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Minelaying on the night of January 12/13. 1945.
Halifax MZ812 of 77 Sqn Lost without trace.
Kriegstagesbuch des Kommandant im Abschnitt Südjütland (KT):
Halifax B MK III performance:
Where nothing else is mentioned below,
20:09 a few a/c near the west coast of Southern Jütland. Heading east. (From Fluko Aarhus)
20:17 aircrafts near Esbjerg. Heading east. (From Fluko Aarhus)
20:24 a/c near Esbjerg (approx. 100). Heading east. (From Fluko Odense)
20:25 several a/c south of Lunderskov. Heading east. (From Fluko Kolding)
20:39 a/c near Aabenraa. Heading east. (From Fluko)
20:45 a/c near Assens lighthouse. Heading east. (From Fynske DC)
20:47 a/c east of Aeroskobing. Heading east.
20:48 several a/c east of Assens. Heading south.
20:50 many a/c near Bogense. Heading east.
20:54 aircrafts near Ringe. Heading south.
20:55 aaircrafts south east of Rudkobing. Heading south east.
20:55 aircrafts east of Odense. Heading north west.
20:55 Halifax RG345 of 10 Sqn dropped mines at 54`34N 10`47E (SE of Langeland)
20:56 several a/c west of Rudkobing. Heading east south east.
20:56 a/c south of Rudkobing. Heading south east.
20:57 Halifax MZ300 of 102 Sqn dropped mines at 54`31N 10`19E (Kiel bay)
20:58 Halifax NR242 of 102 Sqn dropped mines at 54`29N 10`20E (Kiel Bay)
20:59 several a/c near Svendborg. Heading south.
21:01 Hptm. Eduard Schröder Luftkampf mit viermot. Feindflugzeug
21:05 Ofw. Hans Schadowski: 19 3./NJG3 Halifax Langeland
21:06 Halifax NR136 of 433 Sqn droppet mines at 54`49N 09`56E (Flensburg outer fjord)
21:07 Halifax MZ414 of 78 Sqn dropped mines in Forget me Not. (Kiel Bay)
21:07 Halifax MZ315 of 10 Sqn droppet mines at 54`36 10`54E (SE of Langeland)
21:07 Halifax MR131 of 10 Sqn droppet mines at 54`36N 10`54E (SE of Langeland)
21:08 a/c near Bogense. Heading south east.
21:08 Hptm. Eduard Schröder: 20 3./NJG3 Halifax S.W. Faborg QA 53
21:08 Halifax NA201 of 429 Sqn firing at JU 88 at 55`01N 09`15E (WSW of Aabenraa)
21:09 Nysted on Lolland report strong flashes of fire and 3 flares in NW direction.
21:10 several a/c near Assens. Heading east.
21:10 a/c over The Baltic Sea. Heading east. (From Fluko Kolding)
21:10 a few a/c near Sonderborg. Heading west.
21:10 a/c crashes into Flensborg Fjord on German territory. (Parts from this a/c drifts ashore near Sonderhav on January 13. See statement from Svend Aage Gram)
21:10 a/c near Koge, Sealand. Shots are fired..
21:11 a/c east of Haslev, Sealand.
21:15 a/c near Naestved, Sealand.
21:15 a/c near Bogense. Heading north east.
21:16 Halifax MZ392 of 78 Sqn dropped mines in Forget me Not. (Kiel bay)
21:16 a/c closing in on Rudkobing . Heading south.
21:17 a/c near Rudkobing. Heading north west.
21:17 a/c north west of Nysted, Lolland. Heading south west.
21:18 Halifax NP937 of 433 Sqn dropped mines at 54`49N 09`56E (Flensburg outer fjord)
21:20 a/c south of Middelfart. Heading north west.
21:20 Ofw. Hans Schadowski: 20 3./NJG3 Halifax W. Abenra
21:22 a/c near Rodby, Lolland.
