Category Archives: Obituaries

DAILY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY WING COMMANDER JOHN WYNNE

Wing Commander Facebook copyJohn Wynne completed  40 operations flying Wellington bombers in the Middle East with 40 Squadron.  He was awarded the DFC. He later joined 214 Squadron to fly the US-built B-17 Fortress on electronic countermeasure duties, which involved jamming enemy night fighter communications.  His aircraft was badly damaged and, thinking he was over Allied territory, his crew baled out.  Wynne, unable to release some of his equipment, flew the badly damaged aircraft back to the UK alone.  He later flew on the early Canberra and Valiant squadrons, including operations during the Suez campaign.

Many years later, Wynn discovered that five of his crew had fallen into the hands of a Nazi lynch mob and been shot.  In 1982, there was a reconciliation and a commemorative plaque to remember the dead airmen was dedicated in the German village of Huchenfeld.  Wynn played an instrumental role in establishing a school exchange programme between his Welsh village of Llanbedr and Huchenfeld; the scene of the death’s of his colleagues. The two communities were twinned and maintain annual exchange programmes.

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DAILY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY AIR MARSHAL SIR ALEC MORRIS

TN-1-9179-1 copySir Alec Morris was an expert in all facets of signals and communications and their operational use.  Early in his career he also specialised in guided weapons.  He served at experimental establishments and in the Procurement Executive.  His senior appointments included the  Director of Signals Air before serving as the Air Officer Engineering at HQ Strike Command.  In 1981 he became the Chief Engineer of the RAF.  During this period he was responsible for the huge engineering support required during the Falkland’s War including the development of Wideawake Airfield on Ascension Island and establishing links with British industry to provide additional capabilities for in-service aircraft involved in the conflict.

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DAILY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY SQUADRON LEADER OWEN ELLISON

Image (8)Squadron Leader Owen Ellison flew Wellington bombers during the North African and Italian campaigns.  He flew on the first RAF raid to drop mines in the River Danube to prevent the river traffic carrying oil and supplies to the forward armies.  He also attacked marshalling yards and railways in Rumania, Yugoslavia and in Italy.  He bombed Luftwaffe airfields in Austria as the Allied armies advanced north.  He was awarded a DFC.  After a post-war RAF career he ran a hotel in Barbados and was well known for his parties and generous hospitality.

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DAILY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY AIR VICE-MARSHAL CHARLES GIBBS

Wellington - Gibbs' crew 1945 copyNew Zealand-born AVM Gibbs flew Dakota transport aircraft during the North African campaign and later in Italy and to the Yugoslav partisans.  During the Allied invasion of Sicily he flew a diversionary raid to drop dummy paratroopers and flares over the beach head.  Once established in southern Italy, he made the first daylight landing in Yugoslavia when he took Fitzroy Maclean and some of his men to Bosnia.  He later converted to the Martin Marauder bomber and flew with Coastal Command after his return to England. After the war he served in Pakistan and Sudan and enjoyed a long post-war career flying Venom, Hunter and Lightning jets.  He commanded the Lightning base at RAF Wattisham before serving in RAF Germany as the air officer in charge of administration.  He retired to New Zealand and died on October 3 aged 97.

In the photograph he is second from the left with his Wellington crew.

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DAILY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY CAPTAIN ‘JOHNNY’ MEAGHER

MeagherJohnny Meagher had a distinguished war record as a bomber pilot flying Wellingtons and Lancasters.  He completed fifty operations and was twice awarded the DFC and also received an immediate DFM for his part in the daylight low-level attack against the Schneider factory at Le Creusot.  After the war he joined BOAC and had an equally distinguished career, which included captaining some Royal Flights, for which he was appointed CVO, introducing the Bristol Britannia into service and finally managing the VC 10 fleet.  He died aged 97 on September 21.

The photograph shows him at Buckingham Palace with his family after receiving the DFC and DFM.

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DAILEY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY MAURICE WEBB

imgMaurice+HaroldMaurice Webb was a Mosquito navigator who attacked shipping in the Bay of Biscay and off the Norwegian coast.  He and his pilot were forced to bale out over Brittany after their aircraft was damaged by anti-aircraft fire whilst attacking a ship.  He was sheltered by a farmer and the following day he met up with US troops and returned to England.  He was awarded an immediate DFM.  He continued flying operations and attacked a U-boat near Bergen which was damaged and sunk the following day by a Liberator.

The photograph shows Webb (right) with his pilot Hal Corbin.

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DAILY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY MAJOR CHRISTOPHER CROUCH

helicopter Major002Major Chris Crouch led a flight of Scout helicopters supporting a troop of SAS soldiers involved in a fierce engagement against dissidents in Aden.  Throughout a long day, Crouch controlled his helicopters as they carried out reconnaissance sorties and redeployed troops to surround the enemy group.  His helicopter was hit on three separate occasions by small arms fire.  He was awarded a DFC.  During an earlier tour in the Malayan Emergency, he flew Auster AOP aircraft and was twice mentioned in despatches.

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