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Those who Served
Gnr. Fred Blunden . British Army Royal Artillery Maritime Regiment
My Dad, Fred Blunden, was on the last ship to be lost to U-boats in the Med in WW2, the SS Fort Missanabie. He served as a DEMS Gunner with the Royal Artillery Maritime Regiment.
Private Edward Frederick David Blundy . Army from Coventry)
I am writing as Ted Blundy's second son....he sadly died back in '80. Now that I am in my 50's, I am keen to learn more of his war service from anyone who knew him and served with him. Our family has a lot of Dads's war photos from the desert campaigns but there a many gaps in our knowledge. Can you help? Alan Blundy
Sgt Winifred Enid "Billy" Blunt . First Aid Nursing Yeomanry from Kenya)
I Would be grateful for any information of the years my mother Winifred Blunt above served with the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry while in Kenya during WW2. She was 100 years old in Sept 2010 and lives with us.
Ldg Seaman. H. Blythe . Royal Navy HMS Forfar
Ldg Seaman Blythe survived the sinking of the Forfar.
Louise "Pip" Blythe . Land Army
Tpr. Thomas Robinson Boal . British Army 23rd Hussars Royal Armoured Corps (d.27th Dec 1944)
Thomas Boal died aged 19, he was the son of David and Lily Boal (nee Robinson) of Jarrow
Thomas is buried in Brussels Town Cemetery.
F/S J. G. S. Boanson . Royal Air Force 514 Sqd. (d.8th Jun 1944)
F/S Boanson was killed when Lancaster DS822 JI-T came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau.
Pte. Herbert Boardman . British Army Durham Light Inf from St.Helens, Lancs)
F/Sgt. Angelo Joseph "Boccy" Boccinfuso . Royal Canadian Air Force 103 Squadron RAF from Ormond Street, South, Thorold, Ontario, Canada)
Angelo Boccinfuso enlisted on the 22nd of September 1943, he was discharged on the 20th of February 1946.
Sgt. August Wilhelm F. Bochardt . Dutch Army from Holland)
S/Sgt. Norbert H. "Bock" Bockerstette . U.S. Army 2nd Battalion, HQ Co., Ani-Tank Â Platoon 84th Div. 334th Inf. Regt. from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)
Mary Boddy . WAAF 106 Sqd.
My Aunt Mary Boddy and my mother Winifred Boddy, as they were then known, were attached to 106 Sqd, my father Flt Lt John O'Leary flew with 106 Sqd.
Winifred Boddy . WAAF 106 Sqd.
Mother Winifred Boddy and her sister Mary Boddy, as they were then know were attached to 106 Sqd, my father Flt Lt John O'Leary flew with 106 Sqd.
Dvr. Stanley Walter Boden . British Army 229 Coy Royal Army Service Corps from Fulham)
My father, Stanley Walter Boden, was born on the 7th August 1923, to Walter William Boden and Lillian Kate Boden (nee Iggulden). Dad had three brothers, Cyril, Fred and Henry.
Stanley Walter Boden joined the army on the 18th February 1943 at the age of 19 years and 7 months, (having already served in the Home Guard) and after having been transferred to the Royal Army Service Corps (R.A.S.C) reported to number 2 training battalion at Heckfield, Maidstone on the 31st March 1943 with the rank of private and was immediately given the rank of driver and his service number was prefixed “T”. His next posting was to 229 Company R.A.S.C. on the 12th April 1943. Dad seems to have led a rather un-eventful life until 29th January 1944 when he was awarded 10 days F.P (Field Punishment) by the Commanding officer for refusing to obey an order and using obscene language to an NCO. 229 Coy RASC moved to Southgate House, Clowne, Derbyshire which was a Small country house owned by the Bowden family. It would appear that this is where he met my mother Iris as she lived in the village of Balborough which is a couple of miles away.
On the 1st May 1944 at 04:00hrs, the company moved from Southgate House, to Surrenden Dering in Kent, (Surrenden Dering was a manor house, located in Pluckley, Kent) having staged overnight in Stevenage where they arrived at 16:00hrs on the 1st May. Leaving Stevenage at 10:00hrs on the 2nd May they arrived at Surrenden Dering at 18:00hrs. From the 2nd May 1944 until the 11th May 1944 the company, under the command of Major H Shaw appears to have just waited for embarkation to North West Europe. On the 23rd May 1944 at 10:00hrs, the company embarked on a signals exercise called “Slasher” which concluded on the 24th May at 10:00hrs. On the 25th May 1944 at 10:00hrs the company commenced on signals exercise “Ramsey” which ended on the same day at 19:00hrs and the following day at 10:00hrs took part in signals exercise “Heinrich” which ended at 19:00hrs.
