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Thread: Sunderland DV957 95 Squadron

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    Default Sunderland DV957 95 Squadron

    I am currently researching 95 Squadron and have DV957 as a partial brick wall. I am trying to establish the complete crew details of 957 when it crashed on 3rd Sept 1942.
    I have the Aircraft accident card and squadron orb's,but the latter only give the officers involved. I have been in contact with Philip Adams (the 2nd Pilot on the day)but he ,by his own admission, is somewhat sketchy with regard to the crew.Am I looking at the right orb's? If not is
    there anyone who can help please.
    regards Mike

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    When you say ORBs, do you mean both the 540 AND the 541? The 541 should include the entire crew if it has been compiled properly.

    What does Philip Adams logbook actually record?

    Is there a squadron association or an historian or published work of the unit.

    If all else fails and you've a few quid to spare, make an enquiry via the Air Historical Branch under the Defence Publications Scheme. There are some forms to complete but I have used the system a couple of times and it works!

    Can you share with us the numbers and names you have so far. Aeroplane magazine and others published the casualty bulletins under a range of categories, such as; 'killed on active service', 'missing' and each points towards casualties who are operational or not as the case might be. Using those bulletins might give you some names that you can rundown, perhaps to jog Adams' memory. Of course, it won't help if there were no casualties!!

    Colin Cummings
    Last edited by Oldduffer; 28th January 2015 at 10:26.

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    Hello,

    l suspect "Philip Adams", is:

    AUS402835 Philip Goodrich 'Happy' ADAMS RAAF (later DFC - 500761 RAF).

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 28th January 2015 at 11:07.

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    Hello Col and Colin,
    As I understood it Philip Adams was a Canadian as he did his training in Calgary.Were Australians sent to Canada to train? His record of the event is to be found in 230 squadron website and that together with a subsequent email has given me the following crew list:
    F/Lt Roger S Day
    RAF 81922

    F/O Philip Adams Canadian, rank as Squadron ORBs

    F/Sgt Hoare

    Sgt William Frederick Searl(e) Killed in Action 28th November 1942
    RAF 570350 Not positive that this is the same Searle /Searl

    F/Sgt William Anthony Dearman Killed in Action 4th October 1943 (53 Squadron)
    RAF 635140

    Sgt Peter Wharton

    F/O Tucker rank as Squadron ORBs

    Being a novice,I obtained from the Nation Archives the ORB for the relevant date and received a document stamped AIR 27 / 761 which gives only officers together with a Sgt. pilot. What do I apply for to get the full crew list?
    regards Mike

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    Hello,

    Seems odd to me.

    You have said that you have been in contact with Adams. Can't you ask him?

    l believe (but l'm not sure), that Adams did part of his training at No.3 SFTS, Calgary, Alberta.

    My "Adams", also served on No.10 (R.A.A.F.) Sqn, and had a post-war career in the RAF, which included a King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air (LG: 1/1/1952 p.34).

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 28th January 2015 at 12:24.

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    Hello Col,
    Is this the same Adams who served in 95 squadron and I assume 230 squadron (Thats where he published Tales from the Wardroom)
    Yes I could ask him as it "seems odd to you"
    regards Mike

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    Mike,

    The area you refer to on the 230 Squadron website can only be accessed by members - l am not a member.

    My Philip Adams, served a tour of operations, including No.95 Squadron, mainly from West African bases.

    Col.

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    Hello Col,
    Have emailed Philip but done some digging in the meantime.Unless there were two Philip Adams serving in 95 then yours is the correct one. His D.F.C (28th Sept 1943 to acting F/Lt Philip Goodrich Adams Aus .402835) gives his squadron as 95. Dont want to block the forum up,but if you want a copy of his "Tale from the Sunderland Wardroom", I will gladly post same.
    regards
    Mike

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    Mike,

    Go for it. l will join the site later on, as l do have an interest in the unit. l've made do with Tom Docherty's history, "Hunt Like a Tiger", to date.

    Col.

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    Hello Col,
    Here it is:
    Tales from the Sunderland Wardroom by Philip Adams

