James E Linehan, MIA 1942 Wellington X3757

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Nicola_G, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    I've just joined this forum as I'm looking for help finding my uncle's plane. He was shot down in a raid in 1942 and is MIA. I've been able to find details of the plane and the other crew members, the date he flew, the location he flew from and the time, but am now hoping to find details of flight plans, orders and so on, with a final aim of possibly finding the plane.
    I'm also trying to find details of who I might contact in Germany who deals with plane wreckages that are discovered.
    Any help and suggestions would be gratefully received
  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hello and welcome Nicola.
    I've moved your query to a thread of its own and when you post some more details, I can change the title to something a little more helpful

    I'm sure Peter and his fellow RAF enthusiasts will be able to help/advise if you provide more information.

  4. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    Thanks. I thought the post had got lost so I reposted in the intro section :).

    My uncle's name was James E Linehan. I have his serial number & the serial number of the plane (Wellington Bomber Mk 3, Serial number X3757) he flew and his fellow crew members (57th Squadron), who are:
    Pilot Officer NP Morse, RNZAF
    Flight Sargeant GH Vogan
    Sargeant G Lakeman
    Sargeant MJ Naylor
    Rear Gunner Sargeant RG Richard

    His last mission was at 2205 on 8th April 1942.
  5. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    Forgot to say, they flew from Feltwell. I've had a look at a site about Feltwell and he's not listed. where is Feltwell?

  6. spidge


    This seems to be the Aircraft.

    Wellington X3757 Information

    Type Wellington Serial Number X3757 Squadron 57 X1D DX-? Operation Hamburg Date 1 8th April 1942 Date 2 9th April 1942 Airborne 2205 8Apr42 from Feltwell. Lost without trace.All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. P/O N.P.Morse RNZAF KIA F/S J.E.Linehan KIA F/S G.H.Vogan RNZAF KIA Sgt G.Lakeman KIA Sgt N.J.Naylor KIA sgt R.G.Richards KIA
  7. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    Yes that's the one. Does anyone know where Feltwell is?

  8. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Looks like you are receiving lots of information.
    Best of luck with your quest.

  10. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum I see the members are already assisting you in your search, RAF Feltwell is just beyond Newmarket, if you look at a map it is down form Barton Mills.
    Unfortunately a visit my not be possible I believe it is now either a USAFE base or part of the RAF Lakenheath complex.
  11. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    The Hamburg raid of 8/9 April 1942

    272 aircraft - 177 Wellingtons, 41 Hampdens, 22 Stirlings, 13 Manchesters, 12 Halifaxes, 7 Lancasters - on yet another record raid for aircraft numbers to 1 target. 4 Wellingtons and 1 Manchester lost.
    Icing and electrical storms were again encountered. Although 188 aircraft reported bombing in the target area, the raid was a failure. 17 people were killed and 119 injured. Bremen reports a load of incendiaries dropped very accurately on the Vulkan shipyard where 4 U-boats and several surrounding buildings were damaged by fire.
  12. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

  13. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum I see the members are already assisting you in your search, RAF Feltwell is just beyond Newmarket, if you look at a map it is down form Barton Mills.
    Unfortunately a visit my not be possible I believe it is now either a USAFE base or part of the RAF Lakenheath complex.

    Yes Oldman it is a US military base. Feltwell is just down the road from me. I couldnt see a commemoration at the main gate like we have at Honington but the Feltwell site shows those sort of things anyway.
    Nicola If you write to the base commander and explain you might (and only might) be allowed to visit... I am off down to Runnymede this weekend. If you wish I will add your crew to my list of people to take photos for... In the meantime I will look up your NZ pilot in Errol Martyns book and see what hes got there. You might also want to visit the following sites:
    War Memorial - Auckland Museum New Zealand (re PO Morse)
    RAF Museum in London & RAF Museum Cosford - Royal Air Force Museum Aviation History - free family fun activities (reference the rest)
    and write to the following
    57 Squadron Assn Hon Sec Gordon Lodge, Tudor Gables, 28 Ghyllwood Drive, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16 1NF: 01274 565065:
    Good luck and keep us up to date with what you have found.
  14. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    Thanks Oggie. I went to Runnymede quite a few years ago but at that time wasn't doing any research so didn't take any pics etc. I was thinking of possibly going to Runnymede this weekend as well. Perhaps we could meet up. Its only about 30-40 mins drive for me depending on the traffic. But if would be great if you could if I decide not to go.
    I used to go to West Stow quite a lot a few years ago and drove past Lakenheath and had no idea that it was Feltwell. Weird how life turns out some times.
    I've been to RAF Hendon several times and chatted to a really nice man the other day in the research department who was very helpful. He has said that he can arrange a visit to the Wellington they hold for me later in the summer :).
    Thanks for the other details I didn't know that. I will check out both things. I've been searching on the internet for address details for the Squadron Assoc but couldn't find anything.
    As to what I've found I've got a feeling/ hunch, whatever you like to call it that the plane went down somewhere around Bremen. No proof or anything, just a gut feeling and finding that some planes from that raid actually bombed Bremen harbour successfully. I will be ordering a large scale map of Germany in a couple of days to check the area more closely.
    I found this site: Startseite where volunteers research and excavate downed planes. I've emailed them for help and also emailed an English speaking German paper for help. Let's see what happens.
    I know far more than I did last week lol
  15. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    Also I have uploaded a photo of Jim in an album but hav set it as only accessible to contacts and admin. If any one would like to see it just ask to become a contact.
  16. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    One of the others was also a KIWI but I forget which one. I will have to ring Hendon again

    It is Vogan - RNZAF
  17. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    Its been an exciting day. I received a reply to one of my emails to Germany. They don't cover North Germany, but have given me the details of a group in North Germany who do plane research and excavation and I have emailed them. Let's see what happens.

    More excitingly I also received a response from my email to the Hon Sec of 57th Squadron! He rang me this morning. The squadron are meeting in a few weeks at East Kirkby. There will be a fly past, Lancaster being reved up and various other things and he has suggested I come along as the Squadron historian will be there, as will others who might remember my uncle. I can't beleive how fast things have moved in the last couple of weeks. I've gone from knowing very little and now have the chance to possibly meet some of my uncle's colleagues! Amazing!
  18. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    Further update:
    I now know the full names and most of the ages of the crew:

    Noel Percy Morse Aged 27 or 28 (different sources have the age different), from Sydney, Australia
    George Hillary Vogan 23 or 24 Canterbury NZ
    Graham Lakeman 22 Plymouth UK
    Norman Joseph Naylor 23
    Ronald Jeffrey Richards

    The last 3 were RAF Volunteer Reserve
  19. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    Hi guys I just need someone to take a look at this link and tell me what they think of it. Am I imagining what I think I can see? What would a plane wreck look like in a wood after 70 years? How do tree roots react to things embedded in the ground?

    Latendorf Map | Germany Google Satellite Maps

    Damn! It doesn't blow it up really well, will have to take a screen grab
  20. slaphead

    slaphead very occasional visitor

    Hi Nicola (and welcome :))

    I just tried your Google map link and it centres on three blue fields with Latendorf a few fields away to the bottom left. Where were you looking?

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