The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War

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Those who Served

Allied Forces - Browse by Surname.

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Axis Forces - Browse by Surname.

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Able Sea. Reginald William Matthews .     Royal Navy HMS Acheron   from Epsom, Surrey)

(d.17th Dec 1940)

Able Seaman Reginald Matthews was my Grandfather. He served with the Royal Navy since the age of 16. He left in 1935 when my father was born. He was called up at the start of WW2 and served on HMS Acheron as a stoker until his death in December 1940. He was 35 years old and left behind his wife and my fathe.

Debbie Lancastle

Sydney Matthews .     British Army 384 General Transport Coy Royal Army Service Corps   from Clavering)

(d.15th Feb 1942)

I am a local historian researching the names on the WW2 memorial in my village and have been told a story that I would like to check out, but I can't find anything online about it. It concerns one of the men commemorated on our village war memorial in Clavering, Essex, Sydney Matthews who served in the RASC and died 15 Feb 1942, his name is on the Alamein Memorial.

The local story is that he was a PoW on a ship which was accidentally sunk by the Allies as it was not marked as a hospital ship. This would presumably be in the Mediterranean on 15 Feb 1942 but I can't find such a ship among the list of those lost.

If anyone can direct me to some sources, I would be very grateful then we can record more about Sid Matthews, if it was him involved in this incident.

Jacqueline Cooper

Sgt T Matthews .     RAF 12sqd

Wilf Matthews .     Royal Air Force 51 Squadron

Our crew was stationed with 51 squadron on three separate occasions, as we had three different skippers & two different bomb-aimers, which meant going back to con-unit for the necessary training with these chaps. We did our christening on the Nuremberg trip of 30 March '44, and made a forced landing at Wing (Otu) near Leighton Buzzard, Beds. After which our skipper, F/lt Joe Pawell, who was an American, flying in the RCAF, went to hospital in London with an ulcer, and after that first visit we didn't see him again.

Back on the squadron, we did 'spare bod' trips, during which we lost our bomb aimer, Bob Burgum, on a raid near Aachen. we went back to 'con unit', where we crewed up with new Skipper, F/o Danny King, RAAF. and bomb-aimer 'Grem' Emlyn-Jones. Danny had been with 77 Sdn, where we understand, he pranged on take-off with a bomb-load and was awarded an M.I.D. that he never talked of, but he did wear the emblem. Later on, we met one of his previous gunners, a F/sgt 'Herby' Holroyd.

"Grem' came to us from a crew who had pranged at Garrowby Hill, where he has since erected a memorial to them. I remembered one of his gunners from my training days, a nice guy named Sid Booker. Grem and I are in fairly regular contact. We only did five trips with Danny, and on the last one he had a break-down, 17/7/44, was taken off flying 'heavies', and the last we knew, was on single -engined planes.

Back to con-unit where we teamed up with F/O Bob Gray, and at the end of his training we returned to Snaith to do a 'Bull's- eye' to Overflakee on 17/9/44, after which we carried on the usual squadron life up to the end of the war. The only change being that the squadron moved from Snaith to Leconfield, to do the 'final trip' to Wangerooge on 25/4/45. I am fortunate to still have my log-book and a stack of memories. I'm also grateful to my daughter, who is always ready for my stories, and who found this web-site.

Wilf Matthews

William John Matthews .     Royal Navy HMS Newcastle   from Eccles)

My uncle, Bill Matthews, served in the Royal Navy throughout the war. I have a postcard from him in 1943 in the Pacific somewhere. He had The Burma Star and Pacific Bar as well as the three main medals for the war. He was a singer and recorded with the Hastings Swanea Minstrels after the war. He was a brilliant cartoon artist, and a TV scene painter, as well as a model in his time.

Anyone who may have any knowledge or wartime photos please get in touch.

David Matthews

P/O C. A. Matthews. .     Royal Air Force 434 sqd.

Sgt George Alexander Matthews. .     220 Sqd

Sgt Leslie Matthews. .     RAF 12Sqd.

Leslie Matthews was held as a POW in Stalag XXA, Kopernikus.

T/5 Rupert Russell Mattingly .     United States Army 1st Armoured Division   from Louisville, Ky)

My father, Rupert R. Mattingly, was also captured at Fiad Pass in Northern Africa on February 14th, 1943. He was under the leadership of Col. Waters, the son-in-law of General Patton. Col. Waters was also captured during that battle. Col. Waters oral history was an interesting read about that battle and his capture. My father was a "scout" and was out on patrol when he was overrun by German tanks thus captured. He was boated to Italy where he was forced to worked for the German army transporting ammunition and gasoline and watched our planes destroy them. He then was marched to East Prussia where he was a prisoner in a number of camps. According to war records he was liberated from Stalag 2b-Hammerstein.

