I encourage anyone that  has more information (Flight Log Book entries) or photos on 112 Squadron please send an e-mail to   raf_112_sqdn@yahoo.com 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

Using a converter for Southern Italy we get

The point described by the following "Modified British System" coordinates

South Italy Zone

has roughly (*) the following geographical coordinates


Latitude : 40° 52' 57'' N
Longitude : 15° 09' 49'' E

with equivalent in decimal degrees are:

Latitude : 40.88252 °
Longitude : 15.16366 °
It's approximately 1 mile,  (1.61 Kilometers),  WNW of  Lioni, Campania between  the north side of the Contrada Selvapiana,  SS7 road to Avellino
and west of the Via A Appia, SS7,  slightly west of the Ofanto River.

Google Map location link:

The young pilot was born October 13th 1919 in Hamiota, Manitoba Canada the second son of Wilfred Haddon Brown and Ellen Robbins. He was educated in Kenton and Virden, Manitoba Canada, attending Virden Collegiate for his high school years.

WD Brown and his Mother, he is wearing a XII Manitoba Dragoon Shirt of which he was a Reserve Member -

 note the suitcase at his feet and the open truck door as he starts on his journey.

On 2 January, 1941, Wilfred enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. 

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/


Canadian Forces Station Ladner:
(Vancouver Wireless Station)
(Royal Canadian Air Force Station Boundary Bay)

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.

Source Material: Canada's National Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) organization web site –  

www.tscm.com.cse.html, “History of Canadian Airports” by T.M. McGrath & the Vancouver 

Wireless Station web site - http://www.troywoodintarsia.com/vws/vws.htm.



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


WD Brown

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.


Source: http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/2529/:


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

Posted to Number 52 Operational Training Unit, Aston Down, England with the Royal Air Force, Wilfred flew 

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.

He joined 112 Squadron on 7 Oct 1942 until shot down. It should be noted here that the 

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.

           Wilf by a Kittyhawk Mk III  of the RAF 112 Sqdn               

kittyhawk_gad.jpg (51154 bytes)

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

Flak damage to FR860 GA D from a mission over Messina

Wilfred was one of approximately 450 Canadian fighter pilots whom served in the western desert of Egypt, Libya and North Africa (Algeria and Tunisia) from June 1940 until May 1943. He flew a Kittyhawk, earning a reputation for courage under fire in the battle of El Alamein. Wilfred had been promoted to Acting Warrant Officer First Class; during combat on 11 December 1942 he was severely wounded. He had already shot down two Stukas and damaged another near El Daba when a Me 109 strafed him. Despite his wounds he was able with the aid of oxygen, to return to allied lines.

* * * * *

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.
Although his plane crashed somewhere between Apoli and Avellino in Italy, nothing was ever found. His name was engraved on the El Alamein monument and he was posthumously awarded the 1939 – 45 Service Star, the War medal the Africa Star (award and clasp), the Italy Star, and the Canada Volunteer Service medal (award and clasp) and The Purple Heart (US Wound Medal)


In recent years the Canadian government has named a lake in Northern Manitoba in his honour and in recognition of his services

FR 860 and R 86267 WO WD Brown
19 Sept 1943
Ref :112s/s.501/75/P.1.
1. Ref: A819/19 Dec 43
2. From Grottaglie L.C 1430 hours 1943 armed reconnaissance from Potenza to Vallata, Grottaminarda, Lioni, Aviglano
3. Map ref: Napoli NE 40/14 1: 50000 N9854 to Avigliano Intense AA and machine gun fire ref; 0.0852 approximately 1520 hours some of this must have hit WO Browns plane..

This aircraft was FR860 GA-D in 112 Sqdn service. The aircraft was a Kittyhawk III or P-40M-10CU ex US serial number 43-5754. The records for the airframe show that it was sent to the Middle East against a British allocation on 6/4/43 (British dates are used through out this e-mail). It arrived in the Middle East 1/7/43 and assigned to 112 Sqdn. The first mentioned date of operation with 112 Sqdn was 31/7/43.


