AOP (Air Observation Post) Squadron Casualties

Discussion in 'War Grave Photographs' started by Buteman, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Name: GANDER, A S C
    Rank: Captain
    Trade: A.Obs. Post Pilot
    Service No: 190850
    Date of Death: 04/09/1946
    Age: 29
    Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
    Unit: attd. 651 A.O.P. Sqdn. Royal Air Force
    Awards: D F C
    Grave Reference: 7. L. 7.
    Cemetery: RAMLEH WAR CEMETERY
    Additional Information: Son of Archer and Henrietta Gander; husband of Gladys May Gander, of Hook, Surbiton, Surrey.

    GANDER, A.S.C.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  2. Pieter F

    Pieter F Very Senior Member

    Well found Rob.
     
  3. CL1

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

    Remembered Waltham Abbey,Essex


    WARD, BARRY DARLASTON

    Rank:
    Captain
    Service No:
    185814
    Date of Death:
    15/01/1944
    Age:
    21
    Regiment/Service:
    Royal Artillery

    attd. 651 A.O.P. Sqdn. Royal Air Force
    Grave Reference
    X. E. 24.
    Cemetery
    SANGRO RIVER WAR CEMETERY
    Additional Information:
    Son of Maj. Clifford Walsham Ward, M.C. and Elsie Ward; husband of Cynthia Betty Ward, of Waltham Abbey, Essex.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Pieter F

    Pieter F Very Senior Member

    McCORRY, CHARLES
    Rank:Captain
    Service No:179866
    Date of Death:22/09/1944
    Age:26
    Regiment/Service:Royal Artillery
    attd. 658 A.O.P. Sqdn. Royal Air Force
    Grave Reference3. G. 7.
    CemeteryUDEN WAR CEMETERY
    Additional Information:
    Son of Charles and Monica McCorry, of Larkhall, Lanarkshire. B.Sc. (Glasgow).

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Pieter F

    Pieter F Very Senior Member

    Was it usual to mention 'Air Observation Pilot' on the headstone, as the two above?
     
  6. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Hi Pieter,

    When you look at the photos that have been posted, not all pilots seem to have had that engraved on their headstones. Most, but not all.

    Groetjes - Rob
     
  7. Pieter F

    Pieter F Very Senior Member

    Indeed Rob.
     
  8. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Whilst looking through this thread again Pieter, I noticed a unit error for Captain W.S. Molision. CWGC have recorded him as having served in 622 AOP, whilst the war diary of 662 AOP have him under command. I've e-mailed CWGC with this evidence.
     
  9. Pieter F

    Pieter F Very Senior Member

    Good job Rob!
     
  10. David A Kay

    David A Kay Junior Member

    I've been mooching around the web this afternoon and decided to Google my fathers squadron number just to see if anything came up. I followed the link to this site and wow, there is just so much information.

    He survived the war, but sadly died in 1973. Recently my elderly mother gave me some of his effects, amongst which is a notebook in which there are quite a few photographs and where he recalls much of his service with 655 sqn, and 114 bomber squadron following the disbanding of 655.

    In the front flap is a photograph of the entire 655 Sqn HQ and Servicing Flight taken at Ronchi Airport in May 1945. The back of the photo is annotated with the names of all of those on the photo. I have checked these names with some of the entries on this thread and there is some correlation.

    I don't have access at home to a scanner, however when I return to work in the new year I'll scan it together with the names and post it here.
     
  11. Pieter F

    Pieter F Very Senior Member

    That would be very interesting and a nice addition to this thread David!
     
  12. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Name: WATKINSON, KENNETH FRANK EDWARD
    Rank: Captain
    Service No: 94293
    Date of Death: 17/07/1944
    Age: 25
    Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
    Unit: 72 Medium Regt. attd. 653 A.O.P. Sqdn. Royal Air Force
    Grave Reference: XII. E. 24.
    Cemetery: BANNEVILLE-LA-CAMPAGNE WAR CEMETERY
    Additional Information: Son of Arthur Gill Watkinson and Mary Watkinson, of Esher, Surrey.

    From the war diary of 653 AOP. Captain Watkinson was killed whilst flying low in front of a 25 Pounder.

    upload_2019-10-23_16-58-43.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  13. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Name: BURGESS, GEOFFREY LAURENCE
    Rank: Captain
    Trade: Obs.
    Service No: 70014
    Date of Death: 26/08/1944
    Age: 28
    Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
    Unit: attd., 653 A.O.P. Sqdn. Royal Air Force
    Cemetery: VILLEZ-SUR-LE-NEUBOURG CHURCHYARD
    Additional Information: Son of Sydney Laurence and Ina Alexandra Burgess; husband of Margaret Jean Burgess, of Hexham, Northumberland.

