No.120 Squadron RAF - Photo Aldergrove.

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Peter Clare, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Photo of members of 120 Squadron taken 1943 I believe at Aldergrove.
    The aircraft is a Liberator III

    Thought it might be of interest.

    Attached Files:

    Mr Luard and Roxy like this.
  2. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Hmm...Coastal Command???
  3. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Good one Peter , I was up there today - L. flying back to Newcastle.
    three airfields all within a stones throw langford Lodge , Nutts Corner and Aldergrove.
    A few years ago a pilot put down at Longford instead of Aldergrove - poor guy got the sack.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Great photo Peter :)
  5. prairiebladerunner

    prairiebladerunner Junior Member

    A crew in this pic was in the news this month. Serjeant William Stott, Royal Australian Air Force was a wireless operator on Commander Longmore's plane. A message he sent by pigeon was found in a chimney and the public is being asked to decipher it. Longmore himself was the son of a famous RAF general who deceased in Surrey in 1970, where the pigeon remains were found. May have been the remains of a personal taxidermy war memento, the last link before Longmore, Stott and crew were killed by U 539, October 4, 1943, shortly after this picture was taken and this squadron transferred to Reykjavek, Iceland.

    BTW, see your icon pic is from the 120 sqn RAF, call sign code OH. Did just the commander's plane have that antennae array, or most or all others?
  6. spidge


    :poppy::poppy::poppy: :poppy::poppy::poppy: :poppy::poppy:
    On this day there were 129 Commonwealth Air Force Deaths.


    RAF Iraq Levies 1

    RAF 86

    RAAF 13

    RCAF 21


    RNZAF 5

    SAAF 1

    Rhodesia Air Askari Corps 1

    WAAF 1



    Details of loss.


    NAA : A705, 166/27/247
    AWM 65 (3646)
    Aircraft Type: Liberator
    Serial number: FK 923
    Radio call sign:
    Unit: 120 Sqn RAF


    Liberator FK 923 of 120 Sqn RAF took off from RAF Reykjavik on an anti sub patrol
    over an Atlantic convoy, on 4 October 1943. At 1130 am a signal from the aircraft was
    received stating ‘about to carry out an attack’. The signal faded and nothing further was
    heard from the aircraft which did not return to base. It was considered that the aircraft
    may have been shot down by flak. Searches were carried out the next day and aircraft
    were warned to keep a lookout, but no trace of the missing aircraft or crew were found.


    RAF Wg Cdr Longmore, R M OBE, Captain (Pilot) †
    RAF FO Tait, R W †
    RAF Flt Lt Bruce †
    RAF Flt Sgt Parsons †
    RAF Flt Sgt Furr † (Of Australia) TBC
    RAAF 407563 WO Stott, W (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) †
    RAAF 406306 WO Mincham, E A (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) †
    RCAF PO Webber, F M †

    It was recorded in 1949 that the missing crew had lost their lives at sea.

    In Memory of
    Wing Commander
    Richard Maitland Longmore
    O B E
    33265, 120 Sqdn., Royal Air Force who died on 04 October 1943 Age 28
    Son of Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore, G.C.B., D.S.O., and Lady Longmore; husband of Millicent
    Longmore, of Newark, Nottinghamshire.
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial

    In Memory of
    Flying Officer
    Robert Wood Tait
    121402, 120 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 04 October 1943 Age 23
    Son of John Sinclair Tait and Isabella Tait, of Edinburgh.
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial

    In Memory of
    Flight Lieutenant
    John Nigel Grey Bruce
    66528, 120 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 04 October 1943
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial

    In Memory of
    Flight Sergeant
    Arthur Edward Parsons
    901162, 120 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 04 October 1943 Age 25
    Son of Frederick William and Sarah Jane Parsons, of New Cross, London.
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial

    In Memory of
    Flight Lieutenant
    Albert Leslie Furr
    130062, 120 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 04 October 1943 Age 31
    Son of Herbert and Mary Furr; husband of Olive May Furr, of Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia.
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial

    In Memory of
    Warrant Officer
    William Stott
    407563, Royal Australian Air Force who died on 04 October 1943 Age 33
    Son of John and Jane Stott; husband of Viola Joyce Stott, of Woodlands, South Australia.
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial

    In Memory of
    Warrant Officer
    Ernest Arthur Mincham
    406306, Royal Australian Air Force who died on 04 October 1943 Age 31
    Son of Charles Stephen and Elizabeth Mincham, of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia; husband of Joyce
    Mincham, of Beverley, Yorkshire.
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial

    In Memory of
    Flying Officer
    Francis Maxwell Webber
    J/14447, 120 Sqdn., Royal Canadian Air Force who died on 04 October 1943 Age 20
    Son of Percy and Mary E. Webber, of Castor, Alberta, Canada.
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial
  7. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    On 4 October 1943, 120 Squadron were tasked with supporting a number of convoys and the Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Longmore and crew (Liberator GR.III FL923 V/120) were escorting convoy ON204 when they sighted a U-boat on the surface (U 539 Oblt Lauterbach-Emden) As the Liberator went into the attack the U-boats commander decided to remain on the surface and fight.

    The following account of the action is compiled from German records.

