BARACATT – Karlton Delroy

2218972 – Karlton Delroy Baracatt – Jamaica – Sergeant – 158 Squadron RAF – Flight Engineer

Enlisted Padgate after October 1942

Wounded in Action

Nationality British
Fate Injured
Incident Details Crashed at Knodishall, Suffolk
Incident Date 21-22/02/1945
Incident Time 17:26
Rank Sergeant
Duty Location Worms
Service Royal Air Force
Station RAF LISSETT   (6 miles SW of Bridlington)
Squadron 158 Squadron
Crew Sgt K D Baracatt  [Flight Engineer]
Command Bomber Command
Aircraft Mark  III
Aircraft Code NP-Y
Aircraft Type Halifax
Aircraft Serial MZ813

Group with Sgt. Karlton Delroy Baracatt














Sgt. K. D. Baracatt, fifth from left.

From the website Aircrew Remembered: Halifax Mk.III MZ813, NP-Y from 158 Squadron took off at 17:26 hours for an attack on Worms, Germany. Aircraft crashed at 19:45 hours near Leiston, Suffolk, killing four crewmembers.

[Courtesy AD]

McKAY – Gerrick Edmond

No 605711 – Gerrick Edmond McKay from Jamaica. Enlisted 18.10.1943 in Canada. Trained as Wireless Operator.

[Source: Forces War Records and National Archives, courtesy Audrey Dewjee]

GE McKay















Gerrick Edmond (called Uncle Son) moved to England during WWII and joined the RAF. Brothers and sisters: Percival (Percy), Lily (married a Carby), Violet (married a Taylor). Family lived in Woodside, St. Mary, and known to have lived in Port Maria. Mother, Minnie Cristinia McKay nee Belnavis and Father, Herbert James McKay.

[Source:, courtesy Audrey Dewjee]

No. 21 Initial Training Wing ( I.T.W. ) Bridlington ( East Riding of Yorkshire - England ) 01


















No.21 Initial Training Wing (I.T.W.), Bridlington, East-Riding, Yorkshire, England;
[Pictures:, courtesy Mehdi Schneyders]

No. 21 Initial Training Wing ( I.T.W. ) Bridlington ( East Riding of Yorkshire - England ) 02

CHIN – Noel Jocelyn

605698 – later Pilot Officer  199984

Noel Jocelyn Chin (cropped)

Born 15 April 1925, Kingston Jamaica.  Attended Kingston College.

In WW2 Noel Jocelyn Chinn was a bomber navigator with RAF Coastal Command, stationed in Scotland.  After the war he obtained a degree as a civil engineer from Loughborough University and returned to Jamaica where he had a distinguished career as a civil engineer, becoming a partner with Hue Lyew Chin Consulting Engineers.  In 1978 he moved to the United States becoming a citizen in 1983.  He continued his career as the City Engineer for Coral Springs until his retirement in 1988.

Noel Chin died on 1 March 2002, leaving his wife Dorothy (whom he married in 1953), three children and six grandchildren.

Noel’s older brother, Arthur Chin survived service in Europe throughout the war but was killed in a flying accident in India in November 1946.  [See separate entry]

[Source: AD]

EDWARDS – George Mercier

EDWARDS, GEORGE MERCIER; Flight Sergeant (Air Gnr.); Service No. 1259259; Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve; Age 24; Rear Gunner on Halifax B for Bertie (W7801).

George Edwards was born in Kingston, Jamaica, the son of George Henry Edwards & Sidona Edwards.

Military Service Sergeant Edwards was the Rear Gunner Halifax B for Bertie (W7801), one of two tug planes used during Operation Freshman. He was killed instantly when his aircraft crashed into Hæstad Mountain, Helleland, Norway, around midnight on the 19th November, 1942.

Sergeant Edwards is buried in the Commonwealth Grave plot in Helleland Churchyard, Norway.

GM Edwards grave


On the evening of November 19th, 1942, two Halifax bombers, each towing a Horsa Glider took off from RAF Skitten, near Wick in NE Scotland. On board each glider were 15 specially trained Royal Engineers, and two pilots. Their top-secret mission, code-named Operation Freshman, was to destroy the heavy water-producing facility at the  Norsk Hydro industrial complex near Vemork, Norway. This facility was a crucial part of Nazi Germany’s efforts to develop a nuclear bomb.

Tragically, due to failures in the navigation and guidance systems and poor weather, the aircraft failed to identify the landing zones and were forced to turn back. During the return, extreme icing of the tow cables resulted in both gliders becoming detached from their tow-planes and they crashed in the mountains of SE Norway. In addition, one of the Halifax bombers also crashed, instantly killing all 7 crew members onboard, including Sergeant George Mercier Edwards from Kingston, Jamaica. The crew were initially buried in a shallow grave close to the crash site but were reinterred in the Commonwealth graves plot in Helleland Churchyard, Rogaland, Norway at the end of the war with full military honours.



Of the 34 men onboard the gliders, a number were killed on impact, while others were executed by firing squad shortly after their surrender at  Slettebø, near  Egersund. In addition, four, badly-injured soldiers were interrogated and murdered by the Gestapo in Stavanger, their bodies dumped at sea off the coast of Norway. At the end of the war, the remains of most of the soldiers were reinterred at the Commonwealth Grave section in Eiganes Cemetery in Stavanger, where a remembrance ceremony is held every year to  honour their sacrifice.

