Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: 609 Squadron Typhoons 5 - 7 July 1945 at Melsbroek

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    248
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 13 Times in 11 Posts

    Default 609 Squadron Typhoons 5 - 7 July 1945 at Melsbroek

    Hi,

    The orb of 609 Squadron (AIR 27/2103) mentions for 5 July 1945 :

    Winco Button led fourteen of our boys off in the afternoon to fly to Brussels for the big fly-past. Dicky flew the Anson down with passengers. All landed safely, although Dixon had trobuel with the hydraulics on ‘C’ for Charlie.

    For the next day (6 July 1945) is mentioned :

    Our Typhoons were not required for the fly-past, and shortly after this sad news was announced, the formation set off for Wanstorf. Bad weather, encountered north of Brussels, necessitated a return, but in the early evening the weather improved and the boys got away again to make the trip to Wunstorf. Doomie, however, twice had to return to Brussels with engine and hydraulic trouble. “C” for Charlie – the grand old man of the Squadron, with an unsurpassed record, vis ; - over a years active service, thus ended his days, and Doomie had to leave him at Melsbroek. Shag Hellens had coffman trouble and did not get away, and Bill Corbett lobbed in at Twente with a ropey engine. Johnny Farmer also had a spot of bother, with a burst tail wheel, and remained in Brussels.

    On 7 July 1945 is mentioned :
    Johnny Farmer came in from Brussels early in the afternoon, but Shag and Bill did not appear. Jimmy and Lord Billam set off, therefore, to Melsbroek and Twente respectively to stir the missing links into activity. Jimmy and Shag returned, but my Lord Billam added another tail wheel of woe to the long list at Twente and could not get back for some time, then without Bill Corbett, whose Coffman would not respond to treatment. My Lod Billam actually, purloined Corbett’s tail-wheel in order to get away from Twente.

    Looking for the serial of the aircraft and full names of the pilots (+ if possible service number) in question.

    Many thanks in advance and a Happy 2022 !

    Luc

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    7,280
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 211 Times in 195 Posts

    Default Re: 609 Squadron Typhoons 5 - 7 July 1945 at Melsbroek

    Hello,

    Here is your man, "Bill Corbett":

    AUS426542 Wt Off (Pilot) William Edward CORBETT RAAF.

    https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/vet...=1021323&c=WW2

    https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/Sear...aspx?B=5526390

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 2nd January 2022 at 22:25.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Stockholm
    Posts
    1,429
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 87 Times in 85 Posts

    Default Re: 609 Squadron Typhoons 5 - 7 July 1945 at Melsbroek

    Luc,

    I don't know if you've seen this.

    https://www.pinterest.ca/drakefeary/...-609-squadron/

    About 2/3s of the way down are identified photographs of people like W/O Shag Hellens and F/O Johnny Farmer etc. Also about 30 Belgian airmen shown.

    Regards,

    Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aubers, France
    Posts
    2,560
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 34 Times in 31 Posts

    Default Re: 609 Squadron Typhoons 5 - 7 July 1945 at Melsbroek

    Hello Luc,

    "Dicky" is very likely to be Roderick Dickson "Dick" Harkness, R.N.Z.A.F. NZ415316, and Allan Billam. I had the pleasure to meet them both.

    Joss

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    248
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 13 Times in 11 Posts

    Default Re: 609 Squadron Typhoons 5 - 7 July 1945 at Melsbroek

    Col, Dave and Joss,

    Many thanks for your replies.

    Now I understand why I couldn’t them, some are mentioned by their nickname. Strange to me that this is done in an orb.

    Best regards

    Luc

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    26
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default Re: 609 Squadron Typhoons 5 - 7 July 1945 at Melsbroek

    PR-C is JR440. Damaged in Landing accident at B58, flown by F/Sgt NR Dixon

    Dicky – NZ415316 Roderick ‘Dicky’ Harkness DFC
    Doomie – 190232 Colin H T 'Doomie' Cables
    Shag – Derek Charles 'Shag' Hellens
    Bill – 426542 William Edward ‘Bill’ Corbett
    Johnny – John Henry Eaves ‘Johnny’ Farmer
    Jimmy – 136540 George James ‘ Kingy / Jimmy’ King DFC
    Lord – 186291 Allen G H ‘Bill / Lord’ Billam

    If you could find service numbers for Shag and Johnny I'd appreciate it ;-)
    Last edited by Mark Crame; 5th January 2022 at 03:15.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    7,280
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 211 Times in 195 Posts

    Default Re: 609 Squadron Typhoons 5 - 7 July 1945 at Melsbroek

    Hello,

    1380063 Derek Charles HELLENS.

    AIR 78/74/8
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C15624225
    Image 156 of 222

    and post-war:

    Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air - OVERSEAS TERRITORY - Derek Charles Hellens Esq., Chief Inspector, Kenya Police Reserve Air Wing.
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/3134

    547246 John Henry Eaves FARMER (55847)

    AIR 78/53/8
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C15624038
    Image 101 of 283
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/4113

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 5th January 2022 at 06:01.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    248
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 13 Times in 11 Posts

    Default Re: 609 Squadron Typhoons 5 - 7 July 1945 at Melsbroek

    Mark and Col.,

    Many thanks for this interesting information.

