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Thread: Need No's of EFTS Odiham and SFTS @ Ternhill and OTU @ Heston

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    Default Need No's of EFTS Odiham and SFTS @ Ternhill and OTU @ Heston

    Hi, I need to do some fact finding in a hurry for a funeral on Tuesday and I have a date of 2nd November 1940, EFTS Odiham, and 15th May 1941 for SFTS at Ternhill and 10th August 1941 for OTU at Heston. trouble is, I do not have the numbers. Can anyone help please?

    Thanks in advance

    Mark

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    Mark,

    I have a feeling that your question has something to do with a famous Belgian pilot...

    Found no number for EFTS Odiham, but 5 SFTS Ternhill and 61 OTU Heston.


    Regards,

    Leendert
    Brugge

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    Odiham was home to the Franco-Belgian Air Training School.
    It was formed on 28.10.40 in No. 22 Group with 18 Magisters for training refugee pilots.
    It was disbanded 9.6.41.
    Regards
    Andy

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    Any number for EFTS Odiham in the log books of the Free French I browse but often a FBFTS [French & Belgian F.T.S.] in front of "Unit"

    Sincerely

    Bertrand H

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    Thanks chaps, knew I could count on you.

    Yes Leendert, you are correct, it is Cheval, and this is what I have put together from my files so far today. I also have lots of exerpts from diaries etc but have not the time to add them:

    1294845 / 116472 Squadron Leader Raymond Alphonse Irma Francois ‘Cheval’ Lallemand, DFC and Bar


    Born at Blicquy on 23rd August 1919 Flying Officer Raymond 'Cheval' Lallemand joined the Belgian Air Force on 4th September 1939, the day after Britain declared war on Germany, with the rank of Corporal – Student pilot. He had studied Modern Humanities (Lower Grade) at the Royal Athenaeum, Tournai before joining the 3e Regiment Chasseurs a Pied on 3rd April 1939. On 13th May 1940 he passed into France with the Ecole de Pilotage and was promoted Sergeant Pilot on 26th June. ‘Cheval was taken into the Belgian Forces in Exile after arriving in England on 3rd July 1940. Having moved through France and Morocco, he travelled by coaster to Gibraltar disguised as a Pole and then to England aboard the ‘Harsion’. On 20th July 1940 he was posted to the RAF Depot at Gloucester moving to the Depot at St Athan on 15th August. After attending the Franco-Belge Air Training School (Elementary Flying Training School) at Odiham in Hampshire from 2nd November 1940 he was posted to No.5 Service Flying Training School at Ternhill in Shropshire on 15th May 1941. This was followed by a posting to No. 61 Operational Training Unit at Heston, Middlesex on 20th August 1941. By now a Sergeant pilot in the RAFVR (as of 5th August) , Lallemand was posted to 609 (West Riding) Squadron on 30th September 1941 at Biggin Hill, his commission as a Pilot Officer coming through on 8th January 1942. He joined A Flight under F/Lt Francois de Spirlet. He was promoted to Flying Officer on 1st October. His first victory came at 14:20 hours on 19th December 1942 off Deal in Kent when he destroyed the Focke-Wulf Fw190A-4 of Oberleutnant Muller of 10./JG26 while flying Typhoon R7855 PR-D. He followed this at 09:15 on 20th January 1943, in the same aircraft, when he destroyed the Focke Wulf Fw190 A-4 off Dungeness, killing Leutnant Kummerling of 8./JG26. On 14th February 1943 at 11:55 he destroyed the Fw190A-4’s of Unteroffizier Armbruster and 5 minutes later that of Leutnant Deuerling, and was credited with probably destroying another – which turned out to be the Fw190A-4 of Unteroffizier Bischoff, all three pilots coming from III./JG26 and all of whom were killed. This makes Lallemand the first of the Typhoon ‘Aces’ although he had to wait for his officially recognized fifth aircraft. On 9th March 1943 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, his citation reading: “In January 1943 this officer intercepted enemy raiders causing them to jettison their bombs. He then succeeded in destroying one of the aircraft. In February 1943 he led his section against a strong force of enemy fighters and during the ensuing combat Flying Officer Lallemand destroyed two of the. He has at least destroyed four enemy aircraft.” Lallemand was subsequently posted to the Napier engine factory (RAF Station Luton) for six months as a production test pilot on 24th June 1943, the day after promotion to Acting Flight Lieutenant. He was posted to No. 197 Squadron on the first day of the new year as a Flying Officer, becoming Flight Lieutenant on the 8th and remained with 197 Squadron until 14th February when he was posted to No. 198 Squadron as a flight commander. On 21st January he destroyed a Messerschmitt 210 which his Wing Leader would not allow him to claim as he had asked for a posting to 198 Squadron. Locating the wreckage following the invasion he was able to confirm the victory. On 12th February 1944 he destroyed a Potez 63 on the ground, both while flying with 198. On the 26th he shared with George Hardy (also ex-609 Squadron) in shooting down Bf110 G-4 G9+9KY (W/Nmr 740136) of IV./NJG1 (54 Abschusse) which was searching for a downed colleague 5 miles northwest of Dunkirk, killing Knights Cross holder Oberfeldwebel Heinz Vinke and his crew of Unteroffizier’s Rudolf Dunger and Rudolf Walter. On 14th August 1944 he was promoted to Acting Squadron Leader and returned to 609 Squadron - this time as its Commanding Officer, and led the unit on ground-attack sorties with rocket projectiles during the invasion. One month later, on 14th September 1944 he was hit by Flak over Holland while flying Typhoon PD505 while flying an armed reconnaissance. Five barges were attacked between Rotterdam and the Schelde and armoured vehicles were also attacked between Nijmegen and Arnhem. Cheval was hit during the last attack and he set course for Evere to make an emergency landing.. Diverted due to heavy air traffic, he managed to nurse it back to B.53 Merville where he carried out a wheels-up landing while already on fire and was seriously burned, spending several months in hospital receiving plastic surgery. Initially rushed to No.53 Military Field Hospital by Doctor Jean Degrand he moved to the RAF hospital at Halton, Buckinghamshire on 1st October 1944. After becoming a Flight Lieutenant again on 16th January 1945 he received the Bar to his Distinguished Flying Cross on the 18th his citation reading: “Flight Lieutenant Lallemand is an extremely efficient and reliable flight commander who has rendered much valuable service and inflicted sever damage to the enemy. Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross he has performed most varied flying and, in addition to being responsible for the destruction of a large number of tanks, armoured cars and railway trucks, he has destroyed 3 enemy ships and at least 1 enemy aircraft. Both in the air and on the ground Flight Lieutenant Lallemand has displayed outstanding courage and initiative and has been a source of inspiration to those under his command.”. He was posted to command No. 349 (Belgium) Squadron on Supermarine Spitfires from 1st March, again as Acting Squadron Leader, leading this unit for the last few weeks of hostilities until 1st October 1945 when he was posted to No.1 PHU, then becoming Deputy Belgian Inspectorate General on 15th January 1946. Discharged from the RAF on 1st October 1946 he stayed in the Belgian Air Force until 1972, when he retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel Aviateur.

