The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

Those who Served

Allied Forces - Browse by Surname.

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Axis Forces - Browse by Surname.

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Albert Frederick Benton .     Royal Marines Turret Gunner HMS Mauritius/HMS London

I learned recently that my wife's uncle - Albert Frederick Benton - served in the Royal Marines (turret gunner) on HMS Mauritius and on HMS London. I would love to know more, as would his son who never managed to talk to Bert about his war service.

Mark Bale

Douglas Benton .     British Army   from )

I am looking for anyone that knew my father Douglas Benton. He worked in the salt mines while imprisoned in Stalag 8B. I know very little of his time there, however, I understand, that being a pugilist he would sometimes box in order to gain more rations for his unit.

Maggie Thaden

F/Sgt. A. G. Beresford .     Royal Air Force 50 Squadron

Pte. Eric Stanley Beresford .     Australian Army   from Australia)

S B Flynn

Norman Berg .     United States Marine Corps

J Bergen .     Royal Navy HMS Nigeria

J. Bergen .     Royal Navy HMS Nelson

Charles W. Berger .    

S B Flynn

2nd Lt. Joseph S Berger .     US Army Air Force   from California, USA)

I'm Looking for any information on my husband's Uncle. His name was Joseph S. Berger. He was shot down in 1943 on a bombing mission over Floesti, Romania. He was stationed in North Africa with the AAF. We think he was a B-24 pilot but some stories have him flying a B-25. His Stalag Luft 1 Number is 4596. When my husband's Aunt passed away my husband received a box with his Uncle's AAF gear and some German items. One interesting item is a German Reich Mark with several names signed on both sides. A note with the bill states that these are names of men that were in his hut in the POW camp. My husband's uncle passed away in 1959 while serving with the Los Angeles County Sherrif's Office.

Judy Ladner

Leonard Berger .     Royal Canadian Air Force bomb aimer 419 Sqd.

Cad.Sgt. Karel Bergers .     Dutch Army   from Holland)

S B Flynn

"Bergie" Bergman .     RCAF w/op 408 Sqd.

Larry Romain

Cpl. Jan Berkenbosch .     Dutch East Indies Army   from Holland)

S B Flynn

Sgt. Bernard .     Royal Air Force 32 Squadron

Can anyone help with identifying this crashed aircraft? The origional photo is 2" by 1" and the serial number is not all that visible. On the back is written Sgt Bernard 25th August 1941. I know that it belongs to 32 Squadron and that the pilot is not listed on the war graves site.

UPDATE: Looking at the aircraft, it seems to be a Mk1 Hurricane (straight tailwheel leg with ventrical fin is Mk1, wing too thick and T/E of wing at root too square for Spitfire, and fuselage aft of cockpit sloaping down to fin, pilot hand hold location in the "G" etc. etc.)

The only record I can find of an accident within 32 Sqdrn, is on the 22nd August 1940, when the plane was destroyed in a landing accident flown by Plt Off J.Pfeiffer (Polish), who was unhurt in the incident.

That plane, P3205 was delivered to 32 Sqdrn at Hawkinge in August 1940 and it was a Mk1 Gloucester built unit .

I am puzzled however, by the prescence of a wing fuel tank, and the apparent sloap on the field, and the steam roller, and the way the wings have come off.

It makes me wonder if this plane was blown over, and the wings blown off by bombing, and the roller is trying to repair the field?

Either way, the date of 25th August 1941 seems at odds with the mark of aircraft, plus the only Bernard I can find of the Battle of Britain era was an F.A.Bernard who was a Czech who served in 238 and 601 Sqdrn.

Mark Morley

UPDATE: I have since found out that Sgt Bernard was a Czechoslovakian pilot who fought during the battle of Britain, apparently he crashed the aircraft on a night flying exercise at Angle Airfield, Pembs. 1941. He did survive the crash and the war, commissioned in 1942, released after the war but rejoined in 1950. Mentioned in despatches 6/3/56 for distinguished service in Kenya, retired from service as Flight Lieutenant 23/7/64, 5 months after I joined the service.He was born on the 23/7/1914, died on the 17/7/80 in New Zealand, . There are some other bits and pieces still to find but I now have another address to try, in New Zealand, as one person said, perhaps he has family out there who may like the photograph, who knows but I will keep trying, all off the information has come from sites like your own and it is thanks to you that people can find out about our recent history and what the people went through.

When I found this photograph, I had no idea that I would come so far with it, I thought that it would remain one of those forgotten incidents and be confined to a drawer somewhere, I am glad I took up the challenge.

Eddie Smith.


I have finally found out what happened to Hurricane Z5222, why it crashed at Angle Aerodrome, information as follows. This aircraft crashed at about 21;45 hrs on Angle Aerodrome on the 25th August 1941. The aircraft had been on an operational patrol when owing to weather conditions at Fairwood Common the aircraft was ordered to land at Angle. Night flying was not normally carried out at the airfield and Hurricane Z5222 landed before the flare path had been completed, hitting a "STEAM ROLLER" on landing. The obstruction was just 7 yards from the edge of the aerodrome. No blame was attached to the pilot, who was Sgt Bernard.

This was copied from a letter I received from the Air Historical Branch RAF: F/Lt Bernard Frantisek. Number 787 543 ( 120 209 ) Date of Birth 23rd July 1914. Place Stary Ehernberk. Date of Death 17th June 1980, New Zealand.