21:24 a/c over The Kieler Bay. Heading west. (From Fluko Odense)
21:25 Grove reports kl 21,25: 1 Abschuss in QR 2. (Junker)
21:26 Hptm. Eduard Schröder: 21 3./NJG3 Halifax W. Römö QR 36
21:26 Absturz etwa 25-30 km sw. Esbjerg beobachtet. (KT)
21:26 Halifax RG346 of 77 Sqn saw an aircraft in flames lit up sky.
21:30 Halifax RG346 of 77 Sqn firing on JU 88 ? at 52` (Read 55?)`12N 08`26E (W of Römo)
21:30 a/c near Bogense. Heading south east.
21:31 Halifax NR173 of 429 Sqn reports to base. Position fixed to 55`20N 08`58E (East of Ribe)
21:35 Halifax NR173 of 429 Sqn reports to base. Stating intention of abandoning aircraft.
21:35: Esbjerg reports: im 180 grader Heller Feuerschein, warscheinlich Absturtz einer Maschine (Junker)
21:36 a/c near Assens. Heading east.
21:40 a/c near Svendborg. Heading south.
21:50 a/c near Nykobing Falster
22:00 (approx.) Crew of NR173 parachute to safety on island of Als.
reporting: Die Jäger von Büffel überfliegt Esbjerg und Nymindegab in 3000 m
22:05 4 bombs (mines) is reported to have been droppet at Kollund mark
22:10 search light reportet used south east of Naestved, Sealand.
22:15 gun fire near Kastrup, Copenhagen, Sealand.
22:25 a/c near Rodby. Heading south (German aircraft)
22:32 one a/c near Tonder. Heading north east.
22:32 a/c over island of Fyn
22:47 one recce a/c near Ribe
23:00 Hptm. Arnold Brinkmann: 15 8./NJG3 Halifax (III/NJG 3 was based on Westerland og Schleswig airbases)
23:04 flares fired near Landskrona, Sweden.
23:09 shooting in direction of island of Hveen. Reported from Helsingör.
On this night the following mines was dropped on land in Denmark:
4 mines at Kollund mark/Gammelmose . Three exploded. One did not.
2 mines 350 meters west of Krusaa custom. One exploded. One did not.
4 mines near Branderup 10 km south of Toftlund. Did not explode.
The mines at Krusaa and Branderup were reported on January 13.
If nothing else is mentioned the information below is from AIR and crew de brief and letters from crew and Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Mining operations in Flensburg Förde and Kiel bay AIR 14/2680
4 Group 20 bombers for mining duties in Forget-me-not. (Flensburg Förde)
6 Group 12 bombers for mining duties in Wallflower. (Kiel Bay)
Five aircrafts from 10 Sqn took part in mining oparations. AIR 27/145
To disrupt German shipping lanes bring troops from Norway and to interfere with U boats moving from Hamburg to Kiel Bay for exercises.
Route : Base -
Flamboro Head - 55.30N 07`00E - 55`15N 08`40E - 55`05N 09`42E –Garden -55`05N
09`42E - 55`15N 08`40E - Flamboro Head - Base.
Halifax III MZ411 ZA-A.
Halifax III NA237
Halifax III MZ315
Halifax III MR131 ZA-F.
Halifax III RG345
Five aircrafts from 77 Sqn RAF took part in mining operations. AIR 27/658
In the Kattegat. ???
Route: Base 17:29 – 55`30N 07`00E 20:00 – 55`00N 10`00E 20:55 – Garden 20:55 – 54`40N 10:30E 21:01 – 55`00N 10`00E 21:07 – 55`14N 08`40E 21:20 – Base 22:55.
ORB states that crews from this squadron saw three aircrafts fall in flames.
Halifax III MZ353 KN-C.
Halifax III RG346 KN-B. AIR 50/194
Halifax III MZ812 KN-X.
Halifax III MZ392.
Halifax III MZ414.
6 Group AIR 25/144
Three aircrafts from 424 (Tiger) Sqn RCAF took part in mining operations AIR 27/?
Mining Flensburg harbour.
Halifax MZ805 QB-X. Loss card
Halifax LW119 QB-O.
Halifax NP947 QB-Y. Loss card.
