172 Squadron, Wing Comm. Rowland G Musson

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by flyingshottsman, May 30, 2015.

  1. flyingshottsman

    flyingshottsman Junior Member

    My Genealogy research just keeps turning up more R.A.F. connections, this is No. 20.
    Any details would be appreciated On Wing Commander Rowland Gascoigne MUSSON, died 24th Aug. 1943. I know 172 Sq. was with Coastal Command, was there some kind of action over the Channel on this date.

  2. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Pilot of Wellington MP624, crashed just after take off for patrol.

  3. flyingshottsman

    flyingshottsman Junior Member

    Thanks Ross,
    Any details on crew?
  4. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Yes but for some time now I cannot cut and paste into the forum by any means.

    You can find them by downloading the two sections Form 540/Form 541 for the month from the ORB at The National Archives web site and/or Geoff's Wonderful Search Engine.

  5. Musson

    Musson New Member

    I just came across this interesting WW2Talk forum. My father was Wing Commander Rowland Cascoigne Musson and was the CO at the RAF Coastal Command base at Chivenor in North Devon in 1943. My father was killed on 24 August 1943 when I was 2+ years old and I have no memories of him. I have managed to find out a limited amount of details about his career as a regular in the RAF, both before and during the war, and would certainly be interested in any additional information you may have about him.

    Andrew Musson
  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Hello Andrew
    do you have your Fathers service records
    link below

    002 MUSSON RG 34129 172 SQDN 24/08/1943 ROYAL AIR FORCE
    004 TODD B 1135127 172 SQDN 24/08/1943 ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE
    005 WALKER JS 614848 172 SQDN 24/08/1943 ROYAL AIR FORCE





    172 RAF SQDN



    edit:added casualty

  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    No172 Squadron...a war duration Coastal Command squadron ....sole type on charge...the Wellington ....could be a loss on detachment to Lagens or Gib....looks like the entire crew of 5 was lost (from post #6).The CWGC database should provide more information relating to the crew designations.

    As an aside .....Chivenor what a lovely posting,now a RM depot....had a good look at the place as far as possible a couple of years ago.

    Chivenor was the airfield where a German aircraft dropped in at dawn after a patrol thinking that he was in France...due to the alertness of those on duty,the aircraft and crew went into the bag....some might be be able to given a more informative account of this.
  8. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    W/C Musson is interred at Heanton Punchardon which is just east of Chivenor across the A36 from the airfield...Chivenor incident.
  9. Musson

    Musson New Member

    Thank you for the MOD site address for service records information which I will follow up on.

    The 6th member of my father's Wellington crew was Flight Lieutenant Leslie Herbert Burden, RCAF J/10166 who died on 25 August 1943 and is buried in the Heanton Punchardon (St. Augustine) Churchyard near Chivenor and next to my father.
  10. mooog1

    mooog1 Member

    Good evening. Myself and a local historian called Rob Palmer, have been researching the history of Chivenor in wartime and have been looking into local crashes in North Devon, where I live, We live locally.
    We have been looking into some crashes and putting relatives of crews together of some already.

    This one was on our radar at some stage to do but would be very happy to talk to Andrew Musson as know a bit about what happened
  11. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    It would appear that Heanton Punchardon was used extensively for RAF burials from Chivenor. Some airfields used a local cemetery,the exception to this arrangement was the Polish Air Force which from East Midlands airfields, the dead were interred at Newark.

    Scampton vilage has a large plot dedicated to those who fell during the war and also those who were killed or died in service postwar.Two Luftwaffe crews are also interred here, who for some reason were not reinterred at Cannock in 1961...graves well cared for under the direction of the CWGC.

    For those who fell in Great Britain,the NOK determined the burial location........Looking at W/C Musson's crew list, three NOK choose to have their kin interred at Heanton Punchardon. Others choose the right to take their kin home for burial (or as the case might be at a burial location associated with the casualty, such as the home address of a fiancée.)

    Presently on detachment in North Devon and will be paying my respects to W/C Musson and those of the Allied air forces who lie in Heanton Punchardon.

    Per Ardua ad Astra.

    Moooga1,Welcome to the ww2 Forum.I am sure you can contribute much about the history relating to air operations over North Devon.

    It would be interesting to see a resume of your work into North Devon air crashes.
  12. mooog1

    mooog1 Member

    Thanks Harry, I have sent you PM
  13. snailer

    snailer Country Member

    Sorry to have missed this thread first time round, your father is referred to as ‘George’ Musson a couple of times previous to this excerpt, when the author is reminiscing about his time at Heliopolis in 1936.

