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Thread: 18 December 1939, 149 Squadron airmen names.

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    Default 18 December 1939, 149 Squadron airmen names.

    Hallo,

    I have been trying without success to obtain the first names and service numbers of the following five airmen of 149 Squadron who took part in the famous raid to Wilhelmshaven on 18 December 1939. They are;
    Sgt. Wheeler (2nd pilot) Still on ops. April 1940 but not in June.
    Sgt. McLeod (2nd pilot) Cannot find him in the ORB in 1940, but he might be 904361 Sgt. William Holland MacLeod, KIA as a pilot on 21 February 1941 and still with 149 Squadron. However I cannot make a connection between the two.
    F/Sgt. Kelly (Pilot) Does not appear in the ORB at least after May 1940.
    Sgt. Osborne (Observer) Still on operations December 1940.
    AC2 Graydon (Air Gunner) Still on ops. up to July 1940 at least, as a Sgt.

    I have tried the usual sources; CWGC, London Gazette, various books (including 'STRONG BY NIGHT' (A history of 149 Sqn.), etc. The 149 Squadron Association seems not to be in existence any more. Can anyone please help with these names ?

    Regards,

    Martin.

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    Martin.

    F/Sgt Kelly had as second pilot Ronald Eric BEENY OBE rewarded with that honour for his work with RAF signals section on D Day planning. Beeny also flew on the epic 4th September in Wellington L4270 - a Sgt Osborne was in Kelly's crew as recorded in the ORB 3/12/39 and the 18/12/39 in N2984 and Graydon appears in the crew on the 20/1/40. I think some of these men may be shown in the image used on my book cover 'Goldfish Caterpillars and Guinea Pigs' see http://www.colinpateman.com/books/go...a-pigs/‎ I hope this helps a little.

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    Hallo Colin,

    Thanks for your reply. I should have noted in my first post that I have the ORB and Appendices for this period but neither help further with the names. The problem of course is that neither the initials nor the service numbers were recorded in the Form 541 part of the ORB for NCOs or enlisted men.

    Regards,

    Martin.

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    Default

    maybe just maybe

    RAF Museum

    Accession No B3781

    Navigator's flying log book of WO E.T. Osborne, 1939-1945 E.T. Osborne 24 March 1939-29 June 1945

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    Default Re: 18 December 1939, 149 Squadron airmen names.

    Hello Doug,

    Only a little progress since. I was able to identify Osborne definitely as 580803 Sergeant Edwin Thomas Osborne, confirming what Paul McMillan and Col Bruggy had written years ago. He is listed in the crew of L4354 which had an accident on 21 October 1939. The AIR 81/1601 Personnel Casualty File lists the crew, giving his service number and initials. However, to find his full name I had to use the AIR 78 Enlisted Personnel name cards and found him on AIR 78/120/5/347. In the AIR 81 file he is recorded as an Acting Sergeant.

    Thanks for the information on McLeod, new to me.

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    Default Re: 18 December 1939, 149 Squadron airmen names.

    Hi Martin
    Many thanks for confirming the Osborne link which I will now follow up on for The Book.
    Re your queries on your 2014 posts, you've probably got the answers by now but: Alan Fraser was right about Harace James Whellar562377, killed on ops on 14 Apr 1940. Flt Sgt William Russell Kelly later Fg Off 45728, killed in air accident in Beaufort L4444 at Aston Down on 10 Apr 1942.
    Still not certain about AC2 Graydon details Air Gunner in N2894 on 18 December 1939.
    I have draft profiles on each plus McLeod if you're interested.
    Regards
    Doug

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    Default Re: 18 December 1939, 149 Squadron airmen names.

    Hi Martin,
    I followed up on Sgt Edwin Thomas Osborne with the RAF Museum who have his log book. Confirmed he was on the Heligoland Bight raid on 18 December 1939. His log book showed summary of his RAF career as: 2 AOS 24 March-1 August 1939, 149 Sqn 6 Aug 1939-19 July 1940, 70 Sqn 12 Oct 1940- 18 Mar 1941, 279 Sqn 2 Feb-7 Aug 1943, SoASR 24 Aug 1943-Jun 1945. Uncertain about the gap between 1941 and 1943 and assuming that ASR is Air Sea Rescue and not Anti Submarine Reconnaissance. Nothing on his dob or parents but more than I had before! Still working on the AC2 Graydon as being Victor James Graydon but little success thus far.
    Regards
    Doug

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    Hello,

    Maybe...

    580803 Sgt E T Osborne RAF - Flight. November 7, 1940. p.399 - Cas. Comm. No.50 - Wounded or Injured in Action - Sgt. E. T. Osborne, 580803.

    Mentioned in Despatches - 580803 Sgt E. T. Osborne RAF - New Year's Honours List - LG 1-1-1941 p.39.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 5th March 2014 at 13:04.

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    Default 149 Names

    Hi,
    For Sgt Wheeler, - try Sgt Horace James Wheller 562377, KIA 12 Apr 1940
    For MacLeod - Sgt W H was a wireless operator. No Mc or MacLeods killed as pilots with 149, so cannot help
    For Flt Sgt Kelly and the rest, I have no additional info. I sympathize with your difficulty as regards the ORB of that time. They have given me endless headaches! May I ask you interest in this raid and 149?

    By the way, 149 Association is now part of the Mildenhall Register along with 15, 75, 90, 218 and 622 Sqdns. Website
    http://www.mildenhallregister.stirlingpilot.org.uk

    Alan Fraser
    149 Historian
    Last edited by 149Nut; 5th March 2014 at 12:40. Reason: Additional

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    Paul, Col and Alan,

    Many thanks for that very helpful information.
    Regarding Osborne I think you might be right, although we still lack a definitive connection to 149 Squadron. The reference to the 7 November 1940 Casualty Communique is interesting but I cannot find him (yet) in an operational unit before this date. I note in the 149 Sqn. ORB a Sgt. Osborne (Observer) in July 1940 becomes a P/O Osborne (2nd pilot) in August 1940.
    It is just an observation of mine but the 580xxx/581xxx service number block appears to have been exclusively reserved for pre-war trained Sergeant pilots and observers and these men formed a significant part of the RAF's NCO pilots and observers in 1939/1940. Am I correct in believing the observers also had pilot training ?
    So 580803 Sgt. E.T. Osborne would be a very good candidate.
    I will try a separate post later regarding his MiD.

    Alan, I need to go to work now but will address your question and comments tomorrow. Many thanks for same.

    Martin.

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