Flew with 72 Sqdn RAF on Spitfire based at Exeter in England before being posted to the ME, where he joined 112Sqdn 7/10/42.He completed 103 Missions and went Missing on the 104th, he was hospitalized after being damaged on mission in FR255, GA J, 11/12/42. 

Crashes / Claims 

W.O. Brown was lost in FR860, but also his aircraft was hit on 19/4/43 (FL882 GAA) and written off, also he was flying FR255 GA J when it was shot down over the forward area 11/12/42. Another crash was when his aircraft FR338 was written off , (Two aircraft were wrecked on landing, FR517 (Fg Off Ross) and FR338 (Flt Sgt `Canada' Brown), neither pilot was injured.  FR517 being flown by FlgOff E.Ross. Claims he had were a Bf-109 Damaged West of Fuka 4 Nov 42, Bf-109 Probable East of El Garanigh Libya and Bf-109 damaged in the same place 11 Dec 1942. 

Here are Luftwaffe losses in North Africa on 

4 November 1942:
I./Sch.G. 2: no losses
J.G. 77:

Bf 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 Gibes
Stab J.G. 77, crashed after combat near Quotaifiya in Bf 109 G-2 W.Nr 10 568, pilot bailed out unhurt. Aircraft destroyed.
Other J.G. 77 aircraft were destroyed on the ground at Bir-el-Abd when the Luftwaffe evacuated.
Source for J.G. 77 loss is Jochen Prien, JG 77, p.1319

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

According 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.

12 December 1942
I./Sch.G. 2: no losses
J.G. 77: no losses


Dear Mr Brown,

Thank 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. Wolfgang ERNST.

I have, I think, a photo of MAROTZKE in the desert. If you have some photos of Wilfred BROWN in his plane?



E. Mombeek   eric.mombeek@village.uunet.be

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).

Ref: Luftwaffe Fighter Pilots Missing In Action JG 77  

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)
112 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Amirya (LG.175), Egypt, October 1942

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

Escort Mission to LG21 18-Oct-42
FR211 Bombing raid on LG104 GA-E 23-Oct-42
FR262 Bombing and Escort mission - returned early GA-Z 24-Oct-42
FR211 Bombing raid on LG18 GA-E 27-Oct-42

More bomber escort work including one over Mersa Matruk where the wharves, road transport and camps were pasted by our boys. There was no aerial opposition at all, but heavy ack-ack accounted for one "Baltimore."
This Wing shot down 4 Macchi's during the day for a loss of 2 "Kitty's" from Nos. 3 and 112 Squadrons ( Sgt Arthur Fredrick George Martin, RCAF, R/97115 ). The Group bagged a total of fifteen aircraft and nine probable for the loss of three machines.
Today nine hundred 250lb bombs were dropped on Jerry. The Army has called for less bombing now as the enemy is dispersing and is getting hard to contact.

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

WEDNESDAY, 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 was so
completely frustrated that the once formidable Stukas jettisoned their bombs on their own troops. A few days later a formation of British
and American Kittyhawks intercepted thirty Ju87s escorted by fifteen Me109s. The American fighters held the ring; the British fighters closed
in and shot down seven of the enemy without loss to themselves; and again the Stukas jettisoned their bombs on their own troops


FR266 Top cover to bombing raid on Rahman GA-H 29-Oct-42

We (450 Sqn) escorted "Baltimores" and "Mitchells" over the front lines opposite the AIF. Eggs were duly laid on the 15th Panzer Division. A formation of Stukas and JU52's was seen but no action there 450 Sqn Jounal

FR211 Bombing mission GA-E PT 860305 30-Oct-42
FR211 Armed recce mission GA-E 31-Oct-42 WD Brown Claims 2 Stukas

FR211 Bombing and Armed recce mission GA-E 31-Oct-42 (second mission same plane)

