Minister of National Defense for Air
Ottawa, July 24th, 1944.
Ernest J. Hansell, Esq., M..P.
House of Commons,
Dear Mr. Hansell:
In answer to your letter of June 20th, I am now in receipt
of a reply from Air Marshall Breadner, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Overseas,
copy of which I enclose for your information.
"Charles G. Power"
HEADQUARTERS OF THE
AIR OFFICER COMMANDING-IN-CHIEF
By Bomber Mail;
20 Lincoln's Inn Fields,
14th July 1944
My Dear Minister,
I have your letter of the twenty third of June with which you enclosed a copy of a letter you received from Mr. Ernest G. Hansell, M.P. concerning the activities of his son during his period of duty in England.
Attached is an appendix which gives as complete an answer to each of the questions .… puts in his letter to you as it is possible to give in the circumstances. In giving the particulars of targets and dates in answer to his second question I need hardly state that they are for Mr. ....... information only and are not for publication.
L.S. Breadner, A.M.
Major, the Honourable C.G. Power, M.C.,
Minister of National Defence for Air,
APPENDIX TO A.O.C.-in-C's LETTER TO THE MINISTER
QUESTION 1 -
FS ….. disembarked in the U.K. on March 11th, 1943 and proceeded immediately to the R.C.A.F. Personnel Reception Centre, where he remained until March 30th, on which date he was posted to an operational Training Unit. It is the usual procedure for crews to be formed at Operational Training Units, with the exception of Flight Engineers, who are allotted to their respective crews at Conversion Units and while there is no definite reference in the records of this unit that the crew of which …. was a member was made up here, subsequent records rather confirm that this was the case, and it is therefore assumed that ..... was with the same crew throughout his training as well as his operational career. FS ….. was on the strength of this Operational Training Unit until May l8th, 1945, when he was posted to a Conversion Unit in the R.C.A.F. Bomber Group. Conversion training completed, the crew reported to No.427 Squadron on May 28th 1943 but did not carry out any operations with this Squadron, although the pilot acted as second pilot of an aircraft on June 11th, 1943 in an attack on Dusseldorf, to gain operational experience. On June 15th, this crew and several others were posted to No.434 Squadron, then in process of formation, to form a nucleus of trained crews for this new Halifax Squadron.
Question 2 -
The particu1ars of the air operational flights made by this crew are as follows:
Bombing attack on Leverkusen, Aircraft was air borne at 2115 hours but was forced to return early, due to technical failure, without having bombed the target.
Bombing attack on Berlin. Aircraft airborne at 2040 hours but was forced to return early due to technical failure, without having bombed target.
Bombing attack Nurnberg. Successfully bombed the target, the crew reporting that they saw several bomb bursts and a very good concentration of fires in the target area.
Bombing attack Montlucon. Successfully bombed the target, crew reporting that a large column of smoke was rising and fires were commencing in the target area.
Bombing attack Hanover. Successfully bombed the target, crew reporting that they saw concentrated fires end clouds of black smoke in the target area, and that the glow of fires could be seen almost as far away as the Dutch coast.
Bombing attack Hanover. 13 aircraft were detailed and 10 of them reported a successful attack. Three aircraft, Including FS ....... failed to return, nothing having been heard of them since take off. On this particular sortie, in addition to the regular seven crew members, a pilot under training from another R.C.A.F. squadron acted as second pilot, which accounts for the crew of eight referred to in P.4 CAs. (Can.) memorandum Can.R.160789#P.4#Cas dated 4th July, 1944.
Question 3 -
As stated under question 1, crews are generally formed at operational Training Units, and the flights made by FS ...... would, in all probability, be identical with those made by the rest of the crew.
Question 4 -
As nothing was heard of this aircraft - Halifax "X" LK 917 - after take off, it is not possible to advise where it came down. Unfortunately, no burial particulars have been received at this H. Q. up to the present time.