Dad never talked about his time as a war prisoner. We have no pictures, information beyond an article that appeared in a local newspaper upon his return. I have uploaded the stories. Any one with any pictures or any info about that battle a Fiad Pass please post.

Buddy Mattingly

WO/2 Frederick Thomas Mattison .     Royal Canadian Air Force 407 Sqdn.   from Toronto)

(d.20th Jan 1943)

Fred Mattison was my dad's cousin. During the War I was very young and never did understand how a person could go missing, but everyone in the family knew he was in action over the English Channel and were notified he was missing in action. Only in recent years have I gathered information about Fred and his role in the 407 (Demon) Squadron.

407 Squadron was active across the English Channel to the Bay of Biscay in search of enemy submarines and shipping. The 407 suffered a high level of losses per capita, compared to other units. On one of these attack missions Fred failed to return and was presumed killed in action. Fred will always be remembered by all the remaining family for his supreme sacrifice.

Bill Pollard

F/S G. M. Maude .     RAAF 138 Sqd.

Walter Robert Maude .     British Army Royal Field Artillery

Jennifer Maude

Sgt. G. F. S. Maunders .     RAF ABC operator 101 Sqd. (d.3rd Nov 1943)

Sgt G.F.S Maunders was the 8th crew member (ABC operator) of Lancaster LM635 SR-H was killed on the 3rd of Nov 1943 when the aircraft was shot down, flying from Ludford Magna en-route to Dusseldoft was shot down. He is buried in the Rheinberg War cemetery.


Pte. Henry K. Maus .     United States Army 106th Infantry   from Arma, KS)

My father, Henry Maus, was in the Artillery Group of the 106th Infantry. He was taken as a Prisoner of War during the Battle of the Bulge. He was taken to Stalag 4B.

His story was that he and a few other Americans had talked a farmer into piling horse manure near the fence of the place where he was held. He and the others jumped from a second story window, over the fence where the pile of manure broke their fall. After escaping, they ran and went into hiding in the forest. After two days they ran into a group of American soldiers coming down the road. The soldiers told them that the war had just ended!

Henry Maus, Jr.

F/O. William J. Mawdsley .     Royal Australian Air Force 23rd Operational Training Unit   from Nathalia, Victoria, Australia)

(d.2nd June 1942)

Bill Mawdsley was born in 1912 and became a school teacher. In early 1941 he took part in No 9 Course, No 4 Empire Flight Training Scheme at Mascot New South Wales. He was then posted to "Y" Depot, Halifax, Canada leaving his wife Lorna at home in Australia.

After arrival in England he was completing his training at the 23rd OTU at Pershore when he was sent with his crew as part of the second "Thousand Force" night raid to Essen in Germany. He was in command of a Wellington 1c bomber - No R1266-GZ and took off from Pershore at 23.05 and did not return from the mission.

Nothing was known of them until 8 years later when Dutch bulldozers excavated the plane with its dead crew. They had been shot down over Holland and crashed near the Terwindt Brickyard at Kerkdriel (Gelderland) on the west bank of the Maas and and some 13kms west-south-west of Oss in the neighboring province of Noord Braleant. It was thought that two of the crew had perhaps bailed out but not survived. He is buried with his crew at Uden War Cemetery.

Noel Thompson

Lt/Capt Jesse Frederick Mawer .     British Army 279 GT Coy Royal Army Service Corps

My father served as a lieutenant, then captain, with the Royal Army Service Corps during WWII from 1940/41 until 1946. I have a collection of photographs of him in the Middle East in 1942/43 in Baghdad (279 GT Coy RASC), Damascus, Cairo, Jerusalem and then in Holland and Germany in 1944/5.

Nick Mawer

N. Maxer .     428 Sqd

Eric Maxton .     Royal Air Force 460 Sqd.

Rob Richer

Murray Maxton .     Royal Air Force 460 Sqd.

