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Airfields of WW2
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Those Who Served
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Those who Served
Belcik . United States Air Force 306th B17 Sqdn. from USA)
If anyone has information about an airman who served in US Air Force 306th B17 Squadron by the name of Belcik would they please get in touch. I am trying to gather information on 306th's base airfield at Thurleigh on behalf of a colleague.David Taylor
Belcik . United States Air Force 306th B17 Bomb Sqdn. from USA)
I am researching Thurleigh Airfield, home of 306th B17 Bomber Squadron, pre-1945. Can anyone help?David Taylor
Frank Belfield . Royal Air Force 460 Sqd.
Frank Belfield was a flight engineer with 460 Sqd.
Sgt. William Belford . Royal Australian Air ForceS B Flynn
Pte. H. Beliskey . British Army Royal Army Service Corps
Pte. Joseph Ovila Marcien Belisle . Royal Canadian Army Perth Rgt. from Vancouver)
(d.8th January 1945)
My uncle, Marcien Belisle, was killed in Italy on 8th January 1945. I never met him. As a boy, his memory and death was always present in my father, also a veteran. The loss of his brother was always solemnly revered. To this day, I read his war letters (framed now in remembrance). Does anyone remember him?B Belisle
Bell . British Army 89th Para Regiment
My dad joined the British Army on 9th September 1939. He was wounded at Dunkirk and came home to Belfast, Northern Ireland. When he returned, he enlisted in the newly formed paratroop training outfit. He was in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. He was demobbed in 1946. He left for America in 1947, then brought us out in December 1948. He was never the same after the war and there were few times when he would talk about it. He died in 1953 and my grandchildren are at the stage where they want to know about him and his war service. If anyone might know how I might get any information about the 89th Irish Para Regt I would be grateful.
My name is Kevin Morrison. I am a collection holder at Glasgow Caledonian University. My collection relates to the Home Front during the Second World War. I have a government publication from 1945 called `By air to battle: the official account of the British First and Sixth Airborne Divisions'. I have had a look, but I couldn't see any mention of the 89th Irish Para Regiment. It does, though, have some really good information on the formation of the Paras and also accounts of the desert and Italian campaigns. If you would like to give me your address I can photocopy the relevant parts and send them to you. My website address is: http://www.lib.gcal.ac.uk/speccoll/morrison/index.htm.Bob Bell
Ornance Articifer 4th Cls Albert Thelus Farlam Bell . Royal Navy HMS Forfar from Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire)
(d.2nd Dec 1940)
Pte. Albert Alexander Bell . Australian ArmyS B Flynn
Amelia Gertrude Bell . Women's Land Army from Highburyn, London)
I was 20 at outbreak of war in Sept.1939. My childhood sweetheart was quickly sent to Belgium as he was in the Territorial Army. He came home on a leave in April 1940 and we got married. We had five days together & he had to rejoin his regiment in Lille, Belgium. He was killed on the beaches of Dunkirk during the evacuation on May 28th 1940.
The Blitz began in Sept & my home was blown up by a landmine. Moved to a flat also in Highbury & that too was damaged. I decided to get out of town so I went for a weekend stay with friends in Northamptonshire where I met up with a farmer berating the government because they had taken his farm workers as soldiers. He said he'd been offered a land army girl "what use would she be?" I asked him if he would take me on (not having ever been on a farm in my life) & he said he would.
I returned to London, went to WLA HQs & said I would volunteer if I could go where I wanted. They said OK. That's how I started, in Northamptonshire, but this farmer turned out not to be of the best, he treated me as if I was male labour & I was working from 6am to 10pm on haymaking, harvesting, milking, foddering, muck carting etc. He sent me into the bull's pen to clean him out, a vicious looking animal, but for me, ignorance was bliss & I just pushed him around whilst cleaning the floor, even tweaking the ring in his nose! I had even been careful to shut the door so that he couldn't get out! He didn't touch me.
He sent me up the fields to shepherd the sheep, not telling me there was a ram amongst them, but I soon found out when it butted me. One day he sent me with a scythe to cut the nettles down, how I ever came out of that with both legs I'll never know!!
Fortunately after 2 months a WLA rep. came & promptly decided I should never be working under those conditions & I left that farm, but luckily I was taken on by another very nice farmer in the area. Even he sent me on the errand of getting a horse out of another farmer's field - as notified by the local postman - the horse, an ex-hunter, was frolicking with the mares there. Off I went, with a bowl of cowcake which I knew he liked with all the confidence in the world, but old Jack knew differently, having managed to get his head harness on & leading him to the break in the hedge he had got through, he promptly threw his head up, I went flying & off he galloped back to the mares - I swear he was laughing. But I didn't give up I tried again but no way, he just wouldn't budge this time & I had to return without him.
