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3 -eskader (RAF): Tweede Wêreldoorlog

3 -eskader (RAF): Tweede Wêreldoorlog


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3 -eskader (RAF) tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog

Nr. 3 -eskader was een van die stigter -eskader van die Royal Flying Corp in 1912. Teen 1939 was dit 'n vegvliegtuig wat met die Hawker Hurricane toegerus was. Gedurende die winter en lente van 1939-40 het dit die Groot-Brittanje behou, maar toe die groot Duitse offensief op 10 Mei 1940 begin, was die 3de eskader een van verskeie ekstra eenhede wat na Frankryk gehaas is. Tien dae later was die eskader terug in die Verenigde Koninkryk en het byna sy hele krag verloor tydens die ineenstorting.

Eers terug in Brittanje is die eskader na Skotland gestuur om weer toe te rus en te hergroepeer. Op 21 Julie 1940 is die "B" -vlug van nommer 3 -eskader losgemaak om die kern van nommer 232 -eskader te vorm. Eers toe ek weer sterk was, is nommer 3 -eskader gebruik om die groot vlootbasis by Scapa Flow te bewaak, wat tot April 1941 in Skotland gebly het.

In daardie maand het die eskader teruggetrek suidwaarts, met twee jaar se nagvegterpligte begin. Enkelvliegtuie was nie regtig geskik vir die nagvegterrol nie, omdat hulle nie die ruimte gehad het vir die AI -radar of die uithouvermoë om lang patrollies uit te voer nie. Die eskader nr. 3 bly egter tot Junie 1943 in diens, toe dit as 'n tifoon -eskader die offensief aanval en vyandse skeepvaart aanval en dag en nag indringer -missies oor Frankryk en die Lae Lande aanval.

In Junie-September 1944 het die eskader na defensiewe operasies teen die V-1 Flying Bomb herlei, nadat die Hawker Tempest onlangs ontvang is. Aan die einde van die V-1-offensief het die eskader na die vasteland getrek, by die 2de Tactical Air Force aangesluit en vegbommenwerpers vir die res van die oorlog agter vyandelike linies geveg (hierdie plig was bekend as 'gewapende verkenning', met die klem op die "gewapende").

Vliegtuie
Julie 1939-April 1941: Hawker Hurricane Mk I
April 1941-November 1941: Hawker Hurricane Mk IIA, IIB
April 1941-Mei 1943: Hawker Hurricane Mk IIC
Februarie 1943-April 1944: Hawker Typhoon IB
Februarie 1944-April 1949: Hawker Tempest V

Boeke

Groep en plig
3 September 1939-10 Mei 1940: Vegvliegtuig-eskader gebaseer in die VK
10-20 Mei 1940: Kort ontplooiing in Frankryk
23 Mei 1940-April 1941: Rus en toerus in Skotland, daarna verdediging van Scapa Flow
April 1941-Junie 1943: Nagvegter en indringer pligte
Junie 1943-Junie 1944: vegvliegtuie oor Kanaal, Frankryk en Lae Lande
Junie-September 1944: Anti V-2 pligte
September 1944: gewapende verkenningspligte by die 2de Tactical Air Force

Ligging
28 Augustus 1936-2 Mei 1939: Kenley
2 Mei-2 September 1939: Biggin Hill
2-10 September 1939: Croydon
10-17 September 1939: Manston
17 September-10 Mei 1940: Croydon
17 Desember 1939-10 Februarie 1940: Afskeiding na Hawkinge
10 Mei-20 Mei 1940: Merville (Frankryk)
20 Mei-23 Mei 1940: Kenley
23 Mei-2 September 1940: Wick
2-14 September 1940: Castleton
14 September-9 Oktober 1940: Turnhouse
9-12 Oktober 1940: Dyce
12 Oktober 1940-7 Januarie 1941: Castletown
2 Januarie-29 Maart 1941: Afsondering na Sumburgh
7-10 Januarie 1941: Skeabrae
10 Februarie-3 April 1941: Castleton
3 April-3 Mei 1941: Martlesham Heath
3-13 Mei 1941: Debden
13 Mei-23 Junie 1941: Martlesham Heath
23 Junie-9 Augustus 1941: Stapleford Tawney
9-Augustus 1941-14-Augustus 1942: Hunsdon
14 Augustus-21 Augustus 1492: Shoreham
21 Augustus 1942-14 Mei 1943: Hunsdon
14 Mei-11 Junie 1943: West Malling
11 Junie-28 Desember 1943: Manston
28 Desember 1943-14 Februarie 1944: Swanton Morley
14 Februarie-6 Maart 1944: Manston
6 Maart-6 April 1944: Bradwellbaai
6-14 April 1944: Ayr
14-28 April 1944: Bradwellbaai
28 April-21 September 1944: Newchurch
21 September-28 September 1944: Matlask
28 September-1 Oktober 1944: B.60 Grimbergen
1 Oktober 1944-2 April 1945: B.80 Volkel
2-17 April 1944: Warmwell
17-26 April 1945: B.112 Hopsten
26 April-21 Junie 1945: B.152: Fassberg

Beduidende datums
10-20 Mei 1940: duur ontplooiing na Frankryk
28 September 1944: Keer terug na Frankryk met die 2de Tactical Air Force


Lêer: Personeel van No.121 (Eagle) Squadron kyk toe terwyl drie Spitfire Vbs by RAF Rochford in Essex kom land, na 'n vegvliegtuig oor Noord -Frankryk gedurende Augustus 1942. D9509.jpg

HMSO het verklaar dat die verstryking van Crown Copyrights wêreldwyd van toepassing is (verwys: HMSO Email Reply)
Meer inligting.

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115 Squadron RAF word op hierdie webwerf gelys as een van die vele RAF -eskaders waarin RAAF -personeel tydens WW2 gedien, geveg en gesterf het.

Die Empire Air Training Scheme het tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog tienduisende vliegtuigbemanning verskaf vir die Royal Air Force (RAF) se lugoorlog in Europa. Terwyl 'n aantal sogenaamde artikel XV-nasionale eskader in Fighter-, Bomber- en Coastal Commando's van die RAF geskep is, is die meerderheid Australiese vliegtuigbemanning saam met hul Statebond-kollegas na RAF-eskaders as individuele bemanningslede gestuur, waar hulle sou ' beman 'gereeld met 'n baie multi-nasionale vliegtuigbemanning wat bestaan ​​uit mans van regoor die kommune. Grondpersoneel is op dieselfde manier aangewys.

115-eskader het sy oorsprong in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, maar is gedurende die tussenoorlogse jare ontbind, net voor die uitbreek van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Dit was toegerus met die robuuste en betroubare tweemotorige Vickers Wellington medium bomwerper, waarmee dit 'n wye verskeidenheid aanvalle uitgevoer het, insluitend mynlegging. Dit is kortliks by Coatsal Command aangeheg. Later het dit die Gee -navigasiehulp beproef wat die navigasie -akkuraatheid en dus die doeltreffendheid van bombardemente dramaties verbeter het.

Vanaf 1943 was die eskader toegerus met die Lancaster Mk II, wat maklik geïdentifiseer is deur die feit dat dit Bristol Hercules se lugverkoelde radiale enjins gehad het, eerder as die vloeibare verkoelde Rolls Royce Merlins waarmee die Lancaster die meeste verband hou.

Teen die einde van die oorlog het 115 Lancaster MK I en III's bedryf en twee van hierdie vliegtuie het onderskeidelik 97 en 105 soorte aangeteken, ver bo die gemiddelde.

115 -eskader het een van die beste operasionele diensrekords in Bomber Command gehad.

Dit het 261 bombardemente en 27 mynaanvalle uitgevoer, bestaande uit 4678 Lancaster -soorte. Dit was die tweede grootste aantal soorte in Bomber Command. Waarskynlik het die tweede grootste hoeveelheid bomme laat val, ongeveer 23 000 ton. Die eskader het 110 vliegtuie (2,4 persent) in hierdie aanvalle verloor. Die meeste verloor in die hele Bomber Command. Ed note dit sal deur ander eskaders betwis word en hang af van hoe 'verliese' bereken word. Nog 22 Lancasters is in ongelukke vernietig.

Nr. 115-eskader het na die oorlog voortbestaan ​​tot 1949 toe dit weer toegerus was met die Avro Lincoln. Meer inligting oor sy na-oorlogse aktiwiteite is in die MoD-skakel in die sybalk.

Ons wil veral individuele historici -navorsers of lede van eenheidsverenigings aanmoedig om by te dra tot die ontwikkeling van 'n meer gedetailleerde geskiedenis en foto's wat verband hou met hierdie eenheid en sy lede.


