ROBISON – Charles

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

[Source: Hugh Robison, 2011]

HUNTER – Robert Cyril Adair

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

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

GREAVES – William George Julian

William George Julian Greaves (1393795) of Grenada










1393795 – William George Julian Greaves – Grenada – Sergeant – 142 Squadron

Prisoner of War

First Name:                William George Julian
Surname:                    Greaves
DOB:                            17/09/1917
Birthplace:                  Grenada, West Indies
Date of Capture:        15/01/1943
Rank:                           Sergeant
POW Camp:               Stalag Luft 1 Barth
Service Number:       1393795
POW Number:            1311
Theatre Of Capture:  France
Service:                        Royal Air Force
Archive Reference:    WO 416/150/303

Comet Line was a Belgian and French organisation that helped allied airmen who were shot down to return to Great Britain. Their website gives a very detailed account of what happened to Sgt. Greaves in the French language. With various photo’s and documents.

A very brief summary of the report Sgt. Greaves gave after his liberation of October 19, 1945: He was bomb-aimer on Wellington Mk III, BK536, QT-C of 142 Squadron. On November 20, 1942 they flew from Newmarket UK on a mission to bomb Turin in Germany. Returning they ran out of fuel and all crew were ordered to jump from the plane. Sgt. Greaves was found by the Comet Line organisation about 30 km east of Paris. He was arrested on Januari 15, 1943 while trying to cross the Pyrenees to Spain, in the company of Andrée de Jongh, the 26 year old female leader of the organisation, and two other airmen. After being held at various locations in France he was imprisoned in Stalag Luft I (Aug – Nov 1943), Stalag Luft IV (Nov 1943 – Jul 1944) and Stalag Luft VI (Jul 1944 – Jan 1945). He was liberated by Americans on May 2nd 1945 during a march to a labour camp.

[Courtesy AD]


1393795 – William George T. Greaves, Sgt from Grenada.

He could be the W G Greaves mentioned in RAF Commands website as: , POW in L6, POW# 1311

[Courtesy Jerome Lee, CMHA]


[Trinidad Guardian 18 January 1944 - Courtesy Jerome Lee, CMHA]


1800612 – C.H. Philips – Jamaica – attested 29.12.41 – Ach/Pilot
161493 – P/O – commissioned 24.7.43 – POW 4.12.43

[Source: NA AIR 2/6876 - Nominal Roll of Coloured Candidates, October 1944]


605495 – M. Smith – Jamaica – attested 28.10.42 – Sgt. Air Gunner – UK 4.5.43
POW – 22.1.44

[Source: NA AIR 2/6876]

OSMENT – David Ernest Thomas

Pilot Officer David Ernest Thomas Osment (40742) flying Fairy Battle P5235 (JN-H) – 150 sqn.

POW France, May 19th 1940

“The Battle of France:  On May 10th 1940 German armoured forces crossed the border of France through the lightly defended, forested and hilly Ardennes region bypassing the heavily defended Maginot Line further South and intending to cut off Allied forces that had advanced into Belgium. On the Southern flank of their push was the Aisne river.

On Sunday May 19th 1940 Air Marshall Arthur Barratt received word from a reconnaissance aircraft that the territory immediately North of the Rethel-Blanzy stretch of the Aisne river was full of enemy troops. The Germans were now pushing hard into Flanders, with the obvious intention of cutting the Allied forces in two, with a rush towards the coast along the Somme River. This would leave a large part of the British Expeditionary Force cut off and in retreat to the coast between Bulogne, Calais and Dunkirk.  A maximum effort was called for and orders were sent out by BAFF staff at 9.20 am for attacks to be made on troops, vehicle convoys and other targets in the area North of the Rethel-Blanzy stretch.

With 2 Group needing a rest and time to repair several damaged aircraft but with his Fairy Battle light bomber squadrons now mostly relocated and ready for operations Barratt had no choice but to call on them for a daylight mission, their first since the disastrous day of May 14th. Up to 33 Fairy Battles, from seven different squadrons took part in the morning’s attack. Fighter escort was provided by no fewer than 26 Hurricanes. By 10.40 am the first Fairy Battles were over the target areas. 150 Squadron despatched 6 Battles led by Squadron Leader R.M. Bradley. As it turned out, by the time of the attack for the most part the target proved to have gone stale for the area was not particularly crowded with troops although some villages were reported to be worth attacking.

The six Fairy Battles of 150 Squadron took of from Pouan 75 miles ESE of Paris with Pilot Officer David Ernest Thomas Osment (40742) flying Fairy Battle P5235 (JN-H).  On the way to their assigned target the six Battles ran into heavy AA fire from the town of Rethel. This plus bad weather made the target hard to find and the leader R.M.Bradly dropped his bombs on an AA battery of four guns and scored a direct hit. The others bombed whatever they could find but few results were seen. Battle P5235 flown by Osment did not return, neither did two Battles from 12 Squadron and three from 142 Squadron.

