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then if he was Norwegian that should still have shown up in that last list... but otherwise you're quite possibly correct What I can't find anywhere is a list of Hurricane incidents / crashes / rebuilds like the one for the Spits. Anyone got any ideas?
But it is of no interest, as it happened near Castletown way up north in Scotland.
But look at line 4 instead, and an interesting possibility may be seen:
In the beginning of the war, on 7 -8 -1941 a Hurricane from one of the Norwegian RAF squadrons operating from RAF Catterick, less that 100 miles from Selkirk, had to make a forced landing due engine troubles. The landing site is indicated as unknown. The aircraft suffered only Cat. B damage, meaning that it could be repaired at maintenance level. The pilot was Norwegian and he was safe. This incident could be the one Mr. Phaup is referring to!
Mr. Phaup is reporting that the aircraft made 2 attempts before its final landing - this may very well have been true, as the aircraft had "engine trouble", not "engine failure" meaning that there could have been partial power available.
So Mr. Phaup's memory could be very much intact.
But still this is before "our" Harold, so...........
Last edited by grebllaw123d; 6th Jul 2012 at 06:35.
Back to Raasch - Reader123 asks a valid question in post 299
"Apologies if I'm barking up the wrong tree, but could a Spitfire pilot (2nd Lt) who was in the habit of pranging his crate be relieved of his pilot duties to become a bombardier? Would you normally expect a bombardier to be commissioned? " Or if he received a minor injury in a crash which made him unfit as pilot but OK as bombardier???
In war, I'd suggest that if he got through flying training without causing too much mayhem he'd be given a new aircraft when he needed one.
While it may not be comparable Douglas Bader "received a minor injury" and was able to continue. I find it hard to think of many injuries that might preclude one from piloting yet remain able to fly operations in another role.
Prior to 1941, USAAF bombardiers could have been sergeants but after that time they, the pilot, co-pilot and navigator were all officers.
After selection, the cadet attended Bombardier School lasting 18 weeks. It consisted of 425 hours of ground instruction in the proficiencies of a bombardier (plus familiarity with the tasks of the pilot, radioman, or navigator in case of an emergency). After 3 weeks this included 120 hours of air training in which the cadet began with practice runs and ended by performing bombing runs with live ordnance. Upon graduation, he received a bombardier's wings and was entrusted with the Norden bombsight.
They were then transferred to an OTU to join a crew being trained for overseas duty.
He points out that this American veterans website Departures lists the death in 1997 of a Harold Raasch, Hurricane pilot with RAF wings
No doubt El Grifo is considering the merits of contacting the website observing that it states that:
As we have for the past few years, The World War II Pilots Group gathers every two months in Santa Rosa, California for "hangar talk", a swig or two, and lunch. Not all of us attend every gathering, but generally there are 75-plus of us at each one. (When we can sneak away from the house, that is)
So. "Smoke 'em if you got 'em", click on one of the "roster links", look around, and come back and visit us soon. In the meantime, if there is anything we can help you with just hit THIS E-MAIL link.
I'd suggest not contacting the daughter. There is a reason she told the landlady of his demise some ten years prior to it actually occurring. Falsely telling others of someone's death is not the done thing here in the US just as it isn't there in the UK so it's a fairly extreme act. If Harold wasn't coming over any more for whatever reason the truth could have been told or something less "embarrassing" could have been told. The fact that she chose to "kill" him tells me that she didn't want any possibility of communication.
And, more significantly (and perhaps, slightly chillingly) it tell me she also had the power to *prevent* any communication from his end. What would it boot her to fabricate death, if our curious aviator could turn around and say 'stuff you, I AM going over again this year', or if he could just pick up the phone and call the B&B?
As you say, fabricating a death story is pretty extreme, and the consequences of getting caught in the lie could be serious; why should she do it and why was she confident she could get away with it?
And is there any connection with the attitude of the Reverend? Seems extremely OTT for someone conducting a little bit of innocent inconsequential historical research to be met with slightly hysterical accusations of harassment and (baseless) threats of proceedings, criminal and civil? Unless the research is more consequential than we could guess...
