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Thread: AG Allan Robert James Box (NZ401221)

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    Default AG Allan Robert James Box (NZ401221)

    Hi,

    According to By Such Deeds (author G/Cpt C.M. Hanson) Air Gunner Allan Robert James Box (NZ401221) received a DFM on 26 July 1941 during his service with 75 Squadron.
    My questions are:
    During which period did he serve in 75 Squadron and in which units served he after he left 75 Squadron.

    Later (14 Jan 1944) he received Mention in Despatches (no details about unit in the book).
    Thanks in advance

    Regards,
    Peter

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    Default Survivor

    Presume because he isnt in Errol Martyns book For Your Tomorrow that he must have been a survivor... In which case David Duxbury is your man as he has access to the archives at RNZAF Wigram. You could also contact the secretary of 75 (NZ) Sqn Assn on 75sqn.assnz@windowslive.com as he also has lots of information.
    Its a big of a rigmarole but it might be worth searching the London Gazette as there may be some details in there. Have you tried to get his service records from the NZ Defence Force. If you google it I am sure it will come up. I am sure David will be able to tell you how to access it.
    Its such a pity you have just missed the squadron reunion in NZ. We are in UK branch having a reunion in July and November. Please pm me for further details. If you are coming over to the UK let me know and I will help you all I can as I think I now know most of the 75 sites of interest.
    Good luck
    Dee

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    Peter, This doesn't answer your question, but here are the entries from the LG:
    Air Ministry,
    29th July, 1941.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE.
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve.the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy: —
    Distinguished Flying Cross.
    Squadron Leader Reuben Pears WIDDOWSON (34256), No. 75 (N.Z.) Squadron.
    Distinguished Flying Medal.
    N.Z. 401221 Sergeant Allen Robert James Box, Royal New Zealand Air Force, No. 75 (N.Z.) Squadron.
    One night in July, 1941, Squadron Leader Widdowson and Sergeant Box were captain and rear gunner respectively of an aircraft which carried out a successful attack on Munster. On the return journey the aircraft was attacked by a Messerschmitt no. In the ensuing action Sergeant Box fired a burst of 200 rounds, at point blank range, causing the attacker to turn away, and dive steeply towards the sea with its engine on fire and emitting trails of dense black smoke. Squadron Leader Widdowson's aircraft was severely damaged and a fire of considerable proportions had broken out on the starboard wing. Nevertheless, he refused to abandon the aircraft. Excellent crew control was displayed and tremendous efforts were made to subdue- the fire. All loose articles were jettisoned and, despite reduced speed with gradual loss of height Squadron Leader Widdowson, with great skill, flew the aircraft to an aerodrome in this country and landed safely. This officer and airman displayed splendid courage, coolness and skill throughout. Both have completed numerous operational missions against the enemy.

    Air Ministry, 14th January, 1944.
    The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the publication of the names of the following personnel who have been mentioned in despatches by Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief:—
    Flight Sergeants.
    Royal New Zealand Air Force.
    N.Z. 401221 A. R. J. Box D.F.M.
    Regards, Terry

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    Her is the entry for Box from the list of 75 (NZ) Squadron personnel which has been compiled over the last several years.
    David D

    BOX, Sergeant Allan Robert James, DFM, MiD, RNZAF.
    NZ401221 Air Gunner 75 Sqn 20 December 1940 to 3 September 1941. Posted in ex 1 SOAC (School of Army Co-operation); originally crewed with P/O C K Saxelby as Rear-gunner, on ops from 4-5/1/41, ditto with S/L G C Kain from 10/2/41, then Sgt Kilsby 23/2 – 7/5/41, then R/G for S/L R P Widdowson 10/6 – 7-8/7/41; replaced by Sgt Black in this last crew.
    DFC award (already covered by previous poster); please note, the incident described in this citation was the same one which resulted in Sgt pilot J A Ward (2nd pilot) being awarded the Victoria Cross.
    Mention in Despatches (14 Jan 1944): [159 Sqn RAF] "For bravery in action and meritorious fulfilment of duty."

    Following service with 75 Sqn (33 sorties), F/Sgt Box was posted to 159 Sqn in the Middle East (12 sorties) then, as a Warrant Officer, 20 sorties over Burma, also with 159 Sqn.

    Disembarked NZ 11/10/43, to Ohakea 17/12/43 (presume as Gunnery Instructor with 1 BOTU, then GTS), tfd to Reserve 3/10/44. Appointed to commission in rank of P/O w.e.f. 1/8/44. Died Auckland, NZ, 7 June 1987.

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    Dee, Terry and David

    Thank you for taking the time to the help me with this question.

    Surprisingly I had a lot of information about him without knowing it. I have transcripts of 159 Squadron´s Operational Record Books from 1942 and 1943 but it is not mentioned that he belonged to RNZAF so I failed to see the connection.

    This adds another name to the list of many New Zealand air gunners that was posted to the 159 and 160 Squadrons in 1942.

    Thank you for the invitation Dee. Unfortunately I will probably not be able UK in the nearest time but I will send you a PM.

    Regards,
    Peter

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