How Many Members Family / Friends, Flew in Stirlings?

chromeboy
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Re: How Many Members Family / Friends, Flew in Stirlings?

Post by chromeboy »

my grandad was Stirlings pre- & post- his time flying Lancs with 44 Sqn- he was 1661 HCU

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K4KittyCrew
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Re: How Many Members Family / Friends, Flew in Stirlings?

Post by K4KittyCrew »

It is great to see members post details of their family and friends who served, whether it be air or ground crews ............ would love to see photos and any further details posted here. It has never ceased to amaze me of some of the stories, related to us. If any members need any form of help in posting, don't hesitate to ask.
Regards,
John
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

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Re: How Many Members Family / Friends, Flew in Stirlings?

Post by PAFG »

K4KittyCrew wrote:Dennis,

Sorry to throw this lot at you but I've never known the actual outcome of such...........

How long were you at your Heavy Conversion Unit?

Was the course based on a given time-frame ( in and out in 3 months, regardless ) or was it based on completion of a given course?

Were the time frames the same with all Units?


Thanks,
John
Hi John,
Looking at the short Annex on training in Harris's 'Final Despatch', the H.C.U. syllabus was constant from their formation and required 40 hours flying time. Because there was a 'certain definite standard' to be met, this could be extended beyond 45 hours, but this wasn't allowed for on the maintenance side so required additional work all round.
Cheers,
Richard

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Re: How Many Members Family / Friends, Flew in Stirlings?

Post by K4KittyCrew »

Thanks very much Richard for these details and the 'best wishes' for the other day.
I've always been cluey about the duration of time regarding Heavy Conversion Units.
Regards,
John
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

WKS
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Re: How Many Members Family / Friends, Flew in Stirlings?

Post by WKS »

Hello, first post.

My father, William Dominic Shearer (service No 568486, I believe), was Flight Engineer on 15 Sqn Stirlings. He flew some 46 missions before having to leap out of the burning aircraft over France. There is a list of his crew on http://www.bourn.org.uk/15sqn.htm, W7611 LS-F, all familiar names to me, and who his stories gave character to, except Quinn. The pilot on that particular mission, Dick Bebbington, had not been their 'usual' pilot, but had been their copilot on some earlier missions. I assume Quinn might have been an instructor(?). It was Bebbington's first flight as 'pilot in command', at least where that particular crew was concerned, as far as I can make out.

I won't prattle on, though. I have a wealth of very colorful incidental stories in my memory, recounted me by my father before his passing in April, 1994, but no chronology or structure to them. I would dearly like to find a way to track down 15 Sqn missions that my father was on. Is it possible?

Now, I will just add with my apologies that I may seem a bit vague next to experts on the subject of the Stirling and Bomber Command in general, and am a long way from "home", so to speak, with a busy career. This subject would be an interest for me, not a consuming hobby. However, I would love to be able to start, with the Stirling - as he was also on some other types in other squadrons earlier - to piece together his 'war career' (if that is what I might call it) for posterity.

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, with my thanks in advance.

Thanks for an excellent site.

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Re: How Many Members Family / Friends, Flew in Stirlings?

Post by K4KittyCrew »

Great post 'WKS' and many thanks for sharing it we us. We have many a educated / friendly member here, who may be able assist you in your endeavours so don't hesitate to ask.

Did you father speak much about his time as a PoW? My father (not a PoW ) spoke very little about his whole experience, emotions would overcome him. I trust you have enquired about obtaining your fathers ORB's ( Operational Record Books ) which identify each operation he and his crew were on. Details vary from base to base ( as to the quality of their record keeping ) but they are truly worth purchasing.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Stirling W7611

Type Stirling
Serial Number W7611
Squadron 15
X1D LS-F
Operation Karlsuhe
Date 1 2nd September 1942
Date 2 3rd September 1942

