DAVID W. FELL

 

I received the following e-mail from David Fell on 19 September 1997:-

Date: 19 Sep 1997
From: "David Fell" (dfell@globalnet.co.uk)

Subject: 460 Sq RAAF

Re operation 6/7 June 1944 Vire, 460 Sq Lanc JB700 P/O F J Knight and crew shot down on target and seen to fly on fire into one of the bridges which were their target that night.

Have you got any info on this crew or their burial places if any remains were found.

My uncle was killed on the same op with another crew with 103 Sq and I have researched this op very thoroughly.

Nice site. Well done. I hope to do something similar for 103 & 576 Squadrons in due course when time permits.

Regards David W Fell

 

 

 

Date: 22 September 1997
From: "David Fell" (dfell@globalnet.co.uk)

Subject: Re: 460 Sq RAAF

Gidday Peter,

Thanks for your email and I note your comments. I will be grateful if you can put my email on your site as it may turn up something of interest. I have received info on my research from all sorts of sources so I may well strick it lucky.

For your interest, the crew of my uncle who flew with 103 Sq RAF Elsham Wolds was as follows:-

F/L W H Way P (Canadian)
Sgt J E Jennings FE (English - my uncle)
P/O J D Gallacher BA (Canadian)
P/O D R Hollinsworth N (English)
F/S R H Cooper WOP (English)
F/S L W Zingelmann MUG (Australian - Ipswich Queensland)

The 460 Sq crew of JB700
P/O F J Knight P (Australian) A 422801
Sgt L P Croom FE RAF
F/O W Lyam BA RAF (or is it Lynam?)
P/O J J Read N RAF
Sgt F Harrison WOP RAF
Sgt R Elcombe MUG RAF
Sgt L W Hillman RG RAF

Crew took off at 22.02 hrs on 6 June 1944 to attack bridges at Vire.

Thanks for your help. I will advise when I get my own site up and running but this may be sometime yet.

Regards David

 

 

 

Date: 8 November 1997
From: David Fell (dfell@globalnet.co.uk)

Subject: 460 Sq RAAF

Hi Peter,

Check out Flypast magazine, December issue. There is a very interesting article on Roberts Christian Dunstan the 460 air gunner who flew on ops in spite of having only one leg. It would make an interesting addition to your site if you can get permision to use it. Hope you are all well down there. I had an e mail from John Williams who offered to get me 2 files from the RAAF concerning F/S L W Zingelmann who was in the same crew as my uncle and also P/O Knight 460 Sq who went down on the same raid.

Thanks for your mention on the site. Keep in touch

Regards David W Fell

 

 

From: David Fell (dfell@globalnet.co.uk)

Subject: Re: 460 Sq RAAF

Gidday Peter,

Thanks for your email. The article in FlyPast is 3 whole pages and includes 9 photos. Well worth a look when it is out in Oz. I had not seen Peter Lund's e-mail but will check it out. He is a really nice chap and has sent me quite a collection of info and photos on 103/576 aircraft downed in and around Denmark. I have complete copies of the operational logs for 103 and 576 sqs and so have been able to supply him a lot of info on the crews he is interested in. If there is anyone downunder wants details on either of these squadrons I will be happy to oblige. Just point them in my direction.

All the best

David 

 

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DATE:       7 Dec 1997
From:        David Fell (dfell@globalnet.co.uk)

Subject: H. Gorrell WOP to Jan Goulevitch

I was having a look at the crew details of Jan Goulevitch and I see Bert Gorrell was a Bradford man. I know all the places mentioned in his letters, indeed I pass all of them on my way to work. Oakdale Rd, Bold Privateer (pub), St Anthonys, Wrose Bull (another pub), Crag Rd (CRAG) and to my office in Saltaire. I can walk to Helen St from there in about 5 mins. Small world isn't it. Hope you enjoyed your trip to Europe.

Regards David

 

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Date:            Sun, 18 Jan 1998
From:          "David Fell" (dfell@globalnet.co.uk)

Subject:   F/S J E Tappenden

Hi Peter,

I was talking to an ex 576 Sq navigator called Harry " Sam" Harris and telling him about your excellent site dedicated to 460 Sq and he asked me about an Aussie he trained with called F/S J E Tappenden, RAAF "Tappy" who was also a navigator.

He went to 460 Sq and was navigator in the crew of F/S S.V. Mackrell RAAF.

