Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: 265 Sqn and Westland Whirlwinds

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,231
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default 265 Sqn and Westland Whirlwinds

    F/O Edgar Brearley, RCAF (J/15157), was with 263 Sqn when he was lost on 16 Apr 1943. He is buried in Warmwell (Holy Trinity) Church Cemetery. Can anyone tell me about this loss and was he flying a Whirlwind at the time? I understand the squadron was equipped with them until the end of '43 and there weren't very many of them made.

    (Sorry couldn't fix mistake in Sqn number in headline it is 263).
    Last edited by dfuller52; 10th December 2008 at 20:41. Reason: mistake in Sqn no. in headline
    David

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berkshire
    Posts
    2,210
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi
    From Jefford-RAF Squadrons, at the time of his death Brearley was based at Warmwell and 263 Sqn were flying Whirlwinds which they continued with up to Dec '43 when they converted to Typhoons. Brearley's death is registered in the 2nd Qtr of 1943 at Poole in Dorset. This is some way from Warmwell but if he died in a Flying Accident the area is within range, but it also makes it possible that he may simply have suffered some other accident or illness whilst in the Poole area, which was a substantial town and a good magnet for personel on R&R. Taking him back to his home base for burial attended by Sqn Comrades would not have been out of place given that his own home was in Canada.
    Regards
    Dick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,565
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 47 Times in 45 Posts

    Default

    'Roadsteads' and armed recces were carried out during 16 and 17 April 1943; from one of these on the 16th Flying Officer Brearley (P6995) failed to return. Vichy radio reported that a Canadian aircraft had crashed near St Lo and the pilot was dead. This was first thought to be Brearley, but his body was later found washed ashore near Swanage, probably the victim of shipborne flak.

    (Whirlwind) P6995.

    To 263 Squadron 18.3.41. To works for repair 9.5.41. To 18 MU 24.4.42. Returned to 263 Squadron 6.7.42. Two further returns were made to the works before FTR from operations on the night of 16/17.4.43; F/O Brearley killed.

    See: Whirlwind:The Westland Whirlwind Fighter
    Bingham,Victor
    Shrewsbury:Airlife,1987.
    pp.93-4 & 136.

    Col.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Orleans, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,351
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Brearley

    BREARLEY, Edgar (J15157) - Whirlwind P6095 - Missing on the night of 16 April 1943. Took off 2235 to attack Caen area. Body washed ashore at Swanage, 20 May 1943.

    Born 31 October 1916 in Toronto. Stenographer and clerk for four years. Enlisted there 9 October 1940. At No.1 ITS (7 December 1940 to 15 January 1941), No.7 EFTS, Windsor (15 January to 17 March 1941, Fleet Finch, 8th in a class of 27) and No.10 SFTS, Dauphin (9 April to 4 July 1941). Commissioned 21 January 1942. Arrived UK August 1941. At No.55 OTU, 21 August to 20 September 1941 when posted to No.263 Squadron.

    Fractured jaw, 10 May 1942, base Angle, "Whilst descending from a Whirlwind, No.P7089, after removing my flying kit, my food slipped on the wet step and I struck my jaw against the wing."

    Accident, 24 October 1941, P6995 at which time he had flown 4.10 on type, 220.55 solo on all types. Landing at Colerne.

    "I took off on a battle climb to 25,000 feet and climbed steadily at plus one boost 2500 revs. Faint glycol fumes were noticed between 10,000 and 23,000 feet and at 24,000 feet these fumes increased in intensity with the coolant temperature at 90 degrees. I ceased to climb and put the machine in a gentle dive with cooling flap on; at 20,000 feet I closed the flaps and increased the angle of glide. On reaching 15,000 feet the coolant temperature of starboard engine went up suddenly to 140 degrees and oil temperature to 100 degrees. I immediately throttled back on this engine and continued to glide down. The fumes from this engine increased and during the circuit fumes filled the cockpit after opening the hood. As I touched down flames enveloped the starboard engine. With no brakes or engine control I was unable to check "swing" to the right at the end of the landing run, but no damage was caused and I came to a standstill in front of the watch officer. By this time the starboard engine was blazing fiercely. I switched off and jumped out."

