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.
Wilfred David Brown R 8627, RCAF
112 Sqdn nick names where "Canada" and "Western Desert"
On Sunday, 19th of September 1943, only 24 days before his 24th birthday, Wilfred David Brown after having served approximately 5 weeks with 72 Squadron and a further 11 months with 112 Squadron was shot down in his Kittyhawk Mk III over Italy.
Map references given at the time are as follows N9854 to Avigliano 0.0852 approximately 1520 hours Map identification number Napoli NE 40/14 No trace of his plane or his remains have been found to date. His last Commanding Officer was believed to be Peter.Fredrick.Illingworth S/LDR, 39529, RAF
has roughly (*) the following geographical coordinates
Latitude : 40° 52' 57'' N
Latitude : 40.88252 °
note the suitcase at his feet and the open truck door as he starts on his
He was posted to Brandon and Portage La Prairie before being sent to Number 2 Initial Training Service in,
Regina Saskatchewan, Canada From there he went on to Number 18 Elementary Flying Training School
in Boundary Bay, British Columbia.
Following from: http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/2529/
Forces Station Ladner:
Originally opened on 10 April 1941 under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan as
Royal Canadian Air Force Station Boundary Bay, the home of No. 18 Elementary Flying Training School.
No. 18 EFTS had a brief existence as it closed on 25 May 1942.
The aerodrome was then taken over by No. 5 Operational Training unit,
operating detachments at both Boundary Bay and Abbotsford until 31 October 1945.
The aerodrome itself closed in 1946. In it's heyday, the station had a population of 4000 personnel.
In 1949 the site was re-activated as the Vancouver Wireless Station, run by the Royal
Canadian Corps of Signals and utilizing the old RCAF buildings.
The station acted as a radio station in Canada's National Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) organization.
The Operations site, a large 3 story concrete building, was built in the middle
of the abandoned airfield, surrounded by a large antenna field between runways 01-19 & 12-30.
With the Unification, the name of the station was changed to Canadian Forces Station Ladner.
CFS Lander closed on 15 July 1971 and its area of responsibility was taken over by CFS Masset.
From 1971 until 1983, the abandoned runways were used for a variety of uses including race cars,
model aircraft flying and driver training.
By the mid 1970’s, Vancouver Airport was becoming so congested that a
reliever airfield became necessary to handle small aircraft traffic. On 11 July 1983, the former
RCAF station re-opened as the Boundary Bay Airport, marking the first time in 35 years that airplanes
had graced the runways.
Today, all that remains of the former RCAF station is one arch-style hangar.
All that remains of the former Communications Station are numerous roadways encircled by overgrown weeds.
www.tscm.com.cse.html, “History of Canadian Airports” by T.M. McGrath & the Vancouver
Wireless Station web site -
Greetings Robert. I have just seen your web page dedicated to
W.O. Wilfred David Brown. Wow! Good show. I wanted to let you
know that early this summer a plaque and Cenotaph was dedicated
to all those who served and trained at Boundary Bay. I have been
researching the history of the BCATP Schools at Boundary Bay and
Abbotsford and am always on the search for 18 EFTS alumni.
Did you know that there is only one hangar left at
Boundary Bay and that it was only this year dedicated
as a heritage site? The new cenotaph was placed next
to this hangar. I wonder if you have access to Wilfred's
log book while he was at Boundary Bay. I am looking for
ser numbers of the Tiger Moths at 18 EFTS. I have a number
of images of Tiger Moths at 18 EFTS and there is a small chance
that I might have an image of one of the very Moths that
your Uncle flew. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Cheers for now. Michael. Michael DesMazes 5513 Patterson Ave.,
Burnaby, B.C. Canada V5H-2M6
Wilfred David Brown
During his flight training he flew a Tiger Moth, logging a total of 62:20 hours in the air.
In June he was transferred to Dauphin, Manitoba, to Number 10 Service Flying Training School where
he logged an additional 147:40 hours piloting the Harvard II. During this period he also earned a
promotion to the rank of Sergeant and was posted overseas as a fighter pilot.
