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Thread: Beaufighters in the Aegean, 1943 - 1944

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    Default Beaufighters in the Aegean, 1943 - 1944

    Greetings, all - first post.
    By way of introduction, I'm editing the wartime diary of Kriegsmarine Oberleutnant z.S. Max von Zatorski. Anyone interested in following along can start with https://www.facebook.com/SeeklarDiaries

    Max was the skipper of the minesweeper R195 for it's time in the Mediterranean, most notably during the invasion of Leros. Roughly, you can thnk "German equivalent to JFK" both in job scope and ship duties.

    This thread from your old forums led me here - http://www.rafcommands.com/dcforum/DCForumID6/Data/15256.txt

    Beaufighter attacks and losses are frequently mentioned in Max's diary, and I'd like to annotate his text with the RAF official accounts.

    For instance; "At around 13.30 hours 06 November 1943, eight Beaufighters attacked the Leros invasion flotilla anchored against the cliffs of Paros Island. Antiaircraft fire managed to down three of them, but R34 and R194 were put out of commission by severe damage to their hulls, engines and armament". http://youtu.be/iTPKzeyLbPw

    Thanks in advance for any pointers anyone might be able to give me.

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    Of any use or interest to you ?

    HORSFALL, Joseph Arthur - Born Banff, 6 January 1922. Enlisted Edmonton, 1 September 1941. Trained at No.4 ITS (Edmonton), No.18 EFTS (Bounday Bay) and No.15 SFTS (Claresholm). Sergeant, 17 July 1942; attended No.31 GRS, Charlottetown, 8 August to 24 October 1942. Arrived overseas, November 1942. To No.132 OTU, 25 November 1942. Commissioned 7 December 1942. To No.2 (Coastal) OTU, 8 February 1943. To Middle East, April 1943. To No.46 Squadron, 17 May 1943.

    Killed in action 14 November 1943 (Beaufighter XI JM248, with 1037698 FS J. Colley. Also missing was Beaufighter XI LJ894, 1065996 WO R. Lindsey and 1385948 FS A. Gardner.

    On the 14th November 1943, at approx 1415 hours, four Beaus of 46 squadron, in company with five Beaus of 227 Squadron carried out an offensive sweep of Leros Island area.

    The formation headed in a S.W. direction towards Leros Island in two sections line abreast with 46 Squadron in the rear. The leader of 46 Squadron section - F/L Crerar, D., sighted a HE.111 to port at 90 deg. to the formation. Accompanied by his No.2, F/O Horsfall, he broke away to port and attacked it and destroyed it. On the completion of the attack he found that the entire formation had turned towards the HE.111. At this stage the ME.109s were sighted and the leader gave orders to make for the Turkish coast. WO Lindsey meanwhile had dropped back in the turn with two other aircraft, thus being isolated from the main formation. F/L Crerar dropped behind the main formation and endeavoured to bring up the stragglers to line abreast. At this stage he saw F/O Horsfall’s aircraft, “F”, turning port back towards Leros, presumably to take photographs, and he was at once instructed to rejoin the formation.

    During this time it was noticed that the three isolated aircraft were flying on a diverging course to the main formation taking them to the North - the ME.109s being some distance behind. One ME.109 detached himself from the formation of four and came straight for the main formation of Beaus. He then spotted the stragglers, turned port, and attacked WO Lindsey who was by now isolated from the other two aircraft. His aircraft was seen to be hit and it dived into the sea out of control. The position of the crash was completely obliterated by fire - the only wreckage being wrecked fuel tanks floating in the vicinity. This position is approximately 37'36"N 26'52" E.

    It is F/L Crerar’s belief that he saw aircraft “F” (F/O Horsfall’s machine) in the formation at a later stage and that he received a reply on calling up No.2 (F/O Horsfall) some 5 minutes later, although the answer was unintelligible. Nothing more was seen or heard of F/O Horsfall.

    Subsequent inquiries reveal that two other crews are fairly certain that they saw two ME.109s engaging a Beau in the position of the ditch HE.111. This is by no means definite.

