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To navigate the Personnel section, all veterans are grouped alphabeticaly by the first letter of their last name. Click on the links listed above to take you to the correct alphabetical group.  Using the scroll bar on the left, scroll down through the list of names contained within this left border then click on the one you wish to see. Alternatively, you can use the scroll bar on the right and scroll down through all the personnel listed on this page.

 W/Cdr Dr. Joseph Everett La Frenais

W/Cdr Dr. Joseph Everett La Frenais,  Dr Joseph La Frenais was born on 5 November, 1904 and died unmarried in October 1949.  He died in Scotland, but lived in Runcorn, Cheshire England where he had a medical practice.     He was a larrikin with a sense of humour, and was much loved by his patients, friends and family.

His obituary, Published in British & Medical Biographies 1840-1940 as follows: La Frenais, Joseph Everett, Tower House, Runcorn, Cheshire (Tel 74) LRCP, LRCS, Ed., LRFPS Glas 1930 (RCS Ed). Late Hospital Surgeon - Hull Royal Infirmary, Hospital Physician - Chester Royal Infirmary.

Theaters of Operation: Egypt - 1940, Libya-1940, Greece-1941, Burma-1942, China-1942, India-1943
Rank: Squadron Leader, Officer in Charge, 166 Wing RAF Chittagong
Rank: Wing Commander, Senior Medical Officer, RAF Drigh Road Karachi

S/Ldr Dr Joseph LaFrenais is known to have arrived in the Middle East, Egypt as early as 1940 when the Squadron was stationed at Ma'aten Bagush in the desert. Although it is unknown what month he arrived, it was most probablly mid 1940 while the Squadron was stationed at Heliopolis just prior to their move to the desert in June 1940 following the declaration of war by the Italians. Such being the case, he would have been kept busy tending to the injured returning from their attacks on Italian bases in Libya, not to mention the numerous accidents which occured on the aerodrome almost daily. In fact, one need only pick out the casualties and accidents from the Squadron timeline and history to know exactly where he was and when. This of course puts him front row center to nearly every significant event that happened on the Squadron.

It would be intensely interesting and educational to read his Medical Reports from this early period of the war, which at this time, was being fought with a bizarre level of civility between the opposing nations.

During his time at Ma'aten Bagush, it is known that Corp George Foster, also of the 113, had been assigned to the Dr La Frenais as his batman, (personal staff). It was through George that Dr La Frenais came to be identified as the Squadron doctor and subsequently led to finding the family of Dr La Frenais.

In March 1941 the Squadron was posted to Greece where it was nearly wiped out, loosing all of it's aircraft, equipment and several personnel. Here, Corp George Foster relates the story of when he and remnants of the squadron were trapped, awaiting evacuation on the beaches, and were under attack by German aircraft who were bombing and machine gunning the masses of men awaiting their turn to be taken out to the rescue ships. Throughout this maelstrom of noise, explosions and bullets,  Dr La Frenais was gathering up the wounded in a dirt clearing in the brush and tending to them. Having virtually no supplies, there is little he could have done for them, except ensure they were taken out ahead of the rest by whatever means possible. Unbeknown to one another, a young Corporal he knew well - Corp George Foster, was also moving about in the maelstrom on that beach in Greece at the same time. George had just stumbled onto the clearing where Dr Joseph was tending the wounded when another attack occurred and instinctively George threw himself over the closest wounded soldier to shield him. This act did not go unnoticed and moments later George felt a hand on his shoulder and a familiar voice say "Come on young Foster, I need your help." It was of course Dr Joseph La Frenais.

Sometime after this chance meeting, Dr La Frenais must have remembered the selfless and brave attempt of George to protect a fellow soldier he never knew,  and recommended George for  a "Notice In Despatches".

Following the evacuation from Allied disaster in Greece, the Squadron, after regrouping, returned to the Desert of Egypt in June 1941 only to find that their hard fought gains had been entirely reversed thanks to Churchill,  and were now fighting both the Italians and Germans. The next few months were a period of heavy losses and horrific accidents which most certainly would have kept the Doctor very busy. Once again the squadron suffered so heavily it was brought back to Heliopolis to regroup.

In December, Japan declared war with the bombing of Pearl Harbour and the squadron was shipped off to Burma to aid in yet another lost cause. Dr LaFrenais likely left for Burma with the main ground party and arrived in mid January 1942, where he reports he was without equipment, it and his ambulance having travelled by a different ship. Here he spent several days in Mingladon before moving on to Toungoo in time for their first big air raid by the Japanese. As a result he then proceeded to Magwe quickly followed by a move to Lashio, nearly always being the last to leave mere hours before the arrival of the rapidly advancing Japanese. This in itself is a remarkable exhibition of bravery of the highest order as he would have well known by now the cold blooded habit of the Japanese to murder Doctors and staff and to bayonet the patients in their beds. While the Doctor had gone on to Lashio, presumably with some Ground Staff, the bulk of the Squadron 'did not' but instead made its way to Asansol in India. Reading between the lines, it is presumed the Doctor and those that went with him to Lashio by ground was in preparation for the Squadron's move here.  It seems quite likely by this that the Squadron had been originally selected to be part of the mythical RAF China force whereby the RAF were to establish a division called 'RAF China' complete with equipment, ground staff and aircraft. This in reality was nothing more than a sham to both appease and manipulate the Chinese for political ends.  The squadron did however send some detachments briefly which operated from Loiwing China (on the North Eastern border with Burma) picking up their bombs in Lashio.

These detachments were sent out on April 10th through 21st 1942 and after several losses returned to Asansol. Dr La Frenais and his party did not, from Lashio he made his way to Loiwing after the Squadron detachments had gone. Here he assembled over 300 officers and men which were to be the Ground and Support Crews for the RAF China Wing and in good faith he and his group set out for Chengtu China. It was to end up being a study in human perserverance against all odds and after months of hell were never to see the promised aircraft.  It is doubtfull any were actually intended, and if there were it ended when the 113 Squadron detachments flew back to Assansol.

For the full reports click on name: W/Cdr Dr. Joseph Everett La Frenais

Corp Glyn Edwards and Corp Jimmy Lightbody both reference the plague shots that Dr LaFrenais gave out. Corp Lightbody states: Sqdn. Leader Le-Franais the Medical Officer. Came from the north east. Sgt. Jones our Cook (Had to be taken to Hospital after that injection we had on arrival at Magwe.) Read Corp Edwards notes for his hilarious version of the effect of these shots.

SOURCE: Dr Lindsay Gething - Austrailia. Niece of Dr La Frenais. Dr La Frenais reports dated 11/04/1944 and 15/12/1942 (?),  Corp George Foster - UK, and general extractions from Squadron History.

RAF Roundel

 Corp Norman G Lamb

Corp Norman Mark George Lamb, (Service No.911745) Corp Lamb actually joined up in the late 1930's but left when his father had taken ill. His service number at this time was 540667, he commented in a letter to Charlie Walker in 2003, "I am still using two boot brushes and a spoon with the first number stamped on them, some record I think after 67 years".

Later, Norman rejoined the RAF in January 1940 and after training, as a Fitter  was posted overseas in March of that year travelling to Alexandria via ship to Cherbourg, train to Marseille then ship again across the Mediterranean. After a short spell at a Maintenance Unit he joined 113 Squadron at Heliopolis with which he was to stay for over two years.

In April the squadron moved up into the dessert at Ma’aten Bagush of which place he remarks, ‘It is strange to see nothing here but camel thorn that grows to about one foot high, no trees, no nothing except our aircraft, dispersed in the distance, and tents which are our homes for the present.’

After the war started in earnest on June 11th. 1940 Norman describes in some detail the action and movements of the squadron from an airman’s point of view up to the advance to Sidi Barrani in December where, after a ‘Christmas dinner of bully beef and biscuits’ the squadron was recalled to Heliopolis for re-equipment with Mk. IV Blenheims before, in February, 1941, receiving the order to proceed to Greece.