This crew was shot down on the 19/20 - 2 - 44, Op Leipzig, Lancaster ND569.

F/S Tappenden and a F/S Groves RAAF were taken prisoner. The others were killed and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Have you come across him?  If so let me know please.  (I'm unable to assist with any info.  Can ayone else help? - Peter Dunn)

The site is coming on well. Peter Lund tells me there is another 460 site starting up. I tried to access it but it does not seem to be running yet.

Please confirm the address.

Regards David

 

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From:           David Fell (dfell@globalnet.co.uk)
Date:           Sunday, 22 February 1998

Subject:   Sgt E A Sunderland - 460 Sq - KIA 23 - 10 - 44

Hi Peter,

I was looking through Bomber Command Losses 44 by Bill Chorley and I came across the above airman who flew as F/E with F/O D R G Richins RAAF.   They were returning in PB351 from an op to Essen and flew into trees and crashed at 2156 at Houghton Hall S of Bircham Newton Airfield in Norfolk. All were killed except F/S J G Cannon RAAF the MUG who is reported to have baled out just before the impact.   Sgt Sunderland is buried at Nab Wood Cemetery Shipley Bradford.  It is not far away so I will pop in and see if I can find it sometime.  Do you want a photo? (Yes please - Peter)

Does anyone know anything about Richins and his crew or if F/S Cannon is still alive?  I will adopt this grave and keep it tidy if it is not being looked after as it should be.  It is the first time I have come across a Bomber Command man killed on ops who is buried locally.

Regards David

 

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Date:           Monday, 23 February 1998
From:          David Fell <dfell@globalnet.co.uk>

Subject:   Sgt E A Sunderland

Hi Peter I went to Nab Wood this afternoon. A lot of my relations are in there so I know it quite well. I found Sgt E A Sunderland's grave almost straight away. He has a standard war grave stone but there is a low stone surround to the plot obviously provided by the family.

The grave stone is inscribed 1593402, Sgt E A Sunderland, Flight Engineer, RAF, 23 Oct 1944 Age 20 " Safe in God's Keeping. Love is Immortal " On the stone surround there is the inscription "In ever loving memory of our dear son Eric Arthur Sunderland RAF Flight Engineer who died on the 23 October 1944 Aged 20"  "Also Arthur Sunderland Beloved Husband of Mary Elizabeth Sunderland who died 26 Sept 1961 Aged 66 Years"

This seems to be a family plot. There is no mention that Mrs Sunderland is buried there and I wonder if she is still alive. If she was 40 in 1944 that would make her about 94 so she could still be alive and kicking. The grave is only about 12 yards from the cremetorium and is in one of the better parts of the cemetery. It appears to have been quite well cared for. I straightened out a couple of the corner stones and removed a few bits and pieces to tidy it up. I will go back in a week or two when it is a nice day and make a proper job of it. It will not take long. Also I will take some photos for you. I may write a letter to the local paper and see if I can come up with anyone who can give information about him.

I started looking round for war graves and found quite a few. More than I thought. If a British serviceman died in the UK the family was given the option of having their loved one brought home for burial or being buried in a churchyard or cemetery near where they had died. I found 2 other Bomber Command men. I noted the dates and names and checked them in the relevant editions of Bomber Command War Losses. Both were recorded as having being killed in Training Accidents in 43 & 44. There were no Aussie connections concerning these 2. I will keep an eye on those graves as well.

I noticed that in the part of the cemetery that is overgrown that somebody is cutting the grass on the war graves so someone has had the same idea. I have had an interesting afternoon and I may start looking round some of the other cemeteries locally and see if I can find anymore Bomber Command men. I will be in touch with you about the pictures in due course but it may be a few weeks yet as I will not go back until it is a nice day. It is still winter here and the forecast is it is going to get colder for the next week or two.

Regards David

 

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Date: Tuesday, 24 February 1998
From: David Fell <dfell@globalnet.co.uk>

Subject: Re: Sgt E A Sunderland

Hi Peter

I will draft a letter to the local paper at the weekend and will give the 460 Squadron site a plug. Will be in touch

Regards David

 

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Subject:    Sgt E A Sunderland 460 Sq
Date:             Sat, 21 Mar 1998
From:           "David Fell" <dfell@globalnet.co.uk>

Gidday Peter,

Hope you are well down there. I had a piece put in the local newspaper about Sgt Sunderland. it was heavily edited down to 2 paras. I have not had a reply yet and it does not look if I will get one now. I will visit the grave again soon. I want to go on a nice day and take some photos but the last 2 weekends have been very dull so not very good for photography.

