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RECENT UPDATES TO OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES
Updates made to Aircrew database for : Campbell :
Updates made to Airframes database for : Spitfire P7539 : Airframe notes updated (added 24-10-1940 : Joined No.66 Sqn. & 27-10-1940 : Shot down by an Me109 near Tunbridge Wells. Pilot Officer John Romney Mather killed.)
44th Bomb Group added to the squadrons database.
Updates made to Aircrew database for : Pilot Officer Rainford Gent Marland : First name updated (now Rainford Gent), Date of death updated, Deceased updated, Aircraft updated (added Hurricane), Squadrons updated (added No.229 Sqn RAF), Airframes updated (added Hurricane Z5617), Squadron service dates updated, Rank updated (now Pilot Officer)
Whitley Mk.V T4322 of No.58 Sqn RAF added to the airframes database.
SEARCH OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES

Dakota

Manufacturer : Douglas
Number Built :
Production Began : 1941
Retired : 1970
Type :

DOUGLAS DAKOTA, Transport aircraft with three crew and can carry 28 passengers. speed 230-mph, and a altitude of 23,200 feet. maximum range 2,100 miles. The Douglas Dakota served in all theatres of world war two, The Royal Air Force received its first Douglas Dakota's in April 1941, to 31 squadron which was serving in India. These were DC2, later DC3 and eventually C-47 Dakotas were supplied. The Douglas Dakota was developed from the civil airliner of the 1930's. The Royal Air Force received nearly 2,000 Dakotas, But many more than this served in the US Air Force and other allied countries. The last flight of a Douglas Dakota of the Royal Air Force was in 1970. You can still see Douglas Dakota's in operational and transport use across the world.

Dakota


Latest Dakota Artwork Releases !
 At 23.45 on the night of 5 June 1944, the 101st Airborne's most legendary unit of combat paratroopers – the notorious 'Filthy Thirteen' – jumped into France near the village of Sainte Mère Église, in the final hours before the D-Day landings.  They were the Screaming Eagles' most notorious unit, a small bunch of raw, tough, ruthless young men.  Hard drinking and savage fighting - and that was only in training - with scant regard for authority.  And if the reputation of this unique bunch of renegades within the ranks of the 101st was formidable, for the Germans it became one of sheer terror.  Officially they were the First Demolition Squadron, HQ Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne.  Unofficially they were the 'Filthy Thirteen'.  Superbly crafted in his unique blend of pencil and paint on tinted paper, Robert Taylor's classic new Master Drawing captures the moment on the night of 5 June 1944 when the 101st Airborne's legendary squad of elite paratroopers jump into battle in the vital hours before the D-Day landings commence.  The pilots of the 440th Troop Carrier Group struggle to keep their Dakotas level as deadly flak pummels the formation.
Day Drop - Stick 21 by Robert Taylor.
 At 3.30am on the 23rd June 1945, a Dakota of 357 (special duties) Squadron took off from Mingaladon airfield nr.  Rangoon , to travel the 600 miles, 300 of them behind enemy lines, to rescue a downed American Liberator crew deep in the jungles of   Siam  .  The Dakota was flown by pilot Fl Lt. Larry Lewis, who already held the DFM awarded to him for 33 ops as a rear gunner on   Wellingtons  in 1941. Two crews had already failed when Lewis was asked to attempt this hazardous mission. Flying between 5,000 - 6,000ft he flew over The Hump, a ridge of mountains running down the spine of   Burma  . Local villagers had cleared a rough airstrip 800yds long with Lewis finding it by the time dawn broke. With monsoon clouds gathering, the Liberator crew aboard and the Dakota sinking in the wet ground, he managed, just, to get airborne. Flying at zero feet and looking out for Japanese Zero fighters Lewis took a different course back. Although being fired on from the ground they managed to make it all the way to the airfield at Dum Dum nr.   Calcutta ,  India  . Lewis was awarded an immediate DFC. By the end of the war he had completed 63 ops, held the rank of Squadron Leader with his service from 1938-1945, and was awarded the Air Efficiency Medal.

