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Thread: Ex-RAF officer found guilty of murder...

  1. #11
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    Dear all, it seems to be an interesting theme:-)
    Just when reading your posts an idea came to mi mind to check the TNA for the surname of " my man" - and he came out! So I was able to find out two files which I will check during my next visit and also more details on the internet including some newspaper articles from the court!

    Very interesting - and very very very sad story.
    As he was not already serving in the RAF and due to the circumstances I have decided not to publish details here.
    Just note - it is sad that he became more famous by his case than by his RAF career....

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

  2. #12
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    I have tactfully not mentioned Gordon Frederick Cummins, who murdered four women in London in 1941-42. He was an airman and had been caught because he left his gasmask case behind when disturbed during the serious assault of a woman.

    He was an aircrew cadet in the RAF and was hanged in 1942.

    I am pleased to say we are not related!!!!!

    Colin Cummings

  3. #13
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    It was suggested by the Police that Cummins may have killed two women in October 1941 during blackout - I suspect one was of these was Mabel Church at Tufnell Park, October 1941

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    Hello,

    Re: Fielding-Johnson MC*,DFC, MiD (twice).

    FIELDING-JOHNSON,William Spurrett - Captain - 3 & 56 Sqns (also briefly, 72 Sqn.)

    Born on 8 February, 1892, he served in the Leicestershire Yeomanry, and was awarded an MC in France. In 1915 he transferred to the RFC, joining 3 Squadron on 16 October as an Observer on Morane Parasols. On 19 January 1916 his pilot crashed badly and Fielding-Johnson was injured. Recovering he undertook pilot training and in October 1917 joined 56 Squadron where he received a Bar to his MC and became an acting flight commander. By the time he left the unit in 1918 he had claimed six victories. During World War II he served as an air gunner and in that conflict was awarded a DFC. He died in 1953 (11 February, 1953).

    Total: 4 and 1 shared destroyed, 1 out of control = 6.

    Have not included score details.

    See:
    Above The Trenches:A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces of the British Empire Air Forces.
    Shores,C.,Franks,N & R Guest.
    London:Grub Street,1990.
    p.154.

    Fielding-Johnson's son, 130659 F/L Hugh Henry Fielding-Johnson DFC RAFVR (LG: 5/12/1944. p.5578 - 21 Sqn. Carter I/A-L/550), flew Mosquitoes during WWII. He was KIA on 22-2-1945 in No.21 Sqn Mosquito VI HR150, during Operation "Clarion".

    For those seeking more on Fielding-Johnson, I recommend:

    The Military Cross to Flying Personnel of Grreat Britain and the Empire 1914-1919 with service and biographical details of recipients.
    Giblin,Hal & Norman Franks.
    Forest Hill:Savannah,2008.
    p.187

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 15th January 2013 at 22:33.

  5. #15
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    Returning to the 'unsavory' Heath, if I may.

    I read the Wiki entry for him and I must admit that it caused me a smile when I saw that, having been offered a glass of whisky before he mounted the gallows, his comment was something like: 'Given the circumstances in which I find myself, could you make that a double?'

    When I mentioned this to a friend, who is rather keen on a dram or several, his comment was: 'did they give him a cheap blend or a single malt and was he allowed time to savour it?'

    Colin Cummings

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    Anyone wishing to read further on Neville Heath may care to look out a new book on the subject that received a positive review in the Sunday Times Culture magazine this weekend, the book is titled,

    Handsome Brute: The story of a Ladykiller by Sean O'Connor.

    Probably not bedtime reading though...

    Ian

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Ex-RAF officer found guilty of murder...

