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To Find missing relatives of lost crew members

October 29 2006 at 11:46 AM
Christine Astley  (no login)
from IP address 86.31.27.142

 
I am trying to find out about the last flight my father made and also to find any relatives of the missing crew. The aircraft took off from RAF St Davids at 2135 hrs on the 10th June 1944 and was detailed to an anti submarine patrol in the area south of the Brest Peninsula. He was a navigator on a Halifax No JP.167which was operating with 58 Squadron(whatever that means) His name was Reginald Geoffrey Ash( known as Geoff)and he was a Flight Lieutenant He never returned from this flight and nothing was heard of him again Is there anything anyone can tell me about this battle what it was called and how many planes were lost how many came back Was the weather to blame or were there too many German submarines. Why was it that no messages were received from the aeroplane after the 1st one at 00 22 hrs giving a first sighting would they not have radioed to say they had been hit or wouldn't some of the other planes have seen what happened to them ?
My Father joined the RAF straight from school at 17 in 1936 and went right through the war until1944 when he was reported missing I need to find out more about his career and especially his death.

Crew details were:

84949 F/L JJ Hopkin-Hill Pilot
1316726 F/S E Wiles 2nd Pilot
48669 F/L RG Ash Navigator
1304764 Sgt PH Douglas Wireless Operator/air gunner
1374970 Sgt TB Preston Wireless Operator/air gunner
A.425345F/S HM Crostie Wireless Operator/air gunner
1567900 Sgt W Farquharson Flight Engineer
1524740 Sgt H Chadwick Wireless Operator/mechanic/air gunner




 
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AuthorReply
Karl Kj
(no login)
69.198.134.66

JP167 and crew

October 30 2006, 11:03 PM 

Dear Christine, I have just checked my sources and found out your father was on a Coastal Command Halifax and not a Bomber Command Halifax.

RAF 58 Squadron was used for anti-submarine duties to hunt down U-boats. In my record sources I find at least five 58 Squadron Halifaxes that were shot down by U Boat crews so this was dangerous duty.

BUT none of these Halifaxes that were recorded as shot down by the Uboats fit the date and time of the patrol of your fathers Halifax.

I will look further on his missing Halifax.

It should be pointed out that after mid-1943 the Uboat crews were told by their command to shoot it out with the Allied submarine partol aircraft and not to dive underwater when the aircraft attacked. This must be part of the story of the loss of JP167 and her crew.

With regard to your fathers crew and their relatives I found the following:

Hopkin-Hill, James no address - Squadron leader
Wiles, Kenneth Edward " "
Douglas, Philip Hulme - wife was Agnes Davis Douglas of Edinburgh
Preston, Thomas Baxter - father/mother John + Margaret of Edinburgh
Crostie, H M nothing at all!?
Farquharson, William -nothing
Chadwick, Harry - nothing

Hopefully this will help a bit.

Perhaps the other researchers here can add to this, please bounce back with any further info you have and we can help fill in more info for you.

Cheers, Karl



 
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Christine Astley
(no login)
86.31.18.202

Looking for information on Father Geoffrey Ash

November 6 2006, 7:01 PM 

Thank You for your reply. I have re read the letter that was sent by the Ministry of Defence to me when I asked for my Fathers records-----
"Our records show thatF/Lt Ash was the navigator on HalifaxJP167which was operating with No 58 Squadron. The aircraft took off from St Davids at 21.35hrs on 10th June 1944, and was detailed to an anti submarine patrol in the area southof the Brest Peninsula.A message was received at 00 .20 hrsgiving a first sighting report of 3 enemy destroyers, and 2 E boats. No further messages were received from the aircraft, which did not return from the patrol."
I hope perhaps that some relatives of any of the other crew members might have seen this to see if they could tell me any more but nobody else has been in touch . Do you think that my fathers plane would have been blown apart in the sky or they would have been on fire and knew they were going to die if so wouldn't they have got a message back to say they were going down as they had been hit . Also one more thing . Inmy Fathers records it was said that he had been mentioned in dispatches in June 1942 can you tell me what this means and what ge would have done for this ?
I hope you dont mind me asking these questions. Thank you for your interest
Kind Regards
Christine

 
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Eddie Fell
(no login)
195.93.21.99

Re: Looking for information on Father Geoffrey Ash

November 6 2006, 8:19 PM 

Your man shown as Crostie is actually 425345 Herbert McROSTIE RAAF.