Larry Lewis DFC by Graeme Lothian. (D)
 The Douglas C-47 Skytrain – or Dakota, as it was known in RAF service – saw extensive use both as a glider tug and troop transport throughout World War 2, most notably for delivering paratroops to their designated drop zones over Normandy in June 1944 and over Arnhem in September the same year, often in the face of extreme anti-aircraft fire and attacks from enemy fighters.  Here, C47s of the 81st Troop Carrier Squadron, 436th Troop Carrier Group drop paratroops above Holland as part of Operation Market Garden.

The Ubiquitous Dakota by Ivan Berryman.
 Dodging heavy flak and anti aircraft fire in the skies above Normandy, Douglas C-47s of the 91st Troop Carrier Squadron, 439th Troop Carrier Group see the 101st Airborne Division away on the night of 5th/6th June 1944 at the start of Operation Overlord.  D-Day had arrived.

Leap of Faith by Ivan Berryman.

Dakota Artwork Collection


D-Day The Airborne Assault by Robert Taylor.

Rare Pair of D-Day prints by Robert Taylor - Into Battle by Robert Taylor and Crash Landing by Robert Taylor.


A Bold Leap by John Young.


6th June 1944 (Dakotas) by Ivan Berryman.


101st Airborne en route to Normandy by Ivan Berryman.


Into the Unknown by Ivan Berryman.


Hell Below Us by Ivan Berryman.


Drop Zone Ahead by Ivan Berryman.


Leap of Faith by Ivan Berryman.


The Ubiquitous Dakota by Ivan Berryman.


Dakota Over Burma by Geoff Lea.


Arnhem by Simon Smith


Market Garden. Arnhem by Graeme Lothian.


Arnhem - September 17th 1944 by Graeme Lothian.


Larry Lewis DFC by Graeme Lothian.


Road to the Rhine by Robert Taylor.

Invasion Force by Nicolas Trudgian.

Perpetual Motion by Robert Tomlin.

Perpetual Motion II by Robert Tomlin.

Together we Stand by Philip West.

Day Drop - Stick 21 by Robert Taylor.


Dawn Drop by Geoff Lea.


Boarding Call by David Pentland.

C-46 Flying the Hump by Stan Stokes.


D-Day Invaders by Stan Stokes.


Arnhem Op Market Garden by Geoff Lea.


Dawn Departure, Arnhem by Geoff Lea.

Top Aces for : Dakota
A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.
NameVictoriesInfo
James Douglas Lindsay7.00The signature of James Douglas Lindsay features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Squadrons for : Dakota
A list of all squadrons from known to have used this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.
SquadronInfo

No.10 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st January 1915

Rem acu tangere - To hit the mark

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No.10 Sqn RAF

No.10 Sqn was formed on 1st January 1915 (from elements of No. 1 Reserve Squadron) moving to to St Omer, France in July 1915. The squadron flew BE2C's in August 1915 in the role of spotters for the Indian Corps during the Battle of Loos. During the Battle of Arras in April 1917 the squadron carried out some bombing sorties. After the First World war had ended No.10 squadron served in Germany before returning back the the UK and was disbanded in the winter of 1919. No.10 squadron was reformed in January 1928 as a heavy bomber squadron nad based at Upper Heyford. The squadron was equipped with Hyderabads, and over the following 10 eyars the squadron flew an assortment of bombers, including Hinaidis, Virginias and Heyfords. In January 1937, the Squadron was re equipped with Whitley bombers and moved to Dishforth. For the first few months of the Second World War, No. 10 Squadron carried out leaflet-dropping missions over Germany and in late 1941 was re equipped with the Halifax bomber. In May 1945, the squadron moved form Bomber Command to Transport Command and was re equipped with Dakotas. After the war the squadron was disbanded in 1947 only to be bought back into service for the Belrin Airlift in 1948 again flying the Dakota. Once the emergency was over the squadron again was disbanded. The squadron was again reformed during the 1950's and equipped with Canberras and was involved in operation during the Suez Crisis and during 1958 to 1964 the squadron was again re equipped with Victors based at Cottesmore. In July 1966 No.10 squadron were to be come the first squadron to be equipped with VC10s and since then were involved in air to air refuelling and tanker transport. The squadron was disbanded in October 2005 at Brize Norton, but reformed once again on 1st July 2011 flying Airbus Voyager aircraft.


