Bristol” blenheim the Journal of the Blenheim Society List of Contents

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Issue 52: July 2005


Topic

Page

Type

Title

Author

Notes & Search Words




1

Report

Chairman’s Comments – Summer 2005

Andrew Pierce

Welcomes Jim Dale to Committee & Ian Carter to replace Ron Bramley as editor (joint eds this journal). Pic: 60Sq, convert from Wapitis to BBs 03/01/1939, Ambala




2

Report

AGM April 2005

Editors

Thanks Lady Broom for raffle prizes, Ron Scott for sale stalls, Charlie Brown’s talk. 640 members, incl 250 worked with BBs

F/Lt Gwilym Lewis (Taffy)

2

Wanted

Peter Lewis



Info wanted about his father, a pilot with 226Sq, 12/08/1941. Contact P Lewis, 17 Blackchurch Lane, E1 1LQ


203 Squadron

2

Wanted

Stephen Darlow




Writing bk on East Africa/Iraq 1940/41. Role of 203Sq, esp W/Cdr James Maitland Nicholson Pike. Contact S Darlow, 23 Hitchin Rd, SG5 4HP

W/O Vernon Richardson Marsh (Rick), 105 Squadron

2

Wanted







Son wants info about father VR Marsh, 105Sq, mentioned in Battle Axe Blenheim by SR Scott. Contact H Bonikowski, 17 Thorpe Hall, Eaton Rise, W5 2HB

60 Squadron, Zentsuji POW

2

Wanted

F/Lt William Bowden




W Bowden (Canadian), 60Sq, downed in L4913, 08/12/1941, Gulf Siam. 1st Jap POW airman. Rescued 12D camp Mitsushima Sept ’45. Contact James Harbord, 31 Ware Rd, EN11 9AA

Catterick incident

2

Wanted

219 Squadron ?



?in 1940 2 BBs slid on ice onto A1. Info to Neil Clennell, 3 West Terr, DL2 3JS


Blenheim Society

3

Data

President and Committee




Names and contact details of 7 society ‘officials’ and 4 committee members




3

Data

Membership




New members & absent friends. RIP: Bill Dauncey (114Sq, Mar ’05), Peter Russell (09/05/2005), DH Cooper (Oct ’04), Mrs D Hardy, Phillip Maclagan, J Adams.

John Cumber

4

Obit

Obituary – John Cumber DFC

Ron Bramley (Ed)

59Sq, Wop/Ag then pilot. Air Gunners Assn (Torbay & S Devon) & RAFA. Died 13/03/2005. Pic: with aircrew & BB IV.

W/Cdr F Burton

4

Obit

Obituary – Wing Commander “Bertie” Burton (20/11/1921 – 28/04/2005)

Ron Bramley (Ed)

Joined RAF West Drayton 21/02/1944, trained Wop/AG. RAF Watton, 21Sq then Lossiemouth & Norwegian campaign. Jan ’41 on Takoradi route for 2 yrs & delivered BBs to Palembang. Later in N Africa & Italy. To UK in 1944 as flying instructor at Crosby-on-Eden. Married LAC Christina Clayton.


S/ldr Peter Saunders

5

Obit

Obituary S/Ldr Peter Saunders

Editor


Obs with 226Sq, Wattisham, flying Blenheims. Son has log book, etc




5




From the Editor

Ron Bramley

Will continue as Air Guners News editor, but ‘over and out’ from Bram as Blenheim Society editor.




5




From your new (sprog) Editor

Ian Carter

Ian introduces himself, his interests in Blenheims, esp Greece, Western Desert & Far East (1942) and 211Sq. Thanks to Bram and rest of committee.

Book Launch

6




Forthcoming Events and Airshows 2005




14/08/2005 at Blenheim Palace 2nd edition Graham Warner’s Bristol Blenheim –a Complete History (pub Crecy) launched. Forward by MRAF Sir Michael Beetham. GW will sign copies. Complete list of 2005 events. Pic: BB L4854, ‘C’ Flt 53Sq.

Blenheim Mk1


7

Report

From the Engineering side

Smudge

Repair of centre section and front spars continues & skin on starboard tank ready for fitting. One u/c oleos complete; wheels sent for crack testing. Engine parts still being rescued.

BB K7161

7

Letter

From the Editor

Editor

Roy Harris remembers Meir aerodrome (Staffs) and flight in BB K7161 @ age 14.