The aircraft flew to Greece but Norman and the other ground crew had to pack and load everything onto trucks and then sail from Port Said to Piraeus being stationed first at Menidi then driving via Levadia, Atlanta, Lamia, and Larrisa to Niamata which was to be the squadron’s forward base. George reckons that as the German and Italian embassies were still open in Athens as they passed through there wasn’t much chance of secrecy! At Niamata they were close to snow covered Mount Olympus and ’all around the base of these mountains were olive groves and fields of grapes with shepherds busy looking after their sheep and goats without a care in the world’. What a change from the dessert.

After Germany came into the war in early April the RAF and Greek Air Force were heavily outnumbered, George says 10 to 1 and that, ’our losses were very heavy’. It wasn’t long before the Lutfwaffe found 113’s base and on the 15th. a raid of 70 plus bombers with attendant ME 109’s attacked the area and the 109’s flew up and down the airfield until 7 of our Blenheims were on fire, four times during the day they came back and by evening all of our aircraft plus a few lorries were destroyed. Later in the evening when all was lost we were told to pack up and withdraw’. George managed to get a lift on the Squadron fire-tender and although being attacked ‘most of the way by ME 109’s and 110’s’ which included being blown off the road by a near miss, got back to Athens. From there he left for Corinth by train but after this was put out of action by air attack he and the others had to walk the rest of the way by night and hide in olive groves during the day until he arrived ‘very cold and tired’ at Argos on the 22nd.

Whilst waiting for evacuation, personnel were dispersed into the hills and after two days of almost continuous daylight air attack, mostly by Stukas, Norman had a long walk to the harbour at Naplia and from there at dead of night when reasonably safe he and thousands of others sailed for Crete and were just out of range when the JU 88’s struck again in the morning. Norman did not stay long in Crete  and considers himself very lucky  to have been evacuated from Maleme airstrip by air before the heavy fighting started but for good measure was fired on by our own ships during the crossing of the Med. (To find out just how lucky he was I can thoroughly recommend Marcel Comeau’s book ‘Operation Mercury’).

Norman rejoined 113 during its re-formation period and was back at Ma’aten Bagush and other airstrips for the continuance of the desert war until just  before Christmas 1941 when the squadron was told, ‘to get ready for another move, this time to Burma’. He was in the advance party that left Port Suez in the SS Westernland in early 1942 which, according to Norman disembarked him at Bombay from where he went across India by train to Calcutta, whereas the 113 Operations Record Book states that the ship actually docked at Calcutta. Whatever happened, and I expect that George is right, he came by another ship which was becoming very experienced! NOTE: There is much confusion over how & when the 113 got to Burma, J Lightbody, G/G with 113,  also travelled by way of the SS Westernland to Bombay then overland to Calcutta, however there were in fact several ships which left a varying times and took different routes. (Although not mentioned in F/O Woodwards booklet, the main body of 113 personnel were on another ship, SS Neuralia, which didn’t dock at Rangoon until the morning of 22nd. February by which date, as the ORB  states, ‘Rangoon was being rapidly evacuated. The vessel remained at the docks only long enough to take on board a number of wounded civilians and service personnel and then sailed for Madras with the Squadron personnel still on board’. Which makes it all the more remarkable that 113 Squadron was able to operate successfully for over two months in south Burma in the most difficult circumstances without its full complement of men and materials.

Norman was in the thick of it straight away and, as he says "We soon had to move inland to Toungoo where an airstrip had been cut from the paddy fields. The going was certainly tough and we were always under attack, the same old story we were again outnumbered and it wasn’t long before another move, this time to Magwe’. By the 23rd. March he was still at Magwe but with no aircraft as they had been flown back to India. Being again bombed and strafed he says that ‘things were getting grim  and we were advised to get to Lashio’, which is well north of Mandalay so off they went in the trucks still serviceable. Even and whilst there the convoy received a signal stating, ‘try to make your own way back to India’!

Easier said than done but by way of rough jungle trails, partly by truck and partly by walking he got to Myitkyina where, again very luckily he was able to get onto one of the very few flights out to Dinjan in north India and from there by train he rejoined 113 Squadron at Asansol a total distance travelled, he reckons, of about 700 miles.

Shortly after this, and a result of his difficult journey Norman was admitted to hospital  with malaria and heat stroke where he stayed for some time before being posted away from 113. After a few more moves around India Norman was repatriated and arrived back home on 25th. April 1944 having done four years overseas.

The above was written by F/O Pat Woodward following correspondence between him and Norman in 2001. Norman had just this year 2003 returned from a trip to Greece having visited the old battle grounds and climbed the Acropolis hill.

RAF Roundel

 P/O ?? Lamb

P/O ??  Lamb,
Listed in S/Ldr Keily log as having flown with him April 1939

RAF Roundel

 F/Sgt Alan Norman Lancaster  poppy

Sgt Alan Norman Lancaster, No 1147535 RAF,  Missing 25/05/43. Aged 25
Husband of Joan Lancaster. Commemorated on the  Singapore memorial Col.425

On the 25/05/1943 Blenheim BA494 Mk V FTR from a raid on Buthidaung in bad weather. Sgt Lancaster , W/O Arthur Nourse Obo, Sgt George Anderson WOp/Ag were killed in action.

RAF Roundel

 Sgt Cyril David Law

Sgt Cyril David Law, 1091159, WOp/Ag RAF, Africa, Burma, Ceylon

I joined the RAF in October 1939. After passing out as an Wop/Ag I was sent, after only 24 hours embarkation leave, to Crete-Greece. Fortunately a signal was received that Greece had fallen to Gerry and we went down to South Africa. Enroute, we ran aground sailing down the Clyde at Gourock. Our ship was the Duchess of Bedford, the convoy had sailed four days before we could proceed  and we found we had half the Royal Navy Escorting us. This only lasted for three or four days, then we sailed down to Freetown, there to Capetown, then Mombassa refueling until we reached Port Suez in Egypt.

Bagush Beau Sept 1941, Beaufighter taken after I’d been up in her

After 3 weeks in the transit camp, I and one other was posted up the desert to Bagush and 113 Squadron. Nobody seemed to care that we had arrived, we just found a tent and settled in. I seemed to be a spare part, and was not part of a crew for a long time, in fact, I wondered if I would fly again.

Sgt Cyril law Leo Raes Geordie Barry, McPishe, Signals section, Fuka 1941
Photo titled: The signals “cabin” Fuka
NAMES ON BACK: SOIR Dosten (??? spelling), LEO Raes, “Geordie” Barry, McPishe – V “Chiefy” Perry. This photo may not be 113 Squadron as they were not located in Fuka.
Source: Sgt Cyril David Law

Then we moved up to Giarabub right next to the sand seas in Libya. We had been there only 24 hours when Gerry decided to pay us a visit, he dropped A/P bombs and strafed hell out of our Blenheims. I was on top of one tuning a transmitter with a waveometer when all hell broke loose. I jumped down and ran along the base of the escarpment which was next to the runway. I can never explain what happened next, an ME110 spotted me and literally chased me with his gunner firing his twin Machine Guns. I heard hundreds of rounds whistle past my ears but carried on running. A sergeant Rigger came up to me afterwards and asked me how many wounds I had. I hadn't been hit by one round! He was absolutely amazed. We all thought you were riddled "he couldn't miss you" he said.  "If I've never seen a miracle before, I've seen one today, we watched the tracer rounds hitting you, you should be dead". I still have nightmares about this strange happening and wake up sweating, it is vivid! Anyone who knows about it almost always says you had a guardian angel with you that day.

113 Squadron, Sgt Cyril Law Dec 1941 at Helwan transit camp on way to Rangoon BurmaAfterward, we moved down to Mersa Matruh, after first driving into the Quattra Depression. What a game we had. While we were there, Gerry sent 32 ME109's to give us a strafing. All 32 were shot down by the hurricanes of 32 Squadron (I believe). It was on the news that night!

