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Thread: Tiger Moth in Burma

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    Default Tiger Moth in Burma

    Hello,

    I'm looking for informations about Tiger Moth used in Burma in WW 2.

    I know that a few were in service in 52 sqn during March-July 1945.

    Source:The squadrons of the RAF & Commonwealth 1918-1988 James J. Halley Air Britain 1988.

    Thank you very much

    Alain (from France)

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    Would the following help ?

    DANE, Henry, F/L (Malaya Volunteer Air Force, deceased) - Distinguished Service Order - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 October 1946, with effect from 1 December 1942. No citation other than "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services rendered during the period of operations against the Japanese in Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies terminating in March 1942." Born 1893 in India. Served in Indian Army, retiring with rank of Captain, 1923. Commissioned in RAF, 1940; to Malaya Volunteer Air Force, September 1940. Died 5 December 1942; buried in Yokohama. Commonwealth War Graves Commission described him as “Son of Sir Louis Dane, GCIE, CSI., ICS., and of Lady Dane (nee Norman), Dame of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem; husband of Victoria A. C. Dane (nee Wingate), of Edenbridge, Kent. AMIEE.; General Manager, Perak River Hydro Electric Power Co., Malaya; Capt. (retd.), Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides.” Public Record Office Air 2/8774 has recommendation.

    Throughout the campaign in Malaya and Java, Flight Lieutenant Dane completed many long communication flights through monsoon weather over the jungle, with remarkable reliability and accuracy. During January 1942, at a time when the enemy was maintaining strong fighter patrols over the battlefield, this officer repeatedly volunteered to reconnoitre at tree top height, in order to locate advancing enemy troops and to make contact with bodies of our own force which had been cut off. He executed these tasks in an unarmed Moth training aircraft, showing absolute disregard for his personal safety. On 27th January 1942, Flight Lieutenant Dane displayed conspicuous gallantry and skill while searching for the Composite Infantry Brigade under Brigadier B.S. Challen. No information about the whereabouts or activities of the Brigade had been received since the previous afternoon. It was known, however, that the route by which this formation should have withdrawn was barred by a strong Japanese force, close to Sengerang on the western seaboard of Malaya and that Brigadier Challen had failed to overcome the opposition which he had encountered. Without hesitation, Flight Lieutenant Dane volunteered to make a search for the formation, though he was fully aware that the Japanese Air Force had command of the air and that this mission involved flying to and fro in an area in which enemy aircraft of infinitely superior speed and performance to his unarmed Moth were extremely active. Despite hostile activity, Flight Lieutenant Dane persisted in his task; his perseverance and courage were eventually rewarded by the discovery of tracks through the intricate “Paddy” fields. Following these tracks, he located considerable numbers of our troops on the sea coast, south of Sengerang. He reported the position of these troops, with the result that more than 2,000 of them were rescued by the Navy. Later, when a contingent of his unit was required to remain in Java when the Japanese invasion was imminent, Flight Lieutenant Dane volunteered to do so, with the certain knowledge that he would eventually fall into Japanese hands. This example was followed by the whole of his flight. Flight Lieutenant Dane’s qualities as a leader, together with his ability and courage were an inspiration to all who knew him.



