The year 1941

British Pathe’s Review of the Year for 1941

A 1941 RAF Training Film 1 – The First Thing



A little music from the time . . .

I’ll be with you in Apple Blossom Time by The Andrews Sisters.
I Havent Said Thanks For that Lovely weekend by Geraldo & His Orchestra with Dorothy Carless.

Could You Please Oblige Us With A Bren Gun? by Noel Coward

 

Charley Bream remembers

Charley Bream remembers

Charley Bream was a civilian who worked at Watton from early 1940 to 1968. In this video he remembers some of that time

Philip Felton remembers

Philip Felton remembers

A 21 Squadron navigator in 1941 was Sergeant Phillip Felton who wrote to Colin Waugh about his career in the RAF and involvement in raids of the period; “I joined the RAFVR in May 1939 on my eighteenth birthday. I fervently hoped to become a pilot and was eagerly looking forward to starting flying instruction at Hamble, near where I worked and lived in Southampton. “The war intervened and on 2 September we were all mobilised and given the rank […]

Sgt George A. Dvorjetz – Observer In Wing Commander Partridge’s crew, lost on Rotterdam Raid 16th July 1941

Sgt George A. Dvorjetz – Observer In Wing Commander Partridge’s crew, lost on Rotterdam Raid 16th July 1941

This biography was authored by Rusty Russell and has been extracted from Mast High Over Rotterdam – Please respect Rusty’s Copyright to the work as detailed in the first section of the book. Born in Ealing on 31st March 1916, George Dvorjetz took employment as a cinema manager after leaving school. He was also a member of the Civil Air Guard, completing 11 hours of dual and 9 hours of solo flying by the time he enlisted in the RAF in October 1939. Like many […]

Flt Sgt David W. Wyatt – Observer In Graham-Hogg Crew, lost on 18th July 1941

Flt Sgt David W. Wyatt – Observer In Graham-Hogg Crew, lost on 18th July 1941

This biography was authored by Rusty Russell and has been extracted from Mast High Over Rotterdam – Please respect Rusty’s Copyright to the work as detailed in the first section of the book. By one of the cruel strokes of fate, veteran observer, Flt Sgt David Wyatt filled a slot on 21 Squadron which had been vacated by Graham-Hogg’s original crewman. Jim Marsden explains: ‘Sgt X was taken off flying duties, due to a severe nervous condition, which the RAF chose to call “Lack of […]

Squadron Leader Denis Graham-Hogg

Squadron Leader Denis Graham-Hogg

This biography was authored by Rusty Russell and has been extracted from Mast High Over Rotterdam – Please respect Rusty’s Copyright to the work as detailed in the first section of the book. Somewhere in Sri Lanka, an immensely popular ex-Blenheim pilot is probably sipping the occasional gin and tonic in his tea plantation, and reminiscing about the hazardous yet incredibly lucky days of his youth. Born in Kandy, Ceylon, of parents who were tea planters, Denis Graham-Hogg clearly yearned to return there after the […]

FLT LT R.O.C. Carey RCAF – WOp/AG in Wing Commander Kercher’s Crew at Rotterdam 16th July 1941

Sgt Bob Carey

This biography was authored by Rusty Russell and has been extracted from Mast High Over Rotterdam – Please respect Rusty’s Copyright to the work as detailed in the first section of the book. In March 1984, a letter from Switzerland was pushed through my letterbox. Full of curiosity, I opened it. To my surprise and delight, it was from Canadian-born Bob Carey, who had found the lifestyle and culture of the European continent vastly preferable to that of the continent of his origins. Frank Campbell-Rogers […]

The Tale of a Photograph. Flt Sgt Reg Leavers, Sgt Ian Overheu and Sgt Joseph Phelps

Ian Overheu, Joseph P{helps and Reg Leavers visiting the seaside (Blackpool?) on a cold and windy day

Reg Leavers and his crew, Ian Overheu and Joseph Phelps, had a reputation for courage, tenacity and determination which was amply demonstrated in the citation marking the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) to Leavers and Overheu. It reads: Distinguished Flying Medal 747560 Sergeant Evered Arthur Reginald Leavers, No 21 Squadron. NZ40729 Sergeant Ian Overheu Royal New Zealand Air Force, No 21 Squadron. In April 1941, Sergeant Leavers and Sergeant Overheu were the pilot and observer respectively in an aircraft which participated […]

Mast High Over Rotterdam by Lionel ‘Rusty’ Russell

Mast High Over Rotterdam by Lionel ‘Rusty’ Russell

In June of 2015, through a remarkable coincidence, I was contacted by by Lionel ‘Rusty’ Russell, a retired RAF pilot who has spent a large chunk of his life researching and writing a book about a single raid on the docks at Rotterdam on 16th July 1941. In 2 Group, Bomber Command, terms, it was an outstanding success, not only because of the tonnage of shipping claimed as destroyed or damaged, but also because ‘only’ four Blenheims were lost out of […]

Squadron Leader John Vincent Hadland DFC.

Squadron Leader John Vincent Hadland DFC.

By Hugh Hadland My father married my mother on 6th September 1939 in Oxford while he was learning to fly at Kidlington. As they came out of the church the first air raid siren of their war was sounding – a false alarm – but no one bothered about it. Ironically, she was half Danish, her father being a farmer who came to the UK from Jutland before the war. Olaf Frederik Hansen. I am named after W/Cdr Hugh Malcolm […]

Heinkel HE111, Ovington

Heinkel HE111 at Ovington

At 0755 on February 18th. 1941 a Heinkel HE111 H3 of 4/KG 53, The Condor Legion, Work No. 3349 attacked RAF Watton from the South side of the airfield travelling North. The aircraft strafed the airfield, hangar line and technical site and then flew into the forest of cables that had been sent up by Parachute and Cable defence system. The aircraft was so damaged by this that it came down about 1.5 miles North of the camp at Ovington. […]