On the 30thMay 1944, 6 officers and 125 other ranks attended a “Service before battle” in Canterbury Cathedral. Coincidentally I believe that my Grandfather, Dad's dad, also attended a Service before battle at Canterbury Cathedral in August 1914 before going the France with the 9th (Queens Royal) Lancers.
On the 16th July 1944 the company moved to the marshalling area in London, arriving at 08:15 hrs. and 2 OR’s were dispatched to hospital. On the 17th July at 07:00hrs half of the company embarked from the London docks and on the following day the remainder of the company embarked and the arrived at Arromanches on the 21st July, half of the company disembarking at “Gold Beach” and a detachment took up positions at Sommervieu, which is 13.5 Km (9 miles) from Cully where the mystery photo was taken and I think adds weight to mum's claim.
On the 23rd July the remainder of the company disembarked on Juno Beach. On the 24th July the remaining elements of the company arrived and on the 28th July moved location to Cahagnolles, arriving on the 29th July 1944. On the 30th July the company reached Les Mesnil where it set up forward ammunition and petrol point and 1 OR was wounded and evacuated to 34 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station).
On the 1st August the forward ammunition and petrol point which was near Caumont was shelled with 1 OR wounded and on the 4th August the Coy moved to St. Martin des Besaces to set up an ammunition and petrol point, and on the 9th August Dvr W Price was declared a deserter. By the 11th August the company had moved to Tinchebray where it absorbed the rear point on route and one OR was admitted to 11 light field ambulance. On the 20th August the company moved forward to a location given as 724287 where a detachment was sent to Beny Bocage to assist in forming the Falaise cushion.
F/O Robert Bodie . Royal Canadian Air Force 419 Sqd.
Able Seaman Dennis George Bodman . Royal Navy MTB681 from London)
Lt.Col. Edward Hedley Body MC.. British Army 5th Battalion East Kent Regiment from Wittersham Court, Wittersham,Kent)
Lt Col Edward Body, who has died aged 81, was awarded an MC in 1944 while serving in Italy with the 5th Battalion The Buffs during Operation Diadem, General Alexander's advance on Rome.
On May 19 Body, then a captain commanding "Y" Company, was in his battalion's attack on Aquino when the company was pinned down by machine-guns and snipers whose positions proved impossible to locate. Although he knew that the enemy was less than 100 yards away, Body continually moved about in the grass trying to observe them. Eventually he was hit in the shoulder by machine-gun bullets. Barely conscious, he continued to command his company and to send wireless messages back to Battalion Headquarters until another officer arrived to relieve him.
Eventually the order was given to withdraw. Two men were detailed to carry Body, who told them to leave him. When they refused and started to lift him, he pushed them away and, so as not to be a burden to them, staggered off unassisted. Throughout the withdrawal, which was carried out under heavy mortar and machine-gun fire, Body continued to shout orders at his men, and showed them the way to safety.
In the words of the citation: "Throughout the whole operation, Captain Body was a continual source of inspiration to all the officers and men in his Company, and set a magnificent example."
Edward Hedley Body was born at Middlesbrough on May 24 1920 and educated at Tonbridge. Intending to emulate his father and become a doctor, he then went up to Brasenose, Oxford, to study Medicine. At the outbreak of war, Body discovered that, as a medical student, he was exempted from conscription; anxious to enlist, he made a point of attending only lectures unconnected with his subject until eventually he was expelled. He was then called up and joined The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment), with which he had family connections. On gaining his commission he joined the 5th Battalion, part of 78th Division, and took part in the North African landings and the Tunisian campaign.
Body was wounded in the leg during the invasion of Sicily and evacuated to Malta. Impatient to rejoin his battalion, he discharged himself from hospital and made his way to Italy. On his arrival at his battalion the adjutant greeted him with the words: "Hello, Edward. We wondered when you would turn up. We've just had you posted as a deserter."
During the 78th Division's march on Cassino, Body was posted at a fork in the road to show the way. It was pouring with rain so he huddled under an umbrella - a sight which soon had the passing troops singing Any Umbrellas. The positive effect of this on morale was such that the adjutant ordered him to carry the umbrella at all times in future. Together with an old blanket which Body draped over his shoulders, this later served as a useful disguise during scouting expeditions around Monte Cassino.
After the action at Aquino, Body was evacuated to England. He was refused permission to rejoin his regiment on the ground that he was not fully fit and posted to the carrier Colossus as Army Liaison Officer, with responsibility for teaching Fleet Air Arm pilots to recognise Army positions. While Colossus was berthed in Alexandria on its way to the Far East, Body learned that a film of Antony and Cleopatra was being made in the desert.
As a training exercise, he instructed his pilots to try to find the film's location. Some time later they returned, having "beat them up at zero feet", sending actors, crew and the Egyptian Camel Corps fleeing in all directions. Fortunately for Body, Colossus sailed the next day, leaving the RAF to take the blame for this event.
