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Aircrew Remembered Specially Selected News

Here we reflect the continuously developing content on our very active site.

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This page brings selected items to your notice. It does not reflect all the latest additions to the website: we are adding in excess of thirty pages of new content every month as well as hundreds of additions, amendments and corrections to our databases.

02nd April 2024

Relatives sought after pilot medals recovered. 11 OTU Wellington IC X3170, a comprehensive report unfolds.

17 February 2024

Recently uncovered interview with WW2 test pilot Hanna Reitsch included in our story.

30 January 2024

Amelia Earhart's Wreckage Discovered?

The image does not look like Earhart's plane to us: swept back wings appear to be closer to a jet.

See Amelia Earhart poem

28th December 2023

Canadian pilot killed - the subject of a BBC documentary regarding the recovery of the rare Griffon powered Spitfire XII
F/O. Harold Frederick Heninger J/16209 RCAF RCAF

07th September 2023

A fantastic new memorial is being planned by our Dutch friends Martijn Visser and the Stichting Egmond ’40-‘45.
It is in remembrance of all the boys 'missing' over the North Sea.
Please donate whatever you are able here:

Watch the professionally produced video:

28 August 2023

452 sqn crest

Latest addition to the Paul McGuiness RAAF Archive covers Spitfire operations in Europe by 452 Sqn RAAF.

This impressive Archive lists thousands of individual aircraft that served in the RAAF from WW1 onwards.

452 Sqn Spitfire Operations Europe 1941 - 1942

20th June 2023:

Time is priceless and it was at this moment that we learned that it does have a price. Therefore, on the initiative of the family, friends and close acquaintances, this fundraiser was created. Bartek Belcarz came from Poland and is a husband, father, grandfather, friend, teacher, enthusiast of the history of aviation, author of many books on this subject – we could list it for so long. For us, he is a wonderful man whom we love, like and respect very much, so we will do everything in our power to fight for him. At the beginning of the year, Bartek was diagnosed with glioblastomy IV (GBM) (glioblastoma multiforme/malignant tumor of the brain).

In March, he underwent surgery to remove the tumor. At the moment, he is undergoing radio- and chemotherapy at the Oncology Center in Bydgoszcz. More than a month after the operation, we received news that a second tumor appeared next to the previous one. This is bad news. However, there is hope for help doctor Maciej Harat (Poland) informed us about the effective device Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields; Novocure, GmbH) and qualified Bartek as a person who could use TTFields for GBM therapy.

To put it simply – a therapy involving the use of a device that allows you to effectively stop the development of cancer cells. Unfortunately, it turned out that the recruitment for the free program has ended, and this program is not reimbursed in Poland. The current cost of such treatment is 21 000 of Eur + VAT per month, which is the main barrier before starting therapy, insurmountable on your own. That is why we are asking you for help in the fight for his health. Bartek still has many things to do, many books to write, many people to love. We believe that there is still a lot ahead of him.

TTF therapy is our hope, and Bartek himself is an inspiration and motivation for us.

If you are able to assist follow this link - we have.

27th March 2023:

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of one of the last 617 'Dambuster' squadron pilots. A page is under preparation as is his obituary.

Lancaster I ME561 KC-T


Fl/Lt. Arthur William “Joppy” Joplin died peacefully at Edmund Hillary Retirement Village in Remuera last Tuesday, aged 99.

26th March 2023:

The new Romney Branch of the Royal British Legion are holding a service for Pilot Officer Boguslaw Mierzwa and Pilot Officer Mieczyslaw Waszkiewicz, who were shot down over Dungeness on the 16th April 1941
The service will be held at St Peters Church, Greatstone, TN28 8RG, on Sunday 16th April, starting at 15:00 hrs.
There will be refreshments after the service in the hall next to the church.
Later in the afternoon, the wreaths will be laid at the memorial on the Dungeness estate.

18th March 2023:

All crew now identified 60 years later. 467 squadron Lancaster ED867 PO-L - 4 Australian, 3 British crew.

