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Thread: 44 Sqn claim night 9/10 October 1940

  1. #1
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    Default 44 Sqn claim night 9/10 October 1940

    Hi,

    On the night 10/11 October 1940 the crew of Handley Page Hampden L.4154 claimed an “Unidentified enemy aircraft shot down into the sea by air gunner”. The claim was confirmed by the wireless operator. Target for the attack by 44 Sqn was “to destroy battleship von Tirpitz, docks and dockyard installation”. Crew was:
    Sgt Atkins
    Sgt Hobbs
    Sgt Muir
    Sgt McLaren, I assume this is Peter Victor McLaren, NZ391862

    The ORB has no more information and there is no surviving combat report. If anyone can add some more “flesh to the bones” this would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Peter

  2. #2
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    Hello,

    Not much on the claim, but here is some background on the participants:

    20-21 Oct 1940
    44 Sqn
    Hampden I L4154 KM-
    Op: Berlin

    T/o Waddington. Force landed, out of petrol, on Roman Way Camp. Colchester, Essex. The crew escaped injuries.

    745331 Sgt (Pilot) Arthur Redvers ATKINS*RAFVR
    Sgt HOBBS
    Sgt MUIR
    NZ391862 Sgt (Air Gnr.) Peter Victor McLAREN RNZAF

    See: BCL1/121.

    * Atkins (later 65988 F/O DFM + 21-1-43, 21 SFTS, Rhodesia)

    MCLAREN, Sergeant Peter Victor, DFM.
    NZ391862; Born Auckland, 28 Nov 1919.
    RNZAF 18 Dec 1939 to (kao) 27 Jun 1941.
    Air Gunner.

    Citation: Distinguished Flying medal (13 Jan 1941)
    44 Sqn RAF (Hampden).

    "Sergeant McLaren has completed 125 hours operational flying as air gunner. During one operation his aircraft was attacked by an enemy fighter but although harassed by its fire, he succeeded in shooting it down. This is but one instance of this airman's gallantry and devotion to duty which has been a source of inspiration to other members of his squadron."

    Sgt McLaren joined 44 sqn on 6 Aug 1940 flying 25 sorties, including Cologne, Stuttgart, Mannheim(2), Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Berlin(4), Wesseling, Essen, Leipzig, Bremen, Wilhelmshaven and Calais, plus three raids on the TIRPITZ at Wilhelmshaven and mine-laying off Brest. In Jan 1941 he was posted to 97 Sqn RAF (Manchester) flying a further eight sorties.

    KAO. Kiel, Germany, 27 Jan 1941, with 97 Sqn on his 33rd sortie. No known grave. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    See: By Such Deeds:Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force 1923-1999.
    Hanson,C.M.
    Christchurch:Volplane Press,2001.
    p.341

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 26th June 2011 at 01:47.

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    Default

    Hello Col.

    Thanks for the information.

    Peter

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    Peter,

    The loss date in the ultimate paragraph should read:-

    KAO. Kiel, Germany 27 Jun 1941, not 27 Jan 1941.

    Col.

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    Default Hello

    Hi,

    I have been reading your thread with interest, Sgt Arthur Redvers Atkins was my Grandad, as mentioned in the post he was killed in a training flight while serving as an instructor in Rhodesia, that was after completing his Op tour over Germany. I am interested to know where you got the info from about the 44 Sqn claim, as I am interested in finding out more about his operational tour.

    Regards

    Rich Atkins

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    Hi Rich,

    I first read about the claim in By Such Deeds:Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force 1923-1999.
    (Hanson,C.M.). As I mentioned I found a little more information in the Operational Record Book for No.44 Squadron. I only have copies of a few pages but I can have a look and try to find some more information about your Grandad.

    Regards,
    Peter

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    Default Sgt Peter McLaren

    Thanks all for filling in some gaps in this relatives history. I've found a photo of him and Flight Global DFM announcement. If anything else has come to light since last post I'd be interested to hear. Thanks

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