More escorting for "Baltimores" over the Fuka 'drome. Shots were exchanged with some ME109's but no damage was done to us. Twelve of our "Kitty's" did a long-range sweep after lunch. Ten returned.
"J" with Sergeant Reid aboard was attacked by two ME109's and went down in flames near Sollum. The two attackers fell to the guns of Flt Lt. Law and Sergeant Borthwick.
The CO [Flt Lt Williams] whilst strafing an enemy camp was accidentally shot down by Sgt. Harrison. He crash landed in rough country and was seen to get out of his machine. The ground was too rough to effect an immediate rescue.
Ammo. dumps, tents, transport and railway sidings were strafed for the rest of the day. No.112 Squadron shot down eight enemy aircraft today - well done (450 Sqn diary)

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.
During the rest of the day we carried out further armed recces as well as escort duty. More tanks and transport columns were attacked. The railway station at Rayman was ruined by our hits.
Sergeant Gleeson claimed a ME109F. 112 Squadron got into another Stuka party and bagged six of them. Good on em!

FR216 Bombing raid on Gazala Station GA-P 2-Nov-42  
FR266 Bombing raid PT 853290 El Daba 1130hr -1240hr GA-H 3-Nov-42
FR279 Bombing raid GA-J 4-Nov-42, 1610-1720 hrs PT 823319 El Daba WD Brown dogfights a BF 109, the Pilot of the BF109G-2 was LT Heinz Ludemann of 11I/ JG27, the plane "Black 6" was later found abandoned and captured by the allies at El Daba, it survives today in Hendon Museum in England, Photos on Photo Page 5.

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 Sqn Journal)

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.
FR279 Bombing at Sollum GA-J 9-Nov-42

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.
We in Maintenance Flight have had a busy day with three repair jobs and two 40 hour services
Our kites only carried out one sortie - a straffing job at Sollum. All came home okay.
Thousands of Germans are now hemmed in at Sollum, Hellfire Pass and Tobruk. They are receiving a terrific pounding from land, sea and air.(450 Sqn)

LIBYA 11th November 1942 - 14th February 1943

11th November 1942:

We had breakfast at 5.30am and then a nine hour journey to No.76LG in company with other squadrons of the Wing. The coast road is still jammed with traffic heading West. The sides of the road are littered with thousands of wrecked enemy vehicles, guns etc.
We arrived here in good condition but very tired and dirty. I haven't had a wash for six days now. The water ration here is one bottle for every second day. The pipeline doesn't work now either and all water has to be flown from the Delta area by "Lockheed's" and "Bombay's."
Despite our victories here, news is that Jerry has occupied all of France and Corsica.

FR279 Top Cover to 250Sqdn GA-J 12-Nov-42, strafe in the Gazala- Tobruk area, they flew from LG75
FR245 Recce on Bergan area GA-B 16-Nov-42, flew out of Martuba No 4, at this base 112 Sqdn was detached from 239 Wing to join with USAAF 57 Fighter group made up of the 64th, 65th, and 66th Sqdn., this allowed the USAAF to maintain control but learn from Desert Air Force personnel.
FR213 Strafing on Baree LG GA-Q 18-Nov-42
FL880 Recce on Bergan area GA-Z 19-Nov-42
FR326 Recce on Bergan area GA-W 19-Nov-42

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 
42-45798 Dive bombing Marble Arch with 66FS/57FG GA-D 7-Dec-42 they  had moved on the 6th and now flew out of Belanda, this was a 12 plane raid on the landing ground at Arco Philaenorum (Marble Arch)
FL880 Bombing GA-Z 10-Dec-42, top cover to USAAF 66th Sqn, encountered 20-25 BF109s and Italian MC 202

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
FR361 top cover to 65FS/57FG 20-Jan-43, raid on Castel Benito airfield Breda AA guns attacked

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.

FR361 Patrol over Castel Benito 21-Jan-43
FL730 Armed recce in Zuara area GA-P 23-Jan-43 

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

FR361 Bombing 25-Jan-43, the Sqn had now taken over Castel Benito airfield MT and a tanker at Zuara docks where engaged
FL882 Bombing of shipping 30-Jan-43
FL710 Bombing GA-J 31-Jan-43, raid on barges and schooners at Zarzia

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.

