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No. 1 Air Gunnery School in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- No. 1 Air Gunnery School during the Second World War -

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No. 1 Air Gunnery School

   No. 1 Air Gunnery School was located at Bairagargh and Bhopal in India


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Those known to have served at

No. 1 Air Gunnery School

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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F/O Hugh Docherty No. 1. Air Gunnery School

My dad, F/O Hugh Docherty, served with the RAF in India in WW2. His mailing address was No1 AGS RAF India.

Rob Docherty

Sgt. Harold William Curwain 420 Squadron.


Enjoying a pepsi and a egg sandwich after a mission.

Air Gunners Graduating class

Harold Curwain was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on 13th August 1919. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on 1st of November 1940. He trained as an armourer in Toronto, Trenton and Rivers Manitoba. He came to England arriving on 27th February 1942. No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre on the 10th of March 1942, and was taken on strength at 420 Squadron on 9th April 1942 as an armourer. Harold remained with this squadron until 4th December 1942 when he went on strength with 407 Squadron.

Once here, he requested and was granted to re-muster to aircrew as an air gunner. He transferred to No. 14 ITW on 27th February 1943. He transferred to the Air Gunners School on 10th April 1943 and then to 2 Air Gunners School on 30th April 1943.

He transferred to 22 Operational Training Unit on No. 45 course. He remained here until transferred to 311 Ferry Training Unit, based at Moreton-in-Marsh on 27th August 1943. He was promoted to Flight Sgt in April 1943 and was posted back to 420 Squadron as an air gunner in September 1943.

Then on 23rd and 24th September 1943 he flew to Formia Tunisia via Sale and Kairouan with Sgt Foy in Wellington Bomber LN-513 as part of 420 Squadron. He remained in Tunisia until the squadron returned to England and reequipped with the Halifax bomber.

During most of 1944 he was posted back to 62 Base (Beaver) at Linton-on-Ouse. He was posted to 1664 Communications Unit at Dishforth from 19th December 1943 till 28th January 1944. However, Harold returned to 420 Squadron in November 1944. He became a Warrant officer One in March 1943 and then Warrant Officer Two in September 1944. He was promoted to Pilot Officer in February 1945 and finally to Flight Officer in August 1945.

He crashed on one occasion and was burned from the waist down. Harold was treated for burns at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead and became a member of the Guinea Pig Club.

His missions included:

  • 12 Dec 1944 flying with P/O. Reid (Halifax) NA169 (O) target Gaggle DCO.
  • 24 Dec 1944 - Fl/Lt. Jones (Halifax) NA188 (E) Dusseldorf Airdrome
  • 28 Dec 1944 - Fl/Lt. Jones (Halifax) NA188 (E) Diversion to Base (note Halifax NA188 was lost of operation to Magdeburg 16th January 1945 - 5 crew killed, 2 PoW)
  • 29 Dec 1944 - F/O. McKeown (Halifax) NA178 (R) Spich
  • 22 Jan1945 - Fl/Lt. Buchanan (Halifax) NR117 (S) F/A A/A DCO (note: Halifax NR177 lost on operation whilst with 158 Squadron to Worms on 21st February 1945 - all 7 crew PoW.
  • 13 Feb 1945 - Fl/Lt. Buchanan (Halifax) NR117 (S) Bohlen
  • 14 Feb 1945 - Fl/Lt. Buchanan (Halifax) NR117 (S) Mendelsham to base
  • 14 Feb 1945 - Fl/Lt. Buchanan (Halifax) NR117 (S) Chemnitz
  • 17 Feb 1945 - P/O. Reid (Halifax) NA184 (W) Wesel
  • 18 Feb 1945 - P/O. Reid (Halifax) NA184 (W) Diversion to base
  • 20 Feb 1945 - Fl/Lt. Buchanan (Halifax) NA184 (W) Monheim (note: Halifax NA184 PT-W was lost on an operation to Chemnitz on the 05th March 1945 after crash landing near Dishforth, England - 4 crew killed, 3 injured.)
  • 21 Feb 1945 - Fl/Lt. Buchanan (Halifax) NA178 (R) Worms
  • 23 Feb 1945 - Fl/Lt. Buchanan (Halifax) NA178 (R) Essen
  • 24 Feb 1945 - Fl/Lt. Buchanan (Halifax) NA178 (R) Kamen
  • 10 Mar 1945 - Fl/Lt. Buchanan (Halifax) NA178 (R) F/A A/S Radar
  • 11 Mar 1945 - Fl/Lt. Buchanan (Halifax) NA178 (R) Essen
  • 13 Mar 1945 - Fl/Lt. Buchanan (Halifax) NA178 (R) Wuppertal
  • 15 Mar 1945 - Fl/Lt. Buchanan (Halifax) NR117 (S) Castrop Rauxel
  • 3 Apr 1945 - P/O. Cole (Halifax) NZ423 (B) A/S A/C bombing
  • 4 Apr 1945 - P/O. Cole (Halifax) NZ423 (B) Harbourg
  • 6 Apr 1945 - P/O. Cole (Halifax) NZ423 (B) A/S H/S Bombing
  • 8 Apr 1945 - P/O. Cole (Halifax) NR951 (Y) Hamburg
  • 9 Apr 1945 - P/O. Cole (Halifax) Diversion to Base
  • 30 Apr 1945 - P/O. Cole (Halifax) X/C A/S Bombing
  • 1 May 1945 - P/O. Cole (Lancaster) N.F.A Bomb.

Harold Curwain

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