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Copeman, Howard Joseph (Warrant Officer)

Prisoner of War 1942-May-16

Male Head

Birth Date: unkown date (age unknown)

Home: Toronto, Ontario

Service
RCAF
Unit
408 (B) Sqn- Squadron
For Freedom
Base
RAF Balderton
Rank
Warrant Officer
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
Service Numbers
R/66356

Took off from Balderton at 22:35 in Hampden Mark I (Sqn code: EQ-L Bomber Command) on a 'Gardening' (mine laying) operation to Samso Island, Denmark..

Shot down by a flak ship anchored in the sea off Vesburg Lighthouse, Samso Island.

Killed : Flight Sergeant William Francis Millerd RCAF R/58166 KIA Aarhus West Cemetery, Denmark Row G, Grave 308. Flight Sergeant Albert Alexander Smith RCAF R/73007 KIA Runnymede Memorial Panel 106. Sergeant Norman William Smith RAF KIA Tranebjerg Churchyard, Denmark.

POWs includes Copeman

Home
Google MapToronto, Ontario
Target
Google MapSamsa

Hampden AD803

Handley Page Hampden

(RCAF Photo via Chris Charland)(Source Harold A Skaarup Web Page)
Handley Page Hampden (Serial No. P5428), of No. 32 Operational Training Unit at RCAF Patricia Bay, British Columbia, in the torpedo-bomber training role between May 1942 and February 1944.

Handley Page developed a modern stressed-skin mid-wing monoplane, powered by Bristol Pegasus radial air cooled engines, with its first flight in 1936. It had the most advanced wings available at the time, giving it a remarkably low landing speed of 73 mph for an aircraft of its size, with a top speed of 265 mph. The Hampden had a short, narrow but tall main fuselage with a very slender tail unit. This configuration led to the nicknames "Flying Panhandle" and "Flying Suitcase". At the end of the war, no complete or partial Hampden aircraft were retained for museum display.

The Hampden served in the early stages of the war, bearing the brunt of the early bombing war over Europe, taking part in the first night raid on Berlin and in the first 1000-bomber raid on Cologne. In Canada, Hampdens were built by six companies that formed Associated Aircraft. There were three in Ontario and three in Quebec, hence they were identified as the Ontario Group and Quebec Group. They supplied all the the components to the two assembly plants. The Ontario Group's assembly plant was at the Malton Airport, while the Quebec group's assembly plant was at the St. Hubert Airport. Canadian Museum of Flight and Harold A Skaarup web page

YouTube Handley Page Hampden in Flight

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Hampden Bomber

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

Kestrek Publications Hampden - Kestrel Publications

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (96), Canadian Aircraft Losses (242)
last update: 2022-01-13 21:37:22

Hampden I AD803

EQRAF RoundelL
From 106 Sqn. Crashed in the sea south of Samsø 16 May 42. Together with 49 other a/c AD803 were gardening (mining) the western part of the Baltic Sea and the Danish Belts. AD803 was tasked with gardening the area east and south of the island of Samsø. When this was done, AD803 headed west together with one other Hampden. South west of Samsø, a German mine sweeper was spotted and attacked with 250 lb bombs, of which each aircraft carried two under the wings. One of the bombs hit the mine sweeper on the front deck but bounced off without exploding. Flak from the mine sweeper hit AD803 and at approx. 02:00 hrs it crashed burning into the sea. It floated for a while, and this allowed the pilot, Flight Sergeant H.J. Copeman, to get out of the wreck. Copeman, who was badly injured, was then picked up from the sea by the mine sweeper. Flight Sergeant A.A. Smith, was killed.

