Archive for RAF

A Birchall MID in the RAFVR

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , on November 21, 2021 by The Dude

An almost lost group here to Leading Aircraftsman R.Birchall (1155198) in the RAFVR. The group came with a Welsh Regiment cap badge so I assume he was originally enrolled in that unit before transferring to the RAFVR. He was awarded an MID oakleaf in June 1945.

A Birchall Killed In Norway

Posted in Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , , on December 7, 2019 by The Dude

This modest little group belonged to John James Burchall-Ward, 997361, 114 Squadron. John was a Sergeant-Observer in the RAF Volunteer Reserve. He was killed in action on the 27th December 1941 when the Blenheim he was helping to crew was shot down into the sea at the island of Vaagso in Norway during Operation Archery. He is buried in the Møllendal Church Cemetery in Bergen.

A Birchall Lost in the Battle Over Berlin

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , , on April 18, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis small group belongs to 1076673 Eric Birchall, Sergeant, RAFVR. Eric flew on Lancasters of 44 Squadron and was killed in action on December 24th 1943. Eric was a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. He trained in 1654 Heavy Conversion Unit and was posted to 44 Squadron on 12th August 1943. He flew 13 sorties including two to Berlin, two to Hannover and one to Munich. On his 14th sortie, again to Berlin, he was part of group of 379 aircraft, mainly Lancasters. They took off at 0034hrs on the 24th and had a troublefree outer leg due to bad weather. His aircraft was en route home to Dunholme Lodge when it was attacked by a night fighter at 0315 hours and set on fire. It was observed to crash 30 miles NE of Limburg. The entire crew was killed. Eric is buried in the Hannover War Cemetery along with the rest of his crew.



Denmark Pro Dania 1945 Medal with Case

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Rare Medals with tags , , , on April 16, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_DenmarkThis medal was instituted on 5 May 1946 and bestowed on some 3,100 persons who had rendered special services to Denmark during the German occupation. This particular example is marked to the surname Reynolds on the inside of the case. When I look this up in the Danish “Hof-og Statskalender” the only Reynolds awarded this medal is Squadron Leader Reggie Reynolds CO of 139 Squadron RAF flying Mosquitos.

Flying with his long time navigator Sismore on October 31 1944 Reynolds led a force of 24 Mosquitos in a raid on the Gestapo headquarters lodged in the buildings of Aarhus University in Denmark. The surprise attack, in misty weather, was delivered from low level and was a complete success. The head of the SS was killed, one of his officers writing: “A terrible disaster happened when our HQ was shot up by English airmen.” For their outstanding leadership, both Reynolds and Sismore received a Bar to their DFCs.

First up a photo of Sismore (left) and Reynolds (right) in front of a Mosquito aircraft.






Etienne Mark IVa RFC Cockpit Watch

Posted in Timepieces with tags , , , on April 13, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis is a Pilot’s Watch from World War 1 manufactured by Etienne & Co. It is marked with the War Department arrow on the rear of the case. This is a RFC watch dating to about 1915 or 1916. These watches were intended to be mounted in the dash of the aircraft and removed by the pilot when he returned from flight.