    The damages to JR440 on 5 July 1945 must have been limited, as Colin Harry Thomas ‘Doomie’ Cables had to return twice to Melsbroek on 6 July 1945 (due to technical problems).
    Perhaps the Forms 1180 and AM78 (which I unfortunately don’t have) contain more details.

    Best regards

    Luc

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    26
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default Re: 609 Squadron Typhoons 5 - 7 July 1945 at Melsbroek

    Thanks Col, much appreciated

    Luc - JR440 is listed thus in 'Under the White Rose'. I don't have any other info on it to hand I'm afraid.

    Hellens joined 609 at B.77 Gilze Rijen under S/Ldr Stark on 10th March 1945.


    'Shagged up' an Anson by the look of it.


    Date: 18-JUL-1950
    Time: day
    Type: Silhouette image of generic ANSN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
    Avro Anson Mk XI
    Owner/operator: Buckeburg SF Royal Air Force (Buckeburg SF RAF)
    Registration: PH611
    MSN:
    Fatalities: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
    Other fatalities: 0
    Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
    Location: English Channel, 10 miles NE of Margate, Kent - United Kingdom
    Phase: En route
    Nature: Military
    Departure airport: Hamburg, West Germany
    Destination airport: RAF Manston, Ramsgate, Kent (MSE/EGMH)
    Narrative:
    Avro Anson Mk.XI PH611, RAF Buckeburg Station Flight: Written off (destroyed) when ditched into the English Channel, 10 miles north east of Margate, Kent. All five persons on board (pilot, co pilot, WRAF Nurse and her two patients) survived the crash and were rescued by a passing steamer. The Anson was lost when it sank shortly after all the five person on board had evacuated from the aircraft and taken to the rubber dinghy. According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Aberdeen Journal" - Wednesday 19 July 1950):

    "Plane Crashes in Sea.
    A W.R.A.F. nurse calmly attended to two patients when an R.A.F. Anson plane with five on board crashed into the sea off the Kent coast yesterday. Lifeboats from Ramsgate and Margate raced to the rescue, but the five occupants of the plane had in the meantime been picked up from the aircraft's rubber dinghy by the British steamer Kilworth. The plane was bringing the two patients, both stretcher cases, from Hamburg to Manston, Kent, to undergo hospital treatment."

    A further contemporary newspaper report gives more details, including naming the five persons on board ("Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer" - Wednesday 19 July 1950):

    "Nurse tended patients as 'plane crashed into the sea.
    A W.R.A.F. nurse calmly attended to two patients when an RAF Anson 'plane with five on board crashed into the sea off the Kent coast yesterday. Lifeboats from Margate and Ramsgate raced to the rescue but the five occupants of the 'plane had, in the meantime, been picked up from the aircraft's rubber dinghy by the 803-ton British steamer Kilworth.

    The five occupants of the 'plane were: Flight Lieutenant E.O. Charlton (29) of Princes Risborough; Master Pilot D. Hellens (26), pilot of the machine; Sergeant Ethel Ferris, a W.R.A.F. nurse from B.A.O.R, and her two patients, Mrs Evelyn Gladstone (23) and Sergeant Robert Shelley R.A.S.C. (29).

    The 'plane was bringing the two patients from Hamburg, Germany to Manston, Kent to undergo hospital treatment. It was approaching the coast when it developed engine trouble and the pilot could only make a pancake landing on the sea.

    Both Stretcher Cases
    Flight Lieutenant Charlton said "There was no panic when I called out that we were gong to have to make a forced landing in the sea. The nurse was very cool busying herself with the patients and preparing them for having to make a quick exit from the 'plane". The patients were both stretcher cases.

    Soon after the five had taken to the dinghy they saw the Anson dive to the bottom of the sea. Nurse Ferris and her two patients suffered cuts and scratches and were detained for the night in Felixstowe RAF Hospital."

    The female patient, Mrs Evelyn Gladstone, is shown in a different newspaper article as being the wife of a serving Army Officer. This other newspaper article also showed that the steamer Kilworth took all the rescued occupants to Harwich.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •