Egbert Theune’s tribute to 23 Squadron

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

church of Little Snoring

SONY DSC

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

Advertisements

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

One More Priceless Artefact

Six years ago, this was sent by Peter Smith with this message…

Hi Pierre,

I believe Johnny Rivaz took it down after the last op was flown.

Operational record 004

That’s All Folks
What Next?

This is Johnny Rivaz who was a pilot with 23 Squadron.

Flight Lieutenant Rivaz

close-up of this picture

1945

June 1945

Johnny Rivaz, by taking down this precious artefact, has without knowing it kept this Mosquito Squadron operational forever.

23 Squadron end of the war 3

This is an edited version of the scoreboard.

Operational record 004 modified

My lastest contributor is also keeping 23 Squadron operational…

Message from Egbert Theune about 23 Squadron

Here some information about another 23 squadron pilot.

His name is Squadron Leader Michael William O’BRIEN DFC (69497), he was killed in action during a mission on 22 March 1945. Crashed on (or nearby) Handorf airfield nearby Münster with Mosquito RS577 YP-T. His navigator Flight Lieutenant Philip Allan DISNEY (139616) was killed too.

Michael joined the squadron on 05-02-1945 (he came from 1692 BSTU Great Massingham). Philip was his dedicated navigator and came from 169 squadron Great Massingham and became the squadron’s navigation leader.

What I am looking for is some (extra) pictures of Michael and/or Philip. I can send you a picture of Michael and some extra (Kew, National Archives) documents.

Sincerely,

Egbert Theune

To be continued…