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Thread: No.222 Group - Routine Orders - Command Mentions

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    Default No.222 Group - Routine Orders - Command Mentions

    Could these be a research tool for some members ? In Canada’s National Library and Archives I have found a file of No.222 Group Routine Orders, 4 January to 26 October 1944. They are for the most part concerned with commissioning and promotions of officers (something one can find via the London Gazette). Other orders deal with administrative items (fees to be charged by Ceylonese rickshaw pullers), security matters (a ban on fortune tellers on bases or personnel consulting same), etiquette on trains, etc. What most struck me were occasional Command Mentions - accounts of personnel and deeds which did not (with one exception) translate into awards of any sort - not even Mentions in Dispatches - especially surprising in the case of LAC Brown. I herewith make these available to anyone interested, especially if they can access such orders before or after the dates noted above:

    Order No.40 - 20 January 1944 - 1291360 FS K.W. Light - “On 4th September 1943 the above NCO had been carrying out strafing of M.T. and communications on the Taungup-Prome Road, and at a certain point his engine cut. He discovered that his engine would only run for a few minutes at a time on main tanks, but he was able by switching from main to reserve and back to main every two or three minutes to keep his aircraft in the air.

    He was, however, unable to gain sufficient height to climb over the hills and therefore had to fly through 80 miles of valley, with no chance of baling out or force landing, followed by 60 miles of mangrove swamp where baling out or forced landing would have been a very doubtful proposition.

    For the last 90 miles over enemy territory, it was necessary to use the Ki-Gass priming pump in addition to continually switching tanks. The fuel pressure light was on all the time which indicated that fuel pressure was below normal.

    This means that he flew his aircraft 290 miles, 230 of them over enemy territory, under extremely difficult conditions and landed it safely.

    By his common sense initiative and coolness he has set an outstanding example to his fellow pilots.

    Order No.355 - 18 May 1944 - P/O H.B. Date (Can J.18075, No.20 Squadron)

    On 28th February 1944, P/O H.B. Date was detailed with five other aircraft to attack Japanese communications near Minbya. During the attack, which was successfully pressed home, both the aircraft of P/O Date and his No.2 were hit by Light Anti-Aircraft. P/O Date was himself hit by a .303 bullet, which passed through his left side, injuring his lung and stomach, finally lodging in his right arm. In spite of these injuries this officer maintained control of his aircraft and flew back over enemy territory for another 25 minutes, although passing out once completely. He eventually made a good “wheels up” landing on a strip, further injuring himself through a knife he was wearing piercing his side. In spite of his wounds, which were causing great loss of blood, P/O Date insisted on giving instructions concerning his aircraft parachute, money belt, etc. before being taken to an Indian Field Ambulance Station, where he was immediately placed on the Dangerously Injured list. This officer’s determination and skill under difficult circumstances is worthy of the highest praise.”

    Order No.355 - 18 May 1944 - F/L P.S. Voss (NZ.404972) - No.62 Squadron.

    On 11th February 1944, this officer was the pilot of a Dakota aircraft engaged in supply dropping operations at dusk over the Arakan on the East side of the Mayu range and was on his first supply dropping sortie. On both the first two circuits of the supply dropping zone, his aircraft was subjected to L.M.G. fire from the ground, which resulted in the main oil tank of one engine being holed. A few minutes later the engine concerned began to run “rough” and eventually stopped. By this time, F/L Voss, having made a quick appreciation of the situation, had managed to get his damaged aircraft to 1,500 feet over the Mayu range. He could have effected a landing on an emergency strip but instead, he chose to fly his aircraft on one engine to base where there was no likelihood of it falling into enemy hands. The aircraft was carrying a large weight of supplies when the engine failure occurred and considerable difficulty was experienced in maintaining height. F/L Voss therrefore instructed his crew to jettison all the cargo. This task took several minutes to complete. Meantime the aircraft was gradually losing height and darkness had fallen. The aircraft arrived at the base at 300 feet and a good landing was effected on a flare path. A valuable aircraft was undoubtedly saved on this occasion by F/L Voss displaying a high degree of skill and initiative.

    Order No.355 - 18 May 1944 - Can R.99570 - WO2 M.F. Pettibone - No.82 Squadron.