Photo titled "In Helwan camp" December 194. Jim, Harry and myself.
Thats all the clothes we had. Source: Sgt Cyril David Law

We were then sent down to Cairo supposedly in for some leave, which we just didn't believe, knowing what was likely to happen. We arrived at Helwan on the evening of 19th December 1941, not the 20th, it was my 21st birthday. The lads mentioned it to the cook, but up it came anyway, Bully and Hard Tack, but as a treat an onion and a tomato......BLISS!

We were soon on board a ship, the Felix Rousell, a French liner still unconverted to a troopship. The Captain called us all on deck and told us we had the run of his ship, including the Barber and all the shops, because he said, he knew where we were going and wanted to give us a decent voyage. We arrived in Bombay, entrained at Deolally and reached Calcutta 2 1/2 days later. We were put in Williams Fort for a week, before we boarded the SS Varvosa, a 5000 ton coaster. We believed in fact it was a Collier.... she was in a state! We reached Rangoon three days later, disembarked and were put in the zoo there being no arrangements made to accommodate us. Here we were put in a Condor's cage and slept with our feet in the center throughout a constant air raid. ( Ed: While they didn't know it then, they had arrived in Burma just as the British were withdrawing from the Japs, the whole country was in a state of chaos)  Next morning we looked over the Shwe Dragon Padgoda before we left via Pegu and Prome to Toungoo. We were only there for a couple of days before we traveled to Magwe. Here we stayed until we were evacuated. However, as the village was in the grip of Bubonic Plague, we couldn't leave the trucks until an aircraft arrived with serum from Calcutta. We were then inoculated with 5 cc of serum, (Ed: by Dr Lafrenais) told to get to bed and stay there for 12 hours. We were all OK the next morning and got on with settling in. (Ed: some experienced varying degrees of after effects from the serum, some became seriously ill such as the cook.)

At Magwe the runway was bombed every morning and everyone had to help fill it in. What the hell were we in Burma for we failed to see, the whole thing was a mistake. From the Desert to the Jungle what a fiasco! We didn't do many operations in Burma, we didn't have enough bombs, some aircraft flew with only 2 X 250's on board. Supply lines? Who Cared? The whole of our time in Burma was ineffectual, we had army rifles and machine guns against artillery. Hell's - Bell's what a waste of manpower.

Toungoo. Mandalay junction and “snogger” King. Took this during a little trip up here! Unofficial but who cares!  SOURCE: Sgt Cyril Law

We were eventually evacuated, at almost the last minute. As we drew names from one hat, and method of leaving from another, one of the only two Blenheim's we had left took off. A Sgt Fitter came running up and told us the Adjutant had taken his own option and left. NELLY WALLACE he was known as.  We now had only two aircraft to fly out in, a Dakota and a Blenheim. As there were now 4 men to fly with us (who should have been in the last Blenheim), we had to put them in the Dakota which meant, now, dumping all of our kit, rifles, ammo, everything we had! This was all dumped on the runway, soaked in petrol and burned including all the squadron records. Bang! went the hope of drawing back pay. We left just as the Japs were about 1/2 mile away... thank god, and landed at Akyab. Here we embarked on an ancient Vickers Valencia biplane (only the best for the 113) and eventually landed at Chittigong, slept on bug infested charpoys and woke up bitten to hell. We then flew into Dum Dum aerodrome Calcutta about 10 o'clock in the morning whereupon we were told to stay on the aircraft as we were going back! Our C/O went barmey. "Are you lot aware the Japs are in full control of Burma, you lot who haven't heard a bloody shot fired can go in our place!"  Soon we were told it had been canceled but the C/O still wanted to see the man who gave the order!

We eventually wound up at Asansol where we operated with one or two US Fortress's supplying and bombing over the hump to Burma. We were then sent to Fyzabad near Lucknow for a 'rest leave' ?? We were on parade every one at 7:30 am and put up with all kinds of Bullshine - Gawd help us we said, let us get back to the war and have some peace!

At “work” on the dome

Back of photo:
113 squadron Sgt Cyril Law 1942 ‘Mac’, ‘Rod’ & Myself taken on the drome at Tezpur with a fox camera
At “work” on the dome, ‘Mac’, ‘Rod’ & Myself. Taken at Tezpur with
a fox camera. (Sgt Law on far right I believe) Source: Sgt Cyril Law

We were next sent to Tezpur in Northern Assam where a runway had been cut through the jungle. We operated there to supply the lads at Imphal and Kohima which were about 100 miles away. We also smacked the Japs with a few 250's. We eventually returned to Asansol where the squadron was disbanded and began conversion to Hurricane aircraft. Those personnel not staying were posted all over India. I was sent to Bangalore in Mysore state, HQ 225 Group. I was told to go on a watch in signals and became one of their best Key Operators working at 30 to 35 words per minute. I soon got sick of that and wanted to get back to the war. I volunteered to go to Cuttack in Orissa state to set up a Signal Section and eventually opened up on 6 frequencies!

I was soon posted down to Vizagapatam, north of Madras. While I was there I saw an appeal for wireless operators by the Air-Sea Rescue Units forming at the harbour. I went down and found the C/O Squadron Leader Monk, who interviewed me and took me on, especially when he knew I was also a Gunner. There were two M/G turrets on each launch - Whoopee!! When he saw I had the Africa Star and Burma Star Medals he said we shall be going to Burma later, but I won't let you come with us, you guys have had enough!

We went to Ceylon to pick up three launches from Columbo. I loved Columbo, a beautiful country. We were about two months getting the launches seaworthy, aerials, lights, auxiliary equipment and overhaul of 3 engines. Napier 1200 horsepower, one for each of three propellers. You should have seen the uproar when we started them up. Six inch exhaust pipes..... unbelievable! We eventually sailed via Trincomalee to Vizagapatam.  We were kept fairly busy and a further interest was the appearance of occasional Zeros. When we fired all four guns in two turrets they didn't try too hard. I loved being on the A.S.R. , it was marvelous and I was again a Wop/Ag!!

After about 6 months I was due to return home after four years. I was sent to Bombay and boarded the Arundel Castle and we arrived back in Scotland in April 1945. We were sent from Glasgow to Morecambe and when we woke up the following morning it was VE Day !!! How about that!!!!

I can't honestly say I enjoyed my time with the 113 Squadron. Life was so precarious and look at the colossal number of aircraft we wrote off..... poor crews or poor maintenance? Heaven knows but I was glad when we left them although we lost some good lads.
"Wherever there was trouble "send the 113".

See also photo section and squadron story.
Special thanks to Sgt Richard White, Royal Marines for making the site aware of Cyril and all his great help in preparing, scanning and sending photographs.

RAF Roundel

 Sgt George Lee  poppy

Sgt George Lee, 527515, Obs. Age 23, Son of Alfred Henry and Rose Anna Lee. Column 240.  ALAMEIN MEMORIAL

26/11/1940  T2067 Mk IV, FTR, shot down on sortie from Ma'aten Bagush. F/O Donald Anderson - Pilot , Sgt Earnest Young WOp/Ag also KIA.

Recorded in S/Ldr Keily log July 1939, recorded as LAC

(This is a DOUBLE NUMBER in the Crews and Losses SEE T2067-A 26/11/1941)

RAF Roundel

 P/O Sidney Francis Lee  poppy

P/O Sidney Francis Lee,  407177 RAAF, 16 Walter St, North Adelaide S.Aus. Former occupation - commercial traveller. Born in Sydney NSW. Parents A.L Lee and E M Lee. Interestingly the role card for Sid has an entry which reads: Connection - Wing Commander Foley R.F. R.A.F. India.
Last rank F/lt.

Note the official record shows date of death as15/03/1943 but this is incorrect.