Rob Richer

PFC. James Maxwell .     United States Army 2nd Btn. 415th Infantry   from Claymont, Delaware, United States)

My father James Maxwell was an assistant machine gunner in F Company, 2nd Battalion, 415th Infantry. He requested to switch places with the gunner, PFC Needles, on 31st October 1944, while preparing a defensive position. An enemy artillery and mortar barrage commenced on the same day. My father was wounded and PFC Needles was killed. Some soldiers stated they were going to leave him next to a tree and come back for him later, but my father was afraid the Germans would get him. With the aid of a medic he made it to the Battalion Aid Station. His wound was in the left shoulder blade area, and he also suffered a collapsed lung in addition to shrapnel in his lung. For many years, he kept the shrapnel in his Purple Heart case. He recovered in England and Camp Pickett, Virginia.

He graduated from the University of Delaware, where he was President of Sigma Phi Epsilon. He worked as GE Sales Engineer for over 30 years and passed away suddenly in 1983.

Sgt. Thomas Maxwell .     Royal Marines Guncrew HMS Cairo   from Newtownards, Co. Down, Northern Ireland)

My grandfather, Thomas Maxwell joined the Marines at 14, boy service. He saw service on HMS Cairo, Kenya, Caroline & HMS Indefatigable. He was in pre war Palestine then Norway, Dunkirk, Russian convoys, Crete, Malta, Dieppe, Italy, Burma and other units 45, 44 commando att sbs. He was badly wounded in Burma headshot by a Jap sniper. If any vets of 44 cdo knew him I would like to hear from them.

Ray Maxwell

PFC. William Martin Maxwell .     US Army 422nd Infantry Reg.   from Lapwai, Idaho)

William Maxwell

My father, William M. Maxwell, served with the 106th Infantry Division. 422nd Infantry Regiment was captured on 16th of December 1944. He was interned in Stalag IX Bad Orb Germany until he repatriated on 2nd of April 1945. Since my parents divorced when I was very young I only found out this information recently through research. I would appreciate any additional information about my father.

MSgt. Robert Maxwell USAF (Retired)

Angus May .    

WO Angus May .     Royal Air Force

My father is WO Angus May, a RAF navigator in Bomber Command who was a POW in Stalag 8b. He escaped during the `death march' in early 1945 with fellow airman Bill Varnham. He would be interested in hearing from anyone else from Stalag 8b.

Nanette May

Arthur May .     British Army 3rd Btn. Royal Tank Rgt.

My grandfather, Arthur May, was in the 3rd Btn Royal Tank Regiment and was captured in Crete in April 1941. He was held in Stalag 18a and then sent to Stalag 383 where he spent most of the rest of the war until he escaped to Switzerland early in 1945. Any information would be great as he did not talk about his POW days a lot.

Phil Stride

F/Sgt. Ben John May .     Royal Canadian Air Force 420 Squadron

I joined No. 420 Squadron R.C.A.F. in December 1944 after training as flight engineer at St. Athan S. Wales and Locking in Somerset and being selected for flying Halifaxes. The weather was very bad with much snow consequently there was no flying until February. Our first operation was to Rheine in the Ruhr and we went on to complete ten more before the war ended including the long 700 mile each way flight over water to Heligoland.

The Squadron celebrated the end of hostilities now with a huge party on the airfield and I still don't know where all the beer came from! I am the only survivor of our crew and would be very pleased to hear from anyone connected with 420 Sqadron or this time.

Cmdr Cecil Wakeford May .     Royal Navy HMS Electra

Mjr. Frank William John May .     British Army Royal Army Service Corps   from Stoke Grove, Westbury on Trym, Bristol, UK)

We have been trying to discover some information regarding my husband's father Frank May, who we understand was with the BEF and evacuated from Dunkirk. He was about to swim to a ship close to the beach but as he was a strong swimmer made for one further out. A lucky choice as the inshore vessel was hit and sank. He also served in Iceland, went to Jamaica and we think Germany. This is all we know as he never spoke of his experiences and later separated from his wife. Any information reagrding Major May, or how we can get more information would be greatly appreciated.

April May

Frederick John May .     British Army Royal Middlesex Regiment

John May was born in 1923 and joined the army about 1941 where he served with the Royal Middlesex Regiment until 1945. It is believed most of his service was in Belgium where these photographs were taken. He died in 1979.

John is front, far right.

Seated right with legs crossed.

Standing on the right

Chris Lordan

George William May .     Army Royal Engineers   from Sittingbourne, Kent)

George William May was my late grandfather who in 1943/44 was an engineer at Catterick. He was from Sittingbourne in Kent and went to Catterick, for how long I do not know. Apparently he drove tanks and met the Duke of Kent. I was wondering if you had any record of him and if by chance any photos?

Sarah Maddison

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