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Thread: Catalina on Diego Garcia

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    Default Catalina on Diego Garcia

    To this day my father's Catalina VA718 of 240 squadron lies beached on the shore of the lagoon in Diego Garcia. You can read the full story here http://www.zianet.com/tedmorris/dg/pby.html. I am trying to find if there was any official documentation of the accident. Apparently there was a court of inquiry in Koggala, and I would like to find any record of it.

    Thanks
    bp

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    Did you ever get the squadron ORB to confirm the crew names.

    They can be bought for download on the UK national archives website
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis_burke View Post
    Did you ever get the squadron ORB to confirm the crew names.

    They can be bought for download on the UK national archives website
    Thank you for the lead Dennis. I was not only able to find the flight report to Diego Garcia with the complete crew, but also the telegram informing Redhills of the accident. There were also 4 other earlier flight reports of my father flying Katie, which all agree with his flight log book. My father flew 39 Catalinas altogether by the time he was 22, but Katie was his favorite by far.

    Again, a sincere thank you.

    bp

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    Hello Vandellyn,

    It would be most appreciated if you could post the names of the crew of "Katie".

    Col.

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    The crew were:
    F/Sgt James Park(Capt. and my father)
    F/Sgt J. Tennant (2nd pilot)
    F/Sgt N. Chessells (Nav) (Australian)
    W/O J. Gough
    W/O A. Watson (wireless operator/air gunner)
    F/Sgt R. (Leafy) LeFevre
    F/Sgt Jack Freel (Fitter - engines and airframes)
    F/Sgt A. Thomas
    F/Sgt R. Brewster (Rigger - airframes/cook/air gunner) He was on board when Katie was beached by the storm.

    bp

    You can see a photo of them at http://www.zianet.com/tedmorris/dg/pby.html. The caption will be corrected now that I have confirmation of the crew.

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    Woops, my father's rank at the time was WO. not F/Sgt. His ranks went Sgt to F/Sgt, to W/O, to P/O to F/O. according to his Flying Log Book, which I have.

    bp

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    Vandellyn,

    Thanks for that.

    I suspect your F/Sgt N Chessells, is, 1436786 Nevin Francis CHESSELLS (196873) RAFVR, originally from Queensland, Australia.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 8th August 2017 at 12:11.

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    Default 240 Squadron, Madras

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandellyn View Post
    To this day my father's Catalina VA718 of 240 squadron lies beached on the shore of the lagoon in Diego Garcia. You can read the full story here http://www.zianet.com/tedmorris/dg/pby.html. I am trying to find if there was any official documentation of the accident. Apparently there was a court of inquiry in Koggala, and I would like to find any record of it.

    Thanks
    bp
    My Dad was with 240 at this time, WOM/AG Fl/Sgt Howells with Fl/Lt Turnbull's crew in FP304 (struck off charge April 1945), FX311 and W8405. They were part of the Special Duties Flight of which I am hoping to learn more. I know a fair amount but I am always searching and asking.

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    Hello, and welcome to the forum.

    I believe your "Flt Lt Turnbull" is, 132081 F/L (Pilot) Dennis Holstead TURNBULL RAFVR (later DFC, LG: 25-9-1945, 240 Sqn.)

    Flight Lieutenant Dennis Holstead TURNBULL (132081), R.A.F.V.R., 240 Sqn.

    This officer has flown on many operational missions, including numerous hazardous night sorties over enemy controlled territory. On one occasion, in March, 1945, he was captain of an aircraft detailed to make a landing on the sea by moonlight to deliver supplies. On reaching the target area it was found that the water was rough and affected by a heavy swell. Despite this, Flight Lieutenant Turnbull brought his aircraft down on to the water and in circumstances of extreme difficulty he finally brought it to rest. After successfully completing his mission, he experienced great difficulty in taking-off. After several attempts, involving serious damage to the hull of the aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Turnbull successfully took-off again and course was set for base. His skill and determination under trying circumstances has set a magnificent example to the rest of his squadron.

    Not absolutely sure (the 240 Sqn ORB is very difficult to read), but I think the above operation took place on 31 March, 1945, and the aircraft was 240 squadron, Catalina IB FP304 "Z".

    This information is just as much for the benefit of others, as well as yourself.

    Incidentally, FX311 was a Harvard IIB, do you mean IVB JX311?

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 4th April 2019 at 05:01.

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    1. Thank you for the welcome.
    2. The very pilot and thank you, again, for the added info.
    3. Oops, I stand corrected. Yes, JX311 which they used for a single ”Balmoral” op before taking over W8405.

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