Any Assistance Would be Appreciated - 210 Squadron

Hello. My Mother's cousin was was a Sergeant Air Gunner in the 210 Squadron RAF. He was killed in action with a U-Boat (so we were told) on May 30, 1943. His name was Harold Roper (age 21). I have looked for the book "To the Ends of the Earth - 210 Squadron's Catalina Years" but it is out of print and no copies appear to be available. Any additional details would be appreciated to complete the story. Thanks.
Thanks for your quick reply. I had found this website earlier but it didn't give the details I was looking for. I will look into the other forum. Thanks again for your help.
You are welcome.

I should also like to suggest that you contact the RAF to ask about obtaining his service record.

These are held at RAF Cranwell:

RAF Disclosures
Room 221B
Trenchard Hall
RAF Cranwell

Telephone: 01400 261201 ext 8176, 8172, 8173
From the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website:
Sergeant Harold Roper RAFVR. service no 1056892, died 30/5/43, aged 21.
Section 21E , Grave 6590 Harrogate (Stonefall Cemetery).
Ask the Air Historical Branch fo a copy of the Form 540 (Squadron Operational Record Book) for the relevant date - it's a quite comprehensive document which should give details of aircraft and missions flown etc on a daily basis.
Found what your looking for
its documented in a book called Uboat v Aircraft by norman Franks

30th May 1943 Catalina G [fp264] 210 squadron RAF flying a bay of Biscay patrol sighted a surfaced U boat at 1000 hours
Flew into attack and defensive fire from the Uboat hit the Catalina in the Bow section killing the front air Gunner Sgt H Roper and wounding two crew members.
The attack was carried out but did not sink the submarine. [possibly U418]

The Catalina was badly damaged and sank on return after Pembroke Dock.

The pilot recieved DFC and the Wireless operator a DFM for making repairs to the aircraft to keep it airworthy

Hope it helps

Found this hope it helps, U-418
Ordered 20 Jan 1941

Laid down 21 Oct 1941 Danziger Werft AG, Danzig (werk 119)
Launched 11 Jul 1942

Commissioned 21 Oct 1942 Oblt. Gerhard Lange
Commanders 21 Oct 1942 - 1 Jun 1943 Oblt. Gerhard Lange

1 patrol 21 Oct 1942 - 30 Apr 1943 8. Flottille (training)

1 May 1943 - 1 Jun 1943 1. Flottille (front boat)

Successes No ships sunk or damaged
Fate Sunk 1 June, 1943 in the Bay of Biscay north-west of Cape Ortegal, Spain, in position 47.05N, 08.55W, by rockets from a British Beaufighter aircraft (Sqdn. 236/B). 48 dead (all hands lost).

View the 1 war patrol

Wolfpack operations
U-418 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
Without name (5 May 1943 - 10 May 1943)
Isar (10 May 1943 - 15 May 1943)
Donau 1 (15 May 1943 - 23 May 1943)

Attacks on this boat
30 May 1943
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:British Catalina FP101 (210 Sqdn RAF/G, pilot F/L David William Eadie)

At 09.55 hours, an U-boat was attacked by the Catalina in the outer Bay of Biscay. The boat was most probably the inbound U-418, which was lost shortly afterwards without reporting the attack. AA fire hit the bow of the aircraft during the attack run and killed the front gunner and wounded two other crew members, but the pilot carried on and dropped the depth charges. The aircraft made it home but was so "holed" that it sank on landing at Pembroke Dock. Later salvaged.

(Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

1 recorded attack on this boat.
Thanks very much Scouse. This confirms the info I found at about U-418 which also has a photo of her captain. Really appreciate the help!!

Great forum!!! Thanks again to everyone!!!

"At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them" (Sergeant G. Roper gravestone at Harrogate)

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