Aircrews struck at the Very Heart of the Gestapo

I have a few posts about Turbinlite Havocs on the blog.

Aviation Trails

In this trail we head to the south once more, to the west of Harlow and to two wartime airfields, one of which played a major part in striking a blow at the very heart of the Nazi regime.

Hertfordshire is an area rich in commuters to both London and the technological towns of Harlow and Bishops Stortford. Being north of London, it is also close to Stansted airport, another ex World War 2 airfield.

It has some beautiful countryside, delightful little villages and quaint country pubs. It is also an area with a wealth of history.

Our first stop is a small airfield nestled in the heart of the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside behind the village that gives it its name, RAF Hunsdon.

RAF Hunsdon

May 2015 081 The Hunsdon Village sign reflects its history and links to the RAF.

RAF Hunsdon was built between October 1940 and March 1941, it was a constructed…

View original post 1,316 more words


Secrets of the Sea Mosquito

Don’t miss this issue…

airscape Magazine

Sea Mozzie Title


Secrets of the Sea Mosquito

Last week, The People’s Mosquito shared a video of their patron, the irreplaceable Capt. Eric “Winkle” Brown, discussing his role in testing the de Havilland Mosquito for carrier operations.

Captain Eric Melrose "Winkle" Brown, CBE, DSC, AFC, Hon FRAeS, RN, in front a Blackburn Buccaneer around 1960. (wikipedia) Captain Eric Melrose “Winkle” Brown, CBE, DSC, AFC, Hon FRAeS, RN, in front a Blackburn Buccaneer around 1960. (wikipedia)

Yes, you read that right: While the largest carrier-borne aircraft in service anywhere was the 10,545 lb Grumman Avenger (a big bird by any standard), the British were working out how to get on and off a boat in their 20,000 lb Wooden Wonder!

As the pilot who has officially flown more aircraft types than anyone ever (an amazing 487), Brown should need no introduction. But just in case, you can get to know him here.

In the clip, he starts by reiterating his view that the Mosquito is one of the three great British aircraft…

View original post 1,410 more words

Post No. 340

Nothing to write about unless you want to share a story and pictures related to 23 Squadron or any other squadrons who flew the Mosquito.

This blog started in 2010 to pay homage to one pilot.

Eugène Gagnon 1940

Eugene Gagnon DFC

A French-Canadian.

Born in Bromptonville, Quebec.

A town where most people forgot about him.

33 operations, most over Germany.

liste des missions

A town where most people forgot about him…

Except this man.

Marcel Bergeron and his Mosquito

It did not stop there…

Reading just a post a day will take you almost one year.

Mosquito Bites

For those of you who can’t get enough of Mosquitos…

airscape Magazine



Mosquito Bites

Fancy yourself at the controls of Military Aviation Museum’s DH98 Mosquito FB Mk.26?

Come on up... looking through the crew door of a Mosquito Mk.XIII NF (Night Fighter), from February 1945. (AWM SUK13768) Come on up… looking through the crew door of a Mosquito Mk.XIII NF (Night Fighter), from February 1945. (AWM SUK13768)

I don’t know; maybe if Jerry Yagen was super-impressed by your glass-smooth arrival at Osh Kosh or something. Anyway, it would certainly be a priceless opportunity, even if the Timber Terror is reputed to have a nastier bite than its malarial six-legged namesake.

But back when KA-114 was brand new, vast numbers of Mosquitoes (de Havilland ones) were serving in a world war that would claim over 53 million souls. That meant attitudes around high performance combat aircraft were a lot more sanguine than they are today. In fact “losing a few” was pretty much seen as the price of doing business.

So when an RAF Test Pilot* shared his impressions of the big twin’s…

View original post 2,031 more words

Close Call

Amazing story

airscape Magazine



Close Call

Early on the morning of September 27th, 1943, the distinctive baritone thunder of a Merlin engine rose over the base of No.410 Night Fighter Squadron RCAF, at Coleby Grange, Lincolnshire.

This was a Mosquito base, so the sound of a single Merlin was nearly always bad news. A Mosquito was difficult enough to land with both turning. But the crew of this particular Mk.II NF, serial DZ757 and wearing squadron codes RA-Q, had even bigger trouble on their hands.

Flight Lieutenant M A Cybulski (RCAF) was managing to keep his engine-out twin on course with almost the entire fabric covering of his rudder burnt away. To all appearances, there simply wasn’t enough surface left to resist the off-centre power of the remaining Merlin. What’s more, the fabric covering the wooden fuselage, the inner port wing, the starboard wing underside, and the port tailplane had been severely burnt…

View original post 494 more words

Remembering Drummond Edward Chapman


Lost on November 7, 1941.

Found here…

In memory of
Flight Sergeant
Drummond Edward Chapman
November 7, 1941

Military Service:
Service Number:
Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
Division: 23 Sqdn.

Additional Information:
Son of Clarrisha Isabel Chapman of Brandon, Manitoba.


Found here…

September 18 – December 12, 1940
Previously wings ceremony was held in the morning, but under new regulations no training time was to be lost, and future presentations were made in the evening.

Group Captain Roy S. Grandy presented wings and addressed the graduates. He described Clayton Hopton as a “steady young man and a good pilot.”

