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RAF 524 Squadron

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by Yniswitrin, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Yniswitrin

    Yniswitrin Member

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    Hi,

    I am searching for information on my Great Uncle Sgt Joseph Arthur Robinson - 1589436. My Uncle sadly never married and he served with the 524 Squadron that I am led to believe was initially formed as a trials units to gain experience with the Martin Mariner flying boat on 20 October 1943 at Oban.

    From what I have found on the web, what little I can find, I have uncovered that following a decision not to adopt the type for the RAF, the 524 Squadron was disbanded on 7 December 1943.

    The squadron reformed in the maritime reconnaissance role at Davidstow Moor on 7 April 1944. It was now equipped with Wellingtons and undertook patrols to locate E-boats, which were then attacked by other squadrons. The squadron relocated to the East Coast in July 1944 in order to undertake similar operations of the Dutch coast.

    Although based at Langham the Squadron had a detachment at Dallachy and also Caithness in 1/11/1944.

    In 1945 I know my Great Uncle Joseph among with the rest of his squadron took off from Langham in a Wellington HF283 on shipping patrol and lost over sea; position believed to be 5215N - 0330E. All of the crew were lost:

    F/Sgt W.R. RIDDLE - 1339059;
    Sgt W. ANDREWS - 1685359;
    Sgt S.W. ARGENT - 1874911;
    Sgt D.R. LEWIS - 1583571, and
    Sgt J.A. ROBINSON - 1589436.

    I know the 524 was disbanded at Langham on 25 May 1945 and that Sgt Joseph Arthur Robinson's (1589436) is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Query:

    How can I find out more about the 524 Squadron and my Great Uncle Joe. Would this cost anything?

    Kindest Regards.
    Ynis (Joesph Arthur Robinson's Great Nephew).
     
  2. alieneyes

    alieneyes Member

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    Yes and yes.

    524 Squadron would have kept an Operations Record Book of all daily activities involving the squadron. Those books are now all on microfilm at The National Archives (formerly the PRO) at Kew. Worth the visit if you live in the greater London area as you will learn what the squadron was up to on a day by day basis.

    I have seen great nephews be accepted as valid next of kin when it comes to dealing with the people who hold the RAF personnel records from WWII. However, if your father is still alive they may insist a closer connection. If your great uncle Joe had any siblings they would have an even closer connection.

    You can read about applying for UK service records here:

    http://www.ww2f.com/military-servic...arch/36895-requesting-uk-service-records.html

    If you or another family member is accepted as valid next of kin INSIST on photocopies of originals. As of late they have been handing out typed summaries and those are not so helpful.

    They charge £30.00 whether they are successful or not. Sheer highway robbery but it's the price you have to pay. I do believe that a widow is excused the fee.
     
  3. Icare9

    Icare9 Member

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    Wellingtons usually had a crew of 6. You have only found 5.
    There is this casualty, I wonder if he was part of their crew?
    Name: HAMMERTON, HAROLD RICHARD
    Initials: H R
    Nationality: Canadian
    Rank: Pilot Officer
    Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
    Age: 20
    Date of Death: 25/02/1945
    Service No: J/95279
    Additional information: Son of Fred and Elizabeth Hammerton, of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 280.
    Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    The co-ordinates you give, 5215N - 0330E seem unusual, where did you get them from?

    I can't find any reference in Flight to their loss, nor 1st March 45 edition!
     
  4. alieneyes

    alieneyes Member

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    The coordinates and the crew list come from our friend Henk Welting on RAF Commands:

    Sgt David Richard Lewis - 1583571 - Died 20/2/45 - 524 Sqd - RafCommands Forums

    Perhaps the OP might want to ask Henk the source of his information but, as you know, icare9, Henk is one of the most thorough researchers out there.

    If Hammerton was part of this crew then the chances to obtain further information, free of charge, has just risen:

    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-909.007-e.html
     
  5. newmarket

    newmarket Member

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    I have a conflicting record regarding this incident. 1874911 Sgt Sidney William Argent was not part of this crew. I have access to actual letters from the Wing Commander at Langham and also the skipper of the actual aircraft which crashed killing Sgt Argent. The aircraft was attacked at night on 24th February 1945 and crashed in the sea and Flt Lt Davis, the pilot and 2nd pilot F/O Taylor were picked up from their dinghy the next day.
    The Pilot refers to losing "Taffy", "Andy" and "Bill" (Sgt Argent)
    What I do not have is the actual aircraft serial or call sign.
    Previous posts are not too clear as the the actual date, but certainly Sgt Argent was killed on the night of 24/25 February and not with the quoted crew
     
  6. Anthony Willis

    Anthony Willis recruit

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    I have my fathers diary's and photo albums of 524 and 489 sqdns 1944-5. If you are looking for particular info and dates I may be able to help. See attachment
     

    Attached Files:

  7. newmarket

    newmarket Member

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    Thanks for that. I do have photo of Sgt Argent and can access originals of letters sent to his family after his death. He definitely went down with Wellington of 524 on 24th Feb 1945, with two other crew members, only skipper, Flt Lt Davis and his No 2 were picked up and as I said, the skipper wrote to Argent family. Not sure who the other two missing airmen were or which particular aircraft
     
  8. Yniswitrin

    Yniswitrin Member

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    Hi Anthony and everyone on the forum :) Thank you for the replies. I am sorry I haven't replied sooner but I have been unwell and am now recovered...well almost.

