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Searching for RAF serviceman killed in action in Egypt

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Searching for RAF serviceman killed in action in Egypt

Postby Nick_233 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:45 pm

I'm trying to find more information on my uncle who was killed in Egypt in 1943. I have his war record but it tells me very little. He went to the Middle East in Sept 1942 and gives 21PTC as his unit. Which then changes to 5(M.E.)A.R.U. after 3 days it then changes to 161M.U. in June 1943. However he was killed on Active service on 31 May 1943. He was a mechanic so I'm assuming ground staff. I've tried the National Archive but there aren't any details of these units. Any help with where to go next would be great.
Thanks
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Re: Searching for RAF serviceman killed in action in Egypt

Postby MoVidger » Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:04 pm

My father was stationed at various air bases in the Middle East, so I'm hoping I have the correct details below:

21PTC = No. 21 Personnel Transit Centre, which was located at RAF Kasfareet (Suez).

161M.U. = No. 161 MU (maintenance unit). Airfield: Fayid, Egypt.
It became No. 2 Transport ARU (aircraft repair unit), and moved to Kabrit in March 1944.

I'm not sure about 5 (M.E.) A.R.U. Are you sure it isn't "MU" (not ME)?
Last edited by MoVidger on Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Searching for RAF serviceman killed in action in Egypt

Postby Nick_233 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:50 pm

Thank you for that info. It definitely says 5(M.E.) ARU .
He is buried in Fayed Cemetery so that is all correct. What I'm curious about is that El Alamain ended in about March 43 and he died two months later ? Were they still being attacked and by whom?
Do you know the type of plane he would have been a mechanic for ?
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Searching for RAF serviceman killed in action in Egypt

Postby brunes08 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:27 pm

Nick_233 wrote:Thank you for that info. It definitely says 5(M.E.) ARU .
He is buried in Fayed Cemetery so that is all correct. What I'm curious about is that El Alamain ended in about March 43 and he died two months later ? Were they still being attacked and by whom?
Do you know the type of plane he would have been a mechanic for ?




Sent from my iPad using WDYTYA Forum
You could contact the RAF Museum and Archive on www.rafmuseum.org.uk. I have found them very helpful when sorting out my grandfather’s RAF service.
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Re: Searching for RAF serviceman killed in action in Egypt

Postby MoVidger » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:17 pm

Just a guess, mind you: From January to May 1943, RAF Fayid was a home to the Dakota (aka Douglas C-47 Skytrain).

About 2,000 C-47s (received under the Lend-Lease program) in British and Commonwealth service took the name "Dakota", possibly inspired by the acronym "DACoTA" for Douglas Aircraft Company Transport Aircraft.

The C-47 earned the informal nickname "gooney bird" in the European theatre of operations.

Probably too early for your chap: two RAF bomber squadrons with B-24 Liberators were deployed to the Middle East at RAF Fayid in early 1942.

But as Brunes08 suggests, contact the RAF Museum and Archive for further info and aircraft confirmation.
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Re: Searching for RAF serviceman killed in action in Egypt

Postby Nick_233 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:10 am

Again many thanks for the hints. I'm always awed by the info that you guys have. Will try the museum and come back to you.
Thanks again
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Re: Searching for RAF serviceman killed in action in Egypt

Postby elsabels » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:34 pm

Have you tried CWGC.org. my relative died 1942 in Egypt and is listed on the site!
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Re: Searching for RAF serviceman killed in action in Egypt

Postby Nick_233 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:35 pm

Thank you for suggesting CWGC.org. I have used them and found lots of info on where he is buried and photos of his memorial etc.
What I would like to find out is how he was killed.
My grandmother knew nothing except that she had lost her only son.
I will look further at the suggestion of the type of plane he was possibly working on but the RAF museum is closed, also the research centre, so I suspect this will have to be put on the backburner for a couple of months till things get back to normal, hopefully !!!
Thanks again.
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Re: Searching for RAF serviceman killed in action in Egypt

Postby MoVidger » Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:24 pm

Nick - do you have access to FMP? If so, search the newspapers set. His death may have been reported in the family's local newspaper. If you don't have access, send me a PM with your chap's name and his place of residence (if you don't want to post the details on the Forum). I'll be happy to search.

Update: No 161 MU - formed 11 May 1943 from No 5 (Middle East) Aircraft Repair Unit at Fayid. Redesignated No 2 Transport Aircraft Repair Unit on 1 March 1944.

This information comes from Royal Air Force Flying Training and Support Units published by Air-Britain.
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Re: Searching for RAF serviceman killed in action in Egypt

Postby MoVidger » Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:22 pm

According the the CWGC website, four RAF aircraftmen died on 31 May 1943. Could the deaths be related a plane crash or accident?

TNA have the AIR 81 series (RAF WW2 casualty records), but the files only go up to 1940.

From 1940 to the present day - applications were made to the RAF Air Historical Branch. The amount of information contained in the records varied and copies weren't made due to the fragile nature of the originals. However, the specific link to the website has been deleted/closed.

As Brunes08 suggested, the RAF Museum and Archive is probably your best bet; unless you're able to locate a newspaper report.
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