+(J/3252) Walter Bruce Beat; +(J/3253) Reg White – 418 Sqn., Noranda; +(J/3254 – R/54975) Douglas Byrd Van Buskirk;+(J/3257) Vernon Foster Patterson, Moose Jaw;(J/3258) Ian Anderson March – DFC 410 Sqn., St. John’s, Newfoundland; +(J/3259) Edward Blake Thompson, Toronto; +(J/3260) James Harold Baird, Winnipeg

+(J/3512) Herbert Peter Peters – 414 Sqn. Dieppe DFC, KIA 1943, Edmonton; (J/3515) John Arthur Amos – 414 Sqn. Dieppe; +(J/3519) Joseph Jean Paul Sabourin – DFC 145 Sqn., St. Isidore de Prescott, Ontario

E.J. Elward, Toronto, +William Gordon Walker, Toronto; E.L. Archer; Gordon Wonnacott – 414 Sqn., Edmonton; R.P. Opie, Victoria; E.C. Cox, Montreal; L.W. Humphrey, Sarnia; +William James Philip Gosling, Edmonton; D.V. Wright, Trenton; R.D. Miller, Regina; +Theodore Scribner Bates, Guelph; Jake Robert Woolgar, Edmonton; A.L. Hutchinson, Regina; +(R/57927) Drummond Edward Chapman – 23 Sqn., Vancouver; Alex Wilson, London; Ronald Sydney Cox, Winnipeg; R. Christison, Regina; James Preston – 403 Sqn., St. Catharines; (J/26967) Stanley P. Coolican, Regina; E.L. McCarthy, Moncton; R. Young, Peterborough; E.J. Magwood, Aurthur Burtis McKiel – AFC, Winnipeg; B.Vaughan Player, Ottawa; J. McDiarmid, Winnipeg; G.F. Johnson, Moncton; Andrew Wesley Lockhart (AFC, DFC), Moncton; G.C. Ennis, Biggar, Sask.; Thomas Charles Cooke – DFC 162 Sqn. U-boat attack, AFC), Dauphin, MB; H.R. Morris, Regina

Newfoundland: Ian Anderson March, (J/10431) Gerald (Ged) Marmaduke Winter and Robert Kitchener Hayward – DSO, DFC

RAF: Michael Lloyd O’Grady Warner, London, Eng.

Posted in from:

No. 1 EFTS Malton: Sabourin

No. 3 EFTS Crumlin (Co.2): March, Cooke

No. 5 EFTS

Opie and Cox were navigation officers prior to taking a refresher course at Camp Borden. Opie became Chief Supervisor Officer at No. 2 A.O.S., Edmonton. Cox became chief navigation officer at No. 6 SFTS Dunnville

Found on a WWII forum

F/Sgt Drummond Edward CHAPMAN – R/57927 (from Vancouver, B.C.), as the pilot of Havoc BD 124 and (on page 738) Sgt John Raymond SULLIVAN – R/72531 (from Vernon, P.E.I.) as the observer.
I’ve as crew member Nr. 3 F/Sgt Douglas J. PARR – 751383; all three on the Runnymede Memorial.

Globe and Mail, 1941/11/12

Royal Canadian Air Force’s 108th casualty list


Chapman, Drummond, Sergeant,
Can. R57927, missing. Mrs. E. Chapman
(mother), 65 West 20th Avenue,

Sullivan, John Raymond, Sergeant,
Can, R72531, missing. Mrs. A,
Sullivan (mother), Verdun, P.E .I.

However, The Times, Tuesday, Dec 16, 1941; pg. 7; Issue 49110; col D

Lists all these 3 names on same List..

Roll of Honour


Missing Believed Killed on Active Service

Sgt D.J. Parr


Missing Believed Killed on Active Service

Sgt D Chapman Sgt J.R. Sullivan

To be continued…

RAF Little Snoring – Honours and Awards

RAF Little Snoring – Honours and Awards

Aviation Trails

In the heart of the Norfolk countryside stands a quaint little church with a round turret. Standing proud on top of a hill just outside the nearby village, the church holds a rare and unique collection of war records.

RAF Little Snoring (Trail 22) was home to a number of squadrons including the rare Bristol Hercules engined Lancaster IIs of both 1678 HCU and 115 Sqn and latterly units of 100 Group flying amongst others, the DH Mosquito.

At the end of the war the airfield was closed down, used primarily as a storage site for surplus aircraft prior to scrapping.

Many of the buildings were pulled down and runways dug up returning the site to its primary use of agriculture. Whilst a small section survived along with two hangars and a now derelict control tower, the church has become the holder of a rare collection.

In the…

View original post 411 more words

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

Written in 2010 about another airman…

RAF 23 Squadron

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…

View original post 288 more words

70 years later

Written in 2013

RAF 23 Squadron

Donald Hepworth Bentley is the pilot on this close-up of a picture taken in Naples on November 10th, 1943.

Second row, on the left.

Bentley and Causeway

Paul wrote me about it, and he confirmed yesterday that his cousin Donald is the pilot on the left in the second row.

The family and myself are pretty sure that Donald is the second pilot standing on the right hand side of the photo. His likeness is very like one of my granddaughters.

If Donald is on the left, then the navigator on the right must be his navigator Sergeant Causeway.

It would be logical to assume this.

Bentley and Causeway

This is Theo Griffiths’ original picture in his collection where pilots and navigators of A Flight are photographed.

A flight 23 Squadron Naples 10 November 1943

Theo wrote the caption.

Rich Cooper has been sharing all he could send, scanned pictures and logbook pages, everything except the kitchen sink.

I found this logbook page with some…

View original post 87 more words