    Found this today


    Herts and Essex Observer - Saturday 21 August 1937
    Page 9
    Court Martial at Debden Aerodrome
    Neville George Cavely (sic) Clevely Heath, an officer of 73rd Fighter Squadron, appeared before a
    Court Martial at the Royal Air Force Station, Debden, near Saffron Walden, this Friday morning,
    to answer three charges.
    Seven witnesses were called to give evidence on charges which involved deserting His Majesty's Service
    at Mildenhall, escaping while under arrest on the night of July 21st-22nd (1937), and removing a touring
    car on the same night.
    Accused denied the first offence, but admitted the other two charges. -
    In a letter which the accused wrote tendering his resignation to Squadron-Leader Turton Jones, he stated:
    Please find enclosed my resignation, which I hope will this time be accepted. I think this will be
    the easiest way out and will save dragging the name of a decent squadron through the mud.
    I admit I have been an idiot and wrecked the chance of a decent career.


    Follow Up

    Herts and Essex Observer - Saturday 28 August 1937
    Page 8


    Court-Martial at Debden Charges Against Young Pilot-Officer Found Not Guilty of Desertion
    A pilot-officer faced a general court-martial, at Royal Air Force Station, Debden near Saffron Walden, on Friday,
    on three serious charges. He was acquitted on a charge of desertion, but admitted two other offences,
    and was formally found guilty of these by the Court.
    He was Pilot officer Neville George Clevely Heath, aged 20, of No. 73 Fighter Squadron, he denied the first charge of deserting
    the first charge of deserting His Majesty's service in that at Mildenhall on March 22nd 1937, he absconded from the R.A.F
    station there until apprehended at Wimbledon on June 22nd."
    The other two charges which he admitted were: "When under arrest escaping on the night of July 21st-22nd." and "Conduct to the
    prejudice of good order and discipline in that out July 22nd he improperly and without permission removed and used for his own purpose a
    touring-car, the property of Sergt. G. W. Couzens of No. 80 Squadron, Debden.
    Group Captain A. P. V. Daly was the President of the Court, and the Judge Advocate was Mr. C. L. Stirling. Squadron-Leader M. Shurlock (barrister)
    conducted the prosecution, and accused was by Mr. H. C. N. Milmo (barrister).
    Aecopted Accused's Pleas.
    The Judge Advocate intimated that the Court was prepared to the accept the accused's pleas on the second and charges, the Prosecutor
    said that it would only be necessary for him to deal with the first charge.
    He reminded the Court that the criterion between deserting and absence without leave was intention, and in this case the prosecution
    contended that there had existed the intention not to return to H.M Service. It was, therefore, necessary for the prosecution not only
    to prove that accused had not prove that the accused was in fcat absent from his unit on March 22nd find until he was
    apprehended by the Actg.-Provost Marshal, but also to establish the circumstances to justify the inference that accused had not intended to
    return to Air Force duties. Flight-Lt. A. Leese would tell the Court that the accused, who was at Duxford, was posted to Mildenhall on March 21st.
    He reported to the Station Adjutant, and signed the usual officers movement book on his arrival. He was told to report to the senior officer of
    No. 73 Squadron, but he was neither present at assembly nor did he report, although he had not been given leave. Accused was apprehended at
    Wimbledon on June 22nd.
    The prosecutor. of the intention said the accused wrote two letters, dated March 21st—the on which he left Duxford to Squadron-Leader J. W.
    Turton Jones.
    "The Easiest Way Out." The first read :
    "Please find enclosed my resignation, which will this time be accepted. I hope. I think this will be the easiest way out,
    and will save dragging the name of a decent squadron through the mud. I admit I have been an idiot and wrecked a chance of a
    decent career. I am going to Scotland now, and will go abroad in about a fortnight. There are two things I would
    like to say. One is I cannot say how sorry I am that this has occurred, and the second is a favour. I should like to
    keep this matter away from my parents as my father is ill and the shock will do him no good. I am telling them that I am
    going to Scotland.. I will settle what bills I have incurred within the month. Once again I am really sorry,"
    There was a postscript" I can he reached through the personal column of the Morning Post" T
    The second letter was an official notification to the Commanding Officer, and was headed "Resignation" Accused asked
    that his resignation should take place from March 21st, and added: "I consider I have been a disgrace to a Service,
    which will he well rid of me."


