Sharing Our History 6
The sixth article in this series has been made possible by Steven Taylor, who volunteered the following story of his father, Capt Earl Taylor (USAF). :
I sent for my fathers service records but was informed that his were destroyed in a fire at the federal records center. I am sending them my recollections of his service assignments and hope they can reconstruct the other sources. I will copy you on any new information I can gather. I do know he was in the 54th Fighter Squadron flying P 38s in the Aleutians during WWII. Then flew P 51s teaching the South Korean pilots in Japan and Korea. It gets a little hazy in my memory until he joined the 84th FIS at Hamilton AFB near San Francisco where he flew F 94s and F 89s becoming an executive officer before being assigned exchange duty with the RAF. His first RAF posting was at Middleton St George.
Welcome to the 41 Squadron Association Blog.
I had the honour of being asked earlier this year by Raz to join the Association Committee, once we’d caught up on old times and discussed the joys of trials flying in the Mojave desert, he’d somehow managed to persuade me to act as the Chairman of the Association. Thereafter, a few dedicated souls led by Sir Chris Harper, have been busy helping re-launch the Association.
The initial focus was naturally the 100th Anniversary celebrations of the Squadron, which for those of you who couldn’t make it (myself included), you’ll see some great links on the site. In order to capture the goodwill and interest from that date, the Committee wanted to make sure we did 2 main things over the next few months.
Firstly, to establish a really professional on-line presence which was linked to the various other media available to us, and also to establish a member’s forum; this mirrors other similar associations. I have to admit to being blown away by the superb look and feel that Al McFarland and Rob Colligan have managed to create in such a short time.
The second objective was to think about what the next major event should look like. After lots of banter with Raz about charity cycle rides to France (that still needs to happen Raz), we've been working with the RAF Museum to sketch out an evening in the World War One Hangar in early 2017.
The date of the 21st of January 2017 has been chosen to mark the demise of Samuel Cody Jnr, who was killed in action in January 1917. We envisage a drinks and canapés event in the hangar with one or two willing volunteers explaining key portions of the Squadron’s World War One history using the rather useful backdrop of the aeroplanes and other exhibits. In terms of timings we’re just working with the museum to make sure that the start of the event is as near 1830 as we can make it. That way people can use the earlier part of the day to explore the other halls of the Museum before we meet in the Grahame White Hall. The event would conclude at about 2130 which gives plenty of time to either drift back into London or find a local pub to continue the evening.
You’ll find a very quick questionnaire to express your interest or comments under the ‘EVENTS’ tab at the top of the home page. I’ll come back to this Blog in the next few weeks once we’ve tied down exact timings and costs.
Finally, we on the Committee are here to help commemorate the Squadron’s history and facilitate its member’s wishes. If you have an idea for an event or you want to simply start communicating with old friends then please do join us contributing to the Blog or in the Member's Forum which will be launched shortly. We’ve discussed numerous smaller scale events during recent committee meetings the minutes of which you can view via the INFORMATION tab.
David Walker (@WalkerArtist / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.david-walker.org.uk) has recently completed this brilliant new painting for 41 Sqn's Centenary.
The Prints are available in 2 formats. The first is a limited edition of 100 signed and numbered with a pencil drawing on the border of each one, making each print unique. The image size is 19" X 14.5" and these are £60. The second format is an open edition signed print with an image size of 16" X 12" and these are £35. P&P is £7 UK and £10 non Uk. The title for the Prints is "100 years of Seek and Destroy- Always with you 1916 - 2016". The prints will be available in the near future with payment possible by by PayPal, BACS or cheque.
A donation from the profits made will go to charity.
Forces War Records Online
The Forces War Records have made a number of documents free to view until the 28th August:
The 24th of August marks the 1st official and horrific air raid on London, when the Luftwaffe misjudged their bomb attack on oil deposits at the docks and hit civilians in East London instead.
The rest, as they say, is history!
To help you to find out more about your ancestor’s history during wartime, and discover what it was really like to live through the Blitz, we’re making 16 original publications from our Historic Documents Archive free to read from the 21st-28th of August.
The Protection of your Home against Air Raids
The King's Regulations and Air Council Instructions for The Royal Air Force, 1943
There's Freedom in the Air
R.A.F. Middle East - The Official Story of Air Operations
The Air Battle of Malta
We Speak from the Air - Broadcasts by the R.A.F.
The King's Air Force
Front Line 1940 - 1941
Roof over Britain - the official story of the A.A Defences, 1939 - 1942
Wings of Britain
The Battle of Britain, August - October 1940
The W.A.A.F. In Action
Bomber Command Continues
The Centenary magazine is available as a PDF at the following link: https://goo.gl/Yzq5em
QinetiQ Centenary Article
by Hutchings D Laura on 15/08/2016 14:47We recently took part in the RAF Coningsby bi-annual family day, where ten thousand visitors were treated to impressive flying displays, including one of the first public displays of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster bomber this season. Visitors to the QinetiQ stand got to play with robotic grabbing arms, scratch programming and line-following Lego robots* manned by our three teams permanently based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
“This is the first time we’ve supported our customer’s family day and was a great opportunity to increase awareness of the work QinetiQ does among the station personnel,” says Cyber, Information & Training (CIT) Graduate, Henry Nelson. “Our STEM style stand aimed to inspire and entertain visitors of all ages and was a clear success, busy from start to finish.”