    “How did I become a Sunderland Pilot?
    Fate played a serious hand in steering me that way, for after we had been awarded our wings in 1941, at Calgary in Canada, we were due to en-train for Halifax and troopship to the U.K.
    We were assembled and the Warrant Officer then called out 12 names. Twelve men were wanted to attend a "General Recce Course" and then to fly a Hudson across to the U.K.
    How did they select them? Alphabetically! And of course Adams led the rest!
    To cut a long story short, after the course there were no Hudsons available and so we sailed across to the U.K. and went to a reception centre at Bournemouth. There we were asked to select the type of aircraft and the role. Sprott and I chose "torpedo or shipping strike"; the other ten chose "Flying Boats". Result – Adams and Sprott to Flying Boats, the rest – torpedo and shipping strike!!
    After our conversion course in Alness, The Wg Cdr Flying called both of us to his office and, coming straight to the point, said "you two are 12,000 miles from home, so you cannot go home for Christmas or Leave and we want two pilots for 95 squadron in West Africa, I hoped you two would volunteer"! I said I thought that the war was being fought in Europe and North Africa and not in West Africa. He then added that the convoys, both outbound and inbound, had to refuel in Freetown and that the U- Boats were sinking some 4-6 ships every time a convoy put into Freetown! Well it was December and very cold for us so, despite our misgivings, we volunteered.
    We obviously had to be second pilots and my tale relates to what happened on the 3rd September 1942.
    Sunderland DV957-Mk3 was tasked to carryout an anti-submarine patrol. She was not fully serviceable in that we had only one serviceable rev counter. The supply of spares was difficult, no doubt partly because of the U- boat activity, but if we were serviceable to fly we went and could cope without the rev counters (by synchronizing the engines using the shadow effect and noise of the props).
    The weather for Freetown that day was peculiar. A dense fog sat at about 50 feet over the take off area, unusual but not restricting, and we took off as usual. The fog became patchy at about 700 feet and it was while I was synchronizing the starboard engines that I noticed the Aircraft was turning. The Captain was looking over the side to try and pinpoint himself with the railway line that ran along the southern shore of the harbour. While doing so he was turning towards the high ground! I pointed this out to him and we straightened up, but he did it again and once more I pointed to the instrument panel.
    The fog became patchier and in so doing it saved our lives. Suddenly, we saw that we were losing height, even though the instruments showed that we were climbing! It was obvious that the ground was coming up to meet us!! So, full power on and an immediate turn to starboard, away from the high ground. We might have made it, except for one tree (a tall palm tree), which emerged from the fog just before we slammed into it with our number 4 engine! The fire was instantaneous.
    The Sunderland wing had a small access passageway behind the engines. The flames shot along this to exit at the Flight Engineers seat, fortunately as soon as we hit he tree he had vacated his desk to view the number 4 engine. We were at full power with the other three engines, tearing through the small bushes and trees and then a large tree stopped us, dead! In stopping, the aircraft had slewed around and in so doing I finished-up on my back on the floor, with a nasty lot of flames coming out of the passageway and over the nav table!
    Cautiously I moved a little and was relieved to find I had no broken bones and so wriggled on my back until I reached the throttle quadrant – number 2 engine was still going at full power and I shut it down thinking, stupidly, that the engine would be damaged if left as it was! But one mans stupidity saved another’s life – for a signaler, who had escaped through the astro hatch, was just about to run along the nacelle and jump-off, not seeing the "prop" which had been at full bore!
    I now reached the port cockpit window, I have no idea how I did it but I pulled myself through the small window to escape. My injuries consisted of lots of scratches – I had landed in a thorn bush!!
    A quick look around showed no one lying close-by, so the intensity of the fire and the proximity of the depth charges persuaded me to run for cover! Avoiding the mainplane, I made my way to a fringe of bushes and small trees that were still intact and offering some shelter.
    I found the Captain and three others there. The Captain had a very serious eye injury, his left eye had come out of its socket and he was, understandably, in some distress. Fortunately, I had a newly laundered white handkerchief and we managed to replace his eye so that it could be supported, cleanly, and bandaged it with the handkerchief.
    I thought we ought to go back to the aircraft and see whether any one had jumped down (it is quite a height to jump) and was lying injured there. One of the lads volunteered to come too, but there was no way we could get close enough to see, the heat was terrific, 2500 gallons of 100 octane fuel certainly makes a good hot fire!!
    We returned to the others just in time for all the Verey cartridges to put on their own show, reds and greens in abundance and in the misty fog they struck some colours that gave an eerie feel. So much so that one of the lads said "we are not alive you know we are in hell"! I warned to him "look out for that snake that is about to slide over your leg"! He moved very quickly and we all had all had a laugh, which served to lighten the gloom.
    Next we waited for the Torpex to go off, were we sufficiently far enough away? We would soon find out! (I estimated we were about 60 yards away from the wreck.) Off went the charges, the noise was very, very loud and made a crater, some 50 yards wide, which finished, only just before our hideaway!
    It was now time to come down the mountain……….
    Selecting and arming ourselves with some of the stoutest branches left from the explosion we set off downhill. There was a road at the bottom well used by the Army and so they were able to give us a lift back to camp. We managed that without further adventure, where we could deliver the Captain into the medic’s hands. Shortly afterwards the Navigator, with his band of survivors, also returned by courtesy of the Army.
    Thankfully we had all survived the accident and, except for our Captain, (who so far as I know never flew again – probably because of his eye?) all of us survived the war.

    by Philip Adams”

    regards Mike

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