Historie Podcaster

Nr. 250 skvadron (RAF): Andre verdenskrig

Nr. 250 skvadron (RAF): Andre verdenskrig

Nr. 250 skvadron (RAF) under andre verdenskrig

Fly - Steder - Gruppe og plikt - Bøker

No.250 skvadron tilbrakte hele andre verdenskrig med å operere i eller rundt Middelhavet, og deltok i kampene i den vestlige ørkenen og invasjonene av Sicilia og Italia.

Skvadronen ble reformert fra K Flight ved Aqir 1. april 1941, og hadde mot slutten av måneden mottatt nok Tomahawk -krigere til å bli operative. Først ble skvadronen brukt til å fly defensive patruljer over Palestina, men i mai 1941 begynte en avdeling å fly offensive feier over Syria, og i juni flyttet skvadronen til Nord -Afrika for å delta i kampene i den vestlige ørkenen.

I februar 1942 ble skvadronen trukket tilbake for defensive oppgaver, før den konverterte til jagerbomberen Kittyhawk. Den returnerte til ørkenen i april, akkurat i tide til å delta i det katastrofale slaget ved Gazala, som så britene presset tilbake til El Alamein. Etter dette deltok skvadronen i de defensive kampene på den linjen, og deretter serien med allierte seire, som begynte ved El Alamein, som til slutt så tyskerne og italienerne bli klarert fra Nord -Afrika.

I juli 1943 flyttet skvadronen til Malta for å støtte invasjonen av Sicilia, og noen dager senere flyttet den inn i det nye strandhodet. I midten av september flyttet skvadronen til Italia og fløy jagerbomberoppdrag til slutten av krigen og støttet de fremrykkende hærene. Skvadronen ble oppløst i august 1945.

Fly
April 1941-april 1942: Curtiss Tomahawk IIB
Februar-april 1942: Hawker Hurricane I
Februar-april 1942: Hawker Hurricane IIB og IIC
April-oktober 1942: Curtiss Kittyhawk I og II
Oktober 1942-januar 1944: Curtiss Kittyhawk III
Januar 1944-august 1945: Curtiss Kittyhawk IV
August 1945-januar 1947: Nordamerikanske Mustang III og IV

plassering
April-mai 1941: Aqir
Mai 1941: løsrivelse til Amriya
Mai-juni 1941: Ikingi Maryut
Juni-november 1941: Sidi Haneish Sør
November 1941: LG.109
November-desember 1941: LG.123
Desember 1941: LG.122
Desember 1941: LG.123
Desember 1941: Tobruk
Desember 1941: Gazala 3
Desember 1941-januar 1942: Msus
Januar 1942: Antelat
Januar 1942: Msus
Januar 1942: Mechili
Januar-februar 1942: Gazala 1
Februar-april 1942: Gamil
April 1942: LG.12
April-juni 1942: Gambut 1
Juni 1942: Gambut 2
Juni 1942: Sidi Azeiz
Juni 1942: LG.75
Juni 1942: LG.102
Juni 1942: LG.106
Juni-november 1942: LG.91
November 1942: LG.106
November 1942: LG.101
November 1942: LG.76
November 1942: Gambut 1
November 1942: Gambut 2
November-desember 1942: Martuba 4
Desember 1942: Belandah 1
Desember 1942-januar 1943: Marble Arch
Januar 1943: El Chel 2
Januar 1943: Hamraiet 3
Januar 1943: Sedadah
Januar 1943: Bir Dufan Main
Januar-februar 1943: Castel Benito
Februar-mars 1943: El Assa
Mars 1943: Nefatia Main
Mars-april 1943: Medenine Main
April 1943: El Hamma
April 1943: El Djem
April-mai 1943: Kairouan
Mai-juli 1943: Zuara
Juli 1943: Hal Far
Juli 1943: Luqa
Juli-august 1943: Pachino
August-september 1943: Agnone
September 1943: Grottaglie
September-oktober 1943: Bari/ Palese
Oktober 1943: Foggia Main
Oktober-desember 1943: Foggia/ Mileni
Desember 1943-mai 1944: Cutella
Mai-juni 1944: San Angelo
Juni 1944: Guidonia
Juni-juli 1944: Falerium
Juli-august 1944: Kreta
August-november 1944: Iesi
November 1944-februar 1945: Fano
Februar-mai 1945: Cervia
Mai 1945-januar 1946: Lavariano
Januar-september 1946: Tissano
September-november 1946: Treviso
November 1946: Lavariano
November-desember 1946: Treviso

Skvadronkoder: LD

Plikt
1941-1942: Jagereskadron, Midtøsten
1942-1943: Jagerbombefly-skvadron, Nord-Afrika
1943-1945: Jagerbombefly-skvadron, Italia

Del av
11. november 1941: No.262 Wing; A.H.Q. Western Desert; Midtøsten kommando
27. oktober 1942: No.239 Wing; No.211 Group; A.H.Q. Western Desert; Midtøsten kommando
10. juli 1943: No.239 Wing; No.211 Group; Desert Air Force; Nordafrikansk taktisk luftvåpen; Nordvestafrikanske luftstyrker; Middelhavets luftkommando

Bøker

Bokmerk denne siden: Nydelig Facebook Snuble over


Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar: Gruppekaptein C R Caldwell, RAAF, 250 skvadron RAF

Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar. Kryss gravert på baksiden av underarmen med tildelingsår.

Clive Robertson Caldwell ble født i Sydney, NSW, i 1910. Utdannet ved Sydney Grammar, var han en ivrig sportsmann og utviklet en tidlig entusiasme for fly. I løpet av 1930 -årene ga en pilotvenn ham litt instruksjon og erfaring i flyging, og da krig ble erklært bestemte han seg, til tross for at han var over alder, for å melde seg inn i RAAF som flybesetning. Etter å ha endret fødselsattesten for å indikere at han var 26 år gammel, (28 som skjæringsdato for pilotopplæring) ble Caldwell akseptert. Da han oppdaget at inntaket hans skulle bli flyinstruktører, søkte han utskrivelse og meldte seg på nytt med de første australierne som ble valgt ut til Empire Air Training Scheme. Etter eksamen fra kurset som pilotoffiser i januar 1941 ble han sendt til 250 skvadron, RAF, som flyr P-40 Tomahawk-krigere i Syria, Palestina og Nord-Afrika. Selv om han var frustrert over tiden det tok å endelig registrere sin første seier, (26. juni), steg Caldwells score deretter raskt. I januar 1942 fikk han kommandoen over 112 skvadron, RAF, hvis 'sharkmouth' P-40 Kittyhawks allerede var kjent, og i mai hadde han blitt tildelt Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, samt det polske korset av Valor som anerkjennelse for hans arbeid med den nasjonens styrker. Han fikk også tillatelse, ved spesiell dispensasjon fra general Sikorski, å bære den polske pilotens merke. Da han ble sendt bort fra Midtøsten, hadde han registrert 20,5 bekreftede seire og fått kallenavnet 'Killer', som han mislikte. Da han kom tilbake til Australia i oktober 1942, fikk Caldwell kommandoen over No 1 Fighter Wing, hvis tre skvadroner av Spitfire Mk Vs opererte i forsvar av Darwin. Han la til åtte japanske fly til sin oversikt før han ga fra seg kommandoen over vingen i august 1943 for å bli sjefflyinstruktør ved 2 OTU. I april 1944 fikk han kommandoen over No 80 Fighter Wing, utstyrt med Mk VIII Spitfires. Etter operasjoner fra Darwin flyttet vingen til Morotai i desember. På dette stadiet hadde imidlertid krigen gått videre, og det var lite produktivt arbeid for den. En økende følelse av misnøye blant piloter med operasjoner som ble sett på som meningsløse, førte til Caldwells engasjement i det som ble kjent som 'Morotai Mutiny', der åtte seniorflyvere meldte seg fra. Denne handlingen og disiplinærprosessen som fulgte, gjorde ham forbitret om tjenestekarrieren, og han tok utskrivelsen fra RAAF i 1946. Australias høyest scorende ess fra andre verdenskrig, Clive Caldwell døde i Sydney i august 1994, 84 år gammel. Sitatet til Distinguished Flying Cross lyder som følger: "Denne offiseren har utført et fantastisk arbeid i operasjoner i Midtøsten. Han har til enhver tid vist fast besluttsomhet og stor hengivenhet for plikt som har vist seg å være en inspirasjon for sine medpiloter. Ved en anledning under en patrulje ble han angrepet av 2 Messerschmitt 109 -er. Flyet hans ble hardt skadet, mens han selv mottok sår i ansiktet, armene og bena. Likevel kom han modig tilbake til angrepet og skjøt ned et av de fiendtlige flyene. F/ LT. CALDWELL har ødelagt minst 4 fiendtlige fly. 'Sitatet til baren til DFC lyder som følger' Denne offiseren fortsetter å ta tak i fiendens fly. En dag i desember 1941 ledet Flight Lieutenant Caldwell flukten mot en rekke Junkers 87 -er, og under kampen skjøt han personlig ned fem av fiendens fly som hans totale seire til 12. '


Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar: Gruppekaptein C R Caldwell, RAAF, 250 skvadron RAF

Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar. Kryss gravert på baksiden av underarmen med tildelingsår.

Clive Robertson Caldwell ble født i Sydney, NSW, i 1910. Utdannet ved Sydney Grammar, var han en ivrig sportsmann og utviklet en tidlig entusiasme for fly. I løpet av 1930 -årene ga en pilotvenn ham noen instruksjoner og erfaring med flyging, og da krig ble erklært bestemte han seg, til tross for at han var over alder, for å bli medlem av RAAF som flybesetning. Etter å ha endret fødselsattesten for å indikere at han var 26 år gammel, (28 som skjæringsdato for pilotopplæring) ble Caldwell akseptert. Da han oppdaget at inntaket hans skulle bli flyinstruktører, søkte han utskrivelse og meldte seg på nytt med de første australierne som ble valgt ut til Empire Air Training Scheme. Etter eksamen fra kurset som pilotoffiser i januar 1941 ble han sendt til 250 skvadron, RAF, som flyr P-40 Tomahawk-krigere i Syria, Palestina og Nord-Afrika. Selv om han var frustrert over tiden det tok å endelig registrere sin første seier, (26. juni), steg Caldwells score deretter raskt. I januar 1942 fikk han kommandoen over 112 Squadron, RAF, hvis 'sharkmouth' P-40 Kittyhawks allerede var kjent, og i mai hadde han blitt tildelt Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, samt det polske korset av Valor som anerkjennelse for hans arbeid med den nasjonens styrker. Han fikk også tillatelse, ved spesiell dispensasjon fra general Sikorski, å bære den polske pilotens merke. Da han ble sendt bort fra Midtøsten, hadde han registrert 20,5 bekreftede seire og fått kallenavnet 'Killer', som han mislikte. Da han kom tilbake til Australia i oktober 1942, fikk Caldwell kommandoen over No 1 Fighter Wing, hvis tre skvadroner av Spitfire Mk Vs opererte i forsvar av Darwin. Han la til åtte japanske fly til sin oversikt før han ga fra seg kommandoen over vingen i august 1943 for å bli sjefflyinstruktør ved 2 OTU. I april 1944 fikk han kommandoen over No 80 Fighter Wing, utstyrt med Mk VIII Spitfires. Etter operasjoner fra Darwin flyttet vingen til Morotai i desember. På dette stadiet hadde imidlertid krigen gått videre, og det var lite produktivt arbeid for den. En økende følelse av misnøye blant piloter med operasjoner som ble sett på som meningsløse, førte til Caldwells engasjement i det som ble kjent som 'Morotai Mutiny', der åtte seniorflyvere meldte seg fra. Denne handlingen og disiplinærprosessen som fulgte, gjorde ham forbitret om tjenestekarrieren, og han tok utskrivelsen fra RAAF i 1946. Australias høyest scorende ess fra andre verdenskrig, Clive Caldwell døde i Sydney i august 1994, 84 år gammel. Sitatet til Distinguished Flying Cross lyder som følger: "Denne offiseren har utført et fantastisk arbeid i operasjoner i Midtøsten. Han har til enhver tid vist fast besluttsomhet og stor hengivenhet for plikt som har vist seg å være en inspirasjon for sine medpiloter. Ved en anledning under en patrulje ble han angrepet av 2 Messerschmitt 109 -er. Flyet hans ble hardt skadet, mens han selv mottok sår i ansiktet, armer og ben. Likevel kom han modig tilbake til angrepet og skjøt ned et av de fiendtlige flyene. F/ LT. CALDWELL har ødelagt minst 4 fiendtlige fly. 'Sitatet til baren til DFC lyder som følger' Denne offiseren fortsetter å ta tak i fiendens fly. En dag i desember 1941 ledet Flight Lieutenant Caldwell flukten mot en rekke Junkers 87 -er, og under kampen skjøt han personlig ned fem av fiendens fly som hans totale seire til 12. '


På den første dagen av andre verdenskrig flyttet skvadronen til Frankrike for å starte operasjonene.

Mai 1940, over Albert Canal, Belgia, ble en bro spesielt brukt av den invaderende tyske hæren, med beskyttelse mot jagerfly, anti-fly og maskingevær. RAF ble beordret til å rive denne viktige broen, og fem Fairey Battles fra skvadronen ble sendt. De møtte et inferno av luftfartsbrann, men oppdraget ble fullført, mye av suksessen skyldtes kjøligheten og ressursen til piloten Flying Officer Garland i de ledende flyene og navigasjonen til sersjant Gray. Dessverre kom ikke det ledende flyet og tre andre tilbake. Flying Officer Garland og sersjant Gray ble begge postuum tildelt Victoria Cross.

Skvadronen kom tilbake til England i juni. Den ble opprinnelig stasjonert på RAF Finningley, og ankom RAF Binbrook i juli 1940 da den ble møblert på nytt med Battles. Blant andre oppdrag utførte den angrep mot invasjon mot skipsfarten i Boulogne havn, særlig 17. og 19. august. Skvadronen var en av de siste enhetene i gruppe nr. 1 som gjennomførte operasjoner med Fairey Battles. Disse fant sted 15. -16. Oktober 1940, da nr. 301 (polsk) skvadron bombet Boulogne og nr. 12 og 142 skvadroner bombet Calais. I november 1940 hadde skvadronen blitt fullstendig utstyrt med Vickers Wellington, og forblir foreløpig på RAF Binbrook. Skvadronen flyttet igjen i 1942, til RAF Wickenby, og konverterte like etter for å operere Avro Lancaster.


Nr. 250 skvadron (RAF): Andre verdenskrig - Historie


"Vingede piler"

Amogh Lakshya - True to Aim

Fødsel og andre verdenskrig

Selv om det indiske flyvåpenet ble født med oppveksten av nr. 1 skvadron i 1933, skulle det ta ytterligere åtte år før den andre skvadronen kunne reises. Utbruddet av andre verdenskrig og den raske tilstrømningen av utdannede piloter og personell sørget for at det var nok flybesetning til å utstyre en andre skvadron. Følgelig 1. april 1941, nr. 2 skvadron, IAF ble oppvokst i Peshawar under kommando av Flt Lt AB Awan.

Utstyrt med Westland Wapiti, det samme flyet som nr. 1 ble hevet på, hadde det en enhet etablering av 20 offiserer og 164 mann. Seks offiserer fra nr. 1 ble utsendt til skvadronen og ytterligere sju ankom fra nr. 1 SFTS Ambala. Flt Lt SN Goyal og Flt Lt MK Janjua var flykommandører for henholdsvis 'A' og 'B' flyreiser. Adjutanten var Flt Lt HU 'Bulbul' Khan. Flt Lt Aspy Engineer overtok kommandoen over skvadronen i juni 41 og snart ble en avdeling sendt til Miranshah for å sørge for operasjoner i Tochi -dalen i NWFP. Den gjenværende delen av skvadronen fortsatte å trene på Peshawar før de flyttet til Kohat i september 41, hvor de fikk selskap av Miranshah Detachment som har fullført sin omvisning i operasjonene. I mellomtiden har skvadronen gitt opp Wapitis til Coastal Defense Flights og utstyrt med Audax -fly.

