I encourage anyone that has more information (Flight Log Book entries) or photos on 112 Squadron please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org before the history is lost.
Internet Finds of RAF 112 Sqn Personnel
SgtLawrence Daniel Patrick "Larry" Barlow, 83050,
RCAF, Shot down POW, from Burke, South Dakota
Sgt Walter Richard "Dickie" Blake, R97463, RCAF, was a Canadian residing in Corpus Christie, Texas
Possibly a picture of Sgt Blake standing by FR137, coded GA Z
Possibly a picture of Sgt Blake standing by FR137, coded GA Z
Gray, James Osborne "Tex" Gray San Antonio/Chilicothe, Texas
Gray, James Osborne "Tex" Gray San Antonio/Chilicothe, Texas.
Received his RCAF wings from No. 8 Service Flying Training School.
Discharged 1946. Typhoon Pilot, 26 Feb 1945 - 30 June 1945.
Volunteer from USA. "Tex" for short. He was posted from 83 G.S.U.
and will commence his second tour with us (439 Sqn).
His first tour was with 94 Squadron on Hurricanes in the Western Desert
for about 9 months, 249 Squadron for about 6 months on Spitfires V
and IX in Malta, and 112 Squadron on Kittyhawks in Italy for about 10 months,
which netted 193 operational sorties, totalling 202:05 operational hours.
This lanky type hails from U.S.A. not claiming any particular place as his home.
2nd tour expired 30 June 1945 and posted to 402 Sqn in anticipation of being sent
to the Pacific theatre
Thanks for posting this information. My uncle was J.O. Gray, a 1936 graduate of the
US Naval Academy serving with the RCAF, no. J 16543. I would appreciate knowing
anything more about him. I was very young when he disappeared in 1956 and I know little
of his exploits save from a letter my mother gave me describing his adventures escaping Italy
disguised as a nun after being shot down.
James Osbourn Gray Collins
Flt Sgt Fred Renshaw
Vance, RCAF, R/80721 , Served with RAF 112 Sqdn
, Served with RAF 112 Sqdn from24/4/43 to 13/7/43
Flt Sgt Fred Vance 121 Eagle Sqdn pilot Mahon and Fred while he was with 121 Eagle Sqdn
Son of Captain Deane Harold Vance, M.C., U.S.N., and Harriet Alcithe Vance, of Washington,
above pictures and information below is from:
" On 27 May 1942, 121 flew a shipping recce (reconnaissance) off Flushing Harbour. Squadron Leader Kennard
saw two mine-sweepers and a destroyer and took his no. 2 - Sgt. Kelly - down into a screaming attack on one
of the 'sweepers, ordering Jimmy Daley and Sgt. Vance onto the other. Barry Mahon and Gene Fetrow followed
Kennard's example and also went for the first vessel. Both ships were badly shot about, Daley and Vance's target
sending up a column of smoke after an explosion. As they pulled up, Daley saw eight Me 109's above
and immediately attacked one which Vance saw dive into the sea. Vance put some lead into another which
away smoking. Mahon also scored a damaged on a third 109.
two mine-sweepers. Kennard ordered an attack on one of them, Flight Lieutenant Tom Allen and Sgt. Vance
going in. Whether Tom Allen was hit or merely misjudged his second strafing run is uncertain,
(Mahon thought he saw glycol) but Vance saw his leader's Spitfire hit the water on the far side of the target
and bounce up into the air. Allen's voice came over the radio saying that his machine was 'coming apart' and
that he proposed to ditch. As he was going at something like 100 mph, he failed to get a good angle onto the
sea and nosed in and down. The fighter sank almost immediately. The others saw no sign of Allen, who came
from South Carolina. Having survived, they flew off, leaving the two ships damaged, one sinking. Allen's place
was taken by John DuFour, posted in from 71 Squadron."
Fred Vance was a distant relative of mine; in fact, all Vance's are related due to
all branches of the family going back to the same village in the south
of France back during the time of the Goths/Visigoths or before and to the British Isles. My
particular branch came to America around 1756 from Scotland.
I do not have any information for
him other than what I have discovered on the internet just recently.
I started my research by simply wanting to know if any Vance's were members of one of the Eagle Squadrons.
That is how I discovered Fred Vance. Later on a contact via the internet informed me that he volunteered for
the 112th in Malta rather than transitioning over to the USAAF. That lead me to finding the 112th web site,
and a wealth of information for him, including his last mission over Sicily in support of the British 8th Army
north along the eastern coast. Amazing to find such specific information
intend to attempt to trace his family from his birth place in Colorado, USA.
