The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War



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Virginia "Ginny" Quaife .     US Red Cross   from Ames, Iowa, USA)

Only recently, have my sister and I discovered this site. Our mother was Virginia "Ginny" Quaife, the Red Cross Director, assigned to Dunkeswell Navy Base during the last years of the war. She, like many women, wanted to serve her country in anyway she could and became an army hostess at Fort Crook, Nebraska before joining the Red Cross for a tour overseas. Virginia was assigned to Dunkeswell sometime in 1944 through 1945. According to an excerpt from the local hometown newspaper, one of her fondest projects was furnishing hot coffee and doughnuts to weary crews coming "home" from their missions. Other duties included providing recreational activities and support services for personnel stationed at the base. After VE day, she was briefly assigned to Germany, before closing out her Red Cross career in the Philippines. There are a great many pictures that we have included here. All of these pictures and clippings are taken from her many scrapbooks that she assembled while overseas. Also much of our knowledge of Dunkeswell is based on our mother’s recollections and stories that we have heard so many times while growing up. Some of the individuals shown in the photos are known and so identified. Many are not. We hope that any of the gallant men and women who served here or the children of those who have passed on, would make it known to the site if they recognize any of these people and can provide their names or any anecdotal information about them. As we looked at and assembled these photos for this project, we could not but feel humbled and saddened that, if it were not for this web site and others like it, the exploits of the men and women who served during the war in theatres and campaigns all over the world, would be lost to future generations forever. We look upon this particular project as a legacy to our mother and the fine men and women who served with her at Dunkeswell. Our only regret is that we did not find your site sooner. Sadly, our mother passed away in 1991 at the age of 74. Many of the men and women who would have enjoyed seeing pictures of their fellow comrades during this time are gone as well. As you and I view these pictures, I know they are smiling at the pictures too. The first group of pictures is of the men and women who staffed and ran the Fleet Aero Club at the base and American Red Cross friends. In this set, the first picture is of Helen Fries, the outgoing ARC Director. The 4th picture if of the English staff that helped run the club. There are too many to name on the photo, but luckily our mother wrote some of their names on the back. Her writing is hard to discern, but they appear to be in no particular order: Bessie, Muriel, Wynne, Mrs. Pike, Mrs. Holbert, Peggy, and Mrs. Firzey. Lillian, another English staffer, seemed to be a close friend of Virginia and is shown in several more photos both alone and with someone who perhaps was her boyfriend.

In group two, are included some clippings from the base newspaper and miscellaneous recreational activities.

The third major category contains pictures of the men and crews who were stationed at the base.

From left to right on the back row: George Haddad, “Red” O’Conner, “Chuck” Pillow, “J.P.” Rosen, and on the front row from left to right- “Red” Perysian, “Junior” Pope, and “Happy” Wake.

We have inserted one picture of a novice pilot- Virginia Quaife- behind the controls of a Liberator.

Here are some more crew photos:

The fourth and final category contains some pictures taken off the base in the vicinity. Our mother lived in the country in a large house owned by a Mrs. Nichols. We have included pictures of it and people who may have either lived there or frequented it often.

It was a pleasurable activity to assemble this collection of memories. Anyone who wishes contact us about our mother or the photos in general please get in touch.

Jennifer Bell



"Butch" Quaile .     Royal Canadian Air Force 419 Sqd.




F/Lt. Arthur Noel "Butch" Quaile .     Royal Air Force 419 Sqdn.   from Birkenhead)

My father was Flight Lieutenant Butch Quaile, RAF, attached to to 419 Moose Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. He had enlisted on the 10th of September 1939. He was the pilot of Handley Page Halifax VR-S, Happy Valley Sally, which was shot down whilst returning from bombing Modane on the night of 16th/17th of September 1943. He ended up in Stalag Luft III, North Compound, in Sagan, Silesia, now part of Poland but then in Germany. The crew were as follows:

  • Pilot F/Lt Butch Quaile, 27 missions, POW RAF
  • 2nd Pilot Sgt Bowden, 1 mission, POW RCAF
  • Navigator P/O Aspinall, 24 missions, POW RCAF
  • Bomb Aimer P/O Graham, 23 missions, Evaded RCAF
  • Flight Engineer Sgt. Martin, 24 missions, Evaded RCAF
  • Wireless Operator F/S Bright, 2 missions, Evaded RCAF
  • Mid Lower Gunner F/O Smith, 15 missions, Evaded RCAF
  • Rear Gunner F/Lt Kenyon, 44 missions, POW RAF

This is an extract from his account of his last mission:

