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Thread: Sgt later Flt Reginald George Becker

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    Default Sgt later Flt Reginald George Becker

    Good afternoon all,

    I am currently researching the above airman and have found something I can't explain. This is what I have so far:

    920053 Reginald George Becker enlists in September 1939 at Uxbridge and undergoes basic training and eventually qualifies as an Observer and is posted to No. 78 Squadron some time in early July 1941.

    He completes a total of 13 operations between 16/07/41 and 31/08/41.

    He bales out of Whitley V Z6742 on return from ops to DUSSELDORF on the night of 24/25 August 1941. He along with 3 other members of the crew survive, the 2nd Pilot, SGT SINCLAIR RCAF is killed in the ensuing crash, having stayed at the controls to give the others time to escape.

    On 27th September 1941 he is posted to No. 76 Squadron and operates with them from the 20/10/41 to 09/11/41 when for some unknown reason he seems to stop operating (6 ops).

    He returns to operations with No. 76 Squadron on the 30th May 1942, a gap of 6 months; however he only completes one op in May 1942 and one in June 1942, before there is another break in operations until the 22nd September 1943 a gap of 15 months.

    I can find no record of any further operations.

    this last operation brings his total of ops to 22 (13 at 78 Squadron 9 at 76 Squadron).

    He marries in Q3 1943 at Darlington.

    He is gazetted with the DFC 15th October 1943 with a general citation.

    He is posted to HQ No. 4 Group on 7th December 1943.

    He goes to Buckingham Palace in 1945 as an Acting Squadron Leader to collect his DFC.

    He remains in the RAF post war and finally retires as a Squadron Leader on 1st June 1968.

    He dies in 1995.

    So my questions are, why the long breaks in operational duty? Was it normal to retain aircrew on an operational Squadron if they weren't flying, especially at SNCO rank?

    Regards

    Daz
    Last edited by 78SqnHistory; 6th July 2021 at 13:17.

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    Default Re: Sgt later Flt Reginald George Becker

    Daz,
    Your man clearly didn’t put a foot wrong! Else – I suggest – he would not have got an eventual “scraper ring”.
    The three possibilities for periods of lack of Ops might be Disciplinary, LMF, or Medical? The ‘scraper ring’ probably excludes the first two. This leaves Medical? Might be looking at Eyes, Ears, or some other internal problem requiring one (or more) ‘knife & fork’ jobs from the Medics. Service Records are notoriously shy at disclosing medical details, so you have to look for ‘other signs’ to indicate what – if any – medical problems he may have had!
    Just a thought!
    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: Sgt later Flt Reginald George Becker

    This does remind me a bit of a chap I have researched. In that case, the chap suffered a burst eardrum & never returned to ops but served in a training role. But it did make me suspect that Peter is on the right lines, and perhaps your man suffered from medical issues following his bale out? Might there be relvant combat reports that could show more light on this? Again, just a thought....... Andrew

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    Default Re: Sgt later Flt Reginald George Becker

    Peter, Andrew,

    Thank you both for your replies. I had considered medical but it seems a long time to keep someone on an operational Squadron, for f they weren't operating. Most of the ones I have researched who picked up medical conditions were quickly shipped out to me of the abase Stations or in cases of LMF to RAF Eastchurch. I'll do some more digging. Many thanks.

    Daz

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    Default Re: Sgt later Flt Reginald George Becker

    There is a possibility of a citation to his DFC being in Air Ministry Bulletin 11727. However, a more likely source - for the original detailed DFC recommendation - would be AIR 2/8983 at Kew.

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    Default Re: Sgt later Flt Reginald George Becker

    Hugh

    Thanks, are the Air Ministry Bulletins available anywhere online?

    Daz

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    Default Re: Sgt later Flt Reginald George Becker

    Not on line to my knowledge. They are available in original form at the RAF Museum. I have a set of them on microfilm but alas, with Covid restrictions in archives and libraries, have been denied access to a microfilm reader ! !

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    Default Re: Sgt later Flt Reginald George Becker

    Hugh,

    Thanks, I think a trip to the National Archives is required.

    Regards

    Daz

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    Default Re: Sgt later Flt Reginald George Becker

    Hello

    The Newcastle Journal of October 12th 1943 reported the award of the D.F.C. to Acting Flight Lieut. Becker, who is presumably your chap:

    Acting Flight Lieut. Becker, of Darlington, wins the D.F.C.
    "He has at all times displayed great courage and devotion to duty.
    "His outstanding efficiency in his navigational duties and his determination to achieve success on every possible occasion have been inspiring to every crew with whom he has flown. As Squadron navigation leader he has been a valuable asset to the squadron."


    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to wwrsimon For This Useful Post:

    78SqnHistory (8th July 2021)

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    Default Re: Sgt later Flt Reginald George Becker

    Simon,

    Many thanks, much appreciated. It all helps to paint a picture. I guess the breaks in ops will remain a mystery.

    Regards
    Daz
    Last edited by 78SqnHistory; 8th July 2021 at 21:22. Reason: Spelling

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