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    #41
    Well, I cannot exclude it,


    Since if this is a real Wellington, I would not know where the other plane, the Lancaster that fell up there, crashed. So it could be two crash sites and not only one, but according to me, it would be quite impossible.
    How could a plane crash without noise, without to alarm people down in the valley, while the second attired their attention? These mountains are no higher than 3300 meters, apart, of course, the Monte Rosa highest tops northwards. Such an explosion, on mountain and by night, would have been clearly heard.

    In my mind, up there it crashed a single plane. I only have to understand if it was a Lancaster or a Wellington..1

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      #42
      Originally posted by Marco S. View Post
      Well, I cannot exclude it,


      Since if this is a real Wellington, I would not know where the other plane, the Lancaster that fell up there, crashed. So it could be two crash sites and not only one, but according to me, it would be quite impossible.
      How could a plane crash without noise, without to alarm people down in the valley, while the second attired their attention? These mountains are no higher than 3300 meters, apart, of course, the Monte Rosa highest tops northwards. Such an explosion, on mountain and by night, would have been clearly heard.

      In my mind, up there it crashed a single plane. I only have to understand if it was a Lancaster or a Wellington..1



      Then it's about time you made up your mind. Conformation has been given several times by several forumites that it's a Wellington, why do you keep
      insisting about a Lancaster?
      When an aircraft crashes it doesn't have to explode (they only do that in movies).
      Proof is you have Wellington bits and nothing of a Lanc.
      Confused? I am very much.
      Cheers
      Cees

      Comment


        #43
        Originally posted by Marco S. View Post
        Since if this is a real Wellington, I would not know where the other plane, the Lancaster that fell up there, crashed.
        What evidence do you have that the Lancaster fell ‘up there’? I would say none!

        Yes, Lancaster LM339 was lost on the night of 7/8 August 1943 during an raid on Milano but this Lancaster could have been brought-down anywhere, France, the English Channel, anywhere.

        Although it is certain that LM339 failed to return from the raid on Milan it is possible that there were no RAF witnesses to its loss. Bombers would have maintained radio silence throughout such a raid so next morning LM339 would simply be listed as ‘missing’ as there would likely be no indication of where it was lost.

        Do you have a crew list for LM339? Were they all killed? Are any of their graves known; maybe in France?

        Does the Operational Record Book (ORB) for the squadron give any clues as to the loss of LM339 other than ‘missing’ on raid on Milano?

        Originally posted by Marco S. View Post
        So it could be two crash sites and not only one, but according to me, it would be quite impossible.

        In my mind, up there it crashed a single plane.
        So yes, I think you already have the answer; two crash sites highly unlikely if not impossible...

        ...and so far all evidence are parts of a Wellington.
        Last edited by Creaking Door; 1st October 2009, 15:16.
        WA$.

        Comment


          #44
          Creaking Door.

          Just to offer a slight correction. It is unlikely that LM339 came down in France or the English Channel as the bodies of all the crew are buried in Milan Cemetery.

          Marco.

          Aircraft don't always explode when crashing. I saw an American F4 crash at Brawdy and it didn't explode. I think the problem here is the simple facts that LM339 fits what you wish to think you've found. The crew in Milan Cemetery giving you a date which ties in with some eyewitness accounts as August of 1943. But you've also mentioned November 1944. I have to admit that I can't identify any of the wreckage in your photographs as it's not my area of interest but there are real experts here who say it is Wellington and as such I would be guided by them.

          What you have to find now is an appropriate Wellington loss. I don't know how easy or difficult that may be but perhaps a search for burials in Commonwealth Cemeteries in your area may offer a clue?

          Regards,

          kev35
          The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61

          Comment


            #45
            Hi all,


            I was a little confused, but I am not stupid.. I have started looking for every possible Wellington losses on the Western Alps.
            I was persuaded about Lancaster, because of the bodies, buried in Issime, then in Milano. These pilots and operators died onboard of Lancaster LM339, they died somewhere over Issime, that's mainly why I was sure to talk about this precise plane. If it was not, as you say, I will look better.

            I am just surprised. I tought to find a plane, then it appears I found a different one. It does not happen everyday.

            Comment


              #46
              Marco.

              Apart from the War Cemetery in Milan, are there any others within say 100km of the the crash site where RAF Airmen are buried? If it will help I will go through the CWGC listing for Milan Cemetery and list for you all aircrew buried there who were lost in Wellingtons and add the dates.

              Regards,

              kev35
              The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61

              Comment


                #47
                Thank you Kev,

                Very kind. No, I only know this great War cemetery in Milano. I have never heard of other British cemeteries around my hometown, and surely not in Valle d'Aosta (Aosta Valley). Thank you for this very precious help!