Mot slutten av 1941 mottok nr. 2 relativt moderne fly i form av Westland Lysander, som også var utstyret til nr. 1 skvadron. I hele 1942 var enheten involvert i øvelser for hærsamarbeid og flyttet over deler av Sør -India i løpet av operasjonene. I september 42 fikk enheten i oppgave å flytte til Risalpur for å konvertere seg til Hawker Hurricane IIc -flyet. Konverteringen ble fullført i desember, og enheten fortsatte til Ranchi for avansert jagerfly.

I mellomtiden har kommandoen over enheten gått videre til Sqn Ldr HU Khan, under hvis kommando enheten fløy til Bhopal for Operational Training Wing. Omtrent på denne tiden så Winged Arrows sin første smak av handling. En avdeling av Seven Hurricanes ble sendt under Flt Lt Nazirullah til Imphal -sektoren for å tilby inntekts- og støtteoppdrag til chindittene. Avdelingen skilte seg ut under oppholdet til 43. mai. Ved en anledning angrep en pilot som fløy over Chindwin vellykket en liten japansk hærpatrulje og reddet en såret Gorkha -soldat som lå hjelpeløs ved en elvebredd. Under denne turen hadde skvadronen to skadde. Flt Lt Latif og Pt Off JS Bhullar måtte begge skride bak fiendens linjer og ble tatt av POW av japanerne.

Men tilbake på Ranchi, 26. april 43, mistet skvadronen sin CO da Sqn Ldr HU Khan krasjet i orkanen mens han ferget en orkan fra Imphal til Ranchi. Motoren hans stanset under flyturen og orkanen velte da Khan prøvde å forsøke å lande en hjul ned i et felt for å redde flyet. Sqn Ldr Dunsford Wood, en RAF -offiser ble sendt til å overta kommandoen over skvadronen, men ting var ikke helt hunky dory. Fg Off Murkot Ramunny som akkurat da ble sendt til skvadronen, observerte "Jeg tjenestegjorde med en RAF -skvadron før nr. 2, og det var ganske greit, men en RAF -CO i en IAF -skvadron med noen få RAF -underoffiserer og menn er ikke alltid den beste kombinasjon - spesielt når CO hadde en høy oppfatning av hans rase og farge ". Ikke kort tid etter overtok Sqn Ldr Surjit Singh Majithia kommandoen over skvadronen.


En orkan av skvadron nr. 2 fløyet av Flt Cdr, F/L H Ratnagar over skogene på Burma -fronten.

En avdeling av skvadronen ble knyttet til Indian Air Force Exhibition unit i midten av 1944 på Peshawar. Det meste av aktiviteten var i grenseplikter fra Kohat. I oktober 44, mens enheten var under kommando av Sqn Ldr K Jaswant Singh, mottok enheten ordre om å flytte til Burma for operasjoner. Fra 23. november 44, da de ankom Mambur flystripe, til 17. mai 45, da turen var avsluttet, var skvadronen involvert i flygende jagerflyoppdrag. Oppgaven er å samle informasjon om japansk aktivitet enten ved visuell observasjon eller fotografiske midler. Enheten deltok i den tredje Arakan -kampanjen og i operasjoner i Kangaw Valley. Sorteringshastigheten som skvadronen satte ut var fantastisk. For eksempel, i januar måned 1945, ble det satt opp 548 sorteringer av pilotene. Den neste måneden var det en innsats på 866 flyvetimer! mottok en gratulasjonsmelding fra den indiske divisjon GOC 26 som sendte den til AOC HQ, 224 Group RAF. 17. mai 45 ble skvadronen stående og kjøpt til Samungli. I løpet av oppveksten frem til uavhengighet hadde enheten mistet fjorten av sine galante piloter til operasjoner og ulykker. Et av de tragiske tapene inkluderte Fg Off BBK Rao DFC, som kom inn fra nr. 1 skvadron.

Enheten ble nok en gang flyttet til Kohat i NWFP i 1946 hvor den ble utstyrt med Spitfire VIII og fortsatt var basert der i september 47, da den hadde konvertert til Hawker Tempest II under kommando av Sqn Ldr A Murat Singh. På grunn av fordelingen av eiendeler under partisjonen etter uavhengighet, overlot skvadronen sine eiendeler til det nyfødte pakistanske luftvåpenet og ble raskt nummerert i desember 1947. Det var ironisk at 2. skvadron ville bli med nr. 1 i å bli oppløst og forlate det indiske flyvåpenet uten sine to øverste enheter!

Fødsel 1951

No.2 ble reist igjen på Palam 15. juli 51 under kommando av Sqn Ldr Randhir Singh VrC. Enheten var nå utstyrt med Spitfire XVIII og en Harvard -trener. I omtrent to år ble aktiviteten drevet av møllen, og flyr med normale eksporter, inkludert dykkbombing med 250 pund. Mye fotoarbeid ble utført av enheten. Flere unge piloter ble lagt ut omtrent denne gangen for å konvertere til operativ flyging. Plt Offr NC Suri er en av dem. I oktober 1953 konverterte enheten til De Havilland Vampire FB52 enseters jetjager. På den tiden var Sqn Ldr Rointon Engineer DFC CO. Vampyrene var med skvadronen i en kort periode. Ytterligere tre år senere i mai 1956 konverterte Winged Arrows til Dassault Ouragan -jagerflyet, også kjent som Toofani i IAF -tjenesten.

Enheten var banebrytende for aerobatikkflyging av Ouragan. En spesiell manøver det ble kalt gjentatte ganger for å utføre var Tricolor Loop, som ble gjort for første gang 1. april 58. Deretter var det en hyppig visning over himmelen i Delhi på hver republikkdagsparade. Den siste forestillingen var på Republic Day Parade i 62. I det året vant enheten også det ettertraktede Mukherjee Trophy for beste skytespill på Squadron Gunnery -møtet. I april mottok skvadronen sin første Folland Gnat -jager. Enheten kastet nå ut Ouragans for å bli den "ekte fighter" -eskvadronen.

Wg Cdr Bharat Singh overtok som CO i september 63, og like etter deltok skvadronen i øvelse SHIKSHA, der IAF -krigere trente med USAF- og RAF -krigerne. No.2 spesielt montert sorties fra Ambala mot USAF F-100 Super Sabres opererer fra Palam. Enheten redegjorde godt for seg selv.

Konvertering til Gnat var plaget av problemene som oppstod i løpet av operasjonene. I en freak -forekomst den 7. april 64, hoppet en Gnat som gjennomgikk motorkjøringstestene, og slo ham i en hangarvegg og skrev seg av! 64. april viste seg å være en dårlig måned med en av pilotene som ble drept i en Gnat-krasj 15. april-64. 17. oktober 64 resulterte i at et annet fly gikk tapt. 13. mai 65, overskred en myg som kom i land landingsbanen, og piloten kastet trygt ut for første gang ved bruk av 0-0 Mk-2G setet.

Da utbruddet av konflikten i 1965 var nært forestående, ble skvadronen fordelt mellom Ambala og Agra. En avdeling under Wg Cdr Bharat Singh flyttet snart til Halwara flybase på oppblussingen av fiendtlighetene. En annen avdeling ble fløyet til Adampur mens en tredje ble opprettholdt på Ambala under Sqn Ldr Jit Dhawan. Gjennom krigen var skvadronen involvert i ikke bare flygende eskorteoppdrag til angrep fra Canberra og Hunter, men også i nære støtteoppdrag til hjelp for hæren.

Piloter av No.2 Squadron med sine Gnats på Ambala like før krigen i 1965. CO Wg Cdr Bharat Singh står sjette fra høyre.

