Need Help finding which Wellinton this Sgt. Navigator died in, 149 Sqn.

B

bokkatankie

Guest
#1
Usual plea for help, I have gone through the web, can find lots of info on the other Wellinton lost that night:

Wellington IC P9245
OJ-W
149 Squadron
Operation Boulogne


First Names: STANLEY CHARLES
Surname:GRANT
Sergeant
Service Number 751434
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
149 Sqdn.
Age 28
Date of Death08/09/1940 (MIA), appears aircraft was lost with all crew, according to records 2 Wellingtons of 149 Sqn were lost on night of 8/9 Sept.
 
#2
He is listed as missing here as Acting Sergeant 1940 | 2888 | Flight Archive

Right hand column level with the words "AIR MINISTRY CASUALTY COMMUNIQUE NO. 48"

He also appears on the Runnymede Memorial:

GRANT, STANLEY CHARLES
Rank:Sergeant
Service No:751434
Date of Death:08/09/1940
Age:28
Regiment/Service:Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
149 Sqdn.
Panel ReferencePanel 14.
MemorialRUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
Additional Information:
Son of Charles and Ada Lily Grant, of Seaford, Sussex.
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#3
He is listed as missing here as Acting Sergeant 1940 | 2888 | Flight Archive

Right hand column level with the words "AIR MINISTRY CASUALTY COMMUNIQUE NO. 48"

He also appears on the Runnymede Memorial:

GRANT, STANLEY CHARLES
Rank:Sergeant
Service No:751434
Date of Death:08/09/1940
Age:28
Regiment/Service:Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
149 Sqdn.
Panel ReferencePanel 14.
MemorialRUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
Additional Information:
Son of Charles and Ada Lily Grant, of Seaford, Sussex.
Thanks TFoT, got that on him. There is a list of all Wellingtons that were lost in 149 Sqn., but rather annoyingly it does not then link to crews.

There is a book about all Bomber Command Losses but I do not have it and it has not been converted to a web index. Hoping that some kind sole on here may ahve that book and would look him up.
 
#6
No joy it will not let me look at page 138.
Just says 'Target Boulogne, presumed lost over the sea''. Lists the crew as:

PO J L Leeds - Pilot
Sgt R A Jerritt
Sgt S C Grant
Sgt H G Gledhill
Sgt W W Crooks
Sgt A C Martin

There are some Luftwaffe sites that may be able to help if it was a fighter that shot them down - I'll have a look.

'Jack' Leeds was a Canadian - this from a defunct web forum:

Regarding the Canadian Jack Leeds of 149 Squadron there doesn't appear to be anything on the net about his fateful Sept 8-9. 1940 flight and the seemingly disappearance of Wellington R3175. Chorley is relatively blank on this as well except for indicating that the crew were never found after the Boulogne raid. They were among the many others who sacrificed their lives during the Battle of Britain to keep Sealion at bay but never received their due recognition.


My uncle was a WOP/AG on Wimpeys - survived the War to be killed flying a SAAF Harvard in '53.
 
#7
You might want to give this site a try .... linky ...
Bomber Command Association

which claims .....

Through investigating we now have an extensive archive with over 7,000 crashes of mainly
Commonwealth Bomber Command aircraft. That information is available for anybody who wants to know anything.
It does say it has info for Western Europe but mainly the Netherland but could still well be worth a punt ... it is free .
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#9
Just says 'Target Boulogne, presumed lost over the sea''. Lists the crew as:

PO J L Leeds - Pilot
Sgt R A Jerritt
Sgt S C Grant
Sgt H G Gledhill
Sgt W W Crooks
Sgt A C Martin

Thanks (bang on, great job!!!) that looks like the right aircraft, family believed he was lost over Germany, but based on Battle of Britain web site only 2 Wellingtons from 149 were lost that night. One is very well documented due to body being washed up and then buried at Frinton. Other, which we can now identify as R3175 (will have to cross reference) was Sgt. Grants.

Sounds like they both went in to the sea, be interesting to see if BR lead sheds any further light. According to survivor from first one they ran into a huge lightening storm at about 8,000 just as they crossed English coast.
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#11
Have you contactd the archive at the RAF Museum Hendon? They can be very halpful and have some operational records etc.
Not yet.

Question; what happened to the log books of those KIA or MIA, this chap was Sgt. Navigator, did he have log book and if so where would it be?
 
#12
Not yet.

Question; what happened to the log books of those KIA or MIA, this chap was Sgt. Navigator, did he have log book and if so where would it be?
I think that Hendon must hold them, because i have seen Guy Gibson's and Douglas Bader's It wouldn't mke security sense to taken them on the aircraft on a mission.
 
#13
Most of the unclaimed RAF flying log books were destroyed after the war but a representative selection are kept at the National Archives, in record series AIR 4.