Battle Honours of No 10 Squadron

Western Front 1915-1918
Loos, Somme 1916
Arras, Somme 1918
Channel and North Sea 1940-1945
Norway 1940
Ruhr 1940-1945
Fortress Europe 1940-1944
German Ports 1940-1945
Biscay Ports 1940-1945
Berlin 1940-1945
Invasion Ports 1940
France and Germany 1944-1945
Norway 1944
Rhine
Gulf 1991
Iraq 2003.


No.187 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st April 1918
Fate : Disbanded 2nd September 1957

Versatile

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No.187 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.216 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st April 1918

CCXVI dona ferens - 216 bearing gifts

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No.216 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.233 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 31st August 1918
Fate : Disbanded 31st January 1964

Fortis et fidelis - Strong and faithful

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No.233 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.238 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 20th August 1918
Fate : Disbanded 4th October 1948

Ad finem - To the end

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No.238 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.24 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st September 1915
Commonwealth

In omnia parati - Ready in all things

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No.24 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.240 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 20th August 1918
Fate : Disbanded 8th January 1963

Sjo-Vordur Lopt-Vordur - Guardian of the sea, guardian of the sky

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No.240 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.243 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : August 1918
Fate : Disbanded 15th April 1946

Swift in pursuit

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No.243 Sqn RAF

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No.271 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 27th September 1918
Fate : Disbanded 1st December 1946

Death and life

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No.271 Sqn RAF

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No.30 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 24th March 1915

Ventre a terre - All out

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No.30 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.31 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 11th October 1915

In caelum indicum primus - First into Indian skies

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No.31 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.357 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st February 1944
Fate : Disbanded 15th November 1945
(Special Duties)

Mortem hostibus - We bring death to the enemy

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No.357 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.436 Sqn RCAF

Country : Canada
Founded : 20th August 1944
Fate : Disbanded 30th June 1946
Elephant

Onus portamus - We carry the load

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No.436 Sqn RCAF

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No.437 Sqn RCAF

Country : Canada
Founded : 1st September 1944
Fate : Disbanded 16th June 1946

Omnia passim - Anything anywhere

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No.437 Sqn RCAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.46 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 19th April 1916
Fate : Disbanded 31st August 1975.
Uganda

We rise to conquer

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No.46 Sqn RAF

No. 46 Squadron was formed on the 19th April 1916 and based at RAF Wyton base. In October 1916, 46 Squadron moved to France and was equipped with the two seater Nieuport. 46 Squadrons role was artillery spotting and reconnaissance until May 1917 when 46 squadron were re equipped with the fighter the Sopwith Pup. 46 Squadron operated as part of the 11th Army Wing, and saw many engagements with the enemy. Returning to England and based at Sutton's Farm, Essex, the squadron took part in the defence of London, in July 1917. London had been bombed several times by German Gotha Bombers but after 46 Squadrons patrols no enemy aircraft managed to bomb London in their area. Later 46 squadorn returned to France at the end of August 1917 and in November the squadorn was re equipped with the Sopwith Camel and participated in the Battle of Cambrai protecting the ground troops. In November 1917, Lieutenant (later Major) Donald Maclaren joined 46 Squadron. His first dogfight was not until February 1918, but in the last 9 months of the war Donald Maclaren was credited with shooting down 48 aeroplanes and six balloons, making him one of the top aces of World War I. By November 1918, 46 Squadron had claimed 184 air victories, creating 16 aces. After the First World War had ended the squadorn returned to England and was disbanded on the 31st of December 1919. The outbreak of war found 46 Squadron at RAF Digby, equipped with Hawker Hurricanes. Action with the enemy came quickly when, at the end of October 1939, Squadron Leader Barwell and Pilot Officer Plummer attacked a formation of 12 Heinkel 115s, destroying one each, and scattering the remainder. The next six months were uneventful, consisting in the main of providing air cover for the shipping convoys steaming along the East Coast - a few enemy aircraft were sighted but no contacts were made. In May 1940, the squadron was selected to form part of the Expeditionary Force in Norway, which had been invaded by the Germans on 9th April. The Hurricanes were embarked on HMS Glorious and, despite doubts that a Hurricane could take off from a carrier flight deck in a flat calm, they all took to the air without difficulty, thanks to the efforts of the ship's engineers, who managed to get the Glorious up to a speed of 30 knots. No.46 Squadron assembled at Bardufoss and began operation on 26 May. Patrols were maintained over the land and naval forces at Narvik without respite, some of the pilots going without sleep for more than 48 hours. Conditions on the ground were very basic with poor runways and primitive servicing and repair facilities. Many air combats took place, and in its brief campaign in Norway the squadron accounted for at least 14 enemy aircraft, besides probably destroying many others. On 7th June the squadron was ordered to evacuate Norway immediately and, on the night of 7th through 8th June, the Hurricanes were successfully flown back to Glorious — a dangerous procedure as none of the aircraft were fitted with deck arrester hooks. The ground parties embarked on HMS Vindictive and SS Monarch of Bermuda and reached the UK safely, but the squadron's aircraft and eight of its pilots were lost when Glorious was sunk by German warships on 9th June 1940. The two pilots who survived were the Squadron Commander, Squadron Leader (later Air Chief Marshal) Bing Cross, and the Flight Commander, Flight Lieutenant (later Air Commodore) Jamie Jameson.

