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Bastable, Harold Denis (Flying Officer)

Prisoner of War 1944-June-08

Male Head

Birth Date: 1918-April-26 (age 26)

Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba

640 (B) Sqn- Squadron (RAF)
RAF Leconfield
Flying Officer
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
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Service Numbers
PoW: 8927

Halifax B.Mk.III LK866

Bombing Versailles France 1944-June-08 to 1944-June-08

640 (B) Sqn (RAF) RAF Leconfield

640 Squadron RAF Leconfield. Halifax III aircraft LK 866 C8-L was engaged in an operation to bomb rail facilities around Versailles France when it was shot down by Lt Heinz Reuter of 7/NJG2 about 70 km South-West of Paris, crashing at Soulaires, Eure-et-Loire France

The pilot, Flying Officer Ian MacKenzie Hamilton (RCAF) and Sergeant John William Lane (RAFVR) were both killed in action

Flying Officer Harold Denis Bastable (RCAF), Sergeant Ivan Leslie Horler (RAFVR), Sergeant Alexander Campbell Noble (RAFVR) and Flight Sergeant Andrew Rowe (RAFVR) all evaded for a time until being betrayed and arrested. Sergeants Horler and Noble were sent to Stalag Luft 1. Flying Officer Bastable and Flight Sergeant Rowe were held at Fresnes Prison in France before being deported to Buchenwald Concentration Camp. The German Luftwaffe intervened on behalf of 168 Allied Prisoners of War deported to Buchenwald and was able to transfer all but two, who sadly died in Buchenwald to Luftwaffe controlled POW camps. Bastable and Rowe were eventually both sent on to Stalag Luft 3

General Royal Air Force Serial and Image Database

General 07/08 06 1944 640 Squadron Halifax LK866 Plt Off Ian M Hamilton RAF...

General Search for France-Crashes 39-45

Flying Officer Harold Denis Bastable (RCAF) baled from his aircraft but broke an ankle upon landing. Helped by French locals evaded for a time and even joined with members of the French Resistance, the Maquis, until betrayed and captured in Paris. Held first at Fresnes prison in France, Bastable was later one of 168 Allied Airmen deported to Buchenwald Concentration Camp until the German Luftwaffe intervened and had these prisoners moved to Luftwaffe controlled POW camps. Sent to Stalag Luft 3 until liberated, Flying Officer Bastable was safe, back in the UK 1945-05-15

< p>168 Jump Into Hell, A True Story of Betrayed Allied Airmen by Arthur K Kinnis and Stanley Booker, pages 23,32,38,77,78, 121,131,133,174

Footprints on the Sands of Time, RAF Bomber Command Prisoners of War in Germany 1939-45 by Oliver Clutton Brock, pages 81,241

We Flew, We Fell, We Lived, Stories rom RCAF Prisoners of War and Evaders by Philip Lagrandeur, pages 312-322

Google MapWinnipeg, Manitoba
Google MapVersailles France

Halifax LK866

Handley Page Halifax

(RAF Photo, 1942)(Source Harold A Skaarup Web Page)A Royal Air Force Handley Page Halifax Mk. II Series I (Serial No. W7676), coded TL-P, of No. 35 Squadron, RAF, based at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire in the UK, being piloted by Flight Lieutenant Reginald Lane, (later Lieutenant-General, RCAF), over the English countryside. Flt Lt Lane and his crew flew twelve operations in W7676, which failed to return from a raid on Nuremberg on the night of 28/29 August 1942, when it was being flown by Flt Sgt D. John and crew.

The Handley Page Halifax is a British Royal Air Force (RAF) four-engined heavy bomber of the Second World War. It was developed by Handley Page to the same specification as the contemporary twin-engine Avro Manchester.

The Halifax has its origins in the twin-engine HP56 proposal of the late 1930s, produced in response to the British Air Ministry's Specification P.13/36 for a capable medium bomber for "world-wide use." The HP56 was ordered as a backup to the Avro 679, both aircraft being designed to use the underperforming Rolls-Royce Vulture engine. The Handley Page design was altered at the Ministry to a four-engine arrangement powered by the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine; the rival Avro 679 was produced as the twin-engine Avro Manchester which, while regarded as unsuccessful mainly due to the Vulture engine, was a direct predecessor of the famed Avro Lancaster. Both the Lancaster and the Halifax would emerge as capable four-engined strategic bombers, thousands of which would be built and operated by the RAF and several other services during the War.

On 25 October 1939, the Halifax performed its maiden flight, and it entered service with the RAF on 13 November 1940. It quickly became a major component of Bomber Command, performing routine strategic bombing missions against the Axis Powers, many of them at night. Arthur Harris, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Bomber Command, described the Halifax as inferior to the rival Lancaster (in part due to its smaller payload) though this opinion was not shared by many of the crews that flew it, particularly for the MkIII variant. Nevertheless, production of the Halifax continued until April 1945. During their service with Bomber Command, Halifaxes flew a total of 82,773 operations and dropped 224,207 tons of bombs, while 1,833 aircraft were lost. The Halifax was also flown in large numbers by other Allied and Commonwealth nations, such as the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Free French Air Force and Polish forces. Wikipedia

YouTube Halifax Heavy Bomber WWII

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Halifax Bomber

Museum National Air Force Museum of Canada

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (5), RCAF 6 Group (1596), RCAF 400 Squadron (1443), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1562), Canadian Museum(2)
last update: 2023-12-08 20:34:11

Halifax B.Mk.III LK866

C8RAF RoundelL
Failed to Return, Versailles/Matelot. 8.6.44
Unit 640

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