Pic: 18Sq BB IV low over Holland to attack Rotterdam, 16/07/1941



RAF stations Bircham Newton, Docking & Langham

8

Letter

RAF Bircham Newton Memorial Project

Neil Grant, Brian Hall, David Jacklin

Buildings of RAF station still very recognisable. Memorial trust set up and heritage room on site offered by owners (CITB). Need £1,000 for charity status to apply for Gift Aid. Contact details given.




9

Letter

Three times in the drink

Ron Scholdfield

A story remembered from 13 OTU, Bicester about 21Sq Obs ‘Geordie’ Brown’s 3 soakings in 1941




9

Letter


Hanging about over Salisbury Plain

Peter Rackcliff

Raised £615 for Royal Star and Garter Home with sponsored tandem parachute jump with Robin Durie. Inspired by Charlie Hankin BEM (ex Black Watch) and W/Cdr Lionel Cohen who awarded DFC aged 69. Pic: of jump & landed

HAG Ferre

10

Letter

Memories of Blenheims

Ringo Steele

01/01/1940. Henry Arthur George Ferre (Wop/AG) survived a crash in France when BB ran out of fuel. Pilot and navigator killed. Ringo was sleeping in nearby barn with Blany & Robby.

TJ Denny

10

Letter




T James Denny

Ref 49/13. 42Sq Feb ’43 Yelhanka. Joined BB sqd with John Moss (Nav) & Dennis Hall (Wop/AG). On op to Pinlebu 04/04/1943, 07/04/1943 & Indaw raid (02/05/1943), Makalagan (14/07/43), Mawlaik (04/08/1943). Converted to Hurricans then to Palel in Imphaal valley. Later Ranchi with 177Sq - 50% aircrew losses in 12 months. Sent copy of Mayfly sheet for 26/03/1943. Contact details.

Paul Briggs by son.

11

Letter

Letter to Editor from new member

Simon Briggs

Paul Briigs, obs, flew with Derek Kennedy (pilot) & Charles Edgar, Wop/AG, 66 missions in 59Sq from Aug ’40. Lannion on 08/11/1940; 23/02/1941 shipping at Brest ; 11/05/1941 tanker sank. 16/06/1941 Circus No 13 on Boulogne. Oberst Pips Priller. POW in Oflag IX A/H, Oflag VI B, Oflag XXI B, Stalag Luft III & cold march west from Poland ‘45. Research help from Ian Robinson.





11

Data

Note: other Blenheim Boys at Stalag Luft III

Editor

S/Ldr Len Trent, VC, DFC XVSq (15Sq)

S/Ldr Roger Bushell CO 92Sq



BB T2254

12

Letter

Letter to Editor from new member

Walter Lindekens (from Adriaan)

BB T2254 of 13Sq crashed in Adriaan, Belgium where crew buried. Crew F/O PH Looker 45339 RAF, F/Sgt WG O’Neill 404496 RNZAF, Sgt GW Cox 1381469 RAFVR. Left RAF Wattisham 2350 on 25/06/1942 to Venlo, Holland. Shot down by Obit Reinhold Knacke. More facts on T2254 wanted + photo. Contact via Ed.

F/Lt Peter Simmons (pilot)

12

Letter

We Shall Be There (Nous y serons). A History of 107 Squadron, RAF, 1918-1963

A Butterworth

Ref 51/14. A Butterworth quotes extracts from his book (not published, but typescript available Bentley Priory, HA7 3HH; RAF Museum Hendon; & 107Sq Assn). 10/02/1941 raid on Hanover. 40 BB from 18Sq, 21Sq, 105Sq, 107Sq, 110Sq. F/Lt Simmons in BB R3871. Also other ref in book to Peter Simmons




12



27 Squadron Reunion


Editor

Reunion at Odiham om 24/08/2005. Contact F/Lt R Paton via Smudge




13

Letter

Remembering the Old Days

Bob Slight

Celebrating end war in Japan on Empress Line returning to UK, and stories of posting to 7 FIS at Upavon & service humour.