17th March 2023:

Previously unpublished report on the loss of Wellington LN167. All 5 crew lost their lives in a training accident

24th February 2023

New Zealand commemorates 'Purple Poppy day' Marsden Valley, Stoke, Nelson

05th February 2023

A fantastic archive report of a 462 Squadron (RAAF) crew with supporting videos of the evasion of the Australian pilot.

His amazing story here..

14 Jan 2023

Former 'Specialist Operator' whilst with 405 squadron, a survivor of a Me163 rocket-powered aircraft attack celebrates his 99th birthday. (born on the 11th January 1924)

Read the story of the attack

09 Jan 2023"

Former Air Bomber and PoW celebrates his 100th bithday.

Read the story of his final operation over Germany.

Also shown the RSA Video interview

19 Dec 2022:

A memorial plaque is planned for the 14th of May 2023. Further details will follow as soon as we hear further from the Belgian organiser. 419 Squadron Halifax II JD113 VR-Z

7 Dec 2022

Last of the Dambusters Passes

Sqn Ldr 'Johnny' Johnson 617 Sqn, last surviving member of Operation Chastise passed away peacefully. Read his Obituary here.

26 Nov 2022

Sgt. George Ernest Reid

Medals Reunited of New Zealand presents relatives with New Zealand Memorial Cross/

16 Nov 2022

Night Landing at Pegasus Bridge

Page added to honour the amazing flying feat by the Glider Pilot Regiment in the first British action in the early morning of D-Day 1944

pegasus bridge map

02 June 2022

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our friend and colleague Henk Nootenboom. Henk has helped us in the past with allied aircraft that came down over Holland. His son, Patrick advised us that he had died on the 30th of May 2022.

24 April 2022

The cadets helping the Nelson Returned and Services Association collecting on Poppy Day 2022

12 April 2022

A new memorial is to be unveiled for the crew of a 35 Squadron Lancaster crew. On May 07th 2022 at Great Paxton Holy Trinity Church. Contact us for further details. The report of the loss here.

We would very much like to make contact with the family of Cyril Arthur Winter from Hayes and Harlington / Abingdon and Alec Cousins from Maidenhead. Can you help?

09 January 2022

Massively Damaged B-17 Continues to Fly After 100 Flak and Shrapnel Hits

A testament to the strength of the B-17

B-17 Queenie #42-31353 Crashes with 5 fatalities

22 December 2021

'They gave all, and they have left us their example. It remains for us with fitting ceremonies, tenderly with our flowers and our tears, to lay them to rest on the American soil for which they died.' General Pershing

This is the sacred promise America makes to every family that wishes their fallen loved one to be returned from where they fell. 'Every bone of every body' No matter how long ago or how difficult the task.

Bryant E Poulsen and Crew of 'Hot Garters' Lost Without Trace 10 April 1944 over Papua New Guinea

05th December 2021

We urgently like to contact relatives of the crew of 21 Squadron Blenheim IV V6435. Our Dutch friends are in the process of erecting a memorial to the crew. Further details here.

05th November 2021

We are now in contact with the daughter of Tadeusz Bubes 793841 PAF. He had been involved in a mid-air collision with another Spitfire flown by a Canadian pilot who sadly lost his life. Further details here.

Tadeusz did however survive the war and settled in England. He passed away on the 09th May 1988 and is buried at Newark-on-Trent.

21st July 2021

A memorial to the crew of Mosquito HK304 is currently being built at Flitwick, Bedfordshire. This follows a dedicated member of the public, Mr Mark Rankine who has raised the funds, contacted local authorities and organised the event. The date is yet to be finalised. Sgt. Jacques L. Bonnewit and Sgt. John William George Muncaster were both killed during an exercise. More details here. Limited edition prints of HK304 are now available.

28 February 2021 Transport Command Loss: highly detailed account 575 Sqd Dakota FZ674

575cestToo often overlooked, Transport Command crews played an essential role in the conduct and winning of the war.

