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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.
Sgt Ben Abbey
Sgt Ben Abbey, WOp/Ag
No other information known.
The following is an extract from one of Sgt Bernard Shelton's letters home:
A few weeks ago I went on an Air Gunnery course and passed out O.K. Well, with effect from May 1940, all Wireless Operator, Air gunners who have passed the course and are recommended by the C.O. of their unit, get promoted to the rank of sergeant. I have not got my promotion through yet but I am waiting for it to appear in orders.
Last week a new batch of Sergeant W.Ops. Air Gunners arrived on the squadron and among them was Ben Abbey - remember him? He is the fellow who I brought home with me during the big freeze-up in Blighty. Boy! Was I pleased to see him! He tells me Celia knitted a pair of socks for him just before he left Yatesbury and says he was very pleased with them; nice work Celia.
Corp William John Bliss Adams
Corp William John Bliss Adams, 27480 RAF, 49th Balloon Section, 113 Squadron. Born: 6 March, 1886 Died: 1 February, 1956
Enlisted: May 1st, 1916 (01/05/1916)
Shipped Overseas: Egypt on 18 July 1917 (18/07/1917)
Demobbed: 13 October 1919
Driver, Petrol: 01/05/1916 to 31/12/1918
Corporal in Charge of Transport: 25/08/1917 to 31/12/1918
Demobbed as Corporal Mechanic.
Born at his father's cow yard in Little Lant Street, Southwark, London, known as Will, he was the tenth of his parents thirteen children. The family then moved to Fawnbrake Avenue, Herne Hill, London when Will was eight years old. He became a brokers assistant and then chauffeur, driving a Gladiator car, and married Lena Bach (Anna Marie Madeleine Bach) 4 June 1910, at Corpus Christi in the Strand, London. The family moved to Chestnut Road, Merton where they lived until buying the house his widowed mother owned in Bockhampton Road, Kingston upon Thames in 1921. During this time he also had the use of his employers mews house in just off Hyde Park.
He enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps as a driver in May 1916 and was sent to Egypt with the 49th Balloon Section of 113 Squadron where he was promoted to Corporal in Charge of Transport. (The photo on the right is noted Syrass,Jan 15 1918. Will is second from left leaning nonchalantly on the fender. Steve Adams, Will's grandson believes the truck is a Lancia and that Syrass may be pronunciation error.)
The squadron followed the artillery as it moved into Palestine to liberate the country from Turkish occupation. On 21/09/1918, RAF aircraft in Palestine attack and destroy the retreating Turkish Seventh Army at Wadi el Fara.
Corp. Adams center behind Officers with sticks. Steve believes this is likely a training camp on Sailsbury Plain which would mean it was taken in 1916. Aside from Corporal Adams, at least some of these in the picture would have ended up on the 113 Squadron.
Little is known about this period and according to Squadron Historian F/O Pat Woodward the Orb's only cover the 27th and 28th October 1917 during active service at Julis where `ops' over Beersheba and Gaza are detailed.
Will in an even more nonchalant pose! This appears to be in
a barracks somewhere. Note the cot, naping with uniform on
and the Stetson hat behind him is same as the fellow in the
Lancia picture is wearing.
Will was demobbed as a Corporal Mechanic in October 1919 and scarcely four months later on 1st February 1920 (01/02/1920) his squadron was disbanded and reformed as 208. Will has the proud and unique distinction of being one of the "very first members" of the 113 squadron when it came into existence on 17 August 1917 and also one of the last. (Rather ironically he is once again the very first in the squadron as the name Adams puts him alphabetically as the very first person on the first page in the list of personnel. A fitting tribute !! )
Under the scheme where ex-servicemen were found jobs he gained employment with John F. Renshaw & Co. as a driver in November 1919. Later he became foreman in charge of almond supply, an important position in a firm whose mainstay was production of marzipan! He and Lena had three sons, Albert William (Bill) in 1911, Matthew Conrad (Con) in 1914 and Leslie Sidney in 1927. He retired in April 1950.
Family group with (clockwise from top left)
Will, Bill, Con, Les and Lena.
