Preserving the Past – No. 18 Course No. 51 O.T.U. Cranfield

This is a group picture from Theo Griffiths’ collection of memorabilia. It has the names on it to pay homage to some of them.

I wonder how many survived the war.

Sergt. W.F. Price, Sergt. E.J. Oboldstone. Sergt. L.D. Hayter, Sergt. R. Sullivan,
Sergt. T. Griffiths, Sergt. C.C. Adams, L.A.P. Nowlan,

Sergt. D.M. Selby, Sergt. J.R. Coote, Sergt. N. Sisley, F/O J.E. Morris, Sergt. J.H. Scott, Sergt. L.R.C. Lasham, Sergt. C.H. Curl,

P/O D.O. Norcott. F/O W.R. Wells, F/L M.H.A. Phillips, S/Ldr I.T. de K. Bocock,
F/L B.T. Brigg, F/O A.G. Woods, P/O A.D. Somerville

no-51-otu

Collection Theo Griffiths DFC
Courtesy Richard Cooper

We all know about Theo Griffiths who became a Mosquito pilot with 23 Squadron, won a DFC, and survived the war.

Rick Maude and Theodore Griffiths mod

Theo is in the last row.

no-51-otu-sergeant-theo-griffiths

He was with No. 51 O.T.U. which is an Operation Training Unit of the RAF.Theo’s logbook says he was there in December 1942.

logbook1

His Squadron Leader was I.T. de K. Bocock according to the caption.

Squadron Leader Ian Maxwell Theodore De Kaap Bocock did not survive the war.

no-51-otu-squadron-leader-ian-theodore-de-k-bocock

 

 We Never Slept the Story of 605 Squadron

Click above for the PDF

I found this information in the history of 605 Squadron.

Page 77…

The first operational sorties with the Mosquito Mk II took place on the 10th March 1943, but alas it was not an auspicious start with the new machines as Fl Lt Mike Olley AFC and his navigator W/O Vipond were killed on an intruder sortie to Tours. The Squadron log wrote of the men :-
“F/Lt M.G. Olley, apart from being an absolutely first class pilot and an exceptional instructor, was a man of great personal charm and was very good company. His keenness and eager desire to stop the Hun (which were probably his undoing) set a fine example to the other members of the Squadron. W/O H. Vipond was the same sort of NCO that F/Lt Olley was an officer – quiet, efficient and keen. Equally tall, they were a well matched pair.”

Two days later the Squadron recorded its first successes with the new aircraft which coincided with the first visit to Holland, when S/Ldr de Bocock and Sgt Brown destroyed a Dornier 217 over Eindoven. During their attack the Mosquito was hit by shrapnel from the disintegrating enemy aircraft which damaged the starboard engine so badly it ceased to function. Despite this S/Ldr de Bocock brought the aircraft back to Manston, later attributing the successful return to the exceptionally clever navigation of his companion Sgt Brown, who steered them back whilst avoiding all the flak defended areas.
 

S/Ldr de Bocock had the unenviable distinction of being the first pilot to be wounded in combat since the Squadron reformed when he sustained a slight arm injury to his arm on 24th March, when his aircraft was shot up quite badly by flak over Deelen. Not to be overshadowed his navigator, Sgt Brown received a grazed hand during the same flight. On 26th March the Squadron received a limited supply of long range fuel tanks which increased the fuel capacity by 150 gallons, which allowed S/Ldr de Bocock to fly his aircraft on a five hour patrol to Stavanger on the Norwegian coast on the 8th April.

