Egbert Theune’s tribute to 23 Squadron

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

church of Little Snoring

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SONY DSC

Victories score boards of 23 and 515 squadron inside the church of Little Snoring.

SONY DSC

War memorial with name of Philip on it inside the church of Hickling

Squadron Leader O’Brien’s and Flight Lieutenant Disney’s Flight Log

Squadron Leader O’Brien’s name as well as his navigator’s appear on the Victory Board.

I never thought of searching for these two airmen before this week, even if I had seen this victory board as well as another one in 2010. I did know if Squadron Leader O’Brien and Flight Lieutenant Disney had survived the war like Eugène Gagnon to whom this blog was dedicated in April 2010,… then to George Stewart’s navigator Paul Beaudet when Paul’s daughter’s found this blog, then to George Stewart who wanted me to call him in 2011.

George is sitting on the Mosquito’s nose and was 19 when that picture was taken at Little Snoring in 1944.

This is Squadron Leader O’Brien’s list of operations with all the flight training he did while with 23 Squadron.

Egbert Theune sent them two days with lots more information about Squadron Leader O’Brien.

23 Squadron, Little Snoring – Mosquito

From 5 February 1945 until 22/23 March 1945

Squadron Leader, B Flight Commander

Date Navigator Target

06-02 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Training
10-02 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Training
11-02 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Training
13-02 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Paderborne – OPS 1
14-02 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Kitzinghen – OPS 2
18-02 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – beacon Schakal – OPS 3
20-02 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Ober-Olm – OPS 4
22-02 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Paderborn – OPS 5
26-02 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Training
27-02 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Barth/Ribnitz Ranger, attacked train – OPS 6
01-03 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Kaiserlautern Escort – OPS 7
11-03 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Training
12-03 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Training
13-03 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Kassel Intruder – OPS 8
17-03 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – beacon Hailfingen Intruder, dropped bombs – OPS 9
15-03 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Fassberg Intruder, damaged Ju-88 – OPS 10
18-03 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Twente Intruder, dropped incendiaries – OPS 11
22-03 – Flt/Lt P.A. Disney – Muenster/Handorf Killed in action – OPS 12

Chronology: Flight 1456 – High Ercall – 20 July 1942 – 30 August 1942

I hope I am not inundating you with information about the Havoc Turbinlite and people found in R.C. Harris’ logbook.

Robert Harris sent me this information taken from his father’s logbook.

Here is precious information taken from it dated from 20 July 1942 to 30 August 1942 whilst in RAF Turbinlite Flight 1456 – High Ercall. I found this information on the Internet about some famous people visiting…

The Turbinlite team setted at High Ercall and the equipment was demonstrated to the King and Queen when they visited the air base on July 16, 1942.

I wonder if R.C. Harris met the King and Queen when they visited High Ercall on July 16th, 1942…

 Guess not, unless he got there before July 20th.

This posting immediately preceded his posting to RAF Squadron 535 also based at High Ercall.

Here is the complete information sent by Robert copied from the entries.

Aircraft flown in: 

Havoc I,

Havoc I

Havoc II,  

 Havoc II

Boston I,

Boston III.

TO LEARN HOW TO FLY IT, CLICK HERE…

Aircraft numbers were:

Havoc I – AW411

Havoc II – AH450

Boston I – AW410

Boston III – W.8277

Flying Times

Total flying time with 1456 flight for July 1942:-

Flying   Hours

Day

Night

Monthly Total 4.30 Nil
Total at Unit 4.30 Nil
Grand Total 19.20 29.55

  Total flying time with 1456 flight for August 1942:-

Flying   Hours

Day

Night

Monthly   Total 20.55 1.00
Total at   Unit 25.25 1.00
Grand Total 100.15 30.55

These hours were signed off by F/L PoultonThese hours do not seem to make sense on face value but they have been carried over from his previous posting with RAAF 456 Squadron.

Is there a link between 456 and Flight 1456?

Pilots flown with during this period:-

P/O Scorer, P/O Armstrong, Sgt Christensen, P/O Thornton, F/L Poulton, Sgt Hough.

  • My father flew with Sgt Hough x13
  • Sgt Christensen x2.
  • P/O Armstrong x2
  • P/O  Thornton x1

7 flights were under one hour’s duration.

The longest flight was 2.05 hours.

Total number of flights: 20.

Comments from the “Remarks” section of the log book.

Again, some of them are obvious but others require further explanation.

Night Flying Test (NFT) – 10 flights.

Watchfield to High Ercall, starboard engine cut. Crashed on landing at Stoke Orchard.

G.C.I   GROPA CONTROL – 2 flights.

G.C.I    HACK GREEN. GROPA

Anti Aircraft Co-operation. High Ercall, Gnosall, Locksley, Stafford.

Local flying. Responder Homings

Sector reconnaissance – 2 flights.

Dusk landings.  Responder D/F

2 of the cross country flights took them to Langrick, Near Boston Lincolnshire which is a totally insignificant village/hamlet except for the fact that my father’s new wife lived there!

These are virtually the entire contents of this section of the log book but presented in a more  user friendly way (I hope).

Footnote

About F/L Poulton?

When I was proofreading this post I found out F/L Poulton was not pilot but a Nav./Radar.

Pilots flown with during this period:-

P/O Scorer, P/O Armstrong, Sgt Christensen, P/O Thornton, F/L Poulton, Sgt Hough.

Does it really matter?

“These hours were signed off by F/L Poulton.” 

Warrant Officer Dennis Poulton 778652 RAF, was a Radar Operator/Observer who flew in Bristol Beaufighter NIGHT FIGHTERS providing night air cover of Italy during the Second World War.  He was attached to 255 Squadron RAF.  He was killed in action at age 30  along with his pilot Flight Sergeant J. Luckhurst on January 1, 1944. Poulton and his pilot Flight Sergeant J. Luckhurst were both posted  to 255 Squadron on 28 July 1943 from 1 BPD Base Personnel depot at La Sebala.  They flew together on all operational sorties.  (same person?)

 Another source

Name: POULTON, DENNIS

Initials: D
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Warrant Officer (Nav./Radar)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 255 Sqdn.
Date of Death: 08/01/1944
Service No: 778672
Additional information: Son of Thomas William and Emily Beatrice Poulton.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: VI. E. 11. (Source)