13

Poem

Gremlins

William Telford Fallon (Bill)

Bill, who wrote this evocative poem, was a Blenheim pilot ,113Sq. He died in 2004

Circus Ops 1941

14

Letter

Reminiscences of Blenheim ‘Ops’

(part two): Amphitheatre of the Skies – A Blenheim Saga



Eric Atkins

Describes Circus Ops – with Blenheims ‘as bait’. 2 Group Blenheim loss rate 30% in Aug ’41. 13/10/1941, 139Sq, Horsham. Crew (all Sgt) Obs Jock Sullivan (kia over Budapest), Wop/Ag Bill Harrison, pilot Eric Atkins (Tommy). 2nd op to Marzingarbe, France. Vivid description of the flight.

Battle of Britain

15

Letter

Fighter Blenheims during the Battle of Britain


G/Cpt RC Haine

In praise of the part played by Blenheims in the Battle of Britain 10/07/1940-31/10/1940. 23Sq, 25Sq, 29Sq, 219Sq, 600Sq, 604Sq. Coastal 235Sq, 236Sq, 240Sq. 2,000 sorties in 15 wks, 28 kia. Hazards of night flying in 1940




16

Letter

Thanks for gift

Jim Nicolson

Thanks for a painting of Hurrican flown by Jim’s uncle James Nicolson




16

Article

How to upset your Wop/Ag

Graham Warner

Describes an amusing flying incident concerning Ron Gillman (pilot), Sgt Ron Weeks (Wop/Ag) and Sgt Ben Howlett (Obs) involving a lost hatch and aborted jump. 114Sq, 107Sq.

Wattisham

17

Report

Wattisham at War 1939-1945

Ron Bramley

History: land purchased 01/04/1937. W/Cdr OR Gayford took charge 06/04/1939 with 107Sq & 110Sq of 83 wing, No 2 Group BC. First war-time bombing raid 04/09/1939 of Keil. F/Lt Doran. 11 deaths on raid of 01/11/1940. In 1941/2 also base for BB of 13Sq, 18Sq, 86Sq, 226Sq & 236Sq. 12/006/1942 Champs d’Elysees flight. 30/05/1942 part of 1,000 bomber raid on Cologne. US 12th Air Force there in late 1942, Operation Torch. Supply depot ’43 – ’45; celebrities Glenn Miller, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby. May’44 479th Fighter Group Lt Col Kyle L Riddle (Riddle Raiders). Then Col Hubert Zemka. 29/06/1944 Cpt Jeffrey. 25/04/1945 Lt H Thompson. Returned to RAF 06/01/1946.


Wattisham

19

Report

Wattisham Airfield Memorial




After 3 years work the Memorial was unveiled 15/05/2005 to commemorate 200 airman who died. Attended by 300+ people. Wattisham Airfield Museum thanks many project supporters, esp Maggie Aggiss & Sgt Beasley. Wattisham today provides support to 16 Air Assault Brigade. Pics: of Memorial Stone, and of Wreath laying. 110Sq F/Sgt Arthus Guesford kia Op Channel Stop in 1941. His wife, Mrs Vaughan, laid Blenheim Soc wreath.







Report

Out of the Blue

Editor

Reports visit by Michael Selby with letter from Cpl Vincent Arrowsmith 521409, 139Sq (B), RAF Wyton, dated 14/09/1939 about 1st flight across German border. Kia 24/09/1940. Pic: Cpt Vincent & Claire.

BB potted histories

20

Data

Blenheim Serials (Mk.I) continued

Graham Warner

BB Mk 1: K7125, K7126, K7127, K7128, K7129, K7130, K7131, K7132, K7133, K7134, K7135, K7136, K7137, K7138. Pic of K7133, Sq44, Waddington 17/10/1937.

Other abbreviations (in no particular order at present)


CWGC Commonwealth War Graves Commision

a/c Aircraft

POW Prisoner of War

LG Landing Ground

SWO

AOC Air Officer Commanding



FIS

BC Bomber Command



MRAF  Marshal of the Royal Air Force

ACM     Air Chief Marshal

AM     Air Marshal

AVM   Air Vice Marshal

A/Cdr  Air Commodore

DFM Distinguished Flying Medal

DFC Distinguished Flying Cross

DSO Distinguished Service Order

AFC Air Force cross

TD

RDF Radio Direction Finding



AGA Air Gunners Association

CG Centre of Gravity

IAS (58/5)


RAF Royal Air Force

RAFVR RAF Voluntary Reserves

RCAF Royal Canadian Air Force

SAAF South African Air Force

RAFA RAF Association

ARC Aircraft Restoration Co.

RSU Repair & Service Unit

MU Maintenance Unit



RNZAF Royal New Zealand Air Force



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