About the wreck…

Peter Smith wrote this comment about the wreck.

In that case it was the plane Hector Goldie wrecked after they all drew short straws because none of the aircrew wanted to fly it. And Hector did a beautiful belly landing: the maintenance officer was happy because he now had spares. Bud Badley said the plane was a ‘beast’ and that it was the best thing to do with it.
I have a couple of pictures (photocopied so they’re not great) of the same aircraft just a different angle.

Best

Pete

I told him to send me his photocopies.

Just Joe pranged nose view Just Joe pranged

The maintenance officer was happy now…

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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Bud’s Sense of Humour

Bud had quite a sense of humour (humor if you live in the U.S.) according to George Stewart.

Bud Badley group picture toast

George also told me Bud Badley was quite a pilot.

One of the best he had seen.

Reckless and all…

01058 Day Ranger to Grove, low res

This painting was commissioned by Peter Smith to whom we all owe a lot because he shared so much. I wrote about that painting in this post.

On 26th September 1944, F/O George Stewart, and his navigator F/O Paul Beaudet flew a Day Ranger with fellow 23 Squadron Pilot F/O D.L,’Bud’ Badley, and his navigator Sgt AA Wilson, to Grove Aerodrome in Denmark, in their FB.VI Mosquito fighter bombers. Arriving abruptly over their target, George spotted a Ju88 sitting by the perimeter track and at once strafed with his four 20mm cannons. He is flying YP-T (HR 201), and Bud, YP-Z (HR 216), seen in the background. Their sudden appearance and departure drew no return fire and, as they raced back to the coast, George couldn’t resist a departing shot at a Freya Radar tower, but got hit by a .303 round in his instrument panel as he flew overhead. Bud, however, received numerous hits on his pass, losing one engine, plus rudder, elevator control and R/T. In a superb display of airmanship, at zero feet, Bud regained control and flew back home to land safely at the emergency airstrip at Woodbridge. George, having plunged into low cloud and therefore lost sight of Bud, was unable to raise him on the R/T and flew on to Little Snoring. George and Paul were awarded DFCs, following their extended operational tour, and Bud an ‘Immediate’ DFC, by W/C ‘Sticky’ Murphy DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar, Croix de Guerre and Palm, Commanding Officer of 23 Squadron, RAF. 

So what about Bud’s sense of humour?

I am just waiting for George Stewart to contact Dai Whittingham and tell him personally before I tell you because Dai Whittingham reads this blog.

Bonjour Pierre

This is the e-mail I got from Dai Whittingham.

I can post it here for all to see because I got the go ahead and it is so much interesting to read.

Bonjour Pierre

Thanks for the prompt reply. Bud appears on the screenshot for the Channel 4 film about the Mosquito http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-plane-that-saved-britain/4od#3551114 and I noted that he was wearing a 23 Sqn tie! I hope to persuade him to attend our next annual dinner.

There is a very good history of 23 Sqn written by Peter Rudd DFC, who was flew Mosquitos with the Sqn in Malta. Peter passed away about several years ago, but his book is called The Red Eagles. I don’t know if it is still in print and my own copy is in temporary store, but there is a copy available on eBay today if you are interested!

While I was commanding RAF Waddington in 2001, I had the pleasure of accompanying Peter and Wg Cdr (retd) Jock Brown to Malta – we flew them in an E-3D Sentry to Luqa, from whence they had both flown in the war. We managed to find Peter’s old digs in Sliema and photographed him on the same front steps that appear in a photo in his book. Both Peter and Jock had their brains thoroughly picked by the curator of the aviation museum at Ta Qali and our visit took rather longer than expected as a result.

We also laid a wreath at the Malta Memorial and visited as many of the Sqn war graves as we could find, including two in Cagliari (Sardinia). I was particularly struck by the stories that emerged from the two of them as the names on the memorials opened memories – as they should – and by the fact that the names were people and faces to them. To us, they were sadly just names. The Cagliari crew were remembered as having come to grief on a single-engine approach.