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    Hello Mark,

    Will you attend the funerals ? I'll be there but apart Jeff Metcalf of the actual 609, I don't know who from 609 Squadron association will attend. I presume Albert Laforce, Jean Debruyn and Conrad Roumieux.

    Aces High has the DoB of "Cheval" in 1917, but I remember talking with him and he telling me he was born in 1919.

    I'm arriving after the battle for the details about the training unit. "Pas mieux" (no better).

    Joss

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    Hi Joss, Unfortunately I can't. I think the four you mention and you will be the only attendees from the association(perhaps Georges Watelet as well?). David is away on holiday so unavailable.

    The date of birth I got from the Belgian records that Jim put together. I hadn't looked at the Aces High text yet - just have and there is a lot of additional detail that i'll add at a later date. I have some ORB and diary entries relating to him extracted but haven't the time yet to weave them into the main text.

    I hope it all goes well tomorrow and you don't get too cold. Please pass on my regards to Conrad and Albert (Jean will probably not remember me!).

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    hello,

    thanks Mark

    George Watelet is not too well as far as I know. I've never met him or been in touch with him. I know a fellow Frenchman who has a propeller blade from his Typhoon...

    I've been in touch with David before he flew off to the Maldives. He asked me to take pictures if possible, for the next newsletter.

    Cheers

    Joss

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    I don't know anyone who has been in touch with him! I think you emailed me the prop blade photo a couple of years back.

    Latest newsletter is the best yet I think - have you received it yet? Next one due in another year or so...!

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    Hello Mark,


    Cheval was born on 23 August1919
    He retired 1 October 1973 with the ronk of Colonel Aviateur (AR N̊ 10980 / 15 Feb 1966)

    Kind regards,

    Serge

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