Family History Documents and Artefacts => Unwanted Certificates & Artefacts => Topic started by: andrewdwilliams on Tuesday 22 July 14 16:16 BST (UK)

Title: Bomber Command Losses - HCUs and Miscellaneous Units, 1939-1947
Post by: andrewdwilliams on Tuesday 22 July 14 16:16 BST (UK)
I happen to possess a copy of a book by W R Chorley called "Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses Volume 8 - Heavy Conversion Units and Miscellaneous Units, 1939-1947". Basically, the book contains details about every recorded crash by HCU flights, which were what pilots destined for heavy bombers would fly for several weeks to get used to the feel of it. Other training and miscellaneous flights include station flights and group communications/training flights.

I am happy to do look-ups in this book for anyone who thinks their ancestor may have died on a conversion flight or crashed during one. The book is organised by date of crash, rather than the name of the flight. If you are interested in me doing a look-up, please give me as much detail as possible so I can confirm that I have found the correct entry.

Please note, operational training units are recorded in Volume 7, not Volume 8.

If you are looking for an ancestor that died in combat over France, for example, then the other appropriate books are linked below:

1939-1940 - (
1941 - (
1942 - (
1943 - (
1944 - (
1945 - (
Operational Training Units - (
Heavy Conversion Units and Miscellaneous Units - (
Roll of Honour - (

Note: I realise some of these have ridiculous prices however it is possible to find them elsewhere on the web for much more reasonable prices.
Title: Re: Bomber Command Losses - HCUs and Miscellaneous Units, 1939-1947
Post by: Numpty75 on Saturday 07 July 18 21:47 BST (UK)
Hi Andrew, my relation is Sgt Gilbert William Carter, 224 Squadron were based at Milltown, Scotland, and flew Liberators. Listed Runnymead Memorial, Surrey.
The Liberator, KG964, was posted as missing over the Skaggerak.
I see your links to the Chorley's Bomber Command
This is all i know. Would you be able to have a look and see what you can find, please?
Thank you Chris Wareham

Title: Re: Bomber Command Losses - HCUs and Miscellaneous Units, 1939-1947
Post by: BushInn1746 on Monday 09 July 18 07:21 BST (UK)
Hello Chris

There appears to be some discussion here ...

Does not seem to be listed by Chorley (my edition published 1998) 26/27th February 1945.

Be careful with any official use of the word "presumed".

I researched a crash involving my Grandfather in a Whitley where "presumed" was officially used in 1940 and the narrative was only part of truth. I discovered in files that the aircraft type had most likely not been modified.

In the Group records in AIR 25, there is also a claim that one aircraft on the 1940 Operation had been fired upon by another friendly aircraft, but not damaged. Apparently, the Air Ministry needed outright proof, e.g. visible bullet holes in the crashed aircraft, but if the aircraft was lost, or burnt out it couldn't be proven. The Signal in the Group records reporting the loss of my Grandfather's Whitley and the friendly fire incident is unfortunately missing.

One of the locals in Hampshire, UK, living opposite the crash site on the night, was told by RAF personnel that my Grandfather's aircraft had been hit by enemy fire, then hit the nearest balloon cable to their home.

When a further letter was sent to my family in 1940 about his death, it has the Service Number of another Pilot in the letter Reference, who was not on the flight. His Training Unit has night flying hours totals at the end of the month in their ORB, but no record of the night flights.

I'm afraid what the Air Ministry / Commands knew and recorded at the time and what they have decided to keep for the official loss record since, sometimes seems to differ.

Title: Re: Bomber Command Losses - HCUs and Miscellaneous Units, 1939-1947
Post by: Regorian on Monday 09 July 18 07:42 BST (UK)
Excellent books, I have the 1939/40 one which details the loss of my fathers brothers HP Hampden 144 Squadron 10/11 August 1940 over Holland.

Only pilots body was recovered and buried with full military honours by SS VT Division.

If any one lost 1939/40 I can look it up for them.