Archives Canada RG 24 vol. 27632
Miles Carson Grant was born 5 July 1921 in Port Lewis, Montreal, Québec, the son of Stewart Grant, a commercial artist, and Leslie V. Grant. The family lived on Park Avenue in Montreal. Grant finished his secondary education at Montreal High School in 1939, and took an arts course at night school at Sir George Williams College in 1940-41. From 1939 to 1942 he was a reporter for the Montreal Gazette.
Grant enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force for aircrew training through the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan on 8 June 1942. After ground training at manning depot and initial training school, he learned to fly the Fleet Finch II biplane at No. 13 Elementary Flying Training School at St. Eugene, Ontario, 23 January - 18 April 1943. The next level of training was on the North American Harvard II single-engine monoplane at No. 2 Service Flying Training School at Uplands, Ontario, today the Ottawa International Airport, 18 April - 6 August 1943. Here he was rated as “Very quick to learn and flies with confidence.” He was promoted to Leading Aircraftsman on 30 December 1942 and commissioned as Pilot Officer upon his wings graduation, 6 August 1943. He embarked for overseas from New York on 12 October 1943 and arrived in the United Kingdom on 19 October. From the Personnel Reception Centre at Bournemouth, he was posted first to No. 11 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit, 11 January - 2 May 1944. During this time he was promoted to Flying Officer, 6 February 1944. Grant next attended No. 22 Operational Training Unit, 2 May - 9 August 1944, where his crew formed and trained on the Vickers Wellington X twin-engined bomber. The crew eventually took the form of:
Pollard was from the Royal Air Force. All the others were RCAF. At the OTU Grant was assessed as: his ex AFU Pupil converted early & finally became an above average pilot. Owing to his youth and inexperience, this pupil had trouble with his first navigator. A change of navigator rectified this, and the crew settled down into a very keen & efficient team. F/O Grant’s ability as a captain perceptibly developed as the course progressed, and by the end of his time here, crew co-operation was very good .This crew has volunteered for P.F.F. [Pathfinder Force] duties, and recommended for consideration. The crew were next attached to the Dalton Battle School, 9-20 August 1944, then to No. 1659 (RCAF) Conversion Unit, where they converted to the four-engined Handley-Page Halifax heavy bomber, 20 August - 26 September 1944. Here Grant was assessed as, “Average. A likeable sound pilot, who improved remarkably after a slow start. Has a good crew.”
The crew joined No. 424 Squadron, RCAF, on 26 September. On the night of 12-13 January 1945 the crew was lost while dropping mines in Flensburg Fjord harbour. (See separate narrative.) Nine months later, on 25 September 1945, No.612 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers, reported that Grant’s body had been recovered at sea at Gluckenburg, near Flensburg, Germany. The RCAF buried him in Aabenraa Cemetery, Denmark, along with the bodies of Rielly and Carnegie.
F/O James Gillespie Agnew, RCAF
QUESTIONNAIRE FOR RETURNED AIRCREW
NAME. Agnew J. G
AIRCRAFT. LV-998 QB-Y
TYPE OF AIRCRAFT. Halifax III
DATE OF LOSS. 12/13.1.1945
TARGET. Mining east coast of Denmark
HOW MANY OPS. 17
DATE OF INTERROGATION. 14.5.1945
INFORMATION EXTRACTED FROM. POW report
NARRATIVE OF EVENTS FROM TAKEOFF TO LANDING.