Det første møtet med fienden var 13. september, da en del av Gnats ble sprettert av Sabres. Flt Lt AN Kale befant seg bak en sabel, men pistolene hans klemte i riktig øyeblikk. Flyet hans ble hardt skadet i luftkamp, ​​og han måtte kaste ut i nærheten av Ferozepur. Dagen etter led skvadronen sin første dødsulykke i konflikt, da Sqn Ldr NK Malik krasjet under gjenoppretting til basen på grunn av en teknisk funksjonsfeil. Flyet hans skulle ha lidd en 'Trim Override'.

Winged -pilene tok første blod den 14. september, da en Canberra -formasjon som ble eskortert av Gnats ble sprettet av Sabres. Wg Cdr Bharat Singh jaget en sabel på lavt nivå. Sabrepiloten prøvde forskjellige manøvrer i forsøket på å unnslippe Gnat, men krasjet i forsøket på å gjøre det. Dette ble en av de første kampdrepene for No.2 Squadron.

Flere eskorteoppdrag ble fløyet av Gnats of No.2. Disse inkluderte Hunters of No.7 samt Canberras fra No.5 Squadron som foretok daglige raid over Lahore Kasur -fronten.

Dette ble fulgt av en stor aksjon 20. september. Flt Lt AK Majumdar og Fg Offr K C Khanna tok av med en blandet formasjon av jegere over Lahore -sektoren. I den påfølgende luftkampen med Sabres ble to av jegerne truffet og skutt ned. Mazumdar scoret imidlertid mot Sabres ved å skyte ned ett fly fløyet av Flt Lt AH Malik fra PAF.

Krigen i 1965 tjente de første laurbærene for skvadron nr. 2. Både Wg Cdr Bharat Singh og Flt Lt AK Mazumdar ble tildelt Vir Chakra -medaljene. Flykommandøren, Sqn Ldr R Dhawan ble tildelt VSM for sitt bidrag.

Etter krigen gikk skvadronen tilbake til sine vanlige plikter i Agra og Barielly etter krigen. Wg Cdr Bharat Singh ble etterfulgt av Wg Cdr KK Malik. Han inturn ble etterfulgt av Wg Cdr Johnny Greene VrC i november 69. Skvadronen deltok i forskjellige Fire Power Displays og våpen møtes i denne perioden. Skvadronen sendte også en avdeling for å operere fra Amritsar flyplass.

1971 Pakistansk krig

Da krigen i 1971 brøt ut 3. desember 71, ble hele skvadronen flyttet til Amritsar flyplass. Oppgaven er å forsvare flyplassen som har blitt en stor oppskytningsrampe for Ground Attack og Counter Air Missions. PAF -krigerne nektet ved mange anledninger å kjempe mot de småkrigene på nr. 2. Den første avlytningen skjedde 4. desember, da Wg Cdr Johnny Green på en daggryspatrulje kl. 0645 timer avlyttet en innkommende F-104. F-104 slo tankene og sprang avsted med etterbrenner med Greene som jaktet den forgiftelig. Det eneste Greene kunne gjøre var å filme den raskt forsvinnende Starfighter.

7. desember fanget Fg Off Rana og Fg Off AK Singh to Mirage III -er inn for å angripe. Begge Mirages nektet kamp, ​​engasjerte oppvarming og flyr bort. Det var ingen ytterligere avlyttinger på Amritsar. Den eneste handlingen var at skvadronens fly skulle utføre CAP i stor høyde bevisst slik at de kunne bli lagt merke til av fiendens radar. Dette avskrekket fienden fra å sende inn B-57.

Da krigen tok slutt, hadde nr. 2 fløyet 279 slag. For sin innsats ble to Vayusena -medaljer og fire Mentions in Dispatches tildelt. CO Johnny Greene er en av VM -mottakerne.

Etter krigen: 1970 -tallet og Presidents Colors

Enheten opprettholdt en vanlig avdeling ved Amritsar og en rekke avdelinger andre steder, inkludert Srinagar, Nal, Gorakhpur og Palam. Johnny Greene gjennomførte landingsforsøk på høyden av Gnat fra Leh flyplass for første gang. I 75. februar gjorde skvadronen sitt første store trekk og flyttet permanent til Srinagar. Dette var en unik og ny opplevelse for skvadronen. flygende under primitive forhold og ugunstig vær, tok Winged Daggers oppgaven sin muntert og lykkelig. Gnat -flyet ble modifisert i 1977 og utstyrt med Ajeet Phase 1 -konverteringssett. For en stund opererte skvadronen fra Awantipur flyplass lenger sør i Kashmir -dalen mens Srinagar rullebane ble dukket opp igjen. Fasilitetene på Awantipur var begrensede. De fleste offiserer og mannskap opererte fra provisoriske telt.

Skvadronen fikk i oppgave å flytte til Kalaikunda i 1979, et trekk som ble fullført innen oktober samme år. Ved ankomst til Kalaikunda ble det gjort hektiske forberedelser for presentasjonen av fargeseremonien. I desember 79, som en anerkjennelse for den enestående servicen til landet, ble Winged Arrows presentert med de ettertraktede "Presidents -fargene" av Neelam Sanjeev Reddy, presidenten i Republikken India. CO på den tiden var Wg Cdr Menezes VM.

Fremkomsten av åttitallet så skvadronen basert på Kalaikunda, men utførte forskjellige skyteskytinger ved Dhudkundi Range, flypast -sorteringer over Gauhati, Tezpur, Barrackpore og Gangtok.

I februar 83 fløy skvadronens Gnats sine tapte sorter. Flyet skulle erstattes av Ajeet som var den oppgraderte versjonen av Gnat. Ajeets kom imidlertid ikke før ni måneder senere i november 83. Hele skvadronen var spent på å fortsette å fly etter en lang periode på ni måneder. Flere Ajeets fulgte i desember måned. Skvadronen hadde en vennlig rivalisering med den tilstøtende 22 skvadronen som også fløy Ajeets. I 1985 utførte enheten den første luft til luft -avfyringen med Ajeet -flyet i Chabua.

Da AOC Kalaikunda, Air Cmde TK Sen utfordret skvadronen til å fly 300 sorteringer i januar 86, gjorde skvadronen det med lyst. Flygende Ajeets mye, den 300. sorteringen ble klokket 29. januar, med en dag til overs! De samlet nesten 310 timer i innsatsen. Den neste måneden deltok skvadronen igjen med sine erkerivaler, nr. 22 i EKALAVYA -kanonmøtet. Under flyging hadde AOC, Air Cmde Sen mens han fløy en av nr. 2s Ajeet en flameout over DDK Range. Han kastet ut med et brudd i beinet. Dette var den første Ajeet som ble tapt av skvadronen etter induksjonen.

Flere øvelser fulgte og nr. 2 fikk flere førsteganger, inkludert den første nattflyging ved Ajeet. Ajeet, som var en tyngre fetter av Gnat, hadde alle nyanser og problemer med det. Skvadronen led av sitt første dødsfall 30. september 86. Neste år under landingsinnflyging måtte Fg Offr R Radhish kaste ut ettersom flyet fikk alvorlige kontrollproblemer og begynte å rulle til høyre. Fg Offr TJA Khan måtte kaste ut etter at hans Ajeet flammet ut under en sortie i mars 88. En av sjøpilotene knyttet til skvadronen for konverteringstrening, Lt Uday Kumar Sondhi måtte krasjland flyet sitt utenfor Kalaikunda. Han ble tildelt Shaurya Chakra for å ha bestemt seg for å holde seg til flyet og ikke kaste ut over et befolket område. To sivile som hjalp ham på bakken ut av det brennende vraket ble også tildelt Shaurya Chakra. 11. mai 89 så et annet trist tap da Fg Offr Shivraj krasjet og ble drept under en lavnivå -sortering av fire fly.

