Why This Web Site?

Highslide JS
1940's Poster

On the 13/14 July 1943 three hundred and seventy four aircraft took off from airfields all over the UK on a mission to bomb the city of Aachen in Germany, and Sergeant Joseph Marsh, 1080667 was aboard one of those planes.

The official figures show that twenty aircraft did not return, but I now believe that the number of planes damaged or destroyed during this raid is twenty three.
When I first learnt that my great uncle, Joseph Marsh, was part of this mission aboard a 35 Squadron Halifax Mk II (HR819 TL-K), it took some time for me to take in the loss of life that night.

His fellow crew members where people I had never even heard of before, my family had never been given any of these details. We knew NOTHING about his last flight, where he had died, ... the only information my great grand mother was given, 'your son is missing, presumed dead'.

Highslide JS
Handley Page Halifax

Now we know a lot more of what happened to Joe, and to the rest of HR819 mainly because of the efforts of two people.
Firstly, the sole survivor of that crash, Sergeant Ronald Wisson.
His recolection of that night has filled in holes that my mum has had for 60 years.. and secondly, Flight Sergeant Saywell's neice, Wendy. The two of them spent many hours trying to find out what happened to the crew, and even now as I make this web site, information is coming to light.

Which brings me to why I have decided to make this web site.

If we have had no information for all these years, how many other families still to this day, do not know what happened to their loved ones. And who is making sure that their dedication and bravery will never be forgotton....??

This web site will grow and grow I hope, but for now it will list all 23 planes that I have found.
Some people may not agree that the three 'extras' should be on the list, well I believe they should.

Each plane will have it's own page, on each page I will give as much information as I possibly can about what happened to the crew. There will be links on some of the pages to sites that others have made already about their loved ones.

My great uncle's plane is going to be at the top of the list, not because I think he is any more brave than any one else, but because on the night of 13/14 July 1943 he was flying, along with the crew of HR819, their very first Pathfinder mission for 35 Squadron, and 35 happens to be the lowest number of squadron on the list.

If you see mistakes please, please do contact me. If you are the relative of some one listed, may I humbly beg you to contact me and allow me to post details of your loved one.

Many thanks for looking at these pages.



During my research I have had help from so many people and the only problem with this list is that I know I am going to forget some one. If that person is you, please forgive me, and drop me a hint so I might add your name to the list.

  • Rob McAlister: Rob spent so many hours helping us at the very beginning, my family owe the man a huge debt of thanks.
  • Dave Wisson: Ronald Wisson's grandson, please see the Thank you page.
  • Wendy: F/S Saywell's Neice, I only made contact with this lady at the beginning of April, but she has already given us information that no one else now seems to have.
  • Anthony Freelove: Anthony was Ron Wisson's solicitor, he has been and continue's to be an encouragement to me and my family.

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