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Althan, Ray (Pilot Officer)

Prisoner of War 1945-02-21

Male Head

Age:

Service
RCAF
Unit
419 (B) Sqn- Squadron
Moosa Aswayita (Beware of Moose)
Base
RAF Middleton St. George
Rank
Flight Sergeant
Marshal
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
SergeantSGT
CorporalCPL
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Position
Air Gunner
Service Numbers
R/215821

Lancaster Mk.X KB804

Bombing Dortmund Germany 1945-February-20 to 1945-February-21

514 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitoes of 1, 3, 6 and 8 Groups. 14 Lancastcrs lost.

The intention of this raid was to destroy the southern half of Dortmund and Bomber Command claimed that this was achieved. It appears that the Dortmund air¬raid recording service had now broken down completely; the local Stadtarchiv has no details of any kind of this raid. his was the last large Bomber Command raid of the war on Dortmund.

source: The Bomber Command War Diaries, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt

419 Moose Squadron (Moose Aswayita). Target - Dortmund, Germany. Lancaster aircraft KB 804 was nearing the target when it was hit by flak, the starboard wing and the bomb bay began to blaze furiously. The crew was ordered to bail out and F/O Blaney maintained control of the aircraft so that his crew could carry out his order; he stayed too long and went down with the aircraft. P/O D. Hanna bailed out but was killed when his parachute failed to open. Four Canadians, F/O P. Owen (BA), P/O A. Kindret (WOAG), FSs R. Althan (AG), L. Nozzolillo (AG), and one RAF member of the crew were taken Prisoners of War..

Took off from Middleton St. George at 21:26 in Lancaster Mk X (Sqn code VR-E Bomber Command) on an operation to Dortmund Germany.

Killed: F/O Laurence Allen Blaney RCAF J/29884 pilot KIA Reichswald Forest War Cemetery grave 4. E. 12. P/O Donald Hanna RCAF J/95277 KIA Reichswald Forest War Cemetery grave 4. E. 13.

POWs includes Althan: Sgt T Stan Instone RCAF R/number POW camp not listed. P/O Andrew Kindret RCAF X/number POW Stalag VIIID. F/Sgt Lou J Nozolillo RCAF R/number POW camp not listed. F/O Phil H Owen RAF POW camp not listed.

Crew on Lancaster Mk.X KB804

Avro Lancaster

Avro Lancaster Mk. X RCAF Serial FM 213
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The Avro Lancaster is a British Second World War heavy bomber. It was designed and manufactured by Avro as a contemporary of the Handley Page Halifax, both bombers having been developed to the same specification, as well as the Short Stirling, all three aircraft being four-engined heavy bombers adopted by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the same wartime era.

The Lancaster has its origins in the twin-engine Avro Manchester which had been developed during the late 1930s in response to the Air Ministry Specification P.13/36 for a capable medium bomber for "world-wide use". Originally developed as an evolution of the Manchester (which had proved troublesome in service and was retired in 1942), the Lancaster was designed by Roy Chadwick and powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlins and in one version, Bristol Hercules engines. It first saw service with RAF Bomber Command in 1942 and as the strategic bombing offensive over Europe gathered momentum, it was the main aircraft for the night-time bombing campaigns that followed. As increasing numbers of the type were produced, it became the principal heavy bomber used by the RAF, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and squadrons from other Commonwealth and European countries serving within the RAF, overshadowing the Halifax and Stirling. Wikipedia

YouTube Lancaster Bomber

Wkikpedia Wikipedia

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (234), RCAF 6 Group (5), RCAF 400 Squadron (7), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1732)
last update: 2021-09-18 14:32:33

Lancaster Mk.X KB804

VRRAF RoundelE

Served with No. 419 (B) Squadron, RCAF, from November 1944. Attacked by night fighter on raid to Boden on 5 November 1944, pilot killed but returned to UK. Rear gunner F/S D.H. Lanclot was wounded, received DFM for this mission. Coded "VR*E" when lost. Failed to return from raid on Dortmund on 21 February 1945. Shot down by flak and/or NJG 4 near Roermond, Germany. 2 crew killed, 5 PoW.
1945-02-21 Failed to Return Failed to return from raid on Dortmund 2019-08-20

