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Use the search button on the right to look for someone’s name among more than 350 posts I wrote about this squadron.

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Use the comment section or this contact form to write to me like someone whose granduncle was a Mosquito pilot with 23 Squadron.

I strongly suspect Ron Neil is my great uncle Ronald Arthur Neil (my grandfathers brother)! I only just heard he flew Mosquitos and then stumbled across this amazing resource. I’m getting family members to look at the photos to confirm.

 

Berry and Neil

Al Berry and Ron Neil

Who remembers?

Who remembers?

From a message in my inbox from Cliff Adams, 418 Squadron Association Historian…

F/Sgt H. E. D. Tilby an observer  who was transferred from 23 Squadron RAF to 418 Squadron RCAF. F/Sgt Tilby was lost in April of 1942 shortly after joining 418 Squadron. You may be interested in this story as it certainly fills in some of the early intruder work done by 23 Squadron.

To this…

Hello Pierre,

Have attached a couple of photos for you.

In the crew photo my Uncle is on the right, in the centre is the pilot, Flt/Lt A.J. (Jack) Love and on the left is F/Sgt Malcolm Bunting their Air Gunner.

1 - His Crew

I believe this photo to have been taken while they were still with 23 Squadron, although the nose recognition letter on the Boston/Havoc behind them is indistinguishable. My family did not receive any photos from Harry while he was with 418, so I’m 99.9% certain they are with 23 here.

The other photos are self-explanatory.

5

4

They are buried together in Montdidier, northern France along with several other R.A.F and R.C.A.F. aircrew shot down in the area. Montdidier itself was a Luftwaffe base with Heinkel 111’s of Luftflotte 2 stationed there.

Kind regards,

Eddy

Mosquitoes abound – RAF Swannington

About some Mosquitos airfields

Aviation Trails

This airfield forms another in a short trail through this part of north Norfolk. An area littered with the remnants of war and aviation history.  As we continue south through the narrow lanes of the Norfolk countryside, we find the almost forgotten airfield at Swannington.

RAF Swannington

Swannington was one of the last airfields to be opened during the Second World War, hence very few units were permanently based here. This considered, an appreciable amount of it remains visible even today.

Also known as Haveringland, construction was started as early as 1942, but it didn’t actually open until 1944. It utilised much of the forests of nearby Haveringland Hall along with large parts of its estate. The hall itself, a rather large and grand building, was blown up at the end of the war following requisition damage and then being classed as ‘surplus to requirements’ by the MOD!

Once the forest area had…

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Who remembered W/O K.V. ‘Scappa’ Rann?

Scappa’s cousin sending me an email to find an answer…

My cousin WO1 ‘Scappa’ Rann appears in your photos in Sardinia. Why was he called ‘Scappa’? The family album shows him leaning on a Nissan Hut similar to the officers one previous….wearing a Sidcot? suit. Must be England, eh?

Scappa

George Stewart also did remember W/O K.V.Rann in 2010.

‘Scappa’ W/O.K.V.Rann, a squadron navigator who flew with Lt. J.H.Christie, of the Dutch Airforce, is on my right, and Paul to his right.

In 2010 I had sent an e-mail to George Stewart. He had answered back and he had insisted I called him George. I was not the kind of guy to argue with a Mosquito pilot…


George had identified most of the airmen on the pictures that Paul Beaudet’s daughter had sent me. Paul Beaudet was George’s navigator on all his 50 missions. They never suffered any injuries. I would venture to say that they were each other’s good luck charm.

Getting back to the photographs, I had first believed that these pictures were taken at Luqa, Malta, but George had told me they were taken in Alghero in Sardinia and also in Naples, Italy.

This was the first picture I had posted before.

This is what George Stewart had written…

Here were his answers…

This photo shows my navigator F/O J. R. Paul Beaudet, beside F/L J. (Jackie) Curd, a squadron pilot who flew with his navigator F/S P.H.Devlin.

This photo shows me with F/O A.L. (Al) Berry, a squadron navigator, whose pilot was P/O R. A. (Ron) Neil, both members of the RNZAF.

The other officer on the left side of the photo escapes my memory for now, but I think he was our engineering officer. This shot was taken in Naples, and you can see Mount Vesuvius in the background.

We landed here off the Italian cruiser Garibaldi, which sailed us here from Cagliary, Sardinia, after we found out that the squadron was going back to the U.K., in the spring of 1944.

We sailed from here to Liverpool on the Strathnaver.

The picture shows a few of us in Sassari (Sardinia), a city close to our base at Alghero in Sardinia, (after we did a bit of shopping. I bought a lovely small oil painting, for 800 lire).

In the dark battledress to my right, is F/O Ken Eastwood’s navigator F/L G.T.(Griff) Rogers.

‘Scappa’ W/O. K.V.Rann, a squadron navigator who flew with Lt. J.H.Christie, of the Dutch Airforce, is on my right, and Paul to his right.


I’m not sure about the chap in the top picture with his right arm around my navigator Paul, but it may come to me later; it may have been taken a the #1 B.P.D. tent camp in Algiers.


Paul Beaudet and the Vesuvius of course.

Al Berry again, likely taken the same day as the photo on page 1, in Naples.

Please leave a comment if you know why W/O Rann’s nickname was Scappa?

 

Scappa Rann

 

Chronology: 535 Squadron RAF Ercall, Shropshire from 2 September 1942 to 21 January 1943

George Stewart Hough’s relatives have been found…
Well it’s more they found this blog.

mystery-pilot1

RAF 23 Squadron

Always interesting to receive information from Robert Harris. It’s a great way to reach out for people related to the airmen found in R.C. Harris’ s logbook or on a few of his pictures.

535 airmen pilots

We now know that the picture above is about 535 Squadron.

Robert added this information about this squadron.

R.C Harris – 535 Squadron RAF Ercall, Shropshire from 02/09/1942 to 21/01/1943.

Aircraft/glider flown in:

Havoc II,

Boston III,

Tiger Moth,

Airspeed Horsa,

Havoc flights x 14

Boston flights x 63

Tiger Moth x 1

Horsa x 1

Aircraft numbers:

Havoc – AH450 , AH479. 

Boston – AL707, W8309, Z2214, W8227, W8393, Z2214. 

Tiger Moth – DE489. 

Horsa – no number.

Number of flights (in all aircraft): 79. 

Flights lasting one hour or less:  30.

Night flights: 35.

Flying Hours:-

Total Flying Hours with 535 Squadron

Day

Night

 

150.50

71.05

 Pilots…

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