Personnel Index - Detail
Courtesy of Chloe Alden-Dennis (great niece) we have images from his pre-war pilot's licence, a later image and from his German PoW card
10/11 April, 1942; ESSEN:
Despite forecasts of clear weather conditions over the target, a main force consisting of over 250 bombers, found Essen covered in cloud. 49 Squadron had 13 Hampdens airborne of which 8 attacked the primary target but were unable to see the results.
Bomber Command suffered the loss of 14 aircraft on the Essen raid, mainly due to the heavy flak defences in the Ruhr. Of the 5 Hampdens reported missing, 2 were from 49 Squadron: F/Lt Marshall (AT190) and Sgt Webster managed to escape from their downed bomber, but two fellow crew members perished when the aircraft came down in Germany; Sgt Bill Collins and Sgt Stuart Woodhead are both buried in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery.
Hampden AT190 (EA-A)
F/L C. Marshall Pilot (P.o.W.)
Sgt W.A. Collins W/Ag (Killed)
Sgt S. Woodhead A/OB (Killed)
Sgt F. Webster W/Ag (P.o.W.)
The following information is courtesy of Chloe Alden-Dennis:
Charles Marshall's exploits are included in the book......."The Cooler King - The true story of William Ash" by Patrick Bishop.
Prior to joining the RAF, Charles Marshall had been a London policemen, he spoke excellent German and was an outstanding organiser.
He was one of the 35 escapers who escaped using the 'Schubin Tunnel' from Oflag XXI-B on the 5th March 1943 (numbers and dates vary between reports).
Charles Marshall, fourth in line to escape, had been in charge of increasing the supply of bed boards required to shore up the tunnel.
All the escapees were recaptured.
Shortly after this Oflag XX1-B was closed and all prisoners were transferred to Stalag Luft 3.
Post war he remained in the RAF and retired in 1960 as a Wing Commander based at HQ 158 Group (Coastal Command) in Fife.
Full details of his RAF career are included in the London Gazette shown below......
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