After retraining at No 6 OTU at Sutton Bridge he arrived on the 10th Sept 40 at No 601 Squadron. Transferred one month later to 238 Squadron 28th April 41 he moved to 32 Squadron. After operational service with 32 he became an instructor on the 13 Sept 41 at 56 O.T.U.. 6TH August 42 he returned to operational duty with 313 Czechoslovak Fighter Squadron, 22nd 06 43 he went for a rest and then served at the Czechoslovak Inspectorate General (CIG) in London. 01 05 44 he returned to 313 squadron in the rank of F/Lt, on the 22 05 44 he became the leader of flight "B" of number 310 Czechoslovak Fighter Squadron, he stayed there until the end of the war.

In 1948 when the communist's took over in CSR he emigrated to England and rejoined the RAF. He left 23rd July 1964 as a F/Lt and moved to New Zealand where he died on the 17th June 1980.

My next move is to try and reunite the photograph with any family he may have. I have one or two places to try, thanks to people like yourself on the internet. I had another look at the photo and I am wondering if the Steam roller in the background is the one he hit, I wonder if the driver of it got hell for leaving it there in the first place and I am surprised that the pilot got away without blame, to me it sounds like he was in a hurry (Pardon the pun) to land.

Eddie Smith

Sgt. N. D. Berndsson .     102 Squadron

Rifleman Gerard G. Bernhardt .     United States Army 28th Infantry Division   from East Falls, PA)

Aged just 17, Gerard Bernhardt volunteered for the Army and served as a rifleman in the 28th Infantry Division. When his unit landed on the beaches of France in 1944 as part of the D-Day invasion, a sniper shot him in the front of the neck and the bullet pierced his left lung. He managed to survive and was awarded a Purple Heart.

S. Flynn

Sld. Bernardus P. Berrevoets .     Dutch Army   from Holland)

S B Flynn

Doris Margaret Berry .     Womens Land Army   from Forest Gate, London)

My mum, Doris Margaret Berry, joined the Women's Land Army at the beginning of the war aged 16. She worked in the hot-houses growing tomatoes in Waltham Abbey. She says it was back breaking work lugging manure around and digging frozen ground in the winter. Unfortunately, she kept no photographs or memorabilia of her time in the Land Army but always spoke of her time with great enthusiasm and I think that she enjoyed her time in Waltham Abbey. Following the war she returned home to Forest Gate. Sadly she died Jan 1st this year and so missed yesterday's tribute ceremony in Staffs.

I would love to hear if there are any other tomato-girls left.

Irene Stewart

F/Sgt. Ernest "Bill" Berry .     Royal Australian Air Force 50 Squadron

Paul Berry .     British Army

Paul Berry was my grandfather, he was in charge of the prisoners in Easton Grey Camp, teaching them hedging and ditching. He also helped them decorate a nissen hut turning it into a chapel. The hut is still standing along with the wonderful painted ceiling. It is in private hands now as an industrial site but locals are hoping the owner will not destroy such wonderful artwork.

Howard Harding

Sergeant Thomas George Berry .     77Sqd (d.21st Jan 1944 )

flew from Elvington as a mid-upper gunner

Jack P. Berry. .     USAAF

F/S Weston Robert Berry. .     RAAF 12Sqd. (d.12th Jun 1943)

Rear Gnr.Weston Berry died on 12th Jun 1943 in Lancaster W4791 PH-W of 12sqd

Gnr. Richard Berryman .     Army Royal Artillery

Dick Berryman was in Stalag 8b with my Father, Arthur Booker, if anyone remembers him or his fellow POW's please get in touch.

Barbara Jutsum

Group Capt. S. Bertram .    

Louis C Besco .     US Army   from Ottuma, Iowa, USa)

My grandfather, Louis C Besco, was a pow at Stalag 9b from 12/25 - 4/1. We recently found his postcards he wrote to my grandmother and a diary that he had from the war describing his stay at Stalag 9b. He lived to be 95 years old he passed away a few years ago. We also found the letter sent to my Grandmother informing her that he was missing in action dated 3 months after he was captured.

Shonda Veatch

Pte. Alfred Cyril Best .     British Army Royal Artillery   from Sunninghill)

I am researching my partner's step-father Cyril Best who is now 93 and has a story to tell. He served in Greece before being taken prisoner in Creete in 1941. The rest of the war was spent in Stalag 3. He is asking if any of his friends are still alive including Ken Griffen, F.Bridger or K.Jacobs

Malcolm Collins

Frank Henry Best .     British Army 5th Btn. Coldstream Guards   from Chatham, Kent)

My Dad Frank Best has developed dementia at 89yrs of age his only real memory is of wartime, he was at Nimagan in Belgium fighting but I can find no records to that effect can anyone help? He served with the Coldstream Guards 5th Battalion.

David Best

Pte. John Best .     Australian Army   from Australia)

S B Flynn

LAC. Leonard Francis Best .     Royal Air Force 104 Sq.

As a family we never knew where dad, Leonard Best had been during the war, only that he was wounded and sent to a Malta hospital and also that he had been in the far east. We have managed to obtain a copy of his records through the RAF but we don't know how he was shot etc. It would be lovely if someone could help as dad never spoke of the war. My two sons now march with pride wearing his medals on Anzac day in Sydney Australia.

Rosemary Ann Wardle

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