Mosquito, Philip E. West The quaint English locomotive steamed through the enchanting Norfolk countryside, tugging its carriages behind it. In one of the first-class compartments, Winnie Winn DFC, 141 Squadron Commanding Officer, en route to his station at West Raynham, sat opposite a USAAF officer. They were alone in the compartment and were soon in […]
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This blog is all about remembering the Fallen and also those who survived.
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…
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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 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
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….
Along with his grandfather’s blood-stained wings, Richard sent me this photo of his grandfather’s war medals.
On the left we see the Africa Star…
The next medal is the 1939-1945 Star…
Then the Air Crew Europe Star…
The Defence Medal…
Finally the War Medal 1939-1945.
Each one has a meaning. Here is the description of the 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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
- The 1939–1945 Star, from 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945, the full duration of the Second World War.
- The Atlantic Star, from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Battle of the Atlantic and the War in Europe.
- The Arctic Star, from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Arctic Convoys and the War in Europe.
- The Air Crew Europe Star, from 3 September 1939 to 5 June 1944, the period until D-Day minus one.
- The Africa Star, from 10 June 1940 to 12 May 1943, the duration of the North African Campaign.
- The Pacific Star, from 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945, the duration of the Pacific War.
- The Burma Star, from 11 December 1941 to 2 September 1945, the duration of the Burma Campaign.
- The Italy Star, from 11 June 1943 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Italian Campaign.
- The France and Germany Star, from 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945, the duration of the Northwest Europe Campaign.
- The Defence Medal, from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945 (2 September 1945 for those serving in the Far East and the Pacific), the duration of the Second World War.
- The War Medal, from 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945, the full duration of the Second World War.