View Full Version : 460301 - Unaccounted Airwoman & Airmen - 01-03-1946

Alex Smart
22nd April 2017, 03:05

460301 - Unaccounted Airwoman & Airmen 01-03-1946

From Henk's List -

FENNELL, Pamela Mary - LACW - 2070576 - WAAF - Marlborough Borough Cemetery, Wiltshire.

VAN DER MERWE, P.D.H - F/Sgt - 36236 - SAAF - Parry's Cemetery, Free State, South Africa.

BLACK, Frederick Lawson - F/Sgt - 355665 - RAF - Mortlake Crematorium, Surrey.
BOGLE, Charles Ripley - Sqd/Ldr - 102615 - RAFVR - A.F.C - Edinburgh ( Warriston ) Crematorium, Edinburgh.
ROBERTSON, Alfred Webb - Sgt - 655865 - RAF - Edinburgh ( Warriston ) Crematorium, Edinburgh.

CWGC & Geoff's Sites -

BRODIE, Archibald Mowbray - S/Lt(A) - RNVR - HMS Nabcatcher - 721 Sqdn - Lee-On-Solent Memorial, Hampshire [ Vengeance HB363 ].
DESBOROUGH, Ernest Jack - Petty Officer(A) - Royal Navy - HMS Nabcatcher - 721 Sqdn - Lee-On-Solent Memorial, Hampshire [ Vengeance HB363 ].


22nd April 2017, 07:22

S/L C. R. Bogle - https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Bogle-218


22nd April 2017, 08:18
Hi all,

from Joe Baugher lists - http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1942_5.html:

42-94149/94548 Vultee A-35B-VN Vengeance

94509 to RAF as Vengeance IV HB363. Transferred to Royal Navy Feb 27, 1945. Control lost
in cloud and crashed in Sunk Bay, Hong Kong Mar 1, 1946. Both crew killed.

from FAA Aircraft by R. Sturtivant & M. Burrow, pg. 480

721 Sqn Kai Tak, lost control in cloud, crashed Sunk Bay, Cat ZZ, 1. 3. 1946, (S/L A. M. Brodie & PO E. J. Desborough killed).


22nd April 2017, 08:53
Mojmir's link says he got his AFC as a Sqn Ldr for his Met work. The LG records his AFC (8 Jun 44) as him being a Flt Lt ('Acting' ranks are so listed in Awards in the LG). He is being 'looked into'!!!
Peter Davies

22nd April 2017, 09:41

FENNELL, Pamela Mary - LACW - registered in Marlborough.
BLACK, Frederick Lawson - F/Sgt - registered in Hammersmith.
ROBERTSON, Alfred Webb - Sgt - not Eng/Wales?.


22nd April 2017, 11:08

ROBERTSON, Alfred Webb - Sgt - 655865 - he's on the Statutory Death Register on the Scotland's People website:

Alfred Athelstane Webb Robertson, Commerical Traveller, died March 1st at 3.00 a.m at 34 Newbottle Terrace, Edinburgh, due to Pulmonary TB.



22nd April 2017, 14:46
I'm afraid the story provided by Mojmir's link does not stand up to close scrutiny. The link alleges Bogle was in command of met services in Madagascar during 1942, for which he was awarded the AFC.

1. So far as I can determine there was no British meteorological presence on Madagascar in 1942, the nearest I can get is the formation of 1568 Met Flight at Diego Suarez on 1 Feb 1944 .
2. If Bogle was in command of met services at this time he would not have received an AFC for this work - such a post was purely administrative and the AFC is only awarded for acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty while flying.
3. Bogle is wearing pilot's wings in his photo.
4. The London Gazette shows he was

a. Commissioned from the ranks (LAC 1365193) to P/O (102615) on 21 July 1941 (which suggests he was commissioned on gaining his wings)
b. Promoted F/O on 21 July 1942
c. Was awarded the AFC on 8 June 1944, by which time he was a F/L
d. None of the LG references places Bogle in the RAFVR (Met Branch), which is not surprising as the evidence suggests he was GD.

His promotions to F/L and S/L do not seem to appear in the LG - at least I'm unable to find them.

I suspect the story posted in the link has been passed down over the years without knowing the facts - something we have seen so often.


22nd April 2017, 15:50

Charles Ripley BOGLE's promotion; F/O to F/L (war subs.) 21-7-1943 (albeit, as C. R. BUGLE!).



