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 Post subject: Re: The Last Marauder
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2012, 07:11 
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Very interesting but very sad! thanks for posting!


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 Post subject: Re: The Last Marauder
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2012, 10:24 
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Biltongbru wrote:
Very interesting but very sad! thanks for posting!


My sentiments as well.

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 Post subject: Re: The Last Marauder
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2012, 11:19 
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Joined: 14 Mar 2007, 16:57
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Location: ILS RWY19, FACT (Cape Town)
When dealing with these WW2 grid references - I use this site. Choose the correct map grid name & then enter the letter/number combination & it will show you the area & give you exact co-ordinates to also use in google earth. It's not 100% exact, give or take a couple of hundred yards, but it does work well. eg. the railway line at RK840870 is still there (using the Italy Northern grid map) :D

http://www.echodelta.net/mbs/eng-translator.php

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 Post subject: Re: The Last Marauder
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2012, 11:49 
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@Kremlin

I've done as per your guide / info =D> \:D/ :smt023 . Thank you!

Now .... maybe this year a visit will be made to that site. In fact, not maybe, but probably.

Thank you again Brent for your input!

Below, the farming fields east of Zagreb, former Yugoslavia now Croatia, where Marauder HD667 from 25 Sqd SAAF went down, on 4 May 1945.

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At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.


RIP

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Last edited by Tally-ho on 23 Jan 2012, 18:41, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Last Marauder
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2012, 21:48 
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Together with Lt Bekker's SAAF Logbook, I also obtained all remaining letters which he wrote to family from "the North". Interesting is this scanned image of a 1944/1945 Union Defence Force 'Christmas letter' (note Xmas/Kersfees 1944 top right) and the handwritten content on the reverse side. The letter (smaller than A4 size) folds up to the size of the address box.

The left half shows a desert motif complete with minarets and the pyramids of Giza outside Cairo, the right half seems more European with Pine tree and snow covered mountains and chalet - alpine Italy perhaps? The SA 6th Armoured Division, part of the Allied offensive in Italy, partook in battles around and approaching the 'Gothic Line' in Italy, in 1944.

I can't quite figure out the V left of the Springbok - V for victory?

The small print left bottom of the address box says 'I certify on my honour that the contents of this air letter refer to nothing but private and family matters'.

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Last edited by Tally-ho on 05 Jan 2012, 09:56, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Last Marauder
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2012, 22:32 
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Location: ILS RWY19, FACT (Cape Town)
Nice card :smt023

A tidbit on your uncle's B-26.

It was manufactured as a Martin B-26G-10-MA, with the USAAF serial of 43-34530. It went to the RAF as a Marauder III, HD667.

http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1943_2.html

Does his logbok give serials + codes for the Marauders he flew, .. did HD667 have a code letter ?

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: The Last Marauder
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2012, 22:59 
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Kremlin wrote:
Does his logbok give serials + codes for the Marauders he flew, .. did HD667 have a code letter ?

Thanks for the info Kremlin!

I take it that the B-26G was a late model Marauder, therefor HD667 was fairly new?

- The mission flown on 4 May 1945 was their first, and their last, for May. Under the headings "Type & Number" it says "B26" and "P667". Could it be "P"?
- Of the 15 sorties flown in April, 9 were flown in "R".
- "P" appears for the first time on 25 March 1945 in his Logbook.

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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2012, 17:11 
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As mentioned before, I have in my possession some of the letters written home by Lt Bekker from their base in Biferno, Italy. Naturally he could not write about operational issues, so fills the pages with what they did in their leisure time:-

Freely translated from Afrikaans; letter dated March 1945.
Quote:
We had the opportunity to look around our area now that the snow has melted and the trees, orchards and vineyards are showing signs of new growth. The Italian farmers are hard at work ploughing the fields and pruning the fruit trees. We will certainly indulge in fruit and grapes from the vineyards.
Thus far South Africa is the only country I have seen with fences around farmers' fields. You can walk anywhere and pluck fruit and I don't know how they recognise what belongs to whom. The Italian farmers also work much harder than South African farmers. Their farms are small with dilapidated stone dwellings, some of which look worse than our native's huts (k.....strooise)( :) ).
What I meant by Italian farmers working harder than South African farmers is that they labour in a primitive way. No black labourers here and it's every man for himself.

The world through the eyes of a 21 year old young man coming from the farming community in the Eastern Cape.

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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2012, 21:24 
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Tally-ho wrote:
The mission flown on 4 May 1945 was their first, and their last, for May. Under the headings "Type & Number" it says "B26" and "P667". Could it be "P"?
- Of the 15 sorties flown in April, 9 were flown in "R".
- "P" appears for the first time on 25 March 1945 in his Logbook.
Great !! HD667 "P" it is then .. :D

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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2012, 09:16 
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Stationery used for writing letters home by 25 Sqd SAAF denoting the Squadron emblem and motto:-

LADUMA EZULWENI = THUNDER FROM HEAVEN

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PostPosted: 01 May 2012, 11:29 
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Location: ILS RWY19, FACT (Cape Town)
Whilst busy with my profile drawing of HD667, I've been engrossed with the 25 squadron War Diaries ... :D

I've started collating all the "Marauder" operations flown by the squadron .. then started adding some tidbits .. will be adding plenty more details as I continue through the diaries.

http://www.groundshout.co.za/profiles/aircraft/b26_marauder/b26_marauder.htm

Still very much work in progress ... Thoughts?

Tally-ho, any chance me getting a scan of Lt Bekker's logbook [-o< :?:

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PostPosted: 01 May 2012, 15:18 
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Excellent work Kremlin, like the additional GE photo to compare. =D> =D> =D>


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PostPosted: 02 May 2012, 23:27 
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Kremlin wrote:
Tally-ho, any chance me getting a scan of Lt Bekker's logbook

Can do, I take it you mean the 'operational' part of his logbook? From the time of his starting to fly ops for 25 Sqd? See PM.

:smt023

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PostPosted: 03 May 2012, 10:12 
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Thanks Tally-ho, much appreciated :D

I've replied to your PM.

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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2012, 11:37 
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Hello Guys, I am new here and have come across this thread by internet search. Extremely interesting thread this since I have opened a Facebook page about this Squadron (I served on it up until its closure in 1990). The inputs on Marauder 667 are most interesting, please view more inputs on this on my site at http://www.facebook.com/25SqnOldStooges ... ed_comment > Dean , hope you are well, note that after the shooting down of 667, 25 Squadron lost anothe aircraft on takeoff out of Athens, al 11 on board perished, it is thought it was engine failure (24 June 1945 HD 627, V for Victor). Looking forward to sharing lots more info with you guys, please send me a friend request and I'll get you onto the Old Stooges page if you are interested.

I am also about to post a doc from a nephew of Sgt J Cox (RAF) who was on board 667 when it went down. In his account he mentions that an extra crew member on this sortie was WO Thirion, who went with for the ride on his first ops sortie of the war, which was also his last ( this is so tragic about this specific mission).

Cheers
Old Stooge


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