The logistics of deployment and resupply of units in the front line required the dedication of thousands of crews and ground staff, and of course, their aircraft were extremely vulnerable to attacks from the enemy. Frequently operating in adverse weather conditions over routes where radio contact was sporadic, the risks they ran were high.

But without their dedication, battles could not be won and victory not achieved.

This is an account of the loss of 575 Sqd FZ674, researched and written by Senior Research Editor Roy Wilcock.

22 February 2021 Powerful New Database Search Facility Launched

All our database tables are now supported by a custom-written search facility providing new and powerful search options, designed to make our data even more useful.

You can now search for an Exact Match, or choose the option to Contain your word: if, for example, you looked for 'brown' the latter would find brown, browne, browning, brownley etc. You can also exclude certain columns from a search which will be useful if your original search produces too many results to sift through. An example of this would be a search for 'Spitfire' where you are looking for pilots with Spitfire in the Aircraft column. Your original search would also include results where 'Spitire' is mentioned in the Notes column, but selecting to Exclude the Notes column would remove those entries from your results, giving you fewer to sift through.

10 May 2020: Terry Clark DFM Battle of Britain Veteran Passes

One of only 2 remaining veterans from the seminal battle of WWll has left us. A Sergeant Radio Operator in 219 Squadron in 1940, Clark played his part magnificently as the RAF battled the Luftwaffe for control of the air.

He passed away aged 101 on May 7 2020. Fair winds aloft to our hero. See our Battle Britain Database entry and our Obituary

We have not been able to supply our normal News service in the past months owing to ill health.

29 January 2020: W/C Paul Farnes: One of The Few Passes

We are sad to learn we have lost One of The Few. W/C Farnes passed peacefully on 28 January. We honour this brave knight, who stood fearlessly in the breach when all the world stood in awe as the Royal Air Force and its gallant allies defeated the forces of darkness.

2020-01-23 We are in the middle of a major effort to develop - hopefully - the definitive record of the most important air battle of World War ll by extending and enhancing the database we have had live for some years. It is surprising that 80+ years after the event controversy still exists as to who took part and who qualifies for the Battle of Britain clasp. We are using the best resources we can find in our endeavour. Please help us by contributing your knowledge, particularly for the less well-known participants.

20 January 2020: Coming up to the 75th anniversary of the murder of nine FAA aircrew murdered by the Japanese after the 25th January 1945 operation. These boys should never be forgotten.

Many details exist on this operation, not many have the personal details of those executed/beheaded,

Of course, we welcome any further information where full credits will be placed. Lt. Haberfield RNZNVR and eight others.

19 January 2020 We are very pleased to announce the publication of Paul McGuiness' important scholarship on the history of every plane used by Australian forces in WW1. (this is a work in progress and is being added to as time permits Paul to send us his data.)

19 January 2020 We're very proud of this new addition to our family of databases. This is a work in progress. If you are a Korean War specialist and would like to participate with us in building this important resource for researchers worldwide, please contact us via the Helpdesk. The Korean War is known as 'The Forgotten War' for good reason: it hardly gets a mention compared to WW2 and Vietnam. Yet it saw the birth of the jet-on-jet age with very large battles between MiG-15 and F-86 Sabre wings! Though data about it is harder to find, which of course made this database one of the most difficult to compile, and although it is still very much a work in progress, it already constitutes one of the most comprehensive sets of data available anywhere in this searchable form. We are seeking interested historians and researchers to help increase the depth of data.

11 January 2020: Although this loss has been covered within the Rob Philips 'Lost Archive', we chose to publish an archive report in order to bring to the attention the details Rob went through to try and identify the final resting places of many Dutch aircrews. Fl/Lt. Jan Leendert Plesman is a very good example of the efforts he made. (With this one, nearly 10 years of work!)

08 December 2019: Violation of the Laws of War:

This material is presented in one of our historically most important databases, the Vitz Archive.

Orders and Directives to kill unarmed prisoners of war were conceived and passed down by various persons holding high official positions in the hierarchy of the German Reich. Shortly before the end of the war ten American airmen parachuted, from two bombers shot down over Czechoslovakia, into an SS training area. One was hidden by the local citizens, one was shot immediately on landing and eight airmen were murdered after being interrogated by the SS.

