How to search on this blog?

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


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 Donald Hepworth Bentley?

How I came to write about this Mosquito pilot…?


A comment left on this blog November 29, 2013.

I have just located this site on my iPad. My relative, Donald Hepworth Bentley, was a Flight Sergeant with 23 Squadron based at Luca in Malta. His navigator was a Sergeant Causeway. They were both killed September 1943 and are buried together in the cemetery in San Marino. The grave has the propeller from the Mosquito mounted on it.

I have photos if any one interested.
They were 23 years old and had trained in Canada.

Sent from my iPad

photo 3

Collection  Paul Guy


Tom Hardy and Sophie, Paul Guy’s daughter

Collection  Tom Hardy and Sophie Guy

How I got this picture?

A comment made last week…

Hi Pierre,

This was taken a couple of days ago. Sophie is the daughter of Paul Guy whose uncle was Donald Bentley, I see that he sent some photos and information regarding Donald previously. Sophie is with her husband Tom, my son. Was so pleased that they made the effort to remember him. They also did their best to choose flowers that were in Donald’s footbal team colours – Claret and Amber, Bradford City (he was from Wyke, a district of Bradford).

Best wishes and regards.

Tim Hardy


Looking for Flight Lieutenant Tom Martin?

Looking for Flight Lieutenant Tom Martin who was in Course 35 at No. 51 O.T.U. in Cranfield?


And then with RAF 68 Squadron…

Tom Martin

collection Flight Lieutenant John Kelly U.S. Navy

Kelly and Martin

collection Flight Lieutenant John Kelly U.S. Navy

Kelly Martin back

collection Flight Lieutenant John Kelly U.S. Navy

Tom Martin back

collection Flight Lieutenant John Kelly U.S. Navy

Look no more and write a comment below…

More amazing detective work… Really?

I am just curious and then I share what I have found.

My good friend John commented with this

More amazing detective work, as usual. And also, “as usual”, I was so saddened to see just how young Ensign Grinndal was. So, so sad.

This is what I replied…

This story is not by all means over John.
It first started in 2010 with my quest for Eugène Gagnon, a Mosquito pilot with 23 Squadron.
My blogs are not meant to be read, but found like Gunnar Kelly did two weeks ago.
Then when people want to share their little bit of history, I start writing about it because I know that down the line someone will find a lost loved one.
That’s my mission John, and I know you feel the same way just by reading your blog.

As a footnote I just found the reference about 68 Squadron I was looking for here.

RAF 68 Squadron

Ensign E.R. Grinndal U.S. Navy – Course No. 35 No. 51 O.T.U. Cranfield

Ensign Grinndal

collection Flight Lieutenant John Kelly U.S. Navy

51 OTU Ensign Grinndal

R.C. Harris log book

On 14 August 1944, Squadron Leader MacAndrew took off with Beaufighter I serial number 7775. Navigator R.C. Harris was the navigator radar operator instructor. Ensign E.R. Grinndal U.S. Navy was part of the crew.

What follows is something I found on the Internet in 2013. The Website does not exist anymore. Just in case I had copied the following…

I am so glad I did!


During October 68 Squadron made up for all the frustration of the two previous months as they shot down 13 Flying-bombs. The crews were as follows: Fg Off Haskell/Plt Off Bentley – three; Fg Off Humphrey/Fg Off Robertson – two; F/Sgt Bullus/Fg Off Edwards -one; W/O Lauchlan/F/Sgt Bailey – two; Fg Off Gibson/Sgt Lack – one; Sqn Ldr Wright/Fg Off McCullough – two; and Sqn Ldr Mansfeld/Flt Lt Janacek – two.

Part of the Squadron’s training programme at this time was devoted to cross-country navigation exercises, and these included trips over France, recently cleared of Germans. Sqn Ldr Evans of ADGB came to give a lecture on ‘Intruding Over Enemy Territory’. The aircrews were shown three films: ‘The Nazis Strike’, ‘The Battle of Russia’, and ‘Divide and Conquer’. Earlier, three American Navy aircrews had been assigned to the Squadron, they were: Lt Peebles/Ens Grinndal; Lt Black/Lt Aitken; and Lt Kelly/Lt Martin. On 27th October the Squadron moved back to Coltishall having had a very good series of farewell parties at Castle Camps. The Squadron continued to fly anti-diver patrols over the North Sea, but seemed to be selected by Control to operate against Heinkels carrying the flying-bombs.

On 5th November Flight Sergeant Neal/Flight Sergeant Eastwood caught a He 111 just releasing its bomb and after a long chase shot it down into the sea, and on the 11th Flight Sergeant Brooking/Pilot Officer Finn also dealt with a Heinkel in similar circumstances at 700 ft above the sea. W/O Cookson/W/O GravelI claimed a Heinkel probably destroyed. On the 8th the first V-2 rocket was seen by a 68 squadron pilot as it was launched from a site in Holland, it was described as a ‘red glow with flames on the outside shooting straight up into the air at great speed and to a great height’.

The Squadron had really taken to the American crews, who though more formal than the RAF, were super chaps, and 68 were most upset when Joe Black and Tom Aitken were killed pursuing a flying-bomb. Apparently they followed the bomb into the gunstrip and tragically the guns missed the bomb, but brought down the Mosquito. Soon after this there was another tragedy when Sam Peebles and Dick Grinndal, having been scrambled for anti-diver activity at 22.30 hours and just airborne, reported going over to channel ‘D’ on the R/T, but crashed near Horstead at 22.33 hours, both were killed. It is good to be able to say that John Kelly and Tom Martin survived the War.

On Find A Grave Website

Ens Richard Eric “Eric” Grinndal
Birth: Jul. 19, 1918
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death: Nov. 22, 1944
Horstead, Norfolk, England

Casualty of WWII, he was an Ensign in the United States Naval Reserve and worked as a ‘navrad’ (Observer) on de Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk.XVII Registration: HK344, 68 Squadron RAF. It was described as Britain’s “Wooden Wonder”-it featured two Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and was constructed of plywood and balsa wood.He entered the Service from Illinois. His parents were Vidar and Frieda Grinndal from Sweden. His service number was O-325953. He was awarded the Air Medal. He was flying with Lt. Samuel Warmuth Peebles (pilot) US Navy; the aircraft lost an engine on take-off from RAF Coltishall, Norfolk and crashed onto the lawns of Horstead Hall after hitting trees. Sam Peebles was initially interred in Cambridge,England, near Eric but his remains were subsequently repatriated to USA.