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Thread: Harrow K6965 October 6, 1938 215 Sqn Crew details sought

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Harrow K6965 October 6, 1938 215 Sqn Crew details sought

    I got one down today

    F/Sgt R Williams He is F/Sgt Reginald George Williams #363497 later Sqn/Ldr with DFC killed in Vickers Wellington Mk 1c DV422 of 21, Operational Training Unit took off from RAF Edgehill for general handling practice. While demonstrating stalling and recovery the aircraft went into a dive and at 1420 crashed and burned near Wild Spring Farm, Little Tew, 5 miles east-north-east of Chipping Norton with the loss of 6 crew on the 23 December 1941 he was aged 35.


    Sgt G Baker was Sgt George Henry Leonard Baker #562031

    They were BOTH awarded AFM for this incident


    Air Ministry,
    2nd January, 1939.
    The KING has been graciously pleased to
    approve of the following rewards to the undermentioned officers and airmen: T.
    Awarded the Air Force Medal
    562031 Sergeant George Henry Leonard BAKER
    363497 Flight Sergeant Reginald George WILLIAMS.


    does anyone have a Citation for this AFm ?


    I found reference to incident in Cornish Guardian - Thursday 06 June 1940 Page 3 - Which covers his DFC


    Only the 3 other airmen to go!
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 11th June 2020 at 18:42.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Harrow K6965 October 6, 1938 215 Sqn Crew details sought

    According to newspaper just prior to his Commission (1st Apr. 1940) he saved a Wellington bomber (Assume 99 Sqn) "When one engine failed from crashing into sea by skimming across waves and landing at airfield near coast'

    He joined RAF in 1923 as apprentice (boy entrant his DOB was in 1908) , was trained pilot when 21 and served in Lahore (then in India) 1935 to 1937

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Harrow K6965 October 6, 1938 215 Sqn Crew details sought

    Suspect Sgt W Downey

    may be William Howarth Downey #561103 Killed Wellington N2911 99 Sqn 14-12-1939

    Does anyone know if "en mass" 215 Sqn -> 99 Sqn - I know Williams did

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    Default Re: Harrow K6965 October 6, 1938 215 Sqn Crew details sought

    Yes I have the citation for the AFM for [COLOR=#3e3e3e]F/Sgt Reginald George Williams and also his report on the loss of the aircraft. I can email them to you if you wish?
    [/COLOR]
    Reginald George Williams (363497 later 43077) was my grandfather. I recently commissioned a painting of the incident with the [COLOR=#3e3e3e]Wellington when the engine exploded when the aircraft was at 50ft and he managed to get to 400ft before landing safely.
    [/COLOR]
    A couple of days ago I came across both these incidents (Harrow and Wellington) in a book called: "WELLINGTON Mainstay of Bomber Command" by Peter G. Cooksley (pages 118-121). It went on to mention a 3rd incident which my father used to tell me about. RGW was flying a test flight in a Wellington (without any air gunners) when he was attacked by a Dornier. Rather than fly off, RGW flew the Wellington at and above the Dornier forcing it lower and lower until it flew into a hillside. In celebration, RGW (rather recklessly) flew his bomber very very low over the classroom where my father was doing his school maths lesson. My Aunt tells me RGW was severely reprimanded. All this brings me to why I found this forum. The book goes onto say that RGW was awarded the DSO after the destruction of the Dornier.......

    My father/family knows nothing about any DSO.......My father points out that DSO's are for officers of Major/S/Ldr or above, but RGW rapidly was promoted and was S/Ldr by September 1941 with one record stating: Promoted Squadron Leader 6th May 1941 with effect from 22/4/1941 (Acting Rank)......... the book says the Dornier incident took place 8 weeks after the Wellington engine explosion incident so there is some evidence that RGW was of sufficient rank in May 1941 to be recommended for a DSO........ Can any of you great people out there help me find out if the DSO piece if true?

