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Thread: 248 Squadron Banff.

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    Default 248 Squadron Banff.

    Dear Sirs.
    I am trying to find out more information regarding one Flt Lt, Gerald Norman Edgar Yeates DFC and Bar, (service no 128485), he served in 248 Squadron as a pilot of a Mosquito, and was 24 when he was killed in a flying accident in 1947. My wifes mother was a cousin of his and our neiece has just done the family tree & Geralds name is missing from it, and I think it should be included.
    We know that he flew on many dangerous missions and that his claim to fame was, when he flew rather low on attacking an enemy ship, he collided with the mast of the ship, when they landed it was found that he had lost the nose of his Mosquito but in its place was the mast top and the Pendant which was flying from it, these two items were on display in Banff Museum for some time, as I used to have a photograph of both (off the internet) but this photo plus lots of other info about Gerald is no longer there, I would like to see a photo of Gerald, plus the ship he was attacking, plus every item of info that I can gather about him.I know that he was married and had a daughter
    I would be grateful if anyone with any info could contact me vai this forum please.
    Looking forward to hearing from anyone with info.
    Regards from
    Dick Smith

    (dick.smith44@gmail.com)

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    Hello,

    Welcome to the forum.
    I cannot help you with information about the shipping attack incident, but just in case you do not have the details of the flying accident which took Flt-Lt Yeates' life and the life of one other on 3/2/47 :

    Harvard Mk II serial number FT137, operated by the Empire Flying School (RAF Hullavington),
    control lost in cloud, spun down and crashed near Wotton-under-Edge, Glos.
    The other occupant of the two-seater trainer and killed also was Major Kenneth Weeks Driver DFC, South African Air Force.

    As you probably know Flt-Lt Yeates is buried in Bath (Haycombe) Cemetery, as is Major Driver.


    Regards.
    Ray.
    Last edited by angelsonefive; 26th December 2013 at 23:44.

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    Hi Dick
    The incident you refer to took place almost at the end of the war, when the Germans still had substantial forces in Denmark and Norway and were trying to move them. Coastal Command decided that a substantial effort should be made to interrupt the traffic, in particular the movements of U-Boats into Norway. When recce showed U-Boats escorted by Flakships moving North between Denmark and Sweden an attack was ordered by the Banff wing and others on 2 May '45. During the attack U-2359 was sunk and another sub. damaged. The attack then shifted to the Flakship, on this occaision, a minesweeper M-230, and during the attack Yeates went in too low and struck the masthead. The ship put up a spirited defence but eventually caught fire and sank with 60 dead and 15 injured as reported by Stockholm Radio. The defensive fire damaged a Mosquito flown by F/O A Rendell and forced him to head for Sweden. As your story states Yeates returned to Banff with the masthead plus German Flag embedded in the underside of the a/c nose but no mention is made of the loss of any "bodywork". Yeates had almost struck another ship on Apr 2 during an attack in Norwegian waters, in the same incident a crew from 235 Sqn also struck the mast of an armed trawler and went into the sea killing both on board the a/c it was clearly an operational hazard compounded by salt spray on windshields from the very low level flying.
    These brief details come from a book
    "A Separate Little War", by Andrew D Bird, published by Grub Street,ISBN 1 904010 43 1
    Regards
    Dick