Always a keen gardener he largely designed and built a garden and maintained two allotments behind their house in Bockhampton Road, Kingston upon Thames, a property he bought from his mother in 1921. She had had numbers 33 and 35 built in 1899 and the family owned number 33 until after Les' death in 1984.
SOURCE: Research and pictures are copyright of, and very kindly provided by Will's grandson, Steve Adams. Steve also has a family website (from which much of this was obtained) at http://steveadams.clickhere2.net/family/wjba.htm
Contact: Steve Adams <XXXS.L.Adams@qmul.ac.uk>
F/O Donald Stanley Anderson
F/O Donald Stanley Anderson, 40458, Pilot, Age 28, Son of Stanley Farmer Anderson and Grace Anderson, of Lindfield, New South Wales, Australia. Coll. grave 23. B. 9-10. HALFAYA SOLLUM WAR CEMETERY
26/11/1940 T2067 Mk IV, FTR, shot down on sortie from Ma'aten Bagush, Sgt. George Lee Obo, Sgt Earnest Young WOp/Ag also KIA.
Recorded in S/Ldr Keily log June 1939, P/O at the time
(This is a DOUBLE NUMBER in the Crews and Losses SEE T2067-A 26/11/1941)
Sgt George Edmond Anderson
Sgt George Edmond Anderson, No624878 Sgt RAF, Australia. Singapore memorial Col.425
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.
Lt Gus Alder
Lt Gus Alder SAAF, Pilot. 42/43 era (45 Squadron ?) Posted in from 45 Sqd 24/10/1942
Known to have been on the 10/11/1942 shipping strike on Akyab. Crew on this op was F/O Corbett and Sgt Brooks RAAF.
SOURCE: W/O Jack Barnes
Note also F/Lt Tony Day records F/O Corbett to have posted in from 45 Sqd on 27/10/1942 and back out on 22/11/1942
(CLICK ON NAME FOR PERSONAL PAGE)
W/O Bernard (Dick) Douglas Allen, 157641 RFC, RAF. Fitter-Airframes. Born Reading Berks 27/02/1901. Service from 1917 to 1945. Served throughout both world wars in England, the Middle East and Far East (India). W/O Allen has the great distinction of being one of the few original members of the squadron when it was reformed at Grantham prior to WW2.
RFC and RAF Service record Bernard Douglas Allen
901 - Born in Reading Berks. 27 February
1917 Applied to join the Royal Flying Corps on his 16thbirthday.
Reported to Cranwell Air Station, Bedfordshire 14 December 1917.
1918 Was transferred to the RAF on its formation on 1 April, with service number
Trade Aero Rigger.
Six year period in squadron service in Mesopotamia, Aden and India. Details unknown,
but there are street photographs taken in Baghdad.
1924 1925 Corporal with 39 squadron at Spitalgate aerodrome, Grantham.
1925 1927 100(B) squadron - Risalpur, India.
1928 Miranshah, India. Parachute development program.
1929 Henlow, Bedfordshire. Married in March. Signed on for another 12 years.
1930 1931 Aden. Includes short term assignment to British Somaliland. Promoted to
sergeant in November 31.
1932 January 1st Ambala India. Lowa Topa in Murree Hills during winter. Joined by
family November after 30 day journey via Basra on HMT Somersetshire.
1934 North Weald, Essex.
1936 November,Thornaby, Durham.
193? Hullavington, Wiltshire. Promoted to flight sergeant
1937 Joined 113 squadron at Spitalgate, Grantham. Married Quarters.
1938 10 May left for Heliopolis, Egypt. September family joined via HMT Nevasa.
Initially civilian accommodation, later Married Quarters.
1940 Western Desert, Promoted to Warrant Officer.
1941 Greece, Crete last man out of hill airstrip.
1942 Dont know when he left 113 but he was in Suez area assembling newly arrived
aircraft from USA.
1942 30 OTU, Hixon, Staffordshire Station Warrant Officer.
1944 Bomber Command, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Mentioned in Despatches
1945 Demobbed in August.
NOTE: See also Squadron story, Photo Section, Timeline
SOURCE & RESEARCH: John Allen, son.
