Phil and the RAF
• Apprentice at the Bristol Aircraft Corporation • Joined RAF 1940, aged 19 • Trained as Air Bomber • Shot Down • Prisoner of War • Liberated
Click the photos to enlarge
The reference to 58 Course Air Bombers may relate to a training facility in Chatham,New Brunswick
Phil and other members of his crew arrived at 207 Squadron RAF Spilsby on 24th January 1944
The Crew of Lancaster EE126
• Sgt Wally Jarvis, Pilot. He was seated on the left hand side of the cockpit. There was no Co-Pilot.
• Sgt Sid Pearson, Navigator. He was seated at a table facing to the port (left) of the aircraft and directly behind the pilot and flight engineer.
• Sgt Maurice Askew, Flight Engineer. Seated next to the pilot on a folding seat.
• Sgt Jeff Morey, Wireless Operator. Seated facing forward and directly beside the navigator.
• Sgt Len Linton, Mid-Upper Gunner. Seated in the mid upper turret, which was also in the unheated section of the fuselage.
• Sgt Phil Paddock, Bomb Aimer. Seated when operating the front gun turret, but positioned in a laying position when directing the pilot on to the aiming point prior to releasing the bomb load.
• Sgt Sam Rodgers, Rear Gunner. "Tail End Charlie" seated in the rear turret this to was in the unheated section of the fuselage and was also the most isolated position. Most rear gunner's once in their turret's did not see another member of the crew until the aircraft returned to base, sometimes 10 hours after departing.
Below an overview of the arrival of pilots at the 207 Squadron. Highlighted Pilot Officer Wally Jarvis
Missions of EE126
15/16 February 1944: Target Berlin • Weather Fine • 19 Aircraft Took Off • One Failed to Return • Phil’s Aircraft OK.
19/20 February 1944 Target Leipzig • Poor Conditions at Takeoff • Rain, Sleet and Snow • Two Aircraft did not Return
EE126 with Phil Paddock is MISSING:
Departure: click here
The mission: click here
The crash: click here
The telegram and instruction not the tell the press about the missing of Phil Paddock
Letter to Edna from his Commanding Officer. Seems remarkable that the C.O. wrote to all relatives of missing airman in this way
Mrs Paddock is informed that Phil is a Prisoner . His injury was a compound fracture leg . He was nursed in a German Hospital run by Nuns. Local Newspaper Report of Phil being in a Prisoner of War Camp
Canadian Newspaper account of one of Crew Members Death: This man was a crew member in Lancaster EE-126 of 207 Squadron. The aircraft set off from RAF Spilsby on the 19th February 1944 to target Leipzig They were caught in searchlights and attacked by a night fighter near Mepen.The aircraft crashed at Pestinghausen. Three crew died,the others became POWs. He is commemorated at Beckilingen war cemetery. He would have been entitled to a 1939-45 War Medal and was awarded a 1939-1945 Star as his service period was terminated by his death.
This letter from Phil to Edna was probably written in Stalag Luft 3 in Thorn, Poland prior to Phil being moved by cattle truck to Stalag 357 at Fallingbostel close to Belsen Concentration Camp in Germany.
Stalag 357 Kopernicus
Photos of the camp and their prisoners.
The International Red Cross provided all Prisoners of War a Log Book. Prisoners wrote and drew in each others books. The following pages are from Phil’s logbook They are remarkable. You will note that two of the airman killed were from Canada.
Freedom or a March?
It is not clear whether Phil was liberated from Stalag 357 as some records suggest he may have been forced to march North East toward Lubeck. Some of those on the march were sent back to Stalag 357 before the 7th Armoured Division liberated the camp.
Below at the right: a contemporary Newsreel of the Liberation of a number of Prison Camps Part of film includes footage of liberation Stalag 357.
Read the story of the Lancaster here (click)
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