No.48 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th April 1916
Fate : Disbanded 7th January 1976

Forte et fidele

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No.48 Sqn RAF

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No.512 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 18th June 1943
Fate : Disbanded 14th March 1946

Pegasus militans - Pegasus at war

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No.512 Sqn RAF

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No.52 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th May 1916
Fate : Disbanded 31st December 1969

Sudore quam sanguine - Through sweat other than through blood

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No.52 Sqn RAF

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No.525 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 2nd September 1943
Fate : Disbanded 1st December 1945

Vinciendo vincimus - We link together to conquer

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No.525 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.53 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th May 1916
Fate : Disbanded 14th September 1976

United in effort

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No.53 Sqn RAF

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No.575 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st February 1944
Fate : Disbanded 15th August 1946

The air is our path

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No.575 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.76 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th September 1916
Fate : Disbanded 31st December 1960

Resolute

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No.76 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.77 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st October 1916
Fate : Disbanded 10th July 1963

Ease potius quam videri - To be, rather than seen

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No.77 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.78 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st November 1916

Nemo non paratus - Nobody unprepared

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No.78 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.96 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 8th October 1917
Fate : Disbanded 21st January 1959

Nocturni obambulamus - We prowl by night

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No.96 Sqn RAF

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Signatures for : Dakota
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking their name.
NameInfo

Clifford Barraclouth
Click the name above to see prints signed by Clifford Barraclouth
Clifford Barraclouth

Clifford R Barraclough received his pilots license in 1940, and a commerical rating a year later at Bettis Field in Pittsburgh. In 1943 Clifford was hired by All American Aviation - later to become Allegheny Airlines - as an instrument instructor based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Shortly thereafter Barraclough joined the US Army Air Corps, and was stationed at New Castle Army Air Base as a service pilot for the Ferry Command. Initially stationed in Nashville and later Reno, Barraclough was reassigned to Misamar, India in early 1945. For the balance of the war Clifford flew the Hump in the C-46 from India to Kunming, China. In 1946 Barraclough was recalled by All American Aviation, and flew SR-10s and Beech D18-Cs for air mail pick-up. All American then entered the passenger business flying DC-3s, and changed its name to Allegheny - later to become part of US Air. Barraclough remained with the airline until his retirement in 1977. He captained a number of aircraft including Convair 340s, 440s, 540s and 580s. Also, on September 1st 1966, Clifford piloted Alleghenys first scheduled jet flight in a DC-9.



