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#1 Stevin

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 08:02 AM

Gents and Mossie affectionado's,

Hopefully you can help me with the next crash.

A friend of mine lives in the town of NIEUWKOOP. Several German and Allied aircraft crashed in the vicinity of this town. Now people have erected a AirWar museum in the area were they have bits and pieces on display of a Mosquito FB. This plane crashed on March 23, 1944 near Nieuwkoop. Crew consited of the Australian John Beckett and Englishman Fred Topping.

More than this is not available according to the museum. Some archives are not accesible till 2014! They want to know what happened to the plane. Was it shot down by nightfighter or flak. Maybe engine failure?

The names sound familiar to me.

Can someone help me (and the museum) to more details about this crash?

TIA

Stevin
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#2 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 08:52 AM

Haven't found much in a very quick trawl through books and internet this morning -

Flt. Lt. John Rogers Beckett RAAF and F/O Frederick Dutton Topping were flying a Mosquito FBVI of 605 ( County Of Warwick ) Squadron.

At this time, the squadron was operating from Bradwell Bay in Essex and was flying Night Intruder missions only.

That's all I've got. A trip to the PRO may be necessary to get the full picture....
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#3 TA152

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 09:34 AM

I can't help you on that Mosquito but in my new issure of Air Classics mangizine they have an article about how the Australian Air Force Museum is taking Mosquito A52-600 out of long term storage and they are going to put it back together in about 10 years. It is a PR Mk. XVI and was sold sur;pluse to a farmer in 1954. It was sold again in 1983 and then went to the museum in 1987 and stored.

It's English number was NS631. In 1947 it served a an instructional airframe at RAAF Ballarat. It has or had the civil registration of VH-JUX The wood is in very good condition.
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#4 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 09:36 AM

Interesting stuff, Ta !

There's quite an 'underground trade' in Mosquito parts moving between the UK and Australasia as 'swaps' for various rebuild projects.
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#5 Stevin

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 09:40 AM

Thanks for that info, gents! It is very much appreciated.

Martin (or anyone else) are you familiar with records at the PRO that are restricted/closed till 2014 for one reason or another?

I thought this kind of info would be accessible and would have been for a long time...
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#6 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 09:54 AM

There's a lot of controversy about this, Stevin.

The records which are 'closed' are the MOD service records for individuals. So, squadron records are freely available, plus secret documents regarding operations, etc - and some information about individual aircraft can be found at the RAF Museum ( but not much ! ).

This causes incredible difficulties to researchers and historians who need the service history of an individual. The 'official reason' is that such records may contain items of information which could 'embarrass' surviving family members ( eg LMF, Courts Martial, etc etc ).Details are available only to people who can prove direct family relationship to the individual in question. Even then, only selected details are made available.

However, I believe that this does not necessarily apply to 'Dominion' aircrew. The Governments of Canada, New Zealand and Australia believe that this information should be in the public domain.

So, some information about F/Lt Beckett should be available but you need an Australian contact for this.... :(
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#7 Stevin

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 11:16 AM

Thanks again, Martin. That is very usefull. I do have several Aussie contacts. Not in the least here on the forums!

So, one should be able to find out what the Sqn records are on this a/c? When it went on what kind of mission and when it was considered lost? The museum is looking for the causes; NF, Flak, engine failure. That surely should be accesible, right?

They traced and contacted the family of the crew but the families are not interested in recovering the bodies (which are still with the a/c). The plane came down in a very marshy erea.

Thanks again, Martin!
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#8 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 11:39 AM

The squadron ORBs will give information such as nature of mission, take-off time, aircraft code and serial etc. But the actual cause of loss may not be known - it will probably be a case of 'failed to return'.

The cause of loss may have to deduced from the German archives.... :(
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#9 Martin Bull

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 05:51 AM

More information has come to light.

The Mosquito of Beckett and Topping was FBVI HX823, squadron code UP-B or K, which was on a night intruder operation to Lagen Garbe ( Garde ? ). No info about cause of loss, though.

( These details have come via Bob Glasby at the Mosquito Museum ).
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#10 Stevin

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 06:02 AM

Thanks Martin! This extra info is VERY much appreciated! I have written to the BundesArchiv, so now the waiting starts....