There was a grave in the Naval and Military cemetery in Valletta of one SAC Penfold (age 21) who had been killed at Luqa – he was marshalling a Mossie and the noise of its 2 Merlins masked the noise of the single Merlin powering a Hurricane up one of the dispersal goat tracks behind him. He didn’t hear it, and the Hurricane pilot couldn’t see him because he was in a tail-dragger and the track was too narrow for the normal weaving. A sad story behind a simple headstone, accident rather than enemy action.

Jock told me a fascinating story of how he had started on the Mossie. He had been posted to 23 from Hurricanes, so knew the engine, but his first sortie was atually from southern England to Gibraltar en route Malta. They weren’t supposed to be at Gib and should have gone to an airfield in North Africa so Jock was called to the CO’s office to explain himself. He and his nav had heard that everyone arriving at Malta had sand-fly fever (true…) and decided they were probably catching it in Africa. OC Gib agreed with him, told him to advise OC Luqa that all his replacements would come via Gib and that he would advise the Air Ministry of same. His 2nd sortie was Gib to Malta, his 3rd was an air test and his 4th was night ops. To clarify, I asked him if he had done a proper conversion to type, and he said ‘no’. I then asked if he had told anyone about it. I will always remember his reply: “Och, no – I might have lost my tour!”

Peter told us an equally hair-raising tale of losing an engine during a night attack on Taranto harbour (not the big raid…). The good engine was overheating and he couldn’t get enough power to climb above 100ft for much of the return leg over the sea. He decided that if he could make 400ft over the Grand Harbour he would be able to close the throttle and glide the rest of the way, which would solve the asymmetric handling problem that had killed several of his friends. At that time nobody had successfully gone around from a poor asymmetric approach in the Mk 1 Mossie. Unfortunately the gliding performance was better than expected and he realised late on that the landing was going to be so long that they would be off the end at high speed with probable fatal consequences. He then said he thought if they were going to die, they might as well die trying, so he gently applied power and lots of rudder. He told me he wasn’t sure how he did it, or whose hands were on the controls, but airspeed and altitude started to increase. The second approach was successful, but he did say he was ready for a beer afterwards.

One other snippet for you (sadly I can’t recall which gent provided it but I think it was Peter) was the use of intelligence. By this stage 23 was doing solo intruder ops and plenty of crews were taking hits from flak. He and his observer used to go through all the other crews’ mission reports, plotted every gun position that was ever mentioned, and then planned routes around them. Simple but effective. They only got shot at once, and that was by a fixed AAA site that had been mis-reported.

The other definite Mossie man in the Association was Fred Hayes, who was an observer; Fred died in 2003. He was great company. I don’t know whether George will remember him.

Thank you for helping to keep the flame burning for No 23 Sqn. Sadly, the Sqn disbanded in Oct 2009 and the reductions in force levels since then means that the numberplate is very unlikely to see RAF service again.

Kind regards,

Dai Whittingham

Click here to view the documentary outside the U.K.

Bud Badley Revisited

This is the comment one reader posted when he saw Bud in the documentary The Plane That Saved Britain…

Bud Badley documentary

I found this site after the Blast documentary was aired in the UK. I had the privilege of commanding No 23 Sqn 1997-1999 and am currently Chairman of the Sqn Association. I would love to hear from any ex-23 Sqn members, or family, who would like to be part of the Association. We still have a couple of Mosquito members but sadly time has caught up with the others. We also have members from the Javelin, Lightning, Phantom, Tornado and Sentry eras!

I would especially like to make contact with Bud.

Air Cdre Dai Whittingham RAF Retd.

If any reader has knowledge how to reach Bud Badley, please write a comment and I will contact Air Commodore Dai Whittingham RAF Retd.

 

Bud Badley Redux

Few people know or remember who Bud Badley is.

