Seventy Years ago, Today, 3rd July 1945, De Havilland Mosquito KB416 , of No.627 Squadron crashed at RAF Woodhall Spa. The pilot Flt Lt D N Johnson was attempting to forceland after the misfiring of one of the engines.. A series of events caused it to stall and crash. Johnson perished. But his navigator, Pilot Officer J D Finlayson survived, thanks to a remarkable attempt by one of the Crash Crew members on site, Corporal Stephen J Cogger, and a civilian who arrived at the site. Finlayson was initially trapped trying to extricate himself and was ultimately helped by Cogger and others on the site. During the rescue attempt, Cpl Cogger received burns on his face and body.
By Matt Poole
Today is the 70th anniversary of the downing of 355 Sqn Liberator KH250, hit by AA fire during an attack on Port Blair, S. Andaman Island (the westernmost point of Japanese expansion, I believe) on 17 May 1945.
Of the eleven-man crew, only one was able to bale out: 1516012 F/Sgt Harold WYNNE. After three months of incarceration in Japanese hands in Port Blair, Wynne was executed by lethal injection on 17 August 1945 — after Hirohito’s surrender radio broadcast. Wynne and four of his crewmates, including their skipper, 177155 F/O Rowland TOTHAM, were on their first op in the Far East after completing a tour on Lancasters of 101 Sqn. Totham was awarded a DFC for his 101 Sqn tour. Continue reading 70 Years ago … Today…
Published by Amberley Books, hardback, 288 pages, 70 photos, £25
The book tells story of Wg Cdr Bob Doe’s RAF career. From humble beginnings he joined the RAFVR in 1938 and then became fighter pilot. But it was not that easy and his success in the Battle of Britain was against the odds as he thought he was the worst pilot in the squadron. Continue reading Fighter Pilot: The Life of Battle of Britain Ace Bob Doe
Only one airwoman received the coveted Caterpillar badge during the war – Corporal F.H. Poser, who jumped from 600 feet while serving with a meteorological unit in the Middle East. This is Corporal Felice Helga Poser 2025650 who was originally from Austria.
She was pax in Anson NX592 which developed problems at (or near) Deversoir. Another airwoman in the same aircraft was 2992592 LACW Lili Bankier who also had to jump from the a/c. Continue reading Corporal Felice Helga Poser – The only women Caterpillar Club member in WW2
Written by Jonathan Laverick, this book is about a true-life murder mystery of two British airmen in Bostwana–and the extraordinary trial that followed that changed the lives of an entire people. Jonathan started this book after first learning about an incident in a 2011 post on the RAF Commands Forum.
On October 4, 1943, two RAF pupil pilots, Walter Adamson and Gordon Edwards, took off from RAF Kumalo in what is now Zimbabwe. Some time later they were forced to land their aircraft in the northern salt pans of British Protectorate of Bechuanaland. Continue reading The Kalahari Killings
Squadron Leader Bob Johnson, who has died aged 96, was a Canadian Hurricane pilot who managed to evade the murderous attentions of the Japanese enemy for 23 days after being shot down on a reconnaissance patrol over the Irrawaddy river in Burma.
Dartmoor Air Crashes by Robert Jones
Synopsis: This is a book about the consequences of the air war over Devon. Describing Dartmoor as the last wilderness in southern England, it gives details of forty six aircraft that crashed there during World War Two.
From Pavel Vancata
(Book Launch Photos added)
I would like to introduce a forthcoming book about Liberators with No. 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF. I had the opportunity to be one of many helpers and I can strongly recommend this book as the main author is the greatest expert on B-24 Liberator in the RAF service subject I have ever met! Continue reading B24 Liberator in RAF Coastal Command Service – 311 Squadron
Memoir of Fred Whittaker of 30 Sqdn
Fred Whittaker took part in 30 Sqdn’s battle with the Japanese in Ceylon in April ’42. He wrote a short memoir of his wartime activities. The following is a transcription of notes Fred Whittaker made of his RAF career, clearly to give a talk (possibly to the Businessmen`s Club in Irvine, of which he was a member). They have been, to a very slight degree, edited and tidied up, because the originals were in some cases rough drafts, and the same material which appeared in different forms has here been amalgamated.
Editorial comments are in italics. From the point marked with a line of asterisks the memoirs are unedited, apart from the correction of obvious slips of the pen, changes to punctuation and the insertion of a paragraph from the end of the notes, clearly marked “Intro”, into its proper place. Continue reading Memoirs of Sgt Fred Whittaker – Hurricane Pilot