PO David Osment’s aircraft was badly damaged in action near Rethel by AA fire and belly landed near “Chêne Tonneau”  Barby, 3 miles West of Rethel at 11.15 a.m  on that day.  Osment was captured by German forces near Charleville, some 25 mile to the North of the crash site while his two crew members Sgt G.W.Clifford and AC1 W.G.Slade were captured to the South near Reims”

[Quoted from "Wings" by Norman Franks]

Osment spent the remainder of the war a prisoner in Stalag Luft III. On returning to Britain in 1945 he rejoined the RAF having originaly been commissioned a Pilot Officer on May 7th 1938. He served into the 1950′s ending his career there as a Squadron Leader.

David Ernest Thomas Osment was born on the island of St Vincent, West Indies about 1918 and died in 2008 in England aged 90.

[Courtesy Duncan Richardson]

LANG – James

Pilot Officer – POW

[Source: The Trinidad Guardian 12 Mar 1943 from The West India Committee Circular - February 1943, courtesy Jerome Lee, CMHA]

ROSTANT – Keith J.K.

Flight Lieutenant – Pilot – 145 Sqn – Spitfire – POW

Volunteer Trinidad ETS, trained Piarco, 2nd Course Posted 145 sqn, Africa, flew as wingman to Sqn Ldr Ian Glead 1942/43. Shot down 1943, Cape Bone Africa. POW to end of war. Lives in Scotland. Son is in RN

[Source: CMHA]
ATS, Piarco, Trinidad. 2nd Course – Standing: F.W. Farfan, K. Rostant, T.H. Meyer – Sitting: I. Bourne, R. Williams (instructor), Lieut. J.F. Carroll (chief instructor), W. Brown (ground engineer), J.D. Lenagan/Lennigan? (senior cadet) [Source: CMHA]

LYDER – Garth

Squadron Leader – Pilot – 180 Sqn TAF – B25 – POW

Educated QRC, Volunteer UK 1939, training in UK, Canada then bahamas. OTU for B25′s; posted Flight Instructor then 180 Sqn. On the raid, the formation leader turned the wrong way and led the squadron over a flak position. The leader was immediately shot down. Lyder then took over the lead position but his a/c was hit almost immediately and disabled. One parachute was blown out of the a/c; so Lyder elected to crash land his aircraft. Was POW for rest of the war.

[Source: CMHA]

KELSHALL – Arnold Sinclair

1394902 – A.S. Kelshall – Trinidad – F/O – Pilot – attested 12.8.41
133424 – commissioned 6.11.42 – P/War 26.4.44

[Source: NA AIR 2/6876 - Nominal Roll of Coloured Candidates, October 1944]

Flight Lieutenant – Pilot – 254 Sqn, Coastal Command – Beaufighter – POW

Educated QRC, Volunteer Trinidad ETS, trained at Piarco 60hrs Tiger Moth; UK training 60hrs Peterborough; Canada training Harvard a/c, Prince Edward Island. Shot down and wounded when flying a beaufighter against a German convoy off the Dutch coast. Sent to Stalag Luft 3, transferred to Ludenvalde, POW # 433427. Eventually escaped from Russian custody at the end of the war.

[Source: CMHA]

245 Squadron, 1940. A.S. Kelshall  front row, 3rd from right. [Foto: RAF]

Top right: A.S. Kelshall; Bottom left: John Shirley

[Courtesy: Family of F/O John Shirley & Aircrew Remembrance Society]

Kelshall Family0002

“A family group photo which includes my uncle, Arnold Sinclair Kelshall (on the right). Arnold was coastal command on Beaufighters and was shot down and  held in Stalag Luft 3 for about 1 year. This photo would have been taken right after my uncle and his brother Philip Walter Kelshall (my father, on the left) were demobilised, as I am the young lad in the photo, and I was born June 1944. I was born whilst Arnold was missing in action, and that’s why my initials are A.S.B. Kelshall in his honour. Both my uncle Arnold and my dad were at Cambridge university studying law when the war broke out. They joined the Cambridge University Air Squadron initially. My dad went on to be an instructor at RAF Cranwell before joining the Mosquito squadron. Arnold turned up later in a German prison camp, having been shot down in the North Sea off the coast of Holland, and been “rescued” by a German U-boat that luckily surfaced a few hundred yards away! Uncle Arnold went back to practice law with the family law firm in Port-of-Spain, TM Kelshall & co.”

[Courtesy: Anthony Simon Kelshall, son of Flight Lieutenant P.W. Kelshall]

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