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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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150 Squadron Crest
19.05.1940 150 Squadron Fairey Battle I P5235 JN:H Plt Off. Osment

Operation: Intruder operation on enemy troops, France

Date: 19th May 1940 (Sunday)

Unit No: 150 Squadron

Type: Battle I

Serial: P5235

Code: JN:H

Base: Pouan, France

Location: Near ‘Chêne Tonneau’ at Barby, 4 km (3 mls) west of Rethel France

Pilot: Plt Off. David Ernest Thomas Osment 40742 RAF Age 33. PoW No: 506 * (1)

Obs: Sgt. George William Clifford 524803 RAFVR Age 34. PoW No: 13058 ** (2)

Air Gnr: AC1. Walter Graham Slade 616565 RAFVR Age 31. PoW No: 13093 ** (3)

* Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia, Germany, now Żagań in Poland.

** Stalag 357 Kopernikus at Thorn (Toruń) in Poland. Moved in September 1944. The camp was commonly referred to as Stalag 357 Fallingbostel, however, it was officially designated as Stalag 357 Oerbke.

REASON FOR LOSS:

P5235 was badly damaged in action on an enemy armour patrol north of the Aisne west of Rethel by Flak and belly landed near “Chêne Tonneau” Barby, 4 km (3 mls)s west of Rethel at 11:15 hrs.

(1) Plt Off. Osment was captured by German forces near Charleville, some 40 km (25 mls) to the north of the crash site.

He spent the remainder of the war as a PoW at Stalag Luft 3. On returning to Britain in 1945 he rejoined the RAF having originally been commissioned as a Plt Off. on May 7th 1938. He served through the 1950′s and retired from the RAF as a Sqd Ldr. in 1964.

David Ernest Thomas Osment was born on the island of St Vincent, West Indies on the 14th October 1916. Son of Thomas and Eliza Laughlin (née Richards) Osment. Husband to first wife Joan Eleanor (née Randell) Osment who predeceased him on the 9th April 2005. David's second wife was June Eve (née Cornell) Osment . David died on the 11th May 2008 in Kintbury, Berkshire, England aged 91. June passed away on the 7th May 2013.

(2) Sgt. Clifford was slightly injured during the forced landing and he was captured that day north of Rheims.

He was transported to Dulag Luft, Oberursel arriving there on the on the 28th May until the 30th May and was then transferred to Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang, arriving there on the 3rd April 1940.

He remained there until the 29th March 1941 when he was transferred to Stalag 8B, Lamsdorf arriving there early in April 1942. in early 1943 the camp was split up and the Stalag 8B was renamed Stalag 344. He remained here until the 1st May 1943 when he was transferred to Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia arriving there on the 3rd May 1942.

He remained at Stalag Luft 3 until early June 1943 and was then transferred to Stalag Luft 6 arriving there on the 6th June 1943. It is believed that his promotion to Warrant Officer (WO) was whilst he was at Stalag Luft 3.

He remained at Stalag Luft 6 until July 1944 when the camp was evacuated in the face of the advancing Red Army. It appears that he was with the group that was transported by train to Stalag 20A, Thorn/Toruń, Poland. From there they went to Stalag Luft 4 at Gross, Tychow then via Stettin to Stalag 9B and Stalag 357 at Fallingbostel (Oebke).

Fallingbostel (Oerbke) was liberated on the 16th April 1945 by British troops from B Squadron 11th Hussars and the Reconnaissance Troop of the 8th Hussars. They were met at the main gate of Stalag 357 by a guard of Airborne troops, impeccably attired and led by RSM Lord. He was interviewed 9th May 1945.

George William Clifford was born on the 23rd December 1915 in Grimsby, Lincolnshire. He was employed as a motor mechanic in Louth in Lincolnshire prior to enlisting in the RAFVR on the 2nd October 1935. George passed away in April of 1985 in Billinghay, Lincolnshire.

(3) AC1. Slade was captured that day near to Rheims.

After the statutory visit to Dulag Luft, Oberursel he was transferred to Lager Luft 1 (Later Stalag Luft 1), Barth arriving there on the 6th July 1940. In April 1942 all 800 prisoners at Stalag Luft 1 were transferred to Stalag Luft 3, Sagan arriving there on the 24th April 1942.

He remained here until the 16th June 1943 and was then transferred to Stalag Luft 6, Heydekrug arriving there on the 19th June 1943. It is believed that his promotion to Warrant Officer (WO) was the reason for his transfer.

He remained at Stalag Luft 6 until July 1944 when the camp was evacuated in the face of the advancing Red Army. It appears that he was with the group that was transported by train to Stalag 20A, Thorn/Toruń, Poland. From there they went to Stalag Luft 4 at Gross, Tychow then via Stettin to Stalag 9B and Stalag 357 at Fallingbostel (Oebke).

Fallingbostel (Oerbke) was liberated on the 16th April 1945 by British troops from B Squadro 11th Hussars and the Reconnaissance Troop of the 8th Hussars. They were met at the main gate of Stalag 357 by a guard of Airborne troops, impeccably attired and led by RSM Lord. He was interviewed 11th May 1945

Walter Graham Slade was born on the 25th December 1918. He was an Apprentice at a building merchant in Dorset prior to enlisting in the RAFVR on the 25th July 1938. Walter passed away on the 5th July 1965 in Marlborough, Wiltshire.

Burial details:

None - all crew survived.

Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered November 2015. Photographs from his own collection. Thanks Tom Osment for additional information for his father Sqn Ldr. Osment. Reviewed and updated by Aircrew Remembered with thanks to Bill Osment for the additional Next of Kin details for his father. (Feb 2024)

Other sources listed below:

RS 07.02.2024 - Reviewed and updated with new information

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Acknowledgements
Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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