Never heard of the place before though. Some detective-work needed! WHOHOO!

Thanks again, Martin!

PS: The Ward histories are ACE!
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#11 Martin Bull

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 06:15 AM

Glad to help, Stevin !

The target placename is probably coming from the squadron ORB so could well be mis-spelt or even something that sounded vaguely similar to the Intelligence Officer...

Glad you like Chris Ward's books. Do please 'spread the word' - Chris is the best type of enthusiast who works very hard to set the record straight . His recent book about 617 Squadron is a model of research and care.
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#12 Stevin

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 06:57 AM

Will do, Martin!

Browsing through the 78 Sqn history (RCAF Halifaxes), I came across quite a few references to the LV905, a Hali that crashed in the night of 24/25 May 1944 near Hank and which was my first big research project. Also a few names that came up during those searches! I knew LV905 W-WILLIE was not the crew's 'own' a/c. They had flown it before, but what I remember, weren't to chuffed with it. It had it's quirks. Interesting to read about the plane (and its crew) on previous raids!

The local 'virtual museum' put this on line about it. It is in Dutch but has some nice pics. http://home.hetnet.n...4/OHhalifax.htm

50 Sqn history is all new to me.

These are GREAT books Martin! Certainly not the last that I will order! These are great for my own research into the lives of aircrew KIA in Holland and who are buried here!
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#13 Erich

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 03:34 PM

Martin :

If you would please.........push Chris into doing some serious studies on the RAF Mossie night fighter/intruder forces during the war. There is just plain nothing out there at least for the time being. surprising to me that only the 100th group book mentions anybody at some length.

~E
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#14 Martin Bull

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 06:08 PM

Absolutely right, Erich - the problem is, Chris Ward is a dedicated Bomber Command man.....
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#15 Erich

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 08:06 PM

graemlins/no.gif :eek: actually I need a crying icon for this post.........boo hoo......well Martin maybe Chris has a few associates that have the Mossie NF contacts. Hey, wait, maybe this is something U would like to undertake as the Mossie is one if not your favorite a/c eh ? ! ;)

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#16 Stevin

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 07:29 AM

My thoughts exactly, Erich!

Martin, this is THE opportunity to have your name connected for eternity to the thrilling world of Mossie NF authority and authorship! The Air War research community will be forever in your debt! :D ;)

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#17 Erich

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 03:31 PM

Well Martin, there ya go ! :D

with your connections to the Mossie museum and several Bomber group associations and now you have at least 1 visit to PRO, U should definately think about it !!!!!! This poor a/c has been left in the dark.......seriously, and now needs to be exposed fully and recognized along with it's brave and able crews for it's contribution to the Allied war effort.

think about it sir !!

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#18 Martin Bull

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:57 PM

All I need is for some kind soul to send me a large cheque at the end of every month, leaving me free to concentrate on such things.... :( :( :(
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#19 Stevin

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 02:03 PM

But Martin, what about the evenings? Instead of sitting behind the PC, surfing the net and spamming forums....

Well....ok....but still....

Most researchers have a day job and do this in their spare hours... smile.gif

Come on! Your wife will be happy because you found yourself a meaningful hobby! :D ;)
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#20 Erich

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 02:33 PM

took the words right out of my mouth Stevin ;) couldn't of said it better myself......Martin we are seriously trying to kick your buttocks into doing this....please, pretty please ;) :D even if it takes another 10 years at least some British soul with the effort should and could get it done.

my two pfennigs this morn.

~E
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#21 Martin Bull

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 03:09 PM

You guys certainly know how to twist the knife.... :rolleyes:
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#22 Erich

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 06:10 PM

no it's just the two of us and many more have complete confidence in U !!! ;)

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#23 Stevin

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 10:27 PM

BOOK! BOOK! BOOK!
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#24 Martin Bull

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 10:44 PM

( Fingers in ears )

La ! tongue.gif La! tongue.gif La! tongue.gif
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#25 Erich

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 11:11 PM

sorry friend but your first draft is due by Christmas....... ;) :D
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