                M.

                Comment


                  #48
                  Marco.

                  I will start tonight but it may take a couple of days as I think there are probably over 200 to go through.

                  Regards,

                  kev35
                  The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61

                  Comment


                    #49
                    Thanks Kev, very kind from you!

                    Comment


                      #50
                      This is an interesting thread , thanks for bringing it here Marco , good luck with finding the answers .

                      Comment


                        #51
                        Thank you!,

                        Even this forum is very interesting for me, I am learning so much.
                        In effect, this research is fascinating me more and more. For instance, this night I could not sleep just for this simple problem:

                        If I really found the Wellington XXX.., okay. But where is the Lancaster lost over Issime?
                        I already imagine further investigation campaigns.. Up there, it would need hundreds of persons!

                        Comment


                          #52
                          Originally posted by kev35 View Post
                          Creaking Door.

                          Just to offer a slight correction. It is unlikely that LM339 came down in France or the English Channel as the bodies of all the crew are buried in Milan Cemetery.

                          kev35
                          Kev,

                          Is that something you’ve looked up? I’ve just quickly re-read this thread and I couldn’t see that information.

                          Bodies of aircrew were recovered from the crash-site in question, they were buried initially in Issime and then moved post-war to the Milan cemetery...

                          ...and I’d assumed these bodies were unidentified!

                          Edit: Ten seconds on Lost Bombers confirms crew of LM339 are buried in Milan.
                          Last edited by Creaking Door; 1st October 2009, 20:54. Reason: Me.....being stupid!
                          WA$.

                          Comment


                            #53
                            LM 339. Chorlton states that all the crew are now intered in Milano. It left from Syerston which is only a few miles from where write this.

                            John

                            Comment


                              #54
                              John, you right. Chorley papers, and a letter from the British Embassy in Italy, were the main sources concerning the LM339.

                              Anyway, my research continues.

                              Comment


                                #55
                                But in either case, the crew of Lancaster LM339 or the crew or the mystery Wellington; were they both moved into the Milano cemetery?

                                An unknown aircraft (wreckage now points to it being a Wellington) crashes near Issime, the crew (after a delay) are located and buried in Issime and then moved post-war to the Milano cemetery. Local records from Issime are missing and the crew are not identified.

                                Lancaster LM339 crashes at an unknown location, the crew are buried in Milano cemetery but were they buried somewhere else first and moved there?

                                Two similar events but is there any documents that prove they are the same event?
                                WA$.

                                Comment


                                  #56
                                  Marco, This might help with the parts ID. Wellington.

                                  John

                                  Comment


                                    #57
                                    I thought it might be helpful to Marco and anyone else interested who doesn't know to give a bit of insight into how 'missing' aircrew were located after the war.

                                    Often during the war aircrew were buried either by the Germans or by locals in the areas where they crashed. Sometimes they were buried in local cemeteries, sometimes at the crashsites.

                                    After the war the RAF attempted to trace all these men and those they found were often removed from the original place of burial and taken to larger cemeteries which could be some distance from where they originally crashed.

                                    During the 1939-1945 war, over 40,000 airmen from the RAF and Allied Air Forces were reported as missing on operations or routine flights. The responsibility of establishing, as far as was possible, what had happened to these men, fell to the Air Ministry Casualty Branch.

                                    The task was enormous, and made particularly difficult due to the nature of air operations where an aircraft might be lost at any point from take off to landing back at base.

                                    During the war years, investigation of missing aircraft and crews was hampered because of the difficulty in obtaining information from overseas in occupied countries. The investigations were carried out from an office in London and relied on information received from the International Red Cross telegrams, reports from France, Holland and Norway forwarded by the Red Cross, reports from Allied agents in enemy or enemy occupied territory as well as reports from Air Attaches and others in neutral countries. A list issued by Germany, the Totenliste, also helped by supplying additional details such as place of burial in some cases. They did not, however, include the details about where the aircraft had crashed.

                                    Using these scraps of information, together with known details about which aircraft and crews had been reported missing, investigators could begin to build a picture as to the fate of some of the missing airmen.

                                    After D-Day and the liberation of parts of Europe, it was possible to make fuller investigations. Now it was possible to receive reports directly from the areas where the aircraft had crashed. Some captured German records helped, as did the many relics and personal effects that had been rescued from the scene by the people of occupied countries who had then hidden them from the Germans during the period of occupation.

                                    Identification of airmen who had died was assisted by the smallest of details such as a laundry mark on an item of clothing, the serial number on a service watch or the initials on a signet ring. It was painstaking and often harrowing work.