I have checked his record at the National Archives of Australia but his Service Record is not yet open

If you go to

http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/ResearcherScreen.asp

and enter his service number you will find 2 files. One is his service record, the other (A705) is his casualty file. You can e mail the NAA at

ref@naa.gov.au

Put his name in as a heading and then as the content of your message write

'Could you please open and place onto your searcheable database the Service Record of 425345 Herbert McRostie'

His Casualty file is open but not yet digitised. Click on the A705 and follow the instructions.

With these files you will generally find copies of correspondence and anything that may be known about the loss. They don't open instantly and you will see in the instructions that you should check back from time to time

Good luck

Eddie

 
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Christine Astley
(no login)
86.31.17.213

Reply

December 10 2006, 4:57 PM 

How did you find out that Herbert Mc Rostie was Australian I have done what you said and have got all his records Do you know if there is any way I can get hold of my fathers records( Geoffrey Ash) when I asked at the archives for them about 10 years ago they sent me very few details about him nothing hardly about what he did in the warand most of them were illegible anyway do you know if the service records of Air Force men who served in the war are on line as the Australian ones are?

 
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Eddie Fell
(no login)
195.93.21.99

Re: Reply

December 10 2006, 9:18 PM 

Hi Chris

McRostie's Service No. tells me he was an Aussie. Unfortunately our Govt. isn't as forthcoming as the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian authorities. In the UK they seem to think it is some sort of state secret as to where a man trained etc. Nothing on line at all I'm afraid

If you have already tried the Personnel Management Agency at Innsworth then you have the places he trained and served.To find out the details of any Operations he flew, you will need to examine the Sqn Operations Record Book. These are held at the National Archives at Kew. The reference is Air 27/553 for 1944/45. Avisit there would be your best bet.

Suggest you look at

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/default.htm

This gives information you will need

Cheers

Eddie

 
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Chris Astley
(no login)
86.31.17.246

Re: Reply

December 11 2006, 4:53 PM 

Thanks for the information
Regards
Chris

 
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Anonymous
(no login)
216.221.81.96

Re: Looking for information on Father Geoffrey Ash

November 12 2006, 10:55 PM 


 
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Christine Astley
(no login)
86.31.20.36

Re: Looking for information on Father Geoffrey Ash

November 16 2006, 9:32 AM 

No message has come through it just says" message from anonymous"

 
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Christine Astley
(no login)
86.31.17.213

Reply to anonymous

December 10 2006, 4:47 PM 

There wasn't any message attached to the heading please get in touch again
Regards
Chris

 
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Chris.Astley
(no login)
86.31.17.246

Missing Halifax

December 11 2006, 4:59 PM 

Did you manage to find any more information on JP167shot down 10/11th June 1944 off the south coast of the brest peninsula Do you know were I could look for this information because it was shot down over France does this make a difference as to where it would be listed?
Regards
Chris

 
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Eddie Fell
(no login)
195.93.21.99

Re: Missing Halifax

December 11 2006, 7:17 PM 

Hi Christine

Unfortunately I suspect that you are not going to find anything more than you have already. As Karl indicated, the aircraft was operating with Coastal Command on anti sub patrols when it went missing. This was not unusual for any aircraft during the war as the sheer number of names which commemorate the lost on the Runneymede Memorial indicates. 'Lost without trace' is the sad epitaph to many a brave airman and regretably means just that - nobody has any idea what happened. It could have neen shot down (by an aircraft or ship) but usually the persons responsible would make a 'claim' for its destruction and thus some idea of the location would be known. More likely is a mechanical or fuel problem which caused the aircraft to be lost but that would be pure speculation.

There are a couple of Coastal Command 'buffs' on the RAF Commands site where you have posted similar messages and if they haven't popped up with the answer you seek, then I'm afraid nobody has one.

