RAF Maintenance Unit 162 based at Setif and Blida 1943-5

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by jrf84, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. jrf84

    jrf84 Junior Member

    My grandfather,Norman Fenny served with 162 MU at Setif and Blida during the later stages of the war as an airframe fitter.Sadly he passed away back in 1988.I have never seen hardly any mention of his unit in historical texts.There isn't an association for former comrades,as far as I know.

    It's also sad that there isn't a dedicated website comemorating the important work that the numerous RAF MUs,RSUs performed in Algeria.(162MU was just one of many e.g. 144MU 163MU 156MU and 108 RSU et al)They worked right from Operation Torch to beyond VE Day repairing and overhauling aircraft for the lengthy Italian Campaign.

    I am interested in tracing anyone who served or has/had relatives who served in 162MU or knows about sources of information/photos relating to 162MU.

    Here are some photos of my grandad's comrades taken in Blida and Setif.I guess it's a long shot,but does anyone recognise anyone?

    162MU Football Team Blida.jpg

    'Haggis' 162 MU friend of granddad.jpg

    Thankyou in advance
  2. dnr

    dnr Junior Member

    Hi just a short note .My father served as a pilot on RAF Wellingtons based at Blida during the Italian campainge.I have a number of photos taken there but at this time I cannot post them but will in future if they might be of interest . You may find information thru the Squadron records in the RAF Bomber command history section that could lead to your associations as I have found quite a lot of helpful information in regards to tracking my fathers sqd operational movements . Good luck
  3. noisette1947

    noisette1947 New Member

    Hello - I hope it is not too late to reply to your post but my father was in the RAF Maintenance Unit based in Blida in 1943 and took part in operations Torch and Avalanche. He was an RAF Servicing Commando and part of Joint Operations and I do have a couple of photos taken in Blida. His name was Cliff Bevans.
  4. jrf84

    jrf84 Junior Member

    Hello Noisette 1947,its fine, I'm interested in your father do you know the unit he was with whilst at Blida?

    I just came back to this topic this week to provide a bit of an update message.This week I rediscovered a long forgotten suitcase that had a lot of Grandad's letters and 162 MU concert programmes in it.These have been useful in adding a lot of 'colour' to what I knew about his war service.But more importantly I now know the names of people he served with.

    The football team seen above was mentioned in a letter.It apparently was 'best in Africa' and once formed part of an 'England squad' in a match against 'Italy' (prisoners or Co-belligerent forces??) in August 1945 just before Japan surrendered.The team included 156 MU's team and men from the FLTU.

    ApparentlyThe FLTU was a French Technical Liason Unit,its function was to teach or help French aircrew transition onto US/British planes

    One of Granddad's friends was called Vin(cent) 'Scouse' Calderbank.We have a photo of him.Until this week I didn't know his proper name

    Leading Aircraftsman Vincent ‘Scouse’ Calderbank S/n 1091710 Of Liverpool?

    Another important friend who also sent my grandma a christmas airgram card was RAF Corporal John Don S/n 625252

    A friend that was billeted with my granddad in a tent who was called Edward Keith,sadly he died in September 1945,I think he's buried in Algiers' Dely Ibrahim war cemetery according to the CWGC.He was Leading Aircraftsman Edward Keith 1177094 and his parents wereJohn Joseph and Margaret of Walford in Herefordshire.

    Are there any relations of these 3 men out there?
  5. jrf84

    jrf84 Junior Member

    Don seems to be a Scottish surname,maybe John Don was the man in the photo captioned as 'Haggis'
  6. gillfoto

    gillfoto New Member

    My father William (Bill) Gill was assigned 156MU June '43 and later French Repair Unit 43/44, he was then injured July of 44 off to 94th Gen. Hospital back at 156 MU August '45.
    Information provided by RAF HQ Air Command (2014).

    Before this posting he was at RAF Benson with Photo Reconnaissance Unit and the 540 Squadron.

    Enlisted in 1940 at 33yrs, born in Glasgow, Scotland. In Civilian life was a Commercial Photographer, he also liked football (Patrick Thistle). Died in 1969.

    Photo here at RAF Blida: LAC Bill Gill (Center) working on PRU Spitfire


    dbf likes this.

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