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Thread: Sgt Henry Kartar GAREWAL, 1550753 RAFVR

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    Default Sgt Henry Kartar GAREWAL, 1550753 RAFVR

    I found another example of an Indian origin entrant in the RAFVR. Sgt Henry Kartar GAREWAL

    Its a Sikh surname - though Henry is obviously NOT..

    He was awarded the DFM (LG issue 36525, Dated 1944-05-23). He was serving with 166 Squadron at that time. In that issue, there are quite a few awardees from 166 Sqn. 166 Sqn was operating Lancasters at that time?

    WOuld be grateful if members can share any family details or any other known facts. A photograph of him would be lovely!

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    Jagan

    His D.F.M. was briefly reported in The Scotsman of May 24th 1944, amongst a list of other awards:

    D.F.M.
    Sergeant H. K. Garewal, Edinburgh. He was a piano tuner in civil life.


    The citation is on fold3.com, and reads as follows:

    GAREWAL, Henry Kartar. 1550753 Sergeant, No.166 Sqn.
    L. G. 23/5/1944. Sorties 25, Flying hours 170. Flight Engineer. Air2/9149.
    This N .C.O. has completed a highly successful tour of operations on many heavily defended targets including four attacks on Berlin. He has consistently shown devotion to duty of a high order and has proved himself to be an excellent Flight Engineer . An instance of his coolness in the face of danger was shown when, on the night of 2nd October, 1943, when detailed for an attack on Munich, the starboard outer engine gave trouble and failed to develop full power. This N.C.O so skilfully attended to the engine that no undue loss of height occurred and the aircraft was able to proceed to the target which was bombed successfully, the aircraft returning safely to Base. His determination and' discipline as a member of a crew has been an example to the squadron and particularly to the Flight Engineers and is considered worthy of the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.
    13th February, 1944.


    There is indeed a photo of him in a family tree on ancestry.co.uk. It records that he was born in Edinburgh in 1922, and died there in September 2002. Son of Jagjit Singh Garewal and Mary Munn Lawson.

    There is a message on the ancestry.co.uk message boards which mentions that Jagjit was a civil engineer, and a widower. Henry's grandfather was Kartar Singh Garewal, a medical practitioner.

    The Scotland's People website has Henry's birth registered as Henry Carter Garewal, either at Morningside or George Square, Edinburgh - there are two entries for some reason.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Thanks Simon. Found the ancestry thread and left a message there. Its been nearly ten years but fingers crossed https://www.ancestry.com/boards/post....general&m=268

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    Jagan,
    Henry Garewal had been on 103 Sqn probably from July 1943, where he flew twelve operational sorties, two abortive, with the Atkinson crew. A number of 103 Sqn crews were posted to 166 Sqn in September 1943 to fill out the squadron as it converted on Lancasters, the Atkinson crew being one of them.
    Regards, Mark.
    Last edited by MSIMPSON; 23rd February 2020 at 18:40.

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    Jagan (23rd February 2020)

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    I had a pretty quick response from Emma Carter, his grand daughter who posted the info on Ancestry. She shared the following photo



    This was him and his wife going to collect the DFM award - as he was an officer, I looked him up in London Gazette

    183931 Pilot Officer ex-1550753 Henry Kaxtar GAREWAL as published in London Gazette supplement : 36748 , Dated 1944-10-13 , https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...36748/data.pdf . there is a typo in the gazette that published his name as Kaxtar.

    Emma adds:

    ​ I don't know as much about his RAF career as my Father does, however I was so pleased to see you guys on the RAF forum had done some digging which had raised some questions about the origins of the family name and how his first name doesn't match... I can answer all of that. After WW2 he started his own business working with pianos and people struggled with his surname so he went by Kartar, but customers struggled with that also hence why my surname is now carter
    Mark, Many thanks for the 103 Sqn reference. So with the two units, there should be enough to build around his RAF career.

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    wwrsimon (23rd February 2020)

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    Great stuff Jagan, well done.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Hi,
    Sgt. H Garewal flew with my grandad, Pilot Officer Robert Atkinson.
    They flew with 103 squadron from July 1943 to September 1943 and then 166 squadron from September 1943 to January 1944 when they completed a tour of duty.

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