    * * * * *

    GILL, Leonard William George, W/C (70244, Royal Air Force) - No.68 Squadron - Distinguished Service Order - awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 June 1945. Born on 31 March 1918 at West Hampstead, London. Attended University College School. For two years he worked as an aircraft engineer with Airwork at Heston, where he gained a private pilot's licence. Commissioned in Class “A”, RAFO in May 1937. Relinquished that commission on 28 November 1937 for a short service commission in the RAF. Attended Central Flying School from 5 May to 16 July 1938, often flying Fairey Battles and reclassified as “B” level instructor. In September 1938 he sailed for Singapore where he was attached to the recently formed Straits Settlements Volunteer Air Force, which had just been established as tension increased in the Far East. For the next two years he trained new pilots on a variety of old biplanes. Promoted Flying Officer, May 1939 and Flight Lieutenant, 3 September 1940. In 1940 it was decided to create a similar Burma Volunteer Air Force (BVAF), and on 16 October 1941 he was sent to Rangoon with a small group of instructors to train Burmese pilots on the Tiger Moth. Promoted Squadron Leader, 1 December 1941. Ceased special duties, 17 January 1942. In 1941 he had been sent with some of his pilots to the Kra isthmus to watch the coast for possible Japanese landings. The enemy arrived on 11 December and the BVAF was forced to fly back to Rangoon. As the Japanese advanced, the few RAF pilots flew a variety of army co-operation and communications flights, but the BVAF headquarters was severely damaged during an air raid and the tiny force had retreat to the north. In April 1942 it was organised into two separate communications flights, and left for Dum Dum Airport at Calcutta. Gill flew many flights taking senior officers to the final outposts as the Japanese steadily over-ran Burma. Early in May he flew to a small town in Burma at dusk and at dawn next morning he evacuated the governor and his senior staff a few hours before the Japanese arrived; he was mentioned in dispatches. Remained in India until June 1943 when he returned to England and trained as a night-fighter pilot on the Mosquito. Joined No.96 Squadron , September 1943, moving from there to No.125 Squadron on 14 December 1943 as a flight commander. In March 1944 the squadron moved to Hurn, near Bournemouth, to prepare for the D-Day landings. Damaged a Junkers 88 bomber and shot another down on 14 May 1944. Flew many patrols during the landings, shooting down a Dornier 217 a few miles south of Le Havre on 4 July 1944. With the Allies firmly established on French soil, Gill and his crews paid particular attention to the V-1 flying bombs launched against London. On 12 September 1944 he was posted to Bomber Command Tactical School, Ingham. With the capture of the V-1 launching sites in the Pas de Calais, the Germans continued the campaign against British targets, mostly in London, by modifying some Heinkel bombers to carry the weapon. The most effective way to combat them was by attacking them over the North Sea before they could release their loads. On the night of 30 October 1944 he was on patrol off the Dutch coast when he intercepted a Heinkel, and closed to within a few hundred yards before opening fire, sending the bomber and its lethal weapon into the sea. A short time later he found a second Heinkel and engaged it. He saw his cannons striking the enemy aircraft but had to break off the engagement before seeing the final results and could claim only a probable destroyed. Posted to command No.68 Squadron on 3 February 1945. With the threat from the V-1s over, Gill and his crews, half of whom were Czechs, flew intruder patrols over Germany seeking out German night fighters. The squadron was disbanded on 20 April 1945, when he moved to No.54 OTU. Given command of No 85 Squadron in 1948. After serving on the directing staff at the RAF Staff College and on an air defence working group he was promoted Wing Commander (July 1951); in March 1956 went to Germany to command No 87 Squadron, flying the Meteor night-fighter from an airfield near Cologne. Promoted to Group Captain, he commanded No 1 Flying Training School at Linton-on-Ouse before spending three years in Canada at the National Defence College. In 1963 he served in the Air Ministry before being appointed in 1966 the senior air staff officer at the RAF's headquarters in Germany. Promoted Air Vice-Marshal, 1 January 1968. Returned to London in April 1968 and spent the next five years as the Director General of Manning before retiring on 31 March 1973. His expertise in personnel management was much in demand and he spent six years as the personnel and manpower planning adviser for the P and O Steam Navigation Company until he joined Merton Associates (Consultants) as director and senior business consultant in 1979 before becoming chairman from 1984 to 1994. Died 13 July 2007. Obituaries noted that he gave immense service to the RAF Association, serving as president of the eastern area from 1974 to 1981, a member of the central council and as vice-chairman for four years. He was also a much-respected president of the Mosquito Aircrew Association, and was instrumental in establishing No 68 Squadron Association in 1945, attending virtually every annual reunion and meeting his former colleagues in the RAF Club for lunch every month. In September 1991 Gill and his wife visited Prague as the guests of President Havel. They attended a moving ceremony at which former Czech RAF men, some from No 68 Squadron, who had been forced to flee their country in 1948, were presented to the president, who awarded them decorations and restored their citizens' rights. Gill was appointed to the Order of King George of Bohemia. A dignified, modest and unassuming man with a warm and friendly manner, Gill lived in London, where he and his wife were staunch supporters of the RAF's church of St Clement Danes in the Strand; he was instrumental in getting a memorial plaque to all Mosquito air and ground crews placed in the church.


    This officer's operational record has been worthy of high praise. He has always displayed the greatest keenness, coupled with a high degree of skill and courage. His personal example has been well reflected in the fine fighting spirit of the squadron which he commanded for a period. He has completed a large number of sorties and throughout his devotion to duty has been unfailing. Wing Commander Gill has destroyed three enemy aircraft at night.

    Public Record Office Air 2/9086 has recommendation for a DFC drafted by the Officer Commanding, Station Church Fenton (24 April 1945) when he had flown 159 hours five minutes on operations.

    This officer was instructing in the Burma Volunteer Air Force at the beginning of the war and on the evacuation of Burma he made himself available for any operational duties, carrying out a number of reconnaissance flights over occupied Burma. He returned to the United Kingdom in 1943 and in June of that year, commenced night fighter training.

    He has taken every opportunity to get to grips with the enemy and, as far as I have been able to ascertain, during the year 1944, he destroyed three enemy aircraft, probably destroyed one and damaged one.

    This officer has not had command of his squadron for very long but during this short time he has got together an efficient team which, but for the disbanding of he squadron, he would have continued to lead successfully in any operations against the enemy.

    His record of service during operations against the enemy is considered well deserving of recognition and I strongly recommend the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

    The same day (24 April 1945) he Air Officer Commanding, No.12 Group, wrote a minute which supported the DFC recommendation:

    Despite the handicap of his late return to the United Kingdom after overseas service, Wing Commander Gill made himself master of the intricate night-flying technique by then developed in this country. Through his skill and gallantry, as well as by his powers of leadership, he has since proved himself an outstanding flight and squadron commander; not the least when his personal example of devotion to duty ensured the disbandment of his squadron smoothly, efficiently and in an admirable spirit of loyalty to the service. I strongly endorse this recommendation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

    On 30 April 1945, Air Marshal Sir Roderic Hill, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Fighter Command, wrote “DSO approved” on the form, without explanation as to why the recommendation had been upgraded from DFC to DSO.

  3. #3
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    Thank you very interesting informations !

    Alain

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