|F/O G.A.M. Struthers, DFC (NZ421789)||Looking for information on F/O (Pilot) George Alexander Monckton STRUTHERS, DFC (NZ421789). He served with the 180 Squadron and was killed 30 June 1944 when Mitchell II Fw169 crashed near Chiddingfold after take-off.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Christian ....Read More.||PennfieldParish on 24th January 2010 02:07:28|
|F/O G.A.M. Struthers, DFC (NZ421789)||Hello,
There's an entry for him in "by such deeds" by Group Captain Colin Hanson, published by Volplane Press. Born in Hastings, 31th December 1916, joined the R.N.Z.A.F. on 7th March 1942.
The citation of his D.F.C. (19th May 1944) reads : During an attack on Livossart [on 9th February 1944], Flying Officer Struthers was captain of an aircraft which was hit under the port wing by heavy anti-aircraft fire. The engine was rendered unserviceable and large holes were torn in the wing. Flying Officer Struthers regained control and succeeded in flying the aircraft back to this country. While attempting to make an emergency landing, however, the disturbance of the airflow caused by putting down the undercarriage, made the aircraft uncontrollable. Flying Officer Struthers found that they were heading straight for a row of cottages. By a supreme effort Flying Officer Struthers, with the assistance of his navigator, managed to lift the aircraft over the cottages, but in doing so struck some high tension cables and bursts into flames. He undoubtedly saves many lives at the cost of severe injuries to himself.
The wireless operator air gunner, W/O David Charles HAMMOND R.N.Z.A.F., died in this crash.
On 30th June 1944, on his 25th sortie, his aircraft crashed on take-off, for a bombing mission against enemy tank concentration at Thury-Harcourt.
From Errol Martyn's "For your Tomorrow volume 2", the Mitchell involved on 9th February 1944 was FL689 'A', which had taken off at 08:30 hrs. The row of cottages was at Eastdean. Hammond, aged 21, is buried at Brookwood. Struthers was admitted at East Grinstead Hospital dangerously ill, but on recovery rejoined the Squadron.
On 30th June, Struthers was flying Mitchell II FW169 (no individual letter quoted), which made a normal take off at 01:45 hrs in patchy ground mist and slight haze, but began turning below safety height. Moments later crashed and burned on colliding with 35-foot high trees at Chiddingfold, 4 miles west of Dunsfold. All five crew died, the captain being buried at Brookwood. He had 438 flying hours, 105 solo on Mitchells, 24th ops.
"For your tomorrow volume 3" also by Errol offers a biography on page 459. He was a farmer at his father's farm in Hastings. He served in the NZ Army /TF (1st Hawkes Bay Regt) for 2 or 3 years, joined the RNZAF at Rotorua Initial Training Wing as an airman pilot under training, on 7th March 1942. To No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School on 1st May 1942, embarked for Canada 14th August 1942, attached RCAF 31st August 1942, 3 M depot 4th September 1942, No. 12 Service Flying Training School on 26th September 1942, pilot's badge and Sgt on 22nd January 1943, commissioned on same date, 34 O.T.U. (Ventura) on 6th February 1943, No. 1 Y depot 16th May 1943, attached RAF and embarked for U.K. on 28th May 1943, No. 12 PD&RC 5 th June 1943 (attached No. 29 E.F.T.S. from 24th to 30th July], No. 13 O.T.U. (Mitchell) on 17th August 1943, to No. 180 Squadron ....Read More.||jossleclercq on 24th January 2010 02:49:48|
|F/sgt Reginald Exon 180 Sqr 30.6.44||Hi,
Fri 30 Jun 1944.
Allied Expeditionary Air Force
Bombing raid against a tank concentration at Thury-Harcourt, Normandy, France.
180 Squadron, RAF (Dunsfold, Surrey - 139 Wing, 2 Group, 2nd Tactical Air Force)
Mitchell II FW169 - made a normal take-off at 0145 in patchy ground mist and slight haze, but began turning below safety height. Moments later crashed and burned on colliding with 35-foot high trees at Chiddingfold, 4 miles west of Dunsfold. All five crew died, the captain being buried at Brookwood, Woking, Surrey.
Captain: NZ421789 Fg Off George Alexander Monckton STRUTHERS, DFC, RNZAF - Age 27.
438hrs (105 solo on Mitchell) 24th op.
It will be recalled that a wounded Struthers was awarded the DFC for his actions on 9 February 1944, when he brought back to England his badly crippled Mitchell for an emergency landing, in which Wt Off D C Hammond RNZAF, lost his life.
For Your Tomorrow:A Record of New Zealanders who have Died while Serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Forces since 1915. Volume Two: Fates 1943-1998.
NZ421789 F/O (Pilot) George Alexander Monckton STRUTHERS DFC RNZAF +
J/88238 P/O (Pilot) Ieuan HADDOCK RCAF + (of New York City, USA)
141546 F/O (Nav.) Alexander Smith Baird McLACHLAN RAFVR +
1177574 F/Sgt (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Thomas Percy ROOK RAFVR +
161071 F/Sgt (Air Gnr.) Reginald Herbert EXON RAFVR +
Col. ....Read More.||COL BRUGGY on 20th July 2010 02:13:46|
|F/sgt Reginald Exon 180 Sqr 30.6.44||Reggie Exon was part of Course No.9 (AGs) at No.34 Operational Training Unit, Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick. Here is what information I have about him:
"Reggie went to Bristol Grammar School but later joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. When war broke out he was, of course, directed into the R.A.F. and in March 1943 he was sent on Course No. 9 (Air Gunners) at No.34 Operational Training Unit, Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick (Canada) and on his return to England he was posted to No.180 Squadron which was based at R.A.F. Dunsford. It was part of No.139 Airfield under the command of 2nd Tactical Air Force. Although initially part of Bomber Command the unit had been created to perform bombing missions in preparation for and after the D-Day invasion with night intruder raids over Normandy.
A friend of his, Monty Veale, remembered meeting up with Reggie on one of his leaves in June 1944 and they started out from the Talbot to do a round of the local pubs where they spent an “unusually hectic evening”. As he said - “there was an intensity about it which is hard to explain but they were living for the day!” That was the last drink the friends had together as Flight Sergeant Reginald Herbert Exon, was killed a few days later on the 30th June 1944.
On that particular night F/Sgt Exon was detailed to take part in bombing mission against an enemy tank concentration at Thury-Harcourt in a B-25 (Mitchell Bomber Mark II) serial no. FW169 and the 22 year old was to serve as the air gunner on this aircraft. The plane made a normal take off at 01:45 hrs in patchy ground mist and slight haze, but began turning below safety height. Moments later it crashed and burned on colliding with 35-foot high trees at Chiddingfold, 4 miles west of Dunsfold in Sussex and burst into flames. All of the five man crew, including the New Zealand pilot and Canadian wireless operator, were killed instantly.
Reggie’s death must have come as a terrible shock to Herbert and his wife Mary and when was left of his incinerated body was returned to his grieving parents they buried him in Keynsham Cemetery on 5th July 1944.
In the following month on 26th August following the crash of a Wellington Bomber on a hillside a mile south of Keynsham, between Chewton Keynsham and Burnett, Herbert, ironically, was the one to discover the body of another dying airman, wireless operator Sgt. William Hankin whose parachute had not opened, impaled on bean poles on the allotments at the rear of the High Street. "
I also have a photograph of Reggie's gravestone. If you would like a copy send me a private message.
G Christian Larsen
President Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nbpennfi/penn8bAirStation.htm ....Read More.||PennfieldParish on 20th July 2010 05:35:57|