                                    In November 1944, the Head of the Casualty Branch and the Officer in Charge of Missing Research went to Paris, and during their visit it became apparent that there was a need for a single unit or branch to undertake and co-ordinate the work of investigating the many airmen who were missing. Consequently, in early 1945, The Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service was founded.

                                    Working initially in France, Search Officers were despatched to the places where aircraft were believed to have crashed. Their work involved interviewing local Mayors and their employees, local police, and anyone else likely to have information that would help.

                                    To begin with, the Casualty Branch sent Casualty Enquiry forms, detailing all known information to date about a particular aircraft and crew. The Search Officers worked with this information, adding to it where possible before writing a report to send back to London. Once all the facts and the burial place were known the MRES arranged for the Graves Registration Directorate to register and mark the grave. When this was completed a case would be considered closed.

                                    Eventually it was realised that due to the number of crashes to be investigated a more methodical approach to locating and investigating them would be required. After dealing with the Casualty Enquires from London, Search Officers would then search in their area village by village and district by district.

                                    In April 1945, a second Section was set up in Brussels. Eventually, sections were also established in Holland, Denmark, Norway, Italy and Germany. Searches were conducted in each of the countries by Officers working firstly from the Casualty Enquiries and thereafter by covering the country village by village, district by district.

                                    With the increasing volume of enquiries as the MRES moved their searches into more and more countries; there was a requirement to recruit more Search Officers. Therefore, in August 1945, the Air Ministry sent a letter to three camps in England, Church Fenton, Wittering and West Malling, which were re-settlement centres for Ex-Prisoners of War. Without mentioning the type of work to be undertaken, they asked for volunteers to work overseas.

                                    Those who volunteered then reported to the Air Ministry Casualty Branch to be interviewed for selection. During their selection interview they were told the type of work that they would be required to do if selected. The volunteers then returned to their centres to await the decision of the Air Ministry.

                                    Volunteers selected after this interview were then asked to return to the Air Ministry Casualty Branch to attend two days of lectures regarding the type of work that they were to undertake with the MRES. After being given time to arrange any personal matters in the UK, they reported to St James House in London on August 30th and were flown overseas to complete their training in the field.

                                    After spending around a week in the field accompanying existing experienced Search Officers, they joined a Section. The Sections generally comprised a Commanding Officer and Six Search Officers. These Officers then commenced their own investigations in the countries that they were despatched to with their Section.

                                    For anyone interested in further reading on the subject there is a really good book called Missing Believed Killed by Stuart Hadaway that was published last year.

                                    Hope the above is of interest and helps explain a bit about why some airmen can be found buried so far from where they crashed and how much effort went into trying to find the missing aircrews. The men of the MRES did an incredible job in some very trying circumstances and are often overlooked in our history.

                                    archieraf

                                    Comment


                                      #58
                                      Thanks for that; I may have to buy that book!

                                      Originally posted by archieraf View Post
                                      After the war the RAF attempted to trace all these men and those they found were often removed from the original place of burial and taken to larger cemeteries which could be some distance from where they originally crashed.
                                      When bodies were moved would records be kept of where they were moved from?
                                      WA$.

                                      Comment


                                        #59
                                        Marco et al.

                                        Before we go any further, is there a list of operations available covering raids on Milan and other targets where crews would fly in the Milan area, undertaken by Wellington Squadrons based in the Middle East and Italy?

                                        Secondly, I have isolated a list of 35 aircrew buried in Milan who were with Squadrons flying Wellingtons at the time of their deaths. I also have four Australians who died on the dates when other Wellington aircrew were killed but the Squadrons are not given.

                                        Obviously, there may be more aircrew who are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial to the missing but that would be an absolutely mammoth task to sort through 20,000 names.

                                        The dates of loss seem to centre around the 24th November 1943, 11th July 1944 and the 13th/14th October 1944. This covers 37 of the deaths so not factoring in aircraft and crews which completely disappeared you are now looking at at least eight Wellingtons!

                                        I know it seems impossible at present but perhaps it can be narrowed down further.

                                        Maybe more later.

                                        Regards,

                                        kev35
                                        The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61

                                        Comment


                                          #60
                                          Originally posted by Creaking Door View Post
                                          When bodies were moved would records be kept of where they were moved from?
                                          Yes records would have been kept. If the body was being moved from one cemetery to another then there should be records at both places. Most of this work was done post war so with luck the paperwork still exists.

                                          In addition, since the men were generally being moved to CWGC cemeteries the CWGC should have a record too.........it's not always to get the info from them though.

                                          I have researched cases in both the UK and in Norway where an airman has been moved from one cemetery to another. In both cases both the movement was recorded as having taken place both at the cemetery of original burial and at the new burial place. In the UK it is the local registrar who holds the information and possibly the actual church where the burial took place.

                                          Regards
                                          archieraf

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