RAF 1943 - 45
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|Last updated 23 July 2005||............||Still to do............||A site map|
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This site is dedicated to my late uncle, Bertram Pinner, an air Navigator, in Lancaster bombers with the RAF during World War 2. Bert flew a full tour of duty with 101 Squadron ABC fitted aircraft. His missions involved the Battle of Berlin, D-Day support and diversionary flights as well as the notorious Nuremberg and Mailly-Le-Camp raids.
What started off as a challenge to see if I could make a web site and put something of my uncle down on record has turned into a full scale project. I originally had Berts Log Book and a few photographs but after a while this grew as newer things were uncovered. I have also found that the more I delve in to the world of Bomber Command the more I am in awe of the courage and resilience of those who flew in the air war against Germany. The contentious issue of Bomber Command not being properly recognised I feel is one of the great injustices of this country.
There are many original documents, photographs and links, including a full transcript of his Observers and Air Gunners Flying Log Book. I now have Berts official records and have recorded details where appropriate. Where possible I have named sources. Special thanks to my mother for keeping the original documents all these years and to everyone on the Bomber Command e groups, for their enthusiasm in keeping such an important part of history alive. I cannot personally thank everyone who has managed to supply information but am eternally in their debt.
It is with much regret to myself that I was unable to get my uncle to talk about his war experiences until a few years before his death in 1995. I now have so many questions for him that will be forever unanswered. I always had a special relationship with Bert as I was the only member of my mothers family to have a miltary career. (Royal Navy)
I, like my mother, still miss him dearly.
At the outbreak of WWII Bert was 25 years old working in a reserved occupation as a Diesinker for Moles of Birmingham. He applied to join the RAF as aircrew late 1941 and was welcomed into the service on 9th Feb 1942. His date of enlistment however is registered as 31st October 1941. Bert reported for duty at the Lords Cricket Ground, London 6 Apr 1942. He was felt that he was considered an old man amongst many of the crews he served with and joked about being their father.
He was finally demobbed 4 years later in the spring of 1946 having been promoted throught he ranks to Warrant Officer. On the way Bert collected his DFM for completion of tour of duty on 4th December 1945. Effective date of release 30th May 1946. Bert attended his Investiture at Buckingham Palace along with his father, brother and sister on 4th December 1945 where he proudly received his medal from the King.
|First posting for basic training was to No5 Initial Training Wing (ITW) A Flight. 4 Squadron.
This picture was taken shortly after joing the Squadron at the Toorak Hotel. Torquay May 1942.
From his service records Bert was described as 5 ft 4 1/2" in tall. A 29 1/2" chest, brown eyes and brown hair. Even today I do not remember Bert as being so small.
Passing out photograph.June 1942. Bert is the 3rd from right, 2nd row from front.
Navigation and flying training followed at West Freugh.
All entries as stated. Bold type is hand written notes from Bert himself at the time. Itallics by W Churchley. Links, as appropriate
|4 AOS West Freugh||10.2.43 - 24.5.43||Anson||67.00||29.35|
|18 OTU Finningley||25.5.43 - 25.7.43||Wellington||49.00||34.40|
|1662 Con Unit Blyton||26.7.43 - 7.10.43||Halifax|
|103 Squadron Elsham Woods||7.10.43 - 11.11.43||Lancaster||2.10||12.20|
|626 Squadron Wickenby||11.11.43 - 8.12.43||Lancaster||3.05||4.40|
|1656 Lindholme||9.12.43 - 21.12.43||Lancaster||4.50||3.45|
|101 Squadron Ludford Magna||21.12.43 - 25.6.44||Lancaster||24.30||193.00|
|18 OTU Finningley||25.6.44 - 21.8.44||Wellington||11.50||0|
|18 OTU Worksop||31.8.44 - 16.1.45||Wellington||34.10||0|
|19 OTU Kinloss||17.1.45 - 7.6.45||Anson|
|1656 HCU Lindholme||17.7.45 - 25.7.45||Lancaster||19.20||12.20|
|Flying Hours By Aircraft||Day||Night||Total|
26 July 1945. Posted to Morecombe and issued with tropical kit - injections
Sent home 14 days leave prior to posting Far East VJ Day at Home. Posting Cancelled, hung around for some weeks. Sent to Acasta Malbis & Blyton holding units.
So ended my Uncles involvement in World War Two. This page is in no way an official recording of the period but is a personal account of operations against Germany.
Original Documentation, Letters and Photographs. Full details can be found in the appropriate pages of this site.
|Form 1767||Observers & Air Gunners Flying Log|
|Original||Recommendation for Non immediate award of DFM Sorties Flown|
|Transcript||Transcript of above document|
|Form 1599||RAF Sight log book|
|Form 2783||Notification of Final payment of pay and allowances, amount due for war gratuity and post war credit|
|Form 2520A||RAF Service and Release Book. 4th April 1946|
|Form 2261-2||Meteorology for Air Navigators. 1943 Dept of Transport – Air Services Branch|
|Form 543||Service Record Sheet|
|Form 667 B||RAF Flying Clothing Card|
|Form 1376||RAFVR Reporting notification|
|Form 58||RAF Medical Certificate 31.10.41 (?)|
|Photo||Photographs issued to falsify id documentation in case of capture|
|Photo||Investiture Buckingham Palace|
|Photo||Dress Uniform on Steps|
|Photo||Crew room Ludford Magna 101 Squadron. 20th January 1944. Illustrated press. Dated 14.6.44 Waiting|
|Photo||Crew room Ludford Magna 101 Squadron. 20th January 1944. Illustrated press. see Ludford Magna link for more info|
|Photo||Trying out Body Armour (see Ludford Magna link for more info)|
|Photo||At initial call up, Toorak Hotel. Torquay 1942|
|Photo||Passing out photo. All recruits in Flying kit No 4 AOS West Freugh|
|Photo||Passing out, dress uniform, West Freugh June 1942|
|Letter||(2nd part) “Message of Welcome” from Secretary of State for Air dated 9.2.43, in 2 parts|
|Letter||Investiture details. St James Palace 3rd December 1945|
|Letter||Investiture notification. RAF Station Acaster Malbis. 27th October 1945|
|Letter||Report to recruitment centre 13.10.41|
|Programme||Souvenier programme Football Programme RAF National XI v Queens Park FC at Inverness|
|Dog Tags||x 2. One round and one Octaganal|
|Notes||Hand written notes on vectoring, unable to ascertain exactly when(2nd of 2)|
|Menu||101 Sqn Christmas Dinner,1943 Sergeants Mess. Signed by crew joining 101. 2 lose their life in Jan|
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