    Was reported missing on 26 August 1944. His body was found on 30 August 1944. Cause of death presumed to have been a flying accident.

    [​IMG]

    Headstone photo from Findagrave

    [​IMG]
     
    Pieter F likes this.
  14. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Name: SEARLE, GEORGE WILLIAM
    Rank: Gunner
    Service No: 1138095
    Date of Death: 07/04/1945
    Age: 22
    Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
    Unit: attd. 653 A.O.P. Sqdn. Royal Air Force
    Grave Reference: 47. B. 9.
    Cemetery: REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY
    Additional Information: Son of Sidney Toms Searle and Florence Alice Searle, of Strood, Kent.

    An abandoned truck was found in a ditch with a body along side it. It was identified as belonging to 653 AOP and that the man was Gunner Searle. BQMS Davidson & Lance Bombadier Pebody were missing from the vehicle.

    upload_2019-10-23_17-54-38.jpeg

    upload_2019-10-23_17-55-8.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  15. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    upload_2019-10-23_17-24-23.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  16. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Name: NEWMAN, PETER RAWDON
    Rank: Captain
    Service No: 95160
    Date of Death: 16/09/1943
    Age: 23
    Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
    Unit: attd. 654 AOP Squadron, Royal Air Force
    Grave Reference: I. D. 11
    Cemetery: SALERNO WAR CEMETERY
    Additional Information: Son of Charles H.A. Frank Leslie and Gertrude Clare Newman of Litton Cheney, Dorsetshire

    (Photo taken by 4JonBoy)

    NEWMAN, P.R..JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  17. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Name: GARRARD, JOHN VANHOUSE
    Rank: Lieutenant
    Service No: 140226
    Date of Death: 10/01/1944
    Age: 24
    Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
    Unit attached: 655 AOP Squadron, RAF.
    Grave Reference: IV. D. 2
    Cemetery: SALERNO WAR CEMETERY
    Additional Information: Son of Stanley Mitchell & Dorothy Margaret Garrard of Elstead, Surrey

    Photo taken by 4Jonboy

    GARRARD, J.V..JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  18. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Rob.

    I am out with 5 Regt AAC at Anzio later this year. 655 Sqn is part of that unit these days. We will tip our hats to all the AOP chaps in Beach Head War Cemetery and pay special tribute to Capt Aitchison who was killed on 19 May 44 whilst serving with 655 Sqn.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  19. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Name: WYKES, PETER TERREY
    Rank: Captain
    Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
    Secondary Regiment: Royal Air Force
    Secondary Unit Text: attd. 658 A.O.P. Sqdn.
    Age: 24
    Date of Death: 24/03/1945
    Service No: 85197
    Awards: Mentioned in Despatches
    Additional information: Son of Gerald Davis Wykes and Gertrude Amy Wykes, of Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire.
    Grave/Memorial Reference: 53. G.8.
    Cemetery: REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY

    Name: McNAIRNEY, FRANCIS
    Rank: Leading Aircraftman (Obs.)
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Unit Text: 658 Sqdn.
    Age: 23
    Date of Death: 24/03/1945
    Service No: 1371126
    Additional information: Son of Anthony McNairney and of Catherine McNairney (nee Miller); husband of T. E. McNairney, of Polbeth, Midlothian.
    Grave/Memorial Reference: 1. A. 2.
    Cemetery: REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY

    The war diary of 662 AOP Sqdn records the shooting down of 658 Sqdn's Capt Wykes and his Observer by "one of our own shells".

    DSCF6675 (Large).JPG
    DSCF6676 - Copy (Large).JPG
    DSCF6677 - Copy (Large).JPG

    Headstone photos of Captain Wyckes and LAC McNairney at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery:-

    WYKES, P.T. (Large).JPG

    McNAIRNEY, F (Large).JPG

    Photo of P.T. Wykes

    PT Wykes.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
    Pieter F likes this.
  20. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Major Ernest Benjamin Ballard (see post 47) was apparently Commanding Officer of 655 AOP squadron and was killed at Chigwell, Essex, when an Auster Mk III he was in hit a tree and crashed whilst undertaking low level fighter evasion training. Also killed was Captain John Patrick Gordon Benson, 204003, 56th Heavy Regiment Royal Artillery, age 24.

    Captain Benson, not previously mentioned in this post, is buried at Newmarket Cemetery.

    http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2721000/BENSON,%20JOHN%20PATRICK%20GORDON

    The date of death on the CWGC site appears incorrect.

    See also: http://newmarket-remembers.info/benson%20john.html

    The book ā€œDetling Airfield, a history 1915 ā€“ 1959ā€ by Anthony Moore , which can be seen on Google books, provides an account of the incident.
     

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