270 Sqd Coastal Command West Africa 1944

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by drailton, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. drailton

    drailton Senior Member

    I am interested in making contact with anyone who can tell me anything about 270 Squadron Coastal Command in West Africa in 1944. My father, Edward Railton, was a WOP/AG on Sunderlands Mk III with the Squadron. The crew of his aircraft were: Skipper/1st pilot Fg Off Weskett, 2nd pilot Fg Off Brigdon, Nav Flt Lt Martin, Eng F/Sgt Karren, AG F/Sgt Searle, WOM/AG Sgt Coate, FME Sgt Kirkwood, 1st WOP/AG Sgt Mennel, AG Sgt Mack, 2nd WOP/AG Sgt E Railton. I am also interested to hear from anyone who knows anything about any of these people or any other members of 270 at that time.
  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member


    You probably have all this but I'll post it just in case......

    No.270 squadron

    Reformed 12 November 1942 at Jui with the Catalina IB (until April 1944) detachments at Bathurst, Fisherman's Lake. 23 July 1943 to Apapa with detachments at Jui, Abidjan, Libreville. December 1943 Sunderland III. Disbanded 30 June 1945.

    'RAF Squadrons' - Jefford

    Attached Files:

  3. drailton

    drailton Senior Member

    Thanks Peter. I have that sort of information. I am looking for two things: firstly contact with people who were there at the time or people who know of others first hand experiences and secondly detailed information about the squadrons activities. Examples of the detailed information I am interested in include reconnaisance of German U-Boat activity at Fernando Po and operations against Vichy in West Africa in 1944. Now I know that Vichy were supposedly cleared from the area by then but I have half remembered stories from my father that suggest otherwise.
  4. dewilloyd

    dewilloyd Junior Member


    my father served with 270 on Sunderlands based at Apapa from 1943 to 1945 as an airgunner. I know he has some photographs so I'll have a chat with him and see what I can dig up. I do know that he is keen to find out what has happened to members of the squadron.
  5. PaulCo

    PaulCo Junior Member


    I'm trying to get more information on my Great Uncle, Francis McPhee who was a Flt/Sgt with 270 Squadron RAFVR. I do know that he was shot down off Cape St Vincent on route from Pembroke Dock to Jui in Gambia on the 18th December 1943. I also know that there were in effect 2 crews on board and in total 19 lives were lost when the aircraft was shot down.

    Has anyone any other information? Does anyone have any records? I have attached a photo of my Uncle's crew

    Attached Files:

  6. drailton

    drailton Senior Member


    My father was in one of the other 270 Squadron Sunderlands that flew out from Pembroke Dock to West Africa at the same time as your great uncle. His log book for the 17.12.43 refers to 'DW106 shot down four hours from Gibralter'. Contact me directly at: railton.david@btinternet.com and I will send you a file giving details of all those who lost their lives.
  7. Grant R

    Grant R Junior Member

    Hi there, Just thought I would let you know I have a friend who was a second pilot on Sunderlands in 270 Squadron. I have printed off some of your posts but he doesn't recognise any of the names or remember any of the incidents. He says most of the crews tended to stick to themselves. I would suggest he arrived as your father was leaving as he got to West Africa toward the end of 1944. If you have any questions you want me to ask him, fire them through.
  8. Steveking

    Steveking Junior Member

    Hi all
    My grandfather was a flight engineer on the short sunderland with 270 Sqn. He was posted to Jui Sierra Leone in 06/43. He remained there until the end of the war. His name was Reginal William Garland. I would like to know if anyone can tell me who his crew was?

    Thanks all
  9. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    You probably have this information off forum however for everyone else who may be interested, this is the crew list on DW106. Those below in black are supposedly the passengers.



    NAA: A705, 166/7/272
    Aircraft Type: Sunderland
    Serial number: DW 106
    Radio call sign:
    Unit: 270 Sqn RAF


    Sunderland DW 106 of 270 Sqn RAF took off at 2345 hours on 18 December 1943 in
    transit flight from RAF Station Pembroke Dock, failed to arrive at Gibraltar.
    It was reported that a distress IFF signal was picked up 30 miles off Cape St Vincent by
    Sunderland EK 589 which was following DW 106. this being the only information re
    possible location of the missing aircraft. A thorough search of the area failed to locate the
    aircraft or crew.