Due to the secrecy surrounding the mission, very little information was provided to the families of the servicemen at the time, other than that they were missing. A short news article was published in a Norwegian newspaper shortly after the raid saying that a number of aircraft had landed in Norway and that all of the soldiers on board had been engaged and killed to the last man. However, it was not until after the war that true horror of the story emerged!

Over the years there have been a number of publications describing the events of Operation Freshman, and also the subsequent successful sabotage of the Vemork facility by British-trained Norwegian special forces soldiers (Operation Gunnerside). This action was immortalised in the Hollywood film The Heroes of  Telemark, starring Kirk Douglas.

In 2011, Ion Drew’s excellent book, Silent Heroes, was published. In addition to the event itself, Silent Heroesalso provided a unique insight into the personal lives of the individual servicemen and their families, and contained information based on interviews, correspondence, and meetings with surviving relatives and ex-servicemen who had connections to the operation. At the time of publication, however, details of only some of the men were available. Efforts are now being made to address this gap as part of a project to update Silent Heroes. In particular, the project is looking for any additional information on Sergeant Edwards.

Ultimately the Operation Freshman Project is trying to trace surviving relatives or people who have stories or anecdotes concerning the servicemen who participated in the raid, and who may have photographs, letters or other documentary information relating to the servicemen. The idea is to tell the story of these incredibly courageous young men through their lives, and lives of their families, rather than more conventional histories which focus primarily on the events themselves.

[Source: Dr. Bruce A. Tocher]

PETGRAVE – Godfrey Oswald Leopald

1897759 – Godfrey Oswald Leopald Petgrave – Nigeria/Caribbean – enlisted Euston 1943

The son of a Jamaican father and an Antiguan mother, Godfrey Petgrave enlisted in the RAF in Lagos as his father was working in Nigeria at the  time.

[Source: Audrey Dewjee, West-Indian Aircrew in East Yorkshire during WW2, the Africans in Yorkshire Project]

THOMAS – Vivian

‘As far as I know my granddad was born in Christiana in the parish of Manchester in Jamaica and moved to the UK to serve with the RAF – I believe he lied about his age so he could enlist!

The exact details of his role during the war remain a bit of a mystery as he rarely spoke about it.  However there were hints that he was involved in searching for U-Boats’

[Source: Leon Thomas]


A group of colored RAF-officers. Front row, from left: [1] unknown, from Jamaica or Belize; [2] Dusty Miller, from Guyana; [3] S/L Corbett (liason); [4] Ulric Cross, from Trinidad; [5] Johnny Smythe, from Sierra Leone; [6] Vivian Rivero, from Trinidad; (previously erroneously identified as: Mark Walker, from Trinidad);
Second row from left: [1] E.A. Gordon from Jamaica; [4] Percy Massiah, from Trinidad; [5] possibly his brother C.A. Massiah from Trinidad; [6] Vivian Thomas from Manchester, Jamaica; [7] Jellicoe Scoon from Grenada. Third row from left: [1] E.R Braithwaite from Guyana? The rest are as yet unknown to us. We invite our visitors to share the names of any person they recognise. [Names courtesy P.L.U. Cross a.o.; Photograph courtesy Audrey Elcombe, copyright unknown – click to enlarge]  


RCAF – Hudsons from Iceland – also flew Catalinas from 7 islands

[Source: Hugh Robison, 2011]

ROBISON – Charles Leslie

RCAF – Lancasters (from water beach near Cambridge) – POW

[Source: Hugh Robison, 2011]

Piliot Officer – RCAF – Service no. J/92951 – POW  in Stalag Luft 7, Bankau near Kreulberg, Poland – POW no. 814

[Courtesy AD]

ROBISON – Owen Hugh Hildebrand

F/O – Fighter pilot – 65 squadron – June 1941-July 1946 (Spitfires, Mustangs) – 1 Me-109 destroyed

Also served at no1 Bomer Command looking after West-Indies members of 17 bomber stations after he left 65 sq.

Born Dec 3/1920, Constant rd Kingston, Jamaica – attended Jamaica and Munro colleges. Now I live in Puerto Rico

[Source: Hugh Robison, 2011]

(Known as Hugh)    
Service no. on enlistment (at Euston, England) 1394806.  Service no. on Commission 198310. 
[Courtesy AD]

(known as Hugh)     Service no. on enlistment (at Euston, England) 1394806.  Service no. on Commission 198310

[NB – I think the entry reads FLGHTER Pilot.  Change “L” to “I”.]

HUNTER – Robert Cyril Adair

J3754 – P/O – MBK – RCAF – POW #1633, Stalag Luft III

[Sources: RCAF Casuality list 0058, Ross’ POW list, courtesy Alieneyes]

On the night of 15/16 July 1941, after a successful attack on Duisburg, the Wellington aircraft was caught in a belt of searchlights, was struck by flak then attacked by an enemy fighter. Bullets and cannon shell struck the aircraft and exploded in the cabin and blasted open the mid-under turret hatch…..The observer, P/O Robert Cyril Adair Hunter, when proceeding aft to render assistance to the rear gunner, fell through the damaged under-turret hatch.

Astonishingly P/O Hunter survived and was captured on landing.  He spent the rest of the war as a prisoner before being repatriated 11th May 1945.

[Source: website 75 NZ Squadron, courtesy AD]

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