W/O Conan T. Allen
W/O Conan T. Allen, W/O2, RCAF Pilot Canadian Amherst Nova Scotia. age 22 Yrs, 113 Sqdn RAF. Died 10/11/1942 Taukkyan War Cemetery. http://www.parl.ns.ca/projects/airforce/RCAF.htm
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 Conan Allen RCAF. F/Sgt James Williams RAF, Obs. Sgt Gerloff in W/C Walters crew witnessed Sgt Allen's aircraft V6491 roll over on its back and plunge into the bay inverted, believed to have been hit by flack.
NOTE: Their is some confusion regarding the date and serial of this aircraft as per 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.
A Sgt Allen is recorded in S/Ldr Keily log May 1940
LAC W. Ron Alvey
LAC W. Ron Alvey
Strange enough, my days with 113 were very happy days. I was posted to Egypt in 1940, travelled by train from Cherburg to ??? and there boarded the Sobieski (Polish Ship M/S Sobieski) and crossed to Alexandria. Then by train to Cairo eventually arriving to join the squadron at Heliopolis. Two days before the Italians declared war we moved to the Western Desert to a place called Sidi Hanish. I stayed with the squadron through Greece, on the retreat I was instructed to join a stores unit. Lost that unit on the convoy to ???. There I boarded a landing craft and went to Crete. From Crete I boarded a Bristol Bombay aircraft and eventually arrived back at Sidi Haneish. There I was taken to Alexandria, repating myself as a member of 113 Squadron. After I was posted to Helwan to the MT Base Depot.
I retired from uniform, RAF in May 1966 and joined RAF Waddington as a civilian and carried on untill 1984. 28 1/2 years RAF service and 18 1/2 years civillian service.
I relate a conversation I had with A Squadron Leader - Supply and Maintenance Squadron, He was delving into my RAF service, one question was "What squadrons did you serve with?" 113 Squadron I replied. Was that the only Squadron you served with he asked? "Yes" I replied, "Was there ever any other worth serving with?" That reply brought a howl of laughter from him and other witnesses and he turned to the others and said "That gentlemen is the most loyalty and love the Royal Airforce has ever endured." I wondered if he was going to present me with a medal, but in fact I was presented with a silver ???? (illegible). Of course I know there were other squadrons kicked from pillar to post during those years but the period with 113 was among the happiest of my service life.
Commenting on other Nationalities: I did know a Canadian on the squadron, he shared a gun pit with me at Larissa (Greece) he received a bullet wound to the forehead. Turned out to be a deep scratch, such was the adrenalin he did'nt know untill I told him.
S/Ldr Ian L.B Aitkens
S/Ldr Ian L.B Aitkens, commanded 113 Sqn from Sep 1st 1943 to Jan 3rd 1944. Ian stayed in the RAF following the war and eventually retired about 1953 having reached the impressive rank of Wing Commander. He died in 1999.
S/Ldr Aitkens took over as C.O. of the squadron on Sept 01, 1943 (01/09/1943). At this time the 113 was in the process of converting from three man crew, twin engine Blenheims to single pilot, single engine Hurricane IIc fighter aircraft. These Hurricanes however had been modified to carry bombs and were often referred to as Hurribombers. "It was to be a bad idea"
In any case it was a great set up for the new CO., with no need for the old 3 man crews and many of the old Blenheim pilots posting out, the 113 was at the time almost a new squadron. Free from the influences of old friends / alliances and what might other wise have been a difficult command.
Throughout October & November S/Ldr Aitkens worked up the new 113 Squadron but sadly would never get to take his command into battle as he was struck down with jaundice 03/01/1944 and relieved of command. How much this hurt him is evidenced by the entry in his log. "Lost the best job of my life thanks to Bloody India." Having recovered some two months later he was posted to 225 Group on 02/03/1944.