Page 78…

On the 24th April S/Ldr I.M.T. de Bocock and Sgt R. Brown were killed when their Mosquito dived into the ground at Housedean Farm near Lewes, Sussex, the cause of the accident was unknown. S/Ldr de Bocock was a South African, having been posted supernumerary to the Squadron on 1st February 1943 and by his persistence and anxiety to engage the enemy had done much to increase the fighting spirit of the whole Squadron. He had been in the RAF since 1933 and above all he was an excellent comrade, always willing to impart his very wide knowledge of service procedure and flying experiences in a most charming manner to anyone in need of help. There is no doubt that his death was a great loss not only to 605 but to the whole service to which he had devoted his life. Sgt Brown, despite not having been in the Squadron for long was a quiet and self contained man and shared in his pilot’s determination to engage and destroy the enemy.

squadron-leader-ian-theodore-de-k-bocock

 
 

 

Advertisements

Chronology: No. 51 O.T.U. Update – Redux

Another update about this post on No. 51 O.T.U. with this comment just received…

John Kelly was my father. After the war he went to become a Professor of Pathology at Tufts and then the Head of Pathology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. He eventually quit that profession to go to become an author. He penned several articles for the Navy’s Tailhook magazine and wrote a novel called “The Wooden Wolf” which was published. The plot was about an attempt to kill Hitler while he was on Hermann Goering’s train Asia with an attack from a “Mossie”. I have his manuals supplied to him while in 68 Squadron of the flight manuals for the Mosquito and Blenheim. In additional to these his letters home recounting his time there. His Squadron mates were Black & Aitken as well as Karl Seda. To read these letters are like steeping back in time.

Source Internet

ORIGINAL POST

Update with this comment…

Hi,
no information about the crew of Lt. Kelly / Lt Martin.

Czech pilot Karel Kuttelwascher DFC & Bar was posted to 23 Sqn.
July 9, 1942 – October 1, 1942

Crew F / Lt Kuttelwascher – P / O Palmer 6x Night Intruder over France and the Netherlands
Navigator P / O Geoffrey Ernest PALMER (116970) DFC

http://aces.safarikovi.org/biography/cz/cz/kuttelwascher.html

http://www.czechspitfireclub.cz/?sekce1=cs_letci&sekce2=kuttelwascher

http://fcafa.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/karel-kuttelwascher/

Regards Pavel

This picture could have been taken at No. 51 O.T.U. but I am not sure.

scan0001

No 51 O.T.U. was stationed at RAF Cranfield.  From 27 March 1944 to 16 October 1944 R.C. Harris was posted there.  He was a navigator radar operator and flew on Beaufighters, Wellingtons, Beauforts, and Airspeed Oxfords.

This page from the logbook is interesting in a way as well as the message from Robert.

Hello Pierre!

I have learned so much from reading the latest blog update.  I had never heard of the Havocs with searchlights linked to the Hurricanes!

One log book scan shows my father as instructor to an American – wonder what happened to him! I have attached some other log book extracts which I hope you will find of some use.

Can’t thank you enough for all the work on 23 squadron and beyond.

Kind regards – Rob

One log book scan shows my father as instructor to an American – wonder what happened to him!

51 OTU August 1944

Four entries from 14 August through 18 August 1944. Richard Harris is an instructor to Ensign Grinndal, U.S. Navy on August 14. Squadron Leader Macandrew was the pilot.

Who was Squadron Leader MacAndrew? I found nothing about him on the Internet.

Who then was Ensign Grinndal? Was he Richard Eric Grinndal who died on November 22, 1944?

Click here for the source and the complete history of RAF 68 Squadron.

During October 68 Squadron made up for all the frustration of the two previous months as they shot down 13 Flying-bombs. The crews were as follows: Fg Off Haskell/Plt Off Bentley – three; Fg Off Humphrey/Fg Off Robertson – two; F/Sgt Bullus/Fg Off Edwards -one; W/O Lauchlan/F/Sgt Bailey – two; Fg Off Gibson/Sgt Lack – one; Sqn Ldr Wright/Fg Off McCullough – two; and Sqn Ldr Mansfeld/Flt Lt Janacek – two.