    Thank you everyone for all of your skilled and highly informative information on my Great Uncle Joe and his squadron. Its fantastic to uncover unravelling pieces of his RAF career and his life that was cut short too soon.

    Anthony if you have any more pictures of the Squadron and any more information on the 524? Is Joe mentioned anywhere?

    Ynis. PM me for my email address.

    Thanks everyone :)

    Why should I research Canada? You all lost me LOL! I'm new too this...
     
  9. Yniswitrin

    Yniswitrin Member

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    Thanks again for some of the information above - especially the picture of the 524 Squadron. Do you think Taffy was my Great Uncle Joe?

    When the aircraft was attacked at night on 24th February 1945 and crashed in the sea and Flt Lt Davis, the pilot and 2nd pilot F/O Taylor were picked up from their dinghy the next day. You say the Pilot refers to losing 3 crew: Andy obviously Sgt. Andrews, Bill possibly S.William Argent and "Taffy." I wonder who Taffy was? Sgt Riddle or my G.Uncle Joe Robinson?

    F/Sgt W.R. RIDDLE - 1339059;
    Sgt W. ANDREWS - 1685359; (Andy?)
    Sgt S.W. ARGENT - 1874911; ("Bill")
    Sgt D.R. LEWIS - 1583571, and
    Sgt J.A. ROBINSON - 1589436

    I like the idea he may have been called Taffy. I wonder if anyone knows where Joe is on the picture. I have not had chance to visit my G,Aunt who will obviously know him straight away but I am sure he is the 5th fellow from the left on the 1st front row. My Granddad William Joe's brother did exactly the same thing with his hands on his knees and he looks very much like my uncle Billy.

    Dave
     
  10. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Hi Dave, if one member of a crew was RCAF, then the Canadian archives would have a file for this aircraft too. The big difference is easier access. Some British documents from 1944 are still classified, whereas Canada had many of them declassified some years ago. Therefore you will not only get access to your own relative (as it would be the case in the UK) , but also formely classified files of his crew members.
     
  11. Yniswitrin

    Yniswitrin Member

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    Thanks..Can you help or explain to me what and how I do?

    Completely new to researching War records and haven't a clue where to start?

    Dave
     
  12. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Our member Macrusk has published a list with many interesting sites for you, unfortunately I can't find it right now, but as soon as she is online she"ll give you the link.

    In the meantime here is a good site Canada at War
     
  13. Yniswitrin

    Yniswitrin Member

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    Thank you Skipper.
     
  14. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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  15. Yniswitrin

    Yniswitrin Member

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    Out of interest the brilliant Hank emailed me yesterday afternoon with some excellent information on my Great Uncle Joseph.

    The information on the crash site co-ordinates he had on file came from a crash sheet of a former well-known Dutch air war historian who passed away about 6 years ago.

    The location 5215N-0330E is about 50 km (31 miles) off Hook of Holland, and about 55 km (34 miles) WNW of Scheveningen (on the Dutch coast). There was a statement from one of the survivors that Robinson was out of the aircraft but swept away and drowned as he and Davis and Taylor were uprighting the dinghy. There also seems to be info in the London Gazette of 3-4-1945 Issue 37018 page 1847.

    Here is the information from the article: It provides details on the the two survivors Davis and Taylor who were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

    Flight Lieutenant Elwyn Francis DAVIS (122465), R.A.F.V.R., 524 Sqn.
    Flying Officer Brook Abbott TAYLOR (N.Z.4213399), R.N.Z.A.F., 524 Sqn.


    One night in February, 1945, these officers were pilot and bomb aimer respectively of an aircraft engaged on a sortie. Whilst off the Dutch coast,' they sighted a force of eight enemy E. boats. The position was reported and, some time later, Flight Lieutenant Davis dived to the attack. In spite of fierce fire, the attack was pressed home. Bomb bursts .were seen to straddle one of the vessels which were also machine-gunned. Later on, a second attack was made. As he went in, Flight Lieutenant Davis was met with intense and accurate fire. The aircraft was hit repeatedly. Half a mile from the target, the port wing burst into flames. Nevertheless, Flying Officer Taylor coolly continued to direct his pilot on to the target and a straight and level bombing run was executed.

