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
Obituary S/Ldr Peter Saunders
Obs with 226Sq, Wattisham, flying Blenheims. Son has log book, etc
From the Editor
Will continue as Air Guners News editor, but ‘over and out’ from Bram as Blenheim Society editor.
From your new (sprog) Editor
Ian introduces himself, his interests in Blenheims, esp Greece, Western Desert & Far East (1942) and 211Sq. Thanks to Bram and rest of committee.
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.
From the Engineering side
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.
From the 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
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.
Three times in the drink
A story remembered from 13 OTU, Bicester about 21Sq Obs ‘Geordie’ Brown’s 3 soakings in 1941
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
Memories of Blenheims
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.
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.
Letter to Editor from new member
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.
Note: other Blenheim Boys at Stalag Luft III
S/Ldr Len Trent, VC, DFC XVSq (15Sq)
S/Ldr Roger Bushell CO 92Sq
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)
We Shall Be There (Nous y serons). A History of 107 Squadron, RAF, 1918-1963
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
27 Squadron Reunion
Reunion at Odiham om 24/08/2005. Contact F/Lt R Paton via Smudge
Remembering the Old Days
Celebrating end war in Japan on Empress Line returning to UK, and stories of posting to 7 FIS at Upavon & service humour.
William Telford Fallon (Bill)
Bill, who wrote this evocative poem, was a Blenheim pilot ,113Sq. He died in 2004
Circus Ops 1941
Reminiscences of Blenheim ‘Ops’
(part two): Amphitheatre of the Skies – A Blenheim Saga
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
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
Thanks for gift
Thanks for a painting of Hurrican flown by Jim’s uncle James Nicolson
How to upset your Wop/Ag
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 at War 1939-1945
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 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.
Out of the Blue
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.