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Thread: Sqn Ld William Henry Nigel TURNER (26216)

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    Default Sqn Ld William Henry Nigel TURNER (26216)

    Hi I am looking for information on Squadron Leader William Henry Nigel TURNER (26216)
    On 26th March,1940 he was awarded the DFC.
    Gazette reads...
    Squadron Leader Turner was the captain of one of the aircraft which attacked the seaplane base at Sylt on the night of 19-20th March 1940. In the face of severe antiaircraft fire he showed great determination and ability in attacking his target effectively. Both small arm and heavy artillery fire surrounded his aircraft in conditions that gave the defence every opportunity, but he calmly and accurately completed his task of bombing the hangars.

    I am assuming hewas with 10 Squadron. If so any idea when he joined and could anyone tell me when he was shot down and taken a POW? It must have been about March /April 1940.

    Cheers Motherbird

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    Hello,

    In "Honour the Air Forces" by Michael MATON, the unit is given as No. 51 Squadron.

    May be there's more in the CARTER's book about the DFC and how it was won...

    Joss

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    Hi Motherbird,
    I can help you with that: Squadron Leader W.H.N. (Willie) Turner was an ex Cranwell cadet from August 1929. He spent most of his early career on bombers but after an Instructors course became adjutant and flying instructor on 607 Squadron AAF from July 1937. He returned to Bomber Command as 'B' Flight Commander, 51 Squadron at Dishforth in February 1939.
    As you know he was awarded the DFC for his part in the attack on the seaplane base at Sylt flying Whitley K1408. May 19, 1940 he led four Whitley's, to join with others, on an attack on the oil refineries at Hanover. His Whitley, MH-K K1407 was badly damaged by AA fire and it came down near Ludwigshaven, all were taken POW. In mid 1940, Willie Turner was one of only four POW s with a knowledge of the code supplied and taught by section 'Y' of MI6.
    Willie Turner had a long and not uninteresting career as a POW. He later continued his career in the RAF and retired in 1957, if I remember rightly, as Officer Commanding RAF Conningsby. He became a farmer and died January 26, 1976.
    If you need anything else on Willie please let me know as I have copies of all his logbooks. I won't copy anything but I will supply the information. I also have photographs of various stages of his life. I think there is a photo of one of his escape attempts on my website, norav aviation should find it. He also gets a write up in '607 Squadron: A Shade Of Blue'.
    What is your interest in Willie Turner? I think he was one of the forgotten men of WW2?

    Best Wishes.
    Robert.
    Last edited by northeagle; 22nd February 2010 at 19:30.

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    My father flew with Squadron Leader Turner from Dishforth. Sgt Donald JR Wilson was Willie Turner's navigator. He parachuted out of the Whitley bomber, was captured by the Germans and spent the rest of the war in prison camps, ending up in Stalag Luft III of Great Escape fame. He remained lifelong friends with Willie until the former's death. I believe he lived in or around Wells in Somerset after the war. My father died in 2009

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