Flight Lieutenant Bernard W Brown
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Bernard W Brown
Flight Lieutenant Bernard W Brown

Flight Lieutenant Bernard Walter Brown was accepted for a short service commission in 1938, and after being accepted arrived in England in September, training at 5 E&RFTS, Hanworth and in late January 1939 he was posted to 5FTS, Sealand. He then went to No 1 School of Army Co-Operation at Old Sarum for a course on Lysanders in August 1939, and soon after joined 613 Squadron. Bernard Walker Brown was flying one of six Hectors detailed to dive-bomb gun emplacements near Calais. On the way to the target, he test-fired his forward gun but a fault caused the muzzle attachment to fly off, penetrate the fuselage and hole the main fuel tank. He jettisoned his bombs and turned back and make a forced-landing. In August 1940 he volunteered for Fighter Command, converting to Spitfires. He joined 610 Squadron at Biggin Hill. In late September he went to 72 Squadron, but on the 23rd was shot down by a Bf 109. He bailed out of the aircraft, badly wounded. Returning to active duty in November 1940, he was posted to 8FTS, Montrose for an instructor's course, after which he went to Rhodesia, subsequently instructing at Cumalo. In 1943, he trained with Transport Command, becoming a ferry pilot. He flew between the United Kingdom and the Middle East. He transferred to the RNZAF in January 1944 and by the end of the year was flying Halifaxes. He was released in 1945 to fly Dakotas with BOAC and later joined BEA, flying with the airline until his retirement in 1972.



Flight Lieutenant E Carlisle-Brown AE
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant E Carlisle-Brown AE
Flight Lieutenant E Carlisle-Brown AE

As a Pilot with 39 Squadron he flew Beauforts during the siege of Malta, and he later flew a Dakota over Normandy on D Day, and finished with 271 Squadron flying Dakotas in Burma.



Flying Officer Don Carruthers
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Flying Officer Don Carruthers

Joining the RAF in 1941 he trained as a wireless operator and completed his ops training at Lossiemouth on Wellingtons where he formed up with a crew that was to stay together for his entire operational career in Bomber Command. In 1943 he was posted to 466 squadron at Leconfield on Wellingtons before converting to the Halifax. He and his crew volunteered for the Pathfinder Force and joined 35 squadron on Halifax's and then Lancasters. In 1945 having completed a total of 63 operations he moved to Transport Command flying Dakotas in India with 238 squadron and then Calcutta with 52 squadron. He left the RAF in 1946.



Lt Col John W Dalton
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Lt Col John W Dalton

Royal Air Force Dakota pilot participated in the Berlin Airlift and later commander 54 Air Refueling Squadron (AETC) from 29th Jun 1987 to 18th July 1989.



Colonel Richard Dick Denison
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Colonel Richard Dick Denison

Navigator Dick Denison's first combat missions were flown during the D-Day invasion, flying C47s towing gliders into the Normandy bridgehead, and making casualty evacuations. He transferred to the 552nd Squadron, 386th Bomb Group flying the Martin B26 Marauder, before converting over to the Douglas A26 Invader. Dick completed a total of 40 combat missions during his tour.



Staff Sergeant Mike Hall
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Staff Sergeant Mike Hall

Called up in 1939 to The Rifle regiment transferring to Glider Pilot Regiment in March 1942. Returning to the UK Mike was a reserve for D-Day but took a glider into Arnhem on the first lift. Returning by boat across the river after a week's hard fighting in the Oosterbeek perimeter, he was posted to India initially flying Waco gliders before becoming a second pilot on Dakotas.



Leading Aircraftsman Alan Hartley
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Leading Aircraftsman Alan Hartley

As a flight mechanic with 271 Squadron he worked on Dakotas and he and his fellow ground crew worked tirelessly throughout the Normandy, Arnhem and Rhine crossing campaigns. Earmarked for aircrew he missed his initial operation at Arnhem, during which his aircraft was shot down and lost with all crew.



Colonel Sid Harwell
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Colonel Sid Harwell

Col Sid Harwell. C-47 pilot who had more combat experience than most C-47 pilots, and participated in the Airborne assault during D-day.



Sergeant Leopold Heimes
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2009Died : 2009
Sergeant Leopold Heimes

Already in the Belgian Air Force, he moved to 235 Sqn Coastal Command as an Air Gunner on Blenheims during the Battle of Britain before becoming a pilot, flying Spitfires and Catalinas with 350 Sqn before converting to 76 Sqn on Dakotas in India. Heimes stayed in the RAF until September 1951 having been gazetted as a Master Pilot. Sadly, Leopold Heimes died in 2009.




