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Thread: No.178 Squadron - DFCs - P/O Wiliiam J. MONTGOMERY and F/L Neville B. REAY

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    Default No.178 Squadron - DFCs - P/O Wiliiam J. MONTGOMERY and F/L Neville B. REAY

    MONTGOMERY, William Joslin, P/O (189722, RAFVR) - No.178 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 29 May 1945. Born 1919 in Kendal, Westmoreland. Educated at Birkinhead School, Cheshire and St. Bee’s School, Cumberland. Commissioned November 1944. Citation in AMB 21885.

    As bomb aimer, Pilot Officer Montgomery has taken part in numerous operational sorties. Both in the air and on the ground, he has always displayed outstanding keenness, efficiency and devotion to duty. In April 1944, during an attack against Varsone [?], his aircraft was badly damaged and one engine rendered useless. On the return journey, Pilot Officer Montgomery gave both the pilot and the navigator very valuable assistance. On reaching base, emergency procedure had to be used to operate the hydraulic system and while he was pumping the undercarriage, the remaining engine failed. With calm resolution, Pilot Officer Montgomery continued at his task until the aircraft landed safely. On another occasion, owing to engine trouble, the crew of this officer’s aircraft were forced to abandon it at a height of 2,000 feet. Before leaving, he gave his captain every assistance with his parachute and tied the escape hatch back to make his exit easier.

    REAY, Neville Burgess, F/L (131377, RAFVR) - No.178 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 29 May 1945. Born 1921 in York. Educated Jarrow Secondary School. Enlisted April 1941; trained in Canada and the U.S.A/ Commissioned October 1943. Citation in AMB 21885.

    Now on his second tour of operational duty, Flight Lieutenant Reay, as captain of aircraft, has consistently displayed courage and devotion to duty of the highest order. In the face of danger his great resourcefulness and determination have inspired confidence in his crew. In November 1944, he was detailed for an attack against the railway sidings in Szombathely. When leaving the target area, his aircraft was attacked by two enemy night fighters and damaged. Immediately afterwards a third enemy fighter joined in the combat and further damage was inflicted on this officer’s aircraft and the rear gunner was injured, but by fine airmanship Flight Lieutenant Reay outmaneouvred the hostile fighters and flew his damaged aircraft safely back to base.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: No.178 Squadron - DFCs - P/O Wiliiam J. MONTGOMERY and F/L Neville B. REAY


    Re: your man 189722 William Joslin MONTGOMERY RAFVR.

    The following might be of interest:

    Montgomery was involved in the following incident:

    17/18 Apr 1944
    No.150 Sqn
    Wellington X LN919 "C"
    Op: PLOVDIV.

    Took off 2040, Amendola, detailed to attack the marshalling yards at Plovdiv (Bulgaria). An engine failed and the crew made for Turkey, where they were briefly interned.

    55072 F/O (Pilot) Victor Lewis JACKSON RAF - Interned
    189673 Sgt (Nav.) Richard Wallace MORRIS RAFVR - Interned
    189722 Sgt (AB) William Joslin MONTGOMERY RAFVR - Interned
    Sgt (WOP/Air) G WARD RAFVR - Interned
    933890 Sgt (Air Gnr.) Edward William Thomas HOOK RAFVR - Interned

    RAF Bomber Losses in the Middle East and Mediterranean Vol.2: 1943-1945.
    Gunby, Davd & Pelham Temple.
    Tonbridge:Air-Britain (Historians),2018.

    The incident mentioned in your post, occurred during an attack by No.150 Sqn on VARESE (Macchi aircraft factory), Northern Italy, on 1/2 April, 1944.

    Once again, the pilot was F/O Victor Lewis JACKSON, and the air bomber, Sgt William Joslin MONTGOMERY (Wellington X LN908 'A').

    No.150 Sqn ORB (F.541)
    AIR 27/1012/18
    1944 Apr 01 - 1944 Apr 30
    Image 3 of 47.


    Flying Officer Victor Lewis JACKSON (55072) Royal Air Force, No.150 Squadron.

    One night in April, 1944, this officer piloted an aircraft detailed to attack a target in Northern Italy. Whilst over the target area his aircraft sustained damage. Smoke and oil immediately commenced to pour from one of the engines, Nevertheless, the bombing run was completed and course set for home. The aileron control rod had been badly bent and it was only possibly [sic] to retain control of the aircraft after the rudder bar had been firmly tied down. In the face of great difficulty, Flying Officer Jackson reached an airfield. When coming in to land the second engine failed, but Flying Officer Jackson effected a masterful landing. He displayed skill, coolness and courage throughout.

    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 11th March 2023 at 01:53.

  4. #3
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    Northumberland, UK
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    Default Re: No.178 Squadron - DFCs - P/O Wiliiam J. MONTGOMERY and F/L Neville B. REAY


    REAY, Neville Burgess, F/L (131377, RAFVR) - the 178 Squadron ORB has the following:

    ORB Form 540:

    Liberator ‘Z’ was attacked twice by a Ju 88 and an ME 210. Evasive action was taken and fire was returned. The aircraft was damaged and the rear gunner was injured (slightly).

    ORB Form 541:

    Marshalling yards
    Liberator KG995
    Up: 17.05
    Down: 22.40

    No P.F.F. seen. 2004 hrs, 9,000 ft, target area – large burst of sparks – no air to air firing – then red glow on ground. Target not identified. Bombed on incendiaries, 2006 hrs, 9,000 ft – all incendiaries dropped in one stick with 100 ft. spacing on heading 360º. IAS 210 mph. Results not observed. Small amount of light A.A. inaccurate. 2008 hrs, 9,000 ft, target – attacked by Ju.88. Evasive action taken. Liberator hit in No.1 engine (port outer) – engine had to be feathered. Immediately after first attack, attacked by Me.210. Evasive action taken. Rear turret damaged and rear gunner slightly injured. Aircraft finished up at 4,000 ft. Category A.C. provisional.

    F/O Reay
    Sgt. Tickle
    F/Sgt Basham
    Sgt. Tomlin
    Sgt. McDonald
    W/O Hamlett
    F/Sgt Yeardsley

    Sgt Yeardsley is Stephen YEARDSLEY 1476180 from Porrt Sunlight, who was awarded the D.F.M., details here:


    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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