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Thread: F/O EGH Stevenson: Location of HQ 295 Wing 1942-43

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    Default F/O EGH Stevenson: Location of HQ 295 Wing 1942-43

    1. Ernest Grant Hervey Stevenson was commissioned as a F/O on 1 November 1942. His service record suggests he was already working in a civilian capacity as a forecaster with HQ 295 Wing in West Africa. Air of Authority on RAFWeb (http://www.rafweb.org/Stations/Stations-Y.htm) places HQ 295 Wing at Yundum, now Banjul, from 21 September 1944 to 1 August 1945, implying it moved there during September 1944. Before I go down the route of ordering the 295 (General Reconnaissance) Wing ORB, would anyone know the unit's location prior to this time?

    2. Stevenson drowned at Port Etienne on 17 October 1943, but there is no indication in his service record of a posting there . In respect of his death the service record includes a note Not FA or FB off duty; I'd appreciate advice as to what this means/implies.

    Edit. I'm wondering if HQ 295 Wing was located at Port Etienne, although I'd find it surprising as PE was as remote a place as one could imagine with no (so far as I can gather) resident flying units.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 13th December 2017 at 14:00. Reason: Just a thought about Port Etienne & HQ 295 Wing

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    Brian,

    The papers of Air Commodore John Constable-Roberts CBE indicated 295 Wing was at Dakar prior to Yundum:

    http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/it...ect/1030002063

    Dave

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    Thank you, Dave.

    According to 295 (General Reconnaissance) Wing ORB, the unit was formed in March 1942, at which time Dakar was still under the control of the Vichy French, and would remain so until after Operation TORCH in November 1942 (http://www.histclo.com/essay/war/ww2/cou/sl/ww2-sl.html). Other than that I've not had a much success in finding much about Dakar on the Internet (other than the disastrous battle of Dakar in September 1940), although I believe British forces were not established there until early 1943.

    According to AP1134 (The Second World War 1939-1945: Meteorology) (an AHB publication), meteorological support for Dakar and Port Etienne was not provided until after February 1943.

    Which brings me to a variation of my original query - where was HQ 295 Wing based between March and December 1942?

    Brian

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    Brian

    According to Flying Training and Support Units of the RAF, the HQ was at Marine Camp, Bathurst from March 1942 until May 1943 when it moved to Dakar

    Other thoughts:

    1. You asked what "Not FA or FB off duty" might mean; is this suggesting that he flew to Port Etienne and whilst off duty there, he lost his life?

    2. I have the 204 Squadron ORB from October 1943 (obtained for a previous project) and they were certainly providing escorts and patrols from Bathurst to Port Etienne (and vice versa) and transit flights to Dakar .... I was hoping it might mention the loss of this airman .... but it was not to be
    Last edited by PeteT; 13th December 2017 at 18:03. Reason: Other thought added
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    Thank you, Peter. That obviously places Stevenson at Bathurst when he was commissioned, until at least the spring of 1943. I have the October 1943 ORB for 95 Sqn, and that includes a reference to Stevenson's body being flown to Banjul on the 19th. I'll have to get a copy of the 295 Wing ORB for the same month.

    Stevenson's service record is unusual in that nothing has been redacted, not that there is much to redact. It includes the following in the Disability and Date of Commencement column:
    FSSI (or F551) 17.10.43. Not FA or FB off duty.

    and in the Authority/Movements columns:

    CCList 1280 Died on Active Service. Drowned as result of an accident on 17.10.43.

    It may be that he had flown to Port Etienne for a break, although why anyone would want to do that is a mystery as there was hardly anything there. Water was rationed and stored in tanks (no natural supply), and there were no amenities.

    Brian

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    Hi

    My take on "Not FA or FB off duty" would be that he wasn't killed in a Flying Accident or Flying Battle and that he was simply off duty when he drowned, bathing?

    Malcolm

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    Sounds logical, Malcolm, many thanks.

    Brian

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