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  1. Hello Ari, I hope this message finds you well. I have just started to gather information on a family member last in WW2. His name is Donald Lester and I am contacting you as I located a post where you mentioned him and the details of his last flight 6 August 1944. All of the information you shared that day (with Henk) was in line with what I have gathered. I would like to know if you would be able to share any more details you have on Donald with me please? Thanking you, Tammy
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    Hi Ari

    This is what I have. It may not help you however if you are trying to determine information about crewing up as this was a scratch crew. Unfortunately I don't know which regular crew Mitchell was normally with. I do have a photo of Danny Everett (taken when he was with 158 Sqn) but will need your e mail address if you would like me to send it to you

    Cheers

    Eddie

    EVERETT, Daniel Bulmer
    Known as ‘Dan’ or ‘Danny’

    Service No. 1263497

    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    Background

    Enlisted at Edinburgh

    Training

    No. 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit, Marston Moor

    Service

    Posted to No. 158 Squadron at Lissett 28/2/43

    Flew as 2nd Pilot on Operations to

    8/3/43 – Nuremberg (F/Lt. A.S. Woolnough)

    11/3/43 – Stuttgart (F/Sgt. R.D. Roberts)

    Flew as Pilot and Captain on Operations to

    28/3/43 – St. Nazaire

    3/4/43 – Essen

    4/4/43 – Kiel

    The mid upper gunner sighted a twin engined aircraft, presumed to be a Me 110 with a yellow light in the nose at approx 320 yards range, dead ahead, 45 degrees up. The enemy aircraft dived to attack and the Halifax turned to starboard and then did a violent turn to port. The enemy aircraft did not fire but the Mid Upper gunner on the Halifax fired a three second burst. The enemy aircraft broke away to starboard quarter and was lost. 150 rounds were fired by the Halifax

    Detached to No. 1502 BAT Flight, Driffield 9/4/43

    20/4/43 - Stettin

    12/5/43 – Duisburg

    13/5/43 – Bochum

    23/5/43 – Dortmund

    25/5/43 – Dusseldorf

    27/5/43 – Essen

    Posted to No. 35 (Pathfinder) Squadron at Graveley 29/5/43

    Posted to PFF Group Maintenance Unit

    Although not with No. 35 Sqn at the time (he was testing aircraft at Group), Danny Everett authorised his own flight and gathered together a scratch crew for what was to be his 99th (and last) Operation.

    8/3/45 – Hamburg

    The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed killing all on board

    Decorations

    Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (as P/O. No. 35 Sqn) as per the London Gazette dated 21 January 1944. No citation published but original recommendation dated 29 October 1943 reads,

    ‘Pilot Officer Everett was captain of an aircraft detailed to attack Kassel on the night of 22/23rd October 1943. En route to the target the weather was particularly bad and some of his blind flying instruments became inoperative owing to the icing conditions.
    This officer carried on despite this handicap as he fully realised the importance of this special task and at the target he made a most successful attack, this being proved by an excellent photograph.
    Throughout the 33 night bombing attacks in which he has taken part, Pilot Officer Everett has consistently maintained an extremely high standard of tenacity and reliability and it is considered that the fine results he achieved in this attack fully merits the immediate (amended to non immediate by the AOC ) award of the Distinguished Flying Cross’.

    Awarded a First Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross (as A/F/Lt. No. 35 Sqn.) as per the London Gazette dated 16 January 1945. No citation published but original recommendation dated 21 October 1944 reads,

    ‘This officer, now on his second operational tour, is a brilliant captain of aircraft, possessing the greatest determination on operations and the utmost thoroughness in all matters of airmanship.
    Since being awarded the D.F.C. he has taken part in many attacks against the enemy on widely separated targets such as Berlin, Nuremberg, the Ruhr and Army support attacks in Normandy. Whatever the target and whatever the task, he can be depended upon to mark and bomb with the greatest reliability.
    Flight Lieutenant Everett continues to show the keenest desire to operate against the enemy on all possible occasions and his enthusiasm and efficiency sets an example to the entire Squadron. In recognition of this Officer’s fine record of service, he is recommended for the non-immediate award of a Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross’.

