Abery, Frederick James

Personal Information

Rank Sgt
Forename(s) Frederick James
Surname Abery
Gender M
Age 34
Date of Death 24-02-1944
Next of Kin Son of Frank J. Abery and May Beatrice Abery, of Hendon, Middlesex.

Aircraft Information

Aircraft Avro Lancaster III
Serial Number JB241
Markings LQ-K

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country France
Burial/Memorial Place Bermering (Bermerange) Communal Cemetery
Grave Reference Grave 4.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 2
Panel Number 121

Enlistment Information

Service Number 1862629
Service Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Group 8
Squadron 405 (Vancouver)
Squadron Motto Duicmus (We lead)
Trade Flight Engineer
Country of Origin United Kingdom

Other Memorials

Location Adjacent to Village Windmill, Mill Rd, Great Gransden, Cambridgeshire
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Memorial Stone with inscribed Metal Plaque
Memorial Text Remembering 405 (Vancouver) Sqn. PFF at Gransden Lodge 1942 - 1945
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Location St. Bartholomew's Church, Great Gransden, Cambridgeshire
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Stained Glass Window, RoH and inscribed metal plaque
Memorial Text Commemorating the 801 airmen of 405 Sqn. RCAF who gave their lives 1941 - 1945
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Location Pocklington Gliding Club, Pocklington Airfield, East Yorkshire
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Marble Pillar and inscribed metal plaque
Memorial Text In memory of 102 (Ceylon) and 405 (Vancouver) Sqns. Pocklington Airfield
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Last Operation Information

Start Date 24-02-1944
End Date 25-02-1944
Takeoff Station Gransden Lodge
Day/Night Raid Night (1% moon)
Operation Schweinfurt- the first raid on this particular target (the centre of ball-bearing manufacture in Germany). 734 aircraft, 33 losses (4.5%). A new tactic was introduced where the bomber force was split into two waves separated by two hours. The first wave Lost 22 aircraft (5.6%) but the second Lost only 11 (3.2%) of which only 4 were shot down. Poor PFF target marking led to local reports quoting 'nominal damage'. Note that there had been a raid comprising 266 8th Air Force B-17s the night before so it is difficult to attribute damage levels.
Reason for Loss Attacked from below by a night-fighter on outbound leg and whilst at 20000', setting fire to the starboard inner engine and wing. The order to bale out was given only seconds before the aircraft exploded, throwing the three survivors clear, all of whom became PoW

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Casualty Pack

IBCC is delighted to introduce a unique facility to link the Losses Database to the relevant RAF Casualty Pack on the National Archives website. This project is the result of on-going collaboration between IBCC, the MOD Records Office and National Archives, Kew. This document describes what Casualty Packs are, when they were created, the process of making them available to the public and then goes on to describe the process by which you can view the contents of the packs. Casualty Packs (CPs) were created by the RAF whenever there was serious injury or loss of life associated with operational activity within the RAF. This includes operational flying losses, enemy action due to air raids, road accidents either on station or even off-station if they involved RAF vehicles. Deaths due to natural causes in service or accidents that did not involve RAF vehicles did not generally give rise to a CP.

CPs were originally given a unique reference number by the RAF. Each begins with the letter ‘P’ and is followed by six digits, then an oblique (forward slash) and the finally the year in which the incident took place- for example P396154/42.

The CPs are in the process of being made available to the general public as they are passed from the MOD Records Office, Portsmouth to National Archives, Kew. This process requires some rework to the files which is very time consuming, so the process of making them all available to National Archives will take several years. They are being made available in increasing date order.

Once CPs arrive at National Archives they are assigned a unique AIR81 number, so each CP has both a P-number and an AIR81 number. Both are searchable on the National Archives website under ‘Search the catalogue’ and both are included on the IBCC website.

The AIR81 reference on the IBCC website is a link to the file on the National Archives website. When you click on it, the relevant page will open in a new tab on your browser.

There is currently no plan to digitise AIR81 files, partly because they are fragile and partly because the information they contain can at times be sensitive, even harrowing, since they may contain exhumation reports and even photographs of corpses. Family members wishing to read the AIR81 files relating to their ancestors are advised to exercise caution and be guided by National Archives warnings where appropriate.

There are two means for accessing AIR81 files- to attend in person or to order a copy by post.

To attend in person, the attendee should first create a Reader’s Ticket. This can be done online by following this link: https://secure.nationalarchives.gov.uk/login/yourdetails. Then click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and click Order in Advance. Enter your Reader’s Ticket number and state the date on which you intend to visit. National Archives will have the file ready for you when you arrive, saving you time. When you visit Kew, you must quote the Reader’s Ticket number and take along two forms of ID- one bearing your signature and one bearing your address. When you view the files, you are permitted to take photographs of each page, should you wish.

Alternatively, if you wish to order a copy by post, please be aware that there is a charge for this service based on the number of pages in the file. Click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and then click Request a Copy. There is an £8.40 charge for National Archives staff to access the file and give you a quotation for the copying service. The process takes around 24 days to complete and can be expensive.

IBCC wishes to thank the staff at the MOD Records Office and National Archives for their engagement and assistance in making this facility available to our website users.