22nd April 2017, 15:56
S/L Bogle's death was reported in the newspapers at the time. This is from The Scotsman, March 4th 1946:

Squadron Leader Charles R. Bogle, R.A.F., youngest son of the Very Rev. Dr. A. N. Bogle, and Mrs. Bogle, 4 Cluny Avenue, Edinburgh, was drowned as a result of a skating mishap on a loch near Eddleston. He was about 30 yards from the edge of the loch when the ice gave way. A companion who was with him made desperate efforts to save Squadron Leader Bogle, but without success.
Mr. Bogle, who was 33 years of age, was educated at George Watson's College, Edinburgh; he was captain of the School and captain of the Rugby XV. At Edinburgh University he graduated M.A., and he afterwards took the degree of B.A. at Oxford. He adopted teaching as his profession, and was on the staff of King's College, Macclesfield, when he joined the Royal Air Force.
He proved a resourceful and intrepid pilot, and his services in meteorological flying in Madagascar gained for him the Air Force Cross.
Squadron Leader Bogle was later attached to Headquarters in Nairobi in East Africa. He returned to this country at the end of December, and was on demobilisation leave when he met his untimely death.



22nd April 2017, 16:27
Thanks, Simon. I didn't want to complicate the story, but my gut feeling was that the 'meteorological' and 'AFC' aspects of the story pointed to a Met Flight pilot, although, to be honest, if 1568 Met Flight was formed in Feb 1944, and his AFC was gazetted 5 months later, that seems an awfully short stint. There are others I know of who flew as Met Flight pilots for over two years who went unrecognised. Gut feeling (again) is that he was engaged in the role with another Met Flight immediately before joining 1568 Met Flight: in fact the reference to him being in command of met services suggests he was probably the unit's OC.


22nd April 2017, 16:33
Hello All,
In RAFWEB is recorded the RAF Middle East Command “wiring diagram” for Jun 1945 (from the Jun 44 CAFL). It shows the ‘Administrative Staff’. SOA is Gp Capt Lord G N Douglas-Hamilton, SPSO is a Sqn Ldr F H Dean, and the ‘Organisation’ post is filled by a Sqn Ldr C R Bogle. His Sen is given as 12 Oct 44. He was a definitive Flt Lt on 8 Jun 44 (LG AFC). He was probably, thus, an Acting Sqn Ldr by Jun 45 (and not promulgated in LG). He was not in post the year before, and the post is not recorded in Apr 46. I, too, cannot find his Relinquishment/Resignation in the LG.
Peter Davies

22nd April 2017, 16:39

Possibility for Bogle's unit:

No.1433 Flight.
Formed 2.42 in UK with 4+2 Lysander IIIA.
11.4.42 Arrived in Middle East Command.
From 5.42 at DIEGO SUAREZ in No.207 Group, carrying out meteorological and photographic duties.
24.9.42 IVATO.
10.42 TANANARIVE (dett to Tulear 29.11.42).
12.42 To IVATO
17.1.43 Joined No.258 Wing.
Disbanded 15.4.43.
Aircraft - Lysander IIIA (V9427)

See: RAFFT&SU/Hamlin & Halley/A-B 1997 1st ed./132.

No mention of Bogle in:

Dust Clouds in the Middle East The War for East Africa, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Madagascar, 1940-42.
London:Grub Street,1996.


22nd April 2017, 21:34
Other than Col's informative post, 1433 Flight remains something of a mystery, although it appears to have been principally deployed as a reconnaissance unit for Operation Ironclad, the Battle for Madagascar (May - November 1942). Such files as exist in the NA seem to cover just 1942 (Air AIR 29/869, AIR 54/157, AIR 23/6525 and AIR 23.6526). There are a couple of photos at http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207923 and http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207922.


Martyn A Critchlow
23rd April 2017, 14:33
Biography for Bogle in The-Watsonian-War-Record-1939-1945, page 17

CHARLES RIPLEY BOGLE. Ripley BogIe, A.F .C., Squadron Leader, Royal Air Force, was the youngest son of the Very Rev. A. N. BogIe, 0.0., and Mrs. BogIe, 4 Cluny Avenue, Edinburgh. Born on 1 th May 1912 he pent practically all his school days at Watson's, entering in 1918 and leaving in 1931. During these thirteen years he proved himself an excellent all–rounder, being a grand rugby player, athlete, scholar and musician. After graduating at Edinburgh University, he entered Balliol College, Oxford, where he had an equally distinguished record. Taking up teaching as a career he was appointed senior classical master at King's School, Macclesfield. In 1941 he volunteered for the R.A.F. and in June 1942 saw active service in Madagascar. Later he went to East Africa, where he was in charge of the meteorological department of the Command, and was awarded the A. F. C.for his work there. He returned home at the end of 1945 to be demobilised, and lost his life as the result of a skating accident at Portmore Loch, near Eddleston, Peebles-hire, on 1 st March 1946.