Eddie

 
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Eddie Fell
(no login)
195.93.21.99

Re: Missing Halifax

December 11 2006, 7:21 PM 

Me again

As for finding relatives of other crew members you could try posting on this site

http://www.worldwar2exraf.co.uk/

This is more geared to that sort of question than some sites which are frequented by researchers per se (although they sometimes come up trumps as well)

Eddie


 
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Harold Dummer
(no login)
84.68.71.188

Re Missing Halifax

December 12 2006, 4:14 PM 


Hi Christine
I note that two of the crews relatives came from Edinburgh The bomb aimer of my brothers crew came from Belfast I have recently ask the Belfast Telegraph if they would put an article in there letter page this included just the mission that my brothers plane was on and also the name of the bomb aimer also asking If any relative or person knew him, within a week I had a reply from his brother and he has since loaned me his brothers log book This service was free ( although I would have gladly paid ) You can find out details of news papers in Ediburgh from the net also the folks on this site are most helpful I wish you all the luck with your research Never Give Up
Harold Dummer

 
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Christine Astley
(Login chrisast)
86.31.18.40

Re: Re Missing Halifax

December 23 2006, 10:28 AM 

Thank you for that information I will indeed look into that and see if I also can find anything out
Regards
Chris

 
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Rick Catt
(no login)
220.253.59.193

Re: Re Missing Halifax

January 18 2007, 2:19 AM 

Chris,

You may want to try writing (or ringing) the McRosties in Brisbane there are only 10 listed and asking if any of them can help:-

McRostie B & S Tea Tree Rd Diwan 4873(07) 4098 9141 McRostie C 44 Euree St Kenmore 4069(07) 3378 7830
McRostie D 9 School House St Amamoor 4570(07) 5484 3434 McRostie P & L 1 Sidney Drv Beerwah 4519(07) 5494 8392 McRostie R P 8 Lisson Gr Wooloowin 4030(07) 3262 2326 McRostie S M 433 Brisbane Rd Coombabah 4216(07) 5563 1154 McRostie T J 3 Kirsten Crt Maroochydore 4558(07) 5475 4553
McRostie W & K13 Whiteoak Ave Mossman 4873(07) 4098 1417 McRostie W I91 Boothby St Kedron 4031(07) 3350 2845 McRostie Y9 York St Coorparoo 4151(07) 3342 1164

May be that one is related - pretty good chance that one is actually. I've been doing similar research only from Aust and find phone books quite useful!

Rick

 
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Christine Astley
(no login)
86.31.20.84

Thank you

February 5 2007, 6:23 PM 

Thank you for the phone no's I will indeed try that And I will let you know if I have any success
Regards Chris

 
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LSelman
(Login LSelman)
86.148.18.222

Missing Halifax

July 9 2014, 11:40 PM 

Chris

I stumbled across this chain of correspondence. My uncle was Thomas Preston who was also on the missing Halifax. It would be great to hear if you have found any other information. My mother was Elizabeth Preston.

Linda Selman

 
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Anonymous
(Login chrisast)
86.31.26.103

Further Information

March 4 2007, 2:06 PM 

I know you cannot find any record of my Fathers plane Halifax JP167 being shot down on the 11th June 1944 as he was shot down off the coast of Brest Peninsula would this make any difference as this was in French waters I believe If not do you know if there are any other ways I can find out It seems strange that it just disappeared A message was received from the plane saying they had spotted 3 enemy destroyers and u boats that was about 4 minutes past midnight which would have been the 11thJune as they took off the previous night(10th) from Havorford west air base
Your help would be much appreciated
Regards Christine

 
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Linzee
(no login)
81.153.242.0

Re: Further Information

March 4 2007, 5:11 PM 

Christine,

It's a long shot (but isn't always, and sometimes a long shot bears fruit) have a look on this website http://www.lesbutler.ip3.co.uk/tony/tonywood.htm and see if you can identify any claims made that might match up with the loss of the Halifax you're looking for.

You may need to take into account time differences as times stated in some of the records could be the time Germany was on rather than Britain.

Good luck and please let us know how you get on as it's useful for others to have that sort of feedback.

Kind Regards
Linzee
www.archieraf.co.uk

 
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