04/03/1942 Magwe 1500hrs    F/Lt Lee and crew, Sgt Brett (0), Sgt Lister Walker (G) with three crews from 45 Squadron carried out a bombing attack in the Sittang river area. F/Lt Lee was flying in No 4 position. The formation was flying at approx 1,500 feet when attacked by enemy fighters, believed to be Navy "O" type.  F/Lt Lee left the formation and dived to ultra low level in an attempt to escape but was attacked by four enemy aircraft,  three astern and one in front. The pilot was hit by a bullet and the aircraft crashed west of the Sittang River, and 60 miles east of Pegu (in the Salween area of Burma per official record which fits the above description).

The gunner, Sgt Lister Walker, climbed out and the pilot attempted to do the same but was fatally shot and fell back into the cockpit which was by then afire. The gunner attempted to pull F/Lt Lee out from the cockpit thinking he was wounded, but as the bullet wound was in the head he realized it was fatal. He then looked for Sgt Brett the Observer, whom he found 50 yards from the nose of the aircraft, dead, with his head smashed in. Sgt Walker was then obliged to shelter under the tail of the aircraft while the four enemy aircraft made four strafing attacks. Later hearing artillery fire to the N.E. he walked in the opposite direction & after two days with friendly Burmans arrived at Thamatpin, approx 15 miles east of Pegu. Reporting to Capt. Ince of the Burma Rifles, Sgt Walker was given transport to Army Brigade HQ and thence to  Rangoon, ultimately reporting to 113 Squadron. The aircraft was completely burnt out. This report is from the official records.

RAF Roundel

 Sgt William Thomas Leepoppy

Sgt William Thomas Lee, R/56179 WOp/Ag RCAF Age 21, Son of William and Hannah Lee, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 15. F. 9. HALFAYA SOLLUM WAR CEMETERY. Killed 19/11/1941 when Blenheim Z5866 Mk IV crashed just after take off at Giarabub - Egypt cause unknown.

Sgt John Hemus pilot and crew, Sgt John Dewar Obs., Sgt William Lee WOp/Ag had recently arrived on the Squadron and were killed on 19/11/1941 in a  tragic accident while at Giarabub when their Blenheim crashed on takeoff killing all onboard. Sgt Hansen states: while at Giarabub a Blenheim with a recently arrived Canadian crew on board crashed on takeoff. Sgt Hansen recalls "they had a motor failure and just managed to climb over the escarpment and crashed into a gully. The aircraft was on fire when we reached it but there was no chance of any rescue". (This crash described by Sgt Hansen is certainly Z5866 piloted by Sgt John Hemus, however only Sgt Lee was RCAF. Sgt Hansen thought the crew were all Canadian) Sgt George Checketts also confirms this crash.

See People Photo Album 2 for photos of grave site.

SOURCE: CWGC web site, Sgt Keith Hansen, Sgt George Checketts

Note: This aircraft had been on attachment to Malta with Sgt Baker, Sgt Checketts & crew per Checketts log.

RAF Roundel

 Sgt Bill Lewis

Sgt Bill Lewis, RAF Navigator. Crew on Ops were F/Sgt Joe Ward, Pilot RCAF and Ken Burrows, Gunner. Flew the MkV Bisley.
F/Sgt Ward arrived on 113 Sqd in April 1943 when the Squadron was based at Chandina near Comilla, possibly Sgt Lewis and Sgt Burrows did as well.

SOURCE: Research notes of Tony Day and excerpts of book Air War Over The Arakan
NOTE: Joe Ward not to be confused with Les Ward 113 Sqd KIA June 1943 or Bill Ward who was 60 Sqd.

RAF Roundel

 Sgt R Lidstone

Sgt R Lidstone,  29/06/1940  FTR from bombing raid to El Gubbi.  L8436, Blenheim Mk IV, flown by P/O D. Pike was damaged by flack while bombing El Gubbi and ditched into the sea. Two other Blenheims, L8447 and L8522 were also lost on this raid. Sgt R Lidstone was captured and became a prisoner of war.

Crew: P/O D Pike and Sgt J Taylor were also captured and became POWs.
SOURCE: Graham Warner, site research

F/Sgt Michael Shekleton noted in his diary: "heard the full story today of the loss of  the Friar, Sgt. Knott and Percy Pike, during that awful show at Gubbi when the squadron ran into a flock of 42s and Bredas. Percy had with him Lidstone, his bomb-aimer, and Taylor, his. gunner. The Italians say he crashed on the beach just south of Bardia. The crew set fire to the kite then launched the dinghy and started to row for Egypt. An Italian torpedo-boat patrolling the bay intercepted them".

At sunrise on 29 June nine Blenheims bombed the airfield of Tobruk T2. Three CR.32s of 93a Squadriglia, 8o Gruppo, 2o Stormo C.T. and three CR.42s of  77a Squadriglia, 13o Gruppo, 2o Stormo C.T. scrambled under the falling bombs to intercept them. Tenente Giulio Torresi of 77a Squadriglia reached the bombers at six-o'-clock and attacked the last Blenheim which, after three strafes, caught fire and fell. Then, avoiding defensive fire, he attacked another bomber and shot it down. Sottotenente Gian Mario Zuccarini of 93 Squadriglia and Sergente Maggiore Fausti shared a third Blenheim and then, following the formation out over the open sea, they claimed another two, one each. Another Blenheim was shared by the other pilots, which damaged two more.

Torresi, Zuccarini (who was wounded in a leg) and Fausti were all awarded with the Medaglia d'argento al valore militare after this combat.
NOTE: The above is presented as found and  has conflicts in several areas with the official records.

Sources: http://www.dalnet.se/~surfcity/italy_ceoletta.htm++%22113+squadron%22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
2o Stormo - Note storiche dal 1925 al 1975 - Gino Strada, 1975 USSMA, Rome, provided by Stefano Lazzaro
Centauri su Torino - Giancarlo Garello, 1998 Giorgio Apostolo Editore, Milan,  provided by Stefano Lazzaro
Fighters over the Desert - Christopher Shores and Hans Ring, 1969 Neville Spearman Limited, London
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

RAF Roundel

 Corp J. Lightbody
(Click on name for personal page)

Corp J. Lightbody, G/G 113 Squadron. Sept 1940 to July 1941

I was with the Sqdn. from about Sept. '40 until July '41 and joined it on the Escarpment in the Desert. We left Egypt and travelled to Bombay on the ship 'Westernland' then across India to Calcutta. There we spent some time in Fort William (old British College in Calcutta) before making our way to Rangoon. As soon as the ship docked the Jap bombers were over and we were pushed off the ship as quickly as possible and trucked off to the Zoo where we hid until the early hours of the following morning.

We were then entrained to Toungoo and operated from there for about two or three weeks. Things were getting bad and we picked up sticks and moved up to Magwe. There we occupied what I think had been a school which was about four or five miles from the airfield. Then one evening while we were having our meal the C.O. came in and said "Look chaps the Japs have broken through and are only 24hrs away, get on anything you can and make your way up to Mandalay". At that we all dropped everything and made for our Garries. Everyone had a truck and we were making our way to our trucks when the Warrant Officer Armourer (who-was in charge of us Ground Gunners) shouted "Where the hell are you fellows going", we told him what the C.O. had said and he said "you are staying here with me and we have to destroy all this equipment". Well we got down to the job in hand and I can always remember having to go into the Billets and drag out all the Kitbags, put them in a wooden hut and set fire to it. The lads had just dropped eveything in the mess tent and made for their trucks. We didn't bother with the mess but got busy destoying the equipment. We were working all during the night and from time to time drivers were coming in from the airfield and other places only to be collared by the Warrant Officer and put to work. In all there must have been about 25 to 30 of us and by about 11am we had more or less finished the job.  Later we were told to load our kit up and make way to the airfield. There it was deserted and we hung about expecting the plane to arrive about 2pm. We were still there at 2.30 when we heard the sound of an aircraft coming from the direction of Yenenyaung. At first we thought it could be a Jap but as it drew nearer I could see it was the Dakota.