Research carried out by a Czech historian identified the probable perpetrators. However, due to a number of factors only one of the perpetrators was brought before the courts. The prosecution of this individual was stopped so ultimately no one was held accountable for the murders of the eight airmen.

19.04.1945 849th Bomber Squadron B-17G 43-38078 1st.Lt. Robert A. Norvell

19.04.1945 850th Bomber Squadron B-17G 43-38701 2nd.Lt. Paul A. Snyder

26 November 2019: The Great Paxton History Society has launched a campaign to honour this 35 Squadron crew. Relatives are invited to contact us for further information. The memorial will consist of a steel sculpture representing the Lancaster upon a large stone with a plaque giving brief details of the men who died. The stone will stand on a grass mound, surrounded by a low hedge and plants, in Dovecote Lane.

08 November 2019: Yet another training accident:

During a training exercise over England two pilots seriously injured, one succumbing to his wounds the following day. The other after months in hospital flew in the Battle of Britain, only to be missing, believed killed over the skies of Malta in 1942.

Read more here.

28 October 2019: Tragedy in the skies over France:

Whilst supplying the French resistance and the Special Air Service (SAS), B-24H 42-51187 from the 850th Bomber Sqn flying out of Harrington airbase in Northamptonshire and Halifax II LL364b from RAF Tempsford in Bedfordshire collided over Marigny-l’Eglise. Fifteen Allied airmen lost their lives.

19.07.1944 850th Bomber Squadron B-24H 42-51187 :

19.07.1944 138 (Special Duties) Squadron Halifax V LL364:

25 October 2019: Yet another training accident - this time in Canada, away from the conflict. Two Australians and a New Zealander were all killed in accidents. We can not stress the huge number of deaths/injuries suffered during training. We continue to attempt to list these losses, but really would like to hear from you, just because your relative was not lost 'in action' their sacrifice is for sure just as important. Read this story here.

16th October 2019: Canadian pilot - just 4 weeks into service shoots down 3 Luftwaffe aircraft in a single day. Then is shot down himself but evades capture and returns to unit.

Awarded the DFM by the King. Goes on to claim a further 4 and damaging another Fw190. An incredible story and one that should be told.

Read his story here.

13th October 2019: “Where the bloody hell were you lot”?

The accusation hurled by soldiers of the BEF towards the RAF after the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940.

Here is just one story from one RAF officer who was there and lost his life trying to assist. F/O. Herbert Peter Dixon 90283 RAF.

Another page submitted to us by the respected aviation historian Mr. Simon Muggleton.

01st October 2019: On the 15th January 1945 Fl/Lt. Francis George Keefe flying a Corsair with 14 Squadron was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Although injured he managed to bale out - landing in a lagoon surrounded by thousands of Japanese.

The RNZAF mounted a rescue operation. Bamboo rafts were dropped to assist the pilot but sadly he was captured and died of blood poisoning two weeks later. Seven RNZAF Corsairs together with the pilots were lost in the atrocious weather conditions whilst returning to their base. The story of what has been called 'Black Monday' told here.

26th September 2019: We are thrilled to have played our part in uniting the watch worn by 1st Lt. Paul Denbo USAAF with his relatives. Belgian researchers found the watch at the crash site and contacted us in 2015 asking for our help. We made contact with the pilot's relatives and instigated the return. You can read the full story here.

09 September 2019: 1 Accident in a Tiger Moth - but 2 fatalities a year apart from the same aircraft!

So many other stories that could be added..... we just need contact from relatives. P/O. Bertrand Butler killed training as an instructor in New Zealand in 1941.

