Remembering Today 10/3/43 Sergeant:Victor Brown,964042,14 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by CL1, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. CL1

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

    Sergeant BROWN, VICTOR
    Service Number 964042

    Died 10/03/1943

    14 Sqdn.
    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Casualty
    Commemorated at ALAMEIN MEMORIAL

    Location: Egypt
    Number of casualties: 11868

    Cemetery/memorial reference: Column 270.
     
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  2. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    No. 14 Sqn were to lose two Martin Marauders on this date. I'm afraid I don't have the serial numbers of either, nor the circumstances. Presumably the airmen listed on GSE who are on the Alamein Memorial were members of the same crew as Sgt Brown.

    I'm reminded of the Messerschmitt 323 shot down by Sgt. Gil Graham, the rear gunner on OC No. 14 Squadron, W/Cdr Dick Maydwell's Marauder on 30 July 1943, off Corsica. As Graham opened up with his .5s, Maydwell picked up a camera in his lap and snapped a photo of it. In the 80s, Maydwell would make contact with the pilot of the 323, Walter Honing, and they remained friends for the next 20 years.

    File:Me-323 shootdown.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Would the 2 x crews be these - The Martin Marauder Mk. I

    From the book -
    The Martin Marauder Mk. I
    By Phil H Listemann

    TD
     
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  4. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

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  5. I am the grand-daughter of the pilot of this plane and would love to hear from anyone who has any more information on the meeting between my grand-dad and Dick Maidwell in 1984, I do know that the propellor of the MS 323 , which was taken as a trophy; was returned on that day. Heidelore Honig, my mother, passed away October 2018, she was terribly fond of her father and always hoped she would be able to gather more information of that day. In her memory I would now like to continue that search. Many thanks.
     
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  6. CL1

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

    perhaps post any info you have including photos etc
     
  7. Wow, thanks for the fast reply.
    Ober Feldwebel Walter Honig, shot down over Corsica 30.of July 1943 by a Marauder, rear-gunner was Gil Graham.
    The Marauder was piloted by Dick Maidwell.
    These would be the main details, here some pictures:
    upload_2019-7-20_14-18-44.png upload_2019-7-20_14-16-5.png

    I will also send a comparison pic between my younger brother and Walter Honig, it has often made us smile as they do look alike:
    upload_2019-7-20_14-16-5.png
     
  8. Sorry about the double take on the comparison image, not intentional.
     
  9. CL1

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

    thank you Claudia excellent photos they have really added to the thread story

    regards
    Clive
     
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  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    do you have your grandfathers side of what happened - it is rare to have the chance to read or know what happened in something like this from both sides - appreciate your input

    TD
     
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  11. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Hi Claudia,

    I learned of this story from Mel Rolfe's "Hell on Earth". Chapter was called "Gunner's Luck".

    Hell on Earth

    RAF DFC cover signed Hugh Verity, Roy Max, Ken Smales, Dick Maydwell, Moseby, + | eBay

    Group Captain Dick Maydwell DSO DFC

    Group Captain Dick Maydwell commanded a wartime squadron of Marauder bombers that roamed the Mediterranean attacking ships and aircraft; as a pre-war big game hunter, he considered his flying operations to be a "Mediterranean safari with free accommodation, transport, guns and ammunition and the chance of a major trophy".

    Commanding No 14 Squadron, based in Egypt, Maydwell flew operations against shipping in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean. On one occasion he was firing at barges north of Crete when German fighters attacked his aircraft.

    Taking violent evasive action at 100 feet, he managed to escape, despite his aircraft being damaged and his gunners wounded. In February 1943 he flew two mine-laying operations in daylight to the Burgi Channel, north of Athens, a round trip of 1,650 miles.

    On the second occasion the weather was appalling, and the mountains surrounding the narrow channel made the operation particularly hazardous.

    He managed to drop his mines from a very low level - the splashes struck the underside of his aircraft. Intelligence later reported that two ships had been sunk and the channel blocked for a considerable time. Maydwell was awarded the DSO for "the faultless execution of this outstandingly successful operation".

