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Thread: RAF Chessington 1944

  1. #1
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    Default RAF Chessington 1944

    Good evening all,

    I have come across a crew which looks like it was screened and broken up early in 1944, the pilot had already been taken off of operations and sent back to the HCU in October of 1943 but had then returned and resumed operations. However in February 1944 following a spate of early returns the crew are broken up, the Pilot is sent to RAF Chessington, the WOp to 578 Squadron, the Flight Engineer to 1658 CU, both the Air Gunners are sent to other crews and one is killed on his next operation, the Navigator is sent to RAF Holme as sick and I can't see where the Bomb Aimer went.

    What was the purpose of RAF Chessington in February 1944, was it a hospital and could the pilot have been sent there for some form of treatment for nerves perhaps?

    Grateful for any suggestions

    Daz

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    Default Re: RAF Chessington 1944

    Hi Daz

    It was home to the Air Crew Disposal Wing, which re-allocated aircrew to new duties, often into ground trades. It looks as your pilot may have been considered on the verge of LMF perhaps?

    Malcolm

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    Default Re: RAF Chessington 1944

    Malcolm,

    many thanks thats exactly where I was heading, sad really but better than being classed as LMF, stripped of his rank etc.

    Thanks

    Daz

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    Default Re: RAF Chessington 1944

    Daz,

    I have a similar case in my files.

    It concerns a pilot and his air gunner. Both went to their C.O., and stated (after six sorties), they did not want to go on flying. They were both told of the consequences of their actions. The air gunner relented, and was immediately posted away from the squadron (he was killed in action 3 months later with another unit). After another 5 sorties (2 of which were early returns), the pilot once again refused to fly, was declared LMF, and repatriated to Australia.

    Due to a foul-up in his paperwork on his return to Australia, he was assessed as fit to fly, which was rapidly rescinded when his paperwork caught up with him. He was immediately discharged under the provisions of A.F.R. 115 (R); services no longer required, with disciplinary effect.

    After refusing to fly the second time, the pilot was posted to:

    Combined Re-Selection Centre, EASTCHURCH (16/10/43), then to, Air Crew Disposal Unit, CHESSINGTON (21/10/43), demoted (AC1), lost his wings, then on the boat.

    This bloke died just a few years ago, at the age of 94!

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 2nd June 2020 at 12:28.

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    Default Re: RAF Chessington 1944

    Col,

    it looks as though the crew complete their first two operations in October 43 on arrival from the HCU without too many problems and then have a bad landing on a night training flight where he prangs the Halibag into a field at the end of the runway having bounced off the runway and wrecked the undercarriage on one side. He and possibly the whole crew are sent back to the HCU for a few weeks and then return to ops in late November, completing two more ops, there is then a break of nearly two months. They then return to ops at the end of January 44, but both of these are early returns from ops to Berlin and Magdeburg. Within days the crew is broken up and sent in all directions.

    More to research and try and understand.

    thanks

    Daz

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