    Conclusion - loose coolant cap and loss of coolant.

    Another report he wrote:

    "I took off at 110 hours on a battle climb to 25,000 feet, authorised by the flight commander, Flight Lieutenant H.J. Coghlan, DFRC, and climbed steadily at plus one boost, 2500 revs with flaps in cooling position. Faint glycol fumes were noticed between 10,000 and 23,000 feet with a coolant temperature of 90 degrees. At 24,000 feet the fumes increased in density with the coolant temperature still at 90 degrees. I immediately ceased to climb and put the machine in a gentle dive with cooling flap on. At 20,000 feet I closed the flaps and increased the angle of glide. On reaching 15,000 feet the coolant temperature of the starboard engine went up suddenly to 140 degrees and oil temperature went up to 100 degrees. I immediately throttled back on this engine. I also found the airscrew pitch control lever was fixed in the forward position although the pitch was fully coarse. I continued to glide down with starboard engine temperature continuing at 100 and 140 degrees, as before.

    "The fumes from this engine increased. On the way down I informed "Mannikin" I was about to make a single engine landing at his base, In the circuit fumes filled the cockpit after I opened the hood. The approach was good and just as I touched down flames enveloped the starboard engine. With no brakes and no engine control I was unable to check the machine as it swung to the right at the end of the landing run, but no damage was caused by the swing and eventually I came to a standstill in front of the watch officer.

    "By this time the starboard engine was blazing fiercely and it was very hot in the cockpit. I switched off and jumped out, dragging my parachute after me. The fire tender was on the spot as soon as I came to rest but at least three minutes elapsed before the hoses were in operation."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,231
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default great details

    Thanks all for such detailed responses. I will of course continue to fill in any other parts of the story (maybe Joss has something to add?) but this has given me another good head start.

    Hugh, I assume your contribution is from his service records? How did you come to have them to hand, may I ask?
    David

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Orleans, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,351
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Brearly file

    As a wartime casualty, his file is open to public viewing at the National Library and Archives, and as I live in Ottawa I consulted it as part of research involving Canadians on Whirlwinds.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,565
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 47 Times in 45 Posts

    Default

    Hello Hugh,

    To avoid confusion later on, 'Whirlwind P6095'. P6095 fell within a Proctor black-out block. Typo, or is that what you have in your records ?

    Col.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berkshire
    Posts
    2,210
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi
    Now you have more detail on how Brearley died it ties in with the death registeration at Poole which was the Office to which deaths were reported if they occurred in the Swanage area, and that was where his body came ashore
    Regards
    Dick

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    671
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Air Britain has P6995 lost on this date aswell as P7099 and P7117.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berkhamsted & Malta
    Posts
    74
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default 263 Whirlwinds 16th-17th April 43

    A little more on the op on which Brearley was lost. This was not a Roadstead or armed recce against shipping, but a briefed attack by 8 aircraft on the steelworks/power facilities at Caen-Mondeville. It was a cloudless night with a bright moon, but also with a strong wind that caused many of the pilots to make landfall further west than planned and only three of the eight found the primary target. The others opportunistically attacked railway targets and a trawler. Brearley took off in P6995 at 2235, but no more was heard from him until his body was washed ashore near Swanage. He presumably fell victim to ship borne or coastal flak.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Larder View Post
    Air Britain has P6995 lost on this date aswell as P7099 and P7117.
    P7099 and P7117 were lost the following night that of the 17th-18th. P7117 FTR from Night Rhubarb to railway targets in Isigny-St Lo area. Presumed s/d flak, possibly at Airel. FO Cecil King DFM missing. P7099 FTR from night shipping reconnaissance to Houlgate - St. Marcouf area. FO Basil Abrams missing.

    Niall

Posting Permissions

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