Thursday, August 22, 2019
Text Size

KH250 H, lost on Port Blair op, 355 Sqn, 17 May 1945

More
10 years 4 months ago - 9 years 3 months ago #57 by Matt_Poole
Matt_Poole created the topic: KH250 H, lost on Port Blair op, 355 Sqn, 17 May 1945
Might one of our readers have a scanned photo of KH250 "H" from 355 Squadron to share with me? It was appropriately named HAWKEYE, and the nose art was of a cartoonish bird holding a bomb.

I am currently assisting the son of the widow of pilot Rowland Totham DFC, who died with his crew, and a screen pilot, on their first op with 355 Sqn -- an attack on Port Blair, S. Andaman Island on 17 May 1945. From "Burma Liberators" by John R.W. Gwynne-Timothy (probably from the 355 Sqn Operations Record Book):

Aircraft "H" bombed Chatham Island. The weather forced aircraft down and bombing had to be carried out from 2,000 feet. Flak was heavy and accurate. Most aircraft were hit. Aircraft "H" was hit on its dummy run over the target area at Port Blair. Smoke came out of the no. 2 engine. The aircraft was seen to turn around, bomb its target and then gradually lose height until it crashed into the ground and burst into flames on impact. The aircraft was captained by F/O R. Totham. It was his first trip with a new crew and they were being screened by F/S Duckworth, R.J.

The missing crew of aircraft "H" [my correction in brackets, via the Commonwealth War Graves Commission] were F/O Totham, captain; F/S McDowall, J.H., second pilot; P/O I.B. [I.A.] Morgan, bomb aimer; F/S Emerson, H.W., navigator; W/O Johnson, H, wireless operator; W/O Campbell, H, wireless operator; Sgt Rennel, L., ball gunner; P/O F.E. Rumsey-Williams, front gunner; F/S Wynne, H., mid-upper gunner; and F/S McPherson, R., rear gunner. The results of the bombing in the target area of Port Blair were generally good but the Squadron was much saddened by the loss of Duckworth, Totham, and their crew.


A second book,

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 years 4 months ago - 9 years 3 months ago #479 by Matt_Poole
Matt_Poole replied the topic: KH250 H, lost on Port Blair op, 355 Sqn, 17 May 1945
Might one of our readers have a scanned photo of KH250 "H" from 355 Squadron to share with me? It was appropriately named HAWKEYE, and the nose art was of a cartoonish bird holding a bomb.

I am currently assisting the son of the widow of pilot Rowland Totham DFC, who died with his crew, and a screen pilot, on their first op with 355 Sqn -- an attack on Port Blair, S. Andaman Island on 17 May 1945. From "Burma Liberators" by John R.W. Gwynne-Timothy (probably from the 355 Sqn Operations Record Book):

Aircraft "H" bombed Chatham Island. The weather forced aircraft down and bombing had to be carried out from 2,000 feet. Flak was heavy and accurate. Most aircraft were hit. Aircraft "H" was hit on its dummy run over the target area at Port Blair. Smoke came out of the no. 2 engine. The aircraft was seen to turn around, bomb its target and then gradually lose height until it crashed into the ground and burst into flames on impact. The aircraft was captained by F/O R. Totham. It was his first trip with a new crew and they were being screened by F/S Duckworth, R.J.

The missing crew of aircraft "H" [my correction in brackets, via the Commonwealth War Graves Commission] were F/O Totham, captain; F/S McDowall, J.H., second pilot; P/O I.B. [I.A.] Morgan, bomb aimer; F/S Emerson, H.W., navigator; W/O Johnson, H, wireless operator; W/O Campbell, H, wireless operator; Sgt Rennel, L., ball gunner; P/O F.E. Rumsey-Williams, front gunner; F/S Wynne, H., mid-upper gunner; and F/S McPherson, R., rear gunner. The results of the bombing in the target area of Port Blair were generally good but the Squadron was much saddened by the loss of Duckworth, Totham, and their crew.


A second book,

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 years 4 months ago #516 by Gary
Gary replied the topic: KH250 H, lost on Port Blair op, 355 Sqn, 17 May 1945
The original records (photo copies) are still held by Peter Caldwell (who does pop in to this site) I have the transcribed versions of the ORBs but they are as good as the originals. I'll dig out what I have for this period mate. I'll also keep my eyes open for KH250.
Gary

'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 years 3 months ago #522 by Matt_Poole
Matt_Poole replied the topic: KH250 H, lost on Port Blair op, 355 Sqn, 17 May 1945
Thanks, Gary. If you find them, please shoot me a line. Meanwhile, I'll also contact Peter, in case the transcription doesn't include the Appendices...I have his e-mail.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 years 3 months ago #524 by Matt_Poole
Matt_Poole replied the topic: KH250 H, lost on Port Blair op, 355 Sqn, 17 May 1945
Gary,

Thanks for that info. I was confused at first by the lack of a reference in the quoted ORB to the Totham crew's loss in KH250 "H" on 17 May...writing from work (quick break!!), where I don't have access to my books and such...but when I plugged a couple of names into the CWGC Debt of Honour Register I realized that the all-Canadian crewmen listed above as missing on 27 May '45 were from 356.

So this excellent detail that you kindly provided (valuable to me, and to Totham's widow's son) is not the 355 Sqn ORB material that might have some useful factual detail on the KH250 "H" loss. Do you have the 355 ORB transcript, or only the 356 summary? You said "That's all I got", but I'm not sure if you only checked the 356 ORB transcripts, or if the 355 ones are not at your fingertips.

Regarding the 27 May 1945 missing all-Canadian crew you listed, out of curiosity, I went to the Canadian Virtual War Memorial website at www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?sour...llections/virtualmem to see if anyone had posted photos of any of these men. I found that two of the surnames in the 356 ORB were misspelled slightly. The correct spellings: PIERCY (not Piercey) and MACLEOD (not McLeod). And there were, indeed, photo submissions for three of the nine: HALFORD (2 images), MACLEOD (only a photo of his name, and others, on the Singapore Memorial, which is nice), and PIERCY (one image). It's a great little website where anyone can submit photos to add to the casualty's page.

I'd better get back to work...and thanks again, Gary.

Matt

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 years 3 months ago #525 by brianj
brianj replied the topic: KH250 H, lost on Port Blair op, 355 Sqn, 17 May 1945
Hi Matt, Gary,
Just wanted to say the link to the Canadial War Memorial site is excellent - I went to look up Eddie Gilbert my dads pilot and the details are all there. It is worth noting for the future

regards

Brian

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.158 seconds