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Thread: 180 Squadron

  1. #1
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    Default 180 Squadron

    Hi all

    As a flying instructor one of my current students mentioned his Grandfather was a former wartime navigator whom he was planning to bring down to our airfield for a chat at some point. Sadly before this could take place his Grandfather sadly passed away but today brought in something which was quite a surprise. It was a medal case inscribed "Distinguished Flying Cross" but on opening it realised it was not a British DFC but an American DFC. It appears his Grandfather served with 180 Squadron flying B25 Mitchells and we are trying to obtain a copy of the citation for which the award was made. There is no date on the medal just "FO T Beardsworth RAF".

    Any suggestions as to how we might go about this and does anyone know of a history being written for the Squadron.

    We are in the process of getting his Service Record to check the details and his Service History

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    Default Thomas Beardsworth

    The question (as posed) actually answers some questions I may have had respecting unit. Doubtless, consultation of Air 2/9090 will provide a little more information.

    BEARDSWORTH, Thomas, F/O (number ? Royal Air Force) - unit ? - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - awarded as per London Gazette dated 3 July 1945 and General Order No.80, United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe (found in Public Record Office Air 2/9090); credited with 195 operational hours. Full text not available to transcriber, hence number and unit not given here.

    "Flying Officer Beardsworth, now on his second tour of operational duty, has displayed outstanding courage and devotion to duty. He has proved himself to be a reliable and skilful navigator/bomb aimer and has set a fine example to other members of his unit. He has at all times shown a cool and purposeful determination to reach his target and destroy it despite any obstacles."

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    Default 180 Squadron

    Hugh

    Many thanks for that, I forgot the Services motto "never assume - check" in that I assumed being an American decoration it would not have been listed in the London Gazette - wrong again.

    FO Beardsworth also apparently has two Catterpillar awards having supposedly walked home through enemy territory twice, something which I have my doubts on. I believed they were brought off operations in case they were downed a second time, captured and because of their previous experience compromised the situation of the Underground who helped them previously.

    As I said I was deeply saddened when he passed away as I believe he may have had some stories to tell though he was very reluctant much of the time - as many were!!

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    Default Operational flying after evading or escaping

    [QUOTE=Royton;39621]Hugh - FO Beardsworth also apparently has two Catterpillar awards having supposedly walked home through enemy territory twice, something which I have my doubts on. I believed they were brought off operations in case they were downed a second time, captured and because of their previous experience compromised the situation of the Underground who helped them previously.QUOTE]

    Hi Royton

    I have just finished, and can recommend, "RAF Evaders - the comprehensive story of thousands of escaper and their escape lines, western europe, 1940 - 1945" by Oliver Clutton-Brock and the book is littered with airmen who have successfully evaded and then died on further operational flying. And of course several would have continued on operational flying and not died, some being shot down and taken PoW as well.

    Although not mentioned in the book, S/L Terry Spencer (CO of 350 (Belgian) Squadron) was shot down on 26 February 1945, taken PoW, escaped by walking out of the front gate of his Prison Camp and rejoined his squadron only to be shot down for a second time on 19 April 1945 and taken PoW again - then liberated by Allied forces on 4 May 1945.

    cheers

    Allan
    Allan Hillman

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    Default 180 Squadron

    My friend whose Grandfather is the subject of this thread spends a lot of time in London and will visit the NRA to look at the 180 Sqn ORB.

    Could someone please assist him - never having been there before - and advise the ORB ref no to save time.

    Many thanks

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    Default

    Hi.
    AIR27/1131.......Sept 42 to June 44.
    AIR27/1132.......July 44 to March 46.
    AIR27/1133.......Appendices to ORB Jan 43 to Aug 45

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    Default

    hello,

    I have some pages of the ORB of No. 180 Squadron for August and September 1943. Sgt T. BEARDSWORTH, navigator-B, is in them.

    On 30th August 1943, he was in the reserve crew for the raid against the forêt d'Eperlecques (ammunition dump and fuel storage).

    During that mission, the Mitchell captained by P/O "Curly" MOTHERAL, R.C.A.F. was hit by Flak and crashed on a house in the village of Watten. Very luckily so civilian was killed in the house, but F/Sgt SCUSE and Sgt LEWIS were killed, while the pilot and navigator-bombardier Bill DUMSDAY R.C.A.F. bailed out and evaded capture.

    BEARDSWORTH crew was made of Sgt M.R. McCRIMMON, pilot (hard to read), Sgt J. WILSON, wireless operator air gunner, and Sgt W. KERR, air gunner. They were flying FL218 (17:55-19:30).

    Same crew flew again on the 31st August 1943, in FL685 (16:45-18:15), against forêt d'Hesdin. The Squadron returned without having bombed.

    Same crew again on 8th September 1943, in FL707, (16:45-18:15), against Fort de la Creche, a gun position north of Boulogne-sur-Mer. This was in the course of "Operation Starckey".

    I don't have more usefull pages.

    Just to complete what Alan said, the Squadrons ORBs (in AIR 27) are in microfilm form. So a reader's ticket is not necessary to view them. But it would be usefull if he wants to access other material, in original form, like for example the ORB of No. 2 Group, or of training units, and check the reference quoted by Hugh. For that one, he'll have to go in a tiny room, as these documents can't get out to the main reading room.

    It's possible to take digital pictures directly from the microfilm readers' screen, he'll just have to choose one suitable reader for this purpose.

    It should also be possible to scratch some details from the London Gazette online, for he was a Sergeant in september 1943, then commissioned and awarded a D.F.C., so at least 3 mentions.

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 29th November 2009 at 10:56.

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    Default

    Here are the LG entries.

    1439446 Thomas Beardsworth (176151) 2nd May 1944 (LG 16th June 1944) As Pilot Officer from Flight Sergeant.

    T. Beardsworth (176151) 2nd November 1944 (LG 21st November 1944) Pilot Officer to be Flying Officer

    Air Ministry 3rd July 1945
    The King has granted unrestricted permission for the wearing of the undermentioned decorations conferred upon the personnel indicated in recognition of valuable services rendered in connection with the war:-
    Confrred by the President of the United States of America
    Distinguished Flying Cross
    Flying Officer Thomas Beardsworth (176151), R.A.F.V.R. (LG 29th June 1945)

    T. Beardsworth D.F.C. (176151) 2nd May 1946 (LG 21st May 1946) Flying Officer to Flight Lieutenant

    LG 16th July 1946, Notification amended
    24th May 1946 (page 2513, col. 2) for T. Beardsworth, D.F.C. (176151), read T. Beardsworth (176151).
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    Default 180 Squaron

    Alan & Joss

    Many thanks for your contributions - much appreciated and I will pass them on.

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    Default

    I am posting because my late father G N Sims (185433) was a recipient of the same award in the same London Gazette entry. He was a pilot with 226 Squadron (Mitchell's). I am curious as to why he would receive a US DFC (he had a UK DFC from November 1944)

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