A Shot in the Dark?

Is it the same Green?


You have to start somewhere…

The best way might be to write me a comment.

I have just found out my 1st cousin, once removed was a navigator in 23 Squadron based in Malta 1942-1943. Sgt Leslie GREEN, 1556380, is buried at Catania War Cemetery, Sicily, after his Mosquito crashed on landing back at Malta on 5th September 1943, following night disruption flights over Italy. I am interested to find anything more about him, and in particular a picture.

To be continued.

The Journey – Bud Badley

Bud Badley group picture

Robert Bruce Madge could be on this group picture with pilots and navigators of 23 Squadron. This could be have been taken when 23 Squadron came back from Italy.

This next photo is part of an album shared by Theodore Griffiths’ son-in-law who has shared most of Theodore Griffiths’ war mementos and recollections.

A flight 23 Squadron Naples 10 November 1943

I never took the time to identify everyone on this photo.

Bud Badley group picture

Maybe the time is right to do so especially if Robert Bruce Madge is on it.

The Journey – Information from Aviation Safety Network (ASN) on Robert Bruce Madge

This is the only information on Bruce’s father that I could find on the Internet last week as we start this journey into the past.

Date: 31 October 1942


Type: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito NF Mk II

Owner/operator: 23 Squadron Royal Air Force (23 Sqn RAF)

Registration:DD691C/n / msn:

Fatalities: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2

Other fatalities:0

Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)

Location: RAF station Bradwell Bay, Essex, England. – United Kingdom

Phase: En route

Nature: Military

Departure airport: RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex

Destination airport: RAF Bradwell Bay


Mosquito DD691/O –

Take off 21:25 hrs

Intruder for Beauvais.

Returned with engine trouble.31.10.1942

Crew: F/Sgt (1066745) Robert Bruce MADGE (pilot) RAFVR – Ok
Sgt P.R. JAMES (nav.) RAFVR – Ok



ORB 23 Sqdn RAF

Copyright © 1996-2018 Aviation Safety Network (ASN)


For what I know Sgt. P.R. James was probably Robert Madge’s navigator for most of his operations.

If this is a fact Sgt. James could be also on this group picture, but according to Bruce Madge he can’t seem to find his father on his father’s group picture.

About that picture, Robert Madge can’t be the second airman in the back on the right. That pilot is Donald Bentley about whom I wrote a lot on this blog.

This brings me to reflect upon how this blog works.

And how to search for anyone who might have been related to 23 Squadron…

To be continued…

The Journey in the Past of a Father

I got a message last week. It was sent as a reply to my featured post How to search this blog?

I found one photo of my father but it would be good to find others. Dad was a pilot who flew in all theatres…

Being curious I asked for more information.

Dad was named Robert Bruce but commonly known as Bruce Madge. He trained during The Battle of Britain. He joined 23 Squadron and flew Havocs, I think Bde and then intruder. He served in Great Britain, Malta, North Africa, Italy, and finally in Europe flying from bases in Britain. He talked of Manston, Little Snoring and High Ercall. At one time he had flown so many OPS that he was put on training Polish flyers on Mossies. He did have a photo album but when I spotted a picture of him with a navigator standing beside a Mossie with German swastikas on the nose, the album disappeared. I understand his flying hours were such that he was up for a DFC but another man in 23 received it. He was not a great believer in medals and did not talk a great deal about his experiences. He loved flying. I found a photo of him in a group near wreckage when they were in Italy. This was by chance. He is right at the back second from right and was about 22 or 23. I will send this.


Bruce Madge

Collection Robert Bruce Madge commonly known as Bruce Madge

News from 418 Squadron

A reader got interested in a post about 418 Squadron, and she is sharing this:

Hello Pierre

Please find attached images which belonged to my late aunt. I’m sorry I have no information as to which newspaper the cuttings are from although I have tried searching on a couple of newspaper websites without success. I suspect they may have been from a London evening newspaper (Evening Standard or Evening News) or possibly one local to RAF Ford? It may be possible to find out online.

I’m also attaching a photo of my aunt, (Mary) Joan Jamieson (1918-2007) who is standing pointing at a wall map. This may well have been taken at RAF Ford, but I’m afraid I don’t know for sure. I believe she was a wireless operator in the WAAF.
I hope they will prove of interest.

Kind regards

Click on each image for a larger view.

Photos are from Alison Botterill, on behalf of Joan Jamieson (1918-2007)…

Squadron Leader Kipp

Squadron Leader Kipp

Flying Officer John Caine DFC

Flying Officer John Caine DFC

Flying Officer Huletsky

Flying Officer Huletsky

Caine and Sherf

Caine and Sherf


Joan Jamieson, standing pointing at a wall map.