    Soon afterwards the aircraft became uncontrollable and could no longer be flown. By this time, the fuselage was on fire along most of its length. Coolly and skilfully, Flight Lieutenant Davis brought the aircraft down on to the water. It broke up on impact but Flight Lieutenant Davis and Flying Officer Taylor got aboard the dinghy from which they were later rescued.

    These officers displayed the highest qualities of skill, courage and resolution.

    Hank explained that being next of kin you may be able to obtain additional info from the RAF Air Historical Branch.

    Has anyone done this before?

    Dave
     
  16. Papillon

    Papillon Member

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    [FONT=&quot]RAF 524 Squadron[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Hi[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]By way of introduction I am the nephew of S.W.Argent 1874911 and the son of M.A. Argent his surviving sister for whom I began this research.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]My mother holds the original letters from both the Wing Commander and Padre along with a number of personal letters from S.W.Argent to his parents, then living in Newmarket, which give tantalising clues as to the identities of the crew members.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]There has been some excellent research done on the events surrounding the crash on the night of 24/25 February 1945. However I do believe that significant errors have been made that may have led to some incorrect conclusions. I would therefore welcome the opportunity to state the facts as I see them along with the source data from which they are derived.[/FONT]
    Sergeant SIDNEY WILLIAM ARGENT 1874911
    524 Squadron. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died age 20
    on 25 February 1945


    [FONT=&quot]Flight Sergeant WILLIAM REGINALD RIDDLE 1339059[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]524 Squadron[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died age 35
    on 25 February 1945[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Sergeant WILLIAM ANDREWS 1685359[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]524 Squadron.[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died age?
    on 25 February 1945[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Sergeant DAVID RICHARD LEWIS 1583571
    524 Squadron. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died age 21
    on 25 February 1945[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Sergeant JOSEPH ARTHUR ROBINSON 1589436[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] 524 Squadron. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died age 20
    on 25 February 1945[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The source data for the above was the CWGC web site :: CWGC :: [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The date of death for those listed above was the 25 February 1945, not the 20 February 1945 as put forward on the RAF Commands web site Sgt David Richard Lewis - 1583571 - Died 20/2/45 - 524 Sqd - RafCommands Forums consequently I am therefore unsure as to the accuracy of the other details contained in that particular thread and how they relate to the crash on the night of 24/25 February 1945. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The circumstances surrounding the crash are as clear as we are ever likely to achieve as both [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Flight Lieutenant Elwyn Francis DAVIS (122465), R.A.F.V.R., 524 Sqn and Flying Officer Brook Abbott TAYLOR (N.Z.4213399), R.N.Z.A.F., 524 Sqn. survived to pass on a first hand account. Which is both detailed in my mothers letters and covered in the London gazette Viewing Page 1847 of Issue 37018 [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The problem now remains that I/we have one too many crew members, if as I am led to believe, a Wellington had a crew of 6. This is where the nick names assigned to the crew as detailed in my mothers letters may help.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]S.W.Argent was known as ‘Bill’ this is confirmed in the letter from E.F.Davis.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]W.R Riddle was known as ‘Jimmy’ and is also described as the crews Navigator in a letter from S.W.Argent to his parents. It is therefore extremely likely that W.R.Riddle was the Navigator washed away from the dinghy as described in a letter from Wing Commander R.G.Knott.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]D.R.Lewis might conceivably have got the nick name ‘Taffy’ as his parents lived in Montgomeryshire Wales.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]W.Andrews might have acquired the name ‘Andy’ derived from his surname.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]I have no way at present of proving the identities of either ‘Taffy’ or ‘Andy’ but the preceding is my best informed guess.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]It may transpire that J.A.Robinson whose parents lived in Newton Heath, Lancashire was Taffy or Andy or was another aircraft and crew involved on that day/night operation ?????.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]It would appear that at this stage a visit to Kew is the only way to sort this out. I hope that this information proves useful and inspires further investigation.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Regards,[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Papillon[/FONT]
     
  17. Papillon

    Papillon Member

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    Hi Anthony
    What a fantastic photo of the squadron, so evocative of the time with the Wellington in the back ground. Do you have any other pictures, or diary entries appertaining to 524 squadron personnel or aircraft that you would be prepared to share, obviously anything relating to my uncles crew would be of particular interest.
    Regards
    Papillion
     
  18. Yniswitrin

    Yniswitrin Member

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    If anyone can send me any information on the Squadron, photo's etc I would be delighted. I am very keen to find out more about my Great Uncle Joseph Robinson.
     
  19. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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  20. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    the Wellington in fact found 8 to 12 Schnellboots from the 2. and 5. Schnellbootflottilles on the February evening date.
     

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