7 September 2019 Annual Commemoration Service Polish War Memorial RAF Northolt

This ceremony honours the more than 17,000 Polish Air Force personnel who made their way to 'the island of last hope' to continue the fight against German aggression. Attendees include His Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland Arkady Rzegocki, Mayors of Hillingdon, Ealing, Hammersmith and Newark, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Michael Wigston, General Piotr Krawczyk Commandant of the Polish Air University at Dęblin Poland, Air Attaché Col. Lee Wingfield USAAF and Attachés from Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, a contingent of cadets from Dęblin, and - above all - surviving veterans from 1940 -1945. The wreath to honour 309 Squadron (Polish) was laid by Stefan Pietrzak Youngs of Aircrew Remembered, son of Polish ace Aleksander Pietrzak who served with 309.

Cadets from Polish Air University Dęblin and the younger generation, Northolt 2019

6 September 2019 Presentation at Bentley Priory Museum

We were invited to a special presentation by Polish historian Peter Sikora on the project organized by the Museum to involve local school groups into researching the role played by Polish Air Force personnel in WWll. Also at this event a statue of Mirosław Ferić, a pilot with 303 Squadron during the Battle of Britain, was unveiled by his son Philip. Aircrew Remembered is one of the leading specialists in Polish Air Force personnel through its Archiwum Mielnika which provides details of every member who served in WWll.

28 August 2019: Ivan Smirnoff More Than Just An Ace

A man who lived several lives, faced deaths many times over yet lived a full life and died in his bed. Foot soldier in the Imperial Russian Army in 1916, ace fighter pilot for Imperial Russian Air Service, fighter against the Bolsheviks, RAF instructor, KLM pilot with more than 1 million miles flown, survivor as a DC-3 pilot versus 3 Japanese Zeros...

11 August 2019: Gaggenau/Rotenfels/Erlichwald War crimes

The crime case, WO 235/185, prosecuted eleven German nationals for the deaths of ten PoWs, four Americans and six British, and four French Nationals.

The court found ten of the accused guilty and five were sentenced to death, five others received prison terms of various lengths and the eleventh individual was acquitted. Ultimately four of the five that were sentenced to death had their sentences commuted to prison sentences of various terms.

The following reports describe the events surrounding the deaths of the four US AAF airmen.

05.09.1944 562nd Bomber Squadron B-17G 43-37599 ‘Moonlight Serenade’, 2nd.Lt. Raymond M. Paaske: refers to 2nd.Lt Garis Phillip Jacoby.

05.09.1944 566th Bomber Squadron B-24J 42-50511, 2nd.Lt. Kenneth E. Frazee: refers to T/Sgt. Maynard A. Latten and S/Sgt. Curtis Eugene Hodges.

10.09.1944 749th Bomber Squadron B-17G 42-32086 ‘You Never Know’, 1st.Lt. Loren G. Hampton: refers to Sgt. Michael Pipock.

02 August 2019 The Few Are One Fewer Today

Sad to report the passing of Flt Lt Archie McInnes, just a few hours into his 100th year. Archie served in the Battle of Britain with distinction in 601 Sqd based in Exeter and 238 Sqd based in Chilbolton.

29 Jul 2019: Tilburg war crime case

The Tilburg war crime case, WO 235/345, prosecuted one Austrian and nine German nationals for the deaths of three allied airmen. The court found four of the accused guilty and sentenced them to death. Six of the accused were found not guilty of the charges. The following reports describe the events surrounding the deaths of the three airmen.

16.06.1944 77 Squadron Halifax B Mk III MZ698 Flt.Lt. Sydney E. Wodehouse: Refers to Fg.Off. Jack Stewart Nott MiD.

16/17.06.1944 431 Squadron RCAF Halifax B Mk III NA514 Fg.Off Glenn H. Blachford: Refers to Fg.Off. R E Carter.

21.06.1944 83 Squadron Lancaster B Mk III ND551 Flt.Lt. Ronald A. Walker DFC.

