Little Snoring, 1945

This was the first post written on April 5, 2010. The group picture features pilots and navigators of 23 Squadron. It was taken probably in June 1945, but no later than July 1945 since I know Eugene Gagnon, a French-Canadian Mosquito pilot, came back to Quebec.

This is post no. 432.

I don’t believe anyone who finds this blog will read everything in it from the start. My blog was not created to monetise what I write. I don’t monetise the sacrifice of the Fallen or those who came back and relived what they went through during WWII.

The advertisements on this blog is generated by WordPress. It could be distracting sometimes, but that’s how you donate to keep this blog online.

Always feel free to comment because I always reply and help with any request.

Pierre


This could be the start of the amazing story of the airmen of a forgotten squadron in Little Snoring.

Please leave a comment…

Picture taken in 1945 before the squadron was disbanded (Courtesy Tom Cushing via Peter Smith)

Source Internet

Squadron 23

No. 23 Squadron formed at Fort Grange, Gosport on 1 Sep 1915 under the command of one of the RAF’s most experienced operational pilots – Captain Louis Strange. After a brief period attempting to counter German airship flights over London, the Squadron moved to France with its FE2Bs initially employed on escort duties. By early 1917, Spad single-seaters had arrived, and were being used on offensive patrols. By the end of the War, the Squadron had converted to Dolphins, and flew these until disbanded at the end of 1919.

On 1 July 1925, No. 23 Squadron reformed at Henlow with Snipes, but these were replaced shortly after with Gloster Gamecocks. In 1931, the Squadron was tasked with carrying out trials on the new Hawker Hart two-seaters, taking the production version, known as Demons, on strength in 1933. It wasn’t until late 1938 that the squadron received its first monoplanes in the form of Blenheims, and these were used as night-fighters in the early days of World War II whilst based at Wittering. In 1941, Havocs replaced the Blenheims, and these were used with great success in the intruder role, until themselves replaced by the Mosquito in mid-1942. At the end of the year, the squadron moved to Malta in support of allied operations in the Mediterranean before returning to the UK in 1944.

In September 1945, the Squadron had disbanded, reforming a year later at Wittering with Mosquito night-fighters. By late 1953, Venom night fighters had joined the Squadron, before Javelin all-weather supersonic fighters replaced these in 1957. In 1964, the Lightning replaced the Javelin, and it was with this classic aircraft that the squadron continued until Phantoms were received in late 1975, this coinciding with a moved to Wattisham in Suffolk. After the Falklands War in 1982, the Squadron occupied Port Stanley airfield until reduced to a Flight of four aircraft in 1988, reforming at Leeming with Tornado F3s. Defence cuts following the end of the Cold War saw the unit disbanded in March 1994. No. 23 Squadron was again reformed, this time as part of the Waddington AEW Wing in 1996, sharing not only the aircraft with the already established No. 8 Squadron, but operational duties in Europe and the Gulf.

The Squadron was officially disbanded on 2 Oct 2009.

This Squadron has been virtually reformed…

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If you have any information about 23 Squadron and you wish to share what you know, you can contact me using this form.

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Remembrance Day 2018 – William Herbert Rogers (1920-1944)

Update about the pilot

After the war my father joined the BBC and worked for them till 1969. He was involved in the Nuremberg trials in Germany but as you will know most of the people who survived the war rarely spoke about their experiences of that time. He was briefly posted to Germany working for the BBC overseas network back in 1951. My father married my mother in 1950 and my twin sister and I were born in 1951. My younger sister was born in 1954. My father and the family spent 3 years in Sydney Australia on an exchange with the BBC and  the Australian broadcasting corporation from 1956 to 1959 when we returned to Britain. We eventually moved to Edgbaston in Birmingham where he became Head of the Midland Region of the BBC until 1969. He then spent 3 years in Singapore as an advisor with the British overseas commission. On his return he was then sent to Tonga for a 2 year stint. He had become a specialist in multilingual broadcasting. On his return to Britain he took up simultaneous translation for visiting Germans and also translated german technical papers. Of course he was fluent in German and spoke it like a native! Sadly he developed Motor Neurone Disease and died in 1990. He was still working on translations and was teaching himself Isaiah and Chinese. He was fluent in German, French and Italian as well as having a working knowledge of Dutch. He was highly intelligent and did not suffer fools gladly. That is not to say that he was unkind but he had a brilliant wit! He kept in touch with several well known actors who he met during the war.

T

 

ORIGINAL POST

This blog is all about remembering the Fallen and also those who survived.

A flight 23 Squadron Naples 10 November 1943

Collection Theo Griffiths (courtesy Richard Cooper)

According to my genealogical research, William Herbert Rogers was born on April 8, 1920, in Teignmouth, Devon, England. His father was William Morrott Rogers and his mother was Ellen Elizabeth Passmore (maiden name to be validated). He had one brother Earnest and two sisters Ada Winifred and Nellie (to be validated also). 

Mosquito FB Mark VI, serial HJ674, of 23 Squadron, was lost in an intruder mission over Sorbolo in the Province of Parma. The plane took off from Alghero, Sardinia, in the night of February 6,1944. The crew was F/Lt (64901) David Leslie Porter (pilot) RAFVR was taken prisoner and F/O (147669) William Herbert ROGERS (navigator) RAFVR – was killed.

