Thursday, January 15, 2009

Flight Sergeant Harry Heald Bawden, RAFVR

Flight Sergeant Harry Heald Bawden, RAFVR
[Courtesy of 'The Whitehaven News', 1944]
The Trumpet Terace War Memorial, Cleator
It lists the name of Sgt. Harry Heald Bawden
Flight Sergeant Harry Heald Bawden, RAFVR, was a WW2 casualty from Cleator, Cumberland. He is commemorated on the Cleator Moor ‘Roll of Honour’ and his name is also one of 10 WW2 casualties listed on the Trumpet Terrace, Cleator War Memorial (for those who lived in that part of Cleator village). 
For additional information click on ‘Comments’ below. 


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information (1):

The known details about F/Sgt Bawden are as follows:

Rank / Name: Sergeant Harry Heald BAWDEN
Service No / Squadron: 31 (S.A.A.F.) Squadron, RAFVR.
Age: 20
Date of death: (12 - 13 October 1944).
Buried: Milan War Cemetery (Collective Grave VI.C. 12-15):
Next of Kin: Robert and Elsie Bawden, of Cleator. Cumberland (Parents)

Additional information (2):

This was posted by Peter G:

“On 12 October 1944 16 Liberators of 31 Squadron and 4 of 34 Squadron SAAF took off from Foggia and Celone on a supply dropping mission to Italian partisans in the mountains of northern Italy. There were 4 different drop zones with five planes allotted to each site. They took off in late afternoon knowing that they would be flying in the night as they approached the north.

The weather was bad with poor visibility and few crews were able to see the drop site fires so many drops were aborted. Of the 20 planes that set out 6 failed to return. Four crashed high in the mountains, one crashed near Cantalupa but the sixth, KH158, disappeared without trace. The wreckages of the crashed planes were eventually found but there was no news of the sixth Liberator.

There was a commemorative service in Bra, northern Italy on 25th April 2001. This was attended by the citizens and ex-partisans of Bra and relatives of the crews”.

Additional information (3):

I had not realised until Peter posted the information that 31 and 34 Squadrons had been supplying the Italian partisans when F/Sgt Bawden’s plane went down. However, I did know that at this time the Allies had been supporting the Italian to oppose the German Army who were still Occupying much of the northern part of Italy.

In his written history of the Second World War, the British wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Italian partisans. In 1943 the Italian King dismissed Mussolini and the incoming provisional Government sued arranged an Armistice with the Allies. At that time there were approximately 80 000 Allied Prisoners of War in northern Italy, mostly British or Commonwealth troops). According to Winston Churchill the Italian partisans of northern Italy were able to assist about 10 000 of these 80 000 POWs to escape from imprisonment. Many of them were able to make their way into Switzerland where at least they had a degree of freedom until such time as they could rejoin their units.

Additional information (4)

Flight Sergeant Bawden’s name is listed second of the ten servicemen from the Trumpet Terrace area of Cleator village who lost their lives in WW2. This is how those ten names are listed on one column of the memorial:

John Bailey, Harry H. Bawden, William F. Birkett, William J. Carruthers, Roland Fee, John E. Gardner, Wallace H. Hartley, John Muncaster, Walter Scrugham, James Toole.

Thursday, 15 January, 2009  
Blogger australian said...

My uncle Desmond Vincent Watson 424243 RAAF, was the pilot of KH154.I visited my uncle's grave and all his crew in the cemetery in Milan in July 2012.
Always loved and not forgotten.

Wednesday, 19 June, 2013  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

A fine tribute to a your uncle and his gallant crew, Colleen. Thank you.

This is the CWGC citation for your uncle.

Rank: Flight Sergeant
Trade: Pilot
Service No: 424243
Date of Death: Between 12/10/1944 and 13/10/1944
Age: 20
Regiment/Service: Royal Australian Air Force
31 (S.A.A.F.) Sqdn.
Grave Reference: IV. B. 8.
Cemetery: MILAN WAR CEMETERY, Italy.

Additional Information:
Son of P. J. and Elsa M. Watson, of Nth. Bondi, New South Wales, Australia.

If you have a photograph and / or further details of your uncle please feel free to post it to the website if you wish. He had a short but gallant life.

Wednesday, 19 June, 2013  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The photograph of Sgt. Harry Heald Bawden is from his wartime obituary in the local newspaper, 'The Whitehaven News'.

Before signing for the R.A.F.V.R. Sgt. Bawden was a member of Scawfell Squadron of the A.T.C. He had studied at Whitehaven County Secondary School (Grammar School) before joining the RAF in May 1942. Part of his training was at Blackpool, Lancashire (N.W. England).

Wednesday, 19 June, 2013  
Blogger australian said...

Thankyou for your kind comments,
To let you know, my uncle Des was my father's youngest brother, the baby of the family, my father the eldest son.Nanna Watson's favourite.And very handsome may I say.
Also KH154 crashed into the mountain above Rora around 9pm on the 12th October,according to an eyewitness account in my uncles casualty report.
I feel a connection to all my uncles crew.

Thursday, 20 June, 2013  
Blogger australian said...

Harry was the Wireless Operator on KH154.
Uncle Des arrived in Celone, Foggia on 2nd October 1944 ,and died 10 days later.
Please understand Uncle Des is my flesh and blood, not a statistic.

Thursday, 20 June, 2013  
Blogger australian said...

I am still searching for details of how my uncle ended up in Italy,
the "EATS" Scheme and its records are hard to track down.
I spent a couple of days in Canberra May 2013 at the Australian War Memorial to honour the men in my family who all volunteered to fight in far away places and were killed.
Great Uncles are honoured at Villers-Bretoneaux and Ypres in France.I am still researching.

Thursday, 20 June, 2013  

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