Yes, it was hard work but I have never regretted it. My experiences were quite something, for a town girl, but as we all did, I got down to it. If I had my time again, I would have rather gone in with a crowd of other girls in billets, more fun & help, but it all worked out well, I was in with very good local people & eventually married a local chap. I found too that the locals accepted me very well as I was a worker amongst them, often helping other farmers when needed. I only had to retire upon the birth of my daughter, but afterwards still went on helping the locals. I am now nearly 90 years of age, have got my badge etc. not in the best of health but battling on.Millie Bell
Ft/Sgt Andrew Bell . Royal Air Force 153 Sqn. from Old Kilpatrick, Scotland)
I believe the picture of this Lancaster crew to have been taken at RAF Scampton in 1945. The pilot, I believe, was F/O Clark and the crew member on the extreme left was my father, Ft Sgt Andrew Bell whose role was that of Air Bomber.Douglas Bell
P/O Angus Hugh "Bob" Bell . Royal Canadian Air Force 419 Sqd.Marianne Abeare
Annie Bell . Women's Auxiliary Air Force
My grandparents, Annie Bell and Charles Clifford Booth. They both served in the RAF in WW2. They were both stationed in Doncaster in 1946, she was a cook and he was a fireman (later a sewing machinist?). I don't know much more than this except she was discharged from the air force due to being pregnant in 1946 and gave birth at the Doncaster Institution. Does anyone recognise these names? I am trying to find more information.Lisa Franklin
Cpl Clarence Bell . British Army Royal Army Service Corps from Christon Bank, Northumberland)
My father Clarrie Bell was a driver in the RASC in units 98 PTC, 33 GT Coy and 633 Coy. He landed in Normandy on 6th of June 1944 and moved through France and Holland ending up in Berlin.Ann Lewis
Pte. Clasper Bell . British Army 9th Btn. Durham Light Infantry (d.29th Jun 1942)
Clasper Bell died age 34 whilst serving with the 9th DLI. He is buried in El Alamein War Cemetery.Vin Mullen
Elsie Bell . Land Army
S/Sgt. Francis E. Bell . United States Army Coast Artillery Corps C Btry, 515th CA Regt (AA) from New Mexico, USA)
Frank Bell . British Army Grenadier Guards from Seaton, Cumbria)
My Uncle Frank and my father both served in the Grenadier Guards. Frank was a prisoner of war at Stalag 11a having been taken prisoner at Anzio.
My father Joseph was with the 2nd Battalion Guards Armoured Division he was seriously wounded at Cagny, France.Anne Hodson
Frederick James Bell . Royal Air Force 83 Squadron from Atherton, Lancs. )
(d.22nd Dec 1944)
My Grandad Frederick James Bell was in 83 Squadron RAF based at Conningsby. Freddie died aged 24, far too young, leaving his wife and 2 yr old son (my dad) and his brother and sister. He had just had leave and gone back on duty. When flying with Lancaster number PB533 on 22nd December 1944 they were diverted on the way home to Metheringham air base because of fog at Conningsby but unfortunately there was also fog at Metheringham and they crashed into a copse of trees. All the airmen had moved to the front of the plane to help see their way to land and all died; only the rear gunner stayed at the back of the plane and he survived.
Obviously I never meet my grandad but he lives on in my dad and me, I have done a lot of research into him and feel very close to him now and know him. I find his story very sad but will always keep his memory alive. We visit his grave regularly he is buried in Hampstead Norreys cemetery. He will never be forgotten, or the other airmen he died with. I have visited another one of the airman's grave that was onboard and hope to visit the others that I can get too.Teresa Lewis
Howard Bell . US Navy 103 Sqd. Fleet Air Wing 7
Sgt. J. Bell . 97 Squadron
Sub Lt. James Black Bell . Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve HMS Prunella (d.21st Jun 1940)
My uncle, Sub-Lt James Black Bell was killed because of the torpedoing of HMS Prunella - ex mercantile Cape Howe. It is my understanding that he got off the ship on one of the lifeboats, but that in the storm that came up that night this boat was lost. If anyone has any more information on this event I would be grateful if you could share it with me.John Bell
Sub Lt. James Black Bell . Royal Navy HMS Prunella (d.21st Jun 1940)
W/O James Ramsay "Jock" Bell . Royal Air Force 199 Squadron from Dumfries)
My father, James Bell known as Jock, served with 199 Squadron from November 1943 till June 1947. He was a rear gunner and his skipper's name was Tom Walford. I have a few photos of his crew and still have his log book.Lesley Taylor
AC1. John Rogerson Bell . Royal Air Force 10 Squadron from Broats Farm, Kirkpatrick Fleming, Annan, Dumfriesshire)
(d.2nd Oct 1939)
I never knew my Uncle John and whilst my Mum had told me he had died during WW11, it is only as a result of a recently re-awakened interest in family history that I have begun delving into John's life. John Bell came from a large family of (fairly) prosperous farmers just over the Border in Scotland and his interest in aeroplanes was ignited when Alan (later Sir) Cobham brought his flying circus to the area in the 1930's and used the fields of John's parents farm as a landing ground. During WW11 these same fields were used as relief landing ground for 15EFTS based at Kingstown in Carlisle. My mother was a time-keeper on the airfield and one of the young pilots who flew was later to become my father after his marriage to mum in 1947.
