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Thread: Claim by 630 Sqn night 11/12 Sep 1944

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    Default Claim by 630 Sqn night 11/12 Sep 1944

    Hi,

    On the night 11/12 Sep 1944 the rear gunner of Lancaster F of 630 Sqn claimed a destroyed T/E E/A, position 4948N. 0822E. at 00.05 hours (information from the Monthly supplementary narrative of operations). I hope someone can help me to identify the name of this Air Gunner, name of pilot and serial number of aircraft.

    Thanks in advance,
    Peter
    Last edited by phasselgren; 14th July 2011 at 09:20. Reason: missed info

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    Consulting the National Archives “Documents on Line” for Combat Reports (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/ww2aircombat.asp), it would appear that No.630 Squadron gunners and their comrades had a busy night on 11/12 September 1944. Using the number of bytes per document, the following actions are identifiable:

    Combat Report with 215 bytes - Sergeant Todd, Sergeant Holloway.

    Combat Report with 242 bytes - Sergeant Jessops, Warrant Officer Dowman.

    Combat Report with 246 bytes - Sergeant Fenton, Sergeant Brown

    Combat Report with 259 bytes - Sergeant Wooller, Sergeant Whalley

    Combat Report with 264 bytes - Flight Sergeant Todd, Sergeant Holloway (see above re 215 byte document)

    Combat Report with 265 bytes - Sergeant Somerville, Sergeant Cummin.

    Combat Report with 272 bytes - Sergeant Sherringham, Sergeant Woche.

    Combat Report with 275 bytes - Sergeant Henley, Sergeant Hughes

    Re the 246-byte report, the name “Brown” should read “Browne” and I can provide the following, including a digest of the Combat Report. Whether this is the one you seek I cannot be sure. Others may provide enlightenment.

    BROWNE, FS Edward Joseph (R218062) - Distinguished Flying Medal - No.630 Squadron - Award effective 6 January 1945 as per London Gazette dated 16 January 1945 and AFRO 508/45 dated 23 March 1945. Born 18 February 1925. Home in Saskatoon; enlisted there 18 February 1943. Trained at No.3 BGS (graduated 1 October 1943). To “Y” Depot, Halifax, 15 October 1943; to No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, 21 October 1943. Further trained at No.16 OTU and No.1652 Conversion Unit. Repatriated 9 November 1944; to No.5 BGS, 19 December 1944; released 22 February 1945. Camera operator with RCAF, 8 September 1948 to 11 August 1949. Award presented 6 September 1947.

    This air gunner has completed a very successful tour of operations. He has taken part in a number of attacks on major targets in Germany. During one of these sorties while attacking Darmstadt he observed an enemy fighter preparing to attack a friendly aircraft. Flight Sergeant Browne by his clear and accurate instructions enabled his captain to manoeuvre his own aircraft so that it was possible to shoot down the enemy fighter. His skill and ability as an air gunner have been of the utmost value to his crew.

    Public Records Office Air 2/9039 has recommendation dated 19 October 1944 when he had flown 35 sorties (200 hours 32 minutes); gives more details than published citation:

    1 June 1944 - Saumur (6.13)
    4 June 1944 - Maizy (3.50)
    5 June 1944 - La Perenelle (4.17)
    7 June 1944 - Foret de Cerisny (4.47)
    9 June 1944 - Etampes (4.28)
    12 June 1944 - Caen (4.21)
    14 June 1944 - Aunay-sur-Odon (4.55)
    16 June 1944 - Doulens (3.42)
    21 June 1944 - Wesserling (4.20)
    4 July 1944 - Creil (4.00)
    7 July 1944 - Creil (4.30)
    12 July 1944 - Chateau Chalindray (7.46)
    14 July 1944 - Villeneuve St.George (6.45)
    18 July 1944 - Caen (3.37)
    19 July 1944 - Creil (4.07)
    20 July 1944 - Courtrai (2.57)
    24 July 1944 - Stuttgart (8.12)
    25 July 1944 - Stuttgart (8.47)
    26 July 1944 - Givors (8.26)
    28 July 1944 - Stuttgart (7.56)
    30 July 1944 - Aunay-sur-Odon (5.48)
    31 July 1944 - Joigny (5.07)
    2 August 1944 - Trossy St.Maximim (4.14)
    5 August 1944 - St.Leu d'Esserent (4.31)
    9 August 1944 - Chatelleauls (6.26)
    10 August 1944 - Bordeaux (6.50)
    11 August 1944 - Givors (8.16)
    25 August 1944 - Darmstadt (8.25)
    26 August 1944 - Koenigsburg (10.38)
    27 August 1944 - Danzig (11.10)
    31 August 1944 - Bergueneuse (3.48)
    3 September 1944 - Deelan (3.37)
    9 September 1944 - Munchen (4.20)
    11 September 1944 - Le Havre
    11 September 1944 - Darmstadt

    This Air Gunner has completed a very successful tour of operations, having taken part in several attacks against highly defended targets in Germany and enemy occupied territory.

    On his last sortie over Darmstadt he observed an enemy fighter preparing to attack another Lancaster in the target area. By giving his captain an excellent running commentary, he enabled the captain to position his Lancaster so as to allow him to bring his sights to bear on the enemy fighter. Flight Sergeant Browne successfully engaged the fighter and claims to have destroyed it. This was confirmed by another aircraft in the squadron, in particular by one which was captained by his squadron commander.

    His skill and ability as an air gunner has been outstanding, and his coolness and judgement have been of the utmost value to his crew, and have earned for him their confidence and respect. His keenness to operate and devotion to duty have been most marked, and he has set a fine example to other air gunners in the squadron. He is strongly recommended for the non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

    Public Record Office Air 50/287 has Combat Report for 11/12 September 1944 when he was rear gunner in Lancaster LM259, target Darmstadt. Other gunner was a Sergeant Fenton who did not fire. Fishpond was serviceable and in operation during the action, which took place at 0008 hours, 12,000 feet, heading 287 degrees true, position 48̊ 48" North 08̊ 22" East. There was no moon and cloud below was 3/10 to 5/10. There were searchlights, flak and flares. First warning was visual (400 yards, fine port quarter down); aircraft corkscrewed as he opened fire. Enemy was a twin-engined fighter which attacked from fine port quarter. Fighter opened fire first, 400 yards down to 200 yards. Browne fired 300 rounds, starting at 400 yards range. Narrative of action as follows:

    Aircraft over target area, fighter seen by rear gunner on fine quarter down, mid-upper watching second fighter on starboard quarter up. First fighter attacked from fine port quarter down and opened up at 400 yards; rear gunner saw no tracer but bomb aimer states he saw tracer from fighter pass over starboard wing. Rear gunner opened up on visual at 400 yards, went into port corkscrew and fired until fighter reached 200 yards when own aircraft was rolling in corkscrew. Rear gunner’s own trace was now visible going into fighter, no correction needed. Fighter went into a spiral dive and his starboard engine was afire which spread to starboard wing and was seen by rear gunner and bomb aimer to hit the ground with a bright explosion.
    Last edited by HughAHalliday; 15th July 2011 at 13:41.

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    Thanks for the reply Hugh. Rich on details as usual.

    FS Edward Joseph BROWNE (R218062) is the man I am looking for. Details in the Combat Report are the same as in the Monthly supplementary narrative of operations with some minor typing errors (no copy and paste in those days). I found the final confirmation on the Lancaster archive (http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc-noseart-s.htm). Lancaster LM259 had the letters LE-F and the name "Sprite of Canada".

    Peter

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