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Thread: Master T8553 59 OTU 20/02/1943

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    Default Master T8553 59 OTU 20/02/1943

    Dear All,

    I am trying to confirm the names of the crew of Miles Master T8553 that crashed
    at Berrington, Ancroft, Northumberland on Saturday 20th February 1943.

    Northumberland Aviation Diary states the crew were F/Lt Von Shalk and Sgt
    Gledhill, while a report I have rear in the Police book states the crew were
    No. 114086, Flight Lieut. John Edward Van Schaick, 21 years, and No. 1148978,
    Sergt. Pilot Harold Henry Gledall, 22 years.

    I cannot find either man on the CWGC web site, and I have tried various versions
    of the name but fail to come up with anything.

    Any suggestions would be great

    Johnnie

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    Have just found one of the men. He was John Edward Van Schaick. I
    managed to find him with his number on the London Gazette site. Previous
    number 758018. He was first commissioned on the 1st December 1941, then
    became a F/O on 21st June 1942

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    Should have tried the LG web site first. It turns out he was also awarded
    the DFM. He is listed as serving with 609 Squadron from July 1941 and
    that he took part in 50 operational sorties destroying 2, as well as many
    other probables or damaged (LG 2nd Dec 1941).

    http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.aspx?pdf=35364&geotype=London&gpn=6888&typ e=ArchivedIssuePage&all=Van%20Schaick%20&exact=&at least=&similar=

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    Found 1 of your men on CWGC
    Sergeant HAROLD HENRY GLEADALL

    1148978, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died age 22
    on 20 February 1943

    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2407634

    Regards
    Andy

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    And here is the second
    Flight Lieutenant JOHN EDWARD VAN-SCHAICK D F M
    114086, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died on 20 February 1943.


    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2702381

    Regards
    Andy

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    Thanks for that.

    Here is a transcription of the Police Report incase anybody is interested:

    Gledall, Sergt. Pilot Harold H. Milfield Page 150

    20th February 1943
    Scremerston Crashed Aircraft No. 111 PC William J Hart
    Reports that a Miles Master aeroplane No. 8553 crashed in a field at Berrington, Ancroft, about 12.30pm on Saturday 20th February 1943.
    The two occupants, No. 114086, Flight Lieut. John Edward Van Schaick, 21 years, and No. 1148978, Sergt. Pilot Harold Henry Gledall, 22 years, attached to 59th O.T.U., Milfield, Wooler, were both burned to death and the machine was completely destroyed.
    T/Inspector Smith and PC Hart visited the scene at 1.15pm also the Berwick unit of the National Fire Service. Wing Commander Jackson had the bodies removed the mortuary at Milfield Aerodrome.

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    758018 / 114086 Flight Lieutenant John Edward Van Schaick, DFM

