Information about W/O Mulhall – Excerpt from Spitfire Ace: My Life as a Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot

book cover

1944

The activity continued into July and on 4/5 July, 456 Squadron Mosquitoes had a fruitful night: P/O S. Williams and F/O K. Havord in Mosquito HK282/L destroyed a Do 217, and He 177s were destroyed by F/Lt Bob Cowper DFC and F/O W. Watson in HK356/D; F/O E. Radford and F/Sgt W. Atkinson in HK312/G, and P/Os I. Sanderson and G. Nicholas in HK249B.

It was during June that the Germans began their flying-bomb assault. The first attack on 12/13 June was a flop because of lack of equipment and special fuel. Out of ten bombs launched, only four crossed the English coast. Three of these fell in open country and the fourth demolished a railway bridge in the East End of London, killing six people. However, the threat posed by these vengeance weapons was dire. Rings of anti-aircraft batteries were deployed in the flight paths of these incoming `malignant robots’, and `AntiDiver’ patrols by fighters – Tempests, Spitfires, Mustangs, Meteors and Mosquitoes – were set up to intercept. F/Lts K. Roediger and J. Dobson made 456 Squadron’s first definite V-1 kill on 9/10 July and by the end of the month ten had been destroyed. By the end of August, the squadron tally stood at twenty-four, F/Lt Roediger accounting for nine of them.

A lull in flying-bomb attacks saw the squadron training for cross-country navigation in preparation for new work. Prior to this, squadron aircraft were not permitted to penetrate deep into enemy territory because of the highly secret apparatus carried. This was no longer a concern and eight aircraft were deployed to Manston, a forward base, for patrols over the Holland and Belgium fronts. On 6/7 October, W/O J. Mulhall and F/O J. Jones in HK317/Y destroyed a Ju 188. Hopes for more successes were dashed when bad weather restricted flying for most of the rest of the month. On 5 November, W/Cdr Hampshire was promoted to Group captain and succeeded by S/Ldr B. Howard (later promoted to wing commander).

Once more the squadron’s role was changed from Continental patrols to new anti-diver work. This latest role had it searching for and destroying He 111s that were launching flying bombs from over the North Sea. Although successes were achieved, losses were high. On 7 November, an unusual crew was posted missing, Lt E. Woodward and Ensign W. Madden, two of four US Marine fliers attached to 456 Squadron for operational experience. They were to have returned to the USA to instruct on RAF night-fighting techniques. An extended period of poor weather followed and by 18/19 November it had been so bad that No. 2 Group, of which 456 Squadron was part, had been unable to operate for eleven consecutive days and twelve nights. The following day, F/Os D. Arnold and J. Stickley in Mosquito HK246/U destroyed a Heinkel that dropped burning into the sea.

W/O J. Mulhall and F/O J. Jones faded to return from an antidiver patrol on 23/24 November but the following night, F/Os F Stevens and F/O W Kellett in Mosquito HK290/J destroyed a He 111 after a twenty-five-minute chase. It blew up on the sea close to the Dutch coast On 30 December, 456 Squadron was re-located to Church Fenton and re-equipped with Mk XXX Mosquitoes.

1945
The squadron was held in reserve for much of the first quarter of 1945. With its new aircraft, training now centred on another fresh role – that of night fighters for bomber support. Unfortunately, by the time it was ready for operations there were few opportunities left as the Luftwaffe was now a spent force and the battlefronts were almost beyond the range…

W/O Mulhall is on this memorial.

John Leonard Mulhall

The crash is detailed here.

John Leonard Mulhall and Jones

From Wikipedia

AWM

Caption:

HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND. 1943-09-23. AIRCREW MEMBERS OF A MOSQUITO NO. 456 SQUADRON RAAF OF FIGHTER COMMAND BASED AT RAF STATION MIDDLE WALLOP.

LEFT TO RIGHT:

409368 FLYING OFFICER (FO) M. N. AUSTIN, MELBOURNE, VIC

411157 WARRANT OFFICER A. S. MCEVOY, SYDNEY, NSW

411411 FO R. S. WILLIAMS, PATONGA BEACH, NSW

404891 FLIGHT LIEUTENANT G. PANITZ, SOUTHPORT, QLD

403330 PILOT OFFICER (PO) G. F. GATENBY, BATEMANS BAY, NSW

404897 PO J. M. FRASER, BRISBANE, QLD

404543 FO J. W. NEWELL, MAREEBA, QLD

403128 PO A. M. ABBEY, COFFS HARBOUR, NSW

414280 FO S. D. P. SMITH, BRISBANE, QLD

403654 FLIGHT SERGEANT A. J. KEATING, SYDNEY, NSW (IN FRONT)

Date 23 September 1943

No. 456 Squadron RAAF was formed on 30 June 1941 at RAF Valley, Isle of Anglesey, Wales, in the United Kingdom under Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme as a night-fighter squadron, equipped with Defiant turret-fighters.[11] The squadron was soon re-equipped with Beaufighters and scored its first kill in January 1942. Throughout the year, the squadron’s aircraft operated in a mainly defensive role over the United Kingdom, but in December 1942, the squadron was re-equipped with Mosquito fighters and began offensive “Ranger” missions over Europe attacking a variety of targets ground targets including German rolling stock, and also attacking German bombers close to their airfields during “Intruder” missions.[4]