Review of Janine Harrington’s book

Source Amazon

book cover

Book review by Joseph Mayon

February 14, 2016

Format: Hardcover

Janine Harrington has produced a unique book about a unique unit in the RAF during WW II. RAF Group 100 was tasked with confusing as well as raiding against the Luftwaffe using electronic warfare—to confound and destroy. Although electronic warfare is common place today it was new at the time and Group 100 were its pioneers. Harrington writes concisely and completely about each phase of the evolution Group 100 experienced as well as the complete mention of the equipment utilized (most books mention two or three when there were over a dozen). She also has assembled first hand accounts from Group 100 members living today as well as accounts from family members which provide insight and much required context to best understand the times.

In RAF Group 100 Kindred Spirits, Harrington has the reader learning vital though little known details of electronic warfare’s infancy as well as its tactics. Handfuls of aircraft flying distraction raids seeming like hundreds and aircraft forming an electromagnetic line over the Channel during the prelude to D-Day so that German radar would think nothing the wiser, are but only two examples for the reader to be amazed by Group 100’s nearly nightly exploits.

RAF 100 Group Kindred Spirits fills a void in many libraries. But why is there a void and who is the author? The void is grandfathered in for two primary reasons. The first is that the Group’s activities were hypersecret with its aircraft specially marked so that each was under continuous guard when not aloft. Any military service person will identify with the stories of special operators whose aircraft landed at a diverted airfield. The second is due to the fact that Bomber Command personnel went from hero to zero at war’s end. Thankfully, that gross error has been corrected but Harrington has the issue addressed and objectively as well as poignantly. To say that Janine can write about RAF Group 100 is a bit like saying the Queen has poise. Harrington was borne to her work with her father MIA over Europe’s war-torn skies never to be recovered. Since that time she has served to record the unit’s history and service personnel recollections. She is also the secretary of the RAF 100 Group Association.

Aside from the plethora of gems found within Harrington’s writing, personal accounts and images regarding the war there are Easter eggs. One is the pilot’s account of flying is Hawker Hunter beneath Tower Bridge and why (an incredible series of events). Another is the remembrance walking seven miles to enjoy and egg (such was the want of fresh food as well as for a bit of company). One other is the chapter devoted to the USAAF’s 36th Bomb Squadron Radar Counter Measure Unit (of the Mighty Eighth Air Force).

Absolutely get this book since it will substantially enhance a WW II library collection as well as aviation electronic warfare specialization.

Third from the left…

Left to Right: Wg Cdr A M ‘Sticky’ Murphy, Flt Lt J Curd, Fg Off J L Joynson, Flt Lt D J Griffiths, Sqn Ldr Phil Russell, Fg Off A C Cockayne, Flt Lt T A ‘Tommy’ Smith, Fg Off E L Heath, WO K V ‘Scarper’ Rann, Flt Lt R J Reid, Flt Lt W ‘Bill’ Gregory, Lt J H Christie NAF, Plt Off G S ‘George’ Sutcliffe, Fg Off D J Atherton, Flt Sgt F D ‘Freddie’ Howes, Fg Off J R ‘Paul’ Beaudet RCAF, Plt Off R Neil RNZAF, Flt Sgt J H Chessel, Fg Off A L Berry RNZAF, Flt Sgt Alex Wilson, Flt Sgt Don Francis, Flt Lt ‘Buddy’ Badley, Flt Sgt T ‘Tommy’ Barr, Fg Off K M ‘Kit’ Cotter RNZAF, Flt Sgt J W Thompson, Flt Sgt P H ‘Jock’ Devlin, Flt Sgt J ‘Jimmy’ Weston, Fg Off J E Spetch, Flt Lt T A ‘Tommy’ Ramsay RNZAF, Flt Sgt E C ‘Benny’ Goodman, Flt Sgt J ‘Jimmy’ Gawthorne, Flt Sgt S F ‘Sid’ Smith.

Source of caption

Third from the left

Third from the left… Flight Lieutenant “Johnny” Joynson

October 1944

Posted 5 years ago…

A comment left a few days ago…
I was wondering if you have come across any references to my uncle, John Joynson, who appears in one of the photographs on this blog, and who was sadly killed in action on 28th October 1944. Any information would be gratefully received.

RAF 23 Squadron

Group picture taken at Little Snoring.

Collection George Stewart
High resolution
Click on the image

Right on the nose…

Diane, please write…


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