HALIFAX MkV LL 114 - Crash

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Bandy, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    Welcome on this forum Gilles,
    My neighbour Michel have sent your draft about the LL114 crew story
    I hope to see you, if you visit Autrans and the crash place in the next summer.
  2. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    New Info about:
    F/S. James Alvin Taylor 19 years - RCAF Bomb Aimer

    Attached Files:

  3. pepin

    pepin New Member

    Hi Andy,

    For the benefit of every body, I tried to post the pictures of the Alouette squadron crew on the Tholtorpe base on this site, but it does not work. Feel free to post whatever pictures you can

    Bandy likes this.
  4. Schmidt

    Schmidt New Member

    Hello, I am French, excuse my english, please.
    I think that Johnson was an officer of SOE RF (with Forest Yéo Thomas and Eric Piquet-Wicks) and Cdt Lecointre was the chief of the 6th bureau of the BCRA (Col Passy).
    They prepared together the aérial opérations.

    Harry Ree likes this.
  5. Schmidt

    Schmidt New Member

    All JOHN Opérations where for R1 and R2 areas, The chief of SAP R1, R2, in France was
    Paul Rivière, aka Marquis. The sentence "De carnaval à mardi gras" indicated a message for him. The Paul Rivières's archives are at the CHRD in Lyon.
    Bandy and Harry Ree like this.
  6. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member


    On a French document of BCRA, about the planning of operation for the nignt 3 to 4 february 1944 I can read theses informations:

    OP John 35: 12c - 1 libérator = 12 containers. "Liberator" is, I suppose, a generic name for heavy bomber like Halifax etc...
    OP Marc 7 : 6c - 1 Abermal or Abernal . 6 containers ok, but what is the meaning of Abermal ? A type type of aircraft ?
  7. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    The nearest match I could find to an RAF WW2 aircraft is the Armstrong-Whitworth Albermarle, originaly concieved as a bomber, but by 1944 used as glider tug, parachute transport, and also a general & special transport aircraft. It took part in the invasion of Sicily, Operation Overlord, and Operation Market Garden.
    Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle - Wikipedia
  8. Janine Creager

    Janine Creager New Member

    I was working on some family history of Arthur Edward Reid (a distant cousin) on FamilySearch.org and did a Google search which led me to this page. Thank you for everyone's comments! The info and especially the photos really help to know more about him.
    Bandy likes this.
  9. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    They were also sometimes used for special weapons drops to resistance, partisans etc which ties in with the French document
    Bandy likes this.
  10. Vercors44

    Vercors44 New Member

    Good afternoon everybody,

    while surfing I found your very interesting post on the LL114. I kwon it a bit because, as a kid I often heard about the Halifax near Autrans. I was leaving in Grenoble, until 1992, and visited the site many times, once in winter with a lot of snow. By the end of the 80's it was not as easy as it is today to locate it. The forest around was deep and after a good walk through the rocks you had to look at the top of the trees to find those broken by the aircraft and shaped like a bayonet to be sure you were on the right way. Then you discovered the place with the disseminated wreck. It was always a great emotion to come there, and every year on 7/8th february I have a special thought for F/O Carroll and his unfortunate comrades who fell there for the freedom we still enjoy today, eventhough I must recognize that the COVID is not very sexy ! :ninja:

    Today is the 77th anniversary of the sacrifice of all these courageous men and it is a great Opportunity to honour them, to thank you all for the information about the location of John35 (I did not know it was Abris, Vaucluse until I read your post) and to share with you this picture, which I believe is the only original surviving (I sent a copy to the RAF Museum in 1992 and I think this is the one we can see on every forum). I was given it by a friend of mine whose father, inhabitant of Autrans before and during the war, was a fighter in the French Resistance and was part of the team who hid the bodies. Actually, the corpses were not first buried but dissimulated in a small cave to prevent the Germans to find them. But the Germans never knew about the crash even after invading the Vercors.
    My friend explained me that his father received the picture from one of the aircrew member's relatives during the burial ceremony.

    If the names were already well know, it was difficult to put them on faces, except for F/O Gerald Dennis Carroll and Sergeant James Alvin Taylor. The pilot's wings and the RCAF bomb aimer half wing were helpfull. Nevertheless, using a magnifying glass, I could read what was on each brevet. And the result is :


    First rank, from left to right : Sergeant G.S Woodrow;air-gunner (AG), Sergeant K.W. Radford, navigator air-gunner (possibly N), F/O G.D Carroll, pilot, Sergeant J.A Taylor, RCAF bomb aimer (B and its typical crown and RCAF letters).
    Second rank, from left to right : Sergeant R.D Clement, wireless-operator and air-gunner (WAG), Sergeant P.T. Thompson, Flight-Engineer (E), F/O A.E. Reid, RCAF, pilot (wings not visible but as he was a pilot they were probably similar to the ones on Carroll's breast but Canadian made).

    A second picture, of the wreck, taken in 1946.

    If not mistaken, the man on the picture is my father's friend. At the top of the picture, you can see te broken trees, which helped to get the path to the site.

    When I was younger, I picked up some small parts from the wreckage. I keep them as a historical souvenir with both pictures, in remembrance of the crew members.

    Lest we forget !

  11. Vercors44

    Vercors44 New Member

  12. Vercors44

    Vercors44 New Member

    Twice :banghead:

    … of course this is Reid. I just saw his records with both ID numbers, So there is a little doubt now between Woodrow and Radford.

