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Thread: F/O G.A.M. Struthers, DFC (NZ421789)

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    Default F/O G.A.M. Struthers, DFC (NZ421789)

    Looking for information on F/O (Pilot) George Alexander Monckton STRUTHERS, DFC (NZ421789). He served with the 180 Squadron and was killed 30 June 1944 when Mitchell II Fw169 crashed near Chiddingfold after take-off.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Christian

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    Hello,

    There's an entry for him in "by such deeds" by Group Captain Colin Hanson, published by Volplane Press. Born in Hastings, 31th December 1916, joined the R.N.Z.A.F. on 7th March 1942.

    The citation of his D.F.C. (19th May 1944) reads : During an attack on Livossart [on 9th February 1944], Flying Officer Struthers was captain of an aircraft which was hit under the port wing by heavy anti-aircraft fire. The engine was rendered unserviceable and large holes were torn in the wing. Flying Officer Struthers regained control and succeeded in flying the aircraft back to this country. While attempting to make an emergency landing, however, the disturbance of the airflow caused by putting down the undercarriage, made the aircraft uncontrollable. Flying Officer Struthers found that they were heading straight for a row of cottages. By a supreme effort Flying Officer Struthers, with the assistance of his navigator, managed to lift the aircraft over the cottages, but in doing so struck some high tension cables and bursts into flames. He undoubtedly saves many lives at the cost of severe injuries to himself.


    The wireless operator air gunner, W/O David Charles HAMMOND R.N.Z.A.F., died in this crash.

    On 30th June 1944, on his 25th sortie, his aircraft crashed on take-off, for a bombing mission against enemy tank concentration at Thury-Harcourt.

    From Errol Martyn's "For your Tomorrow volume 2", the Mitchell involved on 9th February 1944 was FL689 'A', which had taken off at 08:30 hrs. The row of cottages was at Eastdean. Hammond, aged 21, is buried at Brookwood. Struthers was admitted at East Grinstead Hospital dangerously ill, but on recovery rejoined the Squadron.

    On 30th June, Struthers was flying Mitchell II FW169 (no individual letter quoted), which made a normal take off at 01:45 hrs in patchy ground mist and slight haze, but began turning below safety height. Moments later crashed and burned on colliding with 35-foot high trees at Chiddingfold, 4 miles west of Dunsfold. All five crew died, the captain being buried at Brookwood. He had 438 flying hours, 105 solo on Mitchells, 24th ops.

    "For your tomorrow volume 3" also by Errol offers a biography on page 459. He was a farmer at his father's farm in Hastings. He served in the NZ Army /TF (1st Hawkes Bay Regt) for 2 or 3 years, joined the RNZAF at Rotorua Initial Training Wing as an airman pilot under training, on 7th March 1942. To No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School on 1st May 1942, embarked for Canada 14th August 1942, attached RCAF 31st August 1942, 3 M depot 4th September 1942, No. 12 Service Flying Training School on 26th September 1942, pilot's badge and Sgt on 22nd January 1943, commissioned on same date, 34 O.T.U. (Ventura) on 6th February 1943, No. 1 Y depot 16th May 1943, attached RAF and embarked for U.K. on 28th May 1943, No. 12 PD&RC 5 th June 1943 (attached No. 29 E.F.T.S. from 24th to 30th July], No. 13 O.T.U. (Mitchell) on 17th August 1943, to No. 180 Squadron (Mitchell, 24 ops) on 15th December 1943. Severely wounded when hit by Flak on Livossart op and crashed on approach Friston (D.C. Hammond killed). 9 February 1944, to East Grinstead hospital [until c. 21st February ?], rejoined Squadron [25th April 1944 ?], killed in air operation, 30th June 1944. Brookwood Military Cemetery 8-AA-1, Woking, Surrey, England. Son of Alexander and Charlotte May Struthers (née Smith), Hastings.

    There's a picture of him in the 16th August 1944 issue of "The Weekly News".

    Livossart is a flying bomb site in the Pas-de-Calais in northern France, some building are still extant and I visited them a few years ago.

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 24th January 2010 at 20:08.

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    Default F/O G.A.M. Struthers, DFC (NZ421789)

    Thanks Joss...greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by PennfieldParish; 27th January 2010 at 15:03.

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