Doodsberig: Poolse oorlogsveteraan gedien in artillerie en twee RAF -eskaders

Wladyslaw (Walter) Swirski het 'n reputasie gekry as 'n storieverteller en dit is geen wonder nie. Sy lewe was gelyk aan die leeftyd van verskeie mans.

Die sakeman van Waterdown, wat op 5 Desember 2020 op 99 & 8212 oorlede is, het tyd in 'n Siberiese arbeidskamp deurgebring nadat die Russe die helfte van Pole in beslag geneem het ná die aanvang van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog in 1939.

Bevry nadat die Duitsers die Sowjetunie aangeval het, het hy in die artillerie gedien in die Slag van El Alamein wat aan die einde van 1942 tot die nederlaag van die Duitsers in Noord -Afrika gelei het.

Daarna het hy as vlieënier opgelei en Lancasters en muskiete onder die RAF gevlieg, wat saam met die 300 Poolse bomwerper -eskader en die 307 Poolse nagvegters -eskader diens gedoen het.

Opdragte het gesien hoe die Pole Berlyn en Berchtesgaden bombardeer, voedsel vir die honger Nederlanders in Operasie Manna laat aflaai en Britse PoW's terug na Brittanje vervoer.

Later behaal hy sy lugvaartingenieursgraad in Engeland, en nadat hy na Kanada gekom het, werk hy aan die Avro Arrow, wat in 1959 deur die Diefenbaker -regering gekanselleer is. Swirski het 'n konstruksiemaatskappy bestuur, die Waterdown Village Plaza in 1963 gebou en#8212 gebaseer op sy eie ontwerp en#8212 en 'n paar ander besighede bedryf. Hy het ook vyf tale gepraat, was aktief in sy kerk en was 'n byeboer.

Ek kyk na die dinge wat hy gedoen het — wow — hierdie man het alles deurgemaak, ” sê sy dogter Mary Swirski, wat haar pa se papiere saamstel. Hy het soveel dinge gedoen. ”

Die oorlogsverhaal van Swirski is oorvertel deur The Flamborough Review, The Memory Project en 'n Oral History Project deur Crestwood, 'n privaatskool in Toronto.

Swirski is gebore op 7 Mei 1921 in Bogdanowka, naby die Russiese grens. Sy ouers, Michael en Maria, was welvarende boere. Sy vader was 'n Poolse offisier in die Pools-Sowjet-oorlog van 1919-1921.

Swirski het gesê sy pa het hom aanbeveel dat hy Russies leer, en dit het handig te pas gekom toe die Russe hom, sy ouers en broer Joseph in beslag geneem het en hulle in 1940 na Siberië verban het.

Swirski het gesê sy gesin het 'n maand lank in 'n veemotor deurgebring na 'n kamp in 'n Siberiese woud. As dit nie was vir voedsel wat familielede vir hulle gegee het nie, het hy gesê dat hulle sou honger gesterf het.

Hulle gee nie minder om as ons sterf of lewe nie, en hy sê.

Die deuntjie het verander nadat die Duitsers Rusland in Junie 1941 binnegeval het. Al die Poolse mans is deur die Russe na 'n saal gebring en is meegedeel dat hulle almal vriende is omdat hulle 'n gemeenskaplike vyand het. Hy en sy pa het opleiding in artillerie by die Poolse leër begin. Swirski het na Palestina gekom om by genl Wladyslaw Anders se leër aan te sluit.

Die Slag van El Alamein is op 23 Oktober 1942 van stapel gestuur. Dit het begin met intense artillerievuur en Swirski het aan The Review gesê, “ Vir twee dae kon ek niks hoor nie. ” Hy is later in die arm gewond toe sy artillerie -eenheid na Italië verhuis.

In 1943 is hy na Skotland om as vlieënier op te lei. Hy het eers Lancasters in die 300 -eskader gevlieg. Hy is oorgeplaas na die 307 -eskader, met die Mosquito -bomwerper/vegter. Hy het gesê dat die eskader gekies is om Berlyn te bombardeer weens die behendigheid van die muskiet.

"Ons moes Hitler laat weet dat hy nie onaantasbaar is nie," het Swirski gesê.

Hy het teruggekeer na 300 eskader en het 'n paar ontstellende ervarings beleef. Sy vliegtuig het neergestort by terugkeer van 'n missie omdat sy landingsgestel nie gewerk het nie. Die Lanc het aan die brand geslaan en hy moes uit die vliegtuig gehaal word omdat hy sy knieë beseer het.

In 'n sending oor Frankryk is hy deur 'n Duitse vegter in albei bene geskiet en moes hy weer uit die vliegtuig gesleep word toe dit terug in Engeland beland het.

Laai tans.

Ek kon nie my bene lig nie, en hy herinner hom. My stewels was vol bloed. ”

Die Lancasters is later toegerus met Amerikaanse gewere en sy eskader is aangewys om Berteschgaden, Hitler se huis in die Beierse Alpe te bombardeer. Sy bevelvoerder was gretig om die gewere teen Duitse vegters te probeer en het hom aangesê om te vertraag na die bombardement sodat die vegters kon inhaal. Hy onthou dat die Amerikaanse gewere hul sterkte bewys het.#8212 Hy het gesê dat twee vegters wat by die Lanc ingehaal het, vinnig neergeskiet is.

Na die oorlog het Swirski 'n aanbod om terug te keer na die kommunisties-beheerde Pole verwerp en met sy Engelse bruid Ethel na Hamilton gekom. Hulle verhuis in 1951 na Waterdown

Swirski word oorleef deur sy kinders, Susan, Andrzej, Ted, Mary, Anna, Paul en Katherine, 13 kleinkinders, ses agterkleinkinders. Hy is in 2007 deur sy vrou Ethel en sy broer Joseph in 1986 oorlede.


Suid -Afrikaners in die Royal Air Force – 1939 tot 1945


Daar is 'n sarkastiese gesegde in die weermag – “Karma is 'n teef! .
Gestapo -lid Johannes Post, beul van Sqn -leier Rodger Bushell (bekend as ‘Big X ’ terwyl hy die hoofvlug was “ The Great Escape ”), op die oomblik dat die doodsvonnis tydens die verhoor van Post aangekondig is. Hy is opgehang.
Roger Bushell, 'n gebore Suid -Afrikaner, was 'n advokaat in Londen en het by die RAF aangesluit toe oorlog verklaar is.
Roger Bushell was voor die oorlog lid van die RAF as lid van die RAF Auxillary Air Force, hy was 'n lid van die 601 (County of London) eskader waarna ook verwys is as die “ miljoenêrs ” eskader wat voor die oorlog in Hendon gebaseer was. Net voor die oorlog het dit na Biggon Hill verhuis.
Hy het die beroemde ontsnapping uit die Duitse krygsgevangenekamp, ​​Stalag Luft III, gelei. Hy was 'n slagoffer van die Stalag Luft III -teregstellingsgroepe toe die ontsnapte krygsgevangenes gevange geneem en teruggebring is.
Roger Bushell en 'n seleksie van nog 49 geallieerde krygsgevangenes wat by hierdie groot ontsnapping betrokke was, is in opdrag van Adolf Hitler tereggestel deur die Duitse Gestapo (geheime polisie). byeenkomste vir die hantering van krygsgevangenes, is majoor Johannes Post saam met 13 ander Nazi -amptenare tot verantwoording geroep en almal is doodgemaak.
Verhaal vir die Suid -Afrikaanse legioen deur Peter Dickens. Beeld kopiereg Topham.


Groepskaptein P H “Dutch ” Hugo (links), bevelvoerder van nr. 322 Wing RAF, en Wing Commander R “Raz ” Berry, wat die leiding van die vleuel in Januarie 1943 oorgeneem het, in gesprek te Tingley, Algerië. Petrus Hendrik Hugo, 'n Suid-Afrikaner, het in Februarie 1939 aangesluit by die RAF vir 'n kortdienskommissie. is in November 1941 op kommando nr. 41 -eskader RAF geplaas, en neem toe die leiding van die Tangmere -vleuel oor in April 1942, maar word (vir 'n tweede keer) neergeskiet en gewond kort daarna. By herstel word Hugo vleuelleier in Hornchurch, maar word gou aangewys as leier nr. 322 in die komende inval in Noord -Afrika (Operasie TORCH). Hy neem die bevel oor die vleuel in November 1942 en dra aansienlik by tot sy oorwinnings telling oor Algerië en Tunisië. Van Maart tot Junie 1943 dien Hugo in die personeel by die hoofkwartier van die Noordwes-Afrikaanse kuslugmag, maar keer terug na bevel van 322 vleuel in Malta, Sicilië, Frankryk en Italië totdat dit ontbind in November 1944. Nadat hy 17 bevestigde en 3 gedeelde oorwinnings behaal het , het hy daarna by die personeel van die hoofkwartier van die Middellandse See -geallieerde magte aangesluit en die oorlog met die Central Fighter Establishment voltooi.
Kopiereg IWM -versameling.