Flt. Lt. Ronald Homes DFC
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flt. Lt. Ronald Homes DFC
Flt. Lt. Ronald Homes DFC

Joined the RAF in March 1942 and after initial training, went to Terrell, Texas, USA for his flying training, where he gained his wings in May 1943. He returned to the UK and joined the Special Operations No. 101 Sqdn. in May 1944, going on to complete 32 Ops. over Europe. After his bombing tour he converted onto Dakotas, joined No. 238 Sqdn. and flew out to India and Burma, then on to Australia and the South Pacific. After the Japanese surrender he joined 1315 Flight and flew up to Japan with the occupation forces.



Flt Lt Bernard Hyde
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Flt Lt Bernard Hyde

No.271 Sqn, RAF Down Ampney. As a second Pilot he flew Dakotas during 1944 to 1945 in Burma on many special operations.



Kenneth Keisel
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Kenneth Keisel

Kenneth G Keisel enlisted in the United States Army Air Corp in January of 1942. In March of 1943 he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer at Luke Field, Arizona. Keiel was assigned to the Air Transport Command and sent off to Chabua, Assam, India. Ken would complete ninety-seven round trips over the Hump, flying the venerable C-46. Because of the difficult terrain and unpredictable weather these trips were challenging and often dangerous. Keisel flew to numerous airfields in China delivering much needed medical, food, and other supplies needed to assist in the war effort against Japan. Keisel received the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Air Medals, the Chinese War Memorial Medal, and his Chinese Pilot Wings. In 1945 Ken ferried fighter aircraft back to the states, before his discharge on 4th December 1945. Ken served several years as the Flight Leader for the 107th Bomb Squadron of the Michigan Air National Guard. Between 1948 and 1991 Ken remained involved in flying primarily as a corporate pilot, but he also served as a research test pilot for the University of Michigan in the mid 1950s. Ken has logged many hours flying Gulfstream 2s and 3s, Lockheed Jetstar, Hawker 125s and Handley Page Jetstreams.



Pilot Officer Bill Leckie, AEM, KW
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Pilot Officer Bill Leckie, AEM, KW

Bill Leckie was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 23rd June 1921, joined the Royal Air Force in June 1941 and went to St Johns Wood on the 15th of September 1941. Bill Leckie started his flying training on the 4th of April 1942 at Stoke Orchard near Cheltenham in Tiger Moths. He went to Canada on the 26th of May 1942 at Monkton for further training until June before going on to Detroit and on to Pensacola, Florida on the 1st October 1942, flying Stearman and Catalina Flying boats until 31st March 1943 when Bill went to Prince Edward Island for further training. Back in the UK, Bill was expecting to join a Coastal Command squadron flying Catalinas but was transferred to Bomber Command and a conversion course on to Whitleys at Kinloss Scotland on the 22nd of February 1944, and joined 77 Squadron at Full Sutton on the 19th July 1944 on Halifaxes, flying 6 bombing missions, one being the bombing of the Flying Bomb Factory at Russesheim, before transferring to 148 Special Duties squadron on the 19th of August 1944 and going to Brindisi. Pilot Officer Bill Leckie was involved in the dropping of supplies (guns, ammunition and food) to the Polish during the Warsaw uprising. This was a costly mission and many aircraft were lost. (Bill was flying Halifax JD319 (FS - G). For his efforts in air-dropping supplies during this period, Bill Leckie was awarded the Polish Cross of Valour (KW). Pilot Officer Bill Leckie was also the Pilot for Operation Ebensburg on Sunday 8th April 1945. Halifax B.II Series 1 (Special) JP254 of 148 Special Duties Squadron carried out the misison to drop four SOE agents and their equipment near Alt Aussee salt mine in the Austrian Alps. Thier mission was to secure and protect 6,755 items of the worlds greatest works of art that had been looted and stored by the Germans as they swept across Europe. With the allied forces closing in, the Germans had planned to blow up the entire store to prevent the artworks from falling into the hands of the liberators. Once on the ground, the four agents linked up with local resistance fighters and the mine and its valuable contents were eventually secured, the explosives made safe and the entire cache taken into the safe keeping of the 80th US Infantry Division as the German occupation of Europe crumbled. Bill Leckie stayed with 148 Squadron until 18th May 1945 when he was posted to Cairo with 216 Squadron (Dakotas) of Transport Command and on 1st January 1946 to 78 Squadron flying Dakotas again until 1st June 1946 , finally leaving the RAF on the 18th September 1946.



