|Liberator Mk II AL series||This may not help you Mike but I will ask this out anyway, May 9, 2009.
My father was posted to 1653 Liberator CU at Burn Yorks in August 1942 and that unit changed (I believe) into 511 Squadron at Lyneham. He left 511 Squadron in April 1943.
It seems that my father was very lucky to be moved away from two Liberator Mk II AL that crashed.
The serial numbers listed on Joseph F. Baugher site tell a lot of stories about my father's airplanes that he may never have known.
According to my father's log book; on September 10 & 13, he flew in Liberator AL624.
According to Joseph F. Baugher site; "AL624 ... Flew into hill in cloud, Millfore, Kirkcudbright Sep 14, 1942"
On September 14, my father was lucky to be in AL635 and he may never have know that the very plane he was in the day before had been the one that crashed. He was maybe too busy, flying the next day, to have learned about it.
For August 18, 1942 my father's log book lists his Liberator's pilot as P/O Betts and adds a note saying he was "Killed Sept 42 Lib. Crash".
I am wondering if anyone can tell me if it was P/O Betts that was flying in that Liberator AL624 on September 14.
Regards, Patrick. ....Read More.||Patrick on 9th May 2009 08:26:05|
|Liberator Mk II AL series||Patrick,
Yes, P/O. Betts was a member of the crew of AL624 when the aircraft was lost on 14 September 1942.
The aircraft took off from Burn on a cross-country exercise when it flew into a hill near Millfore in Kirkcudbright.
Name: BETTS, IVAN HAROLD
Initials: I H
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Pilot Officer (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Date of Death: 14/09/1942
Service No: 109064
Additional information: Son of Comdr. Ernest Edward Alexander Betts, C.B.E., R.N., and Grace Emily Betts, of Radipole, Dorsetshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Grave 607.
Cemetery: KIRKINNER CEMETERY
Peter ....Read More.||peter on 9th May 2009 09:19:38|
|Liberator Mk II AL series||Thank you Peter I have been doing a follow up letter but, I will slip this bit in, about Dad's 1st Gibraltar/Cairo trip in a Liberator.
Hello Mike, May 11 - 16, 2009. I thought this Engine Trouble letter might be on the lines of your interest.
I wrote you a little thing to your e-mail to the address you gave me and have not gotten any answer yet. It is a real shame that we can never trust e-mail anymore.
- - - - - -
The normal pilot of my dad's Liberators was P/O Chetlle (Father pointed him out in a picture back in the 1970s) for August & September of 1942 for 1653 Liberator CU at Burn Yorks. My father (T. W. Connolly) did no flying in October and November 1942.
My father made the Gibraltar/Cairo trip only twice in Liberators for 511 Squadron from Lyneham. (He delivered a Wellington out that way in April 1942 to make it 3 three trips in all that he made [by the way his log notes a 2nd W/oP named 'Gregg' "Killed at Lyneham. Nov/42" in that Wellington so that loss may have been from 511 Squadron also].)
This is on the lucky flight of the crew of Dad's December/January trip and Dad & crew flew AM911 a Liberator I. P/O Chetlle moved over to 2nd pilot, for F/O Saunders to be in charge of this long flight. This Flying Officer Saunders, it seems, had the clout to make the decision to turn back to Gibraltar when the Engine went "U/S" [- and I do not know what that means - if anyone can help me out? -] maybe one third of the way home. From what I interpret from Dad's Log book it must have been a scary trip but he never talked about this one.
Liberator AM911 must have seemed an old crate with its short nose (and Dad must have felt much safer in the newer AL624, a Liberator II) and Dad never said, or never would have thought to boast or know to say 'I flew the second Liberator to come off the assembly line from England to Cairo'. Now some of us serial number freaks can look back and say that Liberator AM911 was maybe the second Liberator to come off the assembly line. We can maybe boast "my father flew the second Liberator to come off the assembly line (really a 'prototype aircraft') from England to Cairo on a dangerous night flight that suffered engine trouble and survived. The crew listed in Father's log for the flights is the only one that does not have any members noted as 'KILLED'.
My transcript from Dad's Log book;
Dec. 19 1942 14:00 Liberator AM911 F/O Saunders 2nd Navigator Air test. Day 01.05.
Dec. 22 1942 04:00 Liberator AM911 F/O Saunders 2nd Navigator Lynham - Gib (1730 Mi). Day 07.05 /Night 02.00.
Dec. 24 1942 18:00 Liberator AM911 F/O Saunders 2nd Navigator Gib - Cairo (2500 Mi). Day 02.35 /Night 10.30.
Dec. 29 1942 23:00 Liberator AM911 F/O Saunders 2nd Navigator Cairo - Gib (2560 Mi). Day 06.30 /Night 07.00.
Jan. 2 1943 01:00 Liberator AM911 F/O Saunders 2nd Navigator Gib - Lynham (Retuanet to Gib. Engine U/S). Day 00.55 /Night 06.00.
Jan. 5 1943 11:00 Liberator AM911 F/O ....Read More.||Patrick on 16th May 2009 10:11:09|
|1311904 Sergeant John Churley FREESTONE (RAFVR)||Hello Doug,
14 September 1942
No.1653 Conversion Unit
Liberator II AL624
Took off Burn on a cross-country exercise, during which the bomber flew into a hill, shrouded in cloud, near Millfore in Kirkcudbright. Five were taken to the Royal Air Force plot in the village of Kirkinner, nearly 3 miles south of Wigtown, and laid to rest in the local cemetery. The others were claimed by their next of kin. P/O Betts was the son of Commander Ernest Edward Alexander Betts CBE RN.
P/O I H Betts +
Sgt D E Warner +
Sgt J C Freestone +
Sgt G C Boar +
Sgt G D Calder RAAF +
Sgt J E C A Steele-Nicholson +
Sgt V F Talley +
Sgt J Bowrey +
Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses Vol.8: Heavy Conversion Units and Miscellaneous Units 1939-1947.
See also: National Archives of Australia. NAA: A705 163/95/372
Col. ....Read More.||COL BRUGGY on 4th June 2009 02:30:00|
|1311904 Sergeant John Churley FREESTONE (RAFVR)||West Freugh is to the South East of Stranraer, whereas Wigtown was a different station to the east along the coast by about 15 to 20 miles (in a straight line). The nearest town to Wigtown (other than Wigtown itself) is Newton Stewart.
Katybird, I went to the crash site of AL624 last October, the weather wasn't good but I took quite a few photos of the site, I photographed the graves of those buried at Kirkinner Cemetery in July last year. ....Read More.||alclark on 31st August 2011 09:02:41|
|1311904 Sergeant John Churley FREESTONE (RAFVR)||Keep an eye on Aircrashsites-scotland web page as the crash of AL624 is due to be added this month. I have visited the site on a couple of occasions when the area is shrouded in low cloud, makes it easy to understand how the accident happened, some of the wreckage is scattered for a considerable distance from the impact point.
http://www.aircrashsites-scotland.co.uk/ ....Read More.||AL90 on 3rd September 2011 05:14:15|