King George VI verleen 'n kroeg aan die vlieënde beampte A Lewis Lewis se DFC tydens 'n prysuitdeling in Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Lewis, 'n Suid -Afrikaner, het pas teruggekeer na diens by die 249 -eskader RAF, nadat hy op 28 September 1940 neergeskiet en erg verbrand is, waarna hy self 18 vyandelike vliegtuie neergeskiet het.
Foto kopiereg IWM versameling.

Groepskaptein A G ‘Sailor ’ Malan, 'n Suid -Afrikaner wat 'n vlieënde aas van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog geword het tydens die Slag van Brittanje en die oorlog afgesluit het met 35 oorwinnings in die lug.
Matroos Malan was een van die suksesvolste vlieëniers van die oorlog en wen beide die DSO (Distinguished Service Order) met Bar en DSC (Distinguished Service Cross) met Bar. Malan is gebore in Wellington, Wes -Kaap. Hy sluit in 1924 of 1925 aan by die South African Training Ship General Botha as kadet (kadetnommer 168), waarna hy by die Union-Castle Line van die International Mercantile Marine Co. aansluit, wat hom later die bynaam van “Sailor ” gee onder sy vlieënierkollegas.

Hier word hy afgeneem in die kajuit van sy Supermarine Spitfire in Biggin Hill, Kent.
Na die oorlog het Sailor Malan teruggekeer na Suid -Afrika om 'n hewige teenstander van apartheid te word, en in 1951, saam met die Suid -Afrikaanse Springbok ’ Legioen, stig hy saam met die War Veterans Action Committee 'n protesgroep om 'n beroep op 'n 'n breër basis van oud-dienspligtiges, wat hulle die ‘Torch Commando ’ genoem het, as 'n taktiek om die Nasionale Party se beleid van Apartheid te beveg.
Op sy hoogte het die Torch Commando 250 000 mense geheg en 5 jaar aktief veldtog gevoer. Die grootste saamtrek wat 75 000 oud -WW2 -dienspligtiges buite die stadsaal in Johannesburg lok. Sailor Malan het tydens hierdie saamtrek gesê: "Die sterkte van hierdie byeenkoms is 'n bewys dat die mans en vroue wat in die oorlog vir vryheid geveg het, steeds koester waarvoor hulle geveg het. Ons is vasbeslote om nie die vrugte van die oorwinning te ontken nie. ”
Dit het die regering van die dag effens ontstel, wat toe 'n geleidelike program begin het om die veterane en veteraanverenigings van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog te marginaliseer, wat hulle as 'n bedreiging beskou het.
Adolph ‘ Sailor ’ Malan sterf in 1963 aan Parkinson se siekte.

Groepskaptein Adolph Gysbert “Sailor” Malan DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar (24 Maart 1910 - 17 September 1963), die Suid -Afrikaanse Tweede Wêreldoorlog 2 vlieënde aas in gesprek hier met vlugsersant Vincent Bunting by Biggin Hill in 1943 .
Vincent Bunting was een van 'n klein groepie 'swart' Britse en Statebond -vlieëniers wat tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog in volle gevegsrolle was - hy is in Junie 1918 in Panama gebore en het grootgeword in Kingston, Jamaika. Hy het by die RAF aangesluit by No 1 Recruitment Center, Uxbridge, op 26 Julie 1940. Hy is gekies vir vliegopleiding en het later 'n vegvlieënier geword, hoofsaaklik by RAF 611 Squadron.
Hierdie beeld van vroeë rasseherkenning getuig van Sailor Malan as nie net een van die mees gewaardeerde vegvlieëniers van die oorlog nie, maar ook die toekomstige tekens van Sailor Malan as 'n politieke vegter en kampioen vir rasse -gelykheid.
Matroos Malan het die Royal Air Force verlaat en in 1946 na Suid-Afrika teruggekeer. In die 1950's vorm hy 'n protesgroep van oud-dienspligtiges genaamd die ” Torch Commando ” om die National Party te beveg en planne om Kaapse bruin te verwyder. kiesers uit die gewone rol. Die Kaapse gekleurde franchise is beskerm in die Uniewet van 1910 deur 'n verskansde klousule wat lui dat daar geen verandering kan wees sonder dat 'n tweederde meerderheid van albei die parlementshuise bymekaar sit nie. Die nasionalistiese regering het met 'n ongeëwenaarde sinisme die Wet op die Hooggeregshof van die Parlement goedgekeur, wat die outonomie van die regbank effektief verwyder het, die Senaat met NP -simpatiseerders gepak het en sodoende die bruin mense ontkoppel.
In 'n toespraak tydens 'n massiewe saamtrek buite die stadsaal van Suid -Afrikaanse veterane in Johannesburg, het oorlogsheld “Sailor ” Malan verwys na die ideale waarvoor die Tweede Wêreldoorlog geveg is:
Die krag van hierdie byeenkoms is 'n bewys dat die mans en vroue wat in die oorlog vir vryheid geveg het, steeds koester waarvoor hulle geveg het. Ons is vasbeslote om nie die vrugte van die oorwinning te ontken nie. ”
Die Torch Commando het die stryd teen apartheid teen meer as vyf jaar gevoer. Op sy hoogtepunt het die kommando 250 000 lede gehad, wat dit een van die grootste protesbewegings in die Suid -Afrikaanse geskiedenis maak. Die regering van DF Malan was so ontsteld oor die aantal beoordelaars, staatsamptenare en militêre beamptes wat by die organisasie aangesluit het dat diegene in die staatsdiens of weermag verbied is om op te tree - op lang termyn het hierdie druk gelei tot die geleidelike erosie van die organisasie .
Ongelukkig beswyk Matroos Malan op 17 September 1963 as gevolg van die seldsame Parkinson -siekte waaroor daar destyds min bekend was.
Dit is nou tot die verleentheid oor sy behandeling as 'n Suid -Afrikaanse militêre held dat almal Suid -Afrikaanse militêre personeel wat sy begrafnis bygewoon het, aangewys het om die uniform van die pasgemaakte SAW te dra (die regering wou nie 'n Afrikaaner hê nie, soos Malan was, geïdealiseer in die dood uit die vrees dat hy 'n rolmodel vir toekomstige Afrikaaner -jeug sou word).
Alle versoeke om hom 'n volledige militêre begrafnis te gee, is van die hand gewys en selfs die Suid -Afrikaanse Lugmag het opdrag gekry om hom geen eerbetoon te gee nie. Ironies genoeg is hierdie optrede nou 'n bewys van hoe vreesbevange die regering vir hom as 'n politieke vegter geword het.
Vir diegene wat enige tyd tussen 1936 en 1945 by die Royal Air Force se 74 eskader gedien het, was hy die grootste leier van almal. As 'n klein teken van hul agting, het 28 van die oorblywende in Julie 1966 'n seremoniële swaard aan die eskader oorhandig by die Fighter Command in die hoofkwartier, ter nagedagtenis aan Sailor en ter ere van sy besonderse diens aan die eskader.
Die bedoeling is dat hierdie swaard as inspirasie dien vir die wat daarna kom, sodat sy hoë standaarde van moed, vasberadenheid en leierskap sal voortleef.
John Mungo Park (wat Sailor opgevolg het as bevelvoerder van 74 eskader) het gesê:
Wat ek van Sailor hou, is sy stil, ferm manier en sy koue moed. Hy het 'n buitengewone gesig en is 'n natuurlike vegvlieënier. ”
Om die woorde van Mungo te lees, is amper om te hoor hoe die matroos se sterk, sterk klanke roep: 'Laat ons 'n koek sny. Laat ons dit maar hê! ” asof die jare nie weggeglip het nie, en asof sy sterflike oorskot nie onder die Kimberley -son lê nie, so ver van die Engelse lug waarin hy so goed geveg het. Hy was 'n man wat meer as enige ander die leuse van 74 Squadron kon aanhaal en in alle waarheid kan sê:
“Ek vrees geen mens nie. ”
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Pragtige kleurfoto van Sailor Malan, een van Suid -Afrika se grootste vlieënde aas en nasionale held.
Hier is groepskaptein A G “Sailor ” Malan, offisier bevelvoerder nr. 145 vleuel in Merston, en klim in die kajuit van sy Supermarine Spitfire voordat hy uit Appledram, Sussex, opstyg. Foto geneem omstreeks 1943.
Matroos Malan het na Suid -Afrika teruggekeer en ná die oorlog 'n sterk anti -apartheidskampioen geword. 'N Ware nasionale held wat die geskiedenis in Suid -Afrika vergeet het. Hy het in 1963 beswyk aan Parkinson se siekte (dit word vermoedelik vroeë aanvang veroorsaak deur stres) en hy lê nou onder 'n Kimberly -son.
Beeld kopiereg Imperial War Museum -versameling. Die ongelooflike kleur wat deur Tinus Le Roux gedoen is, en baie dankie dat u hierdie held nuwe lewe gegee het.