42-45790 Bombing GA-B 3-Feb-43, Winston Churchill visited the Sqn at Castel Benito on this day.
FR361 Bombing of shipping 3-Feb-43
FR324 Bombing of shipping GA-E 4-Feb-43

TUNISIA 15th February - 16th April 1943

FR276 Top cover GA-J 24-Feb-43
FR324 Bombing of an airfield GA-E 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
FR412 Bombing of an airfield GA-D 26-Feb-43
FL901 Medium Cover to 450 Sqdn 27-Feb-43
FR361 Bombing of Motor transport 4-Mar-43, now flying from  Ben Gardan

on the 6th March the Sqdn moved to Neffatia, leaving Libya and entering Tunisia
42-45798 Top Cover to 250 Sqdn GA-T 7-Mar-43
FR221 Top cover to Hurricanes GA-T 24-Mar-43 a recce flight while the battle of Plum Pass raged

This Wing did only one job today when we successfully strafed enemy gun positions and transport opposite the Kiwis.
Heavy ground fire from large and small calibre guns was encountered. Sqn Ldr Bardi and Sergeant Day both hit the deck in no-man's-land. Both pilots were unhurt and were rescued by the Kiwi armoured cars.

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

on the 3rd of April the Sqdn advanced to El Hamma
FL714 Recce and bombing of MT GA-F 6-Apr-43
FL886 Top cover to 450Sqdn 6-Apr-43
FL710 Bombing of MT GA-J 7-Apr-43 on the Bjel Achiechire road
FR277 Top cover to 260 Sqdn GA-E 8-Apr-43
FR453 Top cover to 260 Sqdn GA-K 9-Apr-43 after this day there where no operations for the next 4 days the Sqdn was able to see themselves on a film called "Desert Victory" at 239 Wing HQ
FL710 Armed Recce GA-J 16-Apr-43
FR338 Fighter Sweep over Cape Bon GA-? 18-Apr-43 flying into Kairouran Western Desert Brown FR338 and Fg Off Ross FR517 wreck their planes on landing
FL882 Medium cover 19-Apr-43, GA-A, Western Dessert Brown also writes this plane off on Landing
FR494 Top Cover and fighter sweep GA-W 20-Apr-43
FR494 Bombing of shipping GA-W 28-Apr-43
FR494 Armed Recce GA-W 1-May-43
FR494 Top Cover over Cape Bon GA-W 3-May-43
FR494 Top Cover GA-W 4-May-43
FR494 Top Cover to 250Sqdn GA-W 4-May-43
FR494 Armed recce GA-W 5-May-43
FR494 Armed Recce GA-W 6-May-43
FR494 Armed Recce GA-W 7-May-43
FR494 Bombing GA-W 8-May-43

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.

FR494 Top Cover to 250Sqdn GA-W 9-May-43, bombing the landing ground at Menzel Tmime
FR494 Armed Recce GA-W 10-May-43
FR489 Bombing of MT GA-H 11-Jul-43
FR489 Close support bombing GA-H 13-Jul-43
FR489 Armed Recce GA-H 14-Jul-43
FR489 Close support bombing GA-H 15-Jul-43
FR489 Armed Recce GA-H 20-Jul-43
FR489 Close support bombing GA-H 20-Jul-43
FR489 Armed Recce GA-H 21-Jul-43
FR489 Armed Recce GA-H 24-Jul-43
FR489 Armed Recce GA-H 27-Jul-43
FR489 Armed Recce GA-H 29-Jul-43
FR860 Armed Recce GA-D 31-Jul-43
FR860 Armed Recce GA-D 31-Jul-43
FR860 Staffing attacks GA-D 3-Aug-43
FR860 Staffing attacks GA-D 4-Aug-43
FR860 Armed Recce GA-D 7-Aug-43
FR860 Armed Recce GA-D 9-Aug-43 