There were only two aircraft from 419 on the Modane raid. The main raid was to the railway yards at Modane and our mission was to close or damage the nearby railway tunnel and the pass from Italy to prevent or hinder the German forces withdrawal. Our raid was in conjunction with some aircraft from 617 Squadron, the Dambusters. It should have been a nine hour flight but there was bad icing in cloud at about 11,000 feet (the operation height en route should have been 15,000 ft. + ). We were carrying 2 x 1,000lb and 6 x 500lb high explosive bombs. Over the target area the weather was clear moon light and we attacked at low level. I recollect that we could see the shine of the railway lines. The green target markers were well concentrated and many explosions were seen around these. Once our bombs were released we had to do a steep climbing turn in order to avoid the mountains that were on three sides of the target. I found out later that 617 had spent a week training for this raid in North Wales, we only had 6 hours’ notice prior to take off with 617. 617 had another raid that night in conjunction with 619 Squadron. On the way back near Lisieux, France we were picked up by fighters. Smithy opened fire from the mid lower turret before Ley Kenyon joined in. The usual method of fighter attack was to fly below the bomber and attack the underside or the wings by climbing up and stalling away. Ley claimed that one fighter was shot down but this was not confirmed. As soon as the firing commenced I started violent evasive action (corkscrewing) but the two port engines were on fire; we tried to extinguish the fires unsuccessfully. We found that with no thrust on the port engines the aircraft was turning to port, by throttling back on the starboard engines and applying the rudder we just sank steadily. So there was nowt to do but to abandon at 10,000 feet. Fortunately everyone got out, although my ‘chute opened in the plane after the ripchord caught on the throttle lever. I got out eventually and landed in a tree.

My father ended up in Stalag Luft III. In the early days of 1945 the Russian Forces were advancing rapidly and Hitler ordered that the Prisoners of War Camps in the East of the Nazi occupied territories should be evacuated and the prisoners moved westwards. This was known as the long march. He was lucky enough to survive and he was freed on 2nd May 1945.

Cheryl Fitchew



Sgt T. C. Qualey .     428 sqd.




Marjorie Qualie .     Women's Land Army   from Litherland, Liverpool)

My grandma, Marjorie Qualie is coming up to her 90th Birthday and I would love to find out more about her days in the land army. I know she went to work on a farm, I think in Haskayne. She was from Litherland and ended up marrying the farmers son (if I'm correct), my grandad, Edward Silcock.

Rachel Whorton



S/Sgt. Loyd C. Quarles. .     USAAF 327th Bomb Squadron




Micke Quartermaine .    




Stanley Alexander Quarterman .     British Army Queens Royal Surrey Regiment

Stanley Alexander Quarterman, POW Easter Monday 1944

My father, Stanley Alexander Quarterman was a prisoner at Stalag 9c He belonged to the Queens Royal Surrey Regiment. He was captured in Belgium in 1940 & spent time in a Belgium hospital at first. I do not know much about his time in the POW camp, but he did work in the salt mines. In photo which had written Easter Monday 1944 on the back of it, my father is on the top row extreme right.

I would be interested in any information about my father as he died in 1973 & did not tell me much about his time in Stalag 9c.

Alec Quarterman



Sgt. Joseph Herve Leon Quesnel DFM.     Royal Air Force 432 Sqdn.   from Parry Sounds, Ontario)

Joseph Quesnel was my grandad who sadly I never knew as he died many years ago. I know very little about him as my mum was very young when he died and we would love to find out anything about him

Tania O'Halloran



Tom Quick .     British Army   from Wellington, Somerset)

My dad, Tom Quick was a prisoner of war and died at the age of about 37. I was only 5 at the time so no nothing about his time at war. If anyone knew him I would love to know anything about him.

Pauline Jackson



John F. Quigg .     United States Army 82nd Airborne

My dad, John F. Quigg, 82nd Airborne, spent time in Stalag 12B. At some point in the early 90s, someone got him a blown-up copy of a drawing of an aerial view of the camp. My brother may have that now, as my dad passed away in 1999.

I came to this website because I was in the process of writing down what I remember my dad talking about. In the mid/late 1960s, Army Digest published artwork by Army artists going back many years. Included was a pen and ink rendering of the front gate of what I believe was 12B and another watercolor shot of a trainload of prisoners pulling into a compound already full of prisoners. My dad claimed that artist was at the camp at the same time he'd been there.

Another point of interest is that Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaugherhouse 5" is based on his own POW experiences and mentions his being being used for labour in Dresden as well as having a British command element (for escape approval and suchlike) in the prisoner population in the camp itself. He doesn't state in the book which Stalag he was in, but it does make me curious to know if it may have been 12B.