No. 10 Service Flying Training School:
Opened under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan on 5 March 1941, four kilometers
south of Dauphin with Relief Landing Fields at North Junction & Valley River.
The school closed on 25 March 1945.
For several years, the abandoned runways were used as a racetrack for sports car and motorcycle racing.
The aerodrome is now the LCol W.G. (Billy) Barker, VC, Airport, with Perimetre Airlines and
Keystone Airlines as the two aviation tenants. All that remains of the former school are the
gunnery backstop and three of the WWII era hangars, but only one of the hangars remains in
used for aviation. Two of the three original runways also remain in use, one expanded to 5000 feet.
The others house Purolator Courier and A.G. Storage.
RCAF Detachments North Junction & Valley River were abandoned after the war and no longer exist today.
Source Material: “Canada Flight Suplement 1999”, "Wings For Victory –
The Story of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada”,
by Spencer Dunmore, Grandville Island Publishing web site -
& Town of Dauphin web site - http://www.town.dauphin.mb.ca/NWRegion/warti
Spitfires in training exercises from November 1941 to February 9th, 1942
72 Sqdn Plane Code at the time was RN the top of the R can be seen
His first assignment was to Number 72 Squadron (Basutoland), for five weeks in Exeter, England with whom he served
from March 22, 1942 when he was promoted to Flight Sergeant and transferred to Number 239 Wing
of the Royal Air Force and shipped to the Middle East. It was widely rumored he badly pranged a Spits landing gear
during his short
stay at 72 Sqdn.
Battle of EL ALAMEIN (23 October 1942) in which constant air support to the 8th Army was provided.,
occurred only sixteen days after his posting to 112 Squadron.
Photo of short tail RAF 112 Sqn Kittyhawk code GA-D, Wilfred flew this plane 42-45798 Dive bombing Marble Arch with 66FS/57FG GA-D 7-Dec-42 at the time it carried its' US serial number 245798, note on the plane the bomb racks are empty so whoever is flying this plane is returning from a successful mission
damage to FR860 GA D from a mission over Messina
See reference from: http://www.airforce.ca/wwii/ALPHA-BR.3.html
Upon recovery, Wilfred was promoted to Warrant Officer First Class and reassigned to the Italian Campaign with Number 112 Squadron of the Royal Air Force. On 19 September 1943, after completing a successful bomb run he and his 9 team mates where returning to base and strafing targets of opportunity.
Documentation shows the small arms and machine gun fire was “heavy and intense”, from a column of trucks that had been engaged. Wilfred’s plane Kittyhawk Mk III FR860, was hit while over the column, he climbed it to approximately 1500 feet, rolled it onto its back to allow the pilot to escape when it was engulfed in flames and entered a spin from which it never recovered.
In recent years the Canadian government has named a lake in Northern Manitoba in his honour and in recognition of his services
Here are Luftwaffe losses in North Africa on
109G-2/Trop Black 6 wk.no.10639 in service
with 8 /JG 77, was the one WD Brown got as a probable Black 6 flown by Hans Ludemann, now in Duxford museum
The plane was repaired only to be captured later by 3 Sqn and used by Bobby
31 Oct 1942:
Known Units in the MTO at that time
I/StG3 (40x Ju87D-3)
II/StG3 (40x Ju87D-1 & D-3 Trop)
III/StG3 (40x Ju87D-1 & D-3 Trop)
I will attempt to track down Ju87 losses for that day
to Chris Shores' Fighters over the Desert, at least three were damage/lost in
combat: One pilot of III/StG3 was killed; one pilot wounded; and one pilot of