    I know it could be a red herring........ events are often mis-quoted, mis-reported and mis-recorded in war time...... in the book, Reg is called 'Bill' Williams and my father and Aunt don't recall him ever been called Bill, but Dad was 9 and his sister 5 when he died so who knows what his mates used to call him! ....... BTW according to the Harrow report the plane was R.6965 (not K.6965)

    Quote Originally Posted by paulmcmillan View Post
    I got one down today

    F/Sgt R Williams He is F/Sgt Reginald George Williams #363497 later Sqn/Ldr with DFC killed in Vickers Wellington Mk 1c DV422 of 21, Operational Training Unit took off from RAF Edgehill for general handling practice. While demonstrating stalling and recovery the aircraft went into a dive and at 1420 crashed and burned near Wild Spring Farm, Little Tew, 5 miles east-north-east of Chipping Norton with the loss of 6 crew on the 23 December 1941 he was aged 35.


    Sgt G Baker was Sgt George Henry Leonard Baker #562031

    They were BOTH awarded AFM for this incident


    Air Ministry,
    2nd January, 1939.
    The KING has been graciously pleased to
    approve of the following rewards to the undermentioned officers and airmen: T.
    Awarded the Air Force Medal
    562031 Sergeant George Henry Leonard BAKER
    363497 Flight Sergeant Reginald George WILLIAMS.


    does anyone have a Citation for this AFm ?


    I found reference to incident in Cornish Guardian - Thursday 06 June 1940 Page 3 - Which covers his DFC


    Only the 3 other airmen to go!

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Harrow K6965 October 6th, 1938 215 Sqn Crew details sought

    Lyffe's aircraft at Plynlimmon was Battle K7589.

    DaveW

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Harrow K6965 October 6, 1938 215 Sqn Crew details sought

    Dear KM Williams

    Thanks for your interesting post - I have emailed you a response

    Kind Regards Paul McMillan

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Harrow K6965 October 6, 1938 215 Sqn Crew details sought

    RE "according to the Harrow report the plane was R.6965 (not K.6965)"

    - The Harrow was definitely K6965" there were no R serial Harrows - However it might have been coded 'R' by 215 Sqn. - All individual Sqn aircraft had their own letter allocated - Crews sometimes recorded their aircraft by the Sqn Letter, the aircraft serial or both or combination of both!!!

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Harrow K6965 October 6, 1938 215 Sqn Crew details sought

    The "Wellington when the engine exploded when the aircraft was at 50ft and he managed to get to 400ft before landing safely." was Wellington N2887 LN-B on 29th Feb 1940

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Harrow K6965 October 6, 1938 215 Sqn Crew details sought

    Thanks to the kind efforts of Kevin Williams (who's grandfather was Reginald George Williams DFC, AFM) I am pleased to announce the complete crew of Harrow K6965 of 215 Sqn that crashed at Udimore, Rye, Sussex on October 6, 1938 - All crew bailed out

    they were

    Sgt George Henry Leonard Baker #562031 Pilot 215 Sqn
    F/Sgt Reginald George Williams #363497 Second Pilot 99 Sqn attached 215 Sqn
    Sgt William Howarth Downey #561103 Navigator on flight (but actually also Qualified Pilot) 99 Sqn attached 215 Sqn
    LAC Thomas Eric Ridley #526364 Wireless Operator
    AC1 William Edward Miles #529832 Mate/Air Gunner

    Baker and Ridley (who later trained as a Pilot in Canada and returned their in 1945) survived the war but died relatively young (Baker in car crash in 1969) and Ridley suddenly in Hospital in 1977

    Williams and Downey both killed in ww2
    I cannot trace Miles but as not on CWGC i assume also survived

    Kind Regards

    Paul
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 23rd April 2021 at 13:23.

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    Default Re: Harrow K6965 October 6, 1938 215 Sqn Crew details sought

    I have a great photo of the Wellington flying on one engine (taken from a Lysander that tracked the Wellington in case it ditched into the sea). Can you post picture on this forum ?

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