Group Captain Peter Reginald CASEMENT, DSO, DFC*, AFC, MiD, Royal Air Force

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by ww2ni, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    I was watching the excellent History Hunters on sky channel 155 about Group Captain Peter Reginald Casement.

    He died some years ago and his R.A.F. Memorabilia went to Auction selling for about £28,000

    The medals, a Distinguished Service Order, Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar and Air Force Cross included in a group of eight were awarded to Peter Reginald Casement who flew with both Bomber Command and Coastal Command.
    The medal group includes a ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ oak-leaf and campaign clasps for France and Germany, Malaya and Palestine 1946-48 along with the set of miniatures and three original medal boxes.

    Group Captain Peter Casement was one of the few pilots to have seen service throughout WW2 and took part in many strategically important missions during the war.

    During the Battle of the Atlantic the bomber he piloted was the first to bring back photographic evidence of the sinking of a U-boat.

    I have been looking for information regarding his Service however I can find very little.
    Do any of you folks have information regarding his service?

    bamboo43 likes this.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  3. Jagan

    Jagan Junior Member

  4. AlanW

    AlanW Senior Member

    Posted to 61sqdn from 144sqdn 21st April 42.
    Cologne, 30/5.
    Essen, 1/6.
    Bremen, 3/6.
    Gardening, 7/6.
    Essen, 16/6.
    Emden, 20/6.
    Bremen, 25/6.
    Bremen, 29/6.
    Gardening, 3/7.
    Wilhelmshaven, 8/7.
    Danzig, 11/7.
    Anti Sub, 17/7, U751 sunk.
    Anti Sub, 19/7.
    Hamburg, 26/7.
    Saarbrucken, 29/7.
    Dusseldorf, 1/8.
    Anti Sub, 3/8.
    Anti Sub, 5/8.
    Anti Sub, 9/8.
    Shipping Strike North Coast Spain, 21/8.
    Frankfurt, 24/8.
    Nuremburg, 28/8.
    Saarbrucken, 1/9.
    Bremen, 4/9.
    Frankfurt, 8/9.
    Dusseldorf, 10/9.
    Bremen, 13/9.
    Essen, 16/9.
    Posted to 5Grp HQ, 7/10.
  5. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    Great stuff.

  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I enjoyed looking at all his militaria, uniforms, log books and of course his medal entitlement. A fantastic collection, but where on earth would a private collector store it all?
    ww2ni likes this.
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    No 61 Squadron was always a Bomber Command squadron from when it reformed at Hemswell in early March in 1937 and in turn had on charge the Audax, Anson Blenheim Mark 1,then in February 1939 received the Hampden which it went to war with and had the type for over two years.

    From June 1941,it endured the Manchester for a year and was one of the first squadrons to receive the Lancaster in April 1942.After a short work up the squadron was loaned to Coastal Command in early May and later in August 1942.It operated on detachment out of St Eval,one of the main C.C stations in the South West.

    At this time,Coastal Command had a difficult period in coping with the U Boat threat and did not have adequate aircraft to reduce the threat .The problem was compounded by an unexpected delay with the Liberator being delivered for the role.The situation with Coastal Command was critical and it caused ructions among Air Officers of Bomber Command (Harris) and Coastal Command (Joubert) .Harris saw as the forced transfer of his aircraft when Joubert asked for Lancasters to fill the gap.The Admiralty had already in February 1942 had asked for 6 and a half squadrons of Wellingtons to be transferred to Coastal Command.

    In the end the Air Ministry, being aware of the overall priorities did not force the transfer of Lancasters to Coastal Command,they would be loaned,ie detached and the squadrons selected were No 61 Squadron out of their new base of Syerston to St Eval with 9 aircraft and No 44 Squadron out of Waddington to Nutts Corner with 5 aircraft.Both squadrons were without training in the anti U Boat role.16 Whitleys of No 10 OTU,Bomber Command,flown by instructors and students were detached to St Eval for the last three weeks of their course for Bay of Biscay patrols,the practice being in place for almost a year.

    No 61 Squadron's detachment arrived at St Eval on 14 July 1942 and took advantage,I would think of Ultra intelligence,of a directive of Doenitz's which instructed that U Boat commanders should remain submerged except when recharging batteries while routing through the Bay of Biscay.This was seen as an excellent opportunity to attack U Boats on the surface.On the 17 July 1942 the strategy brought dividends,F/L P R Casement's crew spotted a large oil patch and later a conning tower.The aircraft was well loaded with anti submarine armaments,carrying 10 Mk V111 depth charges and 2 x 250 lb AS bombs.Three runs were made across the U 751, a Type V11c boat which slowly sank stern first ,as a result of the attack.

    Harris got his own way to some extent and instead of the full Wellingtons demand,transferred some Whitleys of No 4 Group which was reequipping with the Halifax,Nos 51 with its Whitleys to Chivenor and No 78 Squadron were temporarily transferred.This latter squadron operated out of Middle St George from June to September 1942 with Halifaxes and may have been in support of the Coastal Command base at Thornaby. Those squadrons permanently transferred were No 58 Squadron with its Whitleys to St Eval,No 144 Squadron from North Luffenham with its Hampdens to Leuchars where it had numerous detachments within Coastal Command.The only Wellington squadrons given up were No 304 (Polish ) Squadron from Lindholme to Tiree and No 311 (Czeck) Squadron from East Wretham to Aldergrove.
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  8. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member




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