I/StG3 killed by flak. Possibly this information is now out of date and someone
may have additional details
I only have one for that day:
Ju 87D-3/Trop, 2719, Born, Ofw. Erich (Bf), , III., St.G. 3, , , , , 31-Oct-42, KIA due to Luftkampf with enemy fighters., , Afrika, Gen.Qu.6.Abt. (mfm #7)-Vol.12, , SW Sidi el Reman, 60%, F
However there are several for 1.Nov.:
Ju 87D-1/Trop, 2583, Satzenhofer, Uffz. (F)/Schmidt, Gefr. (Bf), , 7., St.G. 3, wei§ F, S7+FR, , , 01-Nov-42, Both MIA due to enemy fighters., , Afrika, Gen.Qu.6.Abt. (mfm #7)-Vol.12, , , 100%, F
Ju 87D-3/Trop, 2636, Krieger, Uffz. Johann (F)/Riegel, Uffz. Gustav (Bf), , 3., St.G. 3, gelb N, S7+NL, , , 01-Nov-42, Reported lost due to enemy fighters. Pilot returned WIA, Bf KIA., , Afrika, Gen.Qu.6.Abt. (mfm #8)-Vol.13, , (SW of El Alamein), 100%, F
Ju 87D-1/Trop, 2396, Eckhardt, Uffz. Otto (F)/Wagner, Uffz. Herbert (Bf), , 8., St.G. 3, rot KS, S7+KS, , M+O under port wing, 01-Nov-42, Crew WIA & POW due to Allied fighters. 'Fliegerdenkmal'., , Afrika, Gen.Qu.6.Abt. (mfm #7)-Vol.12; Bateson, R.P. Stuka! p49 foto, , , 100%, F
Ju 87D-1/Trop, 2074, Unterrainer, Oblt. Walter (F)/Otto, Fw. Heinz (Bf), , 1., St.G. 3, wei§ L, S7+LH, , , 01-Nov-42, KIA due to enemy fighters. Bf MIA., , Afrika, Gen.Qu.6.Abt. (mfm #8)-Vol.13, , (SW of Marsa-Matruk), 100%, F
11 December 1942
Bf 109G-4/Trop 16001 Doht, Uffz. Friedrich 7. JG 53 wei§e 4 + | DF+FA 12/11/1942 MIA, crashing at sea, cause unknown. Tunisia Gen.Qu.6.Abt. (mfm #7)-Vol.12; Prien, JG 53, II, p. 803 20km SW of Marsala
Another Bf-109 reported lost that I could find for 11/12/42 was Lt. Horst Marotzke of 9./JG 77 in a Bf 109 G-2(13347) yellow 1., officially listed as Unknown reason , after he was scrambled, near Arco Philaenorum (Marble Arch)
According to (mfm #7)-Vol.12; Prien, , only one other 109 was listed as lost that day and it was through a bombing raid. As seen above this is not quite accurate.
you for your letter. Indeed, it could have been the Kapitän of 9./JG 77, Lt.
Horst MAROTZKE, who was lost that day. The preceding day, he had claimed his 38th
victory. MAROTZKE, who was in III./JG 77 the preceding year, had received the DKiG
in November and was the 5th Staffelkapitän of 9. Staffel lost in
one year ! He was succeeded by Lt.
have, I think, a photo of MAROTZKE in the desert. If you have some photos of
Wilfred BROWN in his plane?
E. Mombeek email@example.com
Information for the 10/12/42, On 1 October 1942, Major Joachim Müncheberg was appointed Kommodore of JG 77, operating over North
Africa, Sicily and Tunisia.
Müncheberg added 24 victories to his victory total but had to force-land his
Bf 109 G-2 (W.Nr. 10725) following aerial combat with RAF Kittyhawk fighters
on 10 December 1942. Müncheberg was killed on 23 March 1943 over Tunisia in
combat with USAAF Spitfire fighters from the 52nd Fighter Group when, after
shooting down one, he was in collision with a second. He crashed to his death
in Bf 109 G-6 (W.Nr. 16381).
31 Oct 1942, while flying FR211 GA -E, 2 Ju87 were given as destroyed for F Sgt WD Brown over El Alamein.
On 11 Dec 1942, the mission that he claimed the Probable and damaged 109's he was flying FR255 GA-J . A Bf109 on that mission shot him up, and he force landed near Magrun. This is where he received the Injuries that he was hospitalized for (date 11 Dec 1942). As he did not return to the Sqdn he was reported missing from the operation. He was reported safe on the 12th Dec 1942, although slightly injured having been scalped (as such) when a bullet creased the top of his head. On the 12th he was sent to Benghazi Hospital. I cannot find when he returned to the Sqdn from hospital, but it had to be sometime before 20th Jan 1943
WO W.D.Browns Missions.