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'N Ander opvallende Suid -Afrikaanse held en Victoria Cross -wenner, kaptein Edwin (Ted) Swales VC, DFC (op die foto saam met sy span) is in Inanda, Natal, Suid -Afrika gebore. Hy het na die Durban High School (DHS) gegaan en daarna aangesluit Natal Mounted Rifles en sien aksie in Afrika voordat hy na die Suid -Afrikaanse Lugmag oorgaan en daarna by die Royal Air Force (RAF) dien.
In 1945, terwyl hy by die RAF Pathfinders (nr. 582 -eskader) was, was kaptein Swales die meesterbommenwerper en kaptein van Avro Lancaster III PB538. Op 23 Februarie 1945, dieselfde dag as sy D.F.C. Die toekenning is gepubliseer, en Swales het die bomaanval op Pforzheim, Duitsland, gelei.
Swales ’ Victoria Cross -aanhaling lui:
'Kaptein Swales was 'n baas en 'n bom van 8216 vliegtuie wat Pforzheim aangeval het op 23 Februarie 1945. As meesterbommenwerper het hy die taak gehad om die doelgebied presies op te spoor en riglyne aan die hoofmag te gee. bomwerpers in sy nasleep.
Kort nadat hy die teikengebied bereik het, is hy deur 'n vyandelike vliegtuig verbind en een van sy enjins is buite werking gestel. Sy agtergewere het misluk. Sy verlamde vliegtuig was 'n maklike prooi vir verdere aanvalle. Onverstoord het hy sy toegewezen taak duidelik en presies aangegee en riglyne aan die hoofmag gegee. Intussen het die vyandelike vegter die baan gesluit en weer geskiet. 'N Tweede enjin van Captain Swales se vliegtuig is buite werking gestel. Byna weerloos, het hy oor die doelgebied gebly en sy riglyne uitgereik totdat hy tevrede was dat die aanval sy doel bereik het.
Dit is nou bekend dat die aanval een van die mees gekonsentreerde en suksesvolle van die oorlog was. Kaptein Swales het sy missie egter nie as afgehandel beskou nie. Sy vliegtuig is beskadig. Sy spoed was so verlaag dat dit net met moeite in die lug gehou kon word. Die blindvliegende instrumente werk nie meer nie. Hy was ten alle koste vasbeslote om te verhoed dat sy vliegtuie en bemanning in vyandelike hande val en koers huis toe gesit.
Na 'n uur vlieg hy in 'n dun laag wolk. Hy het sy koers behou deur vaardig tussen die lae te vlieg, maar later is swaar wolke en onstuimige lugtoestande bereik. Die vliegtuig, wat nou oor 'n vriendelike gebied was, het al hoe moeiliker geword om dit te beheer, en dit verloor konstant hoogte. In die besef dat die situasie wanhopig was, het kaptein Swales sy bemanning beveel om op borgtog uit te kom. Die tyd was baie kort en dit het al sy inspanning vereis om die vliegtuig stabiel te hou terwyl elkeen van sy bemanning om die beurt na die ontsnappingsluik beweeg en in veiligheid valskerm val.
Die laaste bemanningslid het amper nie gespring toe die vliegtuig op die aarde neerval nie. Kaptein Swales is dood by die kontroles gevind. Onversetlik in die aanval, moedig in die gesig van gevaar, het hy sy plig tot die laaste gedoen en sy lewe gegee sodat sy kamerade kon lewe. ”


'N Slag van Brittanje -held wat hom na die oorlog in Suid -Afrika gevestig het en dit sy tuiste gemaak het.
Vleuelbevelvoerder M N Crossley staan ​​voor 'n Hawker Typhoon in Gravesend, Kent. In 1940 het Crossley 22 vyandelike vliegtuie oor Frankryk en tydens die Slag van Brittanje neergeskiet terwyl hy saam met nommer 32 -eskader RAF, laastens as sy bevelvoerder, gevlieg het. Hy het in 1941 'n vleuel van Supermarine Spitfires gelei en is daarna as 'n toetsvlieënier vir die British Air Commission in die Verenigde State geplaas.
Hy keer in 1943 terug na Engeland om die voorgestelde Detling -vleuel te lei, maar sy operasionele vliegloopbaan is kortgeknip toe hy tuberkulose opdoen en hy immigreer na Suid -Afrika.
IWM Kopiereg


'N Ander Suid -Afrikaanse held, luitenant Albert Sachs – South African Air Force, gesekondeer na nr. 92 Squadron Royal Air Force, sit op sy Supermarine Spitfire Mark VIII in Canne, Italië. Op 5 Desember 1943 behaal Sachs die 99ste en 100ste oorwinning vir sy eskader toe hy twee Focke Wulf Fw 190's naby Pescara afskiet, voordat hy met 'n derde Fw 190 bots en gedwing word om te baal. Na 'n tydperk as 'n vlieënde instrukteur in die Verenigde Koninkryk, keer hy terug na Italië om kommando nr. 93 -eskader RAF van September 1944 tot Februarie 1945 te beveel.
Foto kopiereg IWM -versameling


Piek van die geveg in die ‘Battle of Britain ’, die Suid-Afrikaanse vlieënier, Albert G Lewis, van nommer 85-eskader gryp sy vlieënde helm uit die stertvliegtuig van sy orkaan, P2923 VQ-R, terwyl 'n lid van die grondpersoneel opwarm die enjin voor 'n uitstappie, Castle Camps, Julie 1940.
Foto Kopiereg IWM -versameling.


Suid -Afrikaners en mans en vroue van regoor die Gemenebest het allerhande rolle in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog vervul, baie as 'n detachering van die SAAF op grond van die nodige vaardighede, en baie in baie gevaarlike rolle en#8211 soos hierdie foto onderskrif buitelyne.
Die bemanning van 'n Gekonsolideerde Bevryder B Mark VI van nr. 178 -eskader RAF, wat deelgeneem het aan die operasies om die Poolse Tuisleër weer per vliegtuig te voorsien tydens die Warskou -opstand. In 'n poging om hul vragte in Augustus 1944 in die middel van die swaar verdedigde stad op 'n afstand van minder as 500 meter te laat val, het die eskader groot verliese gely, en 9 vliegtuie is in minder as twee weke neergeskiet.
Die bemanning, gefotografeer op hul basis in Amendola, Italië, bestaan ​​uit (links na regs): sersant John Rush (vlieënier) van Newcastle-on-Tyne-sersant Derek Coates (draadlose operateur) van Manchester-sersant Peter Green (middelste bo-skutter) van Morden, Surrey-luitenant Keith Murray SAAF (navigator) van Johannesburg, Suid-Afrika Vlugsersant Derek Stuart RAAF (2de vlieënier) van Ascot Vale, Australië en Flight-Sersant Kenneth Pierce (stertskutter) van Pontypridd, Suid-Wallis.
Foto kopiereg IWM -versameling

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Nog 'n beroemde Suid -Afrikaanse held en waarskynlik die beste vegvlieënier wat ons nog opgelewer het – Squadron Leader Marmaduke Thomas St. John “Pat ” Pattle DFC & Bar (3 Julie 1914 - 20 April 1941) meer in hier is 'n Messerschmitt Bf 109E van III/JG 77 wat op die vliegveld in Larrissa, Griekeland, neergestort het, moontlik een van die twee wat deur die Suid-Afrikaanse eskaderleier neergeskiet is en#8220Pat ” Pattle, die beampte wat bevelvoerend is na 33-eskader RAF op 20 April 1941.
Kopiereg van die IWM -versameling.


Foto uit 'n LIFE Magazine -artikel oor een van Suid -Afrika se grootste vlieëniers tydens die Slag van Brittanje in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Die artikel het gevolg op die Suid-Afrikaanse vlieënierbeampte Albert G Lewis en was getiteld ‘A Pilot and his Hurricane ’, hier is sy orkaan herbewapen. Die onderskrif lui “ Drie pantsers, genaamd ‘ loodgieters, ’ herlaai Orkaan se agt masjiengewere met ammunisiebande. Elke geweer kry 300 koeëls, genoeg om 15 sekondes te skiet, wat kortstondig is. Elke vliegtuig neem twaalf grondmanne om dit by te hou. ”
Foto kopiereg LIFE tydskrif.

