15 Squadron

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paulcullen
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15 Squadron

Post by paulcullen » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:22 am

Hi everyone,thanks for letting me join your forum.
My late father(died 10/07/2010)was Graham(Mick)Cullen and flew as a radio operator air gunner from I think 1941 to 1945 on Stirling LSO-O for orange.He met and married my mother Brenda(Jaggard) a local Beck Row girl in 1944 she was one of the barmaids at the bird in hand pub which I understand was near the base.I have numerous photos and articles about 15 Squadron in my possession including some photos that remained classified until wars end.These were taken by a war correspondent who flew on a mission with the crew of O for orange.I will be more than happy to share them as soon as I find out how to put them up.My wife and I are coming over to France,Italy and England from 24/4/17 to 3/6/17 and we are really looking forward to going up to Mildenhall and surroundsto see where mum and dad spent many happy and anxious days during and after the war years.Kind Regards Paul

jamesinnewcastle
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Re: 15 Squadron

Post by jamesinnewcastle » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:07 am

Hi Paul

I'm sure that you will find it a rewarding and emotional experience to walk the same paths as your parents did, especially against the background of the extraordinary time of WW2.

I don't know if you are aware but there is a document called the Operational Record Book (ORB) that will have document each of your Fathers missions that may open the experince wider for you. These will contain his name and those of the crew for every mission and if you are lucky some other interesting information about each mission and also the airfield and general issues.

Pleased that your father survived all his missions, 4 years is a long time in Bomber Command it seems, also for the aircraft if he flew the same one all the time.

There are many Stirling photos around that seem to represent the complete set, but, as in your case, it is the photos in peoples lofts and sheds that contain much of the unseen story. So do please put your photos up, for myself any of the interior or close-ups of the Stirling itself would be especially interesting!

Cheers
James

paulcullen
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Re: 15 Squadron

Post by paulcullen » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:32 am

HiJames,
Thanks for the info could you tell me how to acess the ORB dad still had his log book up until just before he passed away but unfortunately it seems to have been lost in the clean up of his possesions.For anyone who is interested he started off operations in Defiants and then moved on to heavy bombers,as far as I know he went though the entire operational part of his service with the same crew his navigator is the last survivor and lives in Auckland NZ. The only causaulty in that time was their rear gunner who perished after a night fighter attacked them on a mission over berlin.My dad never won a raffle or any money in his time but always said his luck had been all used up.Cheers Paul.

jamesinnewcastle
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Re: 15 Squadron

Post by jamesinnewcastle » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:51 am

Hi Paul

Here is an example of the ORBs showing what you can expect to see:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1439

The National Archives in Kew have digitised many of the ORBs, including 15 Squadron, and you can download them for a few pounds each. I suspect that you are 'down under' so it may be very handy for you.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.u ... h/C2502837

There are also some 'air combat reports' for 15 squadron, these would have been entered by the gunners I suspect, so you would need to search on the gunners names - you may find details of a skirmish that your Father lived through!

Have a search of the TNA website for names,etc. but take care to pull down the menu that changes 'search our website' to 'search our records' or you might find it somewhat frustrating! You may have to be patient with the TNA website, it takes a little getting used to.

Oh, and here is another link that explains more about possible records

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2295&p=14452#p14452


Lets us know how you get on.

James

howard622
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Re: 15 Squadron

Post by howard622 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:30 pm

Hi Paul,

I hope you can make it to the Mildehall reunion in May, you will be able to go onto the base and have a look around. There are several events on over the weekend, visit the Mildehall Register web site. I will be there in my capacity as the 622 Squadron (WWII) historian. You may know that 622 shared a base with 15 Squadron during the war.

Stirling Project
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Re: 15 Squadron

Post by Stirling Project » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:02 pm

Hi Paul

If you can find the time on your trip, you are more than welcome to visit the Stirling Aircraft Project at Alconbury which is relatively close to Mildenhall. You'll be able to see our collection of W/Op equipment plus the reproduction flight deck we have creayed

Regards

John

paulcullen
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Re: 15 Squadron

Post by paulcullen » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:33 pm

Hi Guys,
Unfortunatley I won`t be able to make the reunion damn it all we don`t arrive in blighty until the 21st but if anyone is going could you mention to the people on the base that there will be a cheeky little chap turning up at the gate asking if he can get in.Also thanks for the info on the stirling project we will be around the area for a couple of days and will hire a car so will definitely be up to have a look around.Cheers Paul

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AlanW
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Re: 15 Squadron

Post by AlanW » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:42 am

Paul
His crew are listed below for an op in July. The 15sqdn ORB at this time, only listed the postings of officers to the squadron, but as Megginson, Burrows, Haydon and Mitchell all came in from 1657 CU on 17th May 43, it would be safe to say that the rest of the crew, including your father, came in at the same time. Their first op was a Gardening op on 21st May 43. Their rear gunner P/O Mitchell, was killed during an attack by a night fighter on an op to Berlin on 23rd August.

Alan
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There is no paralell in warfare, to such courage and determination in the face of danger, over so long a period. Such devotion, should never be forgotten.

howard622
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Re: 15 Squadron

Post by howard622 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:19 pm

Hi Paul,

I don't think just turning up will get you onto the base I'm afraid. Please contact the Mildenhall Register Chairman John Gentleman via their web page. He might be able to pull a few strings?

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