( Courtesy of Buz n sue)
The Squadron re-equipped from the Mk.I and IA Kittyhawks at Amriya, where there
was more than one Landing Ground (LG), to the Mk.III in October 1942
FR242 Bombing raid on LG18 17-Oct-42
Mission to LG21 18-Oct-42
FR211 Bombing raid on Gebel area GA-E 28-Oct-42
Once again we escorted bombers on a raid over No.106LG and 800 transport vehicles at El Daba. Six ME109's were seen but
they would not fight.The Wing claimed five enemy planes during the day - once again without loss. 3 Squadron got their
200th victim when Sqn Ldr. Bobby Gibbs shot down a ME109F. The Army destroyed fifty tanks almost without loss. This little
war is going fine at the moment
28 OCTOBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF): B-17s,
dispatched to attack a convoy at sea, fail to locate the target but attack
cruisers in Pylos Bay, Greece; B-25s attack tanks, motor transports, and landing
grounds; P-40s fly medium and light bomber escort, bomb and strafe landing
grounds and other targets, and engage aircraft in combat, mostly in the area
between El Alamein and El Daba, Egypt; fighters claim 3 Bf 109s destroyed;
attacks by US and RAF aircraft cause the enemy to abandon a plan for a
counterattack on Kidney Ridge. On
28 October, for example, an attempt by Ju87s to attack our forward positions
FR266 Top cover to bombing raid on Rahman GA-H 29-Oct-42
FR211 Bombing mission GA-E PT 860305 30-Oct-42
FR211 Bombing and Armed recce mission GA-E 31-Oct-42 (second mission same plane)
FR302 Top Cover to 250Sqdn GA-T 1-Nov-42
FR266 Bombing raid on Gazala Station GA-H 1-Nov-42
We (450 Sqdn) carried out an armed recce. job at dawn using 3 Squadron as top cover. Enemy Army concentrations were bombed with good result.
FR216 Bombing raid on Gazala Station GA-P 2-Nov-42
FR266 Bombing of Motor transport GA-H 4-Nov-42
Jerry is in complete disorder and has evacuated the Southern Front. He has made
a counter attack against the Aussies in the North but
had his ears bashed back. Our fighter patrols are keeping the Stukas away from
our troops. This Group's
bag for yesterday was nineteen aircraft destroyed, thirteen probable and ten
damaged. We were flat out all day doing escorts
and doing bombing ourselves. (450
FR266 Bombing of road between Fuka and Matruh GA-H 5-Nov-42
Led by Danny Saville escorting Mitchell Bombers J. Crighton, W.D.. Brown and R.C.C. Smith
THURSDAY, 5 NOVEMBER 1942 MTO, US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF):
General Bernard L Montgomery announces the victory of the British Eighth Army in
Egypt; 10 Corps, pushing rapidly W, overcomes a rearguard action near Fuka; as
Field Marshall Erwin Rommel retreats W from El Alamein, P-40s bomb targets on
the Fuka road and patrol the Sidi Hanaish area; B-25s also bomb motor
transports.Great news! The 7th Armoured Division got through at Fuka last night
and belted Jerry's armour en route. 30,000 enemy troops are surrounded hear the
coast. The Italians are crying for an armistice to bury their dead.
10th November 1942:
This 'drome [No.101LG] is just like all the others on this trip. It has dozens of wrecked Jerry kites all over it. They include ME109's, ME110's, JU88's, JU52's, Stukas, Heinkels, etc as well as gliders and Italian CR42's.