When it landed the Pilot told us to get aboard and we thought he was going to take us to Mandalay, but he had orders to take us to Akyab and try and get us on a ship for Calcutta. As it happened we got over Akyab and on looking down at the harbour could see only one ship. We landed and sent two chaps down to see if the Captain could take us aboard. He said he could and at that the Pilot said cheerio.

We picked up our gear and made our way down to the harbour. The ship was was much smaller than we had expected and there didn't seem any room at at all. As well as natives there were animals such as Goats and Sheep going around the deck. There were only two officers, the rest of the crew were Chinese.

We eventually arrived in Calcutta as it was getting dark and were taken to Dum Dum, where we spent the night in some broken down building. The following morning, as soon as we had breakfast we got on a train which took us to Fyzabad in the United Provinces. There we found ourselves in a pre-war Army camp. It was a change to have a bed to sleep in.

We must have been there for about two weeks when we were sent up the hills to an Army Camp called Kalana just below Mussurie. There we had good-billets but we were seven miles high and could look down on clouds in the valley.

After a fortnight at Kalana we were sent to Asansol and occupied St, Vincent de Pauls school. There I had various jobs from helping Ginger in the cookhouse to doing a spell as assistant to the Duty Pilot up at the Airfield. At that time W/C Stidulph had left the Squadron and W/C Grey had taken over. His landing of a Blenheim was a sight to see, he usually bumped his way along the runway until the aircraft came to a halt. One day while landing at Calcutta he bumped the aircraft too hard and crashed, with disastrous results. A South African I think took over. (Viney was S.A. but came much later) It was soon after that I was posted with about another 15 gunners to Feni, which is north of Chittagong and left the Sqdn.
(The Calcutta crash with W/C Grey has yet to be confirmed)

The following are some of the people I was involved with and recall.

W/C Stidulph (The C/O ) from the desert to Burma
His No.l Fl/Lt Orchard (Cherry) flew as bomb aimer and Observer.
Sgt. Smith Air Gunner, came from Dunfermline Scotland.
Sqdn. Leader Le-Franais the Medical Officer. Came from the north east.
Sgt. Jones our Cook (Had to be taken to Hospital after that injection we had on arrival at Magwe.)
Cpl. Hulme ( Ginger) Cook
Harold Dabbs M.T.
Cpl. Chatsworth Photography Section
L.A.C. Muirhead "     "       Came from Edinburgh as I did.
The following Gunners:- Cpls. Joe M'Carthy, Clarke, Clark, Owen Joyce,
L.A.C.'s Gunn, Dracup, Gould, Paynter, Fletcher, Price (Blackburn).

NOTE: The above is greatly abbreviated, please click on Corp Lightbody's name above to go to his personal page for complete story and photos.

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 F/Sgt ?? Little

F/Sgt Little,
Recorded in S/Ldr Keily's log as having flown with him at Heliopolis in 1939 and Aug 1940

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 F/Sgt Henry Livingstone poppy

F/Sgt Henry Livingstone, 1557487 Mitchel, age 23. Died 07/09/1944 in South East Asia. Cemetery/Memorial: Maynamati War Cemetery, Bangladesh. (Maynamati is approx 7 kms from the centre of Comilla)

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 F/Lt Owen Lawrence Loane  poppy

F/Lt Owen  Lawrence Loane, 402514, RAAF. nickname Yoppy. KIA 09/09/1942 in Burma. Commemorated Panel 125 AWM

09/09/1942 F/Lt Loane piloting Blenheim V6507 Mk? was shot down in a raid with 60 squadron on shipping in Akyab harbour, F/Lt Owen Loane and crew F/Sgt Robin Barnard and F/Sgt Thomas Bell were KIA. Sgt John Reid and crew were also shot down on this raid but all survived and became POWs of the Japs.

According to J Chapman, this was one of the original 18 crews that left the Middle East for Burma. Sgt John Reid refered to him as Alan (“Barney”) Barnard. (See Battle Order at Table 6 - 1, page 125 of Tony Day’s book)

Film footage available  22 Feb 1942 located at Imperial War Museum UK

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 W/O Ron Lockwood DFC

W/O Ron Lockwood DFC, pilot 42/43 No further info. On 113 Squadron
from mid June 1942 to approx. Sept. 1944 (Blenheims to Hurricanes).
Asansol to Palel.

Helped with PWoodward book. Noted in 1945 Farwell Dinner booklet as having won the DFC.

Known to have been on the 10/11/1942 shipping strike on Akyab.  Crew on this op was Sgt Gilchrist RNZAF and Sgt Courtney flying Blenheim BA592.

W/O Jack Barnes states W/O Lockwoods crew on ops were Sgt Hugh Courtney A/G and Sgt McKee Navigator. This crew was fairly close to Ken Smiths crew.

Ron had contacted the site at one point but have not heard back.

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Patharkandi 1944 Sgt Tubby Long Hurricane pilot, 113 Squadron
 Sgt (Tubby) Long

Sgt (Tubby) Long, Burma, Hurricane pilot.
Real name unknown. Known to F/Lt Stan Chilton who has two group photos with Tubby in them.

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 Sgt ? Lord
Sgt ? Lord,
On April 10, 16, 21 1942 flights were detached and sent to Loewing China. On the 21st a flight of six Blenheims led by W/Cdr Grey were sent, these listed in order of pilot, Obs, Wop/Ag were (Wcdr Grey, Sgt Barry, Sgt Tollett) & (F/O Hammond, P/O Evans, Sgt Lord) & (P/O Griffiths, Sgt Davies, Sgt Dicketts) & (F/Sgt Hinds, F/Sgt Aitken, Sgt Bailes) & (F/Sgt Symondson, Sgt Birley, Sgt Woodcock) & (Sgt Webster, Sgt Whyte, Sgt Cheshire) SOURCE: Sgt Alan Bailes

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 LAC Fred Douglas Lowe

LAC (Eddie) Fred Douglas Lowe, Armourer. LAC Lowe survived the war and currently lives in Urmston with his wife Maria. He has a son Philip and three daughters, Murial, Daphne and Lisa.

Eddie passed away Sunday 20th December 2009 and will be sadly missed by his family and friends. He is predeceased by his wife Maria who passed away on the 27th July 2009.

LAC Fred (Eddie) Lowe in flying suit .
      Heliopolis Egypt 1939/1940

Note: Corp S Harrison / Jim Newton remembered Eddie and advised he was an armourer in the workshop, from Liverpool.

Note: Recorded in S/Ldr Keily's log as having flown with him at Heliopolis in 1939 and Aug 1940

See also group photo in People album.

Source: Son Philip Lowe

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 S/Ldr Lydall

S/Ldr Lyall, October 1941, Ma'aten Bagush.

Lydall as per Sgt Ewan Brooking who flew with him numerous times.

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 Sgt G Lyle  poppy
Sgt G Lyle
20/12/1940 T2059, Mk IV, FTR from sortie to LG68 (Waterloo), F/O V. Firth , Sgt E. McKim , Sgt G. Lyle KIA, commemorated on Alamein Memorial.

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 F/O Bryer - Lloyd

F/O Bryer - Lloyd, Asansol, left squadron on 20th October 1942. He had been with the 113 20 months in the Western Desert, Greece, Crete Burma and India. He was the 113 squadrons longest serving officer.

