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Great Uncle John (Pilot Officer W.Op/ Air gunner J. Houlston - Serv. No. 52068)

May 7 2005 at 11:38 AM
Simon  (Login CHUFFED2BITZ)
from IP address 195.93.21.33

 
Firstly I would like to say Thankyou and Well done to the organisers of this site, I am really pleased that I came across it.

I am in the early stages of researching the circumstances of the death of My great Uncle, John Houlston DFM.(Pilot OfficerW.Op/Air Gunner)

It is my understanding that whilst serving with 51 Squadron RAF he was killed in action on 29th June 1943 and that he is laid to rest at Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerpen, Belgium.

On inspection of a Bomber Command diary found elsewhere on the internet it seems that he may have been killed during a 600+ raid on Cologne on 28/29th June 1943, during which, according to the diary, a total of ten Halifaxes were amongst those that did not return.

So far I have been unable to verify the ID of the plane that he was aboard, although I am assured by my Mother that it was a Halifax, she also recalls (although not accurately)that he flew with the following lads, 'Rickie' Vidal (Canadian?), Tony Redshaw (From Leeds?) and ??? Butler.

Initialy I would like to know if anyone can point me in the right direction of finding out which plane he may have been aboard. Once I have this info. It is my intention to visit the public records office at Kew to find out more.

It may well be that someone knows more about my great uncle and should that be the case I would be very grateful for any information that they can provide.

Thankyou

Simon


 
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AuthorReply
Alan
(no login)
217.43.228.126

Re: Great Uncle John (Pilot Officer W.Op/ Air gunner J. Houlston - Serv. No. 52068)

May 7 2005, 6:25 PM 

Hi Simon,
Have emailed some information to you regarding your great uncle.
Regards......Alan.

 
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Peter
(no login)
195.92.67.74

Halifax HR839 LK-L

May 7 2005, 6:35 PM 

This a/c took off form Snaith at 23:32 ops Koln, and according to Chorleys Bomber command losses was shot down by Night-fighter Lt Gunther Franz of I./NJG1 at 02:23 at Herentals (Antwerpen) Those who died are buried in the Shoonselhof Cmy, Atwerpen. P/O Houlston had perviously served in 5 Grp, flying Hampdens in 83 sqn. detailas of his award London Gazette 22 Aug 1941. St Eldridge had been attached from 1663 HCU.

Crew;
P/O J P Tay+
Sgt D R G Eldridge evd
Sgt A Smith+
P/O T H Popley pow
Sgt A C Redshaw+
P/O J L R Houlston DFM+
Sgt W C Butler+
Sgt A E Vidal RCAF+

Please contact me as I have other info.

http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/pilsen_raid_1943

Peter

 
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Alan
(no login)
217.43.228.126

Re: Halifax HR839 LK-L

May 7 2005, 7:03 PM 

Hi Peter,
There may be an error in Chorley's record of this airman, the airman cited in the LG of 22/8/41 is J.E. Houlston and it's for promotion from P/O to F/O, whereas Simons great uncle is J.L.R. Houlston. Must admit though, i have tried a search for J.L.R Houlston DFM and the LG comes up with nothing.

 
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Peter
(no login)
195.92.67.74

Re: Halifax HR839 LK-L

May 7 2005, 7:56 PM 

Alan perhaps the DFM was not issued to J LR? Below is virtualy the same crew for the Plzen op April 43

Halifax II DT513 MH- 51 sqn

Sgt Tay J.P
P/O Popley T.D.
Sgt Redshaw A.C.
F/S Houlston J.L.
Sgt Smith A.
Sgt Lynch J.P.
F/AS Vidal W. RCAF

 
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Peter
(no login)
195.92.194.15

Houlston

May 7 2005, 11:39 PM 

Info supplied by Eddie Fell

John Lofthouse Robinson Houlston
S/No. 641080

DFM 11/6/43

Peter


 
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Simon
(no login)
195.93.21.33

Great Uncle John Houlston

May 8 2005, 11:25 AM 

Thanks to Alan and Peter for your input, the subject of my great uncles DFM is obviously an area of interest to me and I whilst I have no wish to burden you further it is evident that there is a 'glitch' somewhere in the records.

I have noticed in the scan of Operation Record Books sent by Alan it looks as though J L R HOULSTON was a F/S on the 11.6.43 and thereafter he is recorded as a P/O.

Do you think that this is coincidental with the aformentioned info (from Eddie Fell) or could it be that he was promoted on 11.6.43 rather than awarded his DFM?

In addition, according to War graves commission his Serv No. was 52068

 
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Eddie Fell
(no login)
195.93.21.33

DFM

May 8 2005, 12:29 PM 

Simon

Different sources - different info (that's what makes research interesting)

Mark has done the hard work on this version

'The Distinguished Flying medal Register' - Ian Tavender
DFM Recommendation :- F/S J.L.R Houlston 51 Sqn

Sorties 48 Flying Hours 303.10 AIR2/8955

Commenced operational flying 8/12/40, completed tour of 30 Ops.Cologne (4),Berlin, Dusseldorf and Hamburg.Took part in all three '1,000 bomber raids' and 6 anti-submarine patrols in the Bay of Biscay while at O.T.U. Completed 4 sorties in his second tour Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Pilsen and Stettin.

26/4/1943

Cheers

Eddie


 
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Simon
(no login)
195.93.21.33

Great Uncle John

May 8 2005, 12:47 PM 

Thanks Eddie,

It is staggering to think, thanks to you guys, I have learnt more about My Great Uncle in the last 24 hours than I have in my life time!

I'm grateful to you and all who have responded

Simon

 
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Peter
(no login)
195.92.168.168

In their memory.

May 8 2005, 4:24 PM 

I am sure that I also speak for Eddie and all who take an interest in the subject, in saying that, we are free today because of their efforts all those years ago-WE WILL REMEMBER THEM!

Peter

 
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James
(Login mongoose44)
31.24.226.217

Take off times BC raids

April 15 2017, 11:01 PM 

Just wondering where one can get that informaion. At the moment looking at the 28/29 June and 3/4 July Cologne raids

Thanks

James

 
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Anonymous
(no login)
65.94.212.113

Re: Take off times BC raids

April 18 2017, 3:53 AM 

For which squadron?

 
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Ronny
(no login)
84.195.192.34

still looking for info?

August 8 2009, 9:08 PM 

Hello,

found this old e-mail msg from you.

are you aware a new monument in remembrance of the Halifax HR839 that crashed in Olen, Belgium, on which your great uncle was flying?

Halifax HR839 from the 51 SQN RAF shot down by Lt Gunther Franz 5./NJG1
The Halifax crashed in Olen (Belgium) on the 29/06/1943

Ronny

 
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