LIBYA 11th November 1942 - 14th February 1943
11th November 1942:
FR279 Top Cover to 250Sqdn GA-J 12-Nov-42, strafe in the Gazala- Tobruk area,
they flew from LG75
24th November 1942:
112 Squadron moved out Martuba No 4 to Martuba No 3, to join an American Wing. 260 Squadron is to join 450 Sqn
FL890 Convoy Patrol GA-D 26-Nov-42
FR225 GA-J , 11 Dec 1942 See above PRO Report, WD Brown has a Bf-109 Probable East of El Garanigh Libya and Bf-109 damaged in the same place 11/12/42.. 1530 hours Flt Lt RR "Smithy" Smith led the Sqdn top cover to 2 hurricane on a tactical Recce, for the second time that day they engaged 4 to 6 BF109s.Missing from this action where Plt Off "Compo" Cuddon and Flt Sgt W D Brown
LIBYA: In anticipation of a British Eighth Army offensive against the Axis El Agheila Line--set to begin December 14--the 57th Fighter Group moves forward to a landing ground at Belandah
Dec 13 .1942 LIBYA: Following a stalemate of several weeks--during which the British Eighth Army prepares for an all-out offensive to clear Libya--German Army forces holding the El Agheila Line suddenly withdraw at the last minute toward Tunisia. As British ground forces struggle to pursue the Germans, the WDAF, including the Ninth Air Force's 12th Medium Bombardment Group and 57th Fighter Group, maintain pressure and attempt to interdict routes of retreat. 57th Fighter Group P-40 pilots down two Bf-109s near El Agheila. SUNDAY, 13 DECEMBER 1942, EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force) In Libya, aircraft of the Western Desert Air Force, including more than 100 P-40s, fly strafing and bombing missions against ground forces which begin withdrawing from El Agheila during the early morning. The 57th Fighter Group claims two Bf 109s for the loss of one P-40. The British 51 Division penetrates the eastern defenses of El Agheila.
FR216 Top cover to 64FS/57FG GA-? 20-Jan-43
the planes where now flying from Bir Dufan
EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Ninth Air Force): In Libya, B-24s hit the harbor at Tripoli. P-40s fly top cover and fighter-bomber operations as enemy resistance to the British advance stiffens in the Homs-Tarhunah area.
At dawn on 23 January 1943, just three months to the day since the Eighth Army had joined battle at El Alamein, the first British troops entered Tripoli. At the same time RAF advanced parties took over Castel Benito airfield outside the city. Together, our land and air forces had now advanced over the desert for 1400 miles—a distance roughly equal to that from Moscow to Berlin
That night the movie "Hellzapoppin" was shown to the Sqdn in the Castel Benito cinema, a real treat from all the years spent in the desert.
The unit was now returned to 239 Wing control.
TUNISIA 15th February - 16th April 1943
FR276 Top cover GA-J 24-Feb-43
This Wing dive-bombed an enemy 'drome North West of Merat.450 Sqdn "P" returned full of holes as a result of heavy ground fire. Heavy and medium bomber have begun a night offensive on Jerry's 'dromes, armour and troop concentrations.
FL710 Bombing GA-J 25-Feb-43
the 6th March the Sqdn moved to Neffatia, leaving Libya and entering Tunisia
This Wing did only one job today when we successfully strafed enemy gun positions and transport opposite the Kiwis.
FR115 Bombing of shipping GA-W 29-Mar-43
All day long hundreds of bombers and fighters pounded the retreating enemy between
Gabes and Sfax breaking all records for aerial blitzing. There was no aerial opposition and very little ground fire
the 3rd of April the Sqdn advanced to El Hamma
A letter home similar to Americans V-Mail. Dated May 1943 he only has a few months
left to live and appreciates the packages from his home that he will never see again.
FR520 Strafing attacks GA-F 11-Aug-43
Sicily fell to the Allies on 17 August, and 1 September 1943.