Known to all as 'Tiger' Lloyd

SOURCE F/O Pat Woodward book page 11

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 W/O Mackman

W/O Mackman,

Identified by Chapman as being one of the original 18 crews that came out from the Middle East to Burma. Crew on Ops are unknown. Chapman was not sure if W/O Mackman went to Burma. He commented that W/O Mackman was not very popular with some of those on the squadron. (I suspect this had little to do with W/O Mackman's character but rather his being higher rank )

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 LAC Frank Thomas Malyon  poppy

LAC Frank Thomas Malyon, 1151882, UK, Leading Aircraftman, Age 20, Son of Albert E. and Ethel E. Malyon, of Stuston, Suffolk. 15. E. 4. HALFAYA SOLLUM WAR CEMETERY

15/11/1941 One of the Squadrons greatest tragedies, Robert was one of six ground crew killed this day. The cause is unknown but the squadron was known to be at Giarabub or in process of moving to LG125.  LG125 was inside Libya about 100 miles west of Giarabub and behind German lines at the time.

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 F/Lt G W Maloney

F/Lt G. W. Maloney, This officer signed W/O Jack Barnes log book as O/C of A Flight on or about 30/07/1943. Note first initial may be J

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 F/O Walter R.P.K.Mason  poppy

F/O Walter Ronald Price Knight Mason, (70450) KIA Age 31.  29/06/1940  FTR from bombing raid to El Gubbi.  L8447, Blenheim Mk 1,  flown by 31-year-old Flying Officer Walter R. P. K Mason was shot down in flames by fighters. Two other Blenheims, L8522 and L8436 were also lost on this raid. F/O Walter R.P.K. Mason KIA. Commemorated Alamein Libya.

Crew: Sgt James Juggins and Sgt George K Biggins also killed in action.
SOURCE: Graham Warner

At sunrise on 29 June nine Blenheims bombed the airfield of Tobruk T2. Three CR.32s of 93a Squadriglia, 8o Gruppo, 2o Stormo C.T. and three CR.42s of  77a Squadriglia, 13o Gruppo, 2o Stormo C.T. scrambled under the falling bombs to intercept them. Tenente Giulio Torresi of 77a Squadriglia reached the bombers at six-o'-clock and attacked the last Blenheim which, after three strafes, caught fire and fell. Then, avoiding defensive fire, he attacked another bomber and shot it down. Sottotenente Gian Mario Zuccarini of 93 Squadriglia and Sergente Maggiore Fausti shared a third Blenheim and then, following the formation out over the open sea, they claimed another two, one each. Another Blenheim was shared by the other pilots, which damaged two more.

Torresi, Zuccarini (who was wounded in a leg) and Fausti were all awarded with the Medaglia d'argento al valore militare after this combat.
NOTE: The above is presented as found and  has conflicts in several areas with the official records.

SOURCE www.dalnet.se/
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 W/O ?? Maton

W/O Maton,
Listed in S/Ldr Keily log as having flown with him May 1939

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 Sgt K Meadowcroft   poppy

Sgt K Meadowcroft ,  Obs, Blemheims, Ma'aten Bagush KIA 09/30/1940
 Parents resided at "Warren Lodge, Coney Hill, Hayes, Kent." His father was a Police Constable, due to retire after the War. They had another son, Donald who was 16 in 1942, and working at a local Builders shop.

On Monday, September 30, 1940 Blenheim Mk IV T2171, piloted by Sgt L Cator with Obs Sgt K Meadowcroft and A/G Sgt B Shelton aboard failed to return from a raid on Maraua. Following successful bombing of the target the aircraft was returning to base when it was jumped by Italian CR. 42's and shot down into the Mediterranean.  Sgt L. Cator, Sgt. K Meadowcroft, Sgt B. Shelton (aged 18) were killed in action and are Commemorated on the Alamein Memorial.

NOTE: It has been brought to our attention by Hugh Wheeler while doing preparatory work for Graham Warner that the CWGC lists Sgt Meadowcroft as being killed Sept 30 1941.  Alison Merricks, neice of Bernard Shelton confirms it was 1940 and holds correspondence from Sgt Meadowcrofts parents to prove such.

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 Sgt John Ferguson McGlashan  poppy

P/O John Ferguson McGlashan, 21589 Pilot RAF.  Lieutenant (Pilot) South African Air Force seconded as Pilot Offr. to 113 Sqdn. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. F. McGlashan, of Seymour, Cape Province, South Africa. Age21  Died 05/06/1942 Crahed 31/05/1942   CALCUTTA (BHOWANIPORE) CEMETERY Plot O. Row G. Grave 54. Some evidence suggests P/O McGlashan died five days after his crash and this is likely fact as his body is buried in Calcutta at a cemetery regularly used by the nearby hospital.

On 04/05/1942 McGlashan piloting Z6281 Mk? had an engine cut out while returning from a raid and forced landed in the Hooghly River, Bengal. P/O John Mc Glashan RAF/SAAF and crew rescued.

P/O McGlashan crashed again 31/05/1942 and was fatally injured. V6029 MKIV  collided with a Wellington BB510 of 215 Squadron at Dum Dum upon landing after aborting a raid and returning due to engine problems. This Wellington was the normal aircraft of the 215 Sqd C.O W/Cdr Webster, however it was being flown by a different crew at the time, who was at fault is not known. P/O John McGlashan  died of injuries 5 days later in hospital although his crew escaped unhurt.

(Squadron legend has it that McGlashan was trapped in the cockpit and could not be freed in time, telling rescuers to leave him, but another source indicated he died in hospital 5 days later, the latter is almost certainly correct version)

In a letter to Tony Day in the mid 1980's, F/O Jim Purves made the following remark regarding this tragedy: "Bill Clearihue and I were control tower operators at Mingaladon ( he means Dum Dum ) when McGlashan crashed and burned and the bombs exploded, nearly getting us in the tower". Source: Research material of Tony Day & excerpts of 'Air War Over The Arakan'

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 Sgt McKee

Sgt. McKee,  Navigator 42/43 era. Crew on ops were W/O Ron Lockwood pilot, Sgt Hugh Courtney Air Gunner. This crew was good friends with that of Ken Smith.
Source: W/O Jack Barnes
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 Sgt J B J McKenzie

Sgt J B J McKenzie, NZ. Navigator, Warrant Officer J. B. J. McKenzie; Tamahere, Hamilton; born Auckland, 23 Oct 1919; bank clerk.

One of the original 18 crews that came out from the Middle East to Burma. Crew on Ops reported to be Sgt J E Chapman and Ken Shrubsole, English.

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 Sgt E McKim  poppy
Sgt E. McKim,
20-12-1940 T2059, Mk IV, FTR from sortie to LG68 (Waterloo), F/O V. Firth , Sgt E. McKim , Sgt G. Lyle KIA, commemorated on Alamein Memorial.

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 P/O Walter John Mc Kerracher DFM  

P/O Walter J Mc Kerracher DFM, 406099 RAAF, DFM awarded 13/11/1942 page 4927 pos 4

Identified by Chapman as being one of the original 18 crews that came out from the Middle East to Burma. Crew on Ops reported to be P/O Bassingthwaighte, Sgt Wally Mckerracher WOp/Ag, other unknown.

Sgt John Reid advises: P/O McKerracher was B16’s W/Op/Ag and was awarded the DFM as a Sgt on the 09/09/1942 Akyab Op. He was killed later on a training flight with Harley Stumm. (Lost in a 45 Squadron Mosquito accident 13 May 1945 13/05/1945 )

113 Pilot and Wop/Ag awarded DFC and DFM  13/11/1942
Royal Australian Air Force, No. 113 Squadron. As pilot and wireless operator/air gunner respectively Flying Officer Bassingthwaighte and Sergeant McKerracher flew in the leading aircraft of a section of bombers detailed to attack shipping at Akyab. Whilst over the target area, the aircraft was repeatedly attacked by enemy fighters but, in spite of this, Flying Officer Bassingthwaighte executed a most determined attack from a low level. During the engagement Sergeant McKerracher was slightly wounded but he used his gun most effectively. Both these members of air crew have completed numerous sorties and have always displayed fine fighting qualities and great devotion to duty. Distinguished Flying Medal.