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick View Post
    Hi Dick
    The incident you refer to took place almost at the end of the war, when the Germans still had substantial forces in Denmark and Norway and were trying to move them. Coastal Command decided that a substantial effort should be made to interrupt the traffic, in particular the movements of U-Boats into Norway. When recce showed U-Boats escorted by Flakships moving North between Denmark and Sweden an attack was ordered by the Banff wing and others on 2 May '45. During the attack U-2359 was sunk and another sub. damaged. The attack then shifted to the Flakship, on this occaision, a minesweeper M-230, and during the attack Yeates went in too low and struck the masthead. The ship put up a spirited defence but eventually caught fire and sank with 60 dead and 15 injured as reported by Stockholm Radio. The defensive fire damaged a Mosquito flown by F/O A Rendell and forced him to head for Sweden. As your story states Yeates returned to Banff with the masthead plus German Flag embedded in the underside of the a/c nose but no mention is made of the loss of any "bodywork". Yeates had almost struck another ship on Apr 2 during an attack in Norwegian waters, in the same incident a crew from 235 Sqn also struck the mast of an armed trawler and went into the sea killing both on board the a/c it was clearly an operational hazard compounded by salt spray on windshields from the very low level flying.
    These brief details come from a book
    "A Separate Little War", by Andrew D Bird, published by Grub Street,ISBN 1 904010 43 1
    Regards
    Dick
    Thank you so much for all this information, I will have to try and locate this book. Apparently Gerald wanted to be an airline pilot after the war, just ashame he did not live, I would have lobved to have met him, but I did not come on the scene until 1969, when i met my wife to be. Once again many thanks for all your help, I now wnat to find out about the rest of his RAF service.

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    DICK,
    I do have a lot for you....will send tonight, while back home.
    Yours sincerely,
    Adriano Silva Baumgartner (from Brazil) > baumgartner_asv@yahoo.com.br

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    Dick,

    Andrew Bird (A Separate Little War*. pp.158-9), is in error quoting the Minesweeper destroyed on 2 May,1945, as M 239 (you mention M 230!). The vessel destroyed was actually Minesweeper M 293:

    http://www.wehrmacht-history.com/kri...nelsweeper.htm

    Other sources confirm this fact:

    http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/45-05.htm

    See: 2.6/5/1945 Ostsee/Nordsee - 2.5

    Col.

    * There is a 2nd edition of A Separate Little War. Andrew might have picked up on the error there. Don't have a copy.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 13th January 2014 at 21:00.

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    Hi,
    If you google "press and journal+gerald yeates", they carried a story about his daughter visiting RAF Banff in 2009. For some reason I cannot access it properly.

    Citation for the DFC in the London Gazette of 9/5/44
    In April, 1944, this Officer piloted one of a formation of aircraft which attacked a U-Boat, strongly escorted by 3 armed ships, 2 minesweepers and 12 Junkers 88s. In the fight, Flying Officer Yeates attacked the most powerfully armed of the escorting vessels and silenced its guns at the critical moment. He then engaged one of the enemy aircraft which he shot down. His determined gallantry and efforts contributed materially to the success of the operation. This Officer has completed many sorties and invariably displayed unfailing devotion to duty.

    Citation for BAR to the DFC in the London Gazette 29th September 1944:
    Within recent months this Officer has completed many reconnaissances ans participated in numerous successful attacks on enemy shipping. He is a gallant and tenacious fighter and has set a fine example in pressing home his attacks in the face of heavy opposing fire.In August, 1944, Flying Officer Yeates attacked a medium sized merchantman inflicting much damage. Afterwards, he attacked 2 anti-aircraft guns on the mainland.

    Alan.

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    The incident with the mast took place the 4th of May in the Bight of Aarhus during an attack on K1 and K3.

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    Dear AL90.
    I went onto the press and journal this morning, I too could not get the full story to come up, so will write to them, I have writen to The Banff Museum, where the daughter visited and saw the items on display, but as yet have not had a reply, my email probably went into their trash can. I have receieved a load on information regarding this chap and his exploits, Many thanks to all who have helped me.
    Richard

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    Default Flt Ltn Yeates

    hi,
    I am Flt Lt Yeates' daughter and I can give you all the information you are looking for. I would however like to know
    how your wife's mother is connected. In my family tree research I have not come across my Father's cousins so this
    would be quite exciting.
    I would also prefer to share this information privately - my email is below.
    the mast artefacts are still on display at the Banff visitor centre if anyone is interested in seeing them

    best regards

    pittam@supanet.com

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