Part of the Squadron’s training programme at this time was devoted to cross-countrynavigation exercises, and these included trips over France, recently cleared of Germans. Sqn Ldr Evans of ADGB came to give a lecture on ‘Intruding Over Enemy Territory’. The aircrews were shown three films: ‘The Nazis Strike’, ‘The Battle of Russia’, and ‘Divide and Conquer’. Earlier, three American Navy aircrews had been assigned to the Squadron, they were: Lt Peebles/Ens Grinndal; Lt Black/Lt Aitken; and Lt Kelly/Lt Martin. On 27th October the Squadron moved back to Coltishall having had a very good series of farewell parties at Castle Camps. The Squadron continued to fly anti-diver patrols over the North Sea, but seemed to be selected by Control to operate against Heinkels carrying the flying-bombs.

On 5th November F/Sgt Neal/F/Sgt Eastwood caught a He 111 just releasing its bomb and after a long chase shot it down into the sea, and on the 11th F/Sgt Brooking/PIt Off Finn also dealt with a Heinkel in similar circumstances at 700 ft above the sea. W/O Cookson/W/O GravelI claimed a Heinkel probably destroyed. On the 8th the first V2 rocket was seen by a 68 squadron pilot as it was launched from a site in Holland, it was described as a ‘red glow with flames on the outside shooting straight up into the air at great speed and to a great height’.

The Squadron had really taken to the American crews, who though more formal than the RAF, were super chaps, and 68 were most upset when Joe Black and Tom Aitken were killed pursuing a flying-bomb. Apparently they followed the bomb into the gunstrip and tragically the guns missed the bomb, but brought down the Mosquito. Soon after this there was another tragedy when Sam Peebles and Dick Grinndal, having been scrambled for anti-diver activity at 22.30 hours and just airborne, reported going over to channel ‘D’ on the R/T, but crashed near Horstead at 22.33 hours, both were killed. It is good to be able to say that John Kelly and Tom Martin survived the War.

On Find A Grave Website

Ens Richard Eric “Eric” Grinndal

Birth: Jul. 19, 1918
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: Nov. 22, 1944
Horstead
Norfolk, England

Casualty of WWII, he was an Ensign in the United States Naval Reserve and worked as a ‘navrad’ (Observer) on de Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk.XVII Registration: HK344, 68 Squadron RAF. It was described as Britain’s “Wooden Wonder”-it featured two Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and was constructed of plywood and balsa wood.He entered the Service from Illinois. His parents were Vidar and Frieda Grinndal from Sweden. His service number was O-325953. He was awarded the Air Medal. He was flying with Lt. Samuel Warmuth Peebles (pilot) US Navy; the aircraft lost an engine on take-off from RAF Coltishall, Norfolk and crashed onto the lawns of Horstead Hall after hitting trees. Sam Peebles was initially interred in Cambridge,England, near Eric but his remains were subsequently repatriated to USA.
  The pilot…

Peebles

Ensign Grinndal and his pilot were flying Mosquitoes that were shooting down Flying-bombs carried by He 111.

800px-Fieseler_Fi103_debajo_de_un_Heinkel_111

Ensign Grinndal is not just a name in a logbook entry anymore…

51 OTU Ensign Grinndal

Chronology: No. 51 O.T.U. Update

Update with this comment…

Hi,
no information about the crew of Lt. Kelly / Lt Martin.

Czech pilot Karel Kuttelwascher DFC & Bar was posted to 23 Sqn.
July 9, 1942 – October 1, 1942

Crew F / Lt Kuttelwascher – P / O Palmer 6x Night Intruder over France and the Netherlands
Navigator P / O Geoffrey Ernest PALMER (116970) DFC

http://aces.safarikovi.org/biography/cz/cz/kuttelwascher.html

http://www.czechspitfireclub.cz/?sekce1=cs_letci&sekce2=kuttelwascher

http://fcafa.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/karel-kuttelwascher/

Regards Pavel

This picture could have been taken at No. 51 O.T.U. but I am not sure.

scan0001

No 51 O.T.U. was stationed at RAF Cranfield.  From 27 March 1944 to 16 October 1944 R.C. Harris was posted there.  He was a navigator radar operator and flew on Beaufighters, Wellingtons, Beauforts, and Airspeed Oxfords.

