- HMS Blanche during the Second World War -
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Those known to have sailed in
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Malcolm Robert M.. F/Lt.
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There are 1 pages in our library tagged HMS Blanche These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Second World War.
F/Lt. Robert M. Malcolm 150 Sqdn.My father, Bob Malcolm, was born in Winnipeg and enlisted in the RCAF in February 1941 at the age of 31. He received his commission in November of 1941 and was posted overseas one month later. He was trained as an observer and all of his 330 operational hours were gained on the Wellington Mk III bomber. His navigational training took place on Ansons, Manchesters and Wellingtons.
The first operations entry in Dad's log book is for 30th May 1942. His aircraft (Wellington W476 piloted by F/S Walters) participated in the first 1000-bomber raid of the war on Cologne. The entry simply reads, "Operations - Cologne - incendiaries - clear moonlight - target identified." Nothing hinted at the destruction below.
On the return from one mission over Frankfurt in August 1942, the starboard engine failed 25 miles southwest of Brussels. The engine was jettisoned and pilot Sgt. Bennee hard landed at Manston. Nobody was injured and the crew caught the next ferry home.
Dad served with 150 Squadron in Blida, North Africa from December 1942 until April 1943. His log book entries for that period note that he was aircrew aboard Wellington HF690, piloted by Sgt. Matthews, for many of his sorties. He also flew on HF674.
Dad was one of the lucky ones in that in all his missions while in North Africa, his crew suffered only one fatality, Sargeant Doug Baird of Abbotsford, BC. On a raid to Trapani, Sicily, on February 9, 1942, Dad's log states, "some heavy and lots of light flak - coned on run up and Baird wounded - bombed target - no W/T aids - landed Maison Blanche. Baird died in hospital."
After his stint with 150 Sqdn., Dad served as a ground instructor at RAF Bournemouth. He was transferred to the reserves in July 1946, having attained the C.V.S.M. and clasp, the 1939-45 Star, Africa Star and Clasp, Aircrew Europe Star, Defence Medal, RCAF Ops. Wings and Air Navigators Badge.
During the war, Dad met and eventually married Prydwen Thomas, a nurse from Betws-y-Coed, North Wales. After their wedding in December 1945, Mom and Dad returned to Winnipeg where Dad continued with the RCAF reserves, the Post Office, Department of Veterans Affairs and ultimately teaching. Dad passed away in 1981.Duncan Malcolm
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