RAF Cranwell Jan 37 to Dec 38
No26 AC Squadron Jan 39 to Oct 40
No 269? Oct 40 to Nov 41
ATU Peshawar 22/02/?? to 25/02/42
No 146 F Sqd 26/02/1942 to 25/08/1942
No 17 F Sqd 26/08/1942 to 08/12/1942
HQ 224 Group 09/12/1942 to 31/08/1943
113 F B Sqd 01/09/1943 to 03/01/1944
HQ 225 Group 02/03/1944 to 24/09/1944
84 Sqd F B 25/09/1944 to 26/08/1945
3 RFU 27/08/1945 to 00/11/1945
DD Rescue Ministry 24/01/1946 to 00/03/47
British Embassy Rome 00/03/1947 to 00/04/1948
Air Min Select Board July 1948
W/Cdr Ian Aitkens
The above is a page from S/Ldr Aitkens log, Note the incredible number of aircraft he had flown, 26 all told.
Believed to have been in Yelahanka in Aug 1943 per Pat Woodward booklet.
SEE ALSO 113 SQUADRON LOGS in the RESEARCH ROOM
SOURCE: PETER AITKENS, Peter holds the Flight Log of S/Ldr Aitkens.
W/O (F/Sgt) John Seton Aitken
W/O John Seton Aitken, 580933, Observer, KIA 24/04/1942, Son of Charles S. Aitken, M.P.S., and of Jeanie Aitken, of Glasgow. Column 413. Memorial: SINGAPORE MEMORIAL
F/Sgt Aitken had crewed up on No 6 Squadron before he and his crew came on 113. The others were pilot W/O Victor William Hinds RAF, and WOP/Ag
F/Sgt Alan Bailes.
Taken at Raichur, Mysore State India
The boys in the photo are unknown but likely crewmates,
possibly W/O Aitken on the left?
F/Sgt Alan Bailes, the Wop/Ag described the last moments of this crew: My crew, pilot F/Sgt Bill (Victor William) Hinds, Observer F/S John Aitken and myself were posted from No 6 Squadron in the Middle East in January 1942. When we reached Rangoon we were not allowed to disembark as the Japs had cut the L. O. C. to the North of the City. We eventually reached Fyzabad before entraining to Assansol in March 1942. On the 21st of April, six Blenheims of No 113, led by the CO, W/C Grey, left Asansol on detachment to Loiwing in China, calling at Lashio en route. Loiwing was at that time the base for the AVG flying Tomahawks with Chinese insignia, with the air intake painted to look like shark's teeth.
On the 24th of April, two crews, F /0 Hammond's and our own were briefed by G/C Noel Singer at Lashio, to make a low level attack on a Japanese armoured column advancing towards our base. They were about 100 miles due South on the Hopong-Lohlien road. We were carrying 4 x 250 with rod extensions and 11 seconds delay fuses. Nearing the target, I noticed with alarm that Hammond's aircraft had pulled well ahead of us. As we attacked the column I was strafing from the turret when there was an orange explosion to starboard. As we climbed I saw grey smoke coming from our starboard engine. I reported this to F/Sgt BiII Hinds and a few minutes later he ordered me to bail out. The last I saw my aircraft it was maintaining height with one engine trailing smoke.
I think we had been hit by fragments of Hammond's bombs, as the rod extensions were designed to explode the bombs at ground level. The 11 seconds delay would be about the right interval of time between ourselves and Hammond. I walked north for three days using the sun as a compass and got back to Lashio where I flew as a passenger with F/O Hammond to Loiwing and then back to Dum Dum and from there back to Asansol. Nothing was ever heard of my crew again.
W/O John (Jack) Aitken and unknown
John sporting his Observer Wing
SOURCE: Last Flight - F/Sgt Alan Bailes
SOURCE: Addtnl Research and book Air War Over The Arakan, Author F/Lt Tony Day
SOURCE & PHOTOS: Family, Helena Alexandra Aitken - Edinburgh
Corp Fred Appleton
Corp Fred Appleton, Armourer. England
Corp Appelton was one of the lucky / unlucky ones depending on your point of view who left Middle East for Burma by aircraft rather than ship, as most of the ground crew did. His pilot for the trip was none other than B16 (P/O Bassingthwaigthe)
Corp (Sgt) Wilfred Archer
Corp Wilfred Archer, 536897 Ground Crew -fitter, airframes. Served in Egypt, India and Burma.