Body celebrated the end of the war in Sydney and then spent some time running a camp for former civilian PoWs in Shanghai before returning to England. He re-entered Brasenose but, having inherited the family farm on the deaths of his two brothers (both killed while serving with the RAF), he now studied Agriculture.
In 1948, he took a job as a land agent on a large estate in Cheshire. To gain more practical experience, he then spent a year as a tractor driver and farmhand in Dumfriesshire before buying a small dairy farm in Kent. After seven years there, a back injury meant that he could no longer work his farm; so he went to Kenya where he ran another large estate for 18 months before joining the Kenya Agricultural Department. After a period as a lecturer in central Nyanza he went to Thika as Sisal Officer, later becoming Colony Potato Officer. Shortly afterwards he was transferred to Kisumu, in Nyanza, to help with the handover to African administration. After returning once more to Britain in 1965, Body went to live in Wales. Apart from two years in Sarawak as principal of an agricultural college, he remained there for the rest of his life. From 1974 until his retirement in 1989, he ran a bookshop in Brecon.
Edward Body had a fine mind and a cheerful scepticism about conventional wisdom. Quiet and thoughtful, with a gentlemanly disposition, he won the respect and affection of all who knew him. He married, in 1948, Barbro Ygberg, a Swede whom he had met in Alexandria. She survives him together with their four daughters.
MM2C. Lucien Charles Boehm . United States Navy from Kentucky. USA)
Pfc. Harold John Boetcher . United States Army 33rd QM Regt (Trk) Quartermaster Corps from Montana, USA)
Pte. Wilford Firdand Boettger . United States Army Coast Artillery Corps K Btry 59th CA Regt HDM & SB from Missouri)
Charles Joseph Bofinger . United States Navy Seebees from Bensalem, PA)
Charles Bofinger was stationed in the Pacific Theatre for 3 years with the Seebees.
Flying Officer M G Boggon . RAF 59 Squadron
Robert "Bogie Down" Bogue . US Army D Battery 119th Anti-Aircraft from Muncie, Indiana)
My grandfather, Robert Bogue was in Patton's Third Army with the 119th Anti-Aircraft, D battery. He was transferred to C Battery at Rennes in France. I don't know much about his war experience he died in 1988. I do however have his combat diary from D battery. In the diary it says he was a natural on the 80 and 90 gun and it says his nick name was "Bogie Down". Any info would be greatly appreciated.
S/Sgt. Carl Eugene Bohannon . United States Army CAC F Btry 200th CA Regt. (AA) Coast Artillery Corps from New Mexico)
Sergeant Arthur Reginald Bohn . RAF VR 428 Squadron (d.23rd September 1943)
I would be glad to get in contact with anyone who may remember the crew of Halifax LK-635 NA-H of 428 squadron, pilot F/O Mcrae. In his crew was Sgt James Wright an great-uncle of my wife. All killed on Ops 22/23 Sept 1943 Hannover Raid.
The crew were:
F/O Hector Earl McRae RCAF J/20195, killed age 23 (Runnymede Memorial) Sgt Donald Ernest Jeffery, RAF VR 1862968, killed (Runnymede Memorial) Sgt Leonard Cotton, RAF VR 1516171, killed age 22 (Runnymede Memorial) Flt/Sgt Walter Edward Dickson RCAF R/1556913, killed (Runnymede Memorial) Sgt Arthur Reginald Bohn, RAF VR 1415741, killed (Runnymede Memorial) Sgt James Wright, RAF VR 1590868, killed (Runnymede Memorial) Sgt Edward George Miller, RCAF R/183626, killed, age 19 (Runnymede Memorial)
Cpl. Thomas Peter Bohn . United States Army A Bty 200th CA Regt. (AA) Coastal Artillery Corps from Missouri)
Tech 5th grade T/5 Armand F. Boisseau Purple Heart. US Army 1st Bn. Hq Bty wire detail 941st Field Artilery Rgt. from Manchester, New Hampshire, USA)
The N.H. Army National Guard 1940 - 1943 2nd Bn. 172nd FA Rgmt. (hvy) truck-drawn 155mm Gun part one: In a re-organization after the First World War, the NH National Guard departed from its infantry roots to become the 172nd Field Artillery and the 197th Coastal Artillery. A generation later both were at war, the 172nd in Europe and the 197th in the Pacific. The 172nd Field Artillery traces its origins back to Capt. Waldron's Minute Company, 2nd N.H. Regiment, organized in 1775. During the Revolutuionar War this regiment served in the Continental Army as part of the 8th Continental Regiment, which earned battle credits for the Boston, Canada, Lake Champlain, Trenton, Princeton, Saratoga, Monmouth, Iroquois & Northern Dept. campaigns. Also credited with participation in the Civil War, WWI and WWII. The battalions saltire in the DUI of the 172nd FA is for Civil War service; the cactus for the Mexican border service; and the fleur-de-lis for service during WWI.