    As soon as the main formation reached the Turkish coast, they split up and proceeded to base independently.

    - report by CO, No.46 Squadron, 18 November 1943.

    J21615 Percy Frederick Leyon GLYNN - Killed in action 3 October 1943, No.227 Squadron, Beaufighter JL760.


    “JL760 took off on the 3rd October 1943, with two other Beaufighters on a shipping strike. The flak was heavy and JL760 was last seen in flames at about 200 feet and it looked as though it was out of control.” Circumstantial Report by W/C R.M. MacKenzie, No.227 Squadron.

    A signal stated that target had been “two ships of 2,000 tons escorted by approximately 15 flak ships and destroyer. This force was invading north-west side of Cos.” 0700 hours GMT. Other casualty was Observer, 1575997 Sergeant T.J. Barrett.

    Letter dated 10 October 1943, S/L Ronaldson Lewis, No.227 Squadron to his mother (excerpt):

    As Percy’s Flight Commander I can give you details which I feel you will want.

    Percy was detailed to take part in an important attack on an enemy convoy attempting to take an island in the Aegean held by us. It was a big day for us as the repulsion of the invasion force was left completely to the RAF and our particular Wing. Many of our attacks did severe damage to the enemy with losses to ourselves, but this was largely due to some pilots pressing home their attacks. Percy was one of them.

    He was last seen to be straffing an enemy M.V. in the convoy but one of the flak ships shot him down, and he was seen to land in the sea. It was considered by his comrades that Percy had a slender chance of survival.

    Percy was a very popular member of the squadron and respected by his colleagues and his men. It was Percy’s lot to take part in many hair raising strikes and he was always the first to ‘get on the job’. On one occasion after attacking German ships in a fortified harbour, [he] was himself attacked by two Italian Machi 202s. He fought them for twenty minutes and eventually got away, though severely damaged. To be engaged by two single-engined fighters, bring a damaged twin fighter home, and land it safely is a feat in itself. Since then Percy got shot up again by flak whilst doing another attack on shipping and brought his aircraft safely home again.

    We all miss Percy as a friend, as a happy young boy around the mess, and as an inspiration to us all. Percy had done more than his share towards hastening the end of this war. We are doing our best also and this mishap will be avenged, you may rest assured. If Percy, but it is doubtful, has survived, I consider that the German Forces would pick him up.

    Percy’s observer/navigator was Sergeant Tim Barrett who accompanied him on all his flights and whilst at OTU also. Tim’s wife lives at “Clodgy”, Planks Lane, Womborne, Wolverhampton, England. I give her address as perhaps you will like to communicate with her.

    May God bless you in your hours of apprehension and anguish. We all trust with you that Percy will turn up.

    Born in Thorold, Ontario, 29 February 1921. Clerk for three years. Enlisted in Toronto, 6 August 1941. To No.1 MD, 28 August 1941. To No.31 Radio School, 13 September 1941. To No.6 ITS, Toronto, 11 November 1941. Graduated 25th in a class of 87 - “Good average type; cheerful, dependable and thorough. Takes things seriously. Good worker; cooperative.” Promoted LAC, 2 January 1942. To No.9 EFTS, St,Catharines, 4 January 1942 (Fleet Finch, 34.00 dual, 36.15 solo of which 11.25 on instruments; 12 hours in Link - “This student has shown above average ability to absorb sequences, but has a tendency to become careless. Aerobatics below average, practical navigation average” - In ground school scored 752/1000 and placed 12th in a class of 36. “Should make excellent service pilot; possesses plenty of spirit and determination. Has applied himself well. Conduct and deportment very good. Link results 77 %.”. To No.16 SFTS, Hagersville, 29 March 1942 (Anson, 54,15 day dual, 83.45 day solo, 2.20 night dual, 9.40 night solo - of this 20.55 on instruments - also 25 hours in Link. “Flying inclined to be rough and erratic; should look around more.”. In Ground School scored 543/750. Ranked 17th in a class of 52. Graduated and promoted Sergeant, 17 July 1942. Subsequently commissioned, 21 January 1943, backdated to 17 July 1942. To No.31 GRS, Charlottetown, 8 August 1942 (navigation course, Anson, 51.20 all by day plus numerous courses in navigation, DR, reconnaissance, coding, ship recognition, photography. “Average, quick to learn and uses his head. Worked hard but could have obtained better results.” Ranked 15th in class of 24. To “Y” Depot, Halifax, 25 October 1942. To RAF Trainee Pool, 27 October 1942. Embarked from Canada, 28 October 1942. Disembarked in United Kingdom, 5 November 1942. To No.132 OTU, 24 November 1942. Promoted Flying Officer, 17 January 1943. TOS No.2 (Coastal) OTU, 8 February 1943. To No.304 FTU, 31 March 1943. Left UK for Middle East, by air, 26 April 1943. At Gibraltar, 24 April to 1 May 1943 (No.22 PTC ?). To No.227 Squadron, 16 June 1943.

