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Thread: Nationality of 6 pilots from 488 Sqn 1944-45

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    Default Nationality of 6 pilots from 488 Sqn 1944-45

    Hi,

    I need some help to identify nationality of the following six pilots from 488 Sqn:

    W/O T.G.C. Mackay (made claims during July and August 1944)
    W/O W.G. Kirkwood (made a claim 18 July 1944)
    F/O A.S. McPhail (made a claim 18 July 1944)
    F/O A.L. Shaw (made claims 5 August 1944)
    F/Sgt T.A. MacLean or McLean (made a claim 6 August 1944)
    F/Lt H.D.C. Webb (made a claim 27 December 1944)
    F/O W.A. Craig (made a claim 22 April 1945)

    I donīt know exactly when they served with 488 Sqn but I include information about when they made claims. Information about which air force the served with is also of interest.

    Thanks in advance
    Peter

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    Peter,

    NZ421074 Thomas Gilbert Campbell Mackay (log book or copy of held by RNZAF Museum)

    NZ412272 Andrew Latham Shaw (most probably)

    NZ422344 Thomas Allan MacLean (most probably)

    NZ4210081 William Albert Craig (most probably)

    No RNZAF/New Zealand connection found for the others.

    Errol

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    Thank you for this help Errol.

    Peter

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    Peter, A couple of possibilities from the LG:
    Flt Lt Hugh Donald Challoner WEBBE (121207).
    1014596 Sgt A. S. McPHAIL, R.A.F.V.R. awarded m.i.d. wef 8 Jun 44
    Regards, Terry

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    Thanks Terry,
    These men can probably be what Iīm looking foor as their names are uncommon. You got WEBBE correct I missed the last 'e' when I wrote my post.
    Regards
    Peter

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    Peter,
    Have checked up your names in the 488 Sqdn ORB, and can report that all the five RNZAF men mentioned by Errol did indeed serve with the squadron, as did F/L H D C Webbe (RAF) but the other two mentioned did not. W/O Walter Gordon KIRKWOOD (RCAF R.121850) was a member of the RCAF, and he was awarded a DFC (London Gazette notice of 3/10/44, page 4539) for service with 409 RCAF Squadron. His rank was WO2 rather than straight WO, as the RCAF retained the original Army practice of having the two classes. I cannot find out anything in particular about F/O A S McPhail, but as both these men apparently made claims for enemy a/c destroyed on 18th July 1944, I checked on the list of claimed victories in the book "Mosquito" by Bowyer and Sharp. The only claims on 18/7/44 were submitted by 409 RCAF Squadron, so it looks as though somebody has supplied you with some faulty information.
    And in case you were wondering, the "other men" (Navigator/Radar) in these two-man Mosquito night fighter crews (which made possible these victories) were as follows:-
    F/O W A CRAIG and NZ437358 F/O A L TAUWHARE RNZAF.
    W/O T G C MACKAY and F/Sgt A A THOMPSON.
    F/Sgt T A MACLEAN and F/O B C GRANT.
    F/O A L SHAW and F/Sgt L J WYMAN.
    F/L H D C WEBBE and W/O J F NEWMAN (latter replaced by 128549 F/L I (or L) WATSON, DFC). Watson's service number and fact he was awarded DFC should enable his full name to be located.
    I think my next project should be to list details of the 487, 488 and 489 Sqdn crews!
    David Duxbury

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    Default Nationality of 7 (not 6) pilots from 488 Sqn 1944-45

    David,
    Thanks for putting me on the right track. I got my information about these claims from 2nd Tactical Air Force Vols 2 and 3 by Christopher Shores and Chris Thomas. Apparantly a mistake was made when these men were described as member of 488 Sqn. However when I look into the index in Vol 3 they are both listed as members of the 409 Sqn (I should have done this before writing my post).

    Do you have any plans to publish the work you have done on crews of 75 Sqn?

    Cheers
    Peter Hasselgren

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    Default 488 Squadron Personnel Webbe and Newman

    Quote Originally Posted by David Duxbury View Post
    Peter,
    Have checked up your names in the 488 Sqdn ORB, and can report that all the five RNZAF men mentioned by Errol ..........
    F/L H D C WEBBE and W/O J F NEWMAN (latter replaced by 128549 F/L I (or L) WATSON, DFC). Watson's service number and fact he was awarded DFC should enable his full name to be located.
    I think my next project should be to list details of the 487, 488 and 489 Sqdn crews!
    David Duxbury
    ======

    I would like to follow up on this general line of inquiry.

    The Background:

    On May 28-29 1944, a RNZAF night fighter shot down two RCAF Wellington bombers returning from France in a friendly fire accident. About a dozen crew died including my father who was the pilot of one plane (I was two months old at the time).