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Wêreldoorlog 2. Eskaderleier J J Le Roux, bevelvoerder van die 602 -eskader RAF in die kajuit van sy Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX, “Betty ”, te B11/Longues, Normandië. Le Roux, 'n Suid -Afrikaner, het in 1940 by No. 73 -eskader RAF in Frankryk aangesluit. Hy is twaalf keer neergeskiet, maar het in 1941 en 1942 agt vyandelike vliegtuie neergeskiet voordat hy by nommer 111 -eskader aangesluit het. RAF in Noord -Afrika. Hy beëindig sy tweede toer onder bevel van die eskader. Na 'n ruskans, het hy in Julie 1944 bevel gekry oor die 602 -eskader. Le Roux word oor die algemeen beskou as die vlieënier wat op 17 Julie 1944 Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel in sy personeelmotor op die pad tussen Livarot en Vimoutiers aangeval en ernstig gewond het. die dag waarop hy ook twee Messerschmitt Bf 109's vernietig en nog twee beskadig het om sy oorwinning op 23.5 te bring. Op 29 Augustus 1944 het Le Roux in slegte weer opgestyg om bier vir sy eskader uit Engeland te gaan haal, maar hy was onderweg verlore.
Foto kopiereg IWM -versameling

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Supermarine Spitfire Mark VIII, JF294, word van Kaïro na Kaapstad gevlieg deur die vlieënde offisier G E “Tiger ” Camplin van RAF Transport Command Mediterranean Group, vir voorlegging aan die Suid -Afrikaanse regering. Van Maart tot September 1944 het Fg Off Camplin 'n aantal vlieënde demonstrasies in die Unie gehou en die vliegtuig is tydens die ‘Liberty Cavalcades ’ in 'n aantal dorpe uitgestal. JF294 is in Oktober 1944 na die SAAF oorgeplaas en is in 1948 aan die South African National Museum of Military History in Saxonwold oorgedra, waar dit tans vertoon word as � ’
Kopiereg op foto – Imperial War Museum

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Daar is groot Suid -Afrikaners, en dan is daar diegene wat op die skouers van groot manne staan, en hierdie man is een van hulle. Hierdie Suid -Afrikaner is waarskynlik die beste geallieerde vegter van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, en staan ​​kop en skouers bo ander vegters, en hierdie nogal onbesonge held is inderdaad een van die grootste seuns van Suid -Afrika.
Eskaderleier Marmaduke Thomas St. John “Pat ” Pattle DFC & Bar (3 Julie 1914-20 April 1941) was 'n Suid-Afrikaans gebore Tweede Wêreldoorlog vegvlieënier en vlieënde aas-vermoedelik die suksesvolste Wes-Geallieerde vegvlieënier van die oorlog.
Pat Pattle is gebore in Butterworth, Kaapprovinsie, Suid-Afrika, op 3 Julie 1914, die seun van Suid-Afrikaans gebore ouers van Engelse afkoms, sersant-majoor Cecil William John “Jack ” Pattle (geb. 5 September 1884) en Edith Brailsford (1881–1962). Marmaduke was named after his maternal grandfather, Captain Thomas Marmaduke Pattle, who resigned his commission in the Royal Horse Artillery and emigrated to South Africa from England in 1875.
Pattle was academically intelligent. He considered a degree and career in Mining engineering before developing an interest in aviation. He travelled to the United Kingdom and joined the RAF in 1936 on a Short Service Commission (SSC). Pattle negotiated the training programs with ease and qualified as a pilot in the spring, 1937.
Assigned to No. 80 Squadron RAF, he was sent to Egypt before the war in 1938. He remained there upon the outbreak of war in September 1939. In June 1940 Italy entered the war on the side of the Axis Powers and he began combat operations against the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force) gaining his first successes during the Italian invasion of Egypt. By November 1940 had gained four aerial victories but had been shot down once himself.
In November 1940 his Squadron was redeployed to Greece after the Italian invasion. Pattle achieved most of his success in the campaign. In subsequent operations he claimed around 20 Italian aircraft shot down. In April 1941 he faced German opposition after their intervention.
During the 14 days of operations against the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) Pattle claimed his 24—50th aerial victories all but three were German. Pattle claimed five or more aircraft destroyed in one day on three occasions, which qualified him for “Ace in a day” status. Pattle achieved his greatest success on 19 April 1941, claiming six air victories.
The very next day, having claimed more aerial victories than any other Western Allied pilot, he took off against orders, and suffering from a high temperature to engage German aircraft near the Greek capital Athens. He was last seen battling Messerschmitt Bf 110 heavy fighters. His fighter crashed into the sea during this dogfight, killing Pattle.
Pattle’s death was equally heroic as he had dived down to rescue a fellow pilot who had a Bf-110 on his tail, Pattle managed to save him but at the loss of his own life, as he was also been attacked by Bf-110’s during the rescue – and he chose to ignore them to save his buddy.
Pattle was a fighter ace with a very high score, and is sometimes noted as being the highest-scoring British and Commonwealth pilot of the war. If all claims made for him were in fact correct, his total could be in excess of 51. It can be stated with confidence that his final total was at least 40 and could exceed this value. Log-books and semi-official records suggest this figure while personnel attached to his Squadron suspect the figure to be closer to 60. A total of 26 of Pattle’s victims were Italian 15 were downed with Gloster Gladiators, the rest with Hawker Hurricanes. He is considered to be the highest-scoring ace on both Gladiator (15 victories) and Hurricane (35 victories) fighters.
Pattle is however regarded as the ‘unofficial’ Highest scoring Western Allied Fighter pilot for WWII. Unfortunately the squadron war dairy and his log books were lost in the retreat from Greece.
Pattle’s medals are on display at the Ditsong National Museum of Military History in Saxonworld Johannesburg.
Thank you to Tinus Le Roux for the use of this rather rare photo of Pat Pattle, copyright and use to Tinus Le Roux.
Content thanks to Wikipedia and Sandy Evan Hanes.

This is the Official Website for South African Military Veterans Organisation of the USA - SAMVOUSA Their ideal is our legacy - Their sacrifice our inspiration At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.


Welcome to North Weald Airfield History The famous Battle of Britain fighter base

North Weald Airfield was the famous Battle of Britain fighter base - RAF North Weald - near to the Essex town of Epping and easily accessible from London. The airfield is still very active, and on most summer week-ends visitors may see some of the veteran and classic aircraft based on the airfield, such as the Spitfire, Mustang, Invader, Vampire, Hunter, Dakotas, Yaks and Jet Provosts, land and take-off.

The airfield also has a museum, and North Weald Airfield Museum is all about people. It's about the service personnel and civilians, who have lived, worked, flown, fought and died here since the airfield opened in 1916.

The museum sets out to tell their story of a famous airfield that has protected London during two world wars. The story is told in displays, with photographs, artefacts and personal memories.

The NWAMA Collection is housed in the former RAF North Weald Station Office. The extensive collection of photographs and artefacts is displayed in theme rooms that tell the story of the airfield and its people from 1916 to the present day. It is without doubt one of the best documented former RAF stations. There is access to an extensively researched history of the airfield. The area is enhanced by the new Memorial. Combine a visit to the Museum and the RAF North Weald Memorial, dedicated to all who served at North Weald.


Days of destiny: 5 key dates in the Battle of Britain

What are the key dates in the Battle of Britain? Kate Moore picks out five moments from that fateful summer, when a group of Allied pilots were engaged in desperate battles with their German foes, hoping to secure control of the skies and prevent a Nazi invasion of Britain

Hierdie kompetisie is nou gesluit

Published: September 15, 2020 at 11:45 am

Following the collapse of France, the Luftwaffe had spent most of the latter half of June and early July 1940 preparing for the coming battle with the British. As Wintson Churchill electrified the nation with his soaring oratory, strengthened the resolve of the embattled British people and gave them hope, a small band of fighter pilots – just over 700 in total – would indeed act as that thin blue line of defence.

Tentative plans had been made for an invasion of England, codenamed Operation Seelöwe (Sea Lion), but Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, commander of the Luftwaffe, believed that his air force alone could bring Britain to her knees. Göring, however, failed to recognise that the campaigns in the Low Countries and France had taken their brutal toll, and the Luftwaffe could now only muster 1,380 bombers and 428 dive-bombers, nowhere near the 5,000 he liked to boast of in his propaganda.

Supplemented by 1,100 fighters, the Luftwaffe still enjoyed a numerical superiority of almost five to one over the British defenders. But Göring’s bomber pilots should have taken little comfort in this. They were simply ‘potential kills’ for Spitfires and Hurricanes, incapable of attacking the British fighters effectively themselves. If the British pilots were deployed correctly, then the dice would not be as heavily stacked against Fighter Command as is commonly believed. It all came down to how the imminent battle would be fought.

10 July 1940: the official start of the Battle of Britain

The battle began with the Kanalkampf, or Channel Battles phase, when the Germans launched sustained attacks against British shipping to prevent much-needed supplies from reaching the beleaguered British Isles. Such attacks had been taking place since late June, but early July saw a marked increase in the frequency and ferocity.