419 (B) Sqn- Squadron Moosa Aswayita ("Moose")

History of the Squadron during World War II (Aircraft: Wellington IC, III, Halifax II, Lancaster X)

419 (Bomber) Squadron formed at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, UK in 1941 as part of No 3 Group of Bomber Command. It got its name from its first commanding officer, Wing Commander John "Moose" Fulton, DSO, DFC, AFC. The squadron operated Vickers Wellington, then Handley Page Halifax and finally Avro Lancaster bombers through the course of WWII, with the squadron code letters VR. It was the third RCAF bomber unit to be formed in England. It started operations in January 1942, converting almost immediately from Wellington Mk ICs to Wellington Mk IIIs and then moving north to Leeming, Yorkshire, as part of 4 Group Bomber Command in August 1942. After short stays at Topcliffe and Croft , it moved to Middleton St. George, County Durham in November 1942, from which it flew until the end of hostilities. Here in November 1942 it was re-equipped with Halifax Mk IIs, which it flew for the next 18 months on the night offensive against Germany. In January 1943 it joined the newly formed 6 (RCAF) Group of Bomber Command.

In April 1944 the squadron began to convert to the Avro Lancaster Mk X, which was produced in Canada and flown across the Atlantic. The squadron remained continuously on the offensive until 25 April 1945, when it flew its last sortie. Squadron personnel flew a total of 4,325 operational sorties during the war from Mannheim to Nuremberg, Milan to Berlin and Munich to Hanover, inflicting heavy damage on the enemy. On completion of the war in Germany, the squadron was earmarked to become part of the proposed "Tiger Force" to continue the war against Japan. However, the Japanese surrender in August 1945 led to the disbandment of the squadron in at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia September 1945.

As a result of its wartime record, 419 Squadron became one of the most decorated units under the RCAF during the war. Over a span of roughly three-and-a-quarter years it logged 400 operational missions (342 bombing missions, 53 mining excursions, 3 leaflet raids and 1 "spoof") involving 4,325 sorties. A total of one hundred and twenty nine aircraft were lost on these operations. Members of the squadron accumulated 1 VC, 4 DSO's, 1 MC, 150 DFC's, 3 bars to DFC, 1 CGM, 35 DFM's: the VC was awarded posthumously to Flight Sergeant Andrew Mynarski for his attempts to help a fellow crew member escape from their burning aircraft. Battle Honours were: English Channel and North Sea 1942-44, Baltic 1942-44, Fortress Europe 1942-44, France and Germany 1944-45, Biscay Ports 1942-44, Ruhr 1942-45, Berlin 1943-44, German Ports 1942-45, Normandy 1944, Rhine, Biscay 1942; 1944. Wikipedia, Kostenuk and Griffin

Museum Squadron History (Bomber Command Museum)

Maps for Movements of 419 Squadron 1941-45

MAP 1: 419 Squadron Movements Dec 1941-Aug-42 (right-click on image to display enlarged new tab)
MAP 2: 419 Squadron Movements Aug 1942-Jun 1945
MAP 3: 6 Group Bomber Bases 1943-1945

419 Squadron History Summary 1941-45

419 Squadron History Summary 1941-45 Page 2

History of the Squadron Post-WWII (Aircraft: Canuck, Silver Star, Freedom Fighter, Hornet)

The squadron was reactivated on 15 March 1954 at North Bay, Ontario , as an all-weather fighter squadron flying the CF-100 Canuck. It moved to the NATO Air Division base at Baden-Soellingen, Germany shortly after being formed. The squadron remained there until its disbandment in December 1962.

The squadron was again re-formed in December 1970, when it relocated to Cold Lake, Alberta as No. 1 Canadian Forces Flight Training School. It initially flew the T-33 Silver Star but then transitioned to the Canadair CF-5 Freedom Fighter. The squadron was on full active duty in November 1975 but disbanded again 20 years later when the CF-5’s were retired in June 1995.

The squadron was again reactivated as 419 Tactical Fighter (Training) Squadron on 23 July 2000. The squadron has since conducted Phase IV of the NATO Flying Training Canada (NFTC) program for the air forces of Canada, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. This program trains basic jet pilots to become fighter pilots and prepares them for training on CF-188 class aircraft through instruction in Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground combat tactics over a six month period.

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