Warrant Officer Edward Leslie
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Warrant Officer Edward Leslie

As a Pilot, Edward joined 48 Squadron at Down Ampney on Dakotas. He towed a glider on the second day at Arnhem and completed two further Operations doing supply drops. He also took part in the Rhine crossing before being transferred to 52 Squadron out in Burma.



Wing Commander James Lindsay DFC
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2009Ace : 7.00 Victories
Wing Commander James Lindsay DFC

Born in September 1922, James Doug Lindsay joined the RCAF in February 1941, training on Harvards. He was posted to the UK, arriving in March 1943 and joining 403 Sqn in October that year. In his first tour, he claimed 5 Me109s as well as 2 Fw190s, plus another damaged. Of the Me109s he shot down, three of these were in a single minute, earning him a DFC. For his second tour, he rejoined 403 Sqn in April 1945, claiming a probable Fw190 during his short time with this squadron before he moved to 416 squadron until the end of the war in Europe. After the war he stayed with the air force, and in 1952 served during the Korean war with the USAF. He flew F-86 Sabres with the 39th Fighter Squadron of the 51st Fighter Wing, claiming victories over two MiG-15s and damaging 3 others. In 1953, he returned to the UK with No.1 Fighter Wing leading Sabres in formation at the Queen's Coronation. He retired in 1972, having flown more than 30 different types of aircraft (excluding different Mks). These included, Harvard, Anson, Master, Spitfire, Typhoon, Tempest, Hurricane, Mustang, Beaufort, Beaufighter, Oxford, Dakota, Tiger Moth, Vampire and Sabre.




Flight Lieutenant James F Manning
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant James F Manning
Flight Lieutenant James F Manning

Flew Dakotas with No.30 Sqn during the Berlin Airlift.



Ken Moon
Click the name above to see prints signed by Ken Moon
Ken Moon

Flew Dakota 214 of No.96 Squadron on December 8th 1945. Here are Ken's own recollections of his time with the Dakota : I volunteered for aircrew towards the end of 1942 and was called up in January 1943. I trained in Canada and qualified as a Navigator early in 1944 and was posted to the Far East early in 1945 and to 96 Squadron in August 1945. We flew Dakota aircraft operating in Burma on many sorties in support of the 14th Army who were fighting against the Japanese. Supplies and personnel were flown in and the return trip often included casualties. At the end of the month we were recalled to Bilaspur in India and were told that we were to take part in an airborne operation on Penang halfway down the coast of Malaya. I had done all the flight planning for this operation and two days later we were called to attend what we thought was the final briefing. Imagine our surprise when it was announced that it had been called off because the Americans had dropped atom bombs on the Japanese mainland resulting in a complete surrender. We were told that the following day we would go back into Burma and be based at Hmawbi some thirty miles north of Rangoon and take part in flying out the ex prisoners of war who had been in captivity for some three and a half years and had suffered extreme hardships and brutality. We lived under canvas for the next few months and when this job was completed our crew were fortunate to be posted to Kaitak, Hong Kong, mainly to fly for the British Embassy, which was being moved from Chunking, which was the wartime capital of China, to Nanking, which was to be the future peacetime capital. (Of course this did not take place because the communists took over and Peking, now known as Beijing, became the new capital) During this time we flew a wide variety of cargoes including passengers such as Kings Messengers and the occassional VIP as well as troops, military personnel, casualties and ex pows. We carried diplomatic mail, jeeps, aero engines and tyres, ammunition, aviation fuel, food and rations, medical personnel, and a great deal of mixed freight. The Dakota was a truly wonderful aircraft and was wel liked by all its crews. It was said that General Eisenhower when listing the foru weapons which did most to win the war included the jeep and the Douglas Dakota. To quote an unnamed pilot - You might wreck a Dakota, but you will never wear it out. After nearly a quarter of a century of faithful service it was retired from the RAF in April 1970. The crew I usually flew with consisted of the following : Pilot - Flt Sgt Ridley, Navigator - (myself) Flt Sgt Moon, Radio Operator - Flt Sgt Robson. All were later promoted to Warrant Officer. Also 2nd Pilot Sgt Bamber or Sgt Gough. At the end of 1946 I was demobbed and returned home realising how fortunate I was having had such experiences - sometimes dangerous, sometimes exciting but always interesting.

