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Calais - A Fight To The Finish - May 1940

Calais - A Fight To The Finish - May 1940
Author: Stephen Southway (Guest)
Time Stamp:
15:40:43 09 August 2001
Post:
Hello everyone,

Whilst reading a book about the above, it mentioned that 12 Lysanders flew to Calais and arrived at dawn on 27 May 1940 to re-supply the defenders (30 Brigade). Little did the RAF know that the Germans had captured the town the previous night.

Can anyone tell me which squadrons provided the aircraft. It said 3 Lysanders were brought down, but were there any other aircraft lost in this action. It shows in one photograph, a Lysander wrecked on the ramparts of Fort Risban and another of a dead airman in the wreckage of another Lysander (could be the same aircraft).

Is it possible to provide the names of the crews who lost their lives and names of the others who took part in the operation, as the book provided no information of the squadrons etc. This will give more information to the text enclosed in above book

Thanks in advance.

Stephen Southway


RE: Calais - A Fight To The Finish - May 1940
Author: Henk Welting (Guest)
Time Stamp:
20:15:20 09 August 2001
Post:
Hi Stephen,

Here's what I've on file:

Lysander L4782 - 26 Sqn - crashed on the 1914-18 War Cem. at Blriot-Plage, killing P/O H.D. DIXON and LAC D.McL. NIMMO.

Lysander L6863 - 26 Sqn - crashed near Fort Risbon/Calais, killing P/O E.E. HOWARTS (from Nw.Zealand) and LAC J.A. BOLTON.

Lysander N 1243 - 26 Sqn - crashed just behind the Citadel, killing P/O J.H. DEAS and Sgt T. McLOUGHLIN.

Regards,

Henk.


RE: Calais - A Fight To The Finish - May 1940
Author: Hugh A. Halliday (Guest)
Time Stamp:
22:47:50 09 August 2001
Post:
Also involved were Hawker Hectors. The following from a data base on awards to Canadians enrolled in the RAF:

EDY, F/L Allen Laird (41566) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.613 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 5 November 1940. Born in Winnipeg, 1916; home there; Commonwealth War Graves Commission records stated his parents lived at St.Andrews, Manitoba (a village downstream from Winnipeg). Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, 14 January 1939. Served in No.613 Squadron in France; No.602 Squadron in Battle of Britain. Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. No citation although document Air Ministry Bulletin 2180 points to supply drops to Calais. Killed in flying accident 5 December 1941. Public Record Office Air 2/6085 (Non-Immediate Awards, 1940-1941) has recommendations for three DFCs to members of No.613 Squadron - S/L Alan Ford Anderson (CO), F/L Donald Walker (a flight commander who led the operations of 25 and 27 May 1940) and P/O Edy, whose portion read as follows:

On 25th May 1940, Pilot Officer Edy was a member of a formation of aircraft detailed to carry out a dive-bombing attack on a heavy battery near Calais. He pressed home his attack in the face of severe anti-aircraft fire with the utmost courage. His bombs were observed to fall inside the target area, and it was later reported that the battery had been moved. On 27th May 1940, this officer took part in low flying bombing and supply dropping sorties over the Calais garrison area and although his single front gun failed, the raid was carried out at a very low altitude. By the skilful manipulation of his aircraft Pilot Officer Edy not only evaded the enemy anti-aircraft defences, but enabled his air gunner to put two machine gun posts out of action. He remained over the target, drawing the enemy fire to himself, until the supply dropping aircraft no longer required support. Pilot Officer Edy has shown a complete disregard of personal danger and has set a fine example by his keenness and magnificent spirit.


RE: Calais - A Fight To The Finish - May 1940
Author: Stephen Southway (Guest)
Time Stamp:
00:39:14 10 August 2001
Post:
Hi Henk & Hugh,

Thanks for the information, especially about the other aircraft involved in the above operation concerning Calais.

If anyone has further material concerning the above then the more ther merrier. Always willing to learn more about RAF WW 2 operations and the like.

Besides this operation which other Lysander Squadrons were involved in covert or re-supply operations.

The courage of which can only be admired.

Cheers.

Stephen Southway