FR520 Strafing attacks GA-F 11-Aug-43
FR520 Strafing attacks GA-F 11-Aug-43
On the night of the 11th of August, a lot of 3 Squadron aircraft were destroyed on the ground but the 3  Squadron's personnel casualties were slight although over 80 airmen elsewhere in 239 Wing were either killed or injured during that raid.
  FR860 Strafing attacks GA-D 12-Aug-43                           
FR860 Strafing attacks GA-D 12-Aug-43
FR860 Shipping Recce GA-D 13-Aug-43
FR860 Armed Recce GA-D 14-Aug-43
FR860 Shipping Recce GA-D 15-Aug-43
FR860 Bombing of shipping GA-D 16-Aug-43
FR860 Bombing of shipping GA-D 17-Aug-43
FR860 Bombing of shipping GA-D 17-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
FR860 Armed Recce GA-D 18-Aug-43
FR864 Armed Recce GA-M 21-Aug-43
FR860 Escort to Mitchell bombers GA-D 27-Aug-43
FR860 Close support bombing GA-D 3-Sep-43 

On 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 shore.
FR860 Armed Recce GA-D 5-Sep-43
FR866 Armed Recce GA-K 7-Sep-43

Same letter designation as FR453 it might be the newer Kittyhawk Mk III 
FR860 Escort to DC-3's GA-D 14-Sep-43

14-Sep-43 Elements 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.
FR860 Bombing of MT GA-D 15-Sep-43
FR860 Armed Recce GA-D 15-Sep-43

15-Sep-43 B-17's 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.
FR860 Armed Recce GA-D 17-Sep-43

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.

FR803 Armed Recce GA-F 18-Sep-43
FR860 Armed Recce GA-D 18-Sep-43

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."

FR860 Armed Recce _ MISSING GA-D 19-Sep-43

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

11. December 1942 Fliegerführer AfrikaGerman Claims for 11 December 1942

Jagdgeschwader 77

11.12.42  Uffz. Drehmann: 1   8./JG 77 Kittyhawk  £ 91/63/4 at 3.000 m.  09.20 Film C. 2027/I  Anerk: Nr.157

11.12.42  Ofw. Wilhelm Baumgartner: 29 8./JG 77  P-40E  £ 10 km. N. Arco-Philenorum: no height  15.25 Film  C. 2027/I             Anerk: Nr.158  

34  victories BAUMGARTNER Wilhelm Ofw. DK 77 KIA on 11.4.43 in Luftkampf. Prien, JG 77, III, p.1517



11.12.42  Hptm. Heinz Bär: 137 Stab I./JG 77   Curtiss P-40   £ - 15.35 Film C. 2031/I   Anerk: Nr. -

11.12.42  Ltn. Heinz-Edgar Berres: 23 Stab I./JG 77 Curtiss P-40  £ -  15.35 Film  C. 2031/I   Anerk: Nr. -  

52 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

11.12.42  Heinrich Ulrich 9./ZG 26   Hurricane   £ based Trapani    10.35 Film  C. 2031/I  Abgelehnt 

Supplemental and/or Conflicting Claims from Other Sources:


III / JG77

11.12.42  Hptm. Kurt Ubben: 96 Stab III./JG 77 Curtiss P-40 £ -  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

11.12.42  Ofw. Robert Helmer: 30  8./JG 77  Curtiss P-40  £ - 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

11.12.42  Ofw. Eduard Isken: 29 8./JG 77 Curtiss P-40  £ -15.35 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.

The Final Mission - 19 Sept 1943

All 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.

The 541 shows:

 Mission 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.

Mission 2 (the important one):

9 aircraft on Armed Recce. These being the following

FR839 GA-J Fl Lt Bluett A.P.C. 43539 RAF

FR825 GA-B F Sgt Brown D.B.  1381428.

FR803 GA-F F/O L..C.Cherry . 114723

FR132 GA-T F Sgt Swinton Norman Ernest, RAAF, 401547

FR806 GA-Q F Sgt Nordstrand G.S 41220

FR860 GA-D WO  Brown Wilfred David, RCAF, R8627

FR350 GA-V PO .Rutherford G.W., J16548 RCAF

FR452 GA-C FO Burcham J.A. 19713 RAF (See POW page)

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.

Air27/873 - 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.



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