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Thread: Loss Typhoon Ib JR302

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    Default Loss Typhoon Ib JR302

    Hello,

    I am looking for the name pilot of the Typhoon Ib JR302, loss to Guidel Brittany. Pilot POW.
    Cordialement,
    Regards,
    Mit freundlichem Gruß,

    Dan

    Association Bretonne du Souvenir Aérien 39-45
    http://www.absa3945.com/

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    Hello Dan,

    22nd February 1944
    263 Squadron
    Typhoon IB JR302

    Rodeo, am. Reportedly baled out to assist his CO, 8m north-west of Guernsey.

    F/O.R.B.Tuff RAAF Missing.

    Dan, check the serial and get back to us.

    Col.

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    Hello,

    It is possible to have an error in my testimony. (Pilot bailed out) I have two losses Guidel data.

    Typhoon Ib JR304. Flying Officer. HUNTER, ROBERT CHARLES. (MIA).

    And the second possibility was the Typhoon JR302 IB, so it is OK loss of Guernsey.

    Typhoon Ibs MN249 SLdr G B Warnes DSO DFC Killed Rodeo Ditched off Guernsey.
    Cordialement,
    Regards,
    Mit freundlichem Gruß,

    Dan

    Association Bretonne du Souvenir Aérien 39-45
    http://www.absa3945.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by dan35 View Post
    Hello,

    It is possible to have an error in my testimony. (Pilot bailed out) I have two losses Guidel data.

    Typhoon Ib JR304. Flying Officer. HUNTER, ROBERT CHARLES. (MIA).

    And the second possibility was the Typhoon JR302 IB, so it is OK loss of Guernsey.

    Typhoon Ibs MN249 SLdr G B Warnes DSO DFC Killed Rodeo Ditched off Guernsey.
    Hi Dan,

    All three losses on that date are unfortunately linked. 8 Typhoons 1B of 263 Sqn took off from Harrowbeer at 1055 on 22 Feb 1944 to sweep the Kerlin Bastard - Vannes area. Bad weather lead S/Ldr Warnes to abandon the sweep and instead make a Shipping Recco of the area. At around 8 miles off Guernsey, Warnes radioed that he was going to ditch and was seen to do so. F/O Robert Tuff RAAF radioed the 2ic F/Lt Gerry Racine that he could see Warnes in the sea and he appeared to be in trouble. Tuff then bailed out to help Warnes. Around this point, it was noticed that F/O Robert Charles Hunter was missing, and despite circling and transmitting for R/T fixes for as long as possible, A/S/R searches were unsuccessful and none of the three men were ever seen again.

    According to the ORBs and other reports, pilots and aircraft on the sweep were:

    MN249 S/Ldr Warnes
    JR446 P/O Smith
    JR129 F/O Unwin
    JR432 P/O Beaumont
    F/Lt Racine
    JR304 F/O R.C. Hunter
    MN129 P/O Green
    JR304 F/O Tuff ('4' crossed out in pen, '2' inserted)


    (Note: No serial recorded for Gerry Racine's A/C).

    There was quite a length debate over whether Tuff should be awarded the GC for his actions, or deserved a court-martial for wasting a perfectly good aircraft! In the end, he was awarded a MiD. There are hints that bad fuel or similar may have led to Warnes' and possibly Hunter's loss.

    I have quite a bit of stuff on 263 Squadron's operations, Send me a PM if you would like any more info.

    HTH,

    Jeff
    Last edited by RecklessRat; 22nd January 2009 at 21:21. Reason: Added note on Tuff's a/c

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    My files has Tuff in JR302 and Hunter in JR304.

    Hunter is believe to have stalled whiled circling Tuff trying to help Warnes.
    [COLOR="Red"]May Contain Nuts[/COLOR]

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    Hi All,
    Just stumbled on this thread (via google looking for something else)

    If I read all this right, a typhoon crashed at Guidel Brittany

    So is the assumption, that Hunter got lost and flew a 180 course to the south of brittany before crashing ?

    Cheers
    Jerry


    http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&source=hp&q=Guidel+Brittany&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=Guidel,+France&gl=ca&ei=SpEUS_WgK4busQ PL-aD9Aw&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved =0CAgQ8gEwAA

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    The Tuff story occupies some portion of my book "Valour Reconsidered" (Robin Brass Studio) in a chapter which deals with questions such as when "bravery" becomes "damn foolishness". My awards data bases include the following:

    TUFF, Robert Bruce, F/O (Aus 409257, Royal Australian Air Force) - No.263 Squadron - Mention in Despatches - awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 June 1944 and Commonwealth Gazette dated 22 June 1944. Public Record Office Air 2/9219 has recommendation for a George Cross which was reduced to this award.

    "On the 22nd February 1944, Flying Officer Tuff was returning from an armed shipping reconnaissance when he observed that his squadron commander (Squadron Leader G.B. Warnes, DSO, DFC) who had been compelled to alight on the sea some 20 miles northwest of Guernsey, was in difficulties and some 50 yards away from his dinghy. Flying Officer Tuff passed the information to his deputy leader by radio telephone and informed him that he intended to abandon his aircraft and go to the assistance of Squadron Leader Warnes, who also appeared to be injured. Flying Officer Tuff undoubtedly realized that, in view of the rough sea and poor visibility, it would be extremely unlikely that he would be able to alight on the sea close to Squadron Leader Warnes, and that to reach him he would probably have to swim a long distance in a perilous sea. He was a strong swimmer, however, and was evidently prepared if necessary to discard his own dinghy. Even if he reached Squadron Leader Warnes the chances of being picked up were extremely small in view of their distance from Guernsey and the roughness of the sea. Nevertheless, Flying Officer Tuff, in cold blood, took the risk in order to try and save the life of his squadron commander. In spite of every effort being made to locate Squadron Leader Warnes and Flying Officer Tuff they have not since been found. Flying Officer Tuff showed extreme bravery in attempting to help a comrade and his self-sacrifice was worthy of the highest praise,"

    This particular incident drew considerable comment at the Air Ministry Awards Committee. Tuff had apparently baled out at 1,000 feet. An officer at Air Defence Great Britain described it as "a phenomenal case of quixotic bravery and devotion. Although opinions may differ on the wisdom of the Officer's action in abandoning his aircraft, his utter disregard for his life in a desperate effort to save his C.O. deserves a very high award." The committee, however, concluded (13 April) that "Flying Officer Tuff did not intentionally sacrifice his aircraft and his life in a vain effort to rescue his CO, but must have anticipated that there was a reasonable prospect of reaching safety. A posthumous award of the George Cross does not seem to be justified and a mention in despatches is the only alternative." Another officer wrote (15 April 1944), "This heroic exploit is obviously a borderline case for the George Cross but I agree, albeit reluctantly, that the Awards Committee were right in concluding that F/O Tuff thought he had a fair chance of saving himself and his Squadron Commander. In other words, he did not deliberately accept an almost certain prospect of self-immolation. I therefore agree that a Mention is probably the best that we can do." The same officer nevertheless wished to investigate the possibility of an Albert Medal (for saving life at sea) and suggested approaches to the Admiralty for advice and information. Yet another officer (apparently in the office of Chief of Air Staff) wrote (17 April 1944), "I am quite agreeable to P.U.S. trying to get a posthumous Albert Medal for this pilot but I feel bound to mention that in spite of the extreme gallantry displayed for which I have the highest possible admiration his action was not justifiable on military grounds since he threw away an aircraft for an extremely improbable chance of saving his Squadron Leader's life." Although other minutes on file indicated hopes that an Albert Medal would be secured, yet another communication (24 April 1944, apparently by one Harries of Harris, DGPS) indicated that, since 1918, the Home Office had discouraged use of the Albert Medal for acts performed by Service personnel in the discharge of their duty, especially on active service. The minute read, in part:

    "In the case of No.22 [the Tuff award] it seems to me that there is likely to be considerable difficulty in establishing eligibility for the Albert Medal under the present Warrant, since we have no evidence that Flying Officer Tuff actually engaged in any life-saving activities at sea. After the officer had informed the deputy leader of his intention to abandon his aircraft there was no visual contact with him. A Typhoon aircraft was seen to dive vertically into the sea from approximately 1,000 feet and the recommendation states, "it is thought that it can be accepted that this was the aircraft of Flying Officer Tuff after he had baled out." Whether he did bale out and what happened to him subsequently will probably never be known..

    "There is also the point that to make an award of the Albert Medal to Flying Officer Tuff, which is bound to receive widespread publicity, would be to hold out his action as an example to other air crews, in contradistinction to CAS's view that this action was not justifiable on military grounds."

    Further correspondence apparently occurred with the Admiralty, which seems to suggest possible Admiralty support for a posthumous award that would nevertheless be a step below that of a George Cross. However, the Chief of Air Staff himself appears to have scotched even this when he wrote, on 17 May 1944:

    "I had previously supposed that Tuff attempted to alight on the sea near the Squadron Leader; I now think the evidence of abandonment of the aircraft at or above 1,000 feet is more easily explained by the assumption that Flying Officer Tuff was under the influence of some kind of brainstorm than by attributing the act to the cold-blooded gallantry with which the recommendation credits him. Without further light on this point (which can presumably be obtained, if at all, only from his deputy leader) I should hesitate to go forward with the recommendation."

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