17 July 2019:

Thought to have been the youngest aircrew member of WW2. Australian but born in Bristol, England

P/O. Arthur Francis Emery enlisted at the age of 16 in Australia - by the age of 18 he had been awarded the DFC and had lost his life! Read Archive Report

11 July 2019: The Rheine Airfield war crimes case

The Rheine Airfield war crimes case, WO 235/339, prosecuted six German nationals for the deaths of nine Allied airmen. The prosecution’s case was based on the premise that there was a conspiracy to murder captured Allied airmen. The proceedings of the court case determined that seven of the nine were murdered and two died in suspicious circumstances. One of the six accused was found guilty in two cases, and one other was found guilty in one case. Both were sentenced to be hanged. A third received a custodial sentence of 15 years. The remaining four German nationals were found not guilty on all charges. Two other identified German nationals not before the court were instrumental in the murders of five of the airmen. One of the perpetrators committed suicide soon after his arrest. The second was never apprehended and his fate remains unknown. The following reports describe the events surrounding the deaths of the nine Allied airmen.

Charge 2: 05.09.1944 83rd Fighter Squadron P-47D Thunderbolt, Capt. Gray H. Doyle.

Charge 3: 06.08.1944 369th Bomber Squadron B-17G 42-97365 'Zamro'. 1st.Lt. Young B.C. Newsom: Refers to Sgt. Henry Kantor.

Charge 4: 26.09.1944 375th Fighter Squadron P-51B Mustang, 2nd.Lt. Daniel F. Knupp.

Charge 5: 06.11.1944 No. 619 Squadron Lancaster B Mk III LM742 Fg.Off. Eric W. Hookings: Refers to Sgt. Edward F. Wood.

Charge 6: 21.11.1944 505th Fighter Squadron P-51D Mustang, Capt. Charles W. Dowell.

Charge 7: 26.11.1944 357th Fighter Squadron P-51B Mustang, 2nd.Lt Charles W. Kelley.

Charge 8: 08.12.1944 No 130 Squadron Spitfire XIV RM749 Flt.Lt Donald J. Wilson.

Charge 9: 29.12.1944 No.3 (Fighter) Squadron Tempest Mk.V JN803, Fg.Off Kenneth G. Slade-Betts DFC.

Charge 10: 16.01.1945 No.12 Squadron Lancaster B Mk 1 LM213, Fg.Off. William Keruk: Refers to Sgt Gilbert J. Harris.

30 June 2019 Memorial to P/O Vautour and W/O Mitchell RCAF Mosquito MM573

This saw the gathering of villagers, a representative of the Peoples Mosquito charity, Members of the HAMG, Air cadets, RAFA members, British Legion, and other interested people to Commemorate a Memorial to 2 members of 409 Sqd RCAF who lost their lives returning from a mission over the D-Day beaches.

The large group walked to the crash site led in by Warrant Officer Barry Lynn and Flt Lt Passfield.

The completed memorial was then unveiled by John & Lise Vautour.

Read the full story here

26 June 2019

Our Director Kelvin Youngs has been admitted to hospital with a condition that has left him totally without energy. The cause is not yet known. He's distressed he is not able to attend to the needs of our website and trusts you will understand if his lack of responsiveness causes inconvenience. The rest of the team will take up the slack but Kelvin's energy on the website is very hard to replace.

28th May 2019 - Fl/Lt Ralph Osborne Brown NZ/424421 a New Zealand Spitfire pilot passed away at the Ernest Rutherford Retirement Village, Nelson, New Zealand. Age just 99.

Funeral service 11:00 hrs. 31st May 2019 at the Beachside Function Centre, Nelson.

Further details available here - information added June 2019

'Forgotten' Lincolnshire airfield looking to honour Polish World War Two airmen

An airfield just outside of Lincoln is looking to create a heritage centre to honour and remember those who served during World War Two. RAF Ingham, just north of Lincoln became operational in 1942 with the arrival of 300 Polish Squadron.

Four Polish bomber squadrons were attached to the base of three grass runways and three hangars during the Second World War. Contact Geoff Burton, chairman of the RAF Ingham Heritage Group for details of visits.

10th May 2019: The ''Wing Tipping' technique of bringing down the V-1 'Diver' flying bomb is widely recognised as created by that of FO. Ken Collier RAAF of 91 Squadron, though there is a similar claim by a Polish pilot.

After extensive research with the assistance from the Australian Archives and other resources. Detailed information on the Australian fighter pilot V-1 'Diver' ace.

