Attack on a ship

Mike is looking through his father’s album, and Mike found this picture…

Click on the image to zoom in.

Mike said it was a Beaufighter attacking a ship.

If this picture was taken by his father, then it can’t be a Beaufighter since No. 23 Squadron never flew on Beaufighters…

I did a little montage with a Beaufighter…

Click to zoom in

With a Mosquito…

Click to zoom in

What do you think?

Another airman from No. 23 Squadron: Sergeant Albert Ginger Collar

I received this comment on my blog two weeks ago…


My father was a navigator with 23 SQN stationed in Sardinia, Sergeant Albert Ginger Collar.
I have a photo taken of the Squadron aircrew the day they arrived in Sardinia. that is what I was told.
My father is not in the photo because he was taken short and had to run behind the hut.
He survived the war dying in 1976. 

Yesterday Mike sent me this picture.


The picture is dated February 1944.

What is bizarre is this is written in French: Février 1944

Here is the picture I showed you last week.

This is Sergeant Collar with a pilot back in England. That was before the move to Sardinia according to Mike.

This is what Mike said…

Hi Pierre,
Trying to find that picture I promised, but unable to locate it at the moment, but will keep looking.
Have enclosed a picture of my father and his pilot, I hope that you find this interesting.
The story my mother told me  what happened, was that another pilot was nervous taking off because the aircraft (a Blenheim) had a tendency to swing to one side. Dad’s pilot decided to go up with him, but they crashed and died on takeoff.
I assume it was another squadrons aircraft, because dad was in Mosquito’s at the time. What upset my father was when went to see him in the mortuary the following day, he found to his horror that his friend was still smouldering.
This is what I could find on the Internet about the whereabouts of No. 23 Squadron…
At the start of the war the squadron was equipped with the Blenheim IF, and it retained this barely adequate night fighter for the next year and a half.
From the start of the war until December 1940 the squadron was used as a defensive night fighter squadron, although as its Blenheims were not yet equipped with radar they had very few successes.

The Blenheim was better suited for the night intruder mission, and on the night of 21-22 December six Blenheim’s IFs of No.23 Squadron took part in the first night of Operation Intruder, attacking German bomber bases in Normandy. For the next two years the squadron would operate as an intruder squadron, attacking German targets in occupied Europe. During this period the Blenheim was replaced by the Havoc and then the Boston III, before in July 1942 the first Mosquito NF.Mk IIs arrived.

Rickard, J (28 May 2008), No. 23 Squadron (RAF): Second World War,

Sardinia, February 1944

Mike is sharing this…

Hi Pierre,

Good news, I have found the photo of the Squadron the day they arrived at Sardinia, well that is what I have believed all these years.
The name at the foot of the picture looks like Fenrier 1944, what do yo think?
Dad’s pilot looks as if he is in this photo, sitting behind some boxes.
Will keep looking for my fathers service record, and his campaign medals (4)

Click on the image to zoom in

Griff’s training in Canada

Susan had information and pictures about Flight Lieutenant Griff Rogers’ training in Canada.

Griff was stationed in Mount Hope, near Toronto.

This is what Susan writes about her grandfather’s training days.

Marjorie always said that the two events which frightened her most were the abdication and the fall of France. It soon became very obvious that the war was very real and would continue for some time. In spite of having pacifist principles Griff enlisted the Royal Air Force Volunteer reserve as an aircraftman 2nd class aircrafthand observer (1255177) on 1st July 1940. At first he was told he was too old  to be a pilot but as soon as the age was raised, he asked to be trained to fly and attend the bombing and gunnery school in Canada from 20th May 1941 until 7th December 1941. They went over to Canada in the hold of a ship forming part of a convoy, and the effect of so many men suffering from sea sickness in crowded conditions, and the fact that the convoy was several times under attack made it seem like real hell. He spent the time writing six page letters to Marjorie every day. She ended up with a suitcase full of them. They were all destroyed when she married again years later, much to my sorrow, but she said that the letters were very personal to her and she wouldn’t want anyone else to read them.

Here are some pictures of Griffs’ training days…

Halifax, June 1941

train en route to Toronto

Toronto, August 15, 1941



lunch in Toronto

barrack at Mount Hope

control tower and hangars Mount Hope

no. 3 hangar Mount Hope

lecture room Mount Hope

Mount Hope, July 1941

Griff Rogers in an Anson

Want to learn more…?

Click on this image.

Flight Lieutenant Griff Rogers’ last mission

Susan told me I could use any info she has on her grandfather.

Griff Rogers was with No. 23 Squadron and was Ken Eastwood’s navigator.

This is part of what you can read on her blog.

Griff’s last flight was in Mosquito P 2177 of No. 23 Squadron based at Royal Air Force Little Snoring. It began at 20.42 hours on the evening of 18th September 1944 to carry out intruder patrols in the Gutersloh area.

No communication was received from the aircraft. His friend who saw him crash said that the flak that day was longer range than they expected and his plane was seen to crash at 23.30 hrs and totally disintegrate on impact on the Reich motor road six kilometers south of Gutersloh.

In normal circumstances he would not have been flying, for he had finished his “tour of ops”, but he told Marjorie that there was a ‘big push on’ and he had agreed to carry on rather than let a green crew go into a situation of extreme danger. Marjorie had no idea what this action was, and in fact, after Griff’s death shut out as much of the war as possible, so that even afterwards she had never heard of the Battle of Arnhem which must have been the big push of which Griff Spoke. His squadron was not directly involved, but was obviously being used to try to incapacitate the German planes flying from Gutersloh.

The famous Market Garden operation began on September 17th, and we have one long sheet where Griff is flying over Eindhoven and attacking a train.
It was only natural that in the hubbub of troop and vehicle movements it was impossible to do more than bury Griff and Ken by the side of the road where they remained for a week. After which they were moved to a temporary war grave until the fighting was over and the War Graves commission sorted things out.

Although Griff’s friend was able to tell Marjorie he was pretty sure there was no chance of Griff having survived, the official term was ‘missing’ and it was years before all the ins and outs of his death and last resting place were settled.