    Still in progress
  13. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    In July 2020, I have received a picture of the crew (always the same) sent by a young sister of the Pilot Carroll, always alive.
    On the back side of this one, all the name of the airman are write by the hand of Carroll.
    I can assure the identity of each man (sure 100%).

    View attachment 291909

    F/O. Gerald Dennis Carroll 21 Pilot
    P/O. Arthur Edward Reid 22 RCAF Navigator
    Sgt. Ronald Denis Clement W/Op and A/G
    Sgt. Peter Theodore Thompson F/Eng
    F/S. James Alvin Taylor 19 RCAF Bomb Aimer
    Sgt. Gordon Stanley Woodrow A/G
    Sgt. Kenneth William Radford A/G

    A book (in French) with the all the details of this inquiry (3 years long) will be print in few months, with an English foreword.

    Attached Files:

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  14. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Digressing on aircrew photographs lost for no good reason.....photographs are history

    Recently I was reading Patrick Otter's "Yorkshire Airfields in the Second World War". He made a point about missing photographs that after the war, Boots the Chemists at Selby were given the task of throwing away unclaimed photographs which had been brought in for developing by aircrew from surrounding airfields. Many showed happy groups of aircrew around Halifaxes, and were men who had FTR from ops within days of the films being handed in for developing.

    (Patrick Otter's father, F/O Bernard Otter, Navigator, No 9 Squadron was lost on 16 December 1943 when he FTR from an op to Berlin..no crew member survived.)
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  15. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member


    The book "CRASH HALIFAX LL114" is published today 24 february 2021 by the "Editions de Net"
    In french language with an English foreword.

    This the cover:

    Photo Couv.jpg


    To Gerald, Arthur, James, Ronald, Peter, Gordon and Kenneth who died in the Vercors on a winter's night in 1944 “for freedom", their squadron's motto.
    In order to revive the memory of these British and Canadian men who gave their lives to help France regain its freedom, the members of the association ERRA (Esprit de Résistance en Rhône-Alpes) have embarked on a long and fascinating investigation.
    A demanding journey meandering through the archives, which allowed them to untangle the threads of a complex web. A collective work unveiled the daily life of these night pilots who, during their missions, flew over Europe at the controls of massive four-engine aircraft.

    In the first part, we will follow them in their training courses and assignments.
    We will detail their "daily life" as RAF aviators and in particular their operational missions within the 138th squadron until the night of 7-8th February when they perished in the cause of duty. We will relive the major events that took place at the TEMPSFORD base where the "CARROLL" crew stayed during 57 days which will allow us to draw up a complete assessment of the squadron's operational activities (cf. appendix).

    In a second part, we will endeavour to analyse how this air accident deeply impacted the history of the village of Autrans, of the Vercors and the memory of the resistance in Isère.

    Finally, the results of the genealogical research, which were carried out by Michel Pirat to trace the descendants of the crew members, will be presented in the appendix.

    We hope that this work contributes to the historical edifice of the Vercors, and above all, that it will be a vibrant tribute to the seven young aviators who fell "in the sky of glory".

    Authors André BOUISSON & Michel PIRAT
    Format : 150x230
    Pages: 186
    Published : 24/feb/2021
    Price: 18€
    To order: www.leseditionsdunet.com
    You can read the first pages on the website of the editor.

    Now I am waiting for your reader observations.
    All the best.

    Attached Files:

  16. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    I have discover today this number plate.
    Its origine is the Halifax LL 114.
    What are the informations give by this one ?


    All the best;
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  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Andy, do you have information regarding which part of the aircraft the plate was recovered from?

    I would say that the serial number is the works serial number of the manufacturer. The Halifax was in a batch of 480 aircraft ordered from Rootes Securities Ltd (an offshoot of the Rootes Motor Group) in 1940.The works serial numbers are entirely different from the number that the RAF serial numbers which were allocated to individual aircraft on receiving them for service.

    Halifax LL 114 was an early production model in the batch. Further the Halifax type had a number of design snags that arose in converting to the aircraft and these had to be resolved. These appear as modifications stamped on the manufacturers serial number plate and are represented by MODs 298.470,588 and 416.The stamping on the manufacturers serial plate indicates the the progression of mods applied to the particular aircraft.
    alieneyes likes this.
  18. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member

    Ok Harry thank for your answer, may be one day in the future it would be possible to know what were these modifications.
    I don't know on what part of the aircraft was this plate...
    The father of my friend was present in 1944 in the village of Autrans and he visited the place of the crash after the withdrawal of the german troup in august 1944 and later.
  19. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member


    I would think that the mods would be recorded by Handley Page....may be have been stored in their archives. Some companies can be destructive unknowingly. For instance I worked for a power plant manufacturer and out of interest asked about the plant specification and drawings for a particularly advanced successful steam turbine of its time(1956). I was told there was nothing to be had as all the documents had been destroyed when the plant had been lifed out and the plant demolished.

    Some engineering organisations have good legacy of their engineering from archives, others not. At fault I feel is that when engineering companies are taken over by others, their identity is usually lost.

    With the Halifax there was a very important design error which took priority and which had to be solved. There should be a Mod number to cover this.
  20. Bandy

    Bandy Junior Member


    In Bernard O’connor :“ Churchill’s most secret airfield – RAF Tempsford” page 33 and 3'
    Found some détails about modifications on the Halifax arrived in Tempsford.

    HALIFAX (1).jpg HALIFAX (2).jpg

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