Greetings from Coffs Harbour

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Greetings from Coffs Harbour

Postby Plane Fixer » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:38 am

I am an aircraft engineer living in Coffs Harbour and doing contracts around the world as well as Australia sometimes.
My father was the pilot of Halifax MZ659 DY-T on its final flight on 8/9 June 1944 and LW195 DY-H on 12/13 August 1944.
I have got his original logbook and there is an interesting history there with the aircraft flown and the places he has been.
So as to preserve this history for posterity I am this week donating all the material to the Australian War Memorial. This includes two silk escape maps of Germany, which I imagine are quite valuable now.
I am certainly willing to share some copies of material and logbook entries of his time with 102.
Graeme Sambell
Plane Fixer
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:12 am

Re: Greetings from Coffs Harbour

Postby SimonK123 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:19 pm

Hi Graeme,

Welcome to the forum, it is always great to hear from 102 contacts from down under!

I know Chris will be interested in the information you hold as it all adds to the bigger picture of the men who flew with the squadron. If it is feasable you can always start a new thread under the relevant heading on this forum.

Simon Kularatne
Secretary (102 Ceylon Squadron Association)
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:22 pm

Re: Greetings from Coffs Harbour

Postby Bill Leyland » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:03 am

Hi Gaeme, I'm pleased you have found us. I have an interest in your fathers crew but firstly did you know LW 195 DY-H is depicted in a painting by Barry Price? He has painted it in flight with DY-E. It is quite well known through the asscociates, and I got a copy signed by many of the veterans. If you want me to replicate one for you let me know.
Now my interest in your fathers crew . . . You probably don't know it but I did quite a lot of research on a lost uncle of mine who got the chop in 1944 whilst with 102. The only survivor of his crew was the rear gunner (Robert Henry Brewer). I tried in vain to find this chap, including writing to anybody I could find who had been in the same PoW camp as him. THREE of your dads crew were sent to the same camp - Bankau Stalagluft 7 in Poland. And not only this, J.M. Beecroft would have been processed at the same time, as thier camp numbers are so close ( JM Beecroft was 550 and RH Brewer was 556). My questions are these . . . What is known about these chaps and are there any diaries that you know of? Are any still with us? I know your father was sent to a different camp, but did he keep in touch with them after the war?
The chaps I am curious about are Mr Beecroft L7 550, S.M. Magill L7 604 and A.A. Aylmer L7 545.
Bill Leyland
Bill Leyland
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:56 pm

Re: Greetings from Coffs Harbour

Postby Plane Fixer » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:48 am

Hi Bill,
I do have some written notes by my Father as well as a crew photograph and other info.
The originals have been deposited with the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and when I get home from this rotation at work I will be able to email all to you. Where I am in the middle of the jungle in Papua the net is so slow.
Dad was in touch with Sam Magill post war and in fact they met up in Perth West Australia There is a news paper clipping in the West Australian of their meeting.
When I get back to Australia (first week of Sept) I will drive to Canberra to formally sign all the items over and will get the other info you may want. Just let me know.
It is sad that, as a child I heard a lot of the stories, but they were not recorded for posterity and now they are lost as Dad passed away on 10 August 2008 aged 92.
Graeme Sambell
Plane Fixer
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:12 am

Re: Greetings from Coffs Harbour

Postby Neilw » Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:07 pm

Graeme - have sent you an email


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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:52 pm
Location: Durham, UK

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