23rd April 2017, 15:00
Other than Col's informative post, 1433 Flight remains something of a mystery, although it appears to have been principally deployed as a reconnaissance unit for Operation Ironclad, the Battle for Madagascar (May - November 1942). Such files as exist in the NA seem to cover just 1942 (Air AIR 29/869, AIR 54/157, AIR 23/6525 and AIR 23.6526). There are a couple of photos at http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207923 and http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207922.



Both photographs are well-known, they depict (left to right) Lysander IIIA's, V9606, V9499, V9350 and V9728.


23rd April 2017, 16:44
Apologies for the thread creep, Alex, Bogle's story seems to have taken on a life of its own.

I think Martyn's post (#14) is the first to signpost what actually happened. The original link posted by Mojmir appears to have been based on the Watsonian War Record, which is not only in error, but has been misinterpreted. I am pretty sure Later he went to East Africa, where he was in charge of the meteorological department of the Command refers to 1414 Met Flight which was formed at Eastleigh, Niarobi, in December 1941, but detached to various locations along the east coast of Africa (Mogadishu, Port Reitz and Myndishu) during 1943. The 'in charge' almost certainly refers to Bogle being OiC of the unit for the reasons I gave in #7.

As the OiC making regular met ascents in Gladiators he would have been in line for an AFC. One member of the unit, F/O Ralph, was killed when he crashed into the sea off Mogadishu shortly before dawn on 25 October 1943. He was descending from a met flight.

If some kind person visiting the NA could spare a few minutes with the unit's ORB (AIR 29/868) that should resolve the matter.


25th April 2017, 19:32

Does Christopher Shores' book (your #12) include a list of RAF flying units, other than 1433 Flight, involved with the Madagascar episode, please?


25th April 2017, 22:42

Yes, Shores does include a substantial listing of RAF (and other forces) in the index:


Part One - Commonwealth.
Groups - RAF
Brigades - SAAF
Wings - RAF
Wings - SAAF
Squadrons - RAF
Squadrons - FAA
Squadrons - RAAF
Squadrons - R(hodesian)AF
Squadrons - SAAF
Flights - RAF*
Flights SAAF
Other Units**

Flights - RAF


Other Units - RAF

GRB 1 (Free French Bomber Flight)
Habbanayi Air Striking Force
Habbanayi Fighter 'A' Squadron
Kenya Auxiliary Unit
70 OTU
102 Maintenance Unit
1 Company RAF Armoured Cars

The above unit listings pertain to the whole book, and as the sub-title (The Air War for East Africa, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Madagascar 1940-42) suggests, covers a wide area.


25th April 2017, 23:03
Thank you, Col. I am corresponding with Bogle's nephew who has photographs dating to his uncle's time in East Africa. An example he sent was of a Bristol Blenheim IV (I think) and I was trying to identify the unit/location - but it clearly is not Madagascar. I suspect now the aircraft was with 35 Flight SAAF.


26th April 2017, 02:25

"Dust Clouds in the Middle East", has the following:

(MADAGASCAR) A degree of support was also to be provided by land-based units of the South African Air Force. Three Coastal Flights in the Dominion which had been involved in anti-submarine patrols, 32, 36, and 37 equipped with Avro Ansons, began receiving more modern aircraft during April (1942), and at the end of the month were all despatched to East Africa to co-operate in the Madagascar enterprise. Amalgamated for administrative purposes into 29 Squadron, SAAF, they were to carry out photographic reconnaissance sorties, and bomb French airfields and defences if necessary. 32 Flight had received a number of Martin Marylands for the purpose, while 36 and 37 Flights were each equipped with Bristol Beauforts (p.278)

There is no mention of 35 Flight SAAF in the Madagascar section of Dust Clouds, nor in the Madagascar chapter of the SAAF Official History, Eagles Strike. The Campaigns of the South African Air Force in Egypt, Cyrenaica, Libya, Tunisia, Tripolitania and Madagascar 1941-1943.

Disregard this if it is not pertinent to your researches!


26th April 2017, 14:17
Thank you, Col. You've just proved two things

1. My aircraft recognition leaves a great deal to be desired, the aircraft is indeed a Beaufort.
2. Never believe all you read on the Internet - which pointed to 35 Flight SAAF and Blenheims

The airfield shown in the photo may be at Tananarive (now Antananivo) as there is another photo in the series showing SAAF vehicles in the town.

Grateful for you help.


20th December 2021, 14:34
Pamela Mary Fennell 2070576 , a teleprinter operator attached to HQ 87 Group, was admitted seriously ill to the 365th US Army general hospital on 23 January and transferred to the Malborough EMS hospital where she died of lukaemia