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Halifax a/c

June 13 2004 at 12:44 AM
Ian  (Login Dudois)
from IP address

A source has asked me for info on Halifax Mk 111 PN-173 KW-Q of 425 RCAF Sqn. crashed Mar 5/45 , attack on Chemnitz.

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(no login)


June 14 2004, 12:58 AM 

I would just like to add that this "Ian" isn't "ME" the Ian that runs 57 RESCUE, please do not get us mixed up.

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Ian Duncan
(no login)

Halifax a/c

June 15 2004, 12:56 AM 

Sorry Ian (the original) I a\had no intention to poach on your terrirory. I was just seeking info for another correspondant, who is intereted in Halifax crashes in Germany. Hence the request. If you prefer I can change my name so as not to conflict. Regards Ian D.

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(Login NA337)

No Problem

June 15 2004, 11:04 AM 

Hi Ian,
As you have a "GOOD" name, then it's not a problem, it's just that normally I simply use Ian as my handle on the forum here & I guess everyone has kind of got used to it now, which could cause a bit of confusion for some folk out there.
Ian D might be a good idea as well?
Either way, you are VERY welcome here, so long as you don't use the "L" word
Best wishes
Ian F

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(no login)

Re: No Problem

June 15 2004, 1:53 PM 

Rightho, now that we have all our Ians sorted out here is some info from Chorley for Ian D - (you didn't say what info you were looking for so I hope this is some help).

Halifax III PN173 KW-Q on op to Chemnitz took off 1651 Tholthorpe. Those who died are buried in Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. This Halifax was manufactured by Fairey Aviation and delivered , ex-works, to Tholthorpe on 22 Nov 1944 and taken over by 425 Sqdn. It seems to have operated without being damaged until its demise.

Crew & fates:
F/O J J A L Desbiens RCAF - killed
Sgt A E Minguet RCAF - killed
F/S G E J Tremblay RCAF - pow
F/O J A Parent RCAF - pow
F/S H J M J D'Avril RCAF - killed
F/S G L J Lageum RCAF - pow
F/S L P Lamontagne RCAF - pow

Linzee (not the 'L' word!)

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(Login Dudois)

Halifax a/c

June 16 2004, 12:32 AM 

MeaCulpa IanF, will try to be more careful in future. Cheers IanD

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floyd williston
(no login)


March 31 2007, 7:09 AM 

Just a brief note to suggest that you get the book:


It's the story of the murder of one of the crew of this Halifax(Jean-Maurice D'Avril
(published in Canada by James Lorimer, 35 Britain Street, Toronto, 2005)

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John Mackenzie
(Login SuperSilex)

Halifax JD 146

May 6 2017, 9:47 AM 

Hello Ian,

I do hope I am writing to the correct man and I ask the following with respect.

My uncle Donald Mackenzie was lost with this Halifax, I believe, in the Baltic sea and I wonder if to might have a crew photo with the aircraft.

Kindest regards - John

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(no login)

PN 173

June 15 2004, 4:06 PM 

Ian D,

March 5/6, 1945

86 Halifaxes from 408, 415, 420, 425, 426, 429, and 432 Squadrons were joined by 84 Lancasters from 419, 424, 428, 431, 433, and 434 Squadrons on an attack at Chemnitz. The crews were over the target at between 15,000 and 18,000 feet, releasing 1,064,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, severe damage was caused by this attack. There was severe icing over England and this was a factor in most of the crashes.

F/Lt C. Lesesne from 425 Squadron was hit by flak, not serious.
F/O A. Lowe RCAF and crew, flying Halifax III MZ-454 coded KW-S, encountered severe icing after takeoff. Control was lost and the Halifax crashed at Little Ouseburn.

Sgt J. Lynch RCAF
F/O E. Brabbins RCAF
F/O J. Brownell RCAF
F/Sgt K. McCuaig RCAF
F/O P. Hall RCAF
P/O J. Hyde RCAF
3 crew members bailed out before the Halifax crashed to earth.
P/O M. Anderson RCAF and crew, flying Halifax MZ-845 coded KW-J, was involved in a mid air collision over Linton on Ouse with Halifax VII PN-228 coded OW-A, from 426 Squadron.

P/O J. Beaudry RCAF
F/O R. Charron RCAF
F/Sgt A. De Cruyenaere RCAF
F/Sgt J. Seguin RCAF
P/O J. Pelletier RCAF
Only the wireless operator was able to bail out before the Halifax crashed to earth.
P/O J. Giquere landed at Juvincourt on return due to a fuel shortage.
P/O W. Corbett, F/O R. Lafreniere, F/O G. Chabot, F/Lt J. Laporte, F/O J. Evans, and F/O J. Poirier landed at Thorney Island on return due to poor weather at base.

