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[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn N to Z] [C Pearton and crew 103 Sqn]

Charles Pearton RAFVR and crew - 103 Squadron - RAF Elsham Wolds – 1944/45

Failed to Return – 6th/7th January 1945 - Avro Lancaster III - W4361 - Op Mining Stettin Bay.

Charles Pearton

Charles Pearton ( pictured above ) trained as a pilot in the USA at Terrell, Texas  with 3 other Elsham pilots – Joe Moss,  John Warner and Bertie Marks - who trained about the same time.

103 Squadron Pearton and 3 of crew

He was with his crew posted to 103 Squadron in August 1944 and flew the following operations – a total of 19 completed.

6-Sep-44 - Calais - Lancaster - PB465 - P/O C Pearton

14-Oct-44 - Duisburg - Lancaster - JA857 - F/O C Pearton

14-Oct-44 - Duisburg - Lancaster - LM131 - F/O C Pearton

19-Oct-44 – Stuttgart - Lancaster - ND381 - F/O C Pearton - DNTO - Air Supply U/S

23-Oct-44 - Essen - Lancaster - ND381 - F/O C Pearton

25-Oct-44 - Essen - Lancaster - ND381 - F/O C Pearton

28-Oct-44 – Cologne - Lancaster - ND381 - F/O C Pearton

30-Oct-44 - Cologne - Lancaster - ND381 - F/O C Pearton

09-Nov-44 - Wanne Eikel - Lancaster - JA857 - F/O C Pearton

11-Nov-44  - Dortmund - Lancaster - JA857 - F/O C Pearton

16-Nov-44 - Duren - Lancaster - ME649 - F/O C Pearton

18-Nov-44 - Wanne Eikel - Lancaster - JA857 - F/O C Pearton - Bad weather at base. Diverted

21-Nov-44 - Aschenaffenburg - Lancaster - ME698 - F/O C Pearton

27-Nov-44 - Freiburg  - Lancaster - NN758 - F/O C Pearton

29-Nov-44 - Dortmund - Lancaster - PB528 - F/O C Pearton

03-Dec-44 - Urft - Lancaster - NF909 - F/O C Pearton

06-Dec-44 - Leuna - Lancaster - NF909 - F/O C Pearton

24-Dec-44 - Cologne/Nippes - Lancaster - PB528 - F/O C Pearton - Bad weather at base. All aircraft diverted to Old Buckenham

02-Jan-45 - Nuremberg - Lancaster - NF909 - F/O C Pearton - ER - 2 engines U/S

06-Jan-45 - Stettin Bay - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O C Pearton - FTR - Probable night fighter victim. Lost without trace.

103 Squadron Pearton Crew 1

The crew for their final operation was :-

F/L Charles Pearton RAFVR – Pilot - 27 – 103 Sqn - Son of William and Mary Pearton; husband of Ivy Irene Pearton, of Lee, London – Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt David Fell RAF – Flight Engineer – 24 – 103 Sqn - Son of William and Anne Stewart Fell, of Mid Calder, Midlothian - Runnymede Memorial.

P/O Harold Joseph Hutcheson RAAF - 29 – 103 Sqn - Son of Joseph and Helen Isabelle Hutcheson, of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia - Runnymede Memorial.

W/O Sidney Edward Abrams RAFVR – 103 Sqn - Runnymede Memorial.

P/O William Edward Burcher RAAF - 22 – 103 Sqn - Son of Edward Arthur and Florence Emma Irere Burcher of Mosman, New South Wales, Australia - Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt Gwynne Williams RAFVR - 22 – 103 Sqn - Son of Robert Edward and Mary Ellen Williams, of Llangollen, Denbighshire - Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt Charles Henry Palmer RAFVR - 31 – 103 Sqn - Son of John Henry and Sarah Palmer - Runnymede Memorial.

All this crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Note – The Flight Engineer in this crew, David Fell, is no relation.

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F/L Charles Pearton RAFVR

F/L Pearton was a former London Metropolitan Police Officer

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06-Jan-45 - Stettin Bay

For this minelaying duty in the Baltic 103 Squadron detailed 4 crews. All aircraft took off in rather poor weather but this soon improved and was good for the trip. On arrival in the gardening area ( Minelaying area ) it was clear and the vegetables (mines ) were dropped successfully by using H2S radar from between 13000 ft to 14000 ft. No defences were encountered in the gardening area but some flak was encountered en route

On this night Bomber Command detailed the usual number of Minor Operations over Western Europe as follows :- 20 Mosquitos to Kassel (a 'spoof' raid) and 6 to Castrop-Rauxel, 52 RCM sorties, 32 Mosquito patrols, 49 Lancasters minelaying off Baltic ports. 2 RCM Halifaxes and 2 Lancaster - minelayers lost.

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Lancaster - PB637

This machine was lost on its 28th operation. See below :-

05-Oct-44 - Saarbrucken - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O RA Dobson

07-Oct-44 - Emmerich - Lancaster - PB637 - P/O WE Baker RCAF

14-Oct-44 - Duisburg - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O SO Scott – Early Return - Engine unserviceable.