After the invasion of Italy on 3 September, No 239 Wing was based at Grottaglie
in Southern Italy between the 17th and 19th to support the Allied attacks on the
island. By October the Wing was established first at Reggio and then Foggia in
southern Italy. From the two airstrips, the Wing answered a stream of calls from
the Allied armies (US 5th and British 8th) for close air support missions, as
well as bombing and strafing enemy supply lines
the 3rd of September, exactly four years after the war against Germany had
commenced, 300 landing craft containing 8,000 8th Army British,
Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Divisions left the eastern harbours of
Sicily and crossed the Straits to land without much resistance on the Calabrian
Same letter designation as FR453 it
might be the newer Kittyhawk Mk III
of British Eighth Army enter Bari. At Salerno, US Fifth Army, throwing reserves
and serv troops into line, and receiving much naval and air spt, holds off enemy
onslaughts against beachhead. XII BC B-17's, B-25's, and B-26's attack highways,
road j unctions and defiles, bridges, town areas, railroads, M/Y, barracks, and
numerous T/Os, including several gun positions, in or near Avellino, Pompeii,
Torre Annunziata, Auletta, Baronissi, San Severino Rota, Battipaglia, and Eboli.
US and RAF FBs, LBs, and MBs of NATAF fly well over 500 sorties, mainly against
roads, bridges, and towns in battle areas, in or around Battipaglia, Eboli,
Potenza, Torre Annunziata, Benevento, Auletta, and Avellino. Troop transports
drop more contingents of 82d Airborne Div S of Sele R to strengthen beachhead,
and also behind enemy lines near Avellino to disrupt enemy comm.
of XII BC bomb highways and railroad at Torre del Greco while B-25's and B-26's
hit highways and road junctions at or near Torre Annunziata, Battipaglia, Eboli,
Serre, Auletta, and Polla. Xll A Spt Cmd and other NATAF elements attack
buildings, railroads, highways and motor transport in spt of US f'ifth Army as
German counter attacks astride Sele R subside. British Eighth Army forces reach
Sapri, threatening the enemy with entrapment between US and British forces.
17-Sep-43 XII BC B-17's and B-26's bomb A/Fs at Ciampino and Pratica di Mare. B-25's attack small craft and barges off mouth of Tiber R. P-38's fly 27 dive-bombing missions against roads, junctions, railways, bridges, and T/Os in battle area and towns of Vallo della Lucania, Acerno, Nocera, Avellino, Gragnano, Serre, Lioni, Fisciano, Monteforte Irpino, Cava de' Tirreni and Auletta. XII A Spt Cmd, NATBF, and other elements of NATAF fly sweeps over battle area, patrol beaches, escort naval vessels, and bomb rail and road junctions, motor transport, M/Y, town areas, and various T/Os in Pompeii, Torre Annunziata, Salerno, Campagna, Sarno, Solofra, Montella, and Acerno areas. US Fifth Army forces advancing on Altavilla are pinned down. However enemy retires to the N, completing withdrawal from battleline during night. British Eighth Army begins general adv N toward Potenza and Auletta.
18-Sep-43 B-17's of XII BC hit Viterbo A/F and Salerno-Avellino road, while B-25's and B-26's bomb A/F at Ciampino and Pratica di Mare. B-25's fire 75mm shells at small vessels and lighthouse near Capraia and between Pianosa and Corsica. P-38's on DS with NATAF strafe 4 satellite A/Fs at Foggia and bomb roads, railroads, bridges, and towns in battle area. Seventh Army forces take Altavilla, Persano, and Battipaglia without opposition."
19-Sep-43 FBs of XII A Spt Cmd and planes of other NATAF elements (US and RAF) concentrate on attacking roads and vehicles in Benevento-Montesarchio-Contursi-Potenza-Avellino areas, and hit railway station at Castelnuovo. Fifth Army gains firm control of Salerno plain, while British Eighth Army troops take Potenza and Auletta.
Axis pilots known to have been flying 11 Dec 1942
Uffz. Drehmann: 1
91/63/4 at 3.000 m.
