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

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

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Remembrance Day 2018

This blog is all about remembering the Fallen.

I found this message in my inbox this morning as I was cleaning it up.

Hello, thanks for your wonderful blog. Nothing about Captain D. Porter and Lieut. W.H. Rogers? They died on February 6, 1944 near my town (Reggio Emilia).

I felt it was important to follow up on it. I did not have anything about this crew so I asked for more information.

The reply was as fast as a Mosquito!

Mosquito FB-VI serial HJ674, 23 Squadron, lost in an intruder mission over SORBOLO (Province of Parma), from ALGHERO, in the night of February 6,1944. Crew F/Lt (64901) David Leslie PORTER (pilot) RAFVR – PoW and F/O (147669) William Herbert ROGERS (nav.) RAFVR – killed.

This is how I still start…

http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=72781

I know some of my readers might help with this.

You have to start somewhere…

The best way might be to write me a comment.

I have just found out my 1st cousin, once removed was a navigator in 23 Squadron based in Malta 1942-1943. Sgt Leslie GREEN, 1556380, is buried at Catania War Cemetery, Sicily, after his Mosquito crashed on landing back at Malta on 5th September 1943, following night disruption flights over Italy. I am interested to find anything more about him, and in particular a picture.

To be continued.

News from 418 Squadron

A reader got interested in a post about 418 Squadron, and she is sharing this:

Hello Pierre

Please find attached images which belonged to my late aunt. I’m sorry I have no information as to which newspaper the cuttings are from although I have tried searching on a couple of newspaper websites without success. I suspect they may have been from a London evening newspaper (Evening Standard or Evening News) or possibly one local to RAF Ford? It may be possible to find out online.

I’m also attaching a photo of my aunt, (Mary) Joan Jamieson (1918-2007) who is standing pointing at a wall map. This may well have been taken at RAF Ford, but I’m afraid I don’t know for sure. I believe she was a wireless operator in the WAAF.
I hope they will prove of interest.

Kind regards

Click on each image for a larger view.

Photos are from Alison Botterill, on behalf of Joan Jamieson (1918-2007)…

Squadron Leader Kipp

Squadron Leader Kipp

Flying Officer John Caine DFC

Flying Officer John Caine DFC

Flying Officer Huletsky

Flying Officer Huletsky

Caine and Sherf

Caine and Sherf

Joan0005

Joan Jamieson, standing pointing at a wall map.

Remembering Bentley and Causeway

Second row: Bentley and Causeway

Luca Piancastelli sent me this message before he found the 23 Squadron video I had edited a few years ago.

This is the report on the crash of the Mosquito. Since I worked for the Tribunal on many aircraft crashes in recent years, the result is quite clear. Not only fog but also engine failure. For the fire I am not sure. If the Mosquito had the covers on ejector exhausts, then the fire is sure. If not the Merlin at high rpm (single enginel operation) made quite long flames.

Best

After looking at the footage Luca had found his answer.

This is what he wrote me…

Facts

The grave of the crew has the propeller on it (in very good condition, it was not powered at the impact).

The propeller came directly from the crash site.

Due to the good condition of the propeller, at the moment of the crash the Mosquito had an engine not working (probably with feathered propeller).

The glow seen by the witnesses in the very thick fog is probably due to a fire onboard. The people heard the noise first and then saw the fire.

The Mosquito had covers on the exhaust to reduce signature in night operations, as it can be seen from numerous photographs of the 23 Squadron ( a detachment) that was based near Naples (Pomigliano). The flames from the exhaust very extremely attenuated even at night.

Therefore, the aircraft went down on fire with an engine stopped (no power).

The fog was (only) a collateral (big) problem.

You may correct the cause of the crash.

The crash time was taken from the watch of the Pilot (see the letter in the first doc I sent you). This hour can be clearly seen on the grave and was confirmed by the witnesses.

They were on the route back.

They had full moon.

On 11-12 November 1943 the Full moon was visible: 100%

Source: https://www.calendar-12.com/moon_calendar/1943/november


Comments

They may took a hit or they could have had an engine failure. Fire is possible in petrol engines. The same aircraft had a previous aborted mission due to engine failure.

Typically you see the hill of San Marino coming out on a see of fog, if there is enough moon (it happened at night-full moon).

This is a clear reference point for the navigator, clearly visible on the maps.

They may have tried an emergency landing due to the fire (the Mosquito flew “perfectly” on a single engine) or the “wooden wonder” may had a structural problem due to the fire.