Sorry, had to jump in... always late but worth the wait, R1
Like many others, I've been regularly looking in at this thread with interest too
Re the letter notifying of the B&B owner of Harold's passing: am I alone in thinking it a little strange that whoever sent it felt the need to do so?!? If El Grifo's encounter with HAR did indeed come in 1988 (which may or may not have ultimately been the reason that his visit in that year was cut short) and the notification of death wasn't received until 1990, can we assume that said gentleman did not return in 1989? If not, and assuming no further correspondence was received in 1989, why notify the B&B owner at all? Would a daughter REALLY go to those lengths of her own volition?!? Is it not, therefore, more likely that Harold, fearing that El Grifo may have been 'on to him', faked his own death, if he did indeed voluntarily remove himself from the scene in 1988?
Silly question perhaps, but is there any talk locally of anything else of significance having happened on the supposed 'crash site'? What if the crash is the fabricated part of the story (would you really revisit the site of a presumably fairly insignificant - given that he's supposed to have walked away largely unscathed from it - crash on an annual basis?!?)? One has to assume that said site is of some personal significance to Raasch, but my gut feeling is that 'the crash' is the red herring, not least because there's no record of it (though I accept that given the potentially 'minor' nature of it, this isn't necessarily significant in its own right).
If, as is the suggestion (can't spot the exact reference right now), he ended up in intelligence, I'm sure he would have been well versed in the art of story fabrication!
If I've read the clues correctly, to me it looks like he was in Signals Intelligence postwar - initially in Manila, later back in the USA under a suitably vague job description However whatever El Grifo says, I am still not convinced we have the same man. I have a feeling that the Harold Raasch, Hurricane pilot with RAF wings who died in 1997 may be the key to this. I was waiting for Grifo to pick up the challenge and ask them.
Last edited by Milo Minderbinder; 7th Jul 2012 at 09:24.
However whatever El Grifo says, I am still not convinced we have the same man. I have a feeling that the Harold Raasch, Hurricane pilot with RAF wings who died in 1997 may be the key to this. I was waiting for Grifo to pick up the challenge and ask them.
Really slow this morning Milo. White Night Party last night !!!
Not entirely sure what you mean by the first sentence but agree the this recent discovery or, re-discovery is very significant indeed.
This must be our man, no ?
We have not only the name but something to connect the name with a known Hurricane crash landing in exactly the right location and in almost identical conditions !
Not quite What we have is someone with the correct name - Harold Raasch, who had RAF wings, died in 1997, flew Hurricanes, and in his latter years attended a reunion group in California. We DON'T have anything to link him to a crash in Scotland, nor to link him to your meeting We've also found an Archie Harold Raasch who died the same year, who may - or may not - be the same man. What is needed next is for someone to contact that reunion group and ask whether they can provide any more details about their ex-members history. I really think that question should come from you Ronn - you are the one most closely involved, and most likely to get a response. We don't want several people asking, and whoever does so must have a genuine reason thats not going to offend the veterans
Last edited by Milo Minderbinder; 7th Jul 2012 at 11:10.
OK... My notes on the only Archie Harold Raasch I can find are as follows:-
Archie Harold Raasch Severin/Brooks-Rousseau/Godin Tree
Birth: 18 Nov 1904
Death: 03 Jan 1987 (3 Jan 1987) - Ladysmith, Rusk, WI (Wisconsin)
Parents: Albert Otto Raasch, Julia J. Velie
Wife was Lillian Catherine Lancaster 1916-1988
Name: Archie Harold Raasch Death Date: 3 Jan 1987 Location: Rock (may be abbreviated)
View Tree for Archie Harold Raasch
Archie Harold Raasch (b. November 18, 1904, d. January 03, 1987) Archie Harold Raasch (son of Albert Otto Raasch and Julia Velie)207 was born November 18, 1904 in Waupaca County,Wisconsin, and died January 03, 1987 in Ladysmith ,Rusk County,Wisconsin. He married Lillian C. Lancaster on October 07, 1936 in Bessemer,Gogebic County,Michigan.
More About Archie Harold Raasch: Burial: January 07, 1987, Riverside Cemetery,Rusk County,Wisconsin. Religion: Lutheran.
More About Archie Harold Raasch and Lillian C. Lancaster: Marriage: October 07, 1936, Bessemer,Gogebic County,Michigan.
I have 1920 and 1930 census records in Rusk Co. Wisconsin
So, it seems this is the chap Milo has found but I suppose I have to be the one to point out the glaring error... Archie Harold Raasch died the year before El Grifo met him, 1987.
You know what we need? Someone with access to the RAF and RCAF, (but more likely I think RAF), enlistment records for WWII... A tiptoe through those for the name of Raasch would be most enlightening... Anyone?