Cadzand (Flying Officer F.R. Rudduck)

UNKNOWN

Rank: 

Unit: RAF

Washed up:16-06-1942

Buried:17-06-1942

Grave: 27.8

 

Information:

Washed up at Cadzand, Zwarte polder, beach pole 2.


According the records, buried at Cadzand Cemetery, Grave 27.8 lies buried Flying Officer F.G.Rudduck, killed when his Mosquito  MM279 ZW of 140 Squadron was shot down in The Channel on 6 June 1944, his Navigator Flight Sergeant Henry Charles Dent, was also killed but is missing since.

 

However after studying the documents of Cadzand Municipality there seems to be a problem with his identification.

 

In the records it is mentioned that in grave 8 rests a unknown British Flyer, believed to be a Pilot Officer named Slade.

Cadzand archives
Cadzand archives

But other then the date on Flying Officer Rudduck grave stone, this airman washed up on Cadzand, beachpole 2 on Tuesday 16 Juni 1942 at 15.00hrs!

 

It turned out to be an  airman, who still had his parachute strapped to him. The head, left leg, and part of his hands were missing. The body was searched by the Germans and it turned out that several items were removed by them from the breast pocket, It is not known what these items were, as the Policeman who made up the document was only informed on 17.00hrs. 

 

He was told that there were no papers found which could give any identification of this soldier. After a search a handkerchief was found which had W.57 on it and in inkt marked G.N.

On the parachute pack was beside the maker label, also a piece of clotch with on it P/O Slade.

 

On the uniform it had the RAF badge, and a blue badge with a man and a child on his shoulder, no rank or other badges  were mentioned in the report.

The Airman, now named Slade was buried the following day on 20.00hrs at the local cemetery.

 

So here rise the problem,  After checking the CWGC site, there is no Pilot Officer Slade missing in 1942, only three since 1941, but then the body would have been more damaged being in the water since June, October or November 1941, but none hold the rank of Pilot Officer. So it seems that he had a parachute belonging to another airman. This was not uncommon so that leaves an unknown airman washed up om 16-6-1942.

 

 

Several lists were made up through out the war which give this grave as unknown airman.

However there is no record or list which mentioned that the body of a airman named Ruddock washed up on Cadzand beach, only 3 bodies washed up in 1944, 2 Royal Navy one is still unknown and one is Petty Officer N.Collie, and 1 RAF which is Warrant Officer L.K. Staines. A total of 14 military graves,but after the war the 3 French soldiers were removed to Kappele French Military cemetery, leaving 11 British graves.

 

A list of August 1947, has still the date 17-6-1942 on it Unknown British Flyer, probably Slade, but no mention of a body washed up on June 1944, beside that og Grave 9, which says unknown American soldier, later the US Grave Registration confirms it is not an American soldier, but a British Sailor of the Royal Navy.  after reburial they mixed up the crosses of grave  9 and 10.

Cadzand archives
Cadzand archives

A list without date (post-war) shows the 14 graves, and for some reason grave 9, the grave of the Unknown Royal Navy, is named that of F.G.Rudduck.

 

The archives records don't hold any records of him being washed up. His aunt writes a letter in June 1948 stating that her nephew washed up at Cadzand, on 18 juni 1944 and buried there as his wife received his watch and cigarrete case in Oktober 1947.

However when the Burgomaster asked how she obtain this information, there is no correspondence in the archives which seems that she wrote back how see got this information.

She is told that grave 27.8 holds the body of an unknown soldier.

 

Also in a letter from the Dutch War Grave Comite in 1948, it is said that they don't have information about a Rudbuck,F.J. No.137300 Flying Officer buried in Cadzand.

 

Why the grave on 27.8 is named as being that of F/O F.J. Rudduck, seems to be a mystery, as there is no proof, other then the letter written by his aunt, the archives don't hold any documents of a body being washed up on 18 June being that of a F/O Rudduck, also the CWGC can't find any documentation about the identification.

 

So if 27.8 hold the body of F/O Rudduck, what happened to the body of the unknown Airman washed up on 16 June 1942?.

With the above in formation the case is now looked after by the CWGC as that of being mis-ID case. 

It will take most likely a long time to see if the RAF accept this case as being that of an unknown airman, hopefully information will turn up as where the body of Frank George Ruddock washed up, and might even still be buried as an unknown.

 

Again a case which could only be checked up with archive documents, and a date could be easily been mistaken, but as the report of the unknown in grave 27.8 was made up in 1942 it is impossible to get mixed up 2 years later.