    The aircrew of No 14 included many South Africans, New Zealanders and Australians. The latter were renowned for their exuberance and irreverence towards authority and protocol.

    Maydwell, the traditional Englishman, quickly recognised their fighting spirit and courage. His quiet authority, insistence on flying the most dangerous operations himself and his warm welcome to newcomers soon endeared him to his men, who called him "the Boffin"; he himself christened his aircraft Dominion Triumph, which was emblazoned on its nose.

    After moving to Tunisia, Maydwell and his crews attacked shipping and aircraft on their long patrols off Italy, Sardinia and Corsica. Near Genoa, Maydwell intercepted a three-engine Italian transport aircraft and his gunners shot it down. Whilst supporting the Anzio landings, he came across a four-engine German transport plane and this too was shot down.

    Maydwell's most remarkable action was on July 30, when he was patrolling to the north of Corsica. He saw a giant six-engine Me 323 transport aircraft flying unescorted low over the sea.

    He manoeuvred his Marauder to allow his gunners to open fire and three engines were set on fire. The massive aircraft, described by Maydwell's navigator as looking like "a block of flats", crash-landed on the shore. The crew escaped unhurt and Maydwell held his fire.

    On his final sortie in Dominion Triumph Maydwell attacked a Junkers 52 off Spezia. His aircraft was hit by return fire, but the damage his gunners inflicted gave the German aircraft little chance of returning to base.

    The following day he was promoted, and he handed over command of No 14. One of his men described his final address as "a moving occasion, and everyone was sad to lose such a fine CO".

    Wynne Somers Goodrich Maydwell was born on July 18 1913 at Bournemouth. Always known as Dick, he was educated at Malvern before entering Sandhurst as an officer cadet.

    Commissioned into the Somerset Light Infantry in 1933, he served at Blackdown, where he commanded the anti-tank platoon. He learned to fly at Brooklands Flying Club before joining the 2nd Battalion at Poona, India, where he developed his love of game shooting and where, under licence, he shot a tigress and a panther. In May 1937 he volunteered for a four-year secondment to the RAF and trained as a pilot.

    He joined No 53 (Army Co-operation) Squadron, flying Hector bi-planes before the squadron was re-equipped with the Blenheim. He went to France in early September 1939, and was stationed near Epernay flying reconnaissance sorties.

    When the German Blitzkrieg began in May 1940 he was on leave in England. On returning to France, he was unable to get back to No 53 and served as the adjutant of a Hurricane re-arming and refuelling unit at Rouen. He finally escaped from St Malo to Jersey.

    Maydwell rejoined No 53 and from July until the end of the year he bombed the Channel ports from Flushing to Lorient. By the end of 1940 he was the last surviving pilot from the pre-war squadron. He was awarded the DFC.

    In March 1941 Maydwell left for the Middle East and commanded a small photographic survey unit flying Maryland aircraft. His photographs were used to produce maps of the strategic areas of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine that covered the anticipated area of a German advance through Turkey to the Suez Canal.

    In April 1942 he was posted to command No 14 Squadron, which was still operating the Blenheim for bombing airfields in Crete and Libya and attacking German re-supply columns in the Western Desert.

    In August No 14 was withdrawn to the Canal Zone and re-equipped with the powerful B-26 Marauder bomber, one of only two RAF squadrons to fly the American aircraft.

    After early difficulties, when a number of aircraft were lost due to the failure of the fin and tailplane assembly, the fast and heavily-armed aircraft achieved great success with No 14 under Maydwell's leadership.

    Promoted to group captain, Maydwell took command of No 325 Wing at Trapani in western Sicily, flying convoy patrols and providing support for the Salerno landings.

    In early 1944 the Wing moved to Naples, but Maydwell decided to return to operational flying. En route to the RAF Headquarters to negotiate a flying appointment, his Jeep was hit by a train and he was severely injured.

    His right leg was severed above the knee and he spent the next 18 months recovering. He remained in the RAF, specialising in photography.