The tenth of the month was the date later chosen by the RAF as the official start date for the battle proper and this day certainly saw the largest dogfight fought over the Channel up to that point. By sundown the RAF had lost seven planes against the Luftwaffe’s 13. This was an astonishing rate of success for the outnumbered British fighter pilots. German losses should have sent alarm bells ringing within the Luftwaffe high command but instead they chose to believe their own inaccurate intelligence reports that claimed 35 British ‘kills’. It was a portent of things to come.

Explore the Battle of Britain and its wider context in the Second World War

13 August 1940: Eagle Day

With the outcome of the Kanalkampf phase of the battle inconclusive, Göring made plans for an all-out assault against Fighter Command on the British mainland. Codenamed Adlerangriff (Eagle Attack), it was due to commence on 13 August. Yet the weather was to throw German plans into disarray. Grey skies and mist forced the Luftwaffe high command to order a postponement, and when several bombers – unaware of the change in plans – arrived over England unprotected by their fighter escort, they were badly mauled. The Luftwaffe regrouped in the afternoon and, flying in better weather conditions, launched a determined assault.

Throughout August the airfields would come under virtually unremitting attack, causing devastating losses to fighters caught on the ground as well as support crew. But the Luftwaffe continued to rely on faulty intelligence, frequently attacking bases that were not operational fighter stations. A total of 87 RAF aircraft were destroyed on the ground on 13 August, but only one of these was from Fighter Command. Three British pilots were killed, while the Luftwaffe lost almost 90.

Fighter Command could take heart from its performance. The tactic of deploying in small numbers to prevent all available fighters being caught refuelling on the ground was paying dividends. However this policy required nerves of steel from the heavily outnumbered British pilots.

18 August 1940: The Hardest Day

Believing their attacks were decimating the much smaller force of Fighter Command, the Luftwaffe planned a series of ambitious assaults on key British airfields including Kenley, Biggin Hill, Hornchurch and North Weald. With the British pilots putting up a desperate defence, the attacks were soon reaping a grim harvest. In fact, 18 August saw both sides suffering their greatest number of losses so far: 69 German aircraft versus Fighter Command’s 29. It had been a terrible day but just one in an ongoing battle of attrition.

It is little wonder then that many pilots on the frontline of Britain’s defence were beginning to show the strain, as Spitfire pilot Alan Deere recalled: “You were either at readiness or you were in the air. It was pretty tiring. I was bloody tired, I can tell you very tired. My squadron, 54, I think we were down to five of the original pilots so were operating on a bit of a shoestring.”

Listen to historian James Holland describing how the Luftwaffe and RAF fought to control the skies over Britain in 1940, in a talk from our 2015 History Weekend at Malmesbury. He explains how Britain came out on top in one of the pivotal clashes of the Second World War:

7 September 1940: The Blitz begins

Dismayed by the failure to destroy Fighter Command and incensed by a British bombing raid on Berlin, Göring turned his attention to London. Now the citizens of the British capital would feel the full wrath of the Luftwaffe, and in the process either the RAF would be destroyed or the British government would be forced to the negotiating table.

British radar screens lit up as wave after wave of German bombers streamed towards London. It was an astonishing and terrifying sight, 350 Luftwaffe bombers accompanied by 617 German fighter aircraft.

Within an hour, every squadron in a 70-mile radius of the capital was either airborne or waiting to be scrambled. Fighter Command realised too late that the raid’s intended target was not its own airfields – and soon, bomb after bomb began to rain down on the docks, factories and houses below. The British were caught unprepared and lost 28 aircraft and 448 lives in the attacks. But once again there was no definitive result. Another test was required.

15 September 1940: Battle of Britain Day

A spell of bad weather had meant a delay in hostilities on Eagle Day. But 15 September dawned clear and bright. As the first German bombers began to appear one after the other, the British scrambled their fighter squadrons.

Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park, commander of No 11 Group, responsible for the defence of London, famously ordered all his aircraft into the air to defend the capital, abandoning his own policy of deliberate, smaller attacks by individual squadrons.

Drawing on reserves from No 12 Group to the north, the British fighters swarmed around the massed German formations, peeling the fighter escorts off into individual dogfights. It was a tactic that left the bombers unprotected – and they were soon falling in devastating numbers.

Park’s decision was absolutely critical. If the Germans had launched a second mass raid immediately after the first, British fighters would have been caught on the ground refuelling. But Park had banked on the Luftwaffe having no reserves, as was the case with Fighter Command. He took a huge gamble, but battles are not won by the timid. For months the Luftwaffe had believed that Fighter Command was on its last legs and all that was required was a final knock-out blow. As the Germans tallied up their devastating losses, it was clear that they had failed.

Kate Moore is the author of The Battle of Britain (2010), which was published by Osprey in association with the Imperial War Museum


No. 3 Squadron (RAF): Second World War - History

41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946

This website provides a nominal role of every pilot known to have served on 41 (F) Squadron RAF during its first 30 years, from April 1916 to March 1946, plus key data pertaining to the Squadron during this period.

41(R) Squadron is one of the oldest Royal Air Force squadrons in existence it will celebrate its Centenary in 2016. The unit has seen service from World War I, through Policing Duties in Aden in the 1930s, throughout World War II, and more recently in the First Gulf War and Yugoslavia.

At least 187 pilots served with the Squadron during World War I. Of these, 39 were killed in action or died on active service, 48 were wounded or injured, and 21 became Prisoners of War. They were credited with destroying 111 aircraft and 14 balloons, sending down 112 aircraft out of control, and driving down a further 25 aircraft and five balloons. The men were awarded four DSOs, six MCs, nine DFCs, four Mentions in Dispatches, and two French and two Belgian Croix de Guerre two of the ground crew also received Military Medals.

41 Squadron was formally disbanded on 31 December 1919, but re-formed again at RAF Northolt on 1 April 1923. At least 202 pilots served with the unit between 1 April 1923 and 2 September 1939. During this period, eleven men were killed and three injured in flying accidents, three injured in airscrew accidents on the ground, and one pilot killed and a second injured in automobile accidents. Although no Battle Honours were granted nor any decorations awarded during this time, the era produced ten Air Commodores, nine Air Vice-Marshals, two Air Marshals and two Air Chief Marshals.

A further 325 pilots served with 41 Squadron during World War II, of whom 64 were killed in action or flying accidents, or died of injuries, wounds or other causes on active service. Fifty-eight were wounded in action, or injured in flying or non-flying accidents. Three pilots were shot down over enemy territory and evaded capture, and four were shot down or ditched in the Channel and were rescued. Another 21 pilots became Prisoners of War. The men were awarded three DSOs, 21 DFCs, one DFM, and one Mention in Dispatches.

It is believed that at least another 29 pilots also served with the unit between 1 June 1945 and its disbanding on 31 March 1946. This suggests that almost 700 pilots served on 41 Squadron during its first thirty years. Biographical details and information on the service of every one of these men are included in this website.

This website was created on 31 January 2003 and was last updated on 3 July 2020


As with all aspects of the history of Bomber Command, Canadians played a major role in the Dams Raid. Of the 133 airmen that set out on the raid, 30&hellip

In 1939 the only aircraft available to Bomber Command were twin engined and includedthe Whitworth Whitley, Bristol Blenheim, Handley Page Hampden, and Vickers Wellington. As the war progressed the swift, twin-engined de avilland Mosquito&hellip


Imaging the Empire: the 3rd Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron in World War II.

The strategic bombardment of Japan by the Twentieth Air Force, combined with the Allied naval and land offensives, paved the way for victory over the Japanese Empire m 1945. To accomplish this feat. the XXth's bomber commands dropped more than 147,000 tons of bombs and supported the 509th Composite Group's two atomic strikes. The success of this aerial onslaught belonged in no small part to the efforts of one overworked and under-appreciated unit--the 3d Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (3d PRS).