From take off to
target flying above cloud, everything normal. Did mining run and mines dropped
from 15,000 feet, holding aircraft straight and level for camera to operate when
heard a noise. Mid upper gunner gave order corkscrew port, but had been hit. Mid
upper gunner said enemy aircraft to be a JU-88 which he claimed to hit and set
on fire. Pilot reported aircraft seemed to be going out of control, prepare to
abandon. Took necessary steps owing to poor intercom connection was off intercom
for a few minutes. When ready to go I noticed the plug was out, so I completed
connection and contacted the skipper and asked if the order to jump had been
given as the intercom had been u/s. He said yes, gave the crew approximate
position and left the aircraft at 10,000 to 12,000 feet. Had a bit of difficulty
getting clear of the aircraft in cloud so lost sight of aircraft. Cloud almost
to ground so nothing seen on way down, no injurie
J.94243 Rielly, Charles Thomas
Charles Thomas Rielly (spelled Reilly on some documents and on his Commonwealth War Graves documentation) was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 11 June 1922, the son of Charles Thomas Rielly and Mary Elizabeth O’Malley. In 1927 the family moved to Montreal, Québec, and Rielly grew up within the Irish community, attending St. Patrick’s School, 1928-1936, and D’Arcy McGee High School, 1936-1938. From 1939 to 1941 he studied junior engineering in the evenings at the Montreal Technical Institute. He worked as a clerk for M.R. Cuddihy Co., 1938-1940, as a machinist for Northern Electric, 1940-1942, and at Canadian Vickers aircraft factory in 1942. At the time of his enlistment he was single, interested in all sports, marksmanship and model aircraft.
Rielly enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force 28 August 1942, for aircrew training in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. After ground training at the manning depot and pre-aircrew academic training at McGill University in Montreal, he did wireless training at No. 2 Wireless School, Calgary, Alberta, 6 February - 13 November 1943, on the Noordyn Norseman and Fleet Fort, both single-engined Canadian designs. While there he was struck in the head by a baseball bat during a game and treated for a depressed sinus fracture. He was next posted to No. 6 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mountain View, near Hamilton, Ontario, 14 November 1943 - 14 January 1944, for air gunnery training on the Bristol Bolingbroke and Avro Anson twin-engined aircraft. He was promoted Leading Aircraftsman on 8 March 1943 and Sergeant on 23 December 1943.
Rielly proceeded overseas on 20 January 1944. In England he first went to No. 9 (Observer) Advanced Flying Unit, 7 March - 18 April 1944, and was recommended for a commission. On 18 April he went to No. 22 Operational Training Unit and joined Flying Officer Grant’s crew as wireless operator. (See Grant biography for movements of the crew.) While at the OTU, he was severely reprimanded for reporting late for the night flying programme and for leaving base between the briefing and takeoff. On 23 September 1944 he was promoted Flight Sergeant.
With the crew he joined No. 424 Squadron on 26 September 1944, and was lost with the crew on 12-13 January 1944 (see separate narrative on the last flight). The Germans recovered his body at Holebuell on 18 January and he was buried at Aabenraa, Denmark. The RCAF later learned from a Danish civilian that Rielly had parachuted into the Holbof Marsh, probably hit a tree, and froze to death as he lay unconscious.
Like the other noncommissioned members of the crew, after the aircraft’s disappearance, he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer, effective 12 January 1945.
Archives Canada RG 24 vol. 24755
William Edward Archer was born 14 August 1918 in Metaline Falls, Washington, the only child of William Archer and Sylvia Elizabeth Reynolds. Although both his parents were American, Archer held dual Canadian and American citizenship, perhaps because the family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, when he was four or five. He attended General Gordon School, 1925-1931, and Kitsilano Junior High School, 1931-1934, both in Vancouver, and completed Grade 8. He worked for his father at the Arbutus Sash & Door Company, 1933-1936, then operated an electric locomotive at Britannia Mines, 1936-1937.
On 25 April 1935 Archer enlisted as a “boy” in the 85th Field (Heavy) Battery, Canadian Artillery, of the non-permanent militia. He trained at Camp Sarcee, Alberta, with his battery in the summer of 1935, and remained as a militia gunner until 27 May 1937, when he was released to join the U.S. Navy. There he served until his release on 23 September 1941, rated as a fireman and also gaining a qualification as an expert marksman.
Archer returned to Vancouver in late 1941, and worked for some time for Boeing Aircraft as a welder and fitter, then for Burrard Drydock company, also as a welder and fitter, 1942-1943. His father had died and his mother re-married to Albert Baldwin. Archer married Patricia Delville-Pratt in Vancouver, 23 January 1942, but they were estranged from his mother and stepfather. They had a son who died shortly after birth on 19 May 1944, when Archer was already overseas.