My aunt spotted that grave some years ago and remembered it because she went to school with a young lad called Sunderland in Saltaire. She could not remember his first name but he lived locally and it may be the same family.Nab Wood is the cemetery for that part of Bradford.

I will try and sort out some photos next weekend if the weather is OK. I cannot make it during the week because I finish late and it is getting dark by then.

Will be in touch. Your site is coming on well. I see Wim Govaerts has been in touch.

Regards

David

 

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Subject:    Sgt E A Sunderland
Date:             Tue, 24 Mar 1998
From:           "David Fell" <dfell@globalnet.co.uk>

Hi Peter

Spoke too soon. I received a letter this morning from Doris Jennings who lives at Thackley quite near where I live. Her late husband Jack was Eric Sunderland's best friend. They used to work on motor cycles together in their spare time and had a little workshop. He lived on Hall Royd at Shipley which is near where my late father and aunty used to live. I think I said that my Aunt Margaret thought she knew the family. Mrs Jennings only met Eric a couple of times and did not know him well but has given me some interesting little bits of background info on him and the family. She also has a photo ( A studio portrait ) which she says she will lend me . I will borrow it off her and copy it myself. I have done this sort of thing before so that is no problem.

When I get the photos of his grave it will all make a nice little piece for you. Do you have access to 460 Sq Operational Record Books as it will be interesting to know what operations they flew on.

I will be in touch again soon

Regards

David

 

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Subject:   Sgt E A Sunderland
Date:           Thu, 26 Mar 1998
From:          "David Fell" <dfell@globalnet.co.uk>

Hi Peter

I visited Mrs Jennings today and she lent me the photo of Eric Sunderland. It is a good photograph of him in civies. A head and shoulders portrait. It is a bit stained down the top left side but it will turn out very well. I will copy it myself in the next few days. It was taken in Dec 43. He was a fine looking young man.

Mrs Jennings is a charming old dear and is delighted that someone is interested in Eric after all these years. Her and her late husband used to visit Eric's grave and put flowers on it for many years. She did not know him that well and she said that it was a pity her husband was not alive as he could have told me all about him.

There was a survivor of the crash a F/S J G Cannon RAAF and she knew the name without prompting from me. He wrote a very nice letter following the crash to the Sunderland family about Eric and they were very touched by it.  Is there any details fo this crash in the 460 Sq book. As it was in the UK and there was a survivor it should be well documented.(23 - 10 - 44 PB351 F/O D R G Richins RAAF Op Essen)

This is coming along very well. I will get my photos sorted out and put them in the post with the background info I have managed to collect in the next 3 or 4 weeks.

By the way when was the 460 1944 photo that is on your site taken.  Will be in touch

Regards

David

 

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Subject: Re: Sgt E A Sunderland
Date:     Sat, 28 Mar 1998
From:    "David Fell" <dfell@globalnet.co.uk>

Hi Peter

I Asked about the letter. Both her and her husband saw the letter but the Sunderland family kept it. Eric's 2 sisters moved out of the area many years ago and she has no idea where they went.

Will be in touch again when I have sorted out the photographs.

Regards

David

 

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Subject:    Bomber Command Historical Society
From:           David Fell <dfell@globalnet.co.uk>
To:                Larry Wright <ltwright@nucleus.com>
Date:            06 April 1998

Hi Larry

I am definitely interested in joining the above. It is a good idea. I am always happy to help other researchers and share my information etc. If we all share our information and pool our resources then it makes life a lot easier and prevents a lot of duplication of effort. Put my name down on the list. My speciality is 103 Squadron and 576 Squadron. I mostly restrict my work to those 2 squadrons. Bomber Command is such a vast topic that I only really have time to specialise in 2 units.

I will pass on details to several of my own contacts who may be interested.

Will be in touch soon.

Regards

 

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ERIC A. SUNDERLAND

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Eric A. Sunderland
Christmas 1943

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Writing on rear of photograph

 

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Eric's house at 14 Hallroyd, Shipley, Bradford, West Yorks.