His subsequent loss over Germany in 1944 was a mystery and he was posted as Missing for nearly five years before the Missing Research and Enquiry Unit recovered his body for a proper burial.

05th May 2019: We have been adding further pages to the losses of Coastal Command.

We now have a link to some of this covered within our archives.
Further pages are constantly being added.

We welcome any new contributions. Click here for the expanding list.

09 April 2019 Last of the Doolittle Raiders Passes

Sad to record the passing of Lt. Col. Richard Cole, last of the gallant crews who mounted the first air raid on Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Cole was Jimmie Doolittle's co-pilot on the historic flight from the carrier USS Hornet. Flying the B-25 they made a 10-hour flight to Tokyo and then flew on to mainland China where all their planes ran out of fuel and either crash-landed or the crews bailed out. Cole was the last of the 80 aviators who formed the first example of what is said to be Admiral Yamamoto's prophecy after Pearl Harbor: 'I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.' And we all know how that ended.

2 April 2019: Violation of the Laws of War

This material is presented in one of our historically most important databases, the Vitz Archive

Orders and Directives to kill unarmed prisoners of war were conceived and passed down by various persons holding high official positions in the hierarchy of the German Reich.

The accused in this case, all from the Natzweiler/Struthof concentration camp, were responsible for not only for the cruel murder of Sgt. Frederic Harold Habgood but for the murders of countless unnamed inmates of the concentration camp and also for the unspeakable murders of four SOE women, Vera Leigh, Sonia Olschanesky, Andree Borrell and Diana Rowden.

28.07.1944 No. 550 Squadron Lancaster III NE164 Fg.Off. Harry Jones

New Archive Polish Air Force 1940 - 1947 now published

This Archive is the result of 20 years scholarship researching sources of data on the Polish Air Force 1939 - 1947. There are 17,000+ entries! This is the first time this corrected and enhanced data has been made available. The data is in Polish but it is easy to translate it into other languages.

24 March 2019: 75th Anniversary of The Great Escape

21 March 2019: Remarkable young men fighting for freedom

The intertwined fate of remarkable young men thrown together in a common cause and captured in historical photographs. Destined to become friends and fellow airmen many of whom would pay the ultimate sacrifice fighting for freedom.

24.07.1942 207 Squadron Lancaster B Mk.1 R5632, Flt.Sgt. William George Hawes

17 March 2019: Violation of the Laws of War

This material is presented in one of our most historically important databases, the Vitz Archive

Orders and Directives to kill unarmed prisoners of war were conceived and passed down by various persons holding high official positions in the hierarchy of the German Reich. Most of the accused in the following two reports, from the same case, admitted their guilt and the respective parts played by each in this common plan and design to violate the laws of war.

Collision of two B-17’s over Germany. Four United States airmen murdered, three are identified and a fourth victim remains unidentified but known to be one of the eleven airmen that perished.

03.10.1944 325th Bomber Squadron B-17G 43-38445, 1st.Lt. Niels R. Nielsen

03.10.1944 327th Bomber Squadron B-17G 43-38396 ‘Insomnia’, 1st.Lt. Edmund L. Dornburgh

10 March 2019: The Polish Few: Polish Airmen in the Battle of Britain: The renowned Polish researcher, and someone we are proud to claim as a respected colleague, Peter Sikora, has published his magnum opus 'The Polish Few: Polish Airmen in the Battle of Britain'.

The Polish 'Few': Polish Airmen in the Battle of BritainThis huge work encompasses 570+ pages and should establish itself as a major reference book for generations to come.

Whilst the story of the role played by Polish airmen in WWll is well known, Peter has nonetheless conducted original research to uncover material not previously published, an especially difficult task given that most participants are no longer with us.

Peter has an extensive collection of photographs which he has used to illustrate this book.

We are preparing an extensive review which we will publish shortly.

The book is published by Pen & Sword and is available at Amazon and all good bookstores.