I oktober 88 fløy enheten to Ajeets til Ambala for å danne "Mammoth" -formasjonen. Formasjonen besto av alle kampflyene til IAF. Fotografiene som ble publisert i mange salongbordbøker og flyblader. Notert luftfartsfotograf Peter Steinmann var involvert i fotograferingen sammen med andre IAF -fotografer. Stienmann var også involvert i separate skudd med Ajeets of No.2, og mange av hans utmerkede fotografier er nå populært sirkulert i forskjellige kretser.

Dette var ikke den eneste medieeksponeringen for skvadronen, den deltok i den brede TV -serien Fire Power på Tilpat i mai 89. I oktober 1990 ankom et TV -mannskap til Kalaikunda for å filme den siste episoden av serien 'Param Vir Chakra'. Filmen var sentrert om PVC -en som ble vunnet av Fg Offr NS Sekhon i 71 -krigen, og da den 2. tiden var den eneste skvadronen som fløy Ajeet som eksternt lignet Gnat, ble det valgt å levere flyet til filmingen. Fienden 'Sabres' ble spilt av Hunters of No.20 Squadron.

Omtrent på dette tidspunktet mottok skvadronen to 2-seters Ajeet Conversion Trainers fra HAL. Imidlertid kunne disse flyene ikke utnyttes fullt ut da skumringen til Gnat/Ajeet -jagerflyet nærmet seg med stormskritt. 31. mars 91 ble den siste Ajeet som ble faset ut fløyet av Wg Cdr R Rajaram, CO til IAF -museet i Palam og overlevert til AOC Palam. Skvadronen var nå planlagt å bli omgjort til MiG-27 ML Ground angrepsfly.

Flogger Era:

Wg Cdr DN Ganesh overtok skvadronen i april 91, og snart sluttet et kjerneteam på 7 piloter og 2 ingeniøroffiserer seg til enheten. De første MiG-27-ene kom i juni 91, fersk fra HAL Ozhar. Disse besto av fire MiG-27-er og en to-seters MiG-23UB-trener. Ankomsten til MiG-27 var treg på grunn av omsetningen deres fra HAL. ytterligere fire jagerfly ble hentet fra HAL i september 91, men ett fly gikk tapt da Fg Offr HRP Sharma under en konverteringssortering måtte kaste ut fra et snurr. Induksjonen av MiG-27 ble ikke fullført før februar 92, da det 16. flyet ankom. Konverteringen til MiG-27 nå fullført, skvadronen var nå fullt utstyrt for å gi tennene til Eastern Air Command sin offensive komponent.

I løpet av nittitallet mistet skvadronen fem MiG-27-er i tre forskjellige ulykker i løpet av flyet. Den verste ulykken var 31. august 98, da flyet som fløy av Fg Off PS Rana styrtet på toppen av to andre fly på bakken. Piloten samt to andre personell på bakken ble drept i denne forferdelige hendelsen.

Skvadronen vant den beste skvadronpokalen for året 1990. På slutten av 90 -tallet så en ny rolle for skvadronen. it was designated to carry out training for Maritime Strike Operations which was the first time that a MiG-27 squadron was tasked to do so. In no time at all, the Squadron's pilots qualified for the specialist Maritime strike role. A Proud moment came at the Air Force Day 2002. Not only was the CO, Wg Cdr RK Mendiratta awarded the VM, but also the Squadron was adjudged the 'Best Fighter Squadron' in the IAF for the year 2002. A Great achievement indeed!

No.2 Squadron was numberplated (for the second time in its existence) sometime in 2003 and it remained in limbo for about six years. In 2009, it was resurrected at Pune on the Sukhoi-30 MKI. The Squadron sent a detachment to Tezpur in June 2009. It was expected to grow to its full complement by October 2009.


The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (422599) Flight Sergeant Donald John Mackerras, No. 3 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Charis May, the story for this day was on (422599) Flight Sergeant Donald John Mackerras, No. 3 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.

422599 Flight Sergeant Donald John Mackerras, No. 3 Squadron, Royal Air Force
KIA 6 August 1944
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 12 November 2016

Today we pay tribute to Flight Sergeant Donald John Mackerras.

Born in Camperdown in south-western Victoria on 7 November 1920, Donald Mackerras was the son of John William and Esmond Irene Mackerras. By the time he was attending school the family was settled in Pymble in Sydney’s upper north shore. Growing up, Mackerass attended Lindfield Public School, Hornsby Junior Technical School, and then Ultimo Central Technical School. A keen sportsman, he played reserve grade rugby for the Gordon Club and was a member of the North Bondi Surf Club. Later he worked as a costing accountant for his father at J.W. Mackerras Costing Accountants.

On 22 May 1941 Mackerras joined the Royal Australian Air Force, and soon after enlistment commenced training as a pilot. On 11 December 1941 he embarked for overseas service. As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, Mackerras was one of almost 27,500 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers, who joined squadrons based in Britain throughout the course of the war.

Mackerras’s journey to Britain took place via Canada, where he spent several months undertaking specialist training. After arriving in Britain in September 1943, he was posted to No. 3 Squadron, Royal Air Force. At the time he joined the squadron it was equipped with the Hawker Tempest.

From mid-June 1944, air power was divided as the RAF turned its attention from the Allies’ foothold in Normandy to the V-1 terror bombing campaign on London. Australian aircrews and pilots were involved in attacking and bombing V-1 launch sites in northern France as well as intercepting V-1s in flight – this was a particularly dangerous task, because if a pilot flew too close to the target when it was hit, he could be killed in the powerful explosion.

Owing to the speed and high performance of the Hawker Tempest, No. 3 Squadron played a key role when tasked with intercepting and shooting down the V-1s in flight. The pilots performed outstandingly, and the squadron was credited with destroying more than 250 V-1s. Mackerras and his fellow Australian pilot Flying Officer Hubert Bailey led the charge, each credited with destroying 11 rockets.

In the afternoon of 6 August 1944 Mackerras was on a mission to intercept a V-1 over Sussex when his Tempest crashed near Minfield. He was killed in the crash, aged 23.

The commander of No. 3 Squadron wrote to Mackerras’s father, saying:

[Donald was a] very keen and experienced pilot … He was liked by all and his loss is felt deeply by every member of the Squadron, both the aircrews and the groundcrews.

Donald’s body was recovered and he was buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey.

Mackerras’s name is listed here on the Roll of Honour on my left, among some 40,000 Australians who died while serving in the Second World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Flight Sergeant Donald John Mackerras, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.


The Battle of Britain: a brilliant triumph that involved far more than just the chosen few

The Battle of Britain has long been hailed as the triumph of the plucky underdog over the Nazi goliath. Yet, says James Holland, when rival fighters clashed over England in 1940, it was the RAF that held all the aces.

Denne konkurransen er nå stengt

Published: September 15, 2015 at 10:32 am

At 4.30pm on 14 August 1940, 87 Squadron scrambled to their Hurricanes, quickly got airborne and started speeding towards Weymouth on the Dorset coast. “One hundred and twenty plus approaching Warmwell from the south,” came the calm voice of the ground controller in the pilots’ ears. “Good luck, chaps.” Pilot Officer Roland ‘Bee’ Beamont swallowed hard and began desperately to scan the sky.

They were over Lyme Regis and flying at around 12,000ft when Beamont saw them, still out to sea – what looked to him like a gigantic swarm of bees all revolving around each other in a fantastical spiral from around 8,000 to 14,000ft.

As the Hurricanes drew closer, Beamont could see there were about 50 Stuka dive-bombers and two-engine Messerschmitt 110s above, and single-engine Me109s above them. Although there were just 12 Hurricanes, the squadron commander shouted, “Tally ho!”, the attack signal, and then they were diving into the fray.

In a brief, manic and confused melee, Beamont nearly hit a Stuka, then came under attack himself, managed to shoot down a Me110 and then another before running out of ammunition and heading for the safety of a cloud bank, emerging into the clear over Chesil Beach. He was hot, his uniform was dark with sweat, and he felt utterly exhausted. He was also astonished to discover he’d been airborne a mere 35 minutes.

