The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War

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Those who Served

Allied Forces - Browse by Surname.

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Axis Forces - Browse by Surname.

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P/O R. Henderson R. .     RCAF 149 Sqd.

P/O Henderson was taken POW when his Wellington was shot down by a night fighter whilst on Ops to Duisburg, it crashed at Haelen in Holland.

Able Sea. Cornelis Rab .     Royal Dutch Navy HMS Nelson   from Argentina)

I'm seeking information about Able Seaman Cornelis Rad A90446 or 90446Z on behalf of a friend. She has the following info about her grandfather: He worked at a meat factory in 1936 in Argentina. He served (or is thought to have served) on the Dutch Light Cruiser the Heemskerk in Scapa Flow, Orkneys. But due to engine trouble he was ordered to HMS Troubridge. Mediterranean Sea. Malta stopover, as cook & translator. He was then ordered to HMS Nelson. and saw action at Tubruk destroying German Oil supplies then went back to Malta where he was ordered back to HMS Troubridge. The ship was torpedoed off the Southern Italian coast. He was back in London in 1943 or 1944 visiting his Aunt in Redhill. Has anyone got any information about him? Did he ever receive any award? Thank you on behalf of his family.

Sgt. Gordon Leonard Rabbetts .     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 630  Sqd. (d.17th May 1945)

W/O. Reginald Paul Rabett DFC..     Royal Air Force 166 Squadron (d.9th Oct 1943)

My grandfather's brother, W/O Reginald Rabett flew from RAf Wickenby. On th e8th of October 1943 he took off for Ludwigshaven, Germany in a Lancaster BII, marked ED993 of 166 SQ. The aircraft which had been recently mended due to engine trouble, was scheduled for Reg Rabett as the pilot to fly out and bomb his destination. On the way more trouble had occured and there were notes of cabin or engine fire on the way. With determination and great bravery he carried on to the target and succesfully bombed the location. On return with problems on the way, the plane crashed landed. The crash broke off the tail setting the rear gunner free from the craft and a crew man in the centre turret was also thrown free from the Lancaster, both of whom survived. Unfortunatly the remaining crew, W/O Rabett included, all died in the aircraft which broke into fire after the crash landing. Due to his bravery, after the mission, my Great Grandparents recived the DFC medal in honour of their son Reginald Paul Rabett.

The men flying in the Lancaster which crashed during the emergency landing on 9th of October 1943 were: Sgt James O'Reilly (Nav.)1549441, Ronald Davies, (W/T) 1032360 Age: 23, Sgt Ronald Ernest Gratwick (B/A) 1324750 Age: 20 and Trevor Roberts (F/E) 1413356. Sgt E Croxon (M/U) and Sgt L. Davidson (R/G) both survived the landing.

Sgt Reginald Paul Rabett. DFC.     RAF 166Sqd. (d.9th Oct 1943)

Nav. Regimald Rabett was killed on 9th Oct 1943 in Lancaster ED993 of 166 Sqn

Rachal .     United States Army

My father served in the United States Army during WWII and became a POW. I am trying to find information about him. Can you help?

Able Seaman David Radcliffe .     Royal Navy HMS Hunter   from 20 Canal Street, Bootle, Liverpool)

(d.10th Apr 1940)

David Radcliffe was my Great Uncle and joined the Royal Navy in 1933. He served in HMS Barham, HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Active and HMS Hunter. He was married only two weeks before he died. I do not know much about his Naval Service except for information obtained from his Certificate of Service. If any survivors from HMS Hunter knew my Great Uncle or served with him in any of his other ships then I would like to hear from them.

David August Radke .     Royal Australian Air Force   from Australia)

David Radke was held in Stalag 8b.

Update: Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - Sgt David August Radke RAAF (405139), of Hendra, Brisbane, Australia was born on 3rd April 1920 in Beenleigh, Queensland and enlisted in Brisbane. On 2nd/3rd July 1942 he was flying on Ops to Bremen in a Wellington Z1381. The aircraft was damaged by flak near the Dutch/German border and suffered serious damage to the port side. The aircraft was partially abandoned before it crashed. F/Sgt Johnston (27), Sgt Downing (20) and Sgt Taylor (27) were killed, while Sgt Wyllie, Sgt Radke and Sgt Reed were taken prisoner of war. The survivors were firstly taken to Dulag Luft near Frankfurt (Maine) and after interrogation moved to Stalag VIIIb at Uber Silesia on 4th August 1942.

Edgar George Radley. .    

Pte. Donald James Radnell .     Australian Imperial Force A Coy. 2/24th Btn.   from Inglewood, Vic., Australia)

Velimir R. Radovich .     Serbian Army

My father, Velimir R. Radovich was a Yugoslav (Serb) POW at Stalag X B from June 41 to April 45

Able Seaman. Alexander Rae .     Royal Navy HMS Prunella (d.21st Jun 1940)

Deck Ap. James Rae .     Merchant Navy SS Fort Missanabie

My uncle Jimmy Rae told me that he had been on SS Fort Missanabie when she was torpedoed - the last merchant ship casualty by U-Boat action in the Mediterranean. The date of the attack was 19th May 1944.

Cpl. Nicol David Rae .     Royal Air Force 54 Squadron   from Edinburgh)

David Rae served with 54 and 95 Squadron.