14-Oct-44 - Duisburg - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O T MacLetchie

19-Oct-44 - Stuttgart - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O WE Baker RCAF

23-Oct-44 - Essen - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O WW Alderdice RCAF

25-Oct-44 - Essen - Lancaster - PB637 - F/L LJC Remy

28-Oct-44 - Cologne - Lancaster - PB637 - F/L RA Butts RCAF

30-Oct-44 - Cologne - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O CH Short RCAF

31-Oct-44 - Cologne - Lancaster - PB637 - F/L RA Butts RCAF

02-Nov-44 - Dusseldorf - Lancaster - PB637 - F/L LJC Remy

06-Nov-44 - Gelsenkirchen - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O AG Frish

09-Nov-44 - Wanne Eikel - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O CH Short RCAF

11-Nov-44 - Dortmund - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O FG Durrant

RCAF

18-Nov-44 - Wanne Eikel - Lancaster - PB637 – F/S JR Barnes Bad weather at base. Diverted

21-Nov-44 - Aschenaffenburg - Lancaster - PB637 – F/S JR Barnes

27-Nov-44 - Freiburg - Lancaster - PB637 - F/L LJC Remy

29-Nov-44 - Dortmund - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O CH Short RCAF

04-Dec-44 - Urft - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O  CH Short RCAF

06-Dec-44 - Leuna - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O FG Durrant RCAF

12-Dec-44 - Essen - Lancaster - PB637 - F/L LJC Remy

13-Dec-44 - Aarhus Bay - Lancaster - PB637 - F/L LJC Remy

24-Dec-44 - Cologne/Nippes - Lancaster - PB637 - F/L LJC Remy - Bad weather at base. All aircraft diverted to Old Buckenham

29-Dec-44 - Scholven Buer - Lancaster - PB637 - F/L LJC Remy - Hit by flak. No injuries.

31-Dec-44 - Osterfeld - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O AVJ Vernieuwe

02-Jan-45 - Nuremberg - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O AS Thomson

05-Jan-45 - Hanover - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O AS Thomson

06-Jan-45 - Stettin Bay - Lancaster - PB637 - F/O J Pearton – FTR - Probable night fighter victim. Lost without trace.

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Katie Lane - A Brief Encounter.

Katie

I was contacted by an Ryan King in the USA in  May 2020 regarding an incident concerning Charles Pearton, a forced landing while he was training at Terrell Texas and a young American lady by the name of Katie Lane. Katie ( pictured above ) served stateside during WW2. She was part of the 3rd WAC Training Center and seemed to move from camp to camp in the WAC eventually achieved rank of Lieutenant. Most of the paperwork Ryan acquired are post cards to and from home, photos of her and her friends she met in the service. They were given to him by a friend who was a member of the Lane family. Ryan dug through through the letters and photos and stumbled across a thick envelope, full of letters and a photo of Charles Pearton. 

The envelope was labeled "Letters Oct. 1942-1944."

"These are the letters and the write up of how I met the young English pilot; He was in training and had a forced landing while I was visiting a black family in Center Co, Texas. He landed in a filed about 15 miles from the town. The black people were frightened, because it was war time and they were afraid he was an enemy. Was going to go and try to find him. The blacks didn't want to go but wouldn't let me go alone. We started out and met the pilot walking toward us. He was lucky that he walked in the right direction. We corresponded until Christmas 1944. Never heard from him after that. I have always wondered what happened to him; just kept these for fun. Stamps might be worth something."

Upon opening the envelope, The first thing Ryan noted is the photo of a dashing, smiling, young pilot, Charles Pearton. The photo is the same as the portrait photo on my website and was taken whilst Charles was training at Terrell.

On the reverse of the photo Katie has written "Charles Pearton, Pearton, C. English Flyer picked up out of Oakwood, Texas. He was over here in 1942 training and was forced down in a field about 30 miles from nearest telephone."

Then Ryan noted see the Newspaper articles clipped from the paper but sadly there is no date. He have scanned the articles for me to read. One of the points that really amused Ryan was that one of the African Americans actually grabbed an axe after seeing Charles's plane going down and was ready for the "invasion." It talks a little in detail, and quoting Charles speaking about family and his experience at Dunkerque.

Charles Letters

There are 17 letters total, all written by Charles to Katie Lane. Most are post marked from Texas, assuming from while he was still training state side. Some are from Yorkshire, 1944. The last letter I have from Charles is written  December 23rd, 1944. Charles went missing during a minelaying operation January 6th 1945 when he and his crew well nearing the end of their tour

Ryan wished to have these letters reunited with the Pearton family. As luck would have it I had saved the  email contact address of the Pearton family which was about 10 years old. I sent an e mail with Ryan's details and copies of all the attachments to see if I received a reply. I was delighted to receive an immediate response from Terry Pearton who was amazed and delighted with the contents and e mailed Ryan that same day.

Conatct was made and all parties are delighted with this development. It is quite amazing that after all these years something quite unexpected and new can turn out out of the blue like that. That is the wonders of websites and the internet for you. Where would we be without it all ?

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Item written by David Fell with photos and background info courtesy of the Pearton family and Ryan King.

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* 1st January 2024 - Pamplin Profile

1st January 2024 - Milan - 24/25 October 1942

* 1st December 2023 - Photos of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st December 2023 - Bremen – 2/3rd July 1942

1st December 2023 - Skinner Profile

* 1st November 2023 - Memoirs of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st November 2023 - Mine laying Biarritz / Biscay coast - 21 November 1942

1st November 2023 - Billie - Lancaster - W4364 - 103 Squadron

1st November 2023 - Curtin Twins Profile

*1st October 2023 - Dusseldorf - 1 August 1942

1st October 2023 - RAF Usworth Photo Album - 103 Squadron Era 1937/38

1st October 2023 - Mills Profile

*1st September 2023 - Tilley Profile

1st September 2023 - Ostend docks and barges - 22 December 1940

* 1st August 2023 - Defensive Armament - 103 Squadron and 576 Squadron

1st August 2023 - Chesterton Profile

1st August 2023 - Targets in Holland - 21/22 July 1940

1st August 2023 - Numerous additions and updates throughout the site

Also of local RAF Bomber Command interest are the

166 Squadron website

and the

550 Squadron and North Killingholme website.