    " A Thoughtless Action."
    After apprehension, the accused made the following statement : "In connection with first charge. I wish to state that it was due
    to a sudden impulse after experiencing financial difficulties, and that it was a thoughtless action which I afterwards regretted.
    It is my first offence and, in consideration of my having hitherto borne a good character. I wish the Council to take a lenient
    view of my offense and accept my resignation."
    Flight-Lt, gave evidence of accused signing officers' movement book on March 22nd at 9 am.
    Flight-Lt, R. V. Mclntyre. No. 73 Fighter Squadron, gave evidence of not seeing accused at assembly.
    Pilot-Officer J. K Scoulaar. No. 73 Fighter Squadron. was called to identify the accused's handwriting.

    Flying-Otfirer W. I. G Kerby, APM Halton, said that following certain information June 22nd he went to a house
    at Interton Wimbledon. A young lady answered the door, and the witness was informed that the accused was not at home.
    The Witness then met Heath running towards the house. When the accused was stopped, the accused was asked: "Are you Pilot Office Heath? "In a
    confused manner he replied " No," and then immediately said he was. Accused then said: All right. I won't run away."
    When questioned, the witness at first said he was in uniform. but after being told by Mr. Milmo "to think again." he replied:
    "I beg your pardon. I was in plain clothes."
    " I Have Resigned."
    Pilot-Officer Richdale was with witness at the time, and when challenged by him, said: "Yes, but I have resigned."
    The Accused was taken to Hendon and there handed over to an escort.
    Squadron-Leader J. W. Turton Jones, No. 19, Fighter Squadron, Duxford, said that accused had one of the officers under
    his command. He had a telephone conversation with the accused March 22nd at Mildenhall about a cheque which had been returned
    by bank in respect of his mess bill. He rang up the accused about 11.30 in the morning. Mr. Milmo: May I take it that it not a
    typically friendly you had with him?
    Witness: I hardly think the question of friendliness would come in if it was official business.
    The Witness said that the accused had asked to be allowed to resign his commission on a previous occasion, but his request was refused.
    Mr. Milmo pointed out that no charge of desertion was made until August 11th, and any statement made by the accused was in answer
    to a charge of being absent without leave.
    The Prisoner's Evidence.
    Accused elected to give evidence, but said that he would call no witnesses. He entered the Air Force in November, 1935;
    was trained at Duxford: in February, 1936, was gazetted as an Acting-Pilot-Officer, and in November, 1936. was promoted
    to Pilot-Officer.
    He arrived at Mildenhall on March 21st, and remained there all the next day.
    The letters written to Squadron-Lender Turton Jones were the direct result of the telephone conversation at 10 p.m. on March 22nd.
    He had no reason to believe that his resignation would not be accepted, and he went straight home with his personal belongings
    on March 23rd. Re received no communication regarding his resignation; if there had been, in all probability he would have got
    into touch with the Squadron Leader or Air Ministry. He had no intention of remaining away permanently in defiance of authority.
    Did Not Conceal His Identity.
    During the time that he was at home he made no attempt to conceal his identity, and. in fact wore an Air Force tie.
    Financial troubles had been the cause of his resignation. He told his parents that he was leave, but after six weeks said that
    he had resigned his commission. While he was at home he did no work, and was kept by his parents.

    Mr. Milmo said the charge of desertion was repulsive to an officer, and added that although "a mere boy had been a foolish fellow."
    he had had no intention of deserting.
    The Judge Advocate reminded the Court that the Air Ministry could have determined the whereabouts of the accused by making inquiries
    from the permanent given by him when entered the Service.
    The Accused was found " not guilty of desertion," but was formally found guilty on the second and third charges.
    Sentences will be announced later.

  8. #18
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  9. #19
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    I remember that there was such news, but it will be difficult to find it now.

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