|F/Sgt Thomas Galbraith PAXTON, 1053584, 30 Sqn d. April 7th 1942?||Simon,
During my research into the attack on Colombo I've been able to match the following 30 Sqn Hurricanes to the pilots indicated:
BG827 / RS-W: Plt Off James Henry “Jimmy” Whalen RCAF
BG795 / RS-N: Plt Off Garth Elliott Caswell RAAF (shot down, KIA)
BM910 / RS-?: Flg Off T.M.C. Allison (shot down, wounded)
Z5447 / RS-?: Sgt Allan John Browne RAAF (shot down, KIA)
BE352 / RS-O: Plt Off Donald Geffene RAFVR (shot down, KIA)
BG887 / RS-?: Sgt Whittaker RNZAF
According to Halley, BG880 and BM930 were among the 30 Sqn aircraft shot down and destroyed on 5 April but I have not been able to match either of them to a pilot. The candidates are Paxton and the following other shot down pilots:
Plt Offr Donald Alexander McDonald RCAF
Plt Off Herbert Kenneth Cartwright RAFVR
Flt Sgt Louis Anthony (Tony) Ovens, DFM (KIA)
I also have a list of serial numbers for Hurricanes which were on 30 Sqn's charge at some point, but not necessarily on 5 April 1942, and which were SOC after 5 April 1942. Among them are:
BG687 To GI airframe 1.3.44
BG692 SOC 30.6.44.
BG748 Hit mast in dive during dummy attack and crashed in sea 30m W of Colombo, 28.7.42
BG916 Hit slipstream of another aircraft in turn and dived into lake near Moratura, Ceylon, 20.4.42.
BM918 SOC 14.10.44
Bloody Shambles vol. 2 says that McDonald crash-landed his "badly damaged" aircraft "on an area of grass in front of the Galle Face Hotel", into which he walked and asked for a drink at the bar. So perhaps his aircraft was repaired and not SOC until long after 5 April, so maybe one of the five aircraft listed immediately above was his. However, the same source says that Cartwright's aircraft was written off and that the "wreck" of Ovens' aircraft was found in a reservoir. Paxton baled out of his aircraft, so we can assume that it was destroyed too. So, the best that I can say is that Paxton may have been flying BG880, BM930 or this final, unidentified shot down aircraft.
Rob ....Read More.||Rob Stuart on 31st January 2015 08:07:14|