    "The Liberator, which was mistakenly identified as a Lancaster, was sighted at 1123 hrs when 7-8000 metres away, approaching at an altitude of 800 metres. All the boats flak guns which consisted of two twin and one quadruple 200-mm, were immediately manned and fire was opened. despite heavy flak the aircraft circled, drawing slowly closer to the U-boat, Until at 1138 hrs it ran into the attack replying to the -boats fire with cannon when at a range of 1000 metres. Although hit several times, the aircraft pressed home the attack, dropping six depth charges that fell ahead of the port bow at a distance of between 10 and 159 metres from the U-boat, which was shaken violently. Both the aircraft's starboard engines were seen to have caught fire and shortly afterwards it came down in the sea, exploding on impact with the water. On assumption that none of the aircrew would escape from the wreckage, the CO ordered the U-boat to dive so that a proper inspection of damage, which turned out to be relatively minor , could be made. One of U 539's crew was slightly wounded"

    Liberator GR.III FL923 V/120
    Lost 4 October 1943

    Attached Files:

    Mr Luard likes this.
  8. prairiebladerunner

    prairiebladerunner Junior Member

    Thanks for the FL 923 pic!
  9. prairiebladerunner

    prairiebladerunner Junior Member

    Thank you. Stott's "final" rank was awarded posthumously to Warrant Officer. At the time of his missing he was Serjeant. The pigeon code slip is signed by Sjt. W Stot. I assume that's how he spelled it, and it does make it look a bit less "Germanic", something not unheard of during those times. Or he was in a bit of a hurry with being shot at and felt that was enough to get the point across.
  10. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    Looks Good!
  11. prairiebladerunner

    prairiebladerunner Junior Member

    There was just one other Stott in WWII that may have been involved with sending pigeons. But he was 2nd in command of a paratroop battalion at "Operation Market Garden", a colonel who was wounded and captured at Arnhem, POW and lived after the War, joined the Brits as a commissioned officer, never a Serjeant.
  12. dtait1

    dtait1 New Member

    Stumbled across this topic whilst researching my uncle - Robert Wood Tait, a Flying Officer with 120 Squadron.

    Just had to register in order to thank Spidge and Peter Clare for the memorial and for the detailed info. on the loss of FL923, from both UK and German records. Thanks for the squadron photo too - I'm sure he's in there somewhere. If there are any other photos of him or his crew, I'd be delighted to see them.

    It's a marvellous thing you guys do to keep alive the memory of these brave young men. It humbles me every time I think of their sacrifice.

    Thanks again on behalf of his family.

    Owen and Roxy like this.
  13. spidge


    You are most welcome Doug.

    Thank you for taking the time to register.


  14. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Hi Doug, welcome to the forum.

    As Geoff says, you are more than welcome, we do try to help when we can Thought you would like to see this attachment, its taken from the 120 Squadron ORB re the loss of FL923 V/120. Also on the 4th you will see that U 279 was sunk by Liberator III FK236 X/120, this was in fact U 389 - reassessed post war by NHB

    Regards Peter

    Attached Files:

  15. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Movement history of Liberator GR.III FL923 V/120

    ex. 41.11705.

    Delivered Dorval 17 July 1942.
    Departed Dorval 25 July 1942
    Arrived Prestwick 28 July 1942
    To Scottish Aviation Ltd 29 July 1942
    To 120 Squadron 18 August 1942
    To 224 Squadron 23 December 1942
    Returned to 120 Squadron 31 December 1942
    Returned to Scottish Aviation Ltd 9 March 1943
    To 120 Squadron 6 April 1943
    To Scottish Aviation Ltd for fly-in repair 29 July 1943
    Returned to 120 Squadron 8 August 1943
    On 4 October 1943 while escorting convoy ON204 was hit by flak from U 539, crashed into the sea and blew up
    Struck Off Charge 31 October 1943

    On 23 April 1943 FL923 V/120 sank U 189. F/O. Moffatt and crew.
  16. dtait1

    dtait1 New Member


    thanks for the history of FL923 and especially for that document re 4th/5th October 1943 - this is fascinating and very moving. To see this nearly seventy years on was a very poignant experience. My uncle, lost that day, does have a surviving younger brother and this detail will be new to him too.

    Gratefully yours

  17. icypole

    icypole Junior Member

    Hello everyone,

    Thanks so much for the photos and account of FL923. My husband's great uncle was W/O E.A. Mincham who died when this plane went down. The family knew very little about what happened until myself and my sister-in-law started digging around.

    It is great to get a photo of the plane as well as the account from the official records.

    Thanks to Peter and the other moderators in all that they do on this site.

    Best Regards,
    Irene Lowe
    Melton, Victoria, Australia
  18. tonyfurr

    tonyfurr Junior Member

    Thank you for the information.

    My Grandad was F/L Albert Leslie Furr. He was of Nottingham, and his widow, Olive moved to Australia after the war bringing Peter, their son to Warrnambool.


    Tony Furr
  19. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Hello Tony,

    Please check you PM box as I have replied to yours.


  20. macmcbratney

    macmcbratney New Member

    here are some family pics from my grandfather, Group Captain VHA McBratney, first real WW2 CO of 120 Squadron (first guy crashed within a few days). Hope they add to everyone's collections. Malcolm McBratney

    Attached Files:

    dbf and Peter Clare like this.

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