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King, Wilfred Herbert (Sergeant)

Interned Prisoner 1943-08-03

Male Head

Age:

Service
RCAF
Unit
405 (PFF) Sqn- Squadron
Ducimus (We Lead)
Base
RAF Gransden Lodge
Rank
Sergeant
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
Air Gunner (Mid-Upper)
Service Numbers
R/146659

Halifax B/GR.Mk.II HR871

Bombing Hamburg Germany 1943-August-02 to 1943-August-03

405 City of Vancouver Squadron (Ducimus) RAF Gransden Lodge. Halifax BII aircraft encountered a massive electrical storm during an operation against targets in Hamburg, Germany. Battling towards the target, with ice building up on the wings, the Halifax was struck by a blinding flash of lightning. Both inboard engines lost power, the electrical system and radio destroyed, the bomber lost altitude while the pilot fought to regain control, managing to do so at an altitude of about 4000 feet. Return to the UK was out of the question and the navigator instead plotted a course for neutral Sweden. The Halifax crashed into the Baltic Sea near Kampinge Bay, Sweden shortly after the crew safely abandoned the bomber and all became interned prisoners of Sweden

In an interesting turn of fate, many of the Canadians on this and other downed crews not only survived being shot down, they also played hockey against Swedish teams while they were interned. They were well treated and housed and played hockey for several months before being repatriated to UK 1944-01-30

Amazingly, the wreckage of Halifax HR 871 was located by Swedish divers in 2011 and is now in the process of being recovered, lead by Karl Kiarsgaard, Director of the Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada), Bomber Command Museum of Canada. The plan is to have the Halifax restored as a static display at the museum, similar to Halifax NA 377, recovered by Halifax 57 Rescue from the bottom of Lake Mjosa, Norway. The aircraft was beautifully restored to static condition and is now on display at the RCAF Memorial Museum at Trenton, Ontario.

General Royal Air Force serial and Image Database

General RESURRECTION - Vintage Wings of Canada

General Halifax Bomber Recovery

General The unknown RCAF hockey story from World War II Sweden

Crew on Halifax B/GR.Mk.II HR871

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/GR.Mk.II HR871

Served with No. 405 (B) Squadron, RCAF. Failed to Return, Hamburg, 3.8.43, crashed in Baltic Sea Unit 405

The following links to video documenting recovery of HR871 parts from the Baltic.

Facebook BCM Halifax Recovered Parts Video 1

Facebook BCM Halifax Recovery Operation Video

Facebook BCM Halifax Recovery Discussion


405 (PFF) Sqn- Squadron Ducimus ("Vancouver")

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

This was the first RCAF bomber squadron to be activated at Driffield, Yorkshire, England and flew its first mission on 12/13 June 1941. At that time it was a member of 4 Group of Bomber Command, and flew successively from Driffield, Pocklington and Topcliffe, Yorkshire, England. With Code Letters LQ It flew Wellington Mk II aircraft until converting to Halifax II in April 1942, in time for the first 1000-bomber raid on Cologne. In October 1942 it was transferred to Coastal Command No 18 Group, flying over the Bay of Biscay from Beaulieu, Hampshire. Returning to Bomber Command, the squadron joined No 6 (RCAF) Group and flew from Topcliffe and Leeming, Yorkshire in March and April 1943. It was then seconded to No. 8 (Pathfinder) Group and for the rest of the war flew from Grandsen Lodge, Bedfordshire, UK . Its first Pathfinder mission was on 26th April 1943, and its last on 25th April 1945. It was slated to become part of the "Tiger Force" to attack Japan, but the surrender of Japan precluded that, and the Squadron was disbanded at Greenwood, Nova Scotia on September 5th, 1945. One of the aircraft that flew briefly with the squadron was the first Canadian-built Lancaster Mk. X, KB700, christened the "Ruhr Express", which was subsequently transferred to 419 Sqn RCAF in December 1943. Overall, the squadron flew 4427 sorties, of which 349 were with Coastal Command and 41 were in Operation Exodus, the repatriation of POWs. Nearly 25000 operational hours were logged together with 12,000 non-operational, and 12,856 tons of bombs were dropped. In the course of operations, 167 aircraft were lost with 937 aircrew. In the course of its history, squadron members were awarded 9 DSO's, 161 DFC's and 24 Bars to DFC's, 38 DFM's, 2 CGM's 2 BEM's and 11 MiD's. Battle Honours were: Fortress Europe 1941-44, France and Germany 1944-45, Biscay Ports 1941-45, Ruhr 1941-45, Berlin 1941; 1943-44, German Ports 1941-45, Normandy 1944, Walcheren, Rhine; Biscay 1942-43.Moyes, Kostenuk and Griffin

Squadron History (Bomber Command Museum PDF)

Maps for Movements of 405 Squadron 1941-45

MAP 1: 405 Squadron Movements in Yorkshire 1941-45 (right-click on image to display enlarged in new tab)
MAP 2: 405 Squadron Movements in England 1941-45

405 Sqn History Summary 1941-45

405 Sqn History Summary 1941-45 Page 2

History of the Squadron Post-WWII (Aircraft: Lancaster X, Neptune, Argus I & II, Aurora)

The squadron was re-formed as No 405 (Maritime Reconnaissance) Squadron at Greenwood, Nova Scotia on 31 March 1950, and redesignated No 405 (Maritime Patrol) Sqn on 17 July 1956. The squadron was the first of four formed in Maritime Air Command. It flew modified Lancaster Mk. X aircraft until mid-1955, when they were replaced by P2V7 Lockheed Neptunes, which gave an enhanced anti-submarine capability. and the first to fly Lancaster, Neptune and Argus aircraft on East Coast maritime duty. In April 1958 the squadron was given the distinction of being the first to fly the Canadian-built CP-107 Argus. The squadron made its last flight in the Argus on 10 November 1980 before introducing the CP-140 Aurora. On 1 February 1968 the squadron was integrated into the Canadian Armed Forces. It is now designated No 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron, flying from Greenwood, NS.

The squadron’s primary combat functions are Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface (ASUW). The Squadron regularly trains for its roles by participating in a number of naval exercises at home and abroad. However, most of its time is taken up in a number of non-combat roles, including search and rescue and support to other government departments, including counter-drug operations with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and fisheries patrols with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Year-round, the Squadron carries out sovereignty patrols covering the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and maritime areas of interest . During these patrols, 405 LRPS crews maintain a constant vigil for ships that discharge pollutants illegal at sea. Similarly, its crews verify that foreign and Canadian fishing vessels abide by their Canadian licensing agreements and report suspected violators to DFO patrol boats.

405 LRPS regularly deploys to a number of allied bases for an assortment of exercises and missions. Among its international training sites are US NAS Keflavik (Iceland), US NAS Sigonella (Sicily, Italy), US NAS Oceana (Virginia, USA), US NAS Jacksonville (Florida, USA), US NAS Roosevelt Roads (Puerto Rico), UK RAF Kinloss (Moray, Scotland),UK RAF Station St. Mawgan (Cornwall, England) and NL NAS Valkenburg (Netherlands).

General Government of Canada RCAF Website

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