149 Sqd's Operations Record Book should be available from TNA's Documents Online. The digitised ORBs cost £3.50 per download which might cover one month or several months from the book.

Here are the links to September 1940:
The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details (25 pages)
The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details (4 pages)
 
#15
One thing - given that Sgt Grant died in August 1940, I wouldn't think he would have been designated "Navigator". At the time, most RAF night bombers (except the Hampden) flew with a Pilot (the ac captain) and a less experienced Second Pilot. The chap who dropped the bombs was classed as Air Observer. He and the Second Pilot were expected to do the navigation, but neither was very well trained in the task. One of the most significant contributions (often overlooked in favour of more "sexy" topics such as the Pathfinders) made to improving the efficiency of Bomber Command was the Training Needs Analysis made by AVM Foster MacNeece, a retired officer recalled at the outbreak of war to run Bomber Command training. He realised that if the RAF only trained one pilot per bomber crew, said pilot could have twice as many flying training hours given to him. Meanwhile, the chap who had previously been trained as a Second Pilot could now be trained to actually read a map, badged as a Navigator for the first time, and the bloke who had to drop the bombs could concentrate his training on just that. Changes came to fruition circa 1941 or early 1942. Before that, someone like Sgt Grant would be filling the "navigator" role, but not formally recognised (or really trained) as doing so. I suspect he was officially an Air Obs.
 
#17
Aircraft R3175 A Wellington of 149 (East India) Squadron, RAF coded OJ-V. Took off from RAF Mildenhall at 2335hrs on the night of the 8th Sep, '40 on a mission to bomb Boulogne Harbour ( 5 Wellingtons from 149 Sqn tasked, 3 returned). Crew were:
F/O J L Leeds Captain
Sgt R A Jerrit Pilot
Sgt S C Grant Observer
Sgt H D Gledhill W/Op
Sgt WW Crooks A.G.
Sgt A C Martin. A.G.
Shot down over the sea by an aircraft from Luftwaffe night-fighter unit 1/NJG1. This was claimed as the first Bomber shot down by an NJG unit. I have no details on Aircraft/pilot who claimed the aircraft but will investigate if you wish.

149 Sqn aircraft P9245, Captained by S/Ldr L V Andrews was also lost that night on the same raid. He survived, only to be lost on a Raid that was his 54th Operation.

Alan F
149 Sqn Historian
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#18
Aircraft R3175 A Wellington of 149 (East India) Squadron, RAF coded OJ-V. Took off from RAF Mildenhall at 2335hrs on the night of the 8th Sep, '40 on a mission to bomb Boulogne Harbour ( 5 Wellingtons from 149 Sqn tasked, 3 returned). Crew were:
F/O J L Leeds Captain
Sgt R A Jerrit Pilot
Sgt S C Grant Observer
Sgt H D Gledhill W/Op
Sgt WW Crooks A.G.
Sgt A C Martin. A.G.
Shot down over the sea by an aircraft from Luftwaffe night-fighter unit 1/NJG1. This was claimed as the first Bomber shot down by an NJG unit. I have no details on Aircraft/pilot who claimed the aircraft but will investigate if you wish.

149 Sqn aircraft P9245, Captained by S/Ldr L V Andrews was also lost that night on the same raid. He survived, only to be lost on a Raid that was his 54th Operation.

Alan F
149 Sqn Historian
Alan, thank you, very kind of you to assist.

So not lost at see but shot down. 149 seem to have accumulated and awful lot of firsts in WW2, the numbers of aircraft lost are quite astonishing and sadly tell the awful tale of the Bombing Campaign from start to finish.

P9245 seems to have 2 different histories, this is from my (and others on here) research:
PO Parish was the sole survivor of a crash over the North Sea off the Essex coast on September 8, 1940. Their Wellington bomber was struck by lightning on its way back from a raid over occupied Europe.

Not relevant to R3175, but an awful lot of stuff about P9245.

Thanks again. Please PM me any more info that you may have on Sgt. Grant or his aircraft, according to letter he took part in one of the first raids on Berlin and writes of having to descend to 5,000 feet as first bomber to mark the target.


 
#19
Interesting one, this.
Couple of "Correction " points I need to add to my previous reply. Research has shown that the claim made in the "Strong by Night" book is (most probably) mistaken. A correspondent has informed me that there are no records of NJG kills that night, excepting a Beaufighter over Waddington.

The survivor from P9245, who was indeed P/O Parish, was the one who swam for hours in flying kit before reaching shore. He was back on Ops 3 weeks later and it was him who was killed on his 54th Op. In his debrief he mentioned a "terrific electrical storm" over the sea. This may have had a bearing on the loss of R3175, but I have no conclusive evidence on this.

Pardon me for not cross checking my facts before replying :(

Alan F
 

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