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KH256

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7 years 9 months ago #185 by simmonsk
simmonsk created the topic: KH256
I'm a new member from Pittsburgh, PA, USA. I've had an interest in Canadians that served in the Burma Theater during WW2. I recently purchased a medal set from a tail gunner lost on 15 Mar 45 during a bombing by 159 Squadron on the bridges near Moulmein. So I have been trying to find out information on the plane and the mission. One odd thing is that the crew manifast (all Canadians) for KH256 final mission lists the grades for all crew members and the listing of the crew members on the Singapore Memorial are all a grade higher, even going from Flight Sgt to Pilot officer.

I am myself retired Air Force, and spent my career as an aircraft mechanic.

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7 years 9 months ago #1024 by simmonsk
simmonsk replied the topic: KH256
I'm a new member from Pittsburgh, PA, USA. I've had an interest in Canadians that served in the Burma Theater during WW2. I recently purchased a medal set from a tail gunner lost on 15 Mar 45 during a bombing by 159 Squadron on the bridges near Moulmein. So I have been trying to find out information on the plane and the mission. One odd thing is that the crew manifast (all Canadians) for KH256 final mission lists the grades for all crew members and the listing of the crew members on the Singapore Memorial are all a grade higher, even going from Flight Sgt to Pilot officer.

I am myself retired Air Force, and spent my career as an aircraft mechanic.

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6 years 7 months ago - 6 years 7 months ago #1188 by Matt_Poole
Matt_Poole replied the topic: Re: KH256
Hi, Simmonsk,

I'm sorry I missed your posting completely, until now. On the website of the Canadian Virtual War Memorial someone submitted photos of KH256 navigator Walter Garfield Cunningham, his medals, and the Circumstantial Report on the loss of KH256. You can see them at:

www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/collections/virtualmem/photos/1814329

In the early 2000's Robert Quirk was in contact with a relative of Murray Tree, the skipper. I may have been in touch briefly, too -- I didn't keep records if I did. I have an old email address you might want to try, and possibly a phone link to him in Canada. Contact me at feb2944 AT aol DOT com (making the obvious changes.

Gerald Francis Greelee was the rear gunner, so you must have his medals.

As for ranks being higher on the Singapore Memorial, this can be explained as either, or a combination of: a) typographical errors in the rank in the official 159 Sqn Operations Record Book and other contemporary documents, or b) the fact that news of promotions often were slow in being announced for aircrew in the Far East. Thus, the records don't reflect up-to-the-minute ranks. This is very common.

That would explain a jump of one rank in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, but a two-rank jump has to be a typographical error in the original records, most likely.

Comparing the Circumstantial Report found in W.G. Cunningham's Canadian Virtual War Memorial site to the ranks listed in the CWGC database, I see that the ranks are the same for five crewmen. In one case, there is a two-rank jump from Sgt to P/O. In two cases there is a one-rank jump. So, I don't see the rank increase across-the-board.

It is G.F. Greenlee who goes from Sergeant in the Circumstantial Report to Pilot Officer in the CWGC database -- a two-rank jump. Just a typo, I'd say, in the India records.

One correction to note. Of the 8 men aboard KH256, 7 were RCAF and one was RAF (from Liverpool -- F/Sgt J. M. Fletcher, the flight engineer).

The Circumstantial Report does have a service number for Greenlee that is in error in the letter prefix: K.263488. This is a typo; the 159 Sqn ORB has a list of all Dominion personnel in March 1945, and here Greenlee is listed, as I would expect, with an R prefix: R.263488. His CWGC service number is J.95310, reflecting the change to a new number/new J-prefix that came with his promotion to Flying Officer.

Lastly, Simmonsk, since you have Greelee's medals you may want to order his RCAF personnel file to go along with the medals and to give you some insight into this airman. Write to me and I'll tell you how to go about this.

Cheers,

Matt
Last Edit: 6 years 7 months ago by Matt_Poole.

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5 years 9 months ago #4032 by Mike001
Mike001 replied the topic: Re: KH256
Hello,
My name is Mike and I'm from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I am doing research for my father Frank, his brother is Gerald Greenlee. I came across your post to my surprise. I would like to learn more from you. Can you please contact me.

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5 years 9 months ago #4033 by Mike001
Mike001 replied the topic: Re: KH256
Hi there,

My name is Mike and Gerald Greenlee is my father's brother. I am trying to do some research for my dad. You indicated you could help with finding information. Would you be willing to share that with me.
Regards,
Mike

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5 years 9 months ago #4034 by Matt_Poole
Matt_Poole replied the topic: Re: KH256
Hi, Mike,

Just a quick note for now. I have the 159 Sqn Operations Record Book, so I can send you appropriate scans related to Gerald Greenlee.

The Circumstantial Report that I found on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial under the entry for Gerald's crewmate W.G. Cunningham is incomplete -- only the first page. No doubt the full report, and many more documents, will be found in Gerald's RCAF personnel file held by the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. You can order either 100% of Gerald's file -- and it might be over 200 pages -- or LAC will put together what is called a "genealogy package" for you. OR you get over to Ottawa and order the file and pick and choose what you want. With a digital camera you can copy on the spot for free.

I'll give you directions for contacting LAC later.

Maybe you can write to the CVWM web link and ask if your plea for help can be forwarded to whoever submitted the Cunningham material -- probably his family.

Also, perhaps you can ask Gary Fowkes, our webmaster, to forward an e-mail to simmonsk, the guy who started this thread. I do not think I ever received a private e-mail from him, and he did not post to this board again that I know of. But if he has Gerald's medals, I would think you'd want to know.

I may have more -- no time to look. Contact me personally at feb2944 AT aol DOT com (make obvious changes). Gotta run...Hope to hear from you.

Cheers,

Matt

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