The 3d PRS was activated on June 10, 1941, as the Army Air Corps expanded in the run up to World War II. Initially, the 3d PRS was used to chart the Western Hemisphere, but moved on to map the China-Burma-India Theater in December 1943. The unit was disestablished overseas and re-established at Smoky Hill Army Airfield, Kansas, in April 1944, for conversion to the Boeing F-13. (1)

On April 7, 1944, requirements were established for a B-29 modified to perform photo reconnaissance missions, with the first production F-13 to be delivered on September 19. Production B-29s were sent to the Denver Modification Center. where the bomb bay was sealed and extra fuel tanks added. A camera section was built in the aft pressurized section of the fuselage behind the central fire control station. A single vertical camera, a split-vertical two camera assembly, and a tri- metrogon camera assembly made up the mission payload of the F-13. In addition, a camera was added to image the scope of the AN/APQ-13 radar to provide radar images for blind bombing and navigation. (2)

Due to the delay in F-13 development, the 3d PRS's initial flight training in Kansas involved photographic missions flown in reconnaissance versions of the B-17 and type conversion flown on hand-me-down B-29s. (3) The squadron, commanded by ex-test pilot, Lt. Col. Patrick McCarthy since July 1943, worked through these delays and put the ground echelon aboard a troop train on August 3 for the trip to California and embarkation to Saipan. The air echelon stayed and trained with whatever was available. While a "training" F-13 arrived on August 24, the first operational F-13 for overseas use did not arrive in Kansas until October 4. As more operational aircraft arrived, crews were put through their paces and sent off to the fight, with the first F-13 departing on October 19. (4)

Just as the 3d PRS was reformed specifically to operate the F-13, the Twentieth Air Force was created for the sole purpose of using the B-29 to bomb Japan. Originally composed of the XXth Bomber Command, based in India, it started a desultory bombing campaign against Japan in mid-1944. But it was not until early 1945, after the creation of the XXIst Bomber Command, on Saipan and Guam, hat the campaign accelerated. Possessing scant data on Japan's war industry and home defenses, a long-range photographic squadron was critical to the success of this plan. (5)

The ground echelon of the 3d PRS, contained in the holds of six ships, pulled into Saipan's harbor on September 18. Twenty-five Quonset huts were erected within the squadron operations area, as a ground echelon, under Major Yost, rushed to get ready for flight operations that would commence as soon as their aircraft arrived. The first two F-13As winged into Saipan via Oahu and Kwajalein on October 30, and were immediately prepared for a mission. Two days later, Capt. Ralph Steakley, rested from the ferry flight, flew the first combat sortie with F-13A S/N 42-93852, "Tokyo Rose," imaging industrial installations and aircraft plants around Tokyo. Nineteen Japanese fighters rose to try and intercept the lone B-29 type aircraft--as well as to engage the F-13 with flak--to no avail. Steakley earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for this mission and would be awarded the Bronze Star four weeks later for saving aircraft during a Japanese raid on the base.

Images from this mission provided the Twentieth's planners their first good look at targets around Tokyo the images were quickly utilized on XXIst Bomb Command missions later that month. While the first mission was a stunning success, five of the next seven sorties ran into bad weather, causing the subsequent eight missions to be devoted to weather observation to help the meteorologists better understand Japan's weather. By the end of the month, nine F-13s were on strength and twenty-seven sorties were flown twelve more F-13s would arrive over the next three months, making up for three combat losses and an unlucky aircraft destroyed during a Japanese air raid on December 7, 1944. (6)

By the turn of the year, the squadron still under the steady hand of Lieutenant Colonel McCarthy, averaged thirty sorties per month and flew myriad imagery-related missions. Many missions expanded the knowledge of the Twentieth's staff by mapping large swaths of Japan and surveying air defenses to obtain accurate airfield and anti-aircraft artillery orders of battle. In addition, the squadron's F-13s would range across Japan, imaging industrial sections of Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, and other large cities to plot future targets or winging over a target area following a raid to provide battle damage assessment. The 3d PRS was also tasked to support the upcoming invasion of Okinawa, fighting bad weather on seventeen missions over a three-month period, before finding a clear day and mapping the entire island on February 28. The squadron also experimented with flying bomber support missions to aid in the survivability of their B-29 brethren. Between November 24 and December 13, five missions tasked F-13s with dropping "rope" (300-foot foil strips held vertical by a small parachute) out of flare chutes. Dispensing of this "chaff" would commence with the aircraft's climb to altitude and would continue for approximately 100 miles, stopping before the aircraft crossed the Japanese coast and flew on to its tasked targets. Their intent was to confuse Japanese defenders into believing the single F-13 was an inbound Twentieth Air Force bomber raid and drawing some Japanese interceptors away from the main bomber effort of the day. It appears the mission was not performed after December 1944, but by March the 3d PRS was preparing to fly additional bomber support missions with modified B-24 aircraft. (7)

A flight of the 3d PRS was assigned four modified B-24J/M aircraft for the purpose of electronically mapping the Japanese air defense system. The flight was essentially a self-contained unit within the 3d PRS and operated unique B-24 aircraft that were hand-built at the Fairfield Air Depot in Ohio. The bomb bay was sealed over, with the forward bomb bay housing additional fuel tanks and the aft bay housing a compartment for two electronic warfare officers and their equipment. At mid-fuselage, the radar operator worked with the navigator to accurately plot the aircraft location, while in the nose two Japanese linguists operated communications intercept gear. The aircraft carried sensitive electronic receivers that allowed the crew to intercept and plot Japanese radars, noting their electronic characteristics to aid in setting radar jammers used by the B--29 force. (8)

The Japanese linguists listened in on Japanese fighter controllers and enabled the Twentieth's intelligence staff to better understand Japanese fighter tactics. (9) The flight started flying operationally on May 18, 1945 and logged forty-two combat missions by the end of the war. These missions --many ranging up to twenty hours and including en route refueling stops--were flown in conjunction with bomber strikes and over time helped increase the survivability of not only the B-29s, but also the F-13s operated by their squadron mates. (10)

By late 1944, the 3d PRS crews settled into a routine that would last for the remainder of the war. A typical mission would start with mission planning the evening prior to the sortie. Crews were awakened two and one half hours prior to takeoff, allowing time for breakfast, a briefing and a truck ride to their assigned F-13. The aircraft was usually in the air before 4:00 AM, with a long over-water flight to Japan accomplished below 2,000 feet to decrease radar detection. LORAN assisted in getting the F-13 to its climb point 250 miles from the coast, a distance that allowed the aircraft to be over 30,000 feet by the time it crossed the target. This altitude helped decrease the effects of anti-aircraft fire and the chance of interception by Japanese fighters. Most missions met little opposition, Kawasaki Ki-61 and Ki-45 fighters along with Nakajima Ki-44 and J1N aircraft were all noted in 3d PRS combat debriefs as making single runs at the well-armed F-13s. A few missions reported simultaneous attacks by four to five fighters but the results were normally in favor of the 3d PRS crews due to the poor high altitude performance of the Japanese fighter aircraft. Flak was usually light as well, though some major cities would throw 50 to 100 rounds of ammunition at the single reconnaissance aircraft passing overhead. (11)

Though the 30,000 foot altitude protected the F-13s from the Japanese defenses, it could also hinder the crews from completing their primary mission. Many times in the winter and spring, the crews would find their targets cloud covered, leaving the pilots the option of searching for clear skies to shoot targets of opportunity or taking radar scope images of their tasked targets. Often the pilots would push their aircraft into a dive to seek out the base of the clouds, popping into the clear at 10,000 feet or lower and commencing their photo run at this riskier altitude. (12)

An hour or so would be spent making photo graphic runs before the aircraft turned for home, recovering up to fourteen hours after takeoff. The film was rushed to the squadron photo labs for processing immediately after landing, with high priority targets printed out and distributed to Twentieth Air Force leaders by 8:00 AM the next day. All useful photographs were interpreted and the results summarized in Damage Assessment Reports, Survey Reports, Photo Interpretation Reports and others were distributed throughout the Pacific. The Twentieth Air Force staff was an avid consumer of the Damage Assessment Reports, using the imagery assessments to judge the effectiveness of raids and call for re-attacks on targets if necessary. (13)

Like their bomber squadron brethren, the 3d PRS crews also had to contend with the mechanical challenges of operating the B-29-type airframe. Many missions were aborted due to mechanical problems, while others worked through engine problems to accomplish their assignments. Mission 272, flown by Lt. Robert Hickethier on June 8, 1945, was typical. F-13 [SN 42-93865] departed North field, on Guam, at 1501 Zulu on June 7, with the intent of imaging Kobe and Osaka. The flight to Japan was uneventful, though it was noted that engine No. 1 tended to backfire occasionally. Once landfall was made, engine No. 1 backfire d repeatedly and in an intense manner. After directing the flight engineer to reduce power on that engine, Lieutenant Hickethier, a 3d PRS veteran who had been at Guam since November, decided to press on with the mission. He encountered light, but accurate flak and bad weather. Nonetheless, flying through gaps in the clouds over Osaka, the crew succeeded in taking some photographs. After checking the rest of the targets and finding them socked in, Hickethier turned home toward Guam, landing on North Field almost exactly fourteen hours after departing. (14)

The squadron continued to base out of Saipan, though the balance of the squadron personnel transferred to Guam on January 11, 1945. Starting in mid-January, longer duration missions would launch from the more northern base of Saipan and recover at Guam, a trend that continued until April, when all missions were originating and ending out of Guam. Saipan continued to be a divert field for weather or low fuel, though it was replaced by Iwo Jima in late March after this island was secure. In April, the squadron stood up a maintenance detachment at Iwo for this purpose, servicing sixteen returning aircraft in July alone. (15)