In March 1943, after a move to Middle Wallop, No. 456 Squadron was utilised in the night fighter and long-range day fighter roles.[11] It also provided a detachment of aircraft to conduct fighter sweeps in support of aircraft mounting anti-submarine patrols in the Bay of Biscay, and escorted air–sea rescue vessels picking up downed airmen.[12] Further moves occurred as the squadron relocated first to Colerne and then Fairwood Common. It continued in the fighter and ground attack roles until the end of the European war. In January 1944, it was deployed in defence of London following an increase in German bombing (Operation Steinbock) during which its crews accounted for 12 German aircraft, continuing in the air defence role until late February or early March when the squadron moved to Ford.[13]

The squadron’s first success came on the night of 1/2 March 1944 when 164 German bombers operated over England. Pilot Officer R. W. Richardson claimed a probable victory against a Dornier Do 217 at 03:05 near Ford airfield.[14] On 21/22 March Flying Officer K. A. Roediger claimed a Junkers Ju 88 off Rye at 01:12. Detailed loss records indicate eight Ju 88s failed to return—four can be attached to the claims of other squadrons and four cannot.[15]

No. 456 Squadron’s most successful night fighter ace Wing Commander Keith Hampshire achieved a run of success. At 23:50, near Walberton in Sussex he engaged a Ju 88A-4 of 6 Staffel Kampfgeschwader 6. The aircraft, code 3E+AP, crashed near Arundel railway station. Pilot Hauptmann Anton Oeben parachuted clear and was made prisoner of war. Observer Feldwebel Otton Bahn was captured badly injured after his parachute failed to open but died of wounds. The same fate befell Unteroffizier Gerhard Drews and Herbert Ehrhardt was listed as missing in action.[16] Hampshire followed this up on the 27/28 March. Over Beer, Devon, he engaged another Ju 88A-4, code 3E+FT, Werknummer 44551, shooting it down at 23:35. Unteroffizier Günther Blaffert was captured, ObergefreiterGerhart Harteng was killed, Obergefreiter Josef Helm and Gefreiter Adam Kurz was posted missing. Once again the men were from KG 6, this time from 9 staffel.[17] Within minutes the commander gained a second contact and Ju 88A-4, B3+BL, Werknummer 0144551 from 3./Kampfgeschwader 54, crashed near Taunton, Somerset at 23:51. OberfeldwebelHans Brautigam, Obergefreiter Kurt Chalon, Alfred Maletzki were captured and Unteroffizier Robert Belz was killed.[18]

On the night of 18/19 April 1944 Flight Lieutenant C. L Brooks engaged a Messerschmitt Me 410A-1 near Nuthurst, Sussex at 22:28. At an altitude of 24,000 ft Brooks hit the German aircraft destroying the starboard engine and setting the wing alight. The machine, from 1./Kampfgeschwader 51, code 9K+JH, Werknummer 20005, nose-dived vertically into the ground. Leutnant Reinhold Witt and UnteroffizierErnst Tesch were killed.[19] On 25/26 April three pilots were credited with victories: Flying Officer Roediger claimed a Junkers Ju 188 at 05:16 off Portsmouth. Flying Officer G. R. Houston claimed a Ju 88 off Portsmouth at 23,500 ft at 04:57. According to the report the enemy disintegrated at 20,000 ft. Flight Lieutenant R. V. Lewis claimed a Ju 188 at 23:57, 25 miles off Portsmouth. The Mosquito’s armoured screen was smashed when the bomber exploded directly in front of it.[20] Flying Officer A. S. McEvoy claimed a further success on 14/15 May 1944, shooting down a Ju 188A-2 over Greenlands Artillery Range, Larkhill, Wiltshire at 02:00. The machine, code U5+HH, Werknummer 160089, from 1./Kampfgeschwader 2 was destroyed and pilot Feldwebel Heinz Mühlberger was captured, Obergefreiter Willi Eberle, Unteroffizier Artur Krüger, Feldwebel Werner Heinzelmann and Obergefreiter Ewald Steinbeck were killed.[21] A further claim was made by Flying Officer D. W. Arnold at 00:20 over Medstead. 13 German bombers were shot down, nine of them Ju 88 and Ju 188s. Five of the nine bombers cannot be attributed to a particular claim.[22]