I can get in touch with any of his relatives and obtain any information, I will
pass it on to you.
Vance (If anyone needs to contact Michael Vance please send me an e-mail and I
will forward it to him
Howard Lynn "Tex" Phillips, J/8653 RCAF
Born 12 October 1914, Greenville, Texas
Father Chester lee Phillips cotton farmer
Mother Lucia Delphinia Phillips
Post war occupation Farmer-manager of the Graham County Chamber of Commerce - land developer
Marital status Marital status wife Virginia Goode 2 daughters Susan and Sarah
He served with No 112 RAF Sqn , badly burned in an accident he as eventually flown back
to England where he became a member of the "Guinea Pig Club",
after recovery he went on to fly with 412 Sqn. Received his RCAF wings from No. 11 SFTS.
I printed out the picture for Daddy (Howard Phillips) and he laughed with delight when he saw it.
He recognizes the first two but can't remember the names but will think on it.
He said he and Babe Whitamore went to Jerusalem together. Hopefully something will come.
He says unknown #2 might be an Australian.
Good luck getting the ID's.
Sgt William E Pollock, RCAF 63166
Fighter pilots who did good work at this time were Flight Sergeants R. H. Newton and T. H. Morrison,1 who flew Kittyhawks with No. 112 Squadron
Pilot Officer Fallows and Sergeant Fourneau, Flight SergeantsHolmes, R. H. Newton and Thomas flew Kittyhawks throughout the whole period. They saw plenty of action. For instance, on the eve of Alamein, Fallows and Thomas were flying with their squadron as escort to Baltimores and Bostons attacking Daba; fifteen enemy fighters dived on the Kittyhawks and in the dogfight which followed Fallows shot down one Messerschmitt and Thomas damaged another. At the height of the land battle, Newton's squadron flew forty-eight sorties a day; in a sweep over Fuka they claimed four Ju87 dive-bombers and two Messerschmitts for the loss of one pilot; Newton accounted for one of the dive-bombers. While patrolling Benina airfield during the advance to Benghazi, Holmes's squadron intercepted bombers carrying in fuel for the German panzer units and shot down seven of them. Holmes got a Heinkel.
G Flight . Fallows; born Eltham, 23 Jun 1921; clerk; joined RNZAF Mar
Flying Officer S. J. Fourneau, DFC; born Norsewood, 12 Apr 1919;
Flying Officer N. C. Holmes; born Ashburton, 25 Dec 1919; labourer; joined
Flight Lieutenant B. H. Thomas, DFC; born Kaponga, 25 Sep 1918; clerk;
Polish Air Force Detachment, RAF Middle East
Czesc ich pamieci (Honour to their memory)
Polish Pilots with S/Ldr Clive Caldwell behind the wheel
Polish Sgts on leave, Jozef Derma on the right
Jozef Derma photo from http://www.psr.netfriend.org/mysliwcy
Witold Jander photos from collection of F/Lt Jan Malinski
Sgt Zbigniew Urbanczyk
Sgt Zbigniew Urbanczyk from Polish magazine "Lotnictwo z Szachownica"
(F/O) Feliks Knoll
, P0768,photo supplied by Wojciech Zmyslony
kpt. Feliks Gazda In pre war Polish Uniform
From the 8th to 10th of February 1942 the Polish pilots
arrived in Gambut.