    After four years at the Air Ministry he moved to the Advanced Flying School at Driffield, where - despite his disability - he flew Vampire and Meteor jet fighters. In December 1954 he moved to HQ Western Command at Chester as the land/air warfare officer. He retired from the RAF in 1958.

    Maydwell was an excellent shot and after moving to Somerset he carried out the control of wood pigeon, shooting more than 10,000 in two years. He then carried out deer control and over the next 38 years he shot 2,264 roe deer, the last when he retired aged 87.

    In 1982 Maydwell contacted Walter Honig, the German pilot of the Me 323 he had shot down over Corsica. They met at Honig's flying club at Baden, and Maydwell gave Honig a propeller tip from his aircraft, bearing the inscription, in German: "A memento of our meeting at Cape Corse, on 29 July 1943". They remained friends for the next 20 years.

    Dick Maydwell died on 8 January 2006 aged 92

    W/Cdr Dick Maydwell in Martin Marauder FK142 "Dominion Triumph"

    B26DominionTriumph.jpg


    Regards,

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
  12. Thank you, Dave, that was a very good read.
    As children, my older brother and I spent many a weekend in Baaden, where my grandfather was still flying for pleasure. The Corsica story was told often, this was in the early 70ies. I was very young then and so had to ask my mother to reiterate the happenings on that day in 1943, here is his side:
    The MS was a cargo plane carrying supplies when he encountered the Marauder. I was told that my grandfather was quite impressed by Gil Grahams accuracy.
    My mother explained that her father managed to ditch the plane partly because it was good at gliding, maybe someone here would be able to confirm this. I was also told that the British plane should apparently have razed the Messerschmidt, but D. Maidwell circled, dipped a wing and flew on, only to return to the wreck later to collect his trophy. (We were told it was a propellor, I see now that this was a little exaggerated as it was a propellor-tip)
    My Grandfather injured his knee during the landing, but was otherwise unharmed and probably a grateful man at that moment, as far as I know, none of the rest of the crew were injured.
    I live in the UK since 1987 and work in an educational setting for young people with behavioural issues and have once used this story as an assembly about the value of mutual respect, pointing out the friendship that ensued many years later and the recognition of bravery on both sides on that momentous occasion.
     
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  13. CL1

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

    hello Claudia
    details confirming you point re gliding

    The Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant ("Giant") was a German military transport aircraft of World War II. It was a powered variant of the Me 321 military glider and was the largest land-based transport aircraft of the war. A total of 213 are recorded as having been made, a few being converted from the Me 321.
    Messerschmitt Me 323 - Wikipedia


    A Messerschmitt Me 263 powered glider under attack off Cape Corse, Corsica, by a Martin Marauder Mark I, flown by the Commanding Officer of No. 14 Squadron RAF, Wing Commander W Maydwell. The aircraft crash-landed on the shore and disintegrated.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN MALTA, GIBRALTAR AND THE MEDITERRANEAN, 1940-1945.

    regards
    Clive
     
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  14. Thank you Clive.
    I have seen the photo of the plane lumbering to shore before, we did a little bit of internet research some years back and did come across it then. it is incredible that such a monster could actually glide!

    regards
    Claudia
     
  15. alieneyes

    I have ordered the book, in the chapter it explains that my Grand-dad walked back from Russia to Berlin, that has cleared up some confusion, as I always believed it was the grand-dad on my father's side who did this. So thank you for clearing that up for me.

    regards
    Claudia
     
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  16. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

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  17. My mother found this on the net some years back, his injuries and trials in life have certainly never hindered his determination to be a most remarkable man.
    Thank you all for your kind replies which have left me quite touched, my mother re-joined her father on the "other side" last October but my younger brother is still very interested and if I have your permission I would like to forward all of the information you have provided to him.

    grateful
    Claudia
     
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  18. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Let your brother know that when the movie is made he will have to play the part of your opa.

    One of my family thought they were twins.

    All the best,

    Dave
     
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  19. I shall definitely do that! I guess he would agree.

    Made me laugh...
    Claudia
     
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