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Lancaster Bomber 514 Squadron

Discussion in 'Honor, Service and Valor' started by E. Campbell, Mar 9, 2006.

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  1. E. Campbell

    E. Campbell Member

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    Dad's first OP was May 19, 1944. This morning he sent some comments on that first flight into battle.
    The famous Toppy Topham accompanied him on this first trip.

    "Once again it is May 19th. It does not seem 70 years past.
    Nearing the target of Le Mans, a solid wall of anti-aircraft
    fire confronted us. I asked Toppy Topham, "How do we get
    through that?" "Just fly right into it", he replied.
    After 2 aircraft exploded ahead of us, Toppy said,
    "that's just flaming onions."
    We evaded 3 fighter attacks and finally landed safely
    back at Waterbeach." - E.A. Campbell
     
  2. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    Geeze, just caught up on this thread. Tip of the hat to Fred, he bent backwards on this one. Peeps can vote on a good read, maybe some don't know how.
     
  3. 514 Squadron RAF

    514 Squadron RAF New Member

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    Am I allowed to tell you on this site that 'Striking Through Clouds', the operational history of 514 Squadron is now available? It's 544 pages and available on Amazon. It is the only operational history of the squadron so might be of interest. Not only that but Alex Campbell has very kindly written the Foreword.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Striking-Through-Clouds-Diaries-Squadron/dp/1495440486/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400690183&sr=8-1&keywords=striking+through+clouds

    If I am not allowed to post this (some forums get a bit sensitive) I will remove the post. Hope it is of interest to some of you though.
     
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  4. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    No problem, this is the right place, especially since Alex Campbell is part of it.
     
  5. 514 Squadron RAF

    514 Squadron RAF New Member

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    Thanks. Fred Wilson posted some limited extracts a few weeks ago which give a flavour. I wrote the book because I shared the frustration of many people posting on here that there was very little information about the squadron on record which seemed wholly wrong. The sacrifice of the 435 aircrew who lost their lives is worth recording and passing on.

    I appreciate your support and the excellent 514 forum you and Alex have built up here.

    Regards

    Simon Hepworth
     
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  6. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    My pleasure Simon. Positive input is always welcome.
     
  7. E. Campbell

    E. Campbell Member

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    D-Day

    In June of 2008 I recorded a session with Dad talking about the two raids he took part in on D-Day. As with everyone flying on that day, he had a dramatic view of this unprecedented event.
    We used Google Talk over the Internet to create the interview., audio only.

    That recording is available here:

    http://youtu.be/Ivf8YUy_U0A

    Wayne
     
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  8. 514 Squadron RAF

    514 Squadron RAF New Member

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    I thoroughly enjoyed the interview and would like to share it if possible on the Facebook page and www.514squadron.co.uk with due credit of course. If this is possible can you e-mail me with details (514squadronrafATgmail.com) please?

    In answer to Alex's question, the target at Lisieux was railway lines and yards. Ouistreham was indeed gun batteries. Interestingly the ORB shows Ouistreham as occurring on 5th June 1944 whereas it actually occurred, by Alex's account, on the early morning of 6th June. The ORB wasn't always spot on...

    Awesome stuff and good to hear Alex speaking about his recollections. Thanks for sharing it.

    Simon
     
  9. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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  10. E.A.Campbell

    E.A.Campbell WWII Veteran

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    Hello All,

    Glad to see the Freteval Anniversary was a great success.
    Two of our grandchildren, Wes and Bev, related with enthusiasm their
    week long visit to France. On arrival, they were met and then chaperoned
    by Michel and Isabelle which was greatly appreciated.
    Our Rear Gunner's son, Doug Harvey and his wife Esther, were able to
    enjoy the event. Another surprise, the sisters of Bill 'Jock' Donaldson, our
    Flt. Engineer, were part of the celebration. They met with our grandchildren
    and told them some remarkable stories of his career with the Toronto Police Force.
    I was pleased to hear that the Forum's historian and stalwart supporter "Skipper"
    was there and met with Wes and Bev. It was very good to know that Daniel
    Cogneau attended this historic commemoration. He was the 24 year old French
    Resistance worker who walked "Jonesy" and me to the Forest. I believe I never
    thanked him for our safe arrival to Freteval so I shall now offer my sincere
    thanks to Daniel.

    Alex Campbell, Skipper
    Lancaster A2 C
     
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  11. E.A.Campbell

    E.A.Campbell WWII Veteran

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    A lot of anniversaries come to mind this year. For a start there is our own 70th wedding anniversary, D-Day, Freteval Forest and the demise of Lancaster LL692 code A2 C.