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 Sgt Wal McLellan

Sgt Wal McLellan, RAAF. Formerly with 45 Squadron, Wal picked up a Blenheim at Dum Dum on the 2nd of April 1942 ( 02/04/1942 ) and flew to Assansol to join the 113 Squadron.  Wal died sometime in the late 1980's or early 1990's.

Sgt McLellan was posted to 113 from 45 along with a lot of others because their Squadron had been decimated at Magwe.  Subsequently 45 Squadron was put on ice until such time as there were enough aircraft to reform it. On 22/11/1942 many posted back including Wal. quote:  the ex-45 Squadron crews who had been posted to 113 Squadron were told to report to Yelehanka immediately as 45 was re-forming. The 45 Sqd boys were reported to be overjoyed as their stay with 113 had not been a happy one.

On the 28/09/1942 Z9749 MkIV Collided with Z7369 halfway down the runway at Asansol and both aircraft were destroyed by fire, Sgt McLellan  and crew of Z9749 escaped and Sgt Taylor and crew from Z7369 also escaped.

The following is the actual Orb's extract of this incident:
Tezpur 28/09/1942  1500hrs - F/Sgt Webster and crew, Sgt Taylor and crew, Sgt McLellan and crew, and Sgt Allen and crew were detailed to proceed in a formation of 60 Squadron to AGARTALA to refuel and spend the night  for an operation next morning. F/Sgt Webster and the 60 Squadron machines took off and proceeded to AGARTALA. Sgt McLellan and Sgt Taylor accidentally took off together and collided half way up the runway. Both aircraft immediately burst into fames and the crews scrambled out. Both aircraft exploded and blocked the runway preventing Sgt Allan taking off.  Sgt McLellan received superficial injuries but the other 5 men were unharmed. Orbs extract per F/Lt Tony Day

Corp Glyn Edwards recalled this spectacular crash: I was one of several who dived for cover on this 'scary' September day of 1942 at Asansol. The numbers of the Blenheims were Z7369 and Z9749 - no spares were salvaged from either aircraft.

Sgt  McLellan was constantly in trouble with the Wingco and it didn't help matters that after two crashes he was singlehandedly restocking the squadron with spare Blenheim parts. The final straw came after Wal's second prang when he was brought up on a court martial because it was said his engine failed on take off as a result of him switching it off accidentally. Wal said the first thing he had done after the aircraft came to rest was flip his switches off which was the safe thing to do to lessen the possibility of fire, particularly as he had full tanks. S/L Penny came to his rescue and Wal was exonerated.

Over the course of some general discussions, I queried Tony Day as to why The AWM had bundled his book "Air War Over The Arakan" with a large group of letters concerning Wal. Tony's response was worth preserving here in Wals spot on the site: "When Wal McLellan first wrote to me, it was a series of letters, about one a week which described his Service life from the time he joined 45 Squadron in the Desert until he finished up on Mossies. I thought they were too valuable a record to be scrapped so I wrote to Aussie Memorial and asked if they would like  them, Wal having passed way by then and they answered affirmatively. As I had already provided a copy of the book they have filed the letters with it, I guess. Wal's widow wrote to me on his death to let me know and she said he was like the old soldier in the song, he just "faded away."  I know that his knees, resulting from his prang/collision always bothered him and I think in the end he was in a wheelchair."

SOURCE: Air War Over The Arakan & research material of F/Lt Tony Day

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 AC1 Desmond Arthur McLeish  poppy

AC1 Desmond Arthur McLeish,  641987,  UK. KIA 19/08/1941. Commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, column 244

Although it is not verified yet that Desmond was on this flight, there is a Belenheim loss this date as follows: 19/08/1941  T2113 Mk IV, Tail damaged and broke off when it struck rocks recovering from a dive, crashed into the sea near Ras el Kenayis Islands.

NOTE: Ras el Kenayis is in Egypt East of  Maaten Baggush near the sea, this was the main camp for the New Zelanders MG division in Sept 1941 in preparation for General Cunninghams offensive.

There is a possibility that this crash was the result of practice low level bombing runs. Apparently where the 113 went swimming there was a shoal off shore that they used to swim out to, one day someone in charge thought to use it as a practice target but after loosing at least two aircraft the practice was stopped. I had believed that there was no casualties associated with these crashes but this was only an assumption. The incidents are described somewhere in Corp Norman Say's memoirs. All this being said the date indicated was the height of the Desert Battle, after getting back from Greece so he could very well have been lost in combat.

Further details to follow. See also Sgt Norman Gregor profile, and Blenheim Losses section for 19/08/1941
Source: Dr. Desmond Colin Arthur McLeish - Nephew

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 F/O J Middlehurst  poppy

F/O J Middlehurst
02/07/1941 V5928 Mk IV, FTR from raid to Derna, F/O  J. Middlehurst , P/O J. Shepherd , Sgt. J. Rooney KIA.
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 P/O ? Mills

P/O ? Mills,
S/Ldr Beeston and Obo F/O Fraser, Gunner P/O Mills posted in to 113 Sqd. (Beeston resumably to replace S/Ldr Harper)  Extract from Orbs. per F/Lt Tony Day:

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 Sgt Stanley Cyril Mintern  poppy

Sgt Stanley Cyril Mintern,  934674 WOp/Ag  RAAF Died 10/11/1942
Taukkyan War Cemetery.

Shot down on the 10/11/1942 during a shipping strike on Akyab, all crew KIA.  Sgt Stanley Mintern, W.Op./Air Gnr. RAAF, Pilot Sgt Allen RCAF. F/Sgt James Williams RAF, Obs.

NOTE: Their is some confusion regarding the date and serial of this aircraft as detailed by Graham Warner:  11/10/1942 V6491 Mk? Shot down by flak in raid on Akyab. W/O Conan T. Allen  (Canadian) , F/Sgt J. Williams , Sgt S. Mintern KIA.  NOTE ALSO: THE CWGC HAS THIS CREW INCORRECTLY LISTED AS 133 EAGLE SQUADRON.

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 F/Sgt Henry L Mitchell  poppy

F/Sgt Henry L Mitchell F/Sgt Henry Livingstone Mitchell, 1557487 Age:23 Address: Harefield Road, Dundee.  Son of James L. Mitchell and Hilma Mitchell of Dundee. KIA 07/09/1944 in South East Asia. Memorial, Maynamati War Cemetery, Bangladesh Ref: 3. A. 7. Maynamaati is some 7 kms from the centre of Comilla. also commemorated on City of Dundee ROLL Of HONOUR.

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 Sgt Moore DFM  

Sgt Moore, Egypt, W/Op A/G

Sgt Moore was known by Sgt Arthur Davis.
Source: Noted in the 1945 Farewell Dinner Booklet as having won the DFM

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 Corp John (Jack) Moore

Corp John (Jack) Moore, LAC (rigger 113 Sqd B Flight) Died april 1985.

Known as Jack by everyone, Corp Moore was born 03/02 /1914 at Wigan
lancashire. He enlisted 19/09/1935 and served with 113(B) Sqn As a
flight Rigger, 1935 A.C.2 up until 1938 when he was made LAC 31/12/1944 Cpl.

Corp Moore has the unique distinction of being one of the original members of the squadron when it was reformed at Grantham prior to the second world war.

Jacks son, Peter J Moore states: He met my mother when he was at Spittlegate Grantham lincs and I know he also went to 51 base 75 and 53 base. I also believe he passed exams, to work on aircraft, WELLINGTON, LANCASTER STIRLINGS

SOURCE: Jacks son, Peter J Moore

Above photo taken in the Middle East, possibly Cairo.
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 Fl/Lt Mooney DFC DFM    

Fl/Lt Mooney DFC DFM, Last adjutant of 113. In late 1945 he was posted out to administrative duties in Calcutta where he was later murdered.
(pic page 18 of P Woodward Book
NOTE: Mooney is not listed as having won these medals while on the 113

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 Lt J.H. Mueller  poppy

Mueller J H  Lieutenant - age 21,  113 Squadron RFC,  31/10/1917,  Palestine Beersheba War Cemetery

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 Sgt Tom Newman

Sgt Tom Newman  WOp/Ag  (also pic in P Woodward book page 6)
Photo cropped from photo of Sgt George Checketts

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 F/O John Barry (Nobby) Noble

F/O John Barry (Nobby) Noble  Pilot Hurricanes, Burma. Oct 1943 to November 1944. Last rank F/Lt.

