These un-official cards were a families way of thanking an individual for sending their sympathy on the loss of a loved one. Many had photos of the dead serviceman which would also serve as a remembrance to those who had received them.
I try and pick these up when ever I can find them whatever the condition. Have managed to do a little bit or research on a few of these cards to try and find out about the serviceman and the circumstances of their death.
This memorial card was sent by Karl and Johanna Hultenberg who’s son Guy had been killed on the 17 April 1945. This card came in the original mourning envelope.Also in the envelope was a small picture of Guy which had some writing on the back. The photo shows him dressed in the early high collar service dress with the wide 1908 pattern web belt. The writing on the back is rather touching, complete with possible tear stains. It says ” Guy as a small boy. Sorry I made a mistake I mean as a tall proud smiling soldier”.
From the official history of the 27th Machine Gun Battalion I have found out that on the 17th April the 27th Battalion were involved in capturing the village Villa Fontana in Italy. After successfully capturing the village the battalion then planned to advance over the Gaiana however after some stiff German resistance involving Tiger tanks and troops of the 1st Parachute Division, a stalemate developed. The Germans were pretty well dug in on one of the stopbanks of a tributary of the Gaiana. The second company of the 27th, Guy’s company, was the most forward of the 27th companies and had been able to secure the opposite stopbank. The second company had suffered casualties due to snipers from across the other stopbank, so the Officer Commanding (OC) broke the company up into two groups and with one group, the group Guy was in, occupied a house which commanded the banks on both sides of the canal for some distance, from the upper windows of the house, the OC and two or three others retaliated against the German snipers. From this advantage point Guy Hultenberg was able to use his Bren gun as a snipping weapon and account for 5 Germans before he was killed. The official history notes that his OC “…cautioned him on several occasions to be more careful but unfortunately his enthusiasm and courage overcame his judgment”.
Here’s a bit more info on Guy from the CWGC:
Name: HULTENBERG, GUY
Nationality: New Zealand
Regiment: New Zealand Machine Gun Battalion Unit Text: 27th
Date of Death: 17/04/1945
Service No: 244897
Additional information: Son of Karl Folke Hultenberg and of Johanna Hultenberg (nee Andersen), of Carterton, Wellington, New Zealand.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: VI. G. 15.
Cemetery: FAENZA WAR CEMETERY
Another photo of Guy from the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Cenotaph website.
This memorial card was sent by Louisa Durward who’s son was an RNZAF wireless operator/ air gunner and was killed on 21 Jan 1943.
Flight Sergeant James Sydney Durward, RNZAF 412872, 101 Sqn(RAF), who died age 26 on 21 January 1943, and is buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery 3.B.16.
Flight Sergeant Durward was a crew member of a Lancaster IB (built at Avro Chadderton) serial number ED443 code SR-B . This aircraft was delivered to 101 Squadron on 30 December 1942 and completed 28 hours with the squadron before it was lost on the night of the 21/22-01-1943. SR-B took off at 17:00 from Holme-on Spalding-Moor (Yorkshire) on a bombing mission to Essen (site of the Krups factory). The crew was:
Pilot Sgt: PTW Wiltshire (age21) RNZAF 413165 KIA
Engineer: Sgt J Carr (22) RAAF 10169 KIA
Navigator: FO KE Kibble (22) RNZAF 41336 KIA
Bomb Aimer: Sgt GJ Smale (22) RAFVR 1377300 KIA
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner: FSgt JS Durward (26) RNZAF 412872 KIA
Mid Upper Gunner: Sgt EJ Chapman (?) RAFVR 1322050 KIA
Rear Gunner: Sgt MI Sharpley (22) RAFVR 964253 KIA
The aircraft Durward was a crew member of crashed near Dortmund where the crew were initially buried in the Hauptfriedhof. Since reinterred at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
The bombing mission to Essen (up until early 1943 the most bombed town) involved 79 Lancaster and 3 Mosquito (probably from 109 pathfinder Sqn) aircraft. The bombers encountered total cloud cover and bombs were dropped blindly on estimated positions. Four Lancaster’s were lost. None of the crews of the 4 bombers survived.
The other Lancaster’s that were lost were:
PM-A (103 Squadron) serial # W4340. Built between July-Nov 1942 at Avro Chadderton. Delivered to 103 Sqn Oct 1942 completed 95 hours with the squadron. Took off from Elsham Woods at 1735. Pilot P/O Edgar Heaton RAF 51898. The aircraft was lost without trace (probably in the North Sea). I believe PM-A was shot down by Uffz Georg Kraft of 12/NJG1 (shot down at approx 19:52 from 5600m). It was the bomber crews second operation. The crew are commemorated on the RAF Memorial at Runnymede.
PM-F (103 Sqn) serial# W4335. Took off from Elsham Woods at 1743. Pilot Sgt Edward Vivian Laing (age 22) RAAF 406693. The aircraft was shot down on its outward trip by Feldwebel Theodor Klein-Henz of 3/NJG1at 19:30 the plane crashed 10 miles from Enschede (Holland). The crew were all buried in Enschede Eastern General Cemetery.
EM-B (207 Sqn) serial# W4365. Built between July-Nov 1942 at Avro Chadderton. Took off from Langar at 17:29. Pilot Sgt John Charles Dangerfield (age 28) RAAF 407965. The crew are all buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.