One of my latest readers does and he posted a comment on this post about Bud Badley.

I know a little bit more about Bud Badley than ordinary people. George Stewart told me all about that picture taken in 1944. George is there fourth on the right last row.

Georges Stewart group picture

George’s navigator was Paul Beaudet.

Paul Beaudet group picture

They flew 50 missions together on Mosquitoes.

Now take a good look at Bud who was quite a character.

Bud Badley group picture

Look again…

Bud Badley group picture toast

To be continued…

Day Ranger to Grove

Day Ranger to Grove is the second painting commissioned by Peter Smith who has since 2006 went on a mission to honour all those who served with RAF 23 Squadron, a little known Mosquito Squadron.

 01058 Day Ranger to Grove, low res

Day Ranger to Grove

On 26th September 1944, F/O George Stewart, and his navigator F/O Paul Beaudet flew a Day Ranger with fellow 23 Squadron Pilot F/O D.L,’Bud’ Badley, and his navigator Sgt AA Wilson, to Grove Aerodrome in Denmark, in their FB.VI Mosquito fighter bombers. Arriving abruptly over their target, George spotted a Ju88 sitting by the perimeter track and at once strafed with his four 20mm cannons. He is flying YP-T (HR 201), and Bud, YP-Z (HR 216), seen in the background. Their sudden appearance and departure drew no return fire and, as they raced back to the coast, George couldn’t resist a departing shot at a Freya Radar tower, but got hit by a .303 round in his instrument panel as he flew overhead. Bud, however, received numerous hits on his pass, losing one engine, plus rudder, elevator control and R/T. In a superb display of airmanship, at zero feet, Bud regained control and flew back home to land safely at the emergency airstrip at Woodbridge. George, having plunged into low cloud and therefore lost sight of Bud, was unable to raise him on the R/T and flew on to Little Snoring. George and Paul were awarded DFCs, following their extended operational tour, and Bud an ‘Immediate’ DFC, by W/C ‘Sticky’ Murphy DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar, Croix de Guerre and Palm, Commanding Officer of 23 Squadron, RAF. 

Peter Smith first commissioned Never Say Die.

01048 Never Say Die, low res

Never Say Die

What must surely be one of WWII’s most extraordinary acts of bravery occurred on the night of 16th/17th January 1945 when F/L T A Smith and F/O A C Cockayne were on an ASH patrol over Stendal. Flying Mosquito FB.VI RS507 (YP-C), they inadvertently stumbled upon the German airfield of Fassberg on their return trip, fully lit up with aircraft taxiing. Taking full advantage of this situation, F/L Smith went straight in to attack, destroying one Bf.109 on the taxiway and another two as they attempted to take off. RS507 received ground fire hits to its starboard engine during the chase down the runway, Smith feathering the prop, but continuing to press home his attack. Knowing that there was no way of saving their aircraft, Cockayne was ordered to bale out, but sadly lost his life in the attempt. F/L Smith fought gallantly to bring his Mosquito down into snow with minimum damage, but the aircraft hit trees before striking the frozen ground and a furious fire broke out, Smith trapped in the wreckage. Against all the odds, he survived the crash, albeit with terrible burns, and saw out the war as a prisoner of the Germans. 

Both prints are A3 in size, and numbered, ?/250 in a limited run, they cost £35 and postage is free within UK and standard postal rates outside the UK.

Visit Ivan Berryman Website for more details.

Bud Badley

George phoned yesterday.

I picked up the phone.

He asked me who was calling.

I told him Cricket 34.

That was George’s call sign when landing at Little Snoring.

George sent me a ton of pictures for the exhibition at the Bagotville Air Defense Museum scheduled for this summer.

He wanted to know if I had received everything.

You would not believe what he sent me…

He sent me this in particular.

That is some precious photograph… 

And there is an interesting anecdote that goes with it. I will let you look at it closely before I will tell you.