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Thread: Spitfire Vc. Loss April 16 1943

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    Default Spitfire Vc. Loss April 16 1943

    Hello,

    I am looking for the serial Spitfire Vc. Loss April 16 1943. Ocean Ile Ouessant. Flight Lieutenant. O'BRIEN P.G. 412 Sqdn.
    Cordialement,
    Regards,
    Mit freundlichem Gruß,

    Dan

    Association Bretonne du Souvenir Aérien 39-45
    http://www.absa3945.com/

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    Default Spitfire AB518

    Your Spitfire must be 16.4.1943,Spitfire AB518,No.65 Squadron,near Portreath,a collision with a Blenheim.Both aircraft written off.

    Regards,Philip

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    Default Spitfire

    I do not think Spitfire AB518 is the one you are looking for or is it? Any more details?

    Philip

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    The Flight Lieutenant. O'BRIEN was recovered late in the evening near the island Ouesssant by the Motor Torpedo Boat of with the future admiral Edward Talarmin.
    Cordialement,
    Regards,
    Mit freundlichem Gruß,

    Dan

    Association Bretonne du Souvenir Aérien 39-45
    http://www.absa3945.com/

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    Default The Winco?

    Although I do not have access to 412 squadron's ORB, here is what I have from their progress reports.

    16.4.43: Nine Spits of this squadron and Wing Commander O'Brien left Perranporth at 1905 on a shipping recco in the USHANT-ILE DE BAS area. The squadron saw 2 ships going south. During attacks on ships, 6 Fw.190s came out from the mainland and a dog-fight ensured. Blue 1 (S/L F.W. Kelly), Blue 3, Red 3, Yellow 1 and Yellow 2 all fired at e/a but no results except S/L Kelly, who claims 1 Fw.190 probably destroyed. The squadron then returned and set course for base. When approximately 20 miles out, the Wing Commander's aircraft started to stream glycol and shortly after he baled out. Blue 1 (S/L Kelly) and Yellow 3 (F/O Boyd) both climbed to 2,500-3,000 feet and gave fixer for 25 or 30 minutes while the rest of the squadron orbitted. After this the Squadron returned to base at 2110 leaving the Wing Commander apparently quite happy in his dinghy.

    Stephen

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    Default The Winco might not be the man in question

    Spoke to soon. According to 412 Squadon records, he was picked up the following morning at 0400 by an ASR launch.

    So, I guess it looks as though 412 does not fit into this equation?

    Stephen

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    Default

    Hello,

    Michael Maton in "Honour the Air Forces" lists him as Peter Geoffrey St George O'BRIAN (with a A, not a E), service number 33329. DFC gazetted on 2 December 1941 when he was acting Squadron Leader, bar to DFC gazetted on 6 August 1943 (acting Wing Commander). Both units quoted as No. 247 Squadron.

    Not in Aces High neither in Those Other Eagles, but he has a short bio in "Men of the Battle of Britain" by Kenneth G. WYNN. No mention of the baling out in the Channel and rescue. He was then leading the Porthreath Wing, and was rested from operations in July 1943. There's a picture of him, the same as in Stephen's book "Metal canvas" which I was coincidentally re-reading last night.*

    He's also mentioned and pictured in "Rise from the East the story of No. 247 (China-British) Squadron" by David John MARCHANT, being the Squadron CO in 1941-42.

    At last, as he was a Canadian in the R.A.F. and due to Hugh Hallyday's excellent work, he's also mentioned here :
    http://airforce.ca/uploads/airforce/2009/07/canrafm-r.html

    O'BRIAN, S/L Peter Geoffrey St.George (33329) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.247 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 December 1941. Born in Toronto, 1917; home there. Educated at Trinity College School, Port Hope and at University of Toronto. Attended Cranwell and commissioned 1937. Attended School of Army Co-Operation, 1939. From early 1939 he was adjutant of No.26 Squadron; confirmed as Flight Lieutenant, 16 February 1940; confirmed as Squadron Leader, 1 December 1941; confirmed as Wing Commander, 1 July 1944 (though he had held acting ranks much earlier). Posted to No.152 Squadron (Spitfires) in late August 1940 (first mentioned in unit diary, 25 August 1940; 27 August 1940, with P/O Beaumont, shared in destruction of a He.111 near Portland; 15 September 1940, led a section of three aircraft which claimed a He.111 as probably destroyed; 17 September 1940, shared with two others in destruction of a Ju.88. Not mentioned in diary of No.152 Squadron thereafter. The book Trinity College School: Old Boys at War (Port Hope, 1948), states that he was posted to No.247 Squadron in October 1940, commanded it from January 1941 onwards, and in May 1942 was posted to the staff of No.10 Group. The book says he was posted to Portreath Fighter Wing as Wing Commander (Flying) in October 1942 (Hitchins notes say 15 September 1942) and relates the dinghy story in detail; posted to No.10 Group Headquarters, June 1943; four months at RAF Staff College. Remained in postwar RAF. NOTE: Hitchins cards say he was awarded OBE postwar; to be checked. AFRO 1534/41 dated 19 December 1941 identified him as a Canadian in the RAF, as did AFRO 1849/43 dated 10 September 1943 (reporting his Bar to the DFC). Air Ministry Bulletin 5722 refers.



    This officer has commanded the squadron for the past thirteen months and has participated in a large number of sorties both by day and night. On one occasion he participated in one of the longest night flights ever undertaken in a single-seat fighter aircraft during which he displayed good judgement and a fine navigational skill. His outstanding qualities as a leader have set an excellent example.



    O'BRIAN, W/C Peter Geoffrey St.George (33329) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.257 Squadron (or Portreath Wing ?) - awarded as per London Gazette dated 6 August 1943. Air Ministry Bulletin 11066 refers.



    This officer has displayed high qualities of leadership, great skill and courage, setting an example which has contributed in a large measure to the high efficiency of the squadron he commands. Wing Commander O'Brian has completed large numbers of sorties and has invariably displayed great keenness. On one occasion when he had to abandon his aircraft over the sea he was subsequently adrift in his dinghy for eight hours before being rescued. Despite this he led his formation on its next operation.

    I think that the link with No. 412 Squadron comes from the fact they were maintaining his Spitfire, altough, stricktly speaking, he was not a member of the Squadron.

    Hope this helps

    Joss

    * : Stephen : do you have any details about a Halifax which had a nose-art named "Some chicken" ? That was the reason why I was checking your book.
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 2nd June 2010 at 16:06.

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