Some of these where
Kpt. Felix Gazda (PO414),
P-0414, Gazda Feliks , Date of Birth, 06.05.1903 to 08.05.1970, age, 67 , mjr / F/Lt, Pilot, 112DM RAF 1940 odkomendeowany do Polskiego OddziałuTransportowego w Takoradi-Kair Egipt
zmarł (d9ed) w Montral Kanada
Jander (P76746 )
),Date of Birth, 15.12.1913 to 25.10.1942, por. / F/O, Pilot, 112 RAF, zginął poczas bomb. szpitala RAF w Torquay died in RAF hospital in Torquay - pochowany na cment.w Exeter buried Exeter (ZK/89 )UK
Felix Knoll (P0768),
P-0768 Knoll Feliks, Date of Birth, 28.02.1914 to 10.07.1942, age 28, por. / F/O, Pilot, 112DMRAF
RAF Egipt - Rekiny “Kittyhawk”- pochowany na bryt. cment. wojsk. w buried in El Alamain Egipt (15/F/IV)
Matusiak (P0304 ,
P-0304, Matusiak Czesław, Date of Birth, 21.09.1906 to 12.02.1942, age 36, por. / F/O, Pilot, 112DM RAF Rekinów, RAF Gambut, Kittyhawk” – pochowany na cment. w buried Tobruku (28/G) Libia
Henry Knapik (P1302), Date of Birth, 07.09.1916 to 21.12.1994, age 78, por. / F/Lt, Pilot, 317DM, zmarł w Tarnowskich Górach Śląsk Polska died in Tarnowska Gora Silesia Poland, and
Sergeants Joseph Derma (784742),
784742, Derma Józef, Date of Birth,, 04.04.1915to 00.00.1980, age 65, st.sierż. / W/O, Pilot, 315DM zmarł w Australii died in Australia
(P-2804) Giedroyć Wiktor, Date of Birth, 30.11.1910, por. / F/O, Pilot, 1995 Glasgow G73 UK
Stanisław Grondowsk (782063, KIA after RAF 112 Sqdn service),
Grondowski Stanisław, Date of Birth, 11.04.1909 to 11.09.1943, age 32, st.sierż. / W/O, Pilot, 315DM, RAF Ballyhalbert-„Spitfire”- pochowany na cment. kośc.buried at St Josephs św.Józefa w Ballycran Co.Down Płn.Irland. Ireland (40)
Jerzy Różański (P1818)
Różański Jerzy Władysław, Date of Birth,, 27.03.1910 to 13.06.1944, age 34, por. / F/Lt, Pilot, 300DB, RAF Faldingworth-„Lancas’r”- pochowany (Buried) w Amersfoort k/Oud Leusden Holandia (2002/12/12)
Urbańczyk Zbigniew Edward, Date of Birth, 25.04.1918 to 31.08.1986, age 68,st.sierż. / W/O, Pilot, 306DM, zmarł (died) w Blackpool UK
kpt. Feliks Gazda -
por. (F/O) Czeslaw Matusiak
ppor. (P/O) Henryk Knapik
Sgt Witold Giedroyć
They had taken a short OTU training in 71 OTU, at Kartoum, Sudan but the majority lacked combat experience
Unfortunately,, on 12 February, (F/O) Czeslaw Matusiak on training makes a critical error,
spinning his Kittyhawk into the ground he is buried in a cemetery in Tobruk.
Combat on 14th February 1942 results in one BF109 (shared by S/Ldr Caldwell and
Sgt Zbigniew Urbanczyk and a MC 202 shot down by (F/O) Feliks Knoll.
21st February 1942 Messerschmitt this time over - Gazalą. It has come for battle, three
aircraft have fallen which result 112 squadron, probable, by famous German Ace
Lt. Marseille Hans-Joachim. Two of the Polish pilots crash landed outside of Derma, they where,
Sgt Jozef Derma, P784742, and FO Witold Jander, he was transported with a broken leg to Tobruk
Hospital where the leg was set. Sent to England he was killed in a dive bombing raid on a hospital in England,
where he was convalescing.
9th March 1942 ,(P/O) Henryk Knapik of 112 squadron engages a Ju-87 and a Bf-109 over El Adem.
The planes do a frontal attack on one another the Kittyhawks wind screen is shot away but
(P/O) Henryk Knapik manages to land back at base.
13 March (F/O) Feliks Knoll and and Sgt Różański, P1818, in five-aircraft flight over flying El Adem,
do battle with stoczyli. Ten Italian and German fighters. Sgt Jerzy Różański shots down a Messerschmitt
and it crashed east of Tobruk. The pilot was able to bail out.
5 May 1942 The following leave 112 " shark " Squadron Urbanczyk, Sgt Stanislaw Grondowski,
Sgt Józef Derma and Flt LT Feliks Gazda, on
18 May 1942 Sgt Jerzy Różański, is wounded in an air raid and is transported to hospital.
26 May 1942 German anti-aircraft hits (P/O) Henryk Knapik over Timmini.
He was transported to hospital did not return for combat flights.
Last Polish pilot left in 112 Sqn. (F/O) Feliks Knoll shot down and KIA 10 July 1942 -,
when anti aircraft fire scores a direct hit on the bomb attached under his airplane.
Through Rumania and Malta he reached France where he enlisted in the PAF
under French command. In July 1940 reached England and on 1 October 1940 posted to No. 308 Squadron.
In 1942 flew with 112 "Shark" Squadron in Africa. Later an instructor in various flying schools and OTUs.
After being honorably discharged from the Polish Resettlement Corps in June 1948, settled in England.
In sixties he immigrated to Australia, where he died in July 1980.
Many of the pilots moved on to 303 (Kosciuszko) Squadron Royal Air Force
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