07 March 2019: Jack Hilton RCAF D-Day Typhoon Pilot Dies at 99

Jack Hilton

With sadness we report the passing of Jack Hilton.

Jack Hilton, a Typhoon fighter pilot in the Second World War, has died at the age of 99. The Airdrie, Alta., resident died on March 7 2019, according to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

'War was a culture shock,' Hilton said of his wartime experience. 'I was a qualified pilot at 50 hours, if you can imagine.'

Hilton was just 19 when he enlisted in the RCAF, first serving as a flight instructor in Canada and the USA before joining the front in Europe in 1943 to serve with 438 Squadron RCAF. See our Obituary

Freddie Oversteegen: Heroine of the Dutch Resistance.

We are deeply honoured to publish an Obituary to this extraordinary women, who refused to be cowed by the power of the occupying German forces holding the Netherlands in bondage from 1940 onwards.

She played an active part in the Resistance along with her sister throughout the war including sabotage and direct action against the enemy and was subsequently honoured for her work by a grateful Dutch nation and their Queen.

We who have never known the oppression of occupation can only hold our breaths in wonder and tell our children of the bravery of such a woman.

We salute the heroines of the Dutch Resistance!

07 March 2019: We welcome pages contributed by relatives or other researchers for inclusion.
Boston III W8351 lost on the 03rd April 1942 is a such a story submitted by a relative. All three crew lost their lives.

It's always gratifying when our readers contribute material to add to the historical record because they frequently have first-person accounts of events that would otherwise be lost to history. We will always endeavour to treat such material with respect and care and to publish it as soon as we are able.

04 March 2019: Violation of the Laws of War:

This material is presented in one of our most historically important databases, the Vitz Archive.

Orders and Directives to kill unarmed prisoners of war were conceived and passed down by various persons holding high official positions in the hierarchy of the German Reich. Most of the accused in the following five reports, from the same case, admitted their guilt and the respective parts played by each in this common plan and design to violate the laws of war.

19.10.1944 704th Bomber Squadron B-24J 'Slightly Dangerous', 1 Lt. Martin J. Mullane

29.12.1944 349th Bomber Squadron B-17G 42-8514 'Lassie Come Home', 1 Lt. John K. Furrer

22.02.1945 504th Fighter Squadron P-51K 44-11745 'Happy III', Capt. Ray Francis Herrmann

Decorated USAAF fighter pilots survives being shot down. Only to be murdered by the Gestapo - 6 of the accused found guilty and hanged!

22.02.1945 754th Bomber Squadron B-24J 44-10491 'The Iron Duke', 2 Lt. William A. 'Billy’ Duke

17.03.1945 848th Bomber Squadron B-17G 43-38046 1 Lt. Arthur Stern

02 March 2019 : Profiles in Courage

We have added a new reference list to our Cross Reference Research lists to draw attention to examples of extraordinary super-human courage. Every story in our large collection tells of bravery and often endurance, but some stand out as exceptional. You will find Profiles in Courage in our Personal Histories menu. You are invited to let us know via the Helpdesk of any which you consider merit inclusion.

13 February 2019: Passing of the last Great Escaper

It is with sadness we report the death of Sqd Ldr Dick Churchill RAF, the last survivor of the Great Escape from Stalag Luft lll on the night of March 24/25 1944. Of the 76 who escaped, 73 were recaptured, including Churchill. We paid our respects on our Homepage.

Some 50 of those recaptured were subsequently murdered by the Gestapo and the SS on the direct orders of Hitler. Details of many of the victims may be found on the Vitz Archive on this site (search for Great Escape)

Chief of the Air Staff Sir Stephen Hillier said: 'He was from a selfless generation who offered bravery and sacrifice to secure our freedom.'

10 February 2019: New pages added daily. Some have little information, many have details not previously published elsewhere. All warrant a page and with your help these can be expanded upon, drop us a line - it is not just the pilot we are interested in, but all who had played a valuable part. A small example - post war, 61 Squadron Avro Lincoln RF365 crashed during training in 1946 - 2 killed, others injured. Where else would you find these details?

Older news entries

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon

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