18.02.1943 No. 409 Squadron Beaufighter VIF X7893 P/O. Thomas S. Briggs
Operation: Ranger Patrol
Date: 18th February 1943 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 409 Squadron (Nighthawk) RCAF
Type: Bristol Beaufighter VI.F
Base: RAF Coleby Grange, Lincolnshire (For this operation - based at RAF Coltishall)
Location: North West of Große Heide, Germany
Pilot: P/O. Thomas Simpson Briggs J/16215 RCAF Age 22. Killed
Nav: P/O. Douglas McBeath J/16258 RCAF Age 23. Killed
We are indebted to Martin Frauenheim for his wonderful research into this loss. Martin contacted us in December 2014 to appeal for relatives of the crew to contact us in order to add any further information for his village records in Germany where the crew died. He has researched this for over 30 years.
December 30th 2014 - 409 Squadron RCAF have been contacted and they are trying to obtain further information and possible photographs for us and our German researcher friends.
Also thanks to Dave Kirby in Woodbridge, Virginia, USA for translating German Documents.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Coltishall at 21.20 hrs on a Ranger Patrol over Holland and Western Germany and were due to return at around 00.00 hrs.
Nothing further was heard from them and the aircraft crashed at 23.06 hrs. It is understood that the aircraft hit the wires from a cable car and crashed just north east of Große Heide in Germany.
For years one of the propeller hubs laid in some bushes before Martin Frauenheim and his fellow researchers discovered and renovated it. One of the blades had been cut down and used in a cooling fan.
Initially buried by the Germans at Bramsche near Hanover, finally laid to rest at the CWGC cemetery detailed below.
P/O. Thomas Simpson Briggs. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Joint Grave 26.C.14-15. Son of Thomas Smith Briggs and Leonora Briggs, of Venn, Saskatchewan, Canada. Born on 28th April 1919. Parents married August 18th 1916 in Saskatchewan. Grave inscription reads: ‘What would we give to hear thy voice and see thy happy self.’
P/O. Douglas McBeath. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Joint Grave 26.C.14-15. Son of Douglas and Margaret Stevenson McBeath, of Golden, British Columbia, Canada. Parents were married at Golden on May 18th 1914. His father died at Golden - March 24th 1959, mother died at Golden - March 29th 1973. Also had another son, Samuel Blair - died in June 1974 at Fulford Harbour, British Columbia, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “Ever lovingly remembered by Dad, Mother, brothers and sisters.’
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Martin Frauenheim of Hagen, Germany. Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries’ (Updated 2014 version) Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.