Further Information

"Serial Range W7610 - W7639. 30 Stirling Mk.1. Part of a batch of 150 Short S.29 Stirling Mk.1. W7426-W7475; W7500- W7539; W7560-W7589; W7610-W7639. Delivered by Austin Motors Ltd between Jul42 and Sep42. Contract No.B982939/39. Delivered to No.15 Sqdn 24Jul42 Airborne 2240 2Sep42 from Bourn. Crashed 0308 3Sep42 at Gennes- Ivergny (Pas-de-Calais), 13 km SSE of Hesdin, France. Those killed are buried in Gennes-Ivergny Churchyard. Sgt R.J.Bebbington KIA P/O G.H.Quinn KIA Sgt W.Shearer PoW Sgt S.Coop KIA Sgt W.E.Overend KIA Sgt R.Turley KIA Sgt W.H.Creed KIA P/O E.McG Palmer RCAF KIA Sgt W.Shearer initially evaded but was captured 7Sep42 and interned in Camps 8B/344, PoW No.27177. "
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you have any photos or such, we would be only too happy to add them to the forum.

Thanks again
John
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

WKS
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Re: How Many Members Family / Friends, Flew in Stirlings?

Post by WKS »

Thank you, John, for that fine greeting and welcome.

I have previously proven to be not very forum savvy and fear cluttering this thread, which has a specific purpose that served my introductory post. Before I add anymore queries and comments regarding the topic of my intended research of 15 Sqn, may I ask if it would be proper etiquette to start a separate thread where I can address the subject?

All the best,

William

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Re: How Many Members Family / Friends, Flew in Stirlings?

Post by K4KittyCrew »

Hi William,

Feel free to continue on this 'post' or, if you wish, start a complete new post dedicated to your father, his crew and aircraft. I'll leave it up to you. It's all good.
Cheers,
John
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

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Re: How Many Members Family / Friends, Flew in Stirlings?

Post by Dave_Richardson »

Hi William

Welcome to the forum.

The indivdual missions flown by your dad would be recorded in the Operational Record Book(ORB) for 15 Squadron. It may be that one of the forum members has a copy and would be able to copy the relevant sheets for you. It would be helpful if you could give an idea of the start and end dates you are interested in. If that doesn't produce a result then you could try contacting the 15 Squadron Association Historian, contact details here http://www.mildenhallregister.stirlingp ... ilden2.htm. Alternatively you could order a copy of the from the National Archive at Kew. This can be done on line.

Have you got a copy of your dad's service record? If not you could order a copy from The RAF Disclosures Office at Cranwell. This will cost £30 and there's the inevitable form(s) to fill in, They can be found here http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/About ... sonnel.htm Click on the links in the related pages box on the right of the screen. It's best if the application can be done by the next of kin. That way you'll get a full copy of the record. Non next of kin applications only get a very abbreviated copy of the record, still costs £30 mind!

Hope this helps

Good luck with your research and keep us all informed of your progress

Dave

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Re: How Many Members Family / Friends, Flew in Stirlings?

Post by WKS »

Thank you Dave and John, both for your comments here and the detail in the PM's. I will certainly be following it up.

No, I never did get any service record or ORB's. Indeed, I am only just finding out that this is possible.

Unfortunately, no, I have no war time pictures of my father with his crew or aircraft. There is only one picture that I have of him from the time, in uniform with a what appears to be a service coat on. It is only of him. I believe it is just post war, at a point to point horse race(!). That he did not keep any pictures if he had them does not surprise me, as he was a very "man-living-in-the-moment" and unsentimental type, and even discarded "trophies" from his more recent history. He did like recounting his stories verbally, though, but it seems only to me. Others who knew him said they could not get a word out of him about his experiences, including my mother. As I mentioned in a post on the site's guest book, my father continued working with aviation after the war, as overseas technical representative for BAC (later BAe) on the Canberra bomber. Of that I do have pictures. He was in fact a talented engineer, having initially been educated in Barrow in Furness tech college, then Halton, and after the war at some aviation engineering institute at Cambridge that I cannot remember the name of (it will come back again in a few days, now that I am thinking of it).

Between his tenures on the Canberra in India and Germany, he was assigned by BAC to the TSR-2 development, and mentioned experiences at Weybridge and Boscombe Down, but we all know what happened to that. I was born in the wake of this episode. Don Knight (a TSR-2 test pilot) was a family friend, who even visited us in Ecuador when I was about 7 or 8. Even that feels like lost history now, despite my having lived it. Oh, well.

John, he did tell me a great deal about his PoW experiences.

Thank you so much, again,

William

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