    RAF Flt Lt Wood, J E, Captain (Pilot)
    RCAF FO Hanna, N E (Pilot)
    RAAF 411629 PO Chapman, N P (Navigator/Bombaimer)
    RAF Flt Sgt. Brown, F E J (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
    RAF FO Jay, E J (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
    RAF Flt Sgt McPhee, P (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
    RAF PO Crump, R R T (Flight Engineer)
    RAF Flt Sgt Botting, K P (F E/Air Gunner)
    RAAF 409883 Flt Sgt Barber, C A M (Air Gunner)

    CRUMP, REGINALD ROBERT TERANCE Flying Officer 143797 18/12/1943 24 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 124. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    CRYER, WILLIAM HENRY Sergeant 1313475 18/12/1943
    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 146. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    BARBER, CHARLES ALBERT MARK Flight Sergeant 409883 18/12/1943 28 Royal Australian Air Force Australian Panel 192. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    CHAPMAN, NEIL PROCTER Pilot Officer 411629 18/12/1943 23 Royal Australian Air Force Australian Panel 190. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    McPHEE, FRANCIS Flight Sergeant 1009818 18/12/1943
    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 138. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    ELDERFIELD, RAYMOND JOHN Flying Officer 124315 18/12/1943 26 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 124. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    BROWN, FREDERIC RAYMOND Warrant Officer 935941 18/12/1943 27 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 134. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    WOOD, JOHN ERIC Flight Lieutenant 132329 18/12/1943 22 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 122. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    BOTTING, ERIC PIGGOTT Flight Sergeant 921409 18/12/1943 24 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 135. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    SPARKES, VERNON MAURICE Flying Officer 129285 18/12/1943 25 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 129. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    THOMPSON, HENRY LEONARD Sergeant 1285255 18/12/1943 23 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 167. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    HANNA, NORMAN EDMOND Flying Officer J/14348 18/12/1943 22 Royal Canadian Air Force Canadian Panel 173. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    JAY, EDWARD JAMES Flying Officer 147513 18/12/1943 23 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 125. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    KIDD, STANLEY Flying Officer 151602 18/12/1943 20 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 125. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    HOUSTON, WILLIAM PETER Sergeant 1086452 18/12/1943 21 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 154. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    HOOKER, EDMUND ALBERT Sergeant 911243 18/12/1943 27 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 153. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    HUGHES, SAMUEL Sergeant 1500685 18/12/1943 22 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve United Kingdom Panel 154. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    HUNT, MAURICE ROBERT Flight Sergeant 576940 18/12/1943 20 Royal Air Force United Kingdom Panel 137. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    ROBINSON, LESLIE Flight Sergeant 622736 18/12/1943 23 Royal Air Force United Kingdom Panel 139. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
  10. bilj

    bilj New Member

    Have just noticed this forum. From memory, my late father Sqn Ldr John Bird was flying Sunderlands from Apapa and several area bases in this 43-5 period, so was prob this squadron, was also the squadron Intelligence Officer incl resp for 'secret' stamped photos etc. I have a selection of pictures of various topics relating to then but not immediately getatable so bear with me. I believe they employed some of the locals for misc jobs. Never told me much about it other than
    -takeoff from Apapa very laboured and lengthy due to climate.
    -he was member of Goldfish Club thru ditching and liferaft - not 100% sure if was a 270 Sunderland in this region.
    -I have a very good scratchbuilt handpainted hardwood model of a Sunderland given to him at the time made by one of the sqn or ?,so assume it may be of one of the Sqns planes - plus the helmet/headphones/etc etc used in the plane(s) at the time. There is also a collection of contemp RAF navigation maps but not sure if it includes any WAfrica.
    -I believe he also did Avro York trip across to Ceylon in this period.
    -he brought back to GB various of the local artefacts and some excellent mahogany which was easily available then.
    Hope this is of interest to members, you are welcome to contact me.
    Will Jones
    PS My late uncle Wing Cdr Peter Berry DFC ('R Robert' Wellington) also flew Sunderlands for a while Pembroke early 50s.
  11. drailton

    drailton Senior Member

    I will be contacting you by email.
    David Railton
  12. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member