    "the Operations Book for 82 OTU confirms that your father's aircraft was shot down by F/O Webbe who was flying Mosquito XIII HK420 (with his navigator, Newman) and Webbe was found guilty of improper recognition but no further punishment was recommended."

    The Operations Record Book (diary) of this Royal New Zealand Air Force unit provided this entry:

    " May 28 1944:

    A most unfortunate incident occurred tonight when F/O. Webbe whilst on patrol shot down two Wellingtons in the firm conviction that one was a JU88, and the other was a Heinkel 217. There was considerable confusion at the time due to the fact that it was believed that enemy aircraft were coming in with the bomber stream."

    F/O Hugh Donald C. Webbe was flying a Mosquito fighter aircraft (HK420) when he took off from Church Fenton, Yorkshire, at 2325 hrs. (11.25 p.m.). He returned to base approximately 4 hours later. It was only his 4th sortie for the month of May.

    W/O J.F. Newman. was Webbe's navigator in Mosquito fighter aircraft (HK420).


    The Problem:

    I and some of the survivors of other crew members always wondered what happened to the RNZAF crew.

    Webbe questions have now been resolved. He was member of the RAF and stayed in the service after the war, rising in the ranks.

    Retirement
    Squadron Leader H.D.C. Webbe (121207)
    (on account of unfitness for air force service). 18th January 1960
    Second Supplement to The London Gazette, 15 January 1960, No.41932, 547

    His birth was registered in 1921 in Wandsworth & his death in 1980 in Richmond upon Thames. He does not appear to have married, in England anyway.

    Webbe was posted abroad for significant periods of time. He is shown in a photo while on Christmas Island in 1959 in Flight Magazine, 17 April 1959, 520.

    Newman however is another matter. Can't seem to find out anything about him, even his nationality is obscure.

    Any thoughts on this matter? Copy to my email address svp.

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    Craig,
    J F Newman was apparently not a member of RNZAF, almost certainly RAF (or RAFVR). Incidentally not correct to describe these crews as "RNZAF" as Article XV squadrons were, although nominally units of the air force included in their title (as 488, RNZAF) were in effect RAF squadrons for all practical purposes; the "nationality" designations were added as a condition of the original Empire Air Training Scheme agreement, the intention being that eventually all members of these squadrons (air and ground) would eventually be nationals of the nominated country. Although many of the Canadian squadrons under the scheme achieved this worthy aim, not so with the RAAF and RNZAF Article XV squadrons, the RNZAF squadrons in particular never had more than about 5% groundcrew representation, and from 100% aircrew (485 and 486 day fighter Sqdns) to perhaps 50 to 75 % at best in other squadrons, including 75 Squadron (latter not officially Article XV, although by 1942 was regarded as such.) On occasions there were only one or two RNZAF aircrew members on these squadrons (such as 489 Sqdn in its early days); also there were no RNZAF Observers (Radio) in the original crews of 488 (Night Fighter) Squadron when it was equipped with Beaufighter IIs, and even later in the war only a small proportion of New Zealanders were serving in this role with 488.
    David D

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    Default J F Newman(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by David Duxbury View Post
    Craig,
    J F Newman was apparently not a member of RNZAF, almost certainly RAF (or RAFVR). Incidentally not correct to describe these crews as "RNZAF" as Article XV squadrons were, although nominally units of the air force included in their title (as 488, RNZAF) were in effect RAF squadrons for all practical purposes; the "nationality" designations were added as a condition of the original Empire Air Training Scheme agreement, the intention being that eventually all members of these squadrons (air and ground) would eventually be nationals of the nominated country. Although many of the Canadian squadrons under the scheme achieved this worthy aim, not so with the RAAF and RNZAF Article XV squadrons, the RNZAF squadrons in particular never had more than about 5% groundcrew representation, and from 100% aircrew (485 and 486 day fighter Sqdns) to perhaps 50 to 75 % at best in other squadrons, including 75 Squadron (latter not officially Article XV, although by 1942 was regarded as such.) On occasions there were only one or two RNZAF aircrew members on these squadrons (such as 489 Sqdn in its early days); also there were no RNZAF Observers (Radio) in the original crews of 488 (Night Fighter) Squadron when it was equipped with Beaufighter IIs, and even later in the war only a small proportion of New Zealanders were serving in this role with 488.
    David D
    Thanks so much for your prompt reply. This is the only passing reference to a J F Newman I could find. It might very well not be him as there would appear to have possibly been another one active in the RAF during the war. However, in light of your previous comment about being able to find out more details of medal winners if I understood correctly, I am wondering just how you would go about doing this.

    Flight, 16 January, 1953, 83
    In the R.A.F. Half-Yearly Promotions
    Wing Commander to Group Captain:
    J. F. Newman, D. S. O., D. F. C.

    Thanks again

    C

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