Best Piancas

Luca Piancastelli

Professor

DIN University of Bologna

viale Risorgimento,2

40136 Bologna

ITALY


Luca added these images of the funeral of Bentley and Causeway…


Epilogue

Dear all, here is my final report on the accident with new figures and the proof that the Mosquitos of the 23 Squadron at Pomigliano had flame suppressors installed.

I will send it to the ASN aircraft incident Archive to rectify the cause from “fog” to “fog and fire”.

The same Mosquito had a previous full engine stop with aborted mission on de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk VI HX869. With any probability the engine has been replaced in that occasion. Standard procedure was to replace both engines to avoid big differences in thrust if the remaining engine is old. Ground and flight tests were carried out for this purpose. Therefore, we do not know if a single engine was replaced or if the two engines were replaced. If the two engines were replaced it is possible that the original Merlin Mark was upgraded or modified due to avaliability.

Therefore, my research on Merlin mark is finished. I will write on my scientific papers only Merlin XX, instead of Merlin 21,23 or 25.

Thank you for your contributions to my work.

Best

Piancas

Notes on the Crash of 1943 Mosquito San Marino_Final-1

Donald Hepworth Bentley

This post was written in 2013.

http://wp.me/pSrQ4-Ob

Luca commented this week using the contact form.

I am a professor from the University of Bologna. I make a few works on the engine (the left one?) of the Mosquito of Flight Sergeant Bentley. I was looking for the exact type of the engine (Merlin 21, 23 or 25). In this research I collected a few docs and the exact (maybe) story of the crash. If you like, I can send you the material I have. In any case, I am looking for a contact with an historian of the RAF 23 Squadron.
Can you help me?
Best regards
Luca Piancastelli
DIN – Aerospace div.
viale Risorgimento,2
40136 Bologna
Italy

Who remembered W/O K.V. ‘Scappa’ Rann?

Scappa’s cousin sending me an email to find an answer…

My cousin WO1 ‘Scappa’ Rann appears in your photos in Sardinia. Why was he called ‘Scappa’? The family album shows him leaning on a Nissan Hut similar to the officers one previous….wearing a Sidcot? suit. Must be England, eh?

Scappa

George Stewart also did remember W/O K.V.Rann in 2010.

‘Scappa’ W/O.K.V.Rann, a squadron navigator who flew with Lt. J.H.Christie, of the Dutch Airforce, is on my right, and Paul to his right.

In 2010 I had sent an e-mail to George Stewart. He had answered back and he had insisted I called him George. I was not the kind of guy to argue with a Mosquito pilot…


George had identified most of the airmen on the pictures that Paul Beaudet’s daughter had sent me. Paul Beaudet was George’s navigator on all his 50 missions. They never suffered any injuries. I would venture to say that they were each other’s good luck charm.

Getting back to the photographs, I had first believed that these pictures were taken at Luqa, Malta, but George had told me they were taken in Alghero in Sardinia and also in Naples, Italy.

This was the first picture I had posted before.

This is what George Stewart had written…

Here were his answers…

This photo shows my navigator F/O J. R. Paul Beaudet, beside F/L J. (Jackie) Curd, a squadron pilot who flew with his navigator F/S P.H.Devlin.

This photo shows me with F/O A.L. (Al) Berry, a squadron navigator, whose pilot was P/O R. A. (Ron) Neil, both members of the RNZAF.

The other officer on the left side of the photo escapes my memory for now, but I think he was our engineering officer. This shot was taken in Naples, and you can see Mount Vesuvius in the background.

We landed here off the Italian cruiser Garibaldi, which sailed us here from Cagliary, Sardinia, after we found out that the squadron was going back to the U.K., in the spring of 1944.

We sailed from here to Liverpool on the Strathnaver.

The picture shows a few of us in Sassari (Sardinia), a city close to our base at Alghero in Sardinia, (after we did a bit of shopping. I bought a lovely small oil painting, for 800 lire).

In the dark battledress to my right, is F/O Ken Eastwood’s navigator F/L G.T.(Griff) Rogers.

‘Scappa’ W/O. K.V.Rann, a squadron navigator who flew with Lt. J.H.Christie, of the Dutch Airforce, is on my right, and Paul to his right.


I’m not sure about the chap in the top picture with his right arm around my navigator Paul, but it may come to me later; it may have been taken a the #1 B.P.D. tent camp in Algiers.


Paul Beaudet and the Vesuvius of course.

Al Berry again, likely taken the same day as the photo on page 1, in Naples.

Please leave a comment if you know why W/O Rann’s nickname was Scappa?

 

Scappa Rann