    Accident, 4 August 1943 at Derna, Beaufighter VI, EL466, at which time he had 123.55 on type (55 minutes solo at night). Observer identified as T,G. Barrett. (Not T.J.). He stated that he had misjudged his heigth while doing a night landing causing the aircraft to come down tail first. “Tail wheel oleo leg sheared as a result of a heavy landing on the tail wheel. Extensive damage to stern frame, rudder and tail oleo. Aircraft repairable at this squadron.”

    There were no funnel or circuit lights - flare path described as a double row of “goose necks with Chance light.” There was slight sand haze caused by aircraft landing immediately before which “might have given false impression of height when chance light switched on.” CO (Mackenzie) deemed due to inexperience in night flying - 30 hours only (presumably at OTU). Moonless night.

    He had two brothers and two sisters - Both boys and one sister enlisted in the services as they became eligible. One was R14895 Norman Leonard Glynn - born Merriton, Ontario, 24 November 1923. Enlisted in Toronto, 16 January 1942 (ex-Eaton messanger boy). At No1 ITS, 24 May 1942 to 1 August 1942 - LAC 17 July 1942. At No.4 EFTS, Windsor Mills, 2 August to 10 October 1942; at No.8 SFTS, Moncton, 10 October 1942 to 19 February 1943 (Sergeant 5 February 1943). To overseas, 8 March 1943. Disembarked 17 March 1943. Attached No.51 Group (9 EFTS), 24 April 1943. To No.18 (P) AFU, 18 May 1943. Attached 1513 BAT Flight, 15-22 June 1943. Killed in flying accident, 13 July 1943 - Also in aircraft was 1315845 Sgt R.D. Peters (killed) and 1705195 AC1 A. Williams (injured seriously) - both RAF - Oxford DF329. Routine night test - although time was given at 1515 hours which could not have been very dark at Church Lawford. Appears to have stalled and gotten into a flat spin about 3,000 feet or less, went steeper at 1,000, then flattened again before crash at edge of a wood, one mile NNE of Upton, near Leamington. In the period 24 May to 13 July 1943 he had had eleven different instructors in eleven different exercises (six night flying, two BAT, three day flying). Log showed two entries with spins - one 6 August 1942 in a Moth, one 25 May 1943 in an Oxford). "It seems extremely unlikely from Sergeant Glynn's logbook records that he knew anything about spinning generally and in particular in respect to Oxfords."


    J13086 Edgar Leroy CLARY - Born 8-9-21, Coal Grove, Ohio. NOK in Wisconsin.