This page from the logbook is interesting in a way as well as the message from Robert.

Hello Pierre!

I have learned so much from reading the latest blog update.  I had never heard of the Havocs with searchlights linked to the Hurricanes!

One log book scan shows my father as instructor to an American – wonder what happened to him! I have attached some other log book extracts which I hope you will find of some use.

Can’t thank you enough for all the work on 23 squadron and beyond.

Kind regards – Rob

One log book scan shows my father as instructor to an American – wonder what happened to him!

51 OTU August 1944

Four entries from 14 August through 18 August 1944. Richard Harris is an instructor to Ensign Grinndal, U.S. Navy on August 14. Squadron Leader Macandrew was the pilot.

Who was Squadron Leader Macandrew? I found nothing about him on the Internet.

Who then was Ensign Grinndal? Was he Richard Eric Grinndal who died on November 22, 1944?

Click here for the source and the complete history of RAF 68 Squadron.

During October 68 Squadron made up for all the frustration of the two previous months as they shot down 13 Flying-bombs. The crews were as follows: Fg Off Haskell/Plt Off Bentley – three; Fg Off Humphrey/Fg Off Robertson – two; F/Sgt Bullus/Fg Off Edwards -one; W/O Lauchlan/F/Sgt Bailey – two; Fg Off Gibson/Sgt Lack – one; Sqn Ldr Wright/Fg Off McCullough – two; and Sqn Ldr Mansfeld/Flt Lt Janacek – two.

Part of the Squadron’s training programme at this time was devoted to cross-countrynavigation exercises, and these included trips over France, recently cleared of Germans. Sqn Ldr Evans of ADGB came to give a lecture on ‘Intruding Over Enemy Territory’. The aircrews were shown three films: ‘The Nazis Strike’, ‘The Battle of Russia’, and ‘Divide and Conquer’. Earlier, three American Navy aircrews had been assigned to the Squadron, they were: Lt Peebles/Ens Grinndal; Lt Black/Lt Aitken; and Lt Kelly/Lt Martin. On 27th October the Squadron moved back to Coltishall having had a very good series of farewell parties at Castle Camps. The Squadron continued to fly anti-diver patrols over the North Sea, but seemed to be selected by Control to operate against Heinkels carrying the flying-bombs.

On 5th November F/Sgt Neal/F/Sgt Eastwood caught a He 111 just releasing its bomb and after a long chase shot it down into the sea, and on the 11th F/Sgt Brooking/PIt Off Finn also dealt with a Heinkel in similar circumstances at 700 ft above the sea. W/O Cookson/W/O GravelI claimed a Heinkel probably destroyed. On the 8th the first V2 rocket was seen by a 68 squadron pilot as it was launched from a site in Holland, it was described as a ‘red glow with flames on the outside shooting straight up into the air at great speed and to a great height’.

The Squadron had really taken to the American crews, who though more formal than the RAF, were super chaps, and 68 were most upset when Joe Black and Tom Aitken were killed pursuing a flying-bomb. Apparently they followed the bomb into the gunstrip and tragically the guns missed the bomb, but brought down the Mosquito. Soon after this there was another tragedy when Sam Peebles and Dick Grinndal, having been scrambled for anti-diver activity at 22.30 hours and just airborne, reported going over to channel ‘D’ on the R/T, but crashed near Horstead at 22.33 hours, both were killed. It is good to be able to say that John Kelly and Tom Martin survived the War.

