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Thread: W/C Ring, RAF Benson

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    Default W/C Ring, RAF Benson

    Can anyone provide any details about a W/C Ring who might have been "Chief Operations Officer" at Benson, please. I regret that is all the information I have, but the date might be circa 1943. I'm only interested in his time at Benson.

    Brian

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    I shall be keenly interested in any more information that comes to light, assuming this is your man:

    RING, F/L Spencer Leonard (39031) - Distinguished Flying Cross - Photographic Development Unit, Heston - Awarded as per London Gazette dated 30 July 1940. Born in Regina, 20 September 1910; home there; married in UK. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 24 August 1938. Served with No.12 Squadron, 2 September 1939 to 21 February 1940; with PDU, 21 February to 27 December 1940. Subsequent career uncertain, although he appears to have been with Ferry Command, March to July 1941, delivering B-17 AN522 (April-May 1941), Liberator AM260 (June 1941), Liberator AM262 (June 1941) and Hudson AM762 (June 1941). Specifically listed in AFRO 1292/41 dated 7 November 1941 as a Canadian in the RAF who had been decorated as of that date. Air Ministry Bulletin 1251 refers. No citation other than "for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations". Originally recommended 14 July 1940. Public Records Office Air 2/6085 (Non-Immediate Awards, 1940-1941) has recommended citation:

    This officer has carried out over twenty operational flights from Heston and several from bases in France. All were undertaken in unarmed, single-engined aircraft without W/T at very great altitudes often in bad weather. His success is due to his skill and determination as a pilot.

    RING, W/C Spencer Leonard (39031) - Air Medal (United States) - awarded as per London Gazette dated 18 January 1944.

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    Hello,

    (p.42) 25 April 1942 - No.1 PRU.
    Wing Commander J.A.C. Stratton, Officer Commanding, was posted to Talbenny as Station Commander. Squadron Leader S. Ring DFC took over this unit.

    (p.75) 10 April 1943 - RAF Station Benson.
    A defence scheme "Exercise Faith" was laid on as from 1300 hours today when the stand-to was ordered; action stations followed at 1700 hours; a practice gas attack and air raid warning at 2130 hours and the all clear and raiders past was given about 2215 hours
    The night passed without incident but during the morning of the 11th the battle was resumed. At 1030 hours the station was attacked by 600 Home Guards representing parachute troops. From 1100 hours to 1300 hours all personnel on the station manned their 'Attack Alarm Posts'. Members of aircrew formed into Mobile Command Units under the command of Wing Commander S.L. Ring DFC and went into action in the final phase.

    (pp.83-4) 3 July 1943 - 106 PR Wing.
    As previously mentioned, 106 PR Wing was formed and becomes effective today. The Wing will be responsible for RAF Station Benson; Nos. 540, 541, 542, 543 and 544 Squadrons; 309 FT and ADU, Benson, and 8 OTU Dyce. Administration of the units will be undertaken by HQ 16 Group.
    Appointments to the Wing are as follows:

    Air Commodore J.N. Boothman AFC as AOC.
    Wing Commander S.L. Ring DFC as Senior Operations Staff Officer.
    Wing Commander R.C. van der Ben as Senior Officer Administration duties.
    Squadron Leader W.R. Acott DFC as Operations Senior Officer
    Squadron Leader P.H. Watts DSO DFC as Staff Training Officer.

    (p.86) 23 August 1943 - RAF Station Benson.
    Air Commodore Boothman and Wing Commander Ring tested Westland Welkin aircraft at Boscombe Down for PR suitability on 10 August and 19 August but today the new Westland Welkin was rejected by Air Commodore Boothman on account of its lack of speed and its poor operational view.

    (p.88) 3 November 1943 - RAF Station Benson.
    Air Commodore Boothman and Squadron Leader Ring delivered a Fortress aircraft* that had been damaged and repaired at Benson airfield to Thorney Island.

    (pp.146-9) Appendix IV - List of Honours and Awards to the officers and men of 106 (PR) Group 1939 - 1945.

    Distinguished Flying Cross.
    Flight Lieutenant S.L. Ring

    Foreign Honours and Awards.

    Air Medal USA
    Wing Commander S.L. Ring.

    See:
    RAF Benson:A Diary of Wartime Losses.
    Ottaway,Reginald H.
    Andover:Speedman Press Ltd.,2010

    * No.220 Sqn Fortress IIA FK191 "P", forced-landing Benson, 5-9-1943.

    See:
    Boeing B-17 Fortress in Coastal Command Service.
    Stitt,Robert M.
    Poland:Stratus s.c.,2010.
    pp.82-3 & 147.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th January 2013 at 03:51.

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    Default PRU navigation aids

    Thank you gentlemen, that will do me nicely.

    As an aside what navigation aids were installed in the PRU Mosquitoes?

    Brian

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    Default RING, F/L Spencer Leonard (39031)

    There is a photograph captioned as being P.O. Spencer L. Ring on Page 92 of “Eyes of the RAF” by Roy Conyers Nesbit. (ISBN 0 7509 32562). He is with P.O. S.G. “Bill” Wise beside a Lockheed Hudson presumably of the PRU at Heston. I’ve always thought the person in the photograph looks like my father Harold Best-Devereux who was also with the PRU at about that time. If anyone knows of any other photos of P.O. Ring I’d love to know just to check if the photograph is actually of P.O. Ring or might possibly have been my father.

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    Welcome to the forum Igor. I regret I'm unable to help with your query, but did your father continue flying with the PRU after Heston and, if so, with which squadron?

    Brian

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    Default RING, F/L Spencer Leonard (39031)

    Brian
    Thanks for your response. I'm not sure exactly what my father did after being with Sidney Cotton's outfit. He was an engineer by training and I recall him talking about Cotton's Lockheed flights just before the war and converting the first PR Spitfires at Heston. We came across the Cotton Lockheed 12 in California in 1977 and he was very excited to see it. He also mentioned a few things such as finishing the first PR Spitfires for higher speed and the noise of starting them inside hangars at Heston because of secrecy. He mentioned working for the Admiralty but I also have a wartime photograph of him in RAF uniform. He was a French speaker and was landed in France in 1942 to asssist in sabotage but never said any more about that other than having to wear RAF uniform under other clothes. Said it was very hot and uncomfortable. He died in 1985 so took any other information with him.

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    Default

    My thanks Igor; you've unintentionally answered my question as I'm interested in post-1942, when it seems he'd moved away from the PRU.

    Incidentally were you aware you could obtain your father's service record? For details go to http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/CorporatePublications/PersonnelPublications/ServiceRecords/RequestFormsForServicePersonnelDetailsRoyalAirForc e.htm

    If you have any problem the forum would be happy to assist.

    Brian

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    Default RING, F/L Spencer Leonard (39031)

    Brian,
    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into that.
    regards, Igor

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