Corp Archer was born at Gateforth near Selby, West Yorkshire in 1918 in a farming family but decided to leave and joined the RAF in 1936 -37. Here he trained as a airframe fitter and is presumed to have been posted abroad to the Middle East/ Egypt when war broke out.
Nothing is known of Corp Archer's service and he didn't speak much about it to his family. If his photos are any indication, he was in Heliopolis in 1939/1940. Later to Ikinj Maryut - (Ikingi Maryut- Ikingi Mariut) which is a railway head near Alexandra Egypt, part of 3 sqd was based here 1940, and it was a staging area where many boarded for Greece. From here then it is safe to say he embarked to Greece and was one of those caught up in the disasterous retreat from there. (see note at bottom of profile) From Greece he would have ended up at Ramleh Palestine and indeed he has a photo taken here, then back to the desert at Bir Zimla near Maaten Bagush. At this point it can be said for certain he was with 113 Squadron and was caught up in yet another disaster at Giarabub late 1941. Here he took part in the Crusader campaign against Rommel.
Boys clowing around, Corp (Sgt) Wilf Archer in center, others unknown
Heliopolis (1939?) Recognize anyone?
There is then a large void, as there is with many veterans heading to the Burma theater, and yet once again he is caught up in another disaster as he would have arrived in Burma just as the Japs were driving the British into India. Here we loose him but leaping ahead to Christmas 1943 he was at Jessore. This put him front row center in the Burma conflict while the Squadron was still operating Blenheim bombers and one of his photos is of the great raid on Magwe in March 1942. His son, Bob Archer does recall one incident he related years ago where he had to fly into Burma to repair a downed Blenheim and returning in the bomb bay of the repaired aircraft with his tool kit but no parachute and enemy a/craft in the area. For Wilfred to have remembered and related this event decades later, it must have been a high risk close run operation.
Bob advises the airfield defence pic was when they had to go out into the desert and set up dummy airstrips for the enemy to attack, which the Italians did quite regularly and later, the Germans did with more zeal and deadly effect apparently. I think he did quite a bit of flying, airtesting perhaps but apart from the incident in Burma he has never metioned going on operations. He did have a good friend called Thompson, a gunner I think, (see photo) but I do not have any more information on this person.
One of the photos from Corp Archers collection. Believed to have been taken
in India.It appears that the Fortress on the right may have the American star
on the wing. I believe it was Sgt Cyril Law who states the 113 Squadron operated along side a couple of Fortresses which were flying the hump.
Corp Archer in flight suit. He doesn't look very comfortable! It is unknown
where he was going.
The rocks suggest this was most likely taken at Giarabub 1941 when the
squadron was posted to the Western Desert Egypt.
Saunders and Birtles Marten Barush - 1941?
Note Corp Archer's spelling of Maaten Bagush, every veteran had their own spelling for these difficult foreign names. Often the veterans called this place Marten Bagwash. When doing an internet search one has to try numerous different spellings to get the full search results.
NOTE: A Fred Archer is referenced in "The War In The Air" by Gavin Lyall. It is highly probable this is Wilfred. In this short story titled "last Flight from Menidi" recorded by LAC L. Robinson, it is humoursly detailed how Fred Archer, LAC Robinson, Corp Dickenson, Porky Blyth and a stranded pilot patched up a Blenheim 1 and made their escape from Greece to Crete. 23/04/1941
NOTE: See also general photo section and squadron story
SOURCE: Bob Archer, Son of Sgt Wilfred Archer
All photos here and throughout the site are copyright Bob Archer
F/S Bob Armstrong
F/S Bob Armstrong, RCAF, pilot 45Sqd.
Ex 45 Sqd posted in briefly 25/10/1942 and posted back to 45 on 22/11/1942. Known to have been on the 10/11/1942 shipping strike on Akyab. Crew on this op was F/S Tibbs & Sgt Whittaker.
SOURCE: Air War Over The Arakan, Author Tony Day & research notes.
P/O R E Astley
P/O R E Astley, C/O of 'C' Flight Dec1944
SOURCE: P/O Graham Skellam log book