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Thread: Whitley? 102 Squadron, 01/05/1940, UK

  1. #1
    Bart FM Droog Guest

    Default Whitley? 102 Squadron, 01/05/1940, UK

    Hello all,

    I would like to be enlightened regarding the plane (if in fact is was a plane) these men were in:

    Sergeant (Obs.) Frederick J. Bass, RAF 580902, 102 Sqdn., age 19, 01/05/1940, East Finchley and St. Marylebone Crematorium, UK
    Aircraftman 1st Class Harold Buttery, RAF 650521, 102 Sqdn., age 19, 01/05/1940, Dyce Old Churchyard, UK
    Flying Officer (Pilot) Kenneth N. Gray, RAF 40342 (NZ), DFC and War Cross (Czechoslovakia), 102 Sqdn., age 25, 01/05/1940, Dyce Old Churchyard, UK

    I'm also interested in F/O K.N. Gray. What was the reason he was decorated with the War Cross?

    Regards,

    Bart

  2. #2
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    Hello Bart

    Whitley V N1500 FHG at Hill of Foundland, Insch, Aberdeen. There were six fatalities; not mentioned by you were

    Hopper JH
    Hart AWH
    Main G

    regards

    DaveW

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    Hi Bart
    Chorley BCL Vol 1 has Whitley V,N1500 of 102 Sqn as crashing on the slopes of Hill of Foudland, 6mls SE of Huntley in Aberdeenshire, whilst being ferried from Kinloss to Driffield. The full crew/passenger list is :-
    F/O K N Gray DFC,Czechoslovak War Cross
    Sgt J H Hopper,
    Sgt F J Bass,
    AC1 A W H Hart,
    AC2 G Main,
    AC1 H Buttery
    AC1 J A Hewitt
    AC1 F Wallwork
    Hewitt, Main and Wallwork survived the crash but Wallwork died on 6/5/40 and Main on 25/5/40. Chorley does not comment on the Czech War Cross. Apart from the 3 airmen, all on board died at the time of the crash. In Vol 9 Chorley indicates that Gray was a N Zealander.
    Regards
    Dick

  4. #4
    Bart FM Droog Guest

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    Hello Dave and Dick,

    Thanks! I came upon F/O K N Gray and the other men I mentioned while going through the CWGC register for the first part of 1940 - that's why I didn't knew the other men you mentioned.

    Regards,

    Bart

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    Hi Bart
    As Gray was a N Zealander and is on the Auckland Museum website it might be an idea to contact Errol Martyn to see if he knows the origin of the Czech decoration
    Regards
    Dick

  6. #6
    Bart FM Droog Guest

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    Hello Dick,

    Just what I was thinking.

    Cheers,

    Bart

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    Picture of Gray, (brother of Colin Gray- Errol Martyn) in 'It's Suicide but it's fun - The Story of 102 Sq.' Chris Goss. Mentions a leaflet raid to Prague on 29/1/40. BC War Diaries mentions Prague leaflet raid on 12/13 Jan. 1940.

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    Bart,

    Ken Gray's brother and top-scoring New Zealand fighter pilot of WWII, Colin, in his autobiography, 'Spitfire Patrol', writes:

    On 9 March [1940] Ken had another hazardous experience [a reference to the event for which he was awarded the DFC] flying Whitley P-Peter, again with Tiny Long*, when he was detailed for a leaflet raid on Prague. They encountered severe icing conditions over Prague, and one engine kept stopping. In spite of the obvious risks, he pressed on with the sortie for a total duration of over eight hours. This time his determination was rewarded by a Czech War Cross from the free Czech Government...'

    * Frank Hugh Long, a fellow New Zealander also serving in the RAF on a short service commission. Killed on air ops 12/13 Mar 40.

    The crash site for N1500 is recorded in a 102 Sqn telegram of 1 May 40 as being 'Bains Hole, near Insch, Ordnance survey 1/4 mile to inch - (Q) K.1356.' The time is given as 1059 hours.

    Errol

  9. #9
    Bart FM Droog Guest

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    Thanks, Errol!

    Cheers,

    Bart

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    Hello All

    Whitley N1500 has actually struck the summit of the Hill of Foudland 1st May 1940 and then crashed on the slope.

    The grid reference (only four figure) square is lower down the slope.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 26th December 2013 at 23:03.

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