On Find A Grave Website

Ens Richard Eric “Eric” Grinndal

Birth: Jul. 19, 1918
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: Nov. 22, 1944
Horstead
Norfolk, England

Casualty of WWII, he was an Ensign in the United States Naval Reserve and worked as a ‘navrad’ (Observer) on de Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk.XVII Registration: HK344, 68 Squadron RAF. It was described as Britain’s “Wooden Wonder”-it featured two Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and was constructed of plywood and balsa wood.He entered the Service from Illinois. His parents were Vidar and Frieda Grinndal from Sweden. His service number was O-325953. He was awarded the Air Medal. He was flying with Lt. Samuel Warmuth Peebles (pilot) US Navy; the aircraft lost an engine on take-off from RAF Coltishall, Norfolk and crashed onto the lawns of Horstead Hall after hitting trees. Sam Peebles was initially interred in Cambridge,England, near Eric but his remains were subsequently repatriated to USA.
  The pilot…

Peebles

Ensign Grinndal and his pilot were flying Mosquitoes that were shooting down Flying-bombs carried by He 111.

800px-Fieseler_Fi103_debajo_de_un_Heinkel_111

Ensign Grinndal is not just a name in a logbook entry anymore…

51 OTU Ensign Grinndal

Who Remembers W/O Atkinson?

Again, probably not many people remember W/O Atkinson who did some 15 minutes aircraft test on three Beaufighter I with Navigator Radar Operator R.C. Harris while stationed at No 51 O.T.U on August 16, 1944.

Probably not…

51 OTU August 1944 Atkinson

I found this information on the Internet (source).

This pilot could be Warrant Officer Atkinson but I am not sure  because we have few clues other than he was a pilot with No. 51 O.T.U. in August 1944.

1943

March 23
Night Rangers were undertaken with the following crews partaking: F/O Paton with P/O Hanson, F/O Atkinson with W/O Primer, and F/O Rayner with P/O Hartley. All three crews ran into trouble as indicated in the reports that were made:

F/O Paton & P/O Hanson.
This crew crashed on landing on their return to Wittering and were both killed. From the remains of their flight log, it seemed as though they had been through some flak and on approaching base they called for a priority landing as the aircraft had little aileron control. They made one circuit without a landing approach, and on the second circuit went in from about 200 ft.

F/O Rayner & P/O Hartley.
They attacked a train south of Verden from where light flak was experienced, causing some damage to their aircraft. The R/T was unserviceable and P/O Hartley passed all instructions to F/O Rayner by writing with his finger tip on the windscreen.

F/O Atkinson & W/O Primer.
Although they did not claim attacks, their operation took them over Bremen at roof top level, getting very low to avoid the intense anti-aircraft fire which was being thrown up at them. They reported flak of all types and in taking evasive action, F/O Atkinson felt a sharp tug at the wing of the aircraft, On his return to base, the ground crews found a piece of domestic wireless aerial wrapped round the mainplane. This was a tough experience and was indicative of the type of opposition the Squadron was up against.

Then this

The Squadron strength was now as follows:

    Commanding Officer     W/Cdr Ivins

    Adjutant                         F/Lt Woodcock

    Intelligence Officer         S/Ldr Marlowe

    Engineering Officer        F/Lt Watts

    Medical Officer               F/Lt Leggett

    Signals Officer                P/O Wood

    Navigation Officer           F/O Marsh

 

“A” Flight “B” Flight
S/Ldr Robertson & W/O Smith S/Ldr Bodien & F/O Booker
F/Lt Stevens & Sgt Aldridge F/Lt Gregory & P/O Thompson
F/O Yeats & P/O Howlett F/O Atkinson & W/O Primer
F/o Boyle & Sgt Friesner F/O Raynor & P/O Neville
F/O Turner & Sgt Bolton P/C Humphries & P/C Lumb
P/O Furniss & P/O Ferguson F/O Zykmn & F/Lt Kalinowski
P/O Armstrong & F/Sgt Daly F/Lt Coombes & P/O Ashworth
W/O Kneath & W/O Leyland F/O Morris & F/O Fisher
W/O Butcher & Sgt Spencer P/O Bushen & Sgt Ferguson
F/Sgt Lucas & F/O Elvin W/O Flight & F/Sgt Mackins
F/Sgt Kemp & Sgt Maidment F/Sgt Penman & Sgt Phillips
Sgt Campbell & Sgt Phillips F/Sgt Knight & Sgt Roberts
Sgt Lavelle & Sgt Griffiths Sgt Playford & Sgt Kelsey
Sgt Heath & Sgt Cottrill Sgt O’Connor & Sgt Webb
Sgt Williams Sgt Dickenson
F/O Sampson P/O Scobie