    Awarded a Second Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross (as A/S/Ldr. No. 35 Sqn.) as per the London Gazette dated 27 March 1945. Citation reads,

    One night in February 1945, Squadron Leader Everett was pilot and captain of aircraft detailed to attack Goch. Whilst making his first run over the target his aircraft was badly hit. The starboard main plane was extensively damaged and the starboard inner engine caught fire. Momentarily the aircraft went out of control. Squadron Leader Everett quickly levelled out though and feathered the propeller of the burning engine. The flames were then extinguished. Although unable to assess the full extent of the damage sustained, Squadron Leader Everett went on to several further runs over the target, which he only left after he was satisfied as to the success of the operation. He afterwards flew the badly damaged aircraft safely to base. This officer displayed a high degree of skill, courage and resolution throughout’.

    This is somewhat abridged from the original recommendation dated 18 February 1945 (which was actually for the award of the Distinguished Service Order but amended to that of the second Bar). This reads,

    ‘On the night of 7th February 1945, Squadron Leader Everett was captain of an aircraft detailed to attack Goch, his task being vital to the success of the attack and the safety of our own troops.
    Whilst making his first run over the target, before the attack began, his aircraft was involved in a collision which resulted in extensive damage to the starboard main plane and inner engine which caught fire. Squadron Leader Everett skilfully regained control, feathered the engine and put out the fire.
    Although unable to assess the full extent of the damage and knowing full well that in all probability the wing itself had been weakened structurally, this officer made several further runs over the target and remained in the target area until the last of the bombers had left, and only after he had satisfied himself that the attack had been successfully delivered did he set course for base where he made a masterly landing without further incident.
    Squadron Leader Everett, by his realisation of the importance of his task accepted the great hazard of remaining in the target area for a long period in a badly damaged aircraft, displaying courage and tenacity of the highest order, and it is considered that his magnificent example fully merits the immediate award of the second Bar to D.F.C.’

    By then he had flown a total of 85 sorties.

    Promotions

    155223 Pilot Officer 29/5/43

    Flying Officer 29/11/43

    A/S/Ldr.

    Flight Lieutenant 25/2/45


    WELLER, Reginald Martin

    Service No. 155190

    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    Training

    No. 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit, Rufforth

    Service

    Posted to No. 158 Squadron at Lissett 16/5/43

    Flew as Mid Upper gunner to F/Lt. A. Sirel on Operations to

    25/5/43 – Dusseldorf

    27/5/43 – Essen

    29/5/43 – Wuppertal

    11/6/43 – Dusseldorf

    12/6/43 – Bochum

    3/7/43 – Cologne

    9/7/43 – Gelsenkirchen

    13/7/43 – Aachen

    15/7/43 – Montbeliard

    24/7/43 – Hamburg

    25/7/43 – Essen

    27/7/43 – Hamburg

    29/7/43 – Hamburg

    2/8/43 – Hamburg

    10/8/43 – Nuremberg

    12/8/43 – Milan

    22/8/43 – Leverkusen

    23/8/43 – Berlin

    27/8/43 – Nuremberg

    4/10/43 – Frankfurt

    3/11/43 – Dusseldorf

    11/11/43 – Cannes

    18/11/43 – Mannheim

    Posted to No. 640 Squadron at Leconfield 7/1/44

    Killed in Action with No. 35 Squadron on 8/3/45 (flying with S/Ldr. D.B. Everett)

    Decorations

    Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (as Flying Officer with No. 640 Squadron) as per the London Gazette dated 27 June 1944. No citation published.

    Promotions

    1294638 Sgt. to Pilot Officer 31/7/43

    Flying Officer 31/1/44
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