simon

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Re: Sgt Kenneth Austen Thomas, pilot. Help please

Post by K4KittyCrew »

Simon, not sure about a searchable medal roll but I have included an image of some medals to show how the crewman service number is listed on the edges.

I put together the image some time ago from someone wishing to clarify real medals from fakes or reissues., so don't concern yourself with that part.
John
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K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

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Re: Sgt Kenneth Austen Thomas, pilot. Help please

Post by Mancpal »

John

I have both his brothers medals and they are plain rimmed. I don't even know what Kenneth was awarded

Thanks

Simon

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Re: Sgt Kenneth Austen Thomas, pilot. Help please

Post by ME453 »

I'm afraid this is a negative reply Simon, but it helps to narrow your search slightly. I can tell you that he didn't fly with either 467 nor 463 squadrons, I've checked the list of pilots and crew for those two squadrons but no trace. Sadly there is no nominal roll of personnel for the RAF like the Aussies have, it would be such a useful thing to have. I'll check the London Gazette for you and come back if anything emerges. Post script: I've checked the indices of the LG for 1943, 44 and 45 but can find no trace of a medal nor award listing for a K A Thomas. Have you had a definite sight of his medals?
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Re: Sgt Kenneth Austen Thomas, pilot. Help please

Post by Mancpal »

Max

Thanks very much for all your efforts. I haven't personally seen his medals but find it hard to believe he didn't claim them. I understand he was a member of RAFA and I hope to contact them (hopefully today) and see if they may be able to shed any light. I now have a photo of him receiving his wings (which I've got) in Manitoba in 1943.

Thanks again

Simon

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Re: Sgt Kenneth Austen Thomas, pilot. Help please

Post by Mancpal »

Max

Forgot to mention I think he would only have had campaign medals, had he had any form of gallantry award I know my mother would have mentioned it (countless times to anyone who'd listen!).

Simon

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Re: Sgt Kenneth Austen Thomas, pilot. Help please

Post by ME453 »

Ok Simon, that clears that up, entries in the LG would have covered DFC, DFM, DSO etc. but obviously not campaign medals. I'm wracking my brains to find a way of getting a start for you but nothing's coming to mind right now.
Max
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Re: Sgt Kenneth Austen Thomas, pilot. Help please

Post by Mancpal »

Max

Thanks very much for trying. This is the first time I've tried to research any WW2 combatant and I don't appear to be getting anywhere. I somehow imagined that it would be less difficult than WW1 being still within living memory for some .
I have amassed a good deal about their father and uncle from enlistment to demob/POW repatriation and held out the same hopes for the 3 brothers.
I contacted the RAFA this evening to see if they hold any archive material or even perhaps somebody from his local branch may still remember him (clutching at straws I think).

Thanks again

Simon

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