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.

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

 

And the answers are… Redux

This blog is still alive and well, I am just waiting for someone to find it and contribute.

What follows was written in August 2010.

The original is here.

 

I sent an e-mail to George Stewart this week after posting Monday’s article…

He answered back and he insists I call him George.

I am not the kind of guy to argue with a Mosquito pilot…


George identified most of the airmen on the pictures that Paul Beaudet’s daughter sent me two weeks ago.

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 first believed that these pictures were taken at Luqa, Malta, but George told me they were taken in Alghero in Sardinia and also in Naples, Italy.

This is the first picture I posted last time.

This is what George Stewart wrote me…

His answers are in blue…

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.

With all these new articles on No. 23 Squadron, I would like to consider myself as being George’s navigator on the Internet…

End ot the original post

Footnote

Please leave comments when you read some of my posts on 23 Squadron. It’s always interesting to hear from people who are interested in 23 Squadron.

26 November 1942 Redux

mosquito_bnf-5

This post was written back in 2010.

I just found the pilot’s name on the same page as Flight Lieutenant Bob Williamson’s name who was shot down over Cognac.

On the night of the 26th, Sgt Hutt and Sgt Cridge were killed in a crash whilst on local flying.

Williamson 1942 28 November ORB

Original post written in 2010.

I got this comment on my blog.

My uncle flew for RAF Squadron 23 and was killed on November 26 1942 in a Mosquito fighter bomber. His name was Duncan Stuart Hutt, RCAF. This was before the move from England. My mother told me that her mother sent packages to the pilots in Malta, but the Wing Commander told her that all pilots that Stuart had flown with in England were KIA.

Source of images

I found these locations of No. 23 Squadron on this Website.

16 May 1938 – 31 May 1940: Wittering
31 May – 12 September 1940: Collyweston
12 September 1940 – 6 August 1942: Ford
12 – 25 September 1940: Detachment to Middle Wallop
6 – 14 August 1942: Manston
14 – 21 August 1942: Bradwell Bay
21 August – 13 October 1942: Manston

13 October – 11 December 1942: Bradwell Bay

11 – 27 December 1942: On way to Malta
27 December 1942 – 7 December 1943: Luqa
3 September – 5 October 1943: Detachment to Signella
5 October – 1 November 1943: Detachment to Gerbini Main
1 November – 7 December 1943: Detachment to Pomigliano
7 December 1943 – 8 May 1944: Alghero
8 – 19 May 1944: Blida
19 May – 2 June 1944: Returning to UK
2 June 1944 – 25 September 1945: Little Snoring

Duncan Stuart Hutt was stationed at Bradwell Bay when he got killed.

I found this video on the Internet about No. 23 Squadron based in Italy.

If you have information on No. 23 Squadron, just write me a comment and I will get in touch just like I did with Stuart Hutt’s nephew.

Football in the rain Alghero

Contribution from Rich.

Pierre

Caption on reverse of group photo is “football in the rain Alghero” looks like a team made up from 23 squadron members.

soccer2

The other photo is of the match which 23 squadron lost 2-3.

soccer1

I am working through Theo’s collection of photos but most now have no ID to log.

Regards

Rich C

 

Rich also sent me this picture which was taken after the war.

Theo after the war

Tea anyone?

RAF at Alghero

I am no expert, but I know how to look for information.

This is taken from RAF Archives, and can be useful some day.

RAF at Alghero

No.14 (B) Squadron

The squadron arrived at Alghero on the 11th of April 1944. At the time, the squadron was operating the Martin Marauder Mk.I. While at Alghero, they maintained detachments at Grottaglie, Italy, Ghisonnaccia, Corsica and Telergma, Algeria. No.14 (B) Squadron relocated to Grottalie, Italy on the 23rd of September 1944.

No.23 (F) Squadron

The squadron arrived at Alghero on the 7th of December 1943 with their de Havilland Mosquito F.B.Mk.VI’s. While at Alghero, the squadron maintained a detachment at Blida, Algeria. The squadron took up residency at R.A.F. Station Little Snoring, Norfolk effective the 2nd of June 1944.

No.36 (GR) Squadron

The squadron arrived at Reghaia on the 30th of April 1944. While there, they maintained a detachment of Vickers Wellington G.R..Mk.XIV’s at Alghero. The squadron moved to Tarquinia, Italy effective the 18th of September 1944.

 

No.39 (TB) Squadron

The squadron arrived at Alghero on the 21st of February 1944. No.39 Squadron was flying the Bristol Beaufighter Mk.X. While there, the squadron maintained a detachment at Grottaglie. The squadron moved to Biferno, Italy effective the 15th of July 1944.

 

No.108 (F) Squadron

The squadron arrived at Hal Far on the 1st of July 1944. While there, it maintained a detachment at Alghero with Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIf’s. The squadron relocated to Idku, Egypt effective the 26th of July 1944.

 

No.153 (F) Squadron

The squadron arrived at Reghaia, Algeria on the 22nd of July 1943. While there it maintained a detachment of Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIf’s. The unit was disbanded on the 5th of September 1944 at Reghaia, Algeria.

 

No.256 (F) Squadron

This squadron arrived at Luqa, Malta on the 25th of September 1943 with de Havilland Mosquito N.F.Mk.XII’s.

While there the squadron maintained a detachment at Alghero. The squadron moved to La Senia on the 7th of April 1944. The squadron received Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VIII’s Mk.IX’s the following month. A detachment of Spitfires was sent to Alghero. No.256 (F) Squadron moved its entire operation to Alghero effective the 15th of August 1944. It was short-lived as they moved to Foggia, Italy on the 4th of September 1944.

 

No.272 (F) Squadron

The squadron arrived at Alghero on the 3rd of February 1944 with their Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIc’s, Mk.X’s and Mk.XI’s. They moved to Foggia, Italy effective the 15th of September 1944. Incidentally, the Beaufighter Mk.VIc was withdrawn from squadron service during February of 1944.

 

No.284 (A/SR) Squadron

This squadron arrived at Alghero on the 1st of March 1944 with their Supermarine Walrus air-sea rescue aircraft. The same month the Vickers Warwick ASR Mk.I was introduced into squadron service. No.284 Squadron remained at Alghero until transfer to Elmas, Sardinia effective the 17th of September 1944.

 

No.458 (GR) Squadron

This R.A.A.F. Coastal Command squadron arrived at Alghero on the 25th of May 1944. At the time, the Aussies were operating the Vickers Wellington G.R.Mk.XIV. The squadron moved to Foggia, Italy effective the 3rd of September 1944.

 

No.682 (PR) Squadron

This Supermarine Spitfire P.R.Mk.IX-equipped unit arrived at San Severo, Italy on the 8th of December 1943. While there, it maintained a detachment at Alghero. The squadron re-equipped with the P.R.Mk.XIX in September 1944. The squadron was disbanded on the 14th of September 1945.