    I just happened on this, my father F/L W.H. Bulmer was with 270 from July 1943 to July 1944 as Nav/Bom. He then was tour expired and was posted to England. His log book lists flights with F/O Weskett on Jan. 29/ and Mar. 17/44. My father's regular crew appears to be Cat.FP 123, but in late 1943 switched planes. I have since learned FP 123 crashed and the crews were killed. My father did mention he was the temporary base commander in mid 1944 (I may have this incorrect as my father died in 1971), but it may be he knew your father. The base commanders are listed as SQ/L Godwin then Hall.
    I am not sure if any this helps, but I would also like to hear from anybody who knew of my father during this time, and any pictures would be wonderful.

  13. drailton

    drailton Senior Member

    Hello Steve,
    I am sure my father and yours must have known each other. My father usually flew with Weskett in Sunderland EK589. However, on Jan29 and Mar 17 my father was not flying. I will see if I can send you a private message through ww2talk and then perhaps via email as I may have more that may be of interest.
  14. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

    Hi David:

    My father flew on EK 589 Jan.29(pilots Moore & Weskett),April 20 (Thompson & Tranmer)and May 5/44(Stack & Holt). I'll try your E-mail and send you my address.

  15. ChrisHiatt

    ChrisHiatt New Member

    Hi there, I have had the opportunity of looking at my Fathers Pilots Flying logbook from the Royal Canadian Airforce - Albert Hiatt. I was interested in reading about the 270 Squadron as names mentioned in the forum "tally-up" in my fathers log book . My father commenced flying on March 1st 1944 through to Sept 16th 1944 and it appears that he was a 2nd Pilot on the Sunderland for that time . Any information would be great. Thank You
  16. drailton

    drailton Senior Member

    Hello Chris,

    As your father was with 270 Squadron in 1944 I am sure that I will be able to let you have some useful information. I will send you a private message through WW2Talk about making contact by email.

  17. Andrew bond

    Andrew bond New Member

    My dad was a pilot with the squadron and my mother gave photographs that he took in Africa to Hendon air museum. They're so good that the museum didn't want to give them back!
  18. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Hello Andrew,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Do you have copies of the photographs that you could post on the forum? I'm sure members would like to see them.


  19. drailton

    drailton Senior Member

    When was your father with 270 in West Africa? I have quite a bit of information about my father's time there. I have written up the details I have of my father's time in the RAF especially with 270 in West Africa. My nephew has posted this on a blog which can be found here: http://railtonfamilyhistory.blogspot.co.uk/ If you or anyone else wants to discuss any of this please contact me either through the forum or directly at railton.david@btinternet.com
  20. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    David, although your interest in West Africa is for 1944 I thought this might be of interest. When I obtain 1944 details I'll post them on here


    The flying effort for the Command continues to increase, a total of 4,205 hours being flown in December on operational sorties. This is the highest figure yet recorded in the history of the Command.
    The total of operational sorties of all types was 567, of which 378 were on close escort and 48 on protective sweeps. The hours actually spent on patrol on these operations totalled 1,905 and 187, respectively. Only 11 of the escort sorties were unsuccessful, giving the low percentage of 2.9, the lowest ever recorded. As may be inferred from this figure, the amount of weather interference with operations was small.
    Despite the strenuous protective and offensive effort, three ships totalling 21,000 gross ton s were sunk, all in the latter half of the month, and all in the coastal waters from Freetown to Lagos. Fourteen naval vessels and all available aircraft carried out a prolonged search for the single U-Boat believed to be responsible, but, although several apparently promising attacks were made by surface craft, there was no definite evidence of serious damage. Two of the vessels torpedoed were independent merchantmen, and the third a valuable ship with an escort of two anti-submarine trawlers.
    The daily average of U-Boats in the area during the month was estimated at 2.7, the same as for November. Of this total 1.7 were on passage, principally to and from the South American patrol areas.
    Two aircraft were lost during the month, a Wellington failing to return from the U-Boat hunt mentioned above, and a French Wellington crashing into the sea off Dakar. A.S.R. operations were flown searching for the R.A.F. Wellington and also for a French Loire which ditched in the vicinity of Dakar. The French aircraft was successfully located and taken in tow.

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