    A Canadian, on 8th March 1941 whilst flying Spitfires in 266 Squadron from Wittering, Sergeant van Schaick and Flying Officer Ferris attacked Ju.88A5 W/Nr 0404 FG+BM of Lessmöllman and shot it down into the sea off Skegness at 10:13hrs. As well as Lessmöllman, 86406 F/O Ferris was killed in this engagement. A British pilot, Sergeant van Schaick joined B flight of 609 Squadron on 14th July 1941 at Biggin Hill under S/Ldr Robinson. He Damaged 2 Bf.109F’s on 21st July whilst flying Spitfire PR-L on Circus 54, taking off at 07:44 hours and escorting 3 Stirlings to Lille. 609 were top cover of the Bigin Hill Escort Wing and flew in 6 pairs, 3 pairs on either side of the bombers, at 23,000ft. He was attacked by 2 fighters from up-sun shortly after leaving the target area and felt his Spitfire taking hits in the tail. He broke away downwards and headed for home reaching Calais at a height of 3,000ft. Seeing a gun emplacement he was about to attack it when he saw tracer going past his aircraft and then saw 2 Bf.109’s. All 3 went into a tight circle at 500ft over the rooftops, after which van Schaick broke away across the Channel. The Germans gave chase and hit the Spitfire in the starboard mainplane, only for van Schaick to execute a tight turn which put him on the tail of a 109, allowing him to shoot away a piece of the 109’s wingtip with cannon-fire. The other Bf.109 attacked head-on, and after turning full circle at sea level van Schaick opened fire and the 109 withdrew streaming oil and glyclol. Van Schaick had previously called M’Aidez on Button D and now, in answer to the Controllers query replied that he thought he could reach the coast, which he did and landed at Manston. On 5th August he hit a gun post in PR-S and on the 21st he was flying as part of the Biggin Hill Escort Cover Wing on Circus 83, 6 Blenheims attacking the Chocques Chemical Works. The bombers came under attack by Bf.109’s, van Schaick Probably Destroying a straggler, black smoke being seen after his attack. Arriving alone over Dunkirk at 3,000ft he spotted an E or R boat firing at him. Descending to 100ft he attacked it with cannon-fire, causing a bright flash followed by volumes of smoke, being credited with a Probably Destroyed. On 27th September he was flying as high cover to 12 Blenheims bound for Mazingarbe. Crossing the coast at Mardyck at 27,000ft, a large formation of Bf.109’s was spotted 5,000ft below. The wing dove after them, and van Schaick was attacked 4 times. On 9th October it rained, and in the morning the pilots watched a film on the use of oxygen at the Intelligence Office, followed by a recognition film on which they were tested. Pilot Officer du Monceau and van Schaick made no mistakes. On 7th November, flying Spitfire PR-V at 28,000ft as top cover with the Biggin Hill Wing on a Ramrod, van Schaick took off at 13:15hrs. Rendezvousing with the Northolt Wing, the formation swept east of Dunkirk, north of St Omer to Montreuil, south of Berck to Beachy Head. Within the perimeter of the sweep a formation of bomber Hurricanes attacked alcohol distilleries. Van Schaick was flying as Red 4 of 72 Squadron when their formation was attacked by Bf.109F’s, and he Destroyed one of them 10 miles northeast of Le Touquet. On 23rd November he was awarded the DFM. His citation reads: ‘Since July 1941, this airman has participated in 50 operational sorties and has proved himself to be a keen and reliable pilot. He has destroyed 2, and Probably Destroyed or Damaged several other hostile aircraft.’ 5 days later on the 28th he attended the compression chamber at Farnborough with Sergeant Nash. He was Commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 1st December, announced on the 12th. Flight Sergeant Walling recorded in his diary on the 18th that van Schaick had been promoted to Flight Sergeant and Commissioned. On 4th January 1942 he made a bad landing in Spitfire PR-T, tearing off an undercarriage leg. He was posted as a Pilot Officer on 7th February 1942 to become B Flight Commander from the 13th with 137 Squadron at Matlaske, flying Whirlwinds and he flew his first Operational Sortie with the squadron on 17th February. On 6th April 1942 F/Lt van Schaick went on a 3 day course to Rolls-Royce at Derby. On 2nd May he and P/O Furber did a Dusk Patrol and on the 10th he was up on an Operational Interception for 45 minutes at night, but without success. On the 30th van Schaick with P/O Furber carried out a Shipping Reconnaissance off the Dutch Coast in the afternoon. All they saw was an unidentified enemy aircraft about 20 miles away from them going east at sea level, whilst near the Hook. He was gazetted as a Flying Officer on 21st June 1942, but was already recorded as being a Flight Lieutenant in the 137 Squadron Form 540. On 2nd July from 2000 to 2325, 3 sections were Patrolling a Convoy off the Sector Frontand the Form 540 felt it worthy of note, that F/L J.E. van Schaick and P/O F.M. Furber were airborne for 2 hours 5 minutes. On the 8th van Schaick, P/O F.M. Furber and W/O R.L. Smith DFM did night flying practice from Coltishall. On 19th August 7 sections were Scrambled and 3 others were on Patrol off the coast during the day, resulting in a Dornier Do.217 destroyed by F/O J.M. Bryan and Sgt D.A. Roberts, and a Ju.88 damaged by Sgt A.E. Brown. F/L van Schaick DFM was with Sgt Brown as Green section, airborne at 0915, Patrolling the Outer Channel, with F/L van Schaick at 1000’ and Sgt Brown at sea level. The weather was misty, and Sgt Brown sighted a Ju.88 at sea level coming towards him 300 yards away. He got behind the enemy aircraft and opened fire at 500 yards with a 1 second burst. Return fire was experienced and the enemy aircraft weaved violently. Sgt Brown finished off all his ammunition in 4 bursts from 500 yards closing to 300 yards seeing strikes on the starboard side and smoke coming from the starboard engine. Owing to bad visibility, F/L van Schaick was unable to make contact. 