F/Lt David Leslie Porter survived and became a prisoner of war. He was taken to Stalag Luft 3 according to my research. His navigator is buried in the Milan War Cemetery.

William Herbert Rogers is remembered on this Website.

Readers have contributed to this blog since 2010 when it was first created. RAF 23 Squadron was unknown to me as well as the pilots and navigators. Little by little my knowledge grew with each comment. Since 2010 there were more than 1,000 comments made.

This is post No. 420 which follows post No. 419.

Someday someone will probably comment on William Herbert Rogers or David Leslie Porter who survived the war. If this happens, my interest about 23 Squadron will be rekindled once more, and I will write another post.

This blog is all about remembering the Fallen and also those who survived.

William Herbert Rogers and David Leslie Porter are probably on this group picture. I have no way to tell. 

a-flight-23-squadron-naples-10-november-1943-bw

A Flight 23 Squadron
10 November 1943
Naples

Remembrance Day 2018 – William Herbert Rogers (1920-1944)

See the comment section…

RAF 23 Squadron

This blog is all about remembering the Fallen and also those who survived.

A flight 23 Squadron Naples 10 November 1943

Collection Theo Griffiths (courtesy Richard Cooper)

According to my genealogical research, William Herbert Rogers was born on April 8, 1920, in Teignmouth, Devon, England. His father was William Morrott Rogers and his mother was Ellen Elizabeth Passmore (maiden name to be validated). He had one brother Earnest and two sisters Ada Winifred and Nellie (to be validated also). 

Mosquito FB Mark VI, serial HJ674, of 23 Squadron, was lost in an intruder mission over Sorbolo in the Province of Parma. The plane took off from Alghero, Sardinia, in the night of February 6,1944. The crew was F/Lt (64901) David Leslie Porter (pilot) RAFVR was taken prisoner and F/O (147669) William Herbert ROGERS (navigator) RAFVR – was killed.

F/Lt David Leslie Porter survived and became a prisoner of war. He was taken to Stalag Luft 3 according to…

View original post 151 more words

Wooden Wonder

Spurned in concept by the Air Marshals, designed and built in secrecy at a moated manor house, and flown in an adjoining farm field, the de Havilland Mosquito became the most successful and versatile military aircraft of WWII. The “Wooden Wonder” starred in almost every possible role from photographic reconnaissance aircraft to day-or night-fighter to submarine smasher and more. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, it was the one aircraft which pilots and navigators demanded to crew. A comprehensive account.

Who remembers? – A request and an answer

A comment…

During my continuing research into my Uncle, Harry Tilby, I found references to his best friend, Sgt. 978863 Lloyd Jones who was killed in a flying accident (possibly at RAF Manston, Kent) on the 28th of May, 1941.

I have located Lloyd’s grave at Mellor, Lancashire where my Uncle attended the funeral, both as a friend and to represent 23 Squadron.

So far, I have been unable to find any record of the details of Lloyd’s accident.
Any assistance that readers of this site can give, would be very much appreciated.

An answer from John Knifton…

I think this is it…
http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?action=printpage;topic=9183.0
The text reads….
On 28th May 1941 – F/O Willans was the pilot of a Douglas A20 Havoc which was engaged in low level air-to-air combat practice over RAF Manston. This was another of the ‘familiarisation’ flights to get the RAF crews used to this light bomber / heavy fighter which was being brought over from the US in ever increasing numbers.
The A20 Havoc involved in this incident was serial number BB893. Flying Officer Willans , Service number 41089 was the pilot. His crew were – Air Observer – Sergeant Lloyd Jones – Service number 978863 and Air Gunner Sergeant Gerald Johnson RNZAF – service number 391859. I have posted a thread about Sgt Johnson
During the course of the mock dog-fight, on this day, the aircraft started to spin out of control and crashed about 400 yards to the SW of the RAF Manston boundary. All three crew members were killed.
F/O Willans is buried in the CWGC section of the graveyard of St. Mary’s at Clymping, Sussex – I have attached a photograph of his grave headstone which I took a few months ago ( without realising that I had done so ! ! ! ! )
Sgt Gerald Bruce Johnson (http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=9178.0) ( Air Gunner ) is buried in the CWGC section of the graveyard at St. Mary’s, Clymping, Sussex – close to his pilot’s grave / resting place.
Sgt Jones ( Air Observer ) is buried in St Mellor Church graveyard, Mellor, Lancashire.

 

ORIGINAL POST

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 111s of Luftflotte 2 stationed there.

Kind regards,

Eddy

Who remembers? – A request

A comment

During my continuing research into my Uncle, Harry Tilby, I found references to his best friend, Sgt. 978863 Lloyd Jones who was killed in a flying accident (possibly at RAF Manston, Kent) on the 28th of May, 1941.

I have located Lloyd’s grave at Mellor, Lancashire where my Uncle attended the funeral, both as a friend and to represent 23 Squadron.

So far, I have been unable to find any record of the details of Lloyd’s accident.
Any assistance that readers of this site can give, would be very much appreciated.

 

ORIGINAL POST

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 111s of Luftflotte 2 stationed there.

Kind regards,

Eddy