Presentation page

This is what I wrote when I created this blog in April 2010.

That was four years ago and I wrote close to 300 articles later…

You will not find much information on the Internet about this RAF squadron that operated in Little Snoring during WWII.

This blog is dedicated to all the men of No. 23 Squadron of the RAF that were stationed at Little Snoring, in England, from 1944 to 1945.

One of these men was Eugène Gagnon who flew 33 night missions over Germany.

Eugène Gagnon was a French-Canadian born in Bromptonville, a small town north of Sherbrooke, in Quebec, Canada.

He is even less well known than No. 23 Squadron, but trust me on this, he will become as famous as Pat Rooney who drew his caricature at Little Snoring.

Eugène Gagnon DFC

“Only the best pilots flew the Mosquito.”

This blog will pay homage to him, to Tommy Smith another Mosquito pilot shot down over Germany and everyone I can find who flew or served in this squadron.

You can share with me and my readers what you know about No. 23 Squadron.

Just add a comment and I will get in touch or you can contact me using this form.

Lest we forget

de Havilland Mosquito NF Mk XIII

Pierre Lagacé:

Nice pictures

Originally posted on Broody's war:

Mosquito Night Fighter XIII MM558, ME-E (Nicknamed “The Mighty ‘E’ the Second”) was to become Broody & Jack’s regular aircraft, replacing their Mk XII aircraft, HK227. She was built at Leavesden as one of a batch of 126 aircraft ordered for delivery between January and May 1944.

Much has been written about the de Havilland Mosquito, and I would never be able to do the marque full justice in this post – rather I will give an overview of the Mk XIII.

large

© IWM (CH 14643) A Mosquito NF Mark XIII (HK382) of 29 Squadron RAF.

The MK XIIs previously used by the squadron were essentially MK II Night Fighters converted to house the Mk VIII Airbourne Interception radar. The next generation  Mk XIIIs were the factory-built (ie not converted) variant, based on the FB VI (Basic) and fitted with Merlin 21, 23 or 25 engines (MM558 was fitted with…

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Sid’s granddaughter

Pierre Lagacé:

The sequel to Sid’s granddaughter…

Originally posted on British Commonwealth Air Training Plan:

Who would have thought Millenna would comment more about Sid Seid?

Sid Seid Mosquito VI from 418 Squadron

Thank you! You know more about him than I do! He passed away when my father was 8 years old. . . I’m from Palau! You should tell some of your friends and come visit; it’s a great place! Anyways, I’m writing a report on him so if you have anymore info on him will you please share?

Thanks !

I was sure she would comment more on her grandfather.

Course 63 No. 2 S.F.T.S. Uplands

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Most interesting article about the Mosquito

Click here.

Excerpt

RAF trials – a high altitude radar guided dogfight

The arms race continued in all areas of the war. When the high altitude Junkers 86P was seen as a ‘speck of silver’ high above Britain in 1942, countermeasures were needed. It was ‘only’ a reconnaissance aircraft but it could not be allowed to operate unchallenged – the military build up in Britain was now moving up a gear or two.

One of the aircraft adapted to counter it was the Mosquito. The high altitude version was also stripped down of armament, given longer wings and an improved engine. The ace night fighter John Cunningham was one of the first operational pilots to give it a trial flight, in April 1943. His regular Navigator, C.F. Rawnsley, was with him, and wrote a memorable account of their first flight:

Sid Seid and the V-1s

Pierre Lagacé:

Great anecdote from another Mosquto crew with another Mosquito squadron…

Originally posted on British Commonwealth Air Training Plan:

I found this “funny” anecdote on a forum left on a message in 2007.

I will just put it here and edit it later on because this was a draft version I had written when I was searching for more information on Sid Seil.

Sid Seid Mosquito VI from 418 Squadron

I just want Sid’s granddaughter to read it.

Ever wonder how the paint got scorched off the Mosquito

BY DAVE MCINTOSH

The following excerpt is from Dave Macintosh’s book, “Terror in the Starboard Seat, “published by General Publishing Co. Ltd., Don Mills, Ont. It is Mclntosh’s personal account of his experiences as a 418 Squadron observer/navigator on Mosquitos and of his sometimes strained relationship with his pilot, Sid Seid.

Terror in the starboard seat

Seid was a Jewish-American in the RCAF whose main aim in life was to single-handedly win the war against Hitler. The story picks up on their 1944 encounter with German V-l buzz bombs.

There was nothing…

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John Hancock Scott

Pierre Lagacé:

Looking for this Mosquito pilot’s relatives.

