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Thread: Aircrew broadcasts on BBC Radio 1940/41

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    Default Aircrew broadcasts on BBC Radio 1940/41

    Hi guys

    One broadcast by an RAF bomber pilot has defied my identification. Can you help, please?

    The intro says that he was a 22-year-old from Co. Derry. The type of aircraft he flew is not mentioned (probably Wellington, Whitley or Hampden), however the following is noted:

    1) circa June 1940: shot down by ground fire near Rouen. All baled out and returned safely to UK except one who was believed to have been taken prisoner.

    2) Two weeks later a flare ignited in his aircraft and he ordered crew to bale out, but was able to land safely.

    3) Shortly thereafter, his aircraft was attacked and damaged by a Bf109 and flak; managed to cross Dutch coast and ditched half mile off East Coast, near a resort. Crew rescued by rowing boats, observer badly wounded/injured.

    Are there any clues to assist identification?

    Cheers
    Brian

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    Default

    One candidate could be F/Lt J.M. Hewson, 142sqdn. 13th June 1940, Shot up by 109's and after the observer baled out, the pilot crash landed in a field South of Rouen. Hewson and Sgt Kitto made their way to safety, but LAC Utteridge was captured.
    Chorley 1939-40 page 77.

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    Hi Brian,
    The incident mentioned by Alan is also in The Battle of France-Then and Now by Peter Cornwell, he adds that Utteridge was wounded in the head and taken to hospital in Chartres and captured there. As the a/c was a Battle and the incident was on June 13 we are very close to the capitulation of France (June 21st)and the withdrawal of the Battle from operational use.This means that the other incidents need to be looked at carefully given the timescale. They could actually have been earlier than indicated and disguised by wartime censorship,or Hewson could have transferred to another Sqn and A/c type.The idea of a Battle operating over the Dutch coast after the Fall of France needs looking into. I am not sufficiently knowledgeable about whether the Battle was used against the Invasion Barges underneath the Battle of Britain and whether this might have taken any of them close to the Dutch coast
    Regards
    Dick

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    Default BBC Broadcast

    Hi Dick andAlan

    Thanks for your responses and interest. However, I have now received information that would seem to suggest that the pilot was P/O Andrew W. Dunn of 77 Squadron (Whitley).

    Cheers
    Brian

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    Hi Brian
    A trawl through Chorley BCL Vol 1 has 3 incidents involving a P/O A W Dunn
    20/21/May 1940 - N1380 Force landed near Abbeville(Cause not given) Dunn flying as 2nd pilot- the op. was to Cambrai
    6/7 June 1940 Flying as Captain on an op to Bapaume. A flare ignited and set fire to the interior of the a/c 1 hr after t/o. The crew could not put out the fire and Dunn ordered them to bale out,all did so safely but AC1 A L Kennedy A/G injured his back.Dunn put the a/c down at Finningly where it burned out
    19/20 Jun 1940N1476, on an op to Wanne-Eickel he was attacked by 2 Bf109s and severely damaged. An engine caught fire, it was extinguished and then flared up again and the engine was closed down. Dunn ditched the a/c off Hastings Pier, Sussex with injury to 2 of the crew
    There must be another incident as Chorley mentions that the ditching was Dunn's 4th crash in 5 weeks of operational flying, but I haven't found it!!
    Regards
    Dick

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    Brian/Dick,

    The 4th incident you couldn't locate (actually the 3rd), occurred on 9/10-6-1940 (BCL1/74), No.77 Sqn. Whitley V N1372.

    It should also be mentioned that Dunn's escapades were covered (anonymously), in:

    Winged Words:Our Airmen Speak for Themselves.
    E.B.B. (comp.)
    London:William Heinemann Ltd.,1941 (rep.).
    pp.53-7

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 7th November 2011 at 09:15.

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    Default Broadcast

    Thanks Col

    Yes, I have the booklet

    Cheers
    Brian

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