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Thread: R A Read DFC 78 Squadron

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    Default R A Read DFC 78 Squadron

    I was wondering if any memebrs might be able to help me. I have just picked up a two books by Ron Read (Roanld Albert Read) who was a pilot with 78 Squadron, and was awarded the DFC (LG 13th August 1943).

    In the books are a few letters from Ron to a chap called Frank Lowery who also seems to have served in Bomber Command during the war. In one of the letters Ron talks about his aircraft "C" for Charlie, and mentions how it was hit by bombs, but continues to say that he had just found out that it wasn't written off, but repaired and "sent to a Con Unit to continue to plague some poor aircrew". He then goes on to say "it finally finished it's inglorious career in a mid-air collision with another Halifax, both crews being killed".

    I was wondering if any members might be able to helpo me find the serial of the Halifax, of might know a little more about when it was hit by bombs. I am assuming the bombs had been dropped by an aircraft flyinjg higher than it during an operation, but I am not 100% sure.

    In the letter he states that P/O Austin flew the successor to his "awful C Charlie". I have been through "Nobody Unprepared" by Vernon Holland and have found that Halifax II JD305 EY-C was shot up by night fighters 23rd/24th August 1943 and ditched in the North Sea with only one crew member surviving. From this I would guess that the bomb incident with Reads "C Charlie" must have been prior to August 1943.

    Any help with this would be great, as I have hit a dead end.

    Johnnie
    Last edited by johnnie214; 4th November 2009 at 10:52. Reason: Incorrect Date

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    Could this be your man?
    READ, SL Ronald Albert - MiD - 460101 - 1666 HCU - Pilot

    Have you tried contacting 78 Squadron Association Historian? They might have access to the relevant records, but intrigued why you would want the aircraft details so long after the event.

    There were quite a few incidents of aircraft being hit by bombs, usually from ones quite close before the bomb went nose down, so that incident may not be fully recorded.

    I assume that Ron is no longer around, otherwise contacting the publishers may allow you to ask the question direct.

    Hope that's of some help!

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    Johnnie

    I will have a look through my records and come back to you later this evening when I get home. There are several incidents of 78 Squadron aircraft being struck by falling bombs. I take it you are refering to Ron Read's book "If you cant take a joke", I was extremely fortunate to be in touch with a friend of Ron's who served on the Squadron with him who put me in touch with him and loaned me his signed copy of the book.

    Regards

    Daz

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    Many thanks for the replies.

    The two books I have are called:

    "Confessions of a Chinese Juggler"

    "The Magic Carpet and the Plane-makers"

    As far as I can tell all of his books were privately published with all proveeds going to the Ex-Service Mental Welfare Society or Combat Stress.

    Both are signed by Ron, and both contain letters by him to Frank Lowery who I think is the brother of James Harold Lowery killed in Halifax JD248 EY-J on the 24th August 1943.

    Johnnie

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    Johnnie

    the two aircraft coded C - Charlie that Ron Read refers to are , firstly HR657 which was hit by nine 4lb incendiary bombs whilst on ops to Wuppertal on 24/25 Jun 43, this was Read's unreliable Halifax. The second is JD305 which was lost on returning from Berlin on the night of 23/24 Aug 43.

    Regards

    Daz
    Last edited by 78SqnHistory; 4th November 2009 at 17:12. Reason: Extra information

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    Many thanks for that. He certainly doesn't seem to have liked the aircraft very much calling it several times, and ending by saying:
    "They'd have done better to turn it into scrap when they could"

    Are you still in contact with Ron?

    Johnnie

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    Johnnie

    I will send you a PM

    Daz

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