Now being stationed in the South West of England, Ranger operations were generally designed for France, but because of German air activity by night over the South coast, full night readiness had to be undertaken.

SEPTEMBER 1943

A lot of practice flying took place to get all crews fully operational on the new aircraft, equipped with the Mark Vlll A.I. This was not without its problems. F/O Boyle had engine failure on two occasions, requiring him to carry out single engined landings. F/Sgt O’Connor also had the same experience.

There were more postings in and out of the Squadron as crews became “tour expired” . This was to be a regular feature to maintain a fully effective Squadron strength:

S/Ldr Bodien was posted to O.T.U. at Cranfield on rest.
S/Ldr Pennington and F/O Donnet returned from rest.
F/O Atkinson was posted to Canada as a Gunnery Instructor, thus ending a four year connection with 151 Squadron, having been with them since the outbreak of the war. (He was later killed in a flying accident in Canada.)
S/Ldr Frank Marlowe, the Squadron Intelligence Officer, and regarded as the “Father and Mother” of the Squadron, was Mentioned in Despatches for long and meritorious service.

Was W/O Atkinson temporarily posted to No. 51 O.T.U. before returning to Canada? Could this be the same Atkinson people talked about on this forum?

Excerpt…

Hi guys,

just read the threat about George Atkinson, he was my Great Uncle and some what of a hero of mine.

All I have seen and been led to believe from the family (including his wife Pat) say he was killed in a training accident on a Beaufighter not a Mosquito…

He served from 1936 flying Hart trainers, Hurricanes in th Battle of france and Battle of Britain and for a while on Spit Mk 1s while with 151 at North Weald. He was awaded the DFM and bailed out over the Thames esturay earning the “catapillar”. Confirmed 3 “kills”.

After the BoB went to training squadron for “rest” in Canada and returned on Mosquitos flying some of the famed low lever raids, one of which he picked up a length of telephone cable on his wing.

It was after this tour he ended up at RAF Lucheas and was killed 12th March 1945…

I would like to know where any information is written about him, as I am trying to trace as much as possile about my great uncle. I am in the process of getting the RAF records and medals.

Thanks

David Petters

Probably not that important after all…

Or is it?

To learn more about RAF 151 Squadron click here.

Who Remembers Ensign Grinndal U.S. Navy?

Is it so important?

Probably not many people remember Ensign Grinndal who was killed on November 22, 1944 when the Mosquito he was flying on lost one engine and crashed.

51 OTU Ensign Grinndal

Maybe R.C. Harris never knew what had happened to him. But then maybe he did but he never wrote about it to anyone.

This is why I wrote about it on this blog dedicated to 23 Squadron and not to No. 51 O.T.U. or RAF 456 Squadron. 

Maybe this person who posted this on the Find A Grave Website knows more about Ensign Grinndal, but then maybe not…

His name is Geoffrey Gillon. This is how he presents himself on the Website. Take a few moments to read it because I could have written something along those lines about this blog dedicated to 23 Squadron.

Bio and Links
“They are only dead when they’re forgotten”

Tombstone tourist (otherwise known as a “taphophile”, “cemetery enthusiast” or “grave hunter” or “graver”) describes an individual who travels to visit cemeteries for the enjoyment of looking at old and unusual stones or to find the graves of famous people.