    Enlisted Windsor, 9-9-41
    1 BGS Jarvis, 26-9-41 to 22-11-41
    No.3 ITS, 23-11-41 - LAC 17-1-42
    No.22 EFTS, Anciene Lorette, 1-2-42
    No.2 SFTS, 12-4-42 to 21-8-42 - P/O 31-7-42
    No.31 GRS, 22-8-42 to 7-11-42.
    Y 8-11-42
    RAF Pool, 22-11-42.
    Arrived UK, 30-11-42
    19 AFU, 14-12-42
    132 OTU, 9-2-43 to 23-3-43
    To No.304 FTU, 9-5-43
    To ME Pool, 28-5-43
    To No.2 PTC, 30-5-43
    To 216 Group, 5-9-43
    To No.201 Sqn (?) date ?
    To No.47 Squadron, 8 November 1943
    Killed 13-11-43 , five miles southwest of Leros, 37-5 north 26-48 east

    Letter, F/L Smith to father, 18-11-43. "As you will have just heard that your son, Flying Officer Clary, is missing from this squadron's operations. I am afraid I must tell you that there is little hope that he is alive.

    "He was shot down on a highly important offensive operation just north of Crete, by three Me.109s. He then appeared to crash into the sea."

    Navigator was 1380965 Sergeant W.E. Finbow

    TWINAME, Eric Philip R-82850 and J17440 - Born 28 November 1920 in Kenmare, Ontario. Enlisted Ottawa, 7 February 1941 (ex-truck driver).

    Trained at No.1 MD 15-3-41 to 8-4-41, 4 MD 9-4-41 to 22-4-41.
    No.1 WS, Montreal (guard ?), 23-4-41 to 9-6-41.
    No.3 ITS, 10-6-41 to 18-7-41 (LAC)
    No.13 EFTS, St. Eugene, 19-7-41 to 1-9-41
    No.2 SFTS, 2-9-41 to 22-11-41 (Sergeant)
    To “Y”, 23-11-41
    TOS 3 PRC, 26-12-41.
    15 (P) AFU, 16-2-42
    5 (Coastal) OTU, 30-5-42
    To No.1 TTU, 1-1-43
    To Mid East, 10-2-43
    To No.39 Squadron, 2-3-43
    Commissioned 2-4-43

    Circumstantial Report on Loss of Beaufighter X LX779, 24 September 1943

    Crew - J17440 P/O E.P. Twiname, pilot
    655221 Sergeant I.A. McLeod, obs.

    Took off from Protville at 1000 hours on 24 September 1943 to attack enemy air transports flying between Corsica and Leghorn.

    This aircraft led the formation of four in to attack a large formation of Ju.52s near Pianosa Island and when last seen was climbing with one engine smoking making towards Sardinia. No aircraft was available to accompany this aircraft to act as Air Sea Rescue Guard.

    Previous accident, 5-9-42, Beaufort AW312 (Cat AC), No.5 OTU night flying training , observer R90256 Sgt T.H. Dibb (later commissioned, killed 2-6-44 with No.38 Sqn). Night flying training, u/c collapse on landing, mechanical (hydraulic) problems. Also in crew, as WOP/AGs were 655434 Sgt D. McKenzie and 655221 Sgt I.A. McLeod (who was later killed with him).

    Family in Russell, Ontario - requested and got copy of sqn badge, op wing sent 23-10-46, logbook sent 4-6-47

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    Quote Originally Posted by HughAHalliday View Post
    Of any use or interest to you ?
    Hugh,
    I'd say so - thanks much!
    I'll check through September and October, there were other incidents with Beaufighters.

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    Default Beaus over Aegean

    Hi Story

    May I suggest you check FIGHTERS OVER THE AEGEAN. It includes majority of Beaufighter operations.

    I can supply a copy if interested.

    Cheers
    Brian

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    Brian,
    Belatedly, thanks for the offer but I'm in the US.
    If anyone wants to follow along, excerpts can now be found at http://seeklardiaries.tumblr.com/

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    Posted this a few days ago (13th), but was disappeared by the Underpants Gnomes.

    Pilgrimage to my hero father: How CHRISTOPHER MEYER spent 70 years finding out the truth about his WWII flying ace father who died 13 days before he was born

    Reggie Meyer was last seen fighting over the Aegean Sea in 1944
    Many questions were still unanswered when his mother died in 2004
    But in 2009, Christopher found out his father was buried in a Greek church
    Information led him on a journey to the island of Ikaria so he could find peace


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2nep6dlMw

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