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Thread: Richard Addinsell Navigator ?

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    Default Richard Addinsell Navigator ?

    Hello !

    Is it true that the musician Richard Addinsell was Navigator during the war with 619 Squadron and that he flew under an other name ???
    Any light welcome !

    Alain.

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    Alain, Hi,
    I would think he cannot have had the time!!! During WW2 he was based mainly in London. He wrote the music scores for nearly 20 Crown Film Unit (CFU) documentary and propaganda films right throughout the War. The CFU was part of the Ministry of Information, so his War Service was probably as a Civil Servant in the MoI!!! In addition to that he was also composing for London stage shows. Quite a busy lad! He would have been 35 at the outbreak of WW2 - so possibly a bit old? However, some of the films he composed for had an aviation theme so I suppose it is just possible he may have had a familiarisation flight at some stage.
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 11th October 2011 at 10:52. Reason: digit trouble
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Richard Addinsell Navigator

    Hi Alain,

    The main evidence for this idea is in Martin Middlebrook's story of the Nuremberg Raid of 30th/31st March 1944, where he states that R.A. flew with 619 Squadron that night under his 'real name' of F. L. Chipperfield. Middlebrook is a very respected historian, but I think he got this wrong.
    No biography of R.A. has ever been published, and information about him is scarce. However, he accompanied the singer and actress Joyce Grenfell, so I have read all I can about him in her biographies and letters. In early 1944, Grenfell joined ENSA and was sent on a tour of the Middle and Far East to entertain the troops. R.A. was asked to go as her accompanist, but his health was not good (and he was hypochondriac) so he refused. I can't see such a man volunteering to fly in bombers, or being called up. Also, he had been educated at home, but as soon as he was in a structured environment (first Oxford University, second the Royal College of Music) he dropped out. I can't see him finishing a navigator's course far away from the bright lights, however great the desire.
    At the end of 1943 he had visited Dublin (a neutral city) from Belfast, also with Grenfell. There were a lot of Germans in Dublin. I cannot see a serving British officer being allowed or wanting to go there during the war.
    Bryan Clarke's book on 619 squadron mentions many of the crews and skippers and all the raids flown by 619, and he doesn't mention a Chipperfield, or any connection with R.A. Not conclusive, I agree, but Addinsell's supposed service career is never mentioned in Grenfell's biographies or letters.
    There is no evidence that R.A. was a nom de plume - his parents seem to have been called Addinsell. And in 1943 he would have been forty years old.

    I hope this helps.

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    Hello,

    Despite what has been posted about Bryan Clarke's Book, F. L. Chipperfield certainly served on No.619 Squadron, and was awarded a DFC !

    169500 Frank Leslie CHIPPERFIELD RAFVR.

    http:/www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36354/supplements/582

    and...

    http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36661/supplements/3827

    Col

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    Looking at ancestry.com, they appear to be two distinct people. chipperfield born 1915

    Richard Stewart Addinsell born 1904 died 1977?
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hallo Victor,

    Welcome to the forum. Your information seems very good and I will not argue with that. However the statement that "There were a lot of Germans in Dublin." cannot be left unchallenged.

    This simply is not true. I know this was a popular belief in some quarters during and after the war but there is no basis for it. Very, very few Germans were living in neutral Ireland in 1939. There was a small legation (embassy) staff throughout the war and they were very closely monitored by our police and army. The few spies that arrived here, along with any 'suspicious' characters, were quickly rounded up and interned in a civilian prison in Athlone in the middle of the country for the duration of the war. Any Luftwaffe or Kriegsmarine who arrived here were also interned at once, but in the Curragh Internment Camp in County Kildare.

    Our benign internment policy (to military personnel only) allowed both British and German internees parole for set hours or days to travel locally or even to Dublin. It was not unknown for both sides to bump into each other while out. A small number of the Germans availed of this system to study at one of the Dublin universities.

    Sorry for going off-topic but I had to clarify this issue. Still a very interesting thread.

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    Default Frank Leslie Chipperfield

    Frank Leslie Chipperfield (169500), DFC, was my father and I can assure that he and Richard Addinsell were not the same person. Dad was a gifted pianist, and he earned his living playing piano professionally across the UK and continental Europe before the war. He even did a little composing - I have the programme (we Yanks call it a "program," but we can discuss how we've butchered your language in another venue) of a musical production called "Ye Gods!" performed at R.A.F. Eastchurch in Jun 1946 for which Dad composed the words and music. Dad flew as a navigator or as an "Observer" (I have a picture of him in uniform with the winged "O" brevet) on at least 4 missions with 9 Squadron, at least 29 missions (including Nuremberg) with 619 Squadron, and at least 13 missions (including Dresden) in a Mosquito as a member of the Pathfinder Force in 627 Squadron. His pilot throughout most of his career in 619 and 627 was Pilot Officer R.W. Olsen, DFC. After the war in Europe, Dad was assigned to the Tiger Force to continue the war in Japan, but that aspect of his service was happily interrupted by the Japanese surrender. He stayed in the service at R.A.F. Eastchurch until July 1946, at which point he hitched a ride on the carrier H.M.S. Queen, came to the United States, married my mother, produced seven children, and never returned to England. Curiously, but perhaps not surprisingly, he never again boarded an airplane - commercial or otherwise. He died in 1992 at age 81. I greatly admire Martin Middlebrook's work, and Dad would surely have been honored to have been linked to Richard Addinsell, but Mr. Middlebrook got it wrong in this case.

    Lynn Chipperfield
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA

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