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Thread: RAMSDEN, Edward, Sergeant - BEM - 430917 - 380 Wireless Unit - RAFVR (moved)

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    Default RAMSDEN, Edward, Sergeant - BEM - 430917 - 380 Wireless Unit - RAFVR (moved)

    Please can you post any further details for:
    RAMSDEN, Edward, Sergeant - BEM - 430917 - 380 Wireless Unit - RAFVR
    He is my Son-in-Law's grandfather and never spoke to anyone about his wartime experiences.
    Many Thanks
    Paul

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    Paul,

    The number your give (430917) was allocated to a WAAF - certainly not a grandfather!. I have identified 990181 Sgt Edward Ramsden who was awarded the BEM in the London Gazette 17 September 1943 - this number was allocated to a male 1940 entrant and I suspect your man. The gazette limits itself to a brief introduction of these awards, viz "distinguished service in the Mediterranean Air Command during the period 1 Feb 1943 to 12 May 1943". This suggests service in either North Africa or Malta. There should be a full recommendation somewhere in the National Archives, Kew.

    Jim

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    RAMSDEN, Edward, Sergeant (990181, RAFVR*) - No.380 Wireless Unit - British Empire Medal - awarded as per London Gazette dated 17 September 1943. Public Record Office Air 2/8959, courtesy of Steve Brew, has citation. Mutilated document; some words uncertain.

    This airman has performed special duties, always under the most trying conditions in the forward areas. He has invariably shown complete disregard [words missing] and steadiness under fire. This was specially instanced [words missing] assisted an officer to drive valuable technical vehicles off [words missing] aerodrome during a heavy raid. Sergeant Ramsden has a specialist [words missing] of the German Air Force and his knowledge of languages has [words missing] invaluable.

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    Hello,

    No.380 Wireless Unit.

    While the Eighth Army was pursuing the enemy through Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, the forces under the command of General Eisenhower were fighting their way through the mountains and valleys of Algeria and Tunisia, and moving up with them were, of course, Army and RAF 'Y' field units. Two RAF 'Y' units had been formed back in England, and they landed immediately behind the invasion forces, No.380 Wireless Unit (WU), which would come to be mainly responsible for the interception of W/T traffic in North Africa, including the monitoring of the vital Enigma channels, arrived in Algiers on 12 November (1942), and soon found accommodation at the Chateau Beraud, which was on rising ground at Draria, behind Algiers...

    See:
    The Enemy Is Listening - The Story of the 'Y' Service.
    Clayton,Aileen
    New York:Ballantine Books,1980 (p/b).
    p.228.

    No.329 (Signals) Wing.

    (1) Per SD155 dated 22.4.43, to form as No.329 (Signals) Wing in West Africa Command at Bathurst, Gambia, but evidently never embodied.

    (2) Formed 10.7.43 from No.371, 380 & 381 Wireless Units as No.329 (Signals) Wing in NwAAF at DRARIA to control radar units in North Africa. Disbanded 25.12.43.

    See:
    Royal Air Force Flying Training and Support Units since 1912.
    Sturtivant,Ray with John Hamlin.
    Staplefield:Air-Britain(Historians),2007
    p.303

    Re: Jim Routledge's mention of "number" (430917), it is simply nothing more that the date of Sgt Ramsden's BEM, ie (19)43/09/17!

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 7th February 2018 at 02:27.

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    Hugh and Jim,
    Thank you for the prompt replies and for providing such valuable information. I know the family will be delighted to receive it. I think it's most likely that he was in North Africa - he received the Africa Star (as well as the Italy Star and the France/Germany Star)
    Thanks and Best Wishes
    Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by HughAHalliday View Post
    RAMSDEN, Edward, Sergeant (990181, RAFVR*) - No.380 Wireless Unit - British Empire Medal - awarded as per London Gazette dated 17 September 1943. Public Record Office Air 2/8959, courtesy of Steve Brew, has citation. Mutilated document; some words uncertain.

    This airman has performed special duties, always under the most trying conditions in the forward areas. He has invariably shown complete disregard [words missing] and steadiness under fire. This was specially instanced [words missing] assisted an officer to drive valuable technical vehicles off [words missing] aerodrome during a heavy raid. Sergeant Ramsden has a specialist [words missing] of the German Air Force and his knowledge of languages has [words missing] invaluable.

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    Col,
    Thank you so much for this. I'm going to have to search out a copy of the book.
    Best Wishes
    Paul

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