The term has been most notably used by author and biographer Scott Stanton as the title of his 2003 book and his former website on the lives and gravesites of famous musicians. Tombstone tourists are usually more interested in the historical aspects of cemeteries or the historical relevance of its denizens.Taphophilia is a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries. The singular term is a Taphophile. Taphophilia involves epitaphs, photography, brass rubbing, art, and history of (famous) deaths.

I have a number of virtual cemeteries-a very useful feature of the Find A Grave site. I maintain one which I have entitled ‘Famous Rejects’-these are notable people, mainly from British history who, I feel, deserve a place in the ‘famous’ category, and I have been pleased to read that a great number of Find A Grave contributors and visitors concur.

I was raised to believe that I own nothing and that all I have is to be shared. See also 1 Timothy 6:7.I am inclined to be a “Kopimist” or “Kopimist intellectual” – a person who has the philosophical belief that all information should be freely distributed and unrestricted. This philosophy opposes the monopolization of knowledge in all its forms, such as copyright.

I do not copyright any of my work on findagrave and it is free for anyone to use elsewhere for whatever reason. I came across some rare but refreshing comments on the profile pages of other contributors recently, one of which  said something along the lines of ” I figure that if you have sufficient interest to ask for a transfer, I am happy to oblige” Another, in connection with the refusal to transfer memorials, said “It has led to fiefdoms of little people exercising “power” who are obdurate in their intransigence. Also there seem to be many contributors who amass great quantities of records beyond their ability to maintain them “I am sure that all those who spout on about why they won’t transfer don’t realize that their precious number count doesn’t change if they do. Another personal profile that attracted me was found December 2012.
Any and all information or pictures, I have uploaded, are meant for sharing. Family memories were meant to be passed on. I just don’t understand anyone that thinks different. I think if you don’t want to share, than don’t put them on a public site. My goal is not to see how many memorials I can create, but to help you find your love ones.-and another unselfish one……….

Since I could never care as much about your family and friends as you do, please feel free to request memorial transfers.

Contributions to Find A Grave

8,116 Memorials Added

9,136 Memorials Managed

• 27 Memorials/week

• 21,931 Photos

81 Photo Requests

255 Volunteer Photos Taken

• 210 Virtual Flowers

24 Virtual Cemeteries

10 Famous Bios

• 104 Fame Ratings

52 Sponsorships

2 Friends

I was raised to believe that I own nothing and that all I have is to be shared…

Footnote

Message I sent to Geoffrey Gillon

Hi,
 
This post on my blog 23 Squadron will be of interest.
 
 
I will have a follow- up post tomorrow.
 
Do you know more about Ensign Grinndal?
 
Pierre

Chronology: No. 51 O.T.U.

This picture could have been taken at No. 51 O.T.U. but I am not sure.

scan0001

No 51 O.T.U. was stationed at RAF Cranfield.  From 27 March 1944 to 16 October 1944 R.C. Harris was posted there.  He was a navigator radar operator and flew on Beaufighters, Wellingtons, Beauforts, and Airspeed Oxfords.

This page from the logbook is interesting in a way as well as the message from Robert.

Hello Pierre!

I have learned so much from reading the latest blog update.  I had never heard of the Havocs with searchlights linked to the Hurricanes!

One log book scan shows my father as instructor to an American – wonder what happened to him! I have attached some other log book extracts which I hope you will find of some use.

Can’t thank you enough for all the work on 23 squadron and beyond.

Kind regards – Rob

One log book scan shows my father as instructor to an American – wonder what happened to him!

51 OTU August 1944

Four entries from 14 August through 18 August 1944. Richard Harris is an instructor to Ensign Grinndal, U.S. Navy on August 14. Squadron Leader Macandrew was the pilot.

Who was Squadron Leader Macandrew? I found nothing about him on the Internet.