Flying Log Book entry of Ken Moon, showing his flights in Dakota 214



Flight Lieutenant John Rollins DFC AFC
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant John Rollins DFC AFC
Flight Lieutenant John Rollins DFC AFC

After joining the RAF in 1940 he was called up in early 1941 and entered OTU where he qualified as an observer and was then posted operationally to 466 Sqn at Leconfield on Wellingtons. At the end of 1942 he joined 35 Sqn as a Navigator at Gravely as part of the Pathfinder Force, initially on the Halifax and later converting to Lancasters. He remained with the Pathfinders until 1944 when he was posted to Stoney Cross to convert back to Wellington 1C's as a way of becoming reacquainted with two engined aircraft. he spent the remainder of the war flying Dakotas in the Far East and left the RAF in mid 1946.



Flight Lieutenant Robert Souter
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Robert Souter
Flight Lieutenant Robert Souter

Robert Souter joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in February 1941, and after training was posted in 1942 to the Middle East, joining No.108 Squadron then flying Wellingtons. He first flew operationally in June of that year, in the Western Desert campaign, and the last operation of his first tour was in Nov 1942 with the battle of El Alamein. After a period with No.26 OTUWing, Robert undertook a second tour - this time flying Lancasters with No.49 Squadron, up to the end of the war. He had completed a total of 47 operations by that time. After the war he flew Dakotas and Liberators with RAF Transport Command.



Squadron Leader F. Stillwell
Click the name above to see prints signed by Squadron Leader F. Stillwell
Squadron Leader F. Stillwell

Enlisted in 1943 Trained in America and the Isle of Man. Posted to 238 Squadron flying Dakotas from Abingdon. Detached to Vienna flying the Balkan routes before returning to the UK to join 30 Squadron to take part in the Berlin Airlift. Flew a total of 266 trips during Operation Plainfare again from Buckeburg, Wunstorf and Lübek. Went on to various postings in the UK and around the world including flying VIPs out of Changi and being O/C 115 Squadron flying the Varsity out of RAF Northolt. Retired from the RAF in 1974.



Pilot Officer Jim Weston
Click the name above to see prints signed by Pilot Officer Jim Weston
Pilot Officer Jim Weston

Jim Weston originally joined the RAF in 1941 and on completion of training was sent as a pilot with 23 Squadron at Little Snoring. Flying Intruder flights their job was to taget German night fighters over North West Europe. After the war, as a pilot on Dakotas, Jim took part in the Berlin air lift.


Aviation History Timeline : 24th November
DAYMONTHYEARDETAILS
24November1940British Battle of Britain pilot, Sgt. P. R. Smith of 236 Squadron, was Killed.
24November1940Hauptmann Hermann Kühl of 2./Kampfgeschwader 4 was awarded the Knight's Cross
24November1940Hauptmann Joachim Helbig of 4. (K)/Lehrgeschwader 1 was awarded the Knight's Cross
24November1940Hauptmann Robert Kowalewski of Stabsstaffel/X. Fliegerkorps was awarded the Knight's Cross
24November1940Oberleutnant Gerhard Richter of 9.(K)/Lehrgeschwader 1 was awarded the Knight's Cross
24November1940Oberleutnant Otto Hintze of 3./Ergänzungs-Gruppe 210 was awarded the Knight's Cross
24November1940Oberleutnant Sigmar-Ulrich Freiherr von Gravenreuth of 1./Kampfgeschwader 30 was awarded the Knight's Cross
24November1940Oberst Günter Schwartzkopff of Sturzkampfgeschwader 77 was awarded the Knight's Cross
24November1942Guido Masiero, a WW1 Ace with 5.00 victories, died on this day
24November1944Hauptmann Hans Ketscher of 1. (F)/Aufklärungs-Gruppe 121 was awarded the Knight's Cross
24November1966P Huskinson, a WW1 Ace with 12.00 victories, died on this day
24November1985Hilbert Bair, a WW1 Ace with 5.00 victories, died on this day

 

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