    At a few seconds past midnight on July 28/29, 1944 this heavily laden Lancaster plunged to its doom in a harvested wheat field in France. Reportedly this was the first of many such Luftwaffe victories that night.

    Thus began an oft-repeated tale of endurance, agony, joy and disappointment that saved so many lives at a cost of so many others.

    I have a great deal to be thankful for and many I wish to thank.

    Alex Campbell
    Skipper of Lancaster A2 C
     
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  12. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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  13. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Hi Alex. I knew you'd be around on this special 70th anniversary day.
    My thoughts go to all those from Bomber Command who served during this dreadful Stuttgart mission. I have a particular thought for Bob Giffin who was part of your crew and paid the ultimate price. You are not forgotten :poppy:
     
  14. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Member

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    Hi Alex,

    It is nice to see you still posting in this thread. Congratulations to you on all of your various anniversaries. They are all remarkable milestones. FYI, there have been a few posts in the LM178 thread from other visitors to France you may want to read, notably family members of two of Sam Dunseith's crew-mates as well as John Sandulak's family. Here is a link...

    http://www.ww2f.com/topic/47514-lancaster-lm-178-of-300-squadron/page-4

    All the best,
    Don
     
  15. E.A.Campbell

    E.A.Campbell WWII Veteran

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    Hello Don I.ve been keeping tabs on LM178, a great thread. I first saw Sam when he was brought in to Freteval with his face
    heavily bandaged with curtain cloth and badly stained. He was later taken out and then returned with clean dressing. We met again
    at a reunion in Cleveland, his face much improved.
    We flew the same skies that night and I likely saw them go down as there were several flamers between Chateaudun and
    Orleans. We continued on to Stuttgart but had to land at Ford short of petrol as dawn was streaking. We ourselves went down
    in the same area three nights later.
    Thanks Don Alex Campbell Skipper of Lancaster 692 code A2 C
     
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  16. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    remembering all.....good to hear from you Alex ~
     
  17. mikew156

    mikew156 recruit

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    Hello to Alex and all who have contributed to this fine thread.

    I join with you all in remembering the events of exactly 70 years ago and honouring all those who lost their lives.

    I hope that you don't mind me making post number 937!, and I also hope you will permit me to highlight two other Lancasters that were lost in eastern France on the same Stuttgart raid.
    Seven of their number never returned home.

    LL962 of 625 Sqn, captained by P/O Harry Tuck and,
    NE164 of 550 Sqn, captained by F/O Harry Jones.

    more details can be found here;
    http://100548.activeboard.com/t30351601/op-stuttgart-2829-july-1944-550-and-625-sqn-losses/
    and here;
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?5987-Op-Stuttgart-28-29-July-1944-550-and-625-Sqn-Losses

    I've researched both crews for several years.

    If any one would like a copy of the Operational Research Section report for this night then just ask.
    Send a PM or email me at mwam.156<AT>btinternet.com.

    Very best regards

    Mike
     
  18. E.A.Campbell

    E.A.Campbell WWII Veteran

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    It was good to hear from you Erich. You were one of the main supporters of our story. Your
    vast knowledge of armament along with botany (cactus and morning glories) was greatly
    appreciated.
    Thanks Erich Cheers
    Alex Campbell Skipper of Lancaster LL692 code A2 C


    And Fred that is a great tribute to a great man, He was just one year younger than I.
     
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  19. carter

    carter New Member

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    Sent 02 August 2014 - 04:08 PM
    Hello Alex, my name is Ian Carter, my Father Harold Gordon (Nick) Carter was the Flight Engineer on Lancaster DS 813 on the night of 28th/29th July 1944 when you were part of the attack on Stuttgart. As you know his Lancaster was shot down with the loss of all on board. I wonder if you knew my Father and could give me some information about him, or put me in touch with someone who did know him. I have just returned from visiting the War Cemetery at Choloy for the 70th anniversary of the loss of the crew. I will post a photograph soon.

    It will be good to hear from you.

    Regards

    Ian Carter
     
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  20. 514 Squadron RAF

    514 Squadron RAF New Member

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    Ian,

    We have a Facebook page for 514 Squadron. If you don't make contact here and would like to post on that page you will be very welcome. I am writing a sequel to the operational history. This will list every crew and their ops records, which we have. I am very eager to receive any additional information and photos. ( https://www.facebook.com/514SquadronRaf?ref=hl )

    Regards

    Simon Hepworth
     

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