Who then was Ensign Grinndal? Was he Richard Eric Grinndal who died on November 22, 1944?

Click here for the source and the complete history of RAF 68 Squadron.

During October 68 Squadron made up for all the frustration of the two previous months as they shot down 13 Flying-bombs. The crews were as follows: Fg Off Haskell/Plt Off Bentley – three; Fg Off Humphrey/Fg Off Robertson – two; F/Sgt Bullus/Fg Off Edwards -one; W/O Lauchlan/F/Sgt Bailey – two; Fg Off Gibson/Sgt Lack – one; Sqn Ldr Wright/Fg Off McCullough – two; and Sqn Ldr Mansfeld/Flt Lt Janacek – two.

Part of the Squadron’s training programme at this time was devoted to cross-countrynavigation exercises, and these included trips over France, recently cleared of Germans. Sqn Ldr Evans of ADGB came to give a lecture on ‘Intruding Over Enemy Territory’. The aircrews were shown three films: ‘The Nazis Strike’, ‘The Battle of Russia’, and ‘Divide and Conquer’. Earlier, three American Navy aircrews had been assigned to the Squadron, they were: Lt Peebles/Ens Grinndal; Lt Black/Lt Aitken; and Lt Kelly/Lt Martin. On 27th October the Squadron moved back to Coltishall having had a very good series of farewell parties at Castle Camps. The Squadron continued to fly anti-diver patrols over the North Sea, but seemed to be selected by Control to operate against Heinkels carrying the flying-bombs.

On 5th November F/Sgt Neal/F/Sgt Eastwood caught a He 111 just releasing its bomb and after a long chase shot it down into the sea, and on the 11th F/Sgt Brooking/PIt Off Finn also dealt with a Heinkel in similar circumstances at 700 ft above the sea. W/O Cookson/W/O GravelI claimed a Heinkel probably destroyed. On the 8th the first V2 rocket was seen by a 68 squadron pilot as it was launched from a site in Holland, it was described as a ‘red glow with flames on the outside shooting straight up into the air at great speed and to a great height’.

The Squadron had really taken to the American crews, who though more formal than the RAF, were super chaps, and 68 were most upset when Joe Black and Tom Aitken were killed pursuing a flying-bomb. Apparently they followed the bomb into the gunstrip and tragically the guns missed the bomb, but brought down the Mosquito. Soon after this there was another tragedy when Sam Peebles and Dick Grinndal, having been scrambled for anti-diver activity at 22.30 hours and just airborne, reported going over to channel ‘D’ on the R/T, but crashed near Horstead at 22.33 hours, both were killed. It is good to be able to say that John Kelly and Tom Martin survived the War.

On Find A Grave Website

Ens Richard Eric “Eric” Grinndal

Birth: Jul. 19, 1918
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: Nov. 22, 1944
Horstead
Norfolk, England

Casualty of WWII, he was an Ensign in the United States Naval Reserve and worked as a ‘navrad’ (Observer) on de Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk.XVII Registration: HK344, 68 Squadron RAF. It was described as Britain’s “Wooden Wonder”-it featured two Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and was constructed of plywood and balsa wood.He entered the Service from Illinois. His parents were Vidar and Frieda Grinndal from Sweden. His service number was O-325953. He was awarded the Air Medal. He was flying with Lt. Samuel Warmuth Peebles (pilot) US Navy; the aircraft lost an engine on take-off from RAF Coltishall, Norfolk and crashed onto the lawns of Horstead Hall after hitting trees. Sam Peebles was initially interred in Cambridge,England, near Eric but his remains were subsequently repatriated to USA.
  The pilot…

Peebles

Ensign Grinndal and his pilot were flying Mosquitoes that were shooting down Flying-bombs carried by He 111.

800px-Fieseler_Fi103_debajo_de_un_Heinkel_111

Ensign Grinndal is not just a name in a logbook entry anymore…

51 OTU Ensign Grinndal