Archer enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force on 10 March 1943, initially as a boat crewman, Aircraftsman, Class 1.After training at the manning depot in Edmonton, Alberta, and No. 3 Repair Depot in Vancouver, he was posted at his request to RCAF Station Ucluelet, B.C., and remustered as a seaman on 1 June 1943. He may have been dissatisfied that he was still serving in a backwater of the war, because he requested to be released to serve at sea with the U.S. Navy. Instead, he was selected for aircrew training through the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and was posted to No. 3 Wireless School, Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 20 September 1943, then to No. 3 Bombing and Gunnery School, MacDonald, Man., 1 November 1943, where he trained as an air gunner on the Fairey Battle I aircraft, a single-engined obsolete light bomber. He was promoted to Leading Aircraftsman on 1 January 1944 then, upon qualifying as an air gunner on 11 February 1944, was promoted Sergeant. He was posted to No. 1 Air Gunners Ground Training School in Quebec City on 1 November 1943, then back to No. 3 B& GS on 2 January (paper moves only?), then to No. 4 AGGTS at Valleyfield, Québec, on 26 February 1944. On 30 March he embarked at Halifax, N.S., and reached the United Kingdom on 7 April. On 3 May 1944 he was posted to No. 22 Operational Training Unit, where he joined Grant’s crew, flying on the Wellington bomber initially as rear gunner, but becoming the mid-upper gunner from13 July. He did well at the OTU and was recommended for a commission. (See Grant biography.)
Archer was promoted Flight Sergeant on 11 February 1944. He continued to fly with Grant’s crew until their aircraft was lost on 12 January 1945. His body was never found, and in 1949, Air Force Headquarters notified his widow that, “In the absence of further information Flight Sergeant ARCHER is to be recorded on the memorial to the missing as having no known grave.” His name appears on the Runnymede Memorial in England.
Like the other noncommissioned members of the crew, he was commissioned as Pilot Officer to date from 28 December 1944, even though he was already posted as missing.
Archives Canada RG 24, vol. 25012
Robert Campbell Carnegie was born 28 October 1923 in Uno, Manitoba. His parents, Ernest D.A. Carnegie and Elizabeth Carnegie, farmed in Arrow River, Man., and had eight other children. During the Great Depression they lost the farm and his father worked as a storekeeper. Carnegie completed a Grade 10 education before going to work in 1938, initially on a farm, then going to British Columbia, as a mechanic at the Home Garage in Union Bay and Corfield’s Garage in Courtenay. However, he was unemployed at the time he enlisted. He was single.
Carnegie enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Winnipeg, Man., on 9 January 1943, as an aircrew trainee in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. His interviewer at the time noted: Big fisted farm boy – slow reactor – hesitant. Nervous in conversation. Gets things the hard way. Poor home background – parents lost farm and moved into small town. Practical, steady, dependable. Has the capacity and ability for A.G. [air gunner] and should smarten up in training. Has 1 brother in Navy and one overseas with army – Is keen for active service combat.
After awaiting a place in the training stream, Carnegie went first to the manning depot in Brandon, Man., then to No. 2 Initial Training School, Regina, Saskatchewan, 11 July 1943, to No. 1 Central Navigation School, Rivers, Man., 26 August 1943, to No. 1 Air Gunners Ground Training School, Quebec City, 1 October 1943 (all as a general duties airman awaiting training?) and to No. 3 Bombing and Gunnery School, MacDonald, Man., on 12 November 1943. He completed his air gunner’s course there on the single-engined Fairey Battle, a obsolete light bomber, and on the twin-engined Bristol Bolingbroke, and was rated an, “Average student, diligent worker; accurate; will make a good crew member.” He was promoted to Leading Aircraftsman on 12 November 1943 and Sergeant on 23 December 1943 on completion of his air gunner’s course. After a short posting to No. 4 Air Gunners Ground Training School, he embarked from Halifax on 5 March 1944 and arrived in the United Kingdom on 15 March.