Beamont’s experiences fit very neatly into the familiar narrative of the Battle of Britain, in which that small band of brothers in RAF Fighter Command repeatedly found themselves battling a vastly superior enemy over a sun-drenched southern England.

What happened during the Battle of Britain?

Described by prime minister Winston Churchill as the RAF’s finest hour, the Battle of Britain (10 July – 31 October 1940) was the first major military campaign in history to be fought entirely in the air. Historian Julian Humphrys takes us through some of the biggest questions and facts surrounding this pivotal aerial campaign…

On that day, Beamont and his fellows in 87 Squadron were just 12 men taking on 120. Others regularly found themselves facing even greater odds – odds that have come to represent Britain’s wider experience in the summer of 1940. It was a time when she was all alone, with her army defeated on the continent, her back to the wall – little Britain as David, defiantly fighting on against the Goliath of Nazi Germany. Above all, Britain’s finest hour was a triumph of backs-to-the-wall amateurism against the professional militarism of the Germans.

It is, however, a myth, and one that, 75 years on, we should put to bed once and for all. Britain was not alone, nor dependent on just a handful of young men in Spitfires and Hurricanes and the Captain Mainwaring figures of the Home Guard.

Rather, Britain was one of the world’s leading superpowers, and at the centre of the largest global trading network the world had ever known, with the kind of access to resources of which Germany could only dream. Britain had the world’s largest navy, largest merchant fleet, access to around 85 per cent of the world’s merchant shipping, and trading and business interests that went well beyond its empire. Within the Dominions and Commonwealth, there were also some 250 million men it could potentially call upon to fight.

Why Britain punched above its weight

What’s truly remarkable about Britain’s story is not its post-imperial ‘decline’ but the fact that it became a global superpower in the first place, says David Reynolds

There was nothing amateurish about Britain’s defence against potential German invasion. The conquest of France and the Low Countries had been fought on Germany’s terms, but what followed was fought on Britain’s. The Few, the pilots in their fighter aircraft, were one cog that made up the first fully co-ordinated air defence system in the world. This saw modern radar, an Observer Corps, radio and a highly efficient means of collating, filtering and disseminating this information being combined with a highly developed ground control to ensure that Luftwaffe raids such as those on 14 August were intercepted and harried repeatedly.

This defence system meant that Spitfires and Hurricanes would be in the air chipping away at the enemy and at the same time ensuring they were not being destroyed on the ground. Fighter Command could have put up more than 700 fighters at a time had they chosen to, but its commanders preferred different tactics – one of dispersal of forces and airfields more suited to a defensive battle. For a pilot like Beamont, however, it seemed as though just a few were taking on the many.

Moreover, Fighter Command was only one part of the RAF – both Coastal and Bomber Commands also played a full part in the battle. Bomber Command, especially, was repeatedly striking targets inside the Reich as well as Luftwaffe airfields in northern France. And the RAF was only one of three services.

There was also the Royal Navy, Britain’s ‘Senior Service’, and vastly superior to the Kriegsmarine, especially after the bloody nose it had inflicted on the German navy in Norway. And there was the army, admittedly rebuilding, but, by August, nearly two million-strong when including the Home Guard, many of whom were far more proficient than Dad’s Army would suggest. There were also significant coastal defences and chemical weapons ready to be deployed. Collectively, these were formidable defences.

In contrast, the German plans were disjointed, lacked any kind of combined services co-operation, and were supported by a transport lift that was frankly risible, and which was made to look even more so in light of future wartime amphibious operations. Fortunately for the Germans, they never had the chance to test their plans to cross the Channel. Rather, the Luftwaffe fell some way short of destroying RAF Fighter Command, the first line of Britain’s defence, rather than the last as is usually portrayed.

So where does this view that Britain won the Battle of Britain by a whisker come from? In part it came down to public perception at the time. France had been defeated in just six weeks, the British Expeditionary Force had been forced into a humiliating retreat back across the Channel, and this had followed defeat on land in Norway. That Britain had won at sea off Norway counted for less in the public’s eyes now that the swastika was fluttering over the continental coastline from the Arctic to the Spanish border.

Living in fear

In Britain there was mounting panic through May and June 1940 as it seemed the country would be next in the path of Nazi Germany’s apparently unstoppable military machine. This widely held perception that Germany was a highly developed modern military behemoth appeared to be borne out not only by the prewar newsreels of rallies and grand-standing but then by the speed with which they overran first Poland, then Denmark and Norway and then France and the Low Countries.

Few in Britain realised that only 16 divisions out of the 135 used in the attack in the west were mechanised, or that in Poland Germany had almost run out of ammunition, or that the Reich was already suffering stringent rationing. Or indeed that there were never more than 14 U-boats in British waters and the Atlantic at any one time at any point since the war had begun. Most Britons had no idea just how shaky were the foundations on which German military might was built.

The sense of German numerical and qualitative superiority was then further manifested in what British people were seeing with their own eyes once the battle got under way. A formation of 120 enemy aircraft would have looked awesome. However, as Bee Beamont had realised on 14 August, only around 40 of those were actually bombers, and it was bombers, primarily, that were expected to destroy the RAF by knocking out airfields, facilities and aircraft on the ground. The truth was that no matter how impressive such a formation may have looked in the summer of 1940, it was simply not enough.

Tom Neil was a pilot in 249 Squadron and, at the beginning of September, was operating from North Weald. On 3 September, Neil took off in his Hurricane along with 11 others and soon saw the airfield disappear under clouds of smoke as the Luftwaffe attacked.

He wondered how they were ever going to land again but an hour later they all did. “We just dodged the pot-holes,” he says. This was something the Luftwaffe had not really considered: destroying grass airfields of up to 100 acres required vast amounts of ordnance – ordnance the Germans simply did not have. Bomb craters were swiftly filled in, reserve operations rooms put into practice, and although many of Fighter Command’s front-line airfields quickly looked a mess, only Manston, in the south-east tip of Kent, was knocked out for more than 24 hours in the whole battle. Just one.

Ten days after the Luftwaffe launched an all-out attack on the RAF (known as Eagle Day) on 13 August, the Stuka dive-bombers, on which so many prewar hopes had been placed, were withdrawn. Losses were too great. There were not enough of the next-generation bomber, the Ju 88, which meant the lion’s share of the bomber work was carried out by Dorniers and Heinkels – both increasingly obsolescent. By the beginning of September, thanks to the rate of attrition and low production, numbers of fighters were also diminishing. Most Luftwaffe fighter squadrons were operating at half-strength. Some had just two or three planes left others were beginning the day with none at all.

Yet it was at this point that Air Chief Marshal Dowding, the commander-in-chief of Fighter Command, and Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park, commanding 11 Group in the South East, feared they were staring down the barrel of defeat. It was not for lack of aircraft: the new Ministry of Aircraft Production was building more than double that of Germany while the Civilian Repair Units had increased numbers by a staggering 186 per cent. No, it was pilot shortage that so worried them, or specifically, trained pilot shortage.

Exhausted invaders

This was largely due to an over-estimation of German strength. British intelligence was excellent, but it had been assumed that German staffeln were structured in the same way as British fighter squadrons – that is, with almost double the number of pilots to keep 12 in the air at any one time. For example, on 15 August, when Bee Beamont had been in action, Tom Neil had spent much of the day on the ground watching other members of the squadron taking off to meet the invaders. He finally flew later that afternoon, allowing those who had flown earlier a rest.

Park claimed that many of his squadrons were operating at 75 per cent strength – yet even then, he meant they were down to 16–18 pilots, not eight or nine. This was far more than the Germans could call on. On paper, Luftwaffe squadrons were 20-strong – not 24, as the British believed. In reality, the situation was even more critical – many had only nine aircraft at the start of the battle. Attrition and aircraft shortage reduced those numbers further after several weeks of fighting.

