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Bastable, Vernon James (Warrant Officer 2nd Class)

Prisoner of War 1942-September-20

Male Head

Birth Date: unkown date (age unknown)

Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba

156 (B) Sqn- Squadron (RAF)
We Light The Way
Warrant Officer 2nd Class
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: 27139

Took off from Warboys in Wellington Mk III (Sqn code: GT- Bomber Command) on an operation to Saarbrucken Germany.

Shot down on his fifth sortie Warrant Officer Class 2 Bastable was captured in the Rouen area in September 1942 along with four others: POWs: Sergeant Edward William Cunning RCAF R/102136 POW Stalag 344 Lamsdorf. Sergeant William Milligan RCAF R/86381 POW Stalag 344 Lamsdorf. Sergeant Earl James Scott RCAF R/92563 POW Stalag Luft L6 Heydekrug. Sergeant William Frederick Waterworth RCAF R/92606 POW Stalag 344 Lamsdorf.

Bastable was held in various prison camps. He made his first attempt to escape in May 1943, whilst with a working party at Metsdorf, Sudetenland, having obtained civilian clothes from the Czechs. His true identity was discovered and he was returned to Stalag 344. Warrant Officer Class 2 Bastable then decided to make an immediate attempt to escape in an Army uniform. He cut the wire of a second floor window and, timing his action to miss the guards, he jumped clear and escaped. He travelled in the direction of Prague but after three days he was discovered by some German civilians. He was handed over to the authorities and sent to a Gestapo prison where he was kept for fourteen days in solitary confinement. He was sent back to Stalag Luft 344 and spent a further ten days in solitary confinement. In October 1943, Warrant Officer Class 2 Bastable made another attempt to escape by means of an emergency ladder in the main shaft of a coal mine in which he was working. He gained his liberty for two days after which he was recaptured by German police in company with a Czech air force sergeant. He made another attempt to escape from Stalag 344 but both were recaptured and were returned to camp. Warrant Officer Class 2 Bastable and the same Czech sergeant finally escaped in October 1944 by jumping from the roof of their billets over the fence and proceeding into some woods nearby. Here they were assisted by Czech civilians. They eventually made contact with the Czech underground with arms and ammunition and took part in many operations, destroying railways, bridges, road blocks, and electrical installations. The Czech sergeant was captured again and has not been seen or heard of since. Warrant Officer Class 2 Bastable continued serving in the underground movement until he was liberated by the Russians in May 1945. Awarded the Military Cross 1946-05-17. Back in England, June 1945; repatriated to Canada, July 1945. Released 1945-10-12. Military Cross formally presented 1948-10-30. Killed at Winnipeg in a Vampire, while with 402 Squadron, 1949-03-27.

Google MapWinnipeg, Manitoba
Google MapSaarbrucken

Wellington BJ883

Vickers Wellington

Source: Harold A Skaarup Web Page
Vickers Wellington B. Mk. III (Serial No. X3763), coded KW-E, No. 425 'Alouette' (B) Squadron, RCAF, late summer of 1942

The Vickers Wellington was a British twin-engined, long-range medium bomber. It was designed during the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey. Led by Vickers-Armstrongs' chief designer Rex Pierson, a key feature of the aircraft is its geodetic airframe fuselage structure, which was principally designed by Barnes Wallis. Development had been started in response to Air Ministry Specification B.9/32, issued in the middle of 1932, for a bomber for the Royal Air Force. This specification called for a twin-engined day bomber capable of delivering higher performance than any previous design.

The Wellington was used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, performing as one of the principal bombers used by Bomber Command. During 1943, it started to be superseded as a bomber by the larger four-engined "heavies" such as the Avro Lancaster. The Wellington continued to serve throughout the war in other duties, particularly as an anti-submarine aircraft.

It holds the distinction of having been the only British bomber that was produced for the duration of the war, and of having been produced in a greater quantity than any other British-built bomber. The Wellington remained as first-line equipment when the war ended, although it had been increasingly relegated to secondary roles. The Wellington was one of two bombers named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the other being the Vickers Wellesley.

In August 1936, an initial order for 180 Wellington Mk I aircraft, powered by a pair of 1,050 hp (780 kW) Bristol Pegasus radial engines, was received by Vickers; it had been placed so rapidly that the order occurred prior to the first meeting intended to decide the details of the production aircraft. In October 1937, another order for a further 100 Wellington Mk Is, produced by the Gloster Aircraft Company, was issued; it was followed by an order for 100 Wellington Mk II aircraft with Rolls-Royce Merlin X V12 engines. Yet another order was placed for 64 Wellingtons produced by Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft. With this flurry of order and production having been assured by the end of 1937, Vickers set about simplifying the manufacturing process of the aircraft and announced a target of building one Wellington per day.

A total of 180 Wellington Mk I aircraft were built; 150 for the RAF and 30 for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) (which were transferred to the RAF on the outbreak of war and used by 75 Squadron). In October 1938, the Mk I entered service with 9 Squadron. The Wellington was initially outnumbered by the Handley Page Hampden (also ordered by the Ministry to B.9/32) and the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley (to B.34/3 for a 'night' bomber) but outlasted both rival aircraft in service. The Wellington went on to be built in 16 separate variants, in addition to two training conversions after the war. The number of Wellingtons built totalled 11,462 of all versions, a greater quantity produced than any other British bomber. On 13 October 1945, the last Wellington to be produced rolled out. Wikipedia

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Vickers Wellington

General RCAF - Vickers Wellington

YouTube YouTube Vickers Wellington documentary

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF 400 Squadron (1), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1217), Canadian Ferried (1)
last update: 2021-08-30 20:19:05

Wellington Mk. lll BJ883

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