It all started for me when I joined the N.H. Army National Guard 4 Oct 1940 at 19. Assigned & assembled to the 2nd Bn 172nd FA Rgmt. 155mm Fld Guns (Heavy) truck-drawn. Commanding Officer was LtCol John F. Ahern, XO. Maj Thomas C. Werner and M/Sgt Mathew H. Korzyniowski as battalion Senior Sergeant. I was assigned to D Bty as an assistant prime-mover truck driver towing 155mm Field Guns using GMC's and Diamond Mfg 4x6 heavy-duty trucks and on occasion the M3 Armored Halftrack tracked truck in Motor Pool Platoon. This was an excellent artillery battalion lead by smart hard working officer's that always set the best example, mature and educated they were attuned to the needs of both the Army and the men under their command. Our training was good very good, Col. Ahern insisted on lots of drill time and as much field maneuvers as the Army could afford to give us. Most of the men that made up the battalion were from Manchester, others were from either Concord, Dover ,Portsmouth and Nashua. From the time I joined the Guard till the time we were inducted into federal service we held most of our field maneuvers in the southern training camps, Camp Blanding Florida, Camp Shelby Mississippi, the Great Louisiana Maneuvers also known as "The Big One" where half a million men & 19 Army Divisions trained prepairing to enter WWII and Camp Bowie Texas.
After the Japanise Empire attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Dec 7th 1941 rumors of activation into federal service started to spread throughout the battalion and our outfit were sure we were going to war. Camp Blanding and Camp Shelby under Third Army Southern Defence "training" Command were our first and most frequented training camps, it was at these two camps we trained the most and became very proficient at move, setup and direct fire support missions in the worst possible weather conditions. Deep thick forrest,raining swamps, snakes and mosquitoes we would move our guns, equipment and service batteries stop again and set-up for another firing mission, break position/camp and move out again again and again, over and over it didn't seem to stop for any long period of time. They were very few to little complaints and every man I knew did the best he could and we never left anyone behind left alone to do his job, we were a team. .
Most all of us were from New Hampshire and spoke french frequently together off duty and after hours. The Colonal whom also spoke french insisted we all maintained speaking english during all active duty drill assignments and official working hours, he would impose a heafty fine if we disobeyed this order..
Camp Bowie Texas just outside Brownwood was another training camp that was to introduce us to the hot sandy desert, it was here we started to receive our new guns the 4.5". Learning later that they were a US modified British design of a 155mm to accomindate US Artillery units with larger rounds using the same guns leaving for the Theather of Operations, I didn't pay much attention to them because my job was to to "gettum" there!..
In between maneuvers the battalion returned to New Hampshire for stand down, so HQ's can start planning the next field maneuvers. Home always seemed too far away when you were not there. My Dad, wife and brothers were always waiting for me at the train station like so many other guardsmen there when the unit did come home. Families reunited, birthday wedding parties planned, and buisnesses to run. We had no idea our next training maneuver would be the toughest, longest and our last, the Southern California desert, Camp "Iron Mountain"..
172nd Field Artillery Regiment (155mm How)(Truck-D) N.H. National Guard 24Feb41 inducted into federal service at Manchester N.H.; transferred to Cp Blanding Fla.14Feb41 & assigned to IV Army Corps; arrived at Cp Shelby Miss 27Mar42 where HHB redesignated HHB, 172nd Field Artillery Group 1Mar43. 1st and 2nd Bns. redesignated 172nd and 941st Field Artillery Battalions, respectively.
F/O Leslie Claude William Boivin . Royal Air Force pilot 106 Sqd. (d.30th Aug 1944)
F/O Boivin lost his life on the 30th of August 1944 when his Lancaster ND331 was lost on ops.
The crew were:
- F/O L.C.W.Boivin
- Sgt S.Bell
- Sgt W.S.Bryson
- F/S J.P.Nicol
- F/S R.H.McLean
- Sgt E.G.L.Parker
- Sgt H.Hargill
Kan Wilhelms Hendrik Bolder . Dutch Army
Bmdr. Walter Bollands . British Army Light Anti Aircraft Royal Artillery from Middlesbrough)
Walter Bollands is my grandfather. He served 1939 -1945 in England, India, Malta and USA. He enlisted on the 23rd of September 1939, aged 40 in Middlesbrough and joined the Corps of Royal Artillery Light Anti Aircraft as a Gunner (Army No 1482498) On the 14th of April 1941 he was posted to 4th Regiment Maritime Anti-Aircraft Royal Artillery. on the 4th of February 1942 he was reported Missing at Sea whilst serving as a Bombardier Royal Artillery, (Gunners of the Royal Artillery Maritime Regiment manned the Bofors gun) He was demobbed on the 29th of September 1945.
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