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Cossar, Robert Cyril (Pilot Officer)

Prisoner of War 1944-March-25

Male Head

Birth Date: unkown date (age unknown)

Home: Toronto, Ontario

433 (B) Sqn- Squadron
Qui S'y Frotte S'y Pique Who opposes it gets pricked
RAF Skipton-on-Swale
Pilot 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
Air Gunner (Rear)
Service Numbers
PoW: 3388

Halifax B/GR.Mk.III HX284

Bombing Berlin Germany 1944-March-24 to 1944-March-25

433 (B) Sqn (RCAF) RAF Skipton-on-Swale

433 Porcupine Squadron (Qui S'y Frotte S'y Pique) RAF Skipton-on-Swale. Halifax aircraft HX 284 BM-B was shot down and crashed near Legden, SE of Ahaus, Germany near the Dutch border during a night operation against targets in Berlin, Germany. Cause of loss was believed to have been from a night fighter

The Pilot, Pilot Officer Russell maintained control of the aircraft so that his crew could bail out to safety, but could not get out himself and went down with the aircraft, killed in action

Pilot Officer DW Howell (RCAF) and Sergeant W Walmsley (RAFVR) were killed in action, both believed due to parachute malfunctions. Sergeant Walmsley was killed when he bailed. Pilot Officer Howell survived briefly but died on the way to a German hospital

Flying Officer JT Shea (RCAF) survived and evaded briefly until captured a few days later and taken as Prisoner of War

Sergeant RC Cossar (RCAF), Flying Officer M Topplin (RCAF),and Sergeant P McLuskie (RAFVR) survived and were taken as Prisoners of War

There were two 433 Squadron Halifax aircraft lost on this operation. Please see aircraft serial LV 841 BM-H for additional information

Footprints on the Sands of Time, RAF Bomber Command Prisoners of War in Germany 1939-45 by Oliver Clutton-Brock pages 271,322,401,420

General 433 Squadron, RCAF, Skipton on Swale, Yorks. - Page 2 - Handley...

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Took off from Skipton-on-Swale at 18:41 in Halifax Mk III (Sqn code BM-B Bomber Command) on an operation to Berlin Germany.

Aircraft was shot down and crashed near Legden, SE of Ahaus, Germany near the Dutch border during a night operation. Cause of loss was believed to have been a night fighter.

Killed: Pilot Officer Desmond William Howell RCAF J/91045 KIA Reichswald Forest War Cemetery grave 23. F. 16. Pilot Officer William Francis Russell RCAF J/86605 pilot KIA Reichswald Forest War Cemetery grave 23. F. 15. Sergeant William Walmsley RAF KIA Reichswald Forest War Cemetery grave 23. F. 2.

POWs includes Cossar: Flying Officer John Thomas Shea RCAF J/25543 POW Stalag Luft L1 Barth Vogelsang. Flying Officer Mack Topplin RCAF J/20255 POW Stalag Luft L1 Barth Vogelsang. Sergeant Robert Cyril Cossar RCAF R/193621 POW Stalag Luft L6 Heydekrug. Sergeant Peter McLuskie RAF POW Stalag 357 Kopernikus.

Footprints on the Sands of Time, RAF Bomber Command Prisoners of War in Germany 1939-1945 by Oliver Clutton-Brock page 271

Google MapToronto, Ontario
Google MapBerlin Germany

Halifax HX284

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 (1590), RCAF 400 Squadron (1403), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1566), Canadian Museum(2)
last update: 2023-12-08 20:34:11

Halifax B/GR.Mk.III HX284

BMRAF RoundelB
Served with No. 433 (B) Squadron, RCAF at Skipton-on-Swale, Yorkshire. Coded "BM*B", named "Beer is Best". Failed to return from attack on Berlin on 24/25 March 1944. 3 crew were killed and 4 POW.

1944-03-25 Failed to Return Failed to return from attack on Berlin. 3 crew were killed and 4 POW. 2019-08-20

433 (B) Sqn Qui S'y Frotte S'y Pique ("Porcupine")

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

433 Squadron was the 14th and last bomber squadron of the RCAF to be formed overseas in WWII. It was formed in September 1943 as a unit of No 6 (RCAF) Group of Bomber Command. It flew from Skipton-on-Swale, Yorkshire, UK for the whole of its operational career. With the squadron code letters BM, it originally flew Handley Page Halifax Mk III heavy bombers on its bombing missions, but these were replaced by Lancaster Mks I and III in January 1945. After the cessation of hostilities the squadron was retained in England as a unit of No 1 Group RAF from August 1945, and took part in the airlift of PoWs back to England (Operation EXODUS) and the bringing back of troops from Italy (Operation DODGE). The squadron was disbanded at Skipton in October 1945.

In the course of its operations, the squadron flew 209 missions involving 2316 individual sorties for the loss of 38 aircraft , dropping 7486 tons. Awards to crew members included 132 DFCs, 2 Bars to DFC, 9 DFMs, 1 BEM, 14 MiDs and 1 Air Medal (USA). Battle Honours were: English Channel and North Sea 1944-45, Baltic 1944-45, Fortress Europe 1944, France and Germany 1944-45, Biscay Ports 1944, Ruhr 1944-45, Berlin 1944, German Ports 1944-45, Normandy 1944, Rhine, Biscay 1944.Wikipedia, Kostenuk and Griffin

Squadron History (Bomber Command Museum PDF)

Maps for Movements of 433 Squadron 1943-45

MAP 1: 433 Squadron Bases 1943-45 (marked in green). Right-click on image to display enlarged in new tab

433 Squadron History Summary 1943-45

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

The squadron re-formed as an All-Weather (Fighter) unit at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta , on 15 November 1954, as one of nine CF-100 squadrons to defend Canadian airspace. It moved to CFB North Bay, Ontario , in October 1955, the squadron flew CF-100 Canuck aircraft on North American air defence. However, in 1961 the Government decided to reduce the number of CF-100 squadrons from nine to five and 433 Squadron was dissolved for a second time on July 31st, 1961.

Reformed post-unification on 15 August 1968, as No. 433 Escadrille tactique de combat it was a French language squadron of Mobile Command based at CFB Bagotville, Quebec . The squadron flew the CF-5 Freedom Fighter in the tactical and reconnaissance role until it converted to the CF-188 Hornet fighter jets in 1984. The squadron was deactivated in 2005, and its assets and personnel amalgamated into 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron. Besides being originally designated as one of two bases of NATO's Rapid Reaction Force, the 433 Squadron was entrusted a NORAD role in December 1988. The 433 Squadron members in Bagotville played an important role in the Gulf War conflicts, better known under the names Operation FRICTION in 1991 and Operation ECHO in 1999. By September 2001, the Squadron was actively participating with NORAD in the fight against terrorism through Operation NOBLE EAGLE. On July 14th, 2005, the standards of the Squadron were once again laid aside almost 62 years after its initial formation. .Wikipedia

The squadron was reactivated on 9 June 2015, and celebrated its 75th anniversary on 15 September 2018.

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