Neither Park nor Dowding had any idea about this gulf between perceived and actual strength. For the Luftwaffe, this meant fighter pilots were made to fly ever more sorties to make up the shortfall. Few British pilots would fly more than three times a day, and usually not more than twice. By September, their opposite numbers might fly as many as seven times. The physical and mental strain of this was immense.

In the traditional narrative, the crisis passed in the nick of time when the Luftwaffe changed tactics and began bombing London instead of airfields on Saturday 7 September. Since the attack on the airfields was failing, the change of tack, while making little tactical sense, was perhaps not as significant as the idea thought up by Park that very same day.

He suggested introducing a system of squadron classification. ‘A’ squadrons would be in the front-line and consist of experienced combat pilots. ‘C’ squadrons would be filled mostly by men straight out of training but with a few old hands and would be placed away from the front-line, such as in Acklington in Northumberland, where they could build up hours, learn the ropes and get some combat experience against the odd obliging German raider from Norway.

Category ‘B’ squadrons were in between the two. And pilots and squadrons could be moved around at a moment’s notice. In a trice, Park had done much to solve the pilot crisis. Thereafter, Fighter Command never looked back. By the time the battle officially ended on 31 October, it was stronger than it had been at the start. The Luftwaffe, by contrast, never really recovered.

Was the Battle of Britain the country’s finest hour? One of them, certainly, as it consigned Hitler to a long attritional war on multiple fronts – a conflict his forces were not designed to fight, and which materially meant they would always be struggling.

It was the victory that unquestionably turned the tide of the war, but was also a very well-fought, meticulously planned and managed battle that demonstrated many of Britain’s undoubted strengths. We should celebrate that brilliance as well as the courage of the Few.


19 thoughts on &ldquoNo. 487 Squadron RNZAF wiped out in daylight raid&rdquo

Fascinated to read this thread. I am a writer based in Norfolk and some years ago interviewed a number of aircrew from 487 (NZ) Squadron, including two who flew on the May 3, 1943 mission and others who were glad that they did not. I am currently drawing together more material for a book focused on the operation and would be more than happy to share anything I have with relatives of the men who flew out of Methwold on that fateful mission. My email address is [email protected]

I wrote a book called ‘Through to the End’, which tells the story of 487. My publisher failed and after three years of mucking around I’m currently getting it self published.

The book includes a list of all operational aircrew, how many sorties they flew, when, and who with.

With regard to David Potts:
‘Another Mosquito was badly hit and dived away. It crashed seven miles southwest of Bremervörde at Brillit. Flight Lieutenant Potts and Sergeant Valentine were killed.’ He flew seven operations with Sgt Valentine from 13 January to 22 February 1945.

I didn’t know the squadron sang ‘Now is the Hour’ every night! I appreciated the information about Alan Turnbull because it feels like hearing what happened to an old acquaintance, I’ve been living with 487 for so long.

I am reading through the comments above. I would be glad if all of the people above would contact me here in Holland as we are almost ready with a book about the history of 487 squadron. Looking forward to the reply. Aad Neeven
[email protected]

Aad Neeven, a retired KLM pilot wrote an account he researched of May 3rd because he was appalled to realise that little information if any, was given to relatives of dead airmen. He interviewed the German pilot who shot down the plane my uncle flew in and years later Aad, John (his grandfather was a warden and saw the plane descend) and other Dutch people put up a plaque of remembrance to the crew on the house where that plane landed. Even today there is very little acknowledgement of that raid in the Wigram Airforce Museum.

In response to Glen Towlers comment.

RAF 11,493. RCAF 2920 . RAAF 1082. RNZAF 452.

Might I respectfully suggest you get your facts and information about the war from a source other than Airfix or the Daily Mail.

A. ” Do their dirty work ” ? What a crass comment. The forces of the British Empire made a fantastic contribution to the winning of WW2. They were not utilised for “dirty work ” , but were engaged in combat as and when deemed suitable, as were British units. The Canadians were employed in the Dieppe raid mainly because they were new to combat and anxious to get to grips with the enemy. As such they did a damned fine job. The raid itself was always regarded as a trial run for the D Day invasion and never thought likely to be a runaway success. The actions of the Canadians in this raid trialled equipment, techniques, tactics and methods that later saved many Allied lives during the Invasion and also brought about its success.

B. The bombing raid in question was just another attack on an enemy held target and doubtless just another of dozens mounted on the same day. It was not uniquely “important”. Mosquitoes with their long range, high speed and weapons payload are more suitable for deeper penetrations into Europe. As such the Lockheed Ventura light bombers used for this raid on Holland were perfectly suitable. If there exists any misfortune regarding this raid at all, it would be the separation of the fighter escort from the bombers they were intended to accompany. However, this happened all of the time and is due to the fortunes of war. Why any halfwit should try and score points against the British because of this raid is beyond me.

My late Father Warrant Officer Ron Vine A412767 RAAF,was a member of 487 Squadron at the time of the raid. He (and I) are lucky that his aircraft was not tasked to be on the raid. He told me, not long before his death, that it was a very lonely night in the Sergeant’s Mess that night. He had flown his “Sprog” mission as Andy Coutt’s WO/AG the previous February and a number of men killed had been on his OTU at Pennfield Ridge New Brunswick the previous year. The squadron used to stand and sing the Maori Farewell (Now is the hour) each night when the mess shut. Apparently that night to a man they were in tears.

Hi, I am reaching out to Stephen Webb who commented above, as my father, Alan Turnbull, was the wireless operator of the plane that got shot up, returned and crash landed. I would be really interested to know about what Neill said in the book – it is probably the case that he did save my Dad’s life and possibly that of Starkie. Dad died just over a month ago – 95, and fully cogent to the end. Glad he came back from that raid.

Has anyone seen or got any information on 129379 Flt Lt David Potts RAFV KIA Germany 22/2/1945 attached to 487 RNZAF . Cannot even find what raid he was on in or about that time. Buried Becklingen War Cemetery . There must exist some sort of nominal roll for the KIA of the Sqd??

Hi, I have in my possesion gunner L H Neill’s flight log book, it has his account of the may 3rd mission, it also has photos of the crew, and aerial photos of their missions. Quite a stirring read of this mission, along with his humour in the rest of the book. The thing is I want to sell it, any ideas about the best place I could do this? Steve

Thanks Geoff Penn for recommending: ‘True to the End’. Just to clarify one point: two Venturas made it back to base after this raid Baker’s unserviceable a/c and Duffill’s shot-up a/c.

DFCs and DFMs were Gazetted for this latter crew, their medal citations make for powerful reading: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36027/supplement/2320/data.pdf

As a postscript, Air Gunner Sgt Alan William Turnbull DFM died on Monday 27th June 2016. RIP

One of the aircrew on this operation was Pilot Officer Andrew Coutts. He and my parents were friends when the lived in Whakatane before the war.
When I was born, after the war, they named me after Andy Coutts.

I had the privilege of interview Owen Foster who was also on the raid. his aircraft was one of the aircraft that made it thru to the target. I think all the aircraft got shot down. some of the crews actually spent the rest of there time in a pow camp. in fact the pow camp was where they had the great escape. Owen was a real hard case and he had a great sense of humour. I think 487 sqn reformed with mosquitos. the were involved in operation Jericho.

My father – A. George Baker – was the pilot of the aircraft that had to turn back because of the loose escape hatch. The hatch actually totally broke loose on the landing approach and lodged in the rudder. He was “dressed down” for not having continued on the raid. I am glad he didn’t!

My dad was scheduled pilot too, but bad case of angina(?) saw him not fly that fateful day, and he survived the war. He did the Philips raid.

I agree, the the “real” story is written in True to the End. The fighters were sent too early then left the Ventura squadron when they arrived at Amsterdam.Two bombers made it to the target, not one as Trent said. My father’s plane, A Apple, was the second. It was badly beaten up and crash landed in the North Sea.
The plane that returned to base wasn’t shot at. The escape hatch blew off not long after takeoff.
The Ventura’s were modified versions of the Lockheed Lode star and we’re totally unsuitable for the job.

Try Pacific Wings January 2002 instead.