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1593402 Sergeant
E.A. Sunderland
Flight Engineer
Royal Air Force
23rd. October 1944  Age 20

Safe in God's Keeping. Love is Immortal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject:   Sgt E A Sunderland
Date:       Sat, 25 Apr 1998
From:     "David Fell" <dfell@globalnet.co.uk>

Hi Peter.

I have the photos at last and will put them in an envelope and send them on Monday.

There are 7 photos

1.   A copy of the portrait photo he gave to his best friend Jack Jennings at Xmas 43

2.   A larger copy of the same photo The brown discolouration on the left hand side is glue which has been used on it at sometime but you may be able to edit this out. I will leave this to you as you are obviously a dab hand with a scanner.

3.   A close up of the dedication that was on the back of the frame

4.   A close up of the head stone showing the inscription carved on it

5.   Two views of the grave. I straightened it out a bit and tidied it up. That part of the cemetery is well looked after anyway so it was not so bad and did not take very long. His dad is buried in the same plot and the inscription shows he died in the early sixties.

Apparantly he took the loss of Eric very badly and this experience blighted his remaining years. There is no mention of his mother being buried there but it is quite possible although there is no inscription to that effect

6.   A picture of Eric's house at 14 Hallroyd, Shipley, Bradford, West Yorks.  He lived there with his mum and dad and 2 sisters. The family were regular churchgoers at Hallroyd Methodist Church just up the road. The sisters married and left the area sometime ago.
Eric worked at Crofts Engineering works in Shipley where he served his apprenticeship. He was a very quiet respectable young man and was very interested in working on motor cycles which he did in his spare time with his best friend Jack Jennings in a lock up garage round the corner from his home. They both enjoyed riding their motor bikes in the locality.

Eric was killed on the 23rd Oct 44 and was 20 years of age when he died.

He had flown 10 operations in the crew F/O D R G Richens (you should have details of the aircraft, crew and ops but I can let you have these again if you wish)

The photo of Eric and the personal info came from Mrs Dorothy Jennings of Thackley near Bardford, the widow of Eric's best friend Jack. She only met Eric a couple of times but her late husband spoke of him often and they visited the grave regularly during Jack's lifetime. Please give Mrs Jennings a credit for the photo and information if you use all of this. I will run her off a copy of the page and take it round for her. She will be thrilled. It will make a nice little item for your site.

I will ask around and see if I can come up with any more about this crew and aircraft and if I do I will let you know.

That's all for now

Regards David

 

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David Fell passed on to me the following e-mail that he received from John Currie:-

From:             John Currie <jmcurrie@highway1.com.au>
To:                 David Fell <dfell@globalnet.co.uk>
Date:            19 April 1998
Subject:    F/O D R G Richens RAAF 460 SQ

Dear David

Sorry to have been so long replying to your email regarding Eric Sunderland.

It was a pleasant surprise to learn that you and others are interested in the history of "The Trenches in the Sky" as one of our colleagues Pilot Dan Conway called his book.

Dan served on 467 RAAF Squadron out of Waddington. He survived 32 ops and published his book not long before his death in 1996. The ISBN no is 0 85905 205 2

It is an excellent account of his experiences .

My records show that Eric Sunderland flew on 10 operations with Richens on 460.

The dates and targets were as set out below:-

3/10/44 Westkapelle

5/10/44 Saarbrucken

7/10/44 Emerich

11/10/44 Fort Frederick

12/10/44 Fort Frederick

14/10/44 Duisburg daylight raid Takeoff 07:12 Bombed at 08:51 Landed 11:05

15/10/44 Duisburg night raid Take off 00:45 Bombed at 03:28 Landed 05:31

15/10/44 Gardening ie Dropping Mines Kattegat area 18:28 mined 21:24 landed 00:12

19/10/44 Stuttgart

23/10/44 Essen Take off 16:15 crashed 21:56

The same crew were on each of these trips.

I knew Ken Frankish (note spelling) 427818 He was a West Australian who commenced training with me at ITS in South Australia.  He was a great bloke who excelled at Cricket and Baseball.

I hope this is of help to you . I have been reading your subsequent emails to Peter Dunn with great interest . Please if replying let me know how old you are and what you do.

I will be 75 in October and retired in 1984 from the Civil Service Association as Chief Industrial Officer. Since then I have worked for myself as a Macintosh consultant mainly developing data bases.

Regards John

 

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This page first produced 21 September 1997

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