Ofw. Wilhelm Baumgartner: 29
10 km. N. Arco-Philenorum: no height
34 victories BAUMGARTNER Wilhelm Ofw. DK 77 KIA on 11.4.43 in Luftkampf. Prien, JG 77, III, p.1517
Stab I./JG 77
Anerk: Nr. -
Ltn. Heinz-Edgar Berres: 23
Stab I./JG 77
Anerk: Nr. -
confirmed BERRES Heinz-Edgar Oblt. RK 77 MIA on 25.7.43 following Luftkampf with
50 Spitfires. Prien, JG 77, III, p.1671; Obermaier p.88; Horrido
Supplemental and/or Conflicting Claims from Other Sources:
III / JG77
Stab III./JG 77
Reference: JG 77 List f. 2423
110 victories UBBEN Kurt Major EL 77, 2 KIA on 27.4.44 in Luftkampf. 500+ ff Obermaier, p.48; Horrido
Ofw. Robert Helmer: 30
Reference: JG 77 List f. 2423
35 victories HELMER Robert Ofw. DK 77 KIA on 26.2.43 in Luftkampf with P-40. Prien, JG 77, III, p.1453
Ofw. Eduard Isken: 29 8./JG 77
Reference: JG 77 List f. 2423
56 victories ISKEN Eduard Ofw. RK 77, 200, I(F)/123, 53 WIA in 4.45. 17 Viermot, 946 ff. Prien, JG 77, III, p.1756; Obermaier p.139; Horrido
April Letter to his Dad with his observations of the his time in the Middle East.
Final Mission - 19 Sept 1943
the Sqdn 540 states for this day is "The Sqdn had a bad day in that W/O
Brown W.D. one of the oldest pilots failed to return from operations.
It is feared he has been killed.
541 shows :
1 - 11 Aircraft lead by G/Capt J Darwin (Flying FR868 coded JD), - "Armed
Recce. Bombed and strafed dump in SPINAZZOLA
area (map ref O.7766). Two fires started and one large black explosion.
The area was also strafed, one gun position was destroyed, visibility good.
No e/a or A/A.
2 (the important one):
aircraft on Armed Recce. These being the following
GA-J Fl Lt Bluett A.P.C.
GA-B F Sgt Brown D.B.
GA-F F/O L..C.Cherry
GA-T F Sgt Swinton Norman Ernest, RAAF, 401547
GA-Q F Sgt Nordstrand G.S
GA-D WO Brown
Wilfred David, RCAF, R8627
FR350 GA-V PO .Rutherford G.W., J16548 RCAF
GA-C FO Burcham J.A.
FR494 GA-W FO. Ahern L. Neville 402781 RAAF (photo page 2)
Aircraft took off at 14:30 hours on armed Recce on the roads Potenza-Vallata-Grottaminarda-Lioni-Avigiano. Bombs were dropped on 12 plus MT at N.9754, no claims. Strafing from Pt N.9854 to Avigiano resulted in 3MT flamers, 7 MT damaged. Visibility good. AA light intense and MG fire from PT N.9854 all along the road to Avigiano. No e/a. Height 8,000ft to 1,500ft. W/O Brown failed to return from this operation, he was seen to spin in from 1,500ft and hit ground, aircraft bursting into flames at pt.O.0852. Time of incident 15:20hrs, the rest of the formation landed at 16:00hrs
Now the bad news.
When a Kittyhawk burns there is a little
bit of a problem for the pilot, as he actually sits in front of the main
fuselage tanks, but on top of the main wings tanks. Not a good
place to be. If the soil in the area is soft, you
may find some part of the aircraft. If so I would be happy (so long
as a Curtiss tag can be located) to confirm the aircraft data against what I
have to enable identification.
ORB 112Sqdn (Form 540 and 541) from PRO in England.
My databases, aircraft accident cards (Form AM1180) from RAF Hendon, US individual aircraft cards for this aircraft, Form 78 from RAF Hendon for this aircraft, and the Book Kittyhawks over the Sands by Michal Lavigne and J.F.Edwards.
“Bravery is a subjective word. In my opinion, the bravest of the brave are those who fear the most but continue to face the enemy. This young Canadian was the bravest man I ever met.” A Gremlin on My Shoulder: The Story of an Australian Fighter Pilot, by Ron Cundy, 260 Sqdn Pilot.