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Thread: War correspondent bomber command operations

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    Default War correspondent bomber command operations

    In the News UK Archives I located a report that Arthur Narracott the Times aeronautical correspondent flew in E Easy during the early hours of D Day in an Avro Lancaster [possibly 514 Squadron] I examined that Squadrons orbs which revealed nothing. Would the ORBs record war correspondents within the records as passengers, has anyone found such evidence. Narracott had been commissioned into the RAFVR in 1939 serving in the RAF blues in France and later in Correspondent uniform classed as a civilian. Reputably flying frequently as an official war correspondent for the Times. He wrote several books on the RAF during the war years but from what I have seen they do not evidence his personal exploits.
    Thank you.

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    Default Re: War correspondent bomber command operations

    Hello,

    From the No.514 Squadron history, "Nothing Can Stop Us: The Definitive History of 514 Squadron RAF, Simon Hepworth et al:

    In the early hours of 6th of June, D-Day, 21 Lancasters left Waterbeach to attack gun batteries at Ouisterham[sic], in Normandy. In total, 1012 bombers were sent to a number of targets guarding the beaches that were about to be occupied by Allied ground troops. The Station (Waterbeach) ORB* recorded: 'W/C G Bray of the 'Daily Express' and Mr Normacott [sic], of the Times flew on squadron aircraft on the Ouistreham op on the early morning of 6/6/44.

    Nothing Can Stop Us: The Definitive History of 514 Squadron RAF.
    Hepworth,Simon, Porrelli, Andrew with Harry Dison.
    N.P.:Mention The War Publications,2015.
    p.136.

    * AIR 14/2411 - RAF station Waterbeach:operations log book - 1943 Nov-1944 Nov.
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ails/r/C589517

    Very mixed messages!

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 9th July 2020 at 00:28.

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    colinpateman (9th July 2020)

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    Default Re: War correspondent bomber command operations

    Hello All,
    Chester Wilmot (then a BBC War Correspondent) landed in a glider of 6 (AB) Div in Normandy in the early hours of 6 Jun 44. He took off from Harwell. Don’t know which Sqn was towing. Don’t know if there’s any mention in Sqn/Stn ORBs, but I do know that his description of the scenes, and feelings, around his chalk in the hour, or so, before emplaning is one of the finest, evocative, pieces of war writing I have ever read. Winford Vaughn Thomas (another expert in the art) also broadcast from a Lancaster on a bombing raid, but I don’t know where/when or which Sqn.
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    colinpateman (9th July 2020)

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    Default Re: War correspondent bomber command operations

    Thank you very much, the RAF station Waterbeach operations log book entry tends to indicate that the War Correspondents were not written into the Daily or Summary flying accounts. This will make things much harder to trace, Col if by chance you have that record I would appreciate a copy if possible. I will go back to 514 orbs to see if I can find E Easy as I now know the facts substantive. As usual the forum knowledge is without doubt remarkable.

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    Default Re: War correspondent bomber command operations

    Colin,

    Afraid I don't have a copy of the Waterbeach Log Book entry. Hopefully, someone else can oblige

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 9th July 2020 at 09:06.

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    Default Re: War correspondent bomber command operations

    Kent Stevenson (BBC War Reporter) was killed in action flying with the CO of 49 Squadron, W/C Malcolm Crocker DFC & Bar in LL900 on 21/22 June 1944 attacking Wesseling.
    Crocker had formed 630 Squadron in late 1943. Were many official War Correspondents killed in action ?

    PeteS
    https://630squadron.wordpress.com/

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    Default Re: War correspondent bomber command operations

    Colin (et al),
    I distinctly remember, during WW2, the slightly harsh N American twang of Stanley Maxted reporting from Arnhem, and the slightly softer lilting Welsh voice of Winford Vaughn Thomas (I think at the crossing of the Rhine?). Both of these masters of the art (and there were others who I do not remember, and who may have been killed) used words like an artist uses paints and brushes – to paint a picture. I have been jealous of their skills all my life!
    There are a number of websites covering war correspondent casualties, but most of them are relatively modern! Does anybody know how CWGC categorise the members of the Fourth Estate?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: War correspondent bomber command operations

    Frederick Richard Dimbleby flew on 20 operations with Bomber Command, including a trip to Berlin on 6 January 1943 - I understand he made the first airborne broadcast during this flight (https://www.cd41recordings.com/bombe...and_vol_1.html.) This was with 106 Squadron, his pilot being W/C Guy Gibson.

    Brian

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    Resmoroh (9th July 2020)

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    Default Re: War correspondent bomber command operations

    https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/c...george-jethro/

    Peter

    The link is a journalist killed aboard a Sunderland

    Chris

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    Default Re: War correspondent bomber command operations

    Cols revealing post re 514 Squadron resulted in me purchasing the book and to my great joy additional information is revealed on the aeronautical correspondents report published in the Times. Without doubt these facts fit perfectly, additionally the report states he was wearing a Squadron Leaders Uniform and the LG reveals that Narracotts name was published 19 July 1955 as a F/O retaining rank of S/Ldr 10 Feb 1954. We therefore have more to unpick as he appears to have still been an RAFVR Officer since 1939 and a Civilian War Correspondent within the WWII time frame.

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