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Thread: Norman William Flight

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    Default Norman William Flight

    Hi everyone,
    It has been a couple of years or so since I last posted so I thought it might prove fruitful to post again to see if anything new has come to light in respect to my Father's flying career.
    Thanks to this forum I managed to discover a few bits of new info on my Father's wartime flying experiences.
    He flew Wellingtons from Foggia, Italy over Hungary until he was shot down (all his crew survived) on the night of 20th October 1944, after bombing Szombathely airfield. he spent the remainder of the war as a POW in Stalag Luft XIb. He flew continuously until he retired from the RAF in 1977. He flew many aircraft types during that time. Sadly though we lost a lot of his wartime and flying memorabilia to a house burglary about 20 years ago so I would imagine some of it is circulating out there somewhere.
    If by any chance anyone has come across anything with his name on it then we would be thrilled to hear. (He passed away in 1997). We don't care how it has been obtained or by who, but we would be willing to pay a market rate for anything that might have belonged to him. We would just be grateful to have anything back, no matter how small. His full name is the title of this post. It is quite a unique and appropriate name for a pilot so it would be easily noticeable.
    Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this. Please pass this around and hopefully something will come out it.
    Best regards,
    Ross A. Flight (Son)
    Last edited by flighty; 31st January 2012 at 21:48.

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    Ross,

    You don't say if you have your father's service record; if not I suggest you obtain it from the RAF Disclosures Branch. Go to http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/raf.html for details as how to proceed.

    That will describe his journey during the war (and after) in terms of the units he served with. With that information you can access the relevant squadrons/units Operations Record Books in the National Archives to obtain details of the operations on which he flew.

    If this was suggested when you first approached RAFCommands I apologise for repeating what's gone before.

    Brian

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    Flighty,

    Can I just confirm your father's retirement date and in what rank he was serving at the time, please.

    I've just dived into my 1966 Air Force List, as I knew a Flt Lt Flight but only by his nickname, rather than his given name. I wondered if this might have been your father but the only Flight I can find was 'J P Flight', which is the chap I knew and who was flying helicopters on SAR at Manston at the time.

    Did you father have a break in service in the 1960s or was he serving as an NCO pilot and hence not recorded in the Air Force List?

    Colin Cummings

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    Hi Brian,

    Appreciate your note. Yes I have got his basic records. I still need to obtain his Squadron records though. It is really items that would have had his name on, such as his log books etc. He flew for quite a few different Squadrons and different aircraft. All I have is one page from someone elses logo book where he his mentioned. Items that he collected whilst a POW such as German army belt buckles and cutlery etc. have gone for ever. Also gone is his Caterpillar Club badge. Luckily we do have his medals and his flight training diary.
    Thanks anyway,
    Regards,
    Ross

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    Hi Colin,

    He remained an NCO pilot and retired as a SWO and was proud of it. Sgt.Plt to start with in wartime.

    Sorry missed your question. He retired 1977 and I think the date was September 15th but will double check and get to you, so please watch this space.

    Regards,
    Ross
    Last edited by flighty; 1st February 2012 at 09:48.

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    You miss my point Ross. If you haven't got his logbook then it's unlikely anyone else will have it. I've checked with the RAF Museum and it's certainly not there.

    If you know which squadrons or units he flew with then his name will appear in the Operations Record Books for those squadrons/units. By trawling through those you will find the dates he flew operations and other details such as the aircraft number, crew names, take-off and landing times and target - and, in some instances a very brief debrief. This way you will be able to reconstruct the logbook, possibly even more comprehensively than the actual document so far as operations are concerned.

    If you name the wartime units someone here might be able to help you otherwise it's a case of visiting the National Archives and trawling through the archives yourself. One other option is to obtain copies of the documents; this has been discussed recently on this forum (28 Jan 1912), see:
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?12385-Obtaining-copies-of-Sqn-ORB-s

    Brian

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    Thanks for the info.
    What log book or books he had were in the RAF kit-bag that was taken in the house burglary 20 years. It is highly unlikely they were seen as being of any sort of value to the people who took the bag, I'm sure, so more than likely they were deposited in the closest rubbish bin, along with the photographs. However, you never know, hence the post.
    Looking at your suggestion it sounds like a good avenue to pursue to reconstruct his flying record in more detail.
    Regards,
    Ross

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    I have looked at my Dad's service records in a bit more detail and these are some of the key bits of info.
    He was with 104 Squadron in Italy 1944, flying Wellingtons, when he was shot down. I know he was involved in ferrying back B17s to the States after the war. He was with 230 OCU from 1950. He was flying Lincolns with 214 Squadron from 1952 at Upwood. Flew with 115 Squadron flying Washingtons. Then later flying with 47 Squadron in 1956 flying Beverleys and ending up in Aden in 1957. This is when I came along in 63, born at RAF Cosford. He later went onto RAF Khormaksar and Masirah in 1967. Lots of UK postings in between those dates and after, ending with RAF Mount Batten in 1977. From records retirement date is 25th September 1977.


    Ross
    Last edited by flighty; 2nd February 2012 at 19:34.

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    Flighty

    The crew and other details the night they were shot down, 20-21 October 44, were as follows:

    104 Sqn Wellington X LP501<n>U Op: Szombathely

    Sgt N W Flight
    Sgt H M Bryce
    Sgt J P E Ruddick
    Sgt D Davies
    Sgt W H Mitchell all POWs.

    Took off 1917, Foggia Main, detailed as above. Crashed near the village of Zalatárnok, near Szombathely.


    David

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    Hi David,
    Thanks for the detail. I have been on Google searching for Zalatárnok and it looks quite barren. Typical Hungarian plain I think. Woods are close by and I remember my Dad mentioning trees immediately after bailing out. He was arrested by a Hungarian policeman on a bicycle (the locals were ready to lynch him and his crew) and handed over to the local Gestapo for questioning. Spent his 21st birthday in solitary. Birthday is 25th October.
    It would be good to locate the crash site one day.

    Ross

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