During the Invasion of Normandy, the squadron provided air cover for Allied shipping, shooting down 14 German aircraft in the process. Later, it helped defend Britain against V-1 flying bombs, shooting down 24 between June and August 1944.[13] In September 1944, No. 456 Squadron’s aircraft supported British troops around Arnhem, before concentrating their patrolling efforts over the Netherlands and Belgium.[13] A move to Church Fenton occurred at the end of the year, and the squadron began operating over Germany, escorting heavy bombers and attacking German airfields.[23] The unit’s final wartime commander, Wing Commander Bas Howard, was killed in an accident on 29 May.[9] The squadron was disbanded on 15 June 1945 at RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex.[23] During the war, the squadron lost 29 personnel killed, including 23 Australians; its crews were credited with shooting down 71 aircraft including 29 V-1 flying bombs.[4] No. 456 Squadron aircrew received the following decorations: one Distinguished Service Order, 10 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and one British Empire Medal.[24]

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

See the comment section…

RAF 23 Squadron

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…

View original post 151 more words

Wooden Wonder

Spurned in concept by the Air Marshals, designed and built in secrecy at a moated manor house, and flown in an adjoining farm field, the de Havilland Mosquito became the most successful and versatile military aircraft of WWII. The “Wooden Wonder” starred in almost every possible role from photographic reconnaissance aircraft to day-or night-fighter to submarine smasher and more. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, it was the one aircraft which pilots and navigators demanded to crew. A comprehensive account.

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

Remembering the Fallen in World War One

From Robert Powell

Today I remember my Great Uncle Lt Lindsay Carlton Powell who flew with 23 Squadron RFC. He was killed in action whilst flying over the Cambrai Road in FE2b No 5235. He was the observer in the front of this pusher engined plane which was flown by 2nd Lt Allen. They were attacked by several Fokkers from behind and as Allen tilted the plane down so Powell could shoot back over the wing from the front mounted gun, Powell was hit in the head by enemy fire. Allen brought the plane down, but Powell died that day on the ground. He now lies in Avenses Le Comte Cemetery. Lindsay was the only son Henry James Powell and Margaret Carlton. He joined the Scots Greys before being attached to 23 Squadron RFC. He was born in 1895 and lived in Brixton and he died aged 21. By a previous marriage to Elizabeth Shapland, Henry James Powell had another son, Henry Shapland Powell, my grandfather who served in the First Word War in Gallipoli and Egypt – and survived.

Lest We Forget….

Arthur David Bishop’s War Medals – the Africa Star

artefacts

Along with his grandfather’s blood-stained wings, Richard sent me this photo of his grandfather’s war medals.

group of medals

On the left we see the Africa Star

The Africa Star

The next medal is the 1939-1945 Star

1939-1945 Star

Then the Air Crew Europe Star

Air Crew Europe Star

The Defence Medal

WW2 Defence Medal

Finally the War Medal 1939-1945.

WW2 War Medal

Each one has a meaning. Here is the description of the Africa Star.

WW2_Africa_Star

The Star was awarded for one more day’s service in North Africa between 10th June, 1940 and 12th May, 1943, both dates inclusive.

The Star was awarded for the following qualifications and operations:

Navy and Merchant Navy – Any Service at sea in the Mediterranean between 10th June, 1940 and 12th May, 1943, and or service in support of the campaigns in Abyssinia, Somaliland and Eritrea. Naval service ashore in the same areas as the army would also qualify. Members of the Merchant Navy who took part in the operations off the coast of Morocco between 8th November, 1942 and 12th May, 1943 would also qualify.

Army – The qualification is the entry into North Africa on the establishment of an operational unit. Service in Abyssinia, The Somaliland’s, Entitres, Sudan and Malta.

R.A.F – The qualification was to have landed in, or flown over, any of the areas previously mentioned (except West Africa), or territory occupied by the enemy.

Source: https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/medals/africa-star

Since the Africa Star was awarded for one more day’s service in North Africa between 10th June, 1940 and 12th May, 1943, both dates inclusive, this means that Arthur David Bishop was in North Africa sometime between 10th June, 1940 and 12th May, 1943, both dates inclusive, before being posted to an Initial Training Wing, then to No. 14 P.A.C.T. which opened in June 1943.

20180911_173430

No 14 Centre, Preliminary Air Crew Training Wing was formed on 20 June 1943 at Cheltenham and presumably disbanded on 2 March 1945. (Source)

Since Arthur David Bishop was born September 24, 1925. He probably enlisted  on September 24, 1942 when he was 17 years-old unless he lied on his age and enlisted earlier. My guess is that he enlisted in the RAF as a ground crew, served in North Africa, and then asked for a transfer for air crew training.

Without his record of service there is no way of knowing.

Next time, this medal will shed more light on what happened to this unsung Mosquito pilot…

Air Crew Europe Star

The Air Crew Europe Star

 

Order of wear

Campaign medals are not listed by name in the order of wear prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, but are worn in order of the date of the campaign for which awarded.[14]

The order of wear of the Second World War campaign stars was determined by their respective campaign start dates and by the campaign’s duration. This is the order worn, even when a recipient qualified for them in a different order. The Defence Medal and War Medal are worn after the stars.[15]

Source Wikipedia