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Coleman, William Carleton (Flying Officer)

Prisoner of War 1943-October-22

Male Head

Birth Date: unkown date (age unknown)

Home: Vancouver, British Columbia

419 (B) Sqn- Squadron
Moosa Aswayita Beware of Moose
Middleton St George
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: 1366

Halifax B/GR.Mk.II JD382

Bombing Kassel Germany 1943-October-22 to 1943-October-22

419 (B) Sqn (RCAF) Middleton St. George

Battle of Berlin

569 aircraft - 322 Lancasters, 247 Halifaxes. The German controller was again successful in assessing the target and 43 aircraft- 25 Halifaxes, 18 Lancasters - were lost, 7·6 per cent of the force.

The initial 'blind' H2S marking overshot the target but 8 out of the 9 'visual' markers correctly identified the centre of Kassel and placed their markers accurately. Although German decoy markers may have drawn off part of the bomber force, the main raid was exceptionally accurate and concentrated. The result was the most devastating attack on a German city since the firestorm raid on Hamburg in July and the results at Kassel would not be exceeded again until well into 1944. The fires were so concentrated that there was a firestorm, although not as extensive as the Hamburg one.

It is impossible to list all the damage. 4,349 separate dwelling blocks containing 26,782 family living units (flats/apartments) were destroyed and 6,743 more blocks with 26,463 'units' were damaged. 63 per cent of all Kassel's living accommodation became unusable and 100,000-120,000 people had to leave their homes. The fire · services dealt with 3,600 separate fires. The intensity of the destruction is illustrated by the fact that more buildings were completely destroyed than those classed as 'lightly damaged' and there were more 'large' fires (1,600}than small ones (1,000); in most raids the lightly damaged buildings and small fires outnumbered serious incidents several times over. In addition to dwelling-houses, the following properties were destroyed or badly damaged: 155 industrial buildings, 78 public buildings, 38 schools, 25 churches, 16 police and military buildings (including the local Gestapo), 11 hospitals. The Kassel records do not provide any further detail about the industrial damage caused but R.A.F. photographic reconnaissance showed that the Kassel railway system and its installations were severely hit and all 3 Henschel aircraft factories seriously damaged; as these were making V-1 flying bombs at the time, this was a most useful result of the raid and had a major effect upon the eventual opening and scale of the V-1 campaign, comparable to the recent raid on Peenemimde which set back the V-2 rocket programme. The Kassel records give the number of dead recovered up to the end of November as 5,599, of which 1,817 bodies were unidentifiable and the records go on to add that the 'Missing Department' (the Vermisstensuchstelle) was still trying to trace 3,300 people. 459 survivors, however, had been recovered from ruined houses 'after many days of heavy work'. 3,587 people were injured - 800 seriously - and a further 8,084 people were treated for smoke and heat injury to their eyes.

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

419 Moose Squadron (Moose Aswayita) RAF Middleton St George. Halifax BII aircraft JD 382 VR-A was caught in the searchlights over the target and attacked by three enemy night fighter aircraft during a raid against Kassel, Germany. The Halifax was shot down, abandoned and crashed at Lauenforde, Germany

Squadron Leader GA McMurdy (RCAF), Warrant Officer Class 2 FJ Yackison (RCAF), Warrant Officer Class 2 AB Willson (RCAF), FS FW Peterkin (RCAF)(USA), and Sergeant T Rawlings (RAFVR) were all killed in action

Flight Lieutenant RK Shields (RCAF), Flying Officer WC Coleman (RCAF), and Sergeant RJ Woods (RAF) survived and were taken as Prisoners of War

Took off from Middleton St. George at 17:10 in Halifax Mk II (Sqn code VR-A Bomber Command) on an operation to Kassel Germany.

Aircraft shot down (means not found) and crashed near Hannover Germany.

Killed: W/C Gordon Archibald McMurdy RCAF J/4534 pilot KIA Hanover War Cemetery Coll. grave 16. G. 10-14. Flight Sergeant Francis W. Peterkin RCAF R/139493 KIA Hanover War Cemetery grave 2. C. 2. Warrant Officer Class 2 Arthur Bruce Willson RCAF R/128764 pilot KIA Hanover War Cemetery Coll. grave 16. G. 10-14. Warrant Officer Class 2 Frank Yackison RCAF R/117043 KIA Hanover War Cemetery Coll. grave 16. G. 10-14.

POWs includes Coleman: F/Lt Robert Kearney Shields RCAF J/10428 POW Stalag Luft L1 Barth Vogelsang. Sergeant Richard John Woods RAF POW Stalag 4B Muhlberg (Elbe).

General 419 Squadron RCAF 1941 to 1945 Crew of Halifax JD382

General Daily Operations

Sergeant Thomas RAWLINGS (1122816) Flight Engi Halifax II JD382 IBCC [RAF] 1943-10-22 419 Sqdn AIR27 Germany Hanover War Cemetery [Ref : Coll. grave 16. G. 10-14.

Google MapVancouver, British Columbia
Google MapKassel Germany

Halifax JD382

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 La

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/GR.Mk.II JD382

VRRAF RoundelA
Served with No. 419 Squadron, RCAF, coded VR*A. Failed to return from attack on Kassel on 22 / 23 October 1943, shot down by a night fighter. 5 were killed and 3 POW.

1943-10-23 Failed to Return Failed to return from attack on Kassel, shot down by a night fighter. 5 were killed and 3 POW. 2019-08-20

419 (B) Sqn 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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