Originally posted on Broody's war:

On what would have been his 98th birthday, today seems like a fitting day to write a post about Broody’s regular pilot. John Hancock Scott, known on the Squadron as Jack was born on 30th December 1915 in Invercargill, New Zealand. Jack enlisted at RNZAF Station Levin on 5th / 6th July 1941. I can’t find a definitive date of his arrival at 488(NZ) Squadron.

As explained by Broody “[Jack] was famous on the squadron for taking every opportunity that came along (and some that he skillfully generated) to get into the air” and was a popular and dedicated pilot.

As Broody’s regular pilot, he and Jack flew many Operational Flights together until Jack left the Squadron on September 19th 1944 on a posting to 31 Maintenance Unit in India as a test pilot. From there, he went to No4 (Coastal) OTU as a Staff Pilot until…

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23 Squadron ORBs for November 1942

What about the crash of Mosquito Mk II DD797 which serial number was written in pencil?

Sometimes just one clue opens new doors in a search.

Williamson 1942 28 November ORB

This is what I found on this Website.

http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=70923

Date: 26-NOV-1942

Time:

Type: Silhouette image of generic MOSQ model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk.II

Owner/operator: 23 Sqn RAF
Registration: DD797
C/n / msn:

Fatalities: Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities: 0

Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: West Mersea Essex – United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Nature: Military
Departure airport: RAF Bradwell Bay
Destination airport:

Narrative:
Crashed after take-off West Mersea Essex 26.11.42

Crew:
pilot ???
Sgt (1317574) Gurwyn Malcolm CRIDGE (obs) RAFVR – killed

Sources:
http://www.dehavilland.ukf.net/_DH98%20prodn%20list.txt (broken link)

The name of the pilot who was unknown is now known.

Date: 26-NOV-1942
Time:
Type: Silhouette image of generic MOSQ model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk II
Owner/operator: 23 Sqn RAF
Registration: DD797
C/n / msn:
Fatalities: Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: West Mersea Essex –   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Nature: Military
Departure airport: RAF Bradwell Bay
Destination airport:

Narrative:
Crashed after take-off West Mersea Essex 26.11.42
Crew:
pilot Sgt Duncan Stuart Hutt
navigator Sgt (1317574) Gurwyn Malcolm CRIDGE (obs) RAFVR – killed

Sources:
http://no23squadron.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/26-november-1942-redux/

 

More information here about DD797.

DD797

Serial: DD797
Build Type: F.II, Merlin 21/22 engines
Build Location: Hatfield
Contract Number: 555/C.23(a)
Contract Date: 9-2-1941
Delivery Period: Between 25-2-1942 and 15-10-1942

 

And a painting of a 23 Squadron Mosquito Mk II

Mosquito Mk II

http://www.finesthourart.com/shop/mosquito.html

26 November 1942 Redux

This post was written back in 2010.

I just found the pilot’s name on the same page as Flight Lieutenant Bob Williamson’s name who was shot down over Cognac.

On the night of the 26th, Sgt Hutt and Sgt Cridge were killed in a crash whilst on local flying.

Williamson 1942 28 November ORB

Original post written in 2010.

I got this comment on my blog.

My uncle flew for RAF Squadron 23 and was killed on November 26 1942 in a Mosquito fighter bomber. His name was Duncan Stuart Hutt, RCAF. This was before the move from England. My mother told me that her mother sent packages to the pilots in Malta, but the Wing Commander told her that all pilots that Stuart had flown with in England were KIA.

Source of images

I found these locations of No. 23 Squadron on this Website.

16 May 1938 – 31 May 1940: Wittering
31 May – 12 September 1940: Collyweston
12 September 1940 – 6 August 1942: Ford
12 – 25 September 1940: Detachment to Middle Wallop
6 – 14 August 1942: Manston
14 – 21 August 1942: Bradwell Bay
21 August – 13 October 1942: Manston

13 October – 11 December 1942: Bradwell Bay

11 – 27 December 1942: On way to Malta
27 December 1942 – 7 December 1943: Luqa
3 September – 5 October 1943: Detachment to Signella
5 October – 1 November 1943: Detachment to Gerbini Main
1 November – 7 December 1943: Detachment to Pomigliano
7 December 1943 – 8 May 1944: Alghero
8 – 19 May 1944: Blida
19 May – 2 June 1944: Returning to UK
2 June 1944 – 25 September 1945: Little Snoring

Duncan Stuart Hutt was stationed at Bradwell Bay when he got killed.

I found this video on the Internet about No. 23 Squadron based in Italy.

If you have information on No. 23 Squadron, just write me a comment and I will get in touch just like I did with Stuart Hutt’s nephew.