Carnegie was posted to No. 22 Operational Training Unit on 21 March 1944 and joined Grant’s crew and continued to train with them. (See Grant biography.) At the OTU, he was assessed as, Average A/G. Started rather badly in every way, but has shown considerable improvement. As a Fighting Controller he is average, but made, again, a very remarkable improvement from a very bad start. Keen, hardworking. Appearance neat, and with more experience & practice he should rate an above average assessment. Not recommended for commissioning at this stage of training, but certainly at a later date.
On 23 September 1944 he was promoted Flight Sergeant.
Grant’s crew arrived at No. 424 Squadron on 26 September 1944, with Carnegie as the rear gunner. He was lost with the aircraft on 12 January 1945. (See separate narrative.) Some seven months later, after the end of the European war, on 2 August 1945, a diver from a rescue unit of the German 33rd U-Boat Flotilla found Carnegie’s body entangled in his parachute “about 1 mile down Kollund-Bay,” within Flensburg Fjord. He was buried in Aabenraa Cemetery, Denmark, on 6 August. Two of his fellow crew members were already buried there.
Like the other noncommissioned members of the crew, he was commissioned as Pilot Officer to date from 28 December 1944, although he was already listed as missing.
Carnegie’s eldest brother, William, served in Europe as a sergeant in 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisional Signals. A sister, Mary Ellen, served with the RCAF in Newfoundland and another brother was in the Royal Canadian Navy.
Archives Canada RG 24 vol. 77502
Mervyn George Fife was born 24 February 1920 in New York City. His father, also Mervyn George Fife, was a Canadian and his mother, Emily Kathryn Thriscutt, was born in London, England. The family moved at some point to the Windsor, Ontario, area, where Fife attended high school. He also completed a one year business course at Assomption College before going to work for the Chrysler Corporation in Windsor for two years as a purchasing clerk. His father died in 1941 and at the time of his enlistment he gave as his address the family residence in Riverside, now part of Windsor. He was single.
Fife enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force as an aircrew trainee in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan on 16 February 1942. After training at the manning depot in Toronto, and a short spell, presumably of general duties at No. 5 Service Flying Training School, Brantford, Ont., he began pilot training at No. 1 Initial Training School on 2 July 1942. He was promoted Leading Aircraftsman on 28 August, then began flight training at No. 9 Elementary Flying Training School, St. Catharines, Ont., on 27 September 1942. However, he washed out as a pilot trainee and was sent to the Composite Training School in Trenton, Ont., where he re-mustered for training as an air bomber. He was posted first to No. 5 Bombing and Gunnery School, Dafoe, Saskatchewan, on 9 January 1943, then to No. 1 Central Navigation School, Rivers, Manitoba, on 4 April 1943. Here, on his air bomber’s course, he finished eighth out of seventeen students and was recommended for a commission, but did not get it - the only student on the course not commissioned. He was instead promoted Sergeant on 14 May 1943. He was next posted to RCAF Station Mountain View, near Hamilton, Ont., 16 May 1943, on the Aircrew Bombing Instructor’s Course, where he placed second. On 1 June he was posted to No. 4 B&GS, Fingal, Ont., as an instructor. He was at last commissioned Pilot Officer on 16 November 1943, just before he proceeded overseas. In the United Kingdom, Fife was posted first to No. 7 (Observer) Advanced Flying Unit on 28 March 1944, then to No. 22 Operational Training Unit, where he joined Grant’s crew as bomb aimer. (See Grant biography.) He was promoted Flying Officer on 16 May 1944. Fife continued with Grant’s crew to operations with No. 424 Squadron, and was lost with the aircraft on 12 January 1945. (See separate narrative on the last flight.) He remained missing until May 1947, when a grave marked as being of Sergeant F. Pollard at Schleswig Military Cemetery was opened and Fife’s body was identified by its identity disks and markings on the shirt collar. His remains were re-interred at the Kiel War Cemetery, Germany
Three aircrafts from 427 (Lion) Sqn RCAF took part in mining operations AIR 27/1847
Gardening Young Wall flower Area.
Halifax III MP957 ZL-L
III MZ422 ZL-N
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