408 (B) Sqn For Freedom ("Goose")

History of the Squadron during World War II (Aircraft: Hampden I, Halifax II & V, Lancaster II, Halifax III & VII, Lancaster X)

The squadron was the second Canadian bomber squadron to be formed in WWII. It was formed at Lindholme, Yorkshire, UK in June of 1941 as part of Bomber Command No 5 Group, flying Handley Page Hampden Mk I bombers from Syerston, Nottinghamshire, Balderton, Newark and North Luffenham, Rutland. Its squadron code letters were EQ. In September 1942 the squadron was moved to No 4 Group, re-equipping with Halifax Mk II aircraft and flying from Leeming, Yorkshire. On January 1, 1943, by this time equipped with Lancaster Mk II bombers, the squadron joined No. 6 Group (RCAF) and flew from Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire from August 27 1943 to the end of WWII. In September 1944 it converted to Halifax Mk III and VII aircraft and flew these for the remainder of hostilities. It was slated to be part of the "Tiger Force" to attack Japan and had re-equipped with Lancaster Mk X aircraft, but the Japanese surrender ended all plans for the Tiger Force and the squadron was disbanded in September 1945 at Greenwood, Nova Scotia .

Altogether, the squadron logged 4610 operational sorties with 25,500 operational hours, in the course of which 11,430 tons of bombs were dropped. 146 aircraft were lost in the course of these operations. Awards included 161 DFC's and 6 bars to DFC, 32 DFM's, 1 MBE and 10 MiD's. Battle Honours were: English Channel and North Sea 1941-43, Baltic 1941-43, Fortress Europe 1941-44, France and Germany 1944-45, Biscay Ports 1941-44, Ruhr 1941-45, Berlin 1943-44, German Ports 1941-45, Normandy 1944, Rhine, Biscay 1942-43. Wikipedia, Moyes, Kostenuk and Griffin

Squadron History (Bomber Command Museum PDF)

Maps for Movements of 408 Squadron 1941-45

MAP 1: 408 Squadron Movements 1941-45 (right-click on image to display enlarged in new tab)
MAP 2: 6 Group Bomber Bases in Durham and Yorkshire 1943-45

408 Squadron History Summary

408 Squadron History Summary Page 2

History of the Squadron Post-WWII (Aircraft: Lancaster X, Canso A, Norseman VI, Otter, Dakota III & IV, Boxcar, Silver Star, Hercules, Griffon, Chinook)

On 10 January 1949, the squadron was reformed as 408 (Photographic) Squadron at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario . Equipped with eight Lancaster Mark X photographic aircraft equipped with SHORAN, a short-range navigational device. It was tasked with the mapping of Canada, specifically the far North. It also flew Canso, Norseman, Otter and Dakota aircraft on this mission, for photography and to maintain the SHORAN stations. Once the task was complete, the squadron was re-designated 408 (Reconnaissance) Squadron and flew Lancasters on Arctic surveillance patrols. In 1964, equipped with the Fairchild C-119G Flying Boxcar, it was again re-designated 408 (Transport Support and Aerial Reconnaissance) Squadron and moved to Rivers, Manitoba. In 1964, the squadron formed a flight of Canadair CT-133 Silver Star aircraft. In 1965, the Boxcars were replaced by CC-130 Hercules aircraft.

On January 1, 1971, 408 Squadron was once again re-activated at Namao in Edmonton, Alberta , as a tactical helicopter squadron (THS) and equipped with CH-135 Twin Huey and CH-136 Kiowa helicopters. Its primary tasking is to provide tactical aviation to the army. The mission includes air mobile assault, air ambulance, air observation, reconnaissance insertions, troop movement, airborne command and control platform and dropping paratroopers. In September 1996, the squadron was re-equipped with CH-146 Griffon helicopters. Personnel from 408 Squadron deployed to Afghanistan nearly continually from 2006 until 2011. Initially forming a Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) detachment using the CU-161 Sperwer. From 2008, 408 members were deployed to Kandahar airfield operating the CH-146 Griffon and CH-147D helicopters as part of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing. The primary role of the JTF-A Air Wing was to provide transportation, reconnaissance, armed escort, and fire support to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). In July of 2018, 408 THS deployed to Mali as part of Task Force Mali on Operation Presence. In Mali, 408 THS operated the CH-146 Griffon in the armed escort role, providing support to MEDEVAC and utility missions. 408 THS completed its tour in Mali in January of 2019, having participated in 7 medical evacuation missions. It is now co-located with 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group at the 3rd Canadian Division Support Base, Edmonton, Alberta.

General 408 “Goose” Squadron Association

General Government of Canada RCAF Website

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