F/O Noble died in 1970 and unfortunately most of his wartime documents had been lost in a fire.  His son Peter, however, has one of the Squadrons famous mess tankard's which was  presented by him to the 113 Squadron Officer's Mess with the dates Oct '43 to Nov '44 inscribed on it.

Group Photo of him taken by F/Lt Stanley Chilton DFC in Pathorkandi 1944 can be seen in the Squadron Story and F/Lt Chiltons profile in Personnel. The photo above is cropped from the group photo.

Source: Peter Noble, son of F/O John Noble

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 F/Lt J H Norton   WW1

F/Lt J H Norton  RFC, Group Captain. Palestine 1916 to 1918 WW1

Archive at Imperial War Museum ID Number: 9003-15 HU 57882 - HU 57911
Item Name: NORTON J H (GROUP CAPTAIN) Service of F/Lt J H Norton with 113 Squadron RAF, mostly in Palestine 1916-1918. Includes bombing raids on the Western Front and Palestine, Captain G G Coury VC and good aerial views of fortifications etc..      
Copyright Status: Private copyright
Access Conditions: Unrestricted
Black & White/Colour: Black and white

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 W/O Arthur George Myers Nourse  poppy

W/O Arthur George Nourse, 407180 RAAF, 40780. KIA 25/05/1943 Burma. Commemorated panel 128 AWM

On the 25/05/1943 Blenheim BA494 Mk V FTR from a raid on Buthidaung in bad weather. F/Sgt Alan Lancaster - pilot,  W/O Arthur George Nourse - Obo , Sgt George Anderson - WOp/Ag killed in action.

RAF Roundel

 LAC Jim Oliver

LAC Jim Oliver,
LAC Oliver was a flight mech C flight from Peebles, Scotland, Corp Stan Harrison's  pal. (Source Corp Harrison / Jim Newton)

An Olivar ? or Oliver is Listed in S/Ldr Keily log as having flown with him Apr 1940

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 F/Sgt Francis James O'Neill  poppy

F/Sgt Francis James O'Neill,   RAAF, Observer KIA 20/12/1942 Burma. Commemorated on panel 128 AWM

On the 20/12/1942 Blenheim BA622 Mk V was shot down by ground fire at Magwe. Lt N. Wilkin SAAF - Pilot,  F/Sgt Francis O'Neil - Obs,  F/Sgt Walter (Bluey) Thompson - WOp/Ag were all KIA

J Chapman claims this was one of the original 18 crews that left the Middle East for Burma. He also state the crash took place 07/11/1042 but this is believed to be incorrect.

Note also F/Lt Tony Day records F/Sgt F O'Neil as being F/O N Neil. Also a Sgt Neil RAAF is indicated to have posted in from 45 Sqd on 27/10/1942 and back out on 22/11/1942

Sgt John Reid recalls him as being called  “Danny” O’Neil on the squadron.

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 F/O 'Cherry' Orchard

F/O Cherry Orchard, Edinburgh Scottland, Observer
Crewed with W/C R Stidolph, Cherry Orchard Obo, and Sgt Smith A/G for a period as per J Lightbody.

NOTE: Film footage on file in the Imperial War Museum, 22/02/1942

RAF Roundel

 P/O John Noel Owen

P/O ? Owen, Pilot,  Blenheims

Note: The full name of P/O John Noel Owen, was provided by his daughter Jeanette Howard. In her correspondence she has indicated her father joined the Squadron on June 15, 1940. No other details have been received. Jeanette, please contact the site again as we have been unable to reach you.

An Owen is recorded numerous times throughout 1940 in P/O Shekletons diary. (Not Sgt Owen)

A Sgt Owen is recorded in S/Ldr Keily log May 1940 (shot down 11/06/1940)
A P/O Owen is shown in his log for Aug 1940

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 Sgt ? Owen

Sgt ? Owen, 11/06/1940 L4823,  Mk IV, FTR, shot down by fighters on return from El Adem, F/Lt D Beauclair, Sgt Owen, and LAC (Sgt) J Dobson all injured (burns) and became POW's. (NOTE: Graham Warner has Sgt Owen listed as W/O H. Owen)

On the very same day as the incident 11/06/40 AC2 (Sgt) Bernard Shelton (B Flight) records in his diary the following: "We lost one machine the crew being P/O Beauclair, Sgt Owen and L.A.C. Dobson.  Their aircraft landed in flames behind the enemy lines, but all escaped injury.  We have since learned that they walked all day towards our lines but were captured.  They are now lodged in a hotel at Benghazi." (Recorded at actual time of event)

The following is a greatly abbreviated extract from P/O Shekletons diary for this day: Turned out at dawn. We’re to raid Menistir or if there’s nothing there then El Adem. From 4am. till 6.45 pm. we hang around our aircraft. At last we’re off. Menistir is 150 miles. We fly out to sea...... Barney (S/Ldr Keily) is leading. On ETA we turn in and sweep over the coast. There is Menistir but there’s nothing much there...... Barney turns west and we follow......... here’s El Adem. Bob (Bateson) yells: “Lord, look at ‘em!” I clean forget to be scared. John drops a sitck on the hangars. We follow. A crowd of men on the tarmac (apron) is staring up at us stupidly. John’s bombs burst beside the hangars, mine go through the roofs.  On the tarmac are about 30 a/c. I’m sure I miss them and my second stick goes on the field. There’s a ghastly racket under our aircraft (blast from leader’s bombs). We circle and return... Everything is covered in smoke. B Flight’s incendiaries are burning everywhere.
Thompson yells “Fighters!” but I’ve still got bombs. Round we go again and I drop my stick on some buildings. Things are hitting our machine. Bursts of ack-ack smoke are filling the sky. We dive with Bob using the front-gun. It’s a circus. We are down to ten or fifteen feet.....  We’re off now streaking toward the sea with fighters on our tail. And there’s ‘Basher’ (Beauclair) burning in front of us. Barney’s shouting. “Join up! Join up!” ‘Basher’s’ going down. Two fighters are attached to us. We hear their guns but we are too fast for them.  We’re away. ‘Basher’ has belly-landed.

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXCERPT GIVING THE ITALIAN PERSPECTIVE: ............Two hours later, at around 07:00 seven more CR.32s scrambled to meet another attack directed on El Adem. Six of the aircraft were from the 94a Squadriglia (Capitano Franco Lavelli, Tenente Giovanni Tadini, Sergente Maggiore Alessandro Ruzzene, Sergente Maggiore Billi, Sergente Maggiore Arturo Cardano and Sergente Maggiore Trento Cecchi while the seventh was from the 92a Squadriglia (CO Martino Zannier). The Italian pilots had a slight height advantage over the seven Blenheims and this made it possible to intercept. The Fiat pilots claimed two bombers shot down (one into the sea and one from which the crew was seen to bale out) and four damaged, all shared among the seven pilots. Zannier returned at 07:40 with the engine on his fighter damaged and having expended 500 rounds of ammunition. The pilots of the 94a Squadriglia landed five minutes later, having spent 3770 rounds of ammunition. SOURCE: http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_billi.htm

A Sgt Owen is recorded in S/Ldr Keily log May 1940
A P/O Owen is shown in his log for Aug 1940
An Owen is recorded numerous times throughout 1940 in P/O Shekletons diary.

See also Squadron Story, Crews & Losses, P/O Shekleton diary

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