PO Robert Rae .     Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy Air Fitter HMS Daedelus   from 131 Smithycroft Rd, Riddrie, Glasgow)

Pte. Samuel Rae .     British Army 7th Battalion Argyll & Southerland Highlanders   from Galsgow)

(d.25th June 1944)

Samuel Rae was my uncle who was killed in action at the age of 30 years in 1944, and buried at Bayeux War Cemetery, Calvados, France. He served with the 7th Battalion Argyll and Southerland Highlanders. His two brother`s one of them being my dad both survived the war. Samuel was one of 14 children to Samuel & Jessie Rae of Glasgow.

F/O F. S. Raferty .     Royal Canadian Air Force 419 Sqd. (d.25th Oct 1944)

Sgt. George Newton Rafferty .     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 30 OTU (d.13th February 1943)

Wellington HE466 from 30 OTU crashed on Foel Grach in Wales on 13th February 1943. It was on a training exercise from Hixon 30 OTU. The full crew were:

  • Sgt. E.G. Frezell, RCAF (pilot)
  • P/O F.K. Thorogood, RAFVR (navigator)
  • Sgt. C.G. Bennett, RAFVR (bomb aimer)
  • Sgt. G.N. Rafferty, RAFVR (wop/airgunner)
  • Sgt. E. Towler, RAFVR (airgunner)

    All the crew were killed.

  • Jack Rafferty .     British Army 7th Btn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

    RSM. William Rafferty CdeG..     British Army 2nd Btn. Durham Light Infantry

    My uncle Bill Rafferty was RSM of 2 DLI during the Second World War and was awarded the French Gallantry Medal, The Croix de Guerre.

    Pte. William Edward Raggett .     British Army Royal Norfolk Regiment   from Bermondsey)

    I know my dad, Ted Raggett was a prisoner of war, but I cannot tell you at the moment any details. Dad was born in Bermondsey in March 1920 and died in Lewisham in 2001.

    Naik. Agansing Rai VC..     British Indian Army 2nd Battalion 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles   from Nepal)

    Agansing Rai was a 24 year old Naik in the 2nd Battalion, 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles, when he led his section in an attack on one of two posts which had been taken by the enemy and were threatening the British forces' communications on 26 June 1944 near the town of Bishenpur in the state of Manipur, India. Under withering fire Agansing Rai and his party charged a machine-gun. Agansing Rai himself killed three of the crew. When the first position had been taken, he then led a dash on a machine-gun firing from the jungle, where he killed three of the crew, his men accounting for the rest. He subsequently tackled an isolated bunker single-handed, killing all four occupants. The enemy were now so demoralised that they fled and the second post was recaptured.

    Sgt. P. S. Rainer .     102 Squadron

    1st Lt. Herman R. Raines .     United States Army   from Wynnewood, PA)

    Herman R. Raines served as a combat medic. He rose to the rank of first lieutenant and assistant battalion aid surgeon in the U.S. Army and fought in many European conflicts, including in Normandy, France and Rhineland, Germany. He was awarded the American Campaign Medal, the European, North African and Middle Eastern Medals with three battle stars, and the Bronze Star for remaining in position and saving lives while under intense fire. He also was nominated as a Knight of the French Legion of Honor.

    Trimmer H. Rainey .     Naval Auxiliary Personnel HMS Forfar

    H. Rainey was amongst the survivors of HMS Forfar.

    3rd Radio Offr. Harry Rainford .     Royal Navy HMS Prunella (d.21st Jun 1940)

    FO Keith Willard Rainford .     Royal Canadian Air Force 429 Squadron (d.15th Feb 1945)

    Flying Officer (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) Keith Rainford was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. George Rainford, 3436 West Thirtyninth He was aged 22 when he died and was buried in Grave 607 in the Karlslunde Churchyard in Denmark after his body drifted ashore in Karlslunde in May 1915.

    F/Sgt. A. Rainsford .     97 Squadron

    Pfc. Richard M. Rairdon .     US Army Co. C 314th Infantry Regiment   from DeGraff, OH)

    My father, Richard M. Rairdon, PFC., was captured in November of 1944 and spent much of the time he was a POW at Stalag 12A, Limburg. He was nearly starved to death and received a second Purple Heart for the damage he received to his feet as a result of the severe frost bite he also suffered.

    He also related to me the story of the Dec. 24, 1944 bombing which killed the officers in their barracks. He was assigned the next day, Christmas, to removing the remains of the dead officers. He also helped remove the only two who survived and carried them out. He was reunited with those two men in the 1990's after I recognized an account of this same story in the Catholic Digest, written by one of the men! Amazing coincidence that I found the story.

    Dad was liberated on April 14, 1945 from prison camp by an American tank unit.

    Pfc. Richard Millner Rairdon .     United States Army 314th Infantry Regiment   from DeGraff, Ohio)

    My father, Richard Rairdon, Pfc with the US Army was captured by the Germans in Nov. 1944 and was in Stalag IIIA until he was liberated on 14th of April 1945. He told of nearly starving to death, having his feet frozen, and of the filthy state he existed in. He had lice and was not given any opportunities to wash up. During the Christmas season, on 23rd or 24th of December the Allies accidentally bombed the American officer's barracks, killing all but 2 of them. Dad was made to help evacuate the survivors, then to remove the dead who were in many pieces. It was a gruesome task. He was made to work in the fields digging potatoes by hand, among other labor he was forced to perform.

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