    The above Warrant Officer was engaged on a recent Vengeance dive bomber operation against a Japanese supply centre. After his dive he followed his leader round to strafe the target, and going through the dust caused by the bombing must have hit his wing tip against a tree. About 4 feet 6 inches of the wing, half the starboard aileron, and the pitot head were cut off. The aircraft was then thrown into a vertical bank. On putting opposite bank he found that his aircraft did not correct, but by application of top rudder he managed to gain a little height, still in a vertically banked position. He then applied full rudder and aileron bias on the trimming tabs. This enabled him to further application of opposite bank to get the aircraft straight. He then headed for base, informing his leader who flew back with him, and on arriving at base, this pilot landed safely without doing any further damage to his aircraft. Considering he had no airspeed indicator, and 4 feet six inches of his starboard wing missing, including most of the starboard aileron, this was an exceptionally fine piece of airmanship. The coolness and resource of this pilot when in extreme danger was of a very high order, and by bringing back the aircraft in a very badly damaged condition and landing without further mishap, showed great tenacity and courage.

    Order No.355 - 18 May 1944 - Can R.122381 WO2 D.L. Thompson and 1321295 FS W.J. Butcher, No.211 Squadron.

    On 16th February 1944, WO Thompson, pilot, and FS Butcher, navigator, were detailed to attack bridges and communications on the Toungoo-Pyinmana route. Their aircraft sustained a hit by an explosive .5 bullet, the pilot was hit in the leg and the A.S.I. rendered unserviceable. WO Thompson proceeded to set course for base and FS Butcher came forward and rendered first aid. Some way from base the pilot became faint from loss of blood, and FS Butcher had to lean over the pilot’s shoulder and keep the aircraft on an even keel until WO Thompson partially recovered. Under these trying conditions this crew brought their aircraft bask to base and carried out a successful landing without further damage to the aircraft. Without the utmost determination and co-operation of WO Thompson and FS Butcher the aircraft would have inevitably crashed.

    Order No.355 - 18 May 1944 - 1530549 - LAC R. Brown (deceased) - No.215 Squadron.

    On 17th Decanter 1943, a Corporal and LAC Brown on duty at the Watch Office saw a fire amongst the trees behind one of the Squadron dispersal areas. They were despatched in a 15 cwt truck to investigate and arrived to find the thatched roof over a dispersal petrol dump on fire. The fire had got a “good hold” and burning thatch was dropping on to 6,000 gallons of fuel stacked in 50 gallon drums. Brown and the Corporal were the first to arrive on the scene and immediately Brown jumped from the truck and ran forward to get the fire extinguishers standing beside the dump to put out the fire. As this airman ran forward the Corporal shouted to warn him of the danger. Just before he reached the extinguishers, the drums in one corner of the dump exploded and Brown was thrown down. He was later removed suffering from severe burns and subsequently died. The single purposeness and prompt action taken by this airman regrettably came too late and cost him his life, but it is an example of brave devotion to duty under circumstances in which immediate action gave the only hope of success.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to HughAHalliday For This Useful Post:

    Jagan (9th May 2019)

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    Thank you for the post Hugh.

    Date's entry from the ORB - No serial

    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...hp?crno=309053 or http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...=R116660&qt=NM

    Aircraft was hit by small arms fire while attacking target 10 miles S of MINBYA. Bullet passed through his lung, liver and peritoneum before lodging in his arm. It was a notable feat of endurance which enabled Plt Offr Date to fly for 35 mins before belly landing in our lines at Chota MAUNGHNAMA. Plt Offr Date is alive but listed as D.I. Repatriated to UK later and awarded DFC , Aircraft A

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    Some of these might have led to a Green Endorsement in the pilot's log book?

    Errol

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    A Green Endorsement? It would have a different meaning nowadays -- maybe something to do with reducing the carbon footprint of one's aircraft. What did it mean back in the day? I'm guessing it was a green-inked logbook notation commending the man for quick thinking, heroism, etc.

    Thanks for your post, Hugh.

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    Hi Matt

    As you say a Green Endorsement was and still is a log book entry recording a commendable example of flying.

    Similarly a Red Endorsement records a negligent or poor example.

    Malcolm

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    My computer skills are lagging...I thought I replied with a witticism yesterday. Nope! So let me try again...

    Nah, I'm too sleepy to even attempt to be witty. So, instead, thanks, Malcolm -- I never knew the Green/Red Endorsement thing before!

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