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No. 178 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- No. 178 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 178 Squadron Royal Air Force

15th Sept 1944 Night Ops

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have served with

No. 178 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Gordon Frederick Peter. Flt.Sgt.
  • Helme Frederick Walter. Flt.Sgt.
  • Turner Desmond Morris. F/Sgt. (d.19th Mar 1944)

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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F/Sgt. Desmond Morris Turner 178th Squadron (d.19th Mar 1944)

Desmond Turner is buried in the Tirana Park Memorial Cemetery, Albania. He is remembered on the Special Memorial E, his grave having since been lost.

s flynn

Flt.Sgt. Frederick Peter Gordon 178 Squadron

My father, Fred Gordon was a very quiet, private man who never spoke about the war. What he did tell us was that it was horrific. He lost friends; had shrapnel in his ribs as a constant reminder and did not want to talk about it.

One evening, I wish I could remember the date, my mother called and told me to turn on the television. "Your father is in tears. He keeps saying 'oh my there is....' I wondered where he got to." My parents had been watching a program on CBC about the grandfather of a film student. After the documentary was over it was the only time my mother ever heard my father speak of this time in the RAF. She told me it was like the floodgates had opened up and the details began to pour out.

Later that year, at Christmas, I returned home with my family and at dinner one night he started to tell us stories about collecting bed bugs in a jar and taking them to the front desk of their 'hotel' in Italy so that they could get free rooms. Then there was the time they were flying over the desert. He and his mates had been charged with placing fuses in frozen oranges. Whenever they flew over some tents they would light the fuses, throw the oranges out. As they fell to the ground the would whistle and then explode. If the people in the tents were German military not a single person on the ground moved. If not, the people on the ground would scatter. If they located some German troops they would 'call in the location'. He then told us of flying tree top level behind the lines to drop supplies off to the resistance and how one night they were spotted, that is why he had shrapnel in one rib. He said he lost many friends that night. They were disbanded after that, signed an 'oath of secrecy' and he never saw any of his unit again.

More than that he never shared. I did find, after he died, photos of the military band he played with 'for fun' and copies of New Year's dinner dance menu and a Brigade Bulletin. In the package of his war records there was a notification that he would have received 39-45 star; Italy star; defence medal; CVSM award and clasp. But I never found any of them. I have no idea what he would have done with them

Flt.Sgt. Frederick Walter Helme 178 Squadron

Frederick Helme was with his crew on a supply run to Polish and was flying from Italy. The mission was completed and they were on the run home when they were attacked by a night fighter. Their plane, a B24 Liberator GC933, was shot down. It crashed in the yard of Oscar Schindler's factory. Three crew including the pilot perished. Three crew got out alive. One man was injured and rescued by the Polish Resistance. Frederick and another were taken prisoner and ended up in Stalag Luft 7. His POW number was 666. He was then on the Long March after the Germans emptied the camps as the Russians advanced from the East.


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