    "R.G. Musson was an outstanding cricketer and an amusing and highly dedicated officer. He became a star navigation specialist and for 30 minutes held the world long distance flight record, navigating a Vickers Wellesley of the RAF Long Distance Flight non-stop for over 6,000 miles from Ismailia to Australia in 1937 until his tanks ran dry. A second Wellesley of the Flight, piloted by Squadron Leader Dick Kellett and guided by another pilot navigation specialist, Flight Lieutenant ’Nick’ R.T. Gething, was able to reach Darwin before their fuel ran out.
    George finally bought it when in command of No 172 Leigh Light Wellington squadron at Chivenor in 1945
    (sic). He inexplicably flew into telegraph wires in low cloud on the cliffs above Clovelly, a few minutes after taking off at night to attack U-Boats in the Atlantic, having carefully warned all the crews who preceded him to fly out well beyond Harland Point before turning towards the Scillies. His death was a very bad loss to the service”.

    p106 “Man is Not Lost” by Group Captain Dickie Richardson (Airlife Publishing)

    Harry Ree and CL1 like this.
  14. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Hopefully, "Musson" sees this.

    The first selection of documents are the RAF Proceedings of Court of Inquiry or Investigation.



    Attached Files:

    Harry Ree, CL1 and Tricky Dicky like this.
  15. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    The second set is a highly detailed report by the Devonshire Constabulary.



    Attached Files:

  16. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Thanks for posting Alien Eyes.

    A comprehensive report and very interesting as all Courts of Inquiry are, whether they be military or civilian.As with this type of accident the Court of Inquiry would be convened to establish if the loss of the Wellington and deaths of its crew was due to system failure or human error.

    Looking through the report,W/C was unlucky insofar as the report states that the Wellington.had it been just 10 feet higher would have cleared the telephone lines....a note added that it was surprising that a pilot of such experience could make such an error.

    There was also the instruction to recover the aircraft's three compasses,.....I would think to ascertain if the compasses were in error.....one is recorded as being found.....no further note on the untraced two others.

    A recommendation that cross country flying height at Clovelly should be at a minimum of 1500 feet.

    I notice that the electrical supply and telephone facilities were restored in a relatively quick time.
  17. Derek Rodda

    Derek Rodda New Member

    I am fascinated by these postings, my father, Sam Rodda, was the second pilot on MP624. I was born 5 months after he was killed. My mother knew nothing of where the crash took place or any detail until 25 years ago when Harry Clement, a retired Metropolitan Police officer, organised a memorial service. A gentleman called Graham Moore is currently trying to organise a 75 year memorial.
    mooog1 likes this.
  18. Michael Hoffmann

    Michael Hoffmann New Member

    Good afternoon Gentlemen I am trying to track down information about my Uncle who was an Australian flying with 172Sqn during WW2.
    He was a FLTSGT Owen Ernest Currel Hoffmann
    Service No:409920
    KIA DEC 1943
    His aircraft took off on the 5th of December 1943 and they were shoot down either on the 5th or 6th of December 1943.
    Mike Hoffmann
  19. dp_burke

    dp_burke Junior Member

    Search the collection – National Archives of Australia, Australian Government

    Click on "Record search"
    his casualty file while sadly not scanned indicates he was lost on

    BARRETT Alwyn Walter Beves - (Flight Sergeant); Service Number - 421233; File type - Casualty - Repatriation; Aircraft - Wellington HE 141; Place - At sea; Date - 6 December 1943
    IN addition the following were also mentioned in the report, most likely his crew mates
    Descriptive note
    In addition to the file subject, the following servicemen are mentioned in this record:

    KIDSON A C – (Warrant Officer); Service Number – 408684

    HOFFMAN C E – (Flight Sergeant); Service Number – 409920

    CROFT – (Sergeant); Service Number – RAF 1488396

    VEITH – (Sergeant); Service Number – RAF 1316692

    COLLEY – (Sergeant); Service Number – RAF 1426533

    You will need to check CWGC.org too see if they all died.

    You can probably access that file if you live in Australia. it used to be cheap to get them scanned, seems to be not the case any more.
  20. Michael Hoffmann

    Michael Hoffmann New Member

    Thank you so much for this. I note they have him as C E Hoffman with one "N" not O E C Hoffmann.
    This will make my father very happy.
    Yours Aye
    Michael Hoffmann

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