We have developed a strong team ethic with our customer over eight years at the site and, as a result, were privileged to be involved in this event and other centenary celebrations for 41(R) Test & Evaluation Squadron (TES), which provides all of the MODs test and evaluation for Typhoon and Tornado aircraft.
Forwarded from Steve Brew's Facebook post: https://goo.gl/S6kbdX
Major C. J. ‘Jack’ Malone RCAF, 1923-2016
My dear friends and colleagues, it is with sadness that I must advise you of the passing of my good friend Maj Jack Malone in London, Ont, Canada, on 8 August 2016.
Jack served on 41 Squadron from February to August 1944, and was heavily involved in preparations for Operation Overlord and defence against the V1 Doodlebug onslaught during summer 1944. Jack flew many free-ranging missions over France during this period and, in August, shared the destruction of a V1 near Ashford, Kent.
Our Association Historian, Steve Brew, was lucky enough to take to the skies in a Typhoon with OC41. The story in his words:
I had one of the most amazing and memorable experiences of my life today, when OC 41 Sqn Wg Cdr 'Raz' Berry took me up for an hour in the back seat of RAF Coningsby based 3 Sqn's Typhoon ZK383.
The performance take-off was thoroughly frightening for the inexperienced, but after that it was amazing. We flew across the country, visited Dorrington, where we held the book launch last Saturday, flew up the western side of Shrewsbury, did a tight turn over Sleap Aerodrome, then flew back over Shrewsbury and headed east towards the wash.
We then undertook some roles and loops, watched other airborne aircraft and did a touch-and-go at RAF Coningsby before making a tight circuit and landing again at Coningsby in 30° heat.
It was hot, but the weather was perfect from the air and we could see clear across the UK. An enormous thanks to Raz, to Gp Capt Rich Davies of RAF Marham, to the SMOs of both Coningsby and Marham, and to my wonderful Jacqui, who put the wheels in motion and had a sneaky word to Raz and Rich without me knowing. It came as a complete surprise to me, and I was and am still gob-smacked.
What an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is something I will never forget.
A Ruddy Awful Waste Launch
Sat, 16 July, Dorrington Village Hall
In early 1939, 19-year-old Salopian Eric Lock joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve to fulfil his dream of flying. Within eighteen months, he found himself pitted against one of the largest air forces in the world, fighting for the survival of his homeland in a pivotal battle that, if lost, had the potential to change the course of world history.
As his training was not completed until after the Dunkirk evacuations, he was not posted to his first operational unit, 41 Squadron, until late June 1940, just prior to the commencement of the Battle of Britain.
Displaying a natural aptitude for aerial combat in his Spitfire, a number of spectacular victories quickly ensued and Lock became an Ace within four weeks of his first operational sortie. For a period during September 1940, he even maintained a 100 per cent strike rate: one victory for every operational sortie he had flown.
In mere weeks, therefore, he rose from anonymity to become a household name and hero of the nation. He was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross in September 1940, a second in October, and a Distinguished Service Order in November. Ultimately, he claimed twenty confirmed victories during the Battle of Britain, and was the top-scoring RAF Ace of the campaign.
However, it did not come without a price and Lock was seriously wounded in action in November 1940. Hit in three limbs by rounds fired from a German fighter, he spent the ensuing six months recuperating, and underwent three skin grafting operations performed by gifted plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe. Lock returned to front line operations with 611 Squadron in summer 1941, but sadly failed to return from a routine patrol to France just six weeks later.
A Ruddy Awful Waste tells Eric Lock’s full story for the first time. It reveals the man behind the legend, uncovers his legacy, dispels myths, and analyses open questions. We witness his highs and his lows, we feel his joy and his pain, and we grieve with his family as they struggle to come to terms with his loss. This is the definitive account of the short life of this very brave young man, and cements his place as one of Britain’s true national heroes.
Sharing Our History 5
The fifth article in this series has been made possible by Giles Browne, who volunteered the following pictures:
41 Sqdn Catterick, no later than October 1939.
Tony Lovell's burned-out Spitfire, possibly 'Q', result of a seized engine[?] and fire while circling the aerodrome. He was however able to save his gloves.
Hornchurch, January 1941
Result of visit by Cuthbert Orde..
The articles in this series have been made possible through content shared by our members. If you wish to broadcast a picture/article or short story to our membership via this blog then please send it to the secretary email address (email@example.com) and I will post it here.
Please indicate if you wish to include your email for any further contact from those who may know something of the same era.
Updates and news direct from the Committee