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Thread: F/L Richard John Courtney NEDWELL, AFC - No,4 SFTS, Iraq, KIA in Iraq, 26/3/1941

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    Default F/L Richard John Courtney NEDWELL, AFC - No,4 SFTS, Iraq, KIA in Iraq, 26/3/1941

    NEDWILL, Richard John Courtney, S/L (34169, Royal Air Force) - No.4 Service Flying Training School, Iraq - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 April 1941. Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Killed in action with No.112 Squadron, Iraq, 26 March 1941. Public Record Office Air 2/8891 has citation.

    This officer has been employed as a flying instructor at No.4 Service Flying Training School for over two years, and is at present in charge of advanced training. He is a most capable pilot and an excellent exponent of the art of front gun attack. By his perseverance and hard work he has produced excellent results. Squadron Leader Nedwill has completed over 1,000 hours instructional flying.

    Spink catalogue of 20 April 2006 (offereing medals for 800-1,000 pounds) has slightly different citation from recommendation:

    Squadron Leader Richard John Courtney Nedwill has been employed as a flying instructor at No. 4 S.F.T.S. for over two years, and is at present in charge of advanced training. He is a most capable pilot and an excellent exponent of the art of front gun attack. By his perseverance and hard work, he has produced excellent results. Squadron Leader Nedwill has completed over 1000 hours instruction/flying.

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    Default Re: F/L Richard John Courtney NEDWELL, AFC - No,4 SFTS, Iraq, KIA in Iraq, 26/3/1941

    Many thanks for your continuing work on these most interesting sources, Hugh.
    In this case, there are several corrections needed, sourced from contemporary documents.

    It's Richard John Courtney NEDWILL, not Nedwell.
    He died in the course of Air Operations in Greece, not Killed in Action over Iraq.
    At the time of his fatal accident at Paramythia he was the newly posted-in CO of 211 Squadron (Blenheim I), not 112 Squadron (Gladiator II).

    This sadly puzzling loss has been subject of a degree of historical muddle then and in later years.

    Nedwill had been posted as CO to 211 Squadron in Greece very shortly before the accident date, when, at the end of an uneventful afternoon local patrol over Paramythia, his aircraft (a 112 Squadron Gladiator II, N5910) flew into the ground. No explanation was found for the accident. Confirmed by 112 Sqn Ops Record Book entries.

    A very experienced pilot of singe-engine fighters, his AFC was for his long work with 4SFTS - a single-engine fighter school in Iraq.

    It seems at least possible that his posting to 211 Squadron was the result of some sort of admin muddle or signal garble for 112 Squadron.
    It's worth noting that other senior officers were, at the time in Greece, in the habit of "having a look" in aircraft of other units.

    A longer and sourced account here, for which I am in part indebted to Errol Martyn for copies of original documents:
    http://www.211squadron.org/1941.html#26March
    See also Martyn For Your Tomorrow Vol I p 114

    Much respect to you for your work.

    Don Clark
    www.211squadron.org
    Last edited by Don Clark; 22nd June 2022 at 21:17. Reason: addnl, order, typos
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: F/L Richard John Courtney NEDWELL, AFC - No,4 SFTS, Iraq, KIA in Iraq, 26/3/1941

    Many thanks for your posting and corrections, which provide further proof that if God had intended us to be perfect, She would never have put erasers on pencils.

    I often check the site for the count of people who have viewed the entries. It is sometimes disappointing to find the count to be low (8-10) in the first week, but gratifying when, a month later, the count is up to 50 or more. I like to think (but have no reason to know) that many “hits” are by related families who have found the site via Google.

    I sometimes acknowledge (but not often enough) the transcription work of Huguette Mondor Oates, who has been performing such work for five years. The Spink catalogues with their small typeface and erratic placement of paragraphs, have been especially challenging. Nevertheless, she says that the catalogues have constituted some of the most interesting work thrown at her.

    Some very unusual stuff to come, including a long entry for a Dickin medal to an RAF/SOE pigeon.

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