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Thread: W/C Gavin-Robertson 240 Sqdn

  1. #1
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    Default W/C Gavin-Robertson 240 Sqdn

    Hi guys

    I'm just reading about Detachment 385 (a Special Operations Group unit operating in SE Asia), and in one mission the unit was taken to their destination by a 240 Squadron Cat piloted by W/C Gavin-Robertson and Sub Lt O McKeard DFC (RN).

    I just can't find Gavin-Robertson in the LG - could someone with the 1945 Air Force list please check?

    I could also do with some help in IDing McKeard as I can't find him either - but I have a feeling the spelling maybe wrong, so am trying permutations.

    cheers
    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    I think you are after 39128 W/C C.B GAVIN-ROBINSON A.F.C 1/1/46 CO 240 Sqn 1945 !

    Mark

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    On 1 July, 1945, No.240 Squadron was officially disbanded at Redhills Lake but, immediately ‘re-formed’ on the same date by having No.212 Squadron retitled and this was also based at Redhills, Commanded by Wg Cdr C B Gavin-Robinson, AFC, the ‘new’ 240 Squadron had a total of 12 Sunderlands on charge by the end of July 1945, but its existence in the Far East was to prove brief, being disbanded at Koggala on 13 March, 1946.
    p.102 “The Short Sunderland” by Chaz Bower (Aston 1989)

    Cheers
    Richard

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    Amrit,

    Not sure if this is pertinent:

    1365436/119332 F/Lt Peter Andrew Hannay McKEAND DFC, RAFVR.

    McKeand was flying Catalinas with 628 Sqn (att to 240 Sqn Oct, 44'), out of Redhills Lake, Madras, on Special Duties ops.

    See:
    Flights of the Forgotten:Special Duties Operations in World War Two.
    Merrick.K.A.
    London:Arms & Armour Press,1989.
    p.273

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 16th December 2009 at 00:52. Reason: Minor correction

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    GAVIN-ROBINSON, Christopher Brathwaite, W/C (39128, Royal Air Force) - No.240 Squadron, Air Command, Southeast Asia - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1946. As Acting Pilot Officer, posted to No.2 Flying Training School, Digby, 19 September 1936. Public Record Office Air 2/9144, courtesy of Steve Brew, has citation drafted when he had flown 2,200 hours, 300 in previous six months.

    "Wing Commander Gavin-Robinson has held the appointment of Officer Commanding, Leigh Light Training Unit. He was attached to the squadron on 14th October 1944, in order to convert it to a Leigh Light anti-submarine role which task necessitated the training of his own Leigh Light Conversion Unit on Liberator aircraft and working out in practice the necessary tactics. He completed this work in two weeks and commenced training the squadron on 1st November. The training involved 75 hours per crew and the training of 14 crews was completed by February 4th, 1945. Over 1,000 hours flying were completed in training alone during these three months and operations, including detachments of three or four aircraft and crews continued until late in the year. Throughout his period of service with No.240 Squadron this officer has displayed the highest qualities of keenness, leadership and devotion to duty, and it was due to his energy and persistence in the face of considerable difficulties that the squadron was fully trained and able to operate in so short a time."

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    Gentleman,

    many thanks for this excellent info (and detective work). Cheers Mark for pointing me in the right direction, and Richard and Hugh for the additional info on Gavin-Robinson. Col, cheers for finding McKeand. The book had clearly stated that he was a Sub Lt, but I think the author may have gotten confused with the annotation S/L in the files. The LG seems to confirm that it was McKeand as bothe the Bar to his DFC, and his DSO, were earned whilst with 240 Squadron.

    Just for the records, the two flew a party of the Royal Marine's Detachment 385 to Bilugyn Island, off the coast of Burma, on the 29th March 1945. The operation was called Bruteforce I, and the aim was to give the impression that a larger force had landed on the island and that they had surveyed it for airfields, landing beaches etc. The 385 group was made up of two canoes and four Marines.

    The intention had been to use a specially converted Catalina that could carry and release the canoes but it had not arrived so a 240 Sqdn was converted.

    Things started going wrong from the beginning. When the Cat landed the choppy sea punctured the hull in several places. Luckily the were able to plug the holes. The canoe party were to split into two - one waiting on the beach protecting the exit point and the other carrying out the recce/raid.

    The raiding party had still not returned 30 mins after the scheduled time. By then the tides had become stronger and the aircraft had difficulty in making way. One of the Marines who had been left on the beach to protect the exit returned to the Cat. Then the red light was seen on the beach, indicating that the other party had returned so Cpl Walker's canoe was towed closer to the beach.

    Despite attempts at continued contact by flash light, the Marine party never returned to the Cat.

    It was concluded that the Marine party was lost due to difficult sea conditions rather than enemy action.

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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