1 Ju.88 is claimed as damaged. On the evening of 25th August 137 Squadron arrived at Duxford to stand by for Fighter Night, van Schaick finding himself to have been a member of all 3 Squadrons on the Station: 266, 609 and 137. On 3rd September a Rodeo Operation took place, the following pilots taking part: S/L H.St.J. Coghlan DFC, F/L L.H. Bartlett, F/L J.E. van Schaick DFM, F/O J.M. Bryan, 2nd Lt N.A. Freeman, P/O F.M. Furber, P/O J.E. McClure, P/O J.L. DeHoux, P/O E.L. Musgrave, W/O C.E. Mercer, W/O A.G. Brunet and F/S J.R. Rebbetoy. The Squadron took off at 1000. F/S Rebbetoy had trouble with his aircraft and had to return. The 11 aircraft were escorted by 24 Spitfires of 485 and 411 Squadrons, the idea being to make a feint at Lille, hoping that enemy aircraft would come up and be dealt with by the Spitfires and also 36 Typhoons of No’s 56, 266 and 609 Squadrons. 30 miles north west of Oostende, the Wing Leader started to climb to 12000’, crossed the coast between Blankenberghe and Oostende, flew to Diksmuide and out over Nieuwpoort, and landed at Manston for refuelling. There were no signs of enemy aircraft. 12th October saw four Whirlwinds take off at 0800 for an attack on shipping off the French Coast. S/L H.St.J. Coghlan, F/L J.E. van Schaick DFM, P/O J.M. Bryan and P/O D.St.J. Jowitt, escorted by 23 Spitfires flew to Oostende, where a fleet of about 40 fishing smacks were seen. They continued to Dunkerque and then returned to Base without sighting anything of interest. On 16th October Four Whirlibombers were on an Anti-Shipping Reconnaissance. P/O J.E. McClure and P/O E.L Smith DFM took off at 0615, and landed at 0725, having Patrolled Oostende to Cap Gris Nez. F/L J.E. van Schaick DFM and P/O F.M. Furber up at 0625, down at 0725, Patrolled Cap Gris Nez to Ault. A 2000 ton ship was seen with steam up in Boulogne Harbour. At 1100 on 31st October 1942 he was leading 4 aircraft piloted by himself and Sgt F.G. Waldron, P/O D.St.J. Jowitt and P/O F.M. Furber on a Rhubarb. The first 2 were to attack a hutted camp near Etaples and the others a similar target about 3 miles to the north. The Whirlwinds flew at low level across the Channel, van Schaick in P7064. Over the target area van Schaick was hit by Flak and headed for the coast, his No.2, Sgt Waldon, being shot down. The other pair attacked another encampment 3 miles away and both were hit, only one aircraft of the four returning home, with Pilot Officer Jowitt being killed. Van Schaick was too low to bale out and successfully ditched his aircraft a few miles out to sea 3-4 miles off the French Coast between Le Touquet and Boulogne. At 14:20hrs Sgt Round from 91 Squadron took off on a shipping recconnaisance to Dieppe and spotted him eight miles west of Cap Gris Nez. He reported this and began to orbit. 277 Squadron at Hawkinge sent out a Lysander to locate him but they were vectored to the wrong area, but at 15:35hrs Walrus W3076 flown by Pilot Officer Hilton and Flight Sergeant Seales was scrambled and vectored on a bearing of 167 degrees for 24 miles, escort being supplied by three Spitfires led by P/O Maridor. On reaching van Schaick’s dinghy it was noted that he was not only close to shore, but also in a minefield. P/O Hilton landed crosswind between the rows of mines but overshot the dinghy and had to turn to port and taxi back between them with only 4ft clearance on each side. Alongside, Seales threw a line to van Shaick and he was hauled into the Walrus. Taking off amongst the mines, Hilton spotted one 15yds ahead and had to bounce over it, repeating this 6 times before being able to get clear, returning to Hawkinge at 16:35hrs. Van Shaick returned to 137 Squadron the following day having spent 5 hours in his dinghy and suffering mild exposure. Before attacking his target, he had experienced intense Bofors and small arms fire, silencing 2 Bofors sites with cannon fire. He was hit in the starboard engine before dropping his 2 x 250lb bombs in the middle of the hutted camp, seeing 2 palls of smoke rising on looking back. The last he saw of Sgt Waldron was when the latter followed him in to attack. F/Lt van Schaick fired his cannons, observing strikes on a goods train without an engine. He now got another strike on his other engine. He was subsequently taken off operations, having flown 60 Operational sorties, and on 2nd November he was seen by 609 at Manston wearing an AC2's uniform and being ‘somewhat angry at having to go to a home for shaken fighter pilots’. On 3rd November he 137 Squadron Form 540 recorded: F/O A. Torrance was promoted to F/Lt, and given command of ‘B’ Flight in place of F/Lt J.E. van Schaick DFM, who, it is thought, will be going to an OTU. On 18th November Flight Sergeant Walling of 609 squadron recorded: ‘Van is a flight commander in a whirligig squadron here - they go and bomb poor little boats in the Channel. Van was shot down into the drink and a Walrus taxied into a minefield near Boulogne to pick him up. The papers made a hell of a shout about it at the time. Now rumour has it that he is going to give the postscript on either Saturday or Sunday night. Must listen and pull his leg about it if I see him.’ Flight Sergeant Haddon recorded meeting him at a dance on 3rd December, and he and Cheval having a drink with him on the 19th. On 20th February 1943 was killed whilst serving with No.59 Operational Training Unit as a Flying Instructor when the Master in which he was flying, T8553 crashed at Benington near Ancroft. He is buried at Littleover Churchyard in Derbyshire.

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    Hi. Thanks fantastic. Could you tell me where it is from

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    My files.

    Which doesn't help much. Let me expand...this is data put together over the last few years by myself from a varied array of books, from 609 Squadron Form 540's and diaries, from various contemporary newspaper reports, documents and scraps and from bits sent by friends (some of this particular file comes from info sent by EN830 / Ian Le Sueur - which reminds me, he sent me this pic once of van Schaick).

    I hold a large part of the 609 squadron archive, so any errors that might surface in this come from contemporary errors.

    Hope that helps, glad to be of service!


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    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/search-results.asp?searchtype=browserefine&query=last_nam e%3dschaick&catid=27&pagenumber=1&querytype=1&medi aarray=*

    Here, his combat reports. Can't afford to purchase myself, finances as they are, but having just downloaded some for one of the squadron pilots I am very interested in I must say they are good quality and worth the expense.

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