Jon Quigg



Sgt.Plt. Patrick John Quigley .     Royal Air Force No. 55 OTU   from Aldershot)

(d.10th Aug 1942)

Sgt.Pilot PJ Quigley was the uncle I never met. I know very little about his pre-war years and I am still researching his brief life. I do know that he was sent to the USA for training prior to being posted to No.55 OPU Annan. He died on 10th August 1942 aged 23 while flying a Hurricane (V7067). His plane crashed into Kirtlehead Hill, Lockerbie. His body was returned to his home town crashing and is buried at the Redan Hill Cemetery in Aldershot.

Eddie Quigley



A/Sgt Patrick Joseph Quinlan MM.     British Army 146 Battery Royal Artillery

Ed Coulstock



Sgt. Quinn .     Royal Air Force 150 Sqdn.

Sgt Quinn served with RAF 150 Squadron from October to December 1941, flying Wellingtons (R1414, L7870, X9816, R1216). The full crew were:

  • Sgt Kay
  • Sgt Quinn
  • Sgt Young
  • Sgt Brown
  • F/Lt Roy
  • P/O Robert Chandler
  • Sgt Hutchinson.




  • Ethel Quinn .     Land Army




    P/O Gerald Edgar Quinn .     Royal Canadian Air Force bomb aimer 405 Sqd.   from Montreal, Province of Quebec.)

    (d.17th Jun 1944)




    Cpl. Gerald Quinn .     Australian Army 2/11th (City of Perth) Infantry Battalion   from Mt Lawley, WA, Australia)

    I have very little to go by but want to piece together dad's experiences during WWII. Like so many soldiers, from that era dad never discussed the war with us at all and, silly us, we never thought to ask him. All I know is he was captured by the Germans in Crete and spent the remainder of the war in a Stalag prison camp and hospital. Dad had a serious leg wound and the Germans wanted to amputate his leg but an Australian doctor (Dr Le Suife?) saved dad's leg. One of the prisoner's in the hospital with Dad wrote some funny little poems (about the Gerries) in a tiny little notebook of Dad's. Dad suffered nightmares of the war for many, many years following. I believe he had also been sent to Egypt. He passed away 10 years go.

    Julianne Quinn



    Gunner Hugh Quinn .     British Army 79th Hertfordshire Yeomanry Royal Artillery   from Watford Herts)

    (d.4th Jan 1945)

    My Grandad was Gunner Hugh Quinn of the 79th Hertfordshire Yeomanry H.A.A. Regt. I know he was killed in action at Corino Ridge,Rimini Italy on the 4th Jan 1945. I would like any info on my granddad or the 79th Herts Yeomanry.

    Russell Quinn



    W/OII James Edward Quinn .     Royal Canadian Air Force 106 Squadron   from Sarnia, Ontario)

    (d.13th Jan 1943)

    James Quinn completed over 100 hours with his crew in W4261 Lancaster. They were shot down over Dusseldorf enroute to Essen. I would love to find anyone who may have know him or have relatives who knew him.

    Shannon Penfound



    Sgt. James Arthur Walton Quinn MID.     Royal Canadian Army Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders   from Cornwall, Ontario)

    Walt Quinn was my stepfather, and he was always quiet about his service. I had to go to Veteran's Affairs to dig up his service number, and then talked to the few remaining members still here from his unit, as well as searched the SD&G Highlanders records. He served in Italy, France, Germany.

    Walt returned from the war with severe emotional issues that he struggled with for the rest of his life. Upon returning from the war, he was employed as a master mechanic at the Howard Smith Paper Mill in Cornwall until he retired in 1968.

    Charles David Parent



    Rfmn. James Quinn .     British Army 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles   from Jarrow)

    (d.2nd March 1944)

    James Quinn died aged 29. He was born in Jarrow in 1914, son of Edward and Annie Quinn (nee Callighan) of Jarrow and Husband of Isabella Quinn (McLeod) of Primrose, Jarrow. He is remembered on the Cassino Memorial and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

    Vin Mullen



    Pte. John Quinn .     British Army Highland Light Infantry   from 555 Gascube Rd. Maryhill, Glasgow)

    My father, John Quinn was a prisoner of war in the camp Stalag XXB in Malbork, Poland. Does anyone know or remember him?

    Catherine



    Pte. Maurice Quirk .     Royal Dublin Fusiliers 1st Btn.   from Dublin)

    Beryl Goldman









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