The squadron charged hard through the spring of 1945, building upon the experience gained from the past five months of combat operations. Squadron F-13s ranged across Japan, splitting their time between bomb damage assessment, search and survey work, and target development imaging. Many target areas were re-tasked as Japan dispersed critical war industries throughout the countryside. For the rest of the war the 3d averaged fifty-five sorties per month, many accomplished in surges of four to five missions in a single day, followed by two or three down days, likely driven by maintenance, weather, and Twentieth Air Force operational tempo. These missions were flown by the twenty-five 3d PRS crews in the fifteen to eighteen aircraft carried on the unit roster. (16)

In April 1945, the 3d PRS dispatched a detachment of three aircraft and requisite personnel to Morotai Island to map the Netherlands East Indies for the Thirteenth Air Force. The F-13As ranged across Java, mapping the island and towns of Batavia and Soerabaja for a month before returning to Guam. The 3d PRS also expanded their repertoire over Japan, trying out different missions besides the standard daylight imagery profile they flew daily in and out. Six missions were flown in May and June to take films of Twentieth Air Force B-29 strikes over Japan, detailing bomber formations and damage from the attacks. Four night missions were also flown in April and May, shooting photos under the glare of photo flash bombs. Neither mission type appears to have caught on with the unit. (17) At the end of June, the squadron bid farewell to its commander of two years, Colonel McCarthy, who was succeeded by Maj. Robert Hutton, an experienced reconnaissance pilot.

Hutton "did not miss a beat," expanding squadron operations in July, the squadron winged further north and started to image the Korean peninsula. At the end of the month, three aircraft deployed to Iwo Jima and performed a ten-day, in-depth survey of Japanese merchant and naval vessels. By late July, aircraft started to use Okinawa as an alternate landing field, three F-13s landing at the newly-liberated island for maintenance or refueling. As the war entered its final month, the squadron gave two missions to the shadowy 509th Composite Group. The atomic bombers planned the routes for the post-strike survey flights flown by the F-13s and processed all the film, keeping all information on the atomic attacks in-house. (18)

It was fitting that the 3d PRS helped the 509th Composite Group knock Japan out of the war. In the ten months the squadron was part of the Twentieth Air Force, it flew 450 imagery and forty-two signals intelligence missions. Reconnaissance photos turned out to be a critical factor in the strategic bombing campaign against Japan, not only for locating Japan's industry for the first time, but also in providing timely damage assessment that allowed planners to adjust future bomber strikes. Indeed, the 3d was crucial in providing Maj. Gen. Curtis E. LeMay feedback in bomber effectiveness as he adjusted B-29 tactics in the spring of 1945. After hostilities ceased, the squadron continued its survey missions throughout the western Pacific, updating maps for postwar use until the call came to case its colors in March 1947. With little fanfare, the squadron that had helped direct the strategic bombing of Japan faded into oblivion. (19)

The 3d PRS helped set the stage for postwar Strategic Air Command's reconnaissance efforts. As opposed to Eighth Air Force operations in Europe, that utilized Royal Air Force imagery and electronic reconnaissance efforts, the Twentieth Air Force was a completely American show. Airmen were able to see the criticality of strategic reconnaissance for a bombing campaign, and for the need to have this information available at the start of the campaign, not mid-way through it. Strategic Air Command's whole-hearted embrace of the reconnaissance mission for the next forty years was due in no small part to a solitary squadron and its odd collection of modified B-24 and B-29 aircraft. The ripple effects of these missions are felt even today, as daily 55th and 9th Reconnaissance Wings' sensitive reconnaissance operations probe the fringes of future hot spots, and preparing the battle space for possible follow on operations. Never again should we go into a bombing campaign unprepared.

(1.) Mauer Mauer, World War H Combat Squadrons of the United States Air Force, (Smithmark Publishers, Woodbury, N.Y., 1992), pp. 21-22 3 PRS, Historical Data, Narrative History, Documents of 3d Photo Reconnaissance Squadron [3d PRS], Period: 13 Apr 1944 to 1 Nov 1944, Air Force Historical Research Agency, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Apr 1944-May 1945, Maxwell AFB, Ala. [hereafter, AFHRA]

(2.) David Morse, "Eye in the Sky: The Boeing F-13," Journal American Aviation Historical Society, Summer 1981, pp. 150-53.

(3.) HQ, Second Air Force, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Memo for Commanding General, Army Air Forces, Attn: AC of Air Staff, Training, Reconnaissance Training Branch, dated June 3, 1944, subj "Periodic Report Third Photo, Reconnaissance Squadron (VLR)," HQs 499th Bombardment Group (VH), SHAAF, Salina, Kansas, unaddressed memo, July 31, 1944, subj "Report on the Status of 3rd Photo Recon Squadron as of 31 July 1944," AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-Su-Co, 1942-1944.

(4.) 3 PRS, Historical Data, Narrative History, Documents of 3d Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, [PRS] Period: 13 April 1944 to 1 Nov 1944, AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3HI, Apr-1944-May 1945.

(5.) Alvin Coox, "Strategic Bombing in the Pacific, 1942-1945," in R. Cargill Hall, Case Studies in Strategic Bombardment, (Wash., D.C.: Center for Air Force History, 1998), pp. 275-99.

(6.) 3 PRS, History of the Advance and Air Echelon of the 3rd Photo Reconnaissance Squadron from 18 September 1944 to 3 December 1944. AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Sep 44 -Dec 44 Public Relations Office, Twentieth Air Force, Release No. 329, Aug 26, 1945. AFHRA. Sq-Photo-3-SuCo, Aug 44-Oct 45.

(7.) 3 PRS, History of the Advance and Air Echelon of the 3rd Photo Reconnaissance Squadron from 18 September 1944 to 3 December 1944. AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Sep 44-Dec 44 3 PRS, History for Month of January 1945. AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Jan-45, 3 PRS, History for Month of February 1945. AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Feb 45.

(8.) "The Search for Jap Radar," Radar, Issue 10, 30 June 1945, Radiation Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology reprinted March 1985, Product Support Department, Ferranti Defense Systems, Ltd.

(9.) Office of the Communications Officer, Headquarters, XXI BC. Memo to DCS/Operations, subj: RCM Ferret Aircraft, dated 25 February 1945. Filed in Monograph II-RCM Reconnaissance and Countermeasures, 24 November 1944-June 1945. August 1945. AFHRA, 762.041-2 Larry Tart and Robert Keefe, The Price of Vigilance: Attacks on American Surveillance Flights (N.Y.: Ballantine Books, 2001), pp. 170-71.

(10.) For additional information on "R Flight", please see the author's article in March 2011, issue of FlyPast magazine.

(11.) Public Relations Office, Twentieth Air Force, Release No. 329, August 26, 1945. AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-Su-Co, Aug 44-Oct 45,.

(12.) Public Relations Office, Twentieth Air Force, Release No. 329, August 26, 1945. AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-Su-Co, Aug 44-Oct 45.

(14.) 3 PRS, Combat Mission No. 272, Sq-Photo-3-Su-Ops, 8 Jun 45, AFHRA.

(15.) 3 PRS, History for Month of January 1945. AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Jan 45 3 PRS, History for Month of February 1945. AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Feb 45 3 PRS, History for Month of April 1945. AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Apr-45, Headquarters 3rd Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, APO 234, Memo for Commanding Officer, 3d PRS, dated Jan 22, 1945, subj "Operations of 3rd Photo Recon Squadron from Guam, Staging at Forward Bases.", SqPhoto-3-Su-Co, Aug 44-Oct 45 3 PRS, History for Month of July 1945, AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Jul 45.

(16.) 3 PRS, History for Month of February 1945. AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Feb 45, Maxwell AFB, Ala., 3 PRS, History for Month of March 1945, AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Mar 45, Maxwell AFB, Ala. 3 PRS, History for Month of April 1945, AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Apr 45. 3 PRS, Mission Reports 31-112, AFHRA Sq-Photo-3-Su-Ops, Feb-Mar 45.

(17.) 3 PRS, History, May 1945, AFHRA Sq-Photo-3-HI, May 4. 3 PRS, History for Month of April 1945, Sq-Photo3-HI, Apr 45 3 PRS, History, June 1945, AFHRA SqPhoto-3-HI, Jun 4 3 PRS, Mission Reports 113-310. AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-Su-Ops, Apr-Jun 45.

(18.) David Morse, "Eye in the Sky: The Boeing F-13," Journal American Aviation Historical Society, Summer 1981, p. 159-60 3 PRS, History for Month of July 1945. AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Jul 45 3 PRS, History for Month of August 1945, AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Aug 45.

(19.) 3 PRS, History for Month of August 1945, AFHRA, Sq-Photo-3-HI, Aug 45.


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