I knew that John's name appeared on the War Memorial at Kirkpatrick Fleming and that his name appeared on his parents' grave in the churchyard.... but I never knew his full story until recently. It was with tears in my eyes that I discovered that John had died on his first ever operational mission (a leaflet drop over Berlin) on the night of 1st/2nd October 1939. He was only 20 years old. This was the first ever flight over Berlin by the RAF in WW11 and was made by 4 Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys. The raid was made in foul weather and sadly my Uncle John's plane was the only one of the four that failed to return. His plane was last heard of 180 miles from St Abbs Head. John has no war grave, but he is, however, honoured at the RAF's Runnymede Memorial, which I have now vowed to visit one day.Gary Neile
John Gordon "Don" Bell . Royal Air Force 355 Squadron
John Gordon Bell trained at 22 EFTS Cambridge where he flew Tiger Moths, at 25 EFTS Assiniboia where he flew Cornels, and at 18 SFTS Gimli Man flying Ansons. He then moved to 5 OTU at Boundary Bay and Abbottsford BC learning to fly Mitchells. He flew with 45 Transport Group from Canada to India and was based at Kolar, Mysore State with 6RFU and 355 Squadron at Salbani, Benghl, flying Liberators over Burma.Phil Juvet
LAC. John Leslie "Jock" Bell . Royal Air Force 76 Squadron
My Grandfather, John Bell who died some years ago was a leading Aircraftsman with 76 squadron during the Second war. He volunteered for service to join the RAF so he would avoid the call up to either the Army or Navy. He was a master joiner by trade and as a result worked on airframes against his desire to learn propulsion and mechanics. He served at Holme on Spalding moor, Linton on Ouse and Middleton St George and the went abroad to India with 76 squadron. He was by all accounts a good friend of Leonard Cheshire who was the squadron commander. We have a book signed by Mr Cheshire to my grandfather.
I am trying to research my grandfathers service and any help would be very appreciated.Andrew Bell
Pte. Joseph Russell Bell . British Army 10th Btn. Durham Light Infantry from Bishop Auckland)
(d.24th Jul 1943)
Joseph Russell Bell 4456672 10th Battalion DLI, was part of the BEF fighting a retreating battle against the overwhelming numbers of the German Army. He was shot, wounded and captured near Villiers, northern France on 20th May 1940 then taken to Stalag XXA,Thorn on 10th June 1940, where he became POW No 10558, he was held at various forts until he was "shot while trying to escape" on 24th July 1943 whereupon he was buried in the garrison cemetery at garnison freidhof then later exhumed and re- buried in the Malbork commonwealth cemetery.
Russell was also "mentioned in despatches" and because our relative is reluctant to give details of his citation we dont know whether he earned this award during the fighting or in his captive time. During his time in Thorn he was sent to work in the brickworks near Tuchola where he was befriended by a Pole called Jan Glowacki who's son Lucjan used to to sneak food parcels in for them despite the enormous risks, sometime later the two comrades became separated for ever.
Years later in 2011 when we were planning to visit Malbork to honour his grave Russells sister Doreen gave us a letter written in german by Jan asking Russell to write back and tell him about his story, anyway we showed this letter to the lady who was organising our trip and she said "Tuchola is a small village, I'll be able to track down the Glowacki family and maybe arrange for you to meet them", well she did, we visited the three forts where Russell was held then actually met Lucjan who despite his age remembered His father and his friend, what a moving moment it was! Anyway thats Russells story, now I'm hoping someone somewhere will have a soldier who knew Russell Bell either in the prison or in battle who can maybe "put some flesh on the bones" of this enigmatic man.Alan Bell
Joyce Bell . Womens Land Army
My mum Joyce Bell was in the Land Army Station down in Evesham we believe, not sure of the year. She used to tell us tales about her and her friend Sandy. We are very proud of her.Lesley Byram
F/Sgt. R. R. Bell . 97 Squadron
Page 18 of 59
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