I recommend you read the article ‘True To The End’ in the January 2001edition of Pacific Wings Magazine(available online) This gives a more accurate account of what happened during the raid and the complete hash bomber command made of coordinating the raid.

This is a good example of the British using other countries to do there less that savory work like the usless raid on Dieppe mostly Canadian forces where used . I do also wonder why didn’t they just mosquitos for this raid if its was important . Looks to me like a complete waste of brave airmans lives and trained aircrews



The Plot Against Mussolini

By 1943, after years of fighting in World War II, Italy was viewed by its own citizens as losing the war.

On July 25, 1943, Mussolini was voted out of power by his own Grand Council, arrested after a visit with the king and sent to the island of La Maddalena.

When Italy accepted the terms of secret peace talks with the Allies, Hitler ordered German forces into Italy, which resulted in two Italian nations, one occupied by Germans.

Mussolini, fearful of being handed over, was instead rescued by Hitler’s forces. Transported to German-occupied northern Italy, he was installed as Hitler’s puppet leader, creating the Italian Social Republic and leading to the extermination of thousands of Italian Jews.

Allied forces barreled through Italy in June 1945. Mussolini attempted to flee to Spain with his lover, Claretta Petacci, but was discovered and arrested by partisans searching troop transport trucks.


Operation Sealion

Operation Sealion was the name given by Hitler for the planned invasion of Great Britain in 1940. Operation Sealion was never carried out during the war as the Germans lost the Battle of Britain and it is now believed that Hitler was more interested in the forthcoming attack on Russia as opposed to invading Britain.

Göering, on right, overlooking the White Cliffs of Dover

The projected invasion on Britain included:

Army Group A (4 divisions) invading Sussex and Hampshire via the area around Brighton and the Isle of Wight.

Army Group B (3 divisions) invading Dorset via Lyme Bay

From Kent, Army Group A would advance to south-east London and then to Malden and St. Albans north of London.

From Sussex/Hampshire, the 4 divisions of Army Group A would advance to the west of London and meet up with the other 6 divisions of Army Group A, thus encircling London. Other parts of the group would head towards Gloucester and the River Severn region.

From Dorset, Army Group B would advance to Bristol.

The whole plan relied on Germany having complete control of the English Channel, which, in turn meant that Germany had to have control of the skies so that the Royal Air Force could not attack German ships crossing the Channel. Hence victory in the Battle of Britain was an integral part of the plan.

Operation Sealion looked simple in theory. Britain should have been an easy target. The Luftwaffe was very experienced in modern warfare, the Wehrmacht had experienced astonishing success since the attack on Poland and the British had lost a vast amount of military hardware on the beaches of Dunkirk. The RAF and the Army in Britain looked weak only the Royal Navy seemed to offer Britain some semblance of protection.

It is said that Hitler was prepared to offer Britain generous peace terms. However, on May 21st, 1940, Admiral Raeder told Hitler about a plan to invade Britain and Hitler, it is said, was taken in by the plan. If Britain had not surrendered, Hitler had planned an economic war which could have taken a long time to be effective. However, a military conquest of Britain would be swift and decisive. The military success of the German military since September 1939, seem to confirm in Hitler’s mind that an attack on a demoralised British Army would be swift.

Towards the end of June 1940, Hitler gave the order for the German military to make plans for an invasion of Britain. In fact, they were one step ahead of Hitler here as all three branches of the German military had guessed that an invasion would be needed and had already started on their own plans.

In November 1939, the German Navy had done its own report on an invasion of Britain. It was not optimistic about its success. The German Navy detailed many problems that would be experienced for either a short crossing or a long crossing. It did not state that an attempted invasion would be unsuccessful – but it was cautious.

In December 1939, the Wehrmacht had produced its own report. This favoured a surprise attack on Britain via East Anglia by 16 or 17 divisions. However, this plan needed the support of the German Navy and they believed that the Wehrmacht’s plan was untenable as the German navy would have to protect any landing fleet of the army whilst having to fight the British Navy. Raeder believed that this was an impossible task to complete successfully. The Luftwaffe pointed out that for its part, it would need good weather for the whole of the invasion if it was to do its job – and across the North Sea this could not be guaranteed. Though the Luftwaffe had experienced success in both the attacks on Poland and Western Europe, the RAF had not used its fighter force to its full capacity in the spring of 1940.

After the fall of France, the only major European power not to have fallen was Great Britain. The problems of an invasion were known to all three branches of the German military:

Control of the Channel would be needed

Control of the skies would be needed

Good weather would be needed

However, for all of the work done by the military on a projected invasion of Britain, it seems that Hitler had little enthusiasm for it. On June 17th, 1940, the navy received a communiqué that informed them that:

“With regard to the landing in Britain the Führer has not up to now expressed such an intention, as he fully appreciates the unusual difficulties of such an operation. Therefore, even at this time, no preparatory work of any kind has been carried out in the Wehrmacht High Command.”

On June 21st, 1940, the navy was told that the Army General Staff:

“Is not concerning itself with the question of England. Considers execution impossible. Does not know how the operation is to be conducted from the southern area.”

Hitler’s position was obviously crucial as without his support no invasion was possible. At the time, it is thought that he believed that Britain would sue for peace and that he could make generous peace terms with the British on the condition that they recognised Germany’s position on mainland Europe. Even during the Dunkirk evacuation, one of his generals – Blumentritt – was astonished to hear Hitler talk about the British in glowing terms.

“(Hitler spoke) with great admiration of the British Empire, of the necessity for its existence, and of the civilisation that Britain had brought into the world.” Blumentritt

It was only when it became clear that Britain would not sign peace terms that Hitler gave his backing to an invasion. On July 2nd 1940, Hitler gave his first tentative orders regarding a possible invasion of Britain. It stated that

“a landing in England is possible, providing that air superiority can be attained and certain other necessary conditions fulfilled…..all the preparations must be made on the basis that the invasion is still only a plan, and has not yet been decided upon.” Hitler, July 2nd 1940

On July 13th, the army chiefs presented their plan – see first box above. They were so confident of success that they believed that Britain would be occupied within a month. On July 16th a directive called ‘Preparation for a landing operation against England’ was issued which stated that

“As England, in spite of her hopeless military situation, still shows no willingness to come to terms, I have decided to prepare, and if necessary, to carry out, a landing operation against her. The aim of this operation is to eliminate the English mother country as a base from which the war against Germany can be continued, and, if it should be necessary, to occupy it completely.”

The code name for this operation was ‘Sea Lion’.

At a meeting with his service chiefs on July 21st, Hitler made it clear that he recognised that the plan had its dangers – especially those identified by Raeder – but he was keen to press on with the plan so that he could turn his full attention to Russia once Britain had been defeated.

Hitler wanted Sea Lion to be over by mid-September. His naval chiefs believed that any invasion could not start until mid-September! Raeder supplied a list of reasons why the invasion could not go ahead before mid-September1940 (clearance of shipping lanes of mines, getting invasion barges ready etc) and he won the support of the army. Hitler ordered that as long as Germany controlled the sky, Operation Sea Lion would go start on September 15th 1940. Therefore, the invasion depended entirely on whether Göering’s Luftwaffe could defeat the RAF. The failure of the Germans to defeat the RAF had to lead to the cancellation of Operation Sea Lion which was announced on September 17th 1940.

One of the interesting issues to come out of this episode was the inability of the three units that made up the German military to either work together or support one another. primarily, the chiefs of the army railed against Raeder while he and his chiefs criticised the plans of the army. The Luftwaffe took the view, though it was primarily Göering’s, that any success depended on the Luftwaffe conquering the skies. Another key point that came out of this episode in the war, was Hitler’s seeming refusal to listen to his military commanders and wanting things done his way. This came out of the success the military had against Poland and the nations of Western Europe – countries attacked without the overwhelming support of the military but attacked because Hitler instinctively knew that they would win – or so he believed.


Se videoen: 250 SQUADRON Royal Air Force (Januar 2022).