F/O J. Desbiens RCAF and crew, flying Halifax III PN-173 coded KW-Q, failed to return from this operation.
P/O A. Minguet RCAF
F/Sgt G. Tremblay RCAF–POW
F/O J. Parent RCAF–POW
F/Sgt H. D’Avrill RCAF
F/Sgt G. Langevin RCAF–POW
F/Sgt L. Lamontagne RCAF–POW
3 crew were killed and 4 were POWs.


from "The Bomber Command War Diaries" (Middlebrook & Everitt)

5/6 March 1945 CHEMNITZ
760 aircraft- 498 Lancasters, 256 Halifaxes, 6 Mosquitoes -to continue Operation 'Thunderclap'. The operation started badly when 9 aircraft of 6 Group crashed near their bases soon after taking off in icy conditions. 426 Squadron, at Linton-on-Ouse, lost 3 out of their 14 Halifaxes taking part in the raid in this way, with only 1 man surviving. 1 of the Halifaxes crashed in York, killing some civilians. 22 further aircraft were lost in the main operation - 14 Lancasters and 8 Halifaxes.
The city of Karl-Marx-Stadt was unable to supply any local details but it is known that the centre and the south of the city suffered severe fire damage. Several important factories were situated in the fire area and the Siegmar factory, which made tank engines, was destroyed.

My appologies to IAN for the excessive use of the 'L' word. I try not to make a habit of it.
Regards Paul (MZ924)

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(Login Dudois)

Halifax a/c

June 16 2004, 12:30 AM 

I am overwhelmed by the amount of info which is available if you can only find the key to unlock the source. thanks for that which you provided. took me a moment to catch on to the "L" word. Actually our squadron 425 flew home in our Mk 10's so I have a slight affimity for them, but my heart still belongs to the "Hallie". Sorry if I created some discomfort , will try to be more careful in future, but then what can you expext from an octogenarian. Cheers to all, IanD.

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Matt L
(no login)

Halifax A/C

June 16 2004, 1:47 PM 

Ian D,

I was just wondering if you were with 425 squadron when they were using Halifaxes with the gun turret underneath?

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(Login Dudois)

Re: Halifax A/C

June 19 2004, 11:55 PM 

mattL. Sorry if I led you astray. I belonged to a crew which flew as part of 420 RCAF Sqn, on the same base as 425. We didn't get to tholthorpe until mid-Feb of 1945, long past the time when 425 had the configuration to which you refer. In early 1943 we certainly could have used that turret when the mid-upper was removed on our 419 Hallies, as well as fairing in the nose. however as a bombaimer I was very happy to lose the front turret. TTFN IanD.

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Matt L.
(no login)

Re: Halifax A/C

June 22 2004, 11:38 PM 

Not a problem Ian, did you know that a fellow from 420 squadron wrote a book on his experinces?

Its called One of the Many and was written by Rus Mackay, a pilot that completed 38 ops with the squadron 1943-1944.

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John A. Neal
(no login)


March 31 2007, 9:32 PM 

There are many books that have been written about Wartime experiences. If you wish to see mine, I suggest you browze

Thank you, and I have plenty of stock.

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J. Parent
(no login)

Grandfather was Bomb Aimer on PN173

February 15 2016, 10:23 PM 

Hi there,

Not sure how active this thread might still be but was hoping to locate someone to discuss. My grand-father was the bomb aimer on PN173.

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Karl Kj.
(no login)

Halifax PN173

February 16 2016, 6:49 PM 

HI, I am one of the moderators here and a researcher, what do you need to know about PN173 and I can help out. Karl Director of Halifax 57 Rescue

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(no login)

Re: Halifax PN173

October 30 2016, 9:38 PM 

Hi, I should have touched base sooner. I didn't realize someone responded. I'm looking for any information. Thanks. I know date of loss and crew names, also have flight logs from grandfather.

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(Login P.Tremblay)

Interested in flight logs

October 16 2017, 9:22 PM 

I'm the grandson of Georges Tremblay, who was in the same pane as your grandfather, I'm really passionned about his story and if you don't mind sending me the flight logs it would be of great appreciation. Don't fell forced in anyway. If you want to discuss about the stories of the crew feel free to start the discussion maybe there is some stories that I don't know. Thanks.

PS: Si vous voulez continuer la discussion en francais, n'hésitez pas.

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(no login)

My Great Uncle

August 20 2016, 2:20 AM 

Hi my Great Uncle was the pilot. Jean-Jacques Desbiens. I'm assembling a memorial box for our family. It would be fantastic to find a picture of the PN173.

Any sources where I can seek ?

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(no login)


October 30 2016, 9:36 PM 

Please respond. My grandfather and your great uncle flew together.

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