Daily Archives: July 25, 2013

‘Adrian’ Warburton – of course, now it dawns on me…….

Having got all excited by a search term on the blog statistics page yesterday for ‘Adrian Warburton’ the probable reality of that search has dawned on me and I am, to be honest, gutted.

My initial reaction to seeing it was to think this was going to be a repeat of my experience of making contact with Paul, the nephew of Tom Darbyshire – this time I was going to be able to finally put a christian name to Sgt. Warburton.

In hindsight, I rather naively spent most of yesterday checking my email for a contact from this searcher, but of course, by the evening, the absence of an email and a search on the internet made me realise that the ‘Adrian Warburton’ the searcher was probably looking for was in fact ;

Wing Commander Adrian “Warby” Warburton DSO & Bar, DFC & Two Bars (10 March 1918 – 12 April 1944) was a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot during World War II. He became legendary in the RAF for his role in the defence of Malta. His gallantry was recognised by the award of the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Bars and an American Distinguished Flying Cross.

By the beginning of 1944, he had been promoted to the rank of Wing Commander and his gallantry recognised by the award of the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Bars, and an American Distinguished Flying Cross. By this time he had flown nearly 400 operations and claimed 9 enemy aircraft destroyed.

On 1 April 1944, he was posted as the RAF Liaison Officer to the 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, US 8th Army Air Force, then based at RAF Mount Farm in Oxfordshire.

Warburton was the pilot of one of two Lockheed F-5B photo-reconnaissance aircraft (a version of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter) that took off together from Mount Farm on the morning of 12 April 1944 to photograph targets in Germany. The aircraft separated approximately 100 miles north of Munich to carry out their respective tasks; it was planned that they would meet and fly on to a USAAF airfield in Sardinia. He failed to arrive at the rendezvous point and was not seen again.

Years of speculation about his fate came to an end in 2002, when his remains were found in the cockpit of his plane, buried about 2 m (6 ft 7 in) deep in a field near the Bavarian village of Egling an der Paar, 34 miles west of Munich. According to witnesses, the aircraft fell there on 12 April 1944, around 11:45. One of the propellers had bullet holes in it, which suggests that Warburton had been shot down. Parts of the wreck can be seen today in the Malta Aviation Museum.

Only a few pieces of bone and the odd part of flying clothing were actually found. As Warburton was flying a USAAF plane with USAAF markings he was thought to be an American. Most of Warburton’s body was removed from the P-38 and buried in a grave in the town of Kaufering’s cemetery. The grave was marked “unknown American Airman” and was right next to a Halifax crew that were shot down and died on the night of 6–7 September 1943. When the area came under Allied control (particularly American), the graves were moved.

A memorial service was held on 14 May 2003, in the St Aegidius Parish church, Gmund am Tegernsee, followed by burial at the Dürnbach Commonwealth War Cemetery.The ceremony was attended by his widow, Eileen (known as Betty) and by Jack Vowles, a former colleague who had served with him in Malta in the early 1940s.

Source Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Warburton

What annoys me more is that when I originally began looking for information on the boys Dad flew with, I came across ‘Warby’.

Yesterday,  I really did think that I had finally, at least, found out all the names of the boys from Bob’s first tour in 1943……….It seems I was premature……….

The memoirs of Jack Wall – Part 11. Target Photographs

When I was posted to 75(NZ) Squadron for second tour they already had a
New Zealand Squadron Bombing Leader. As I had become an “A” Category
Bombing Leader at Manby on 24.6.44. I took over the duties of Bombing
Leader when the Squadron Bombing Leader was absent on leave etc.
I was therefore able to “acquire” some of my Bombing Photos.
When we dropped our bombs we also released a time controlled flash and the
camera was also timed to take a photo at a set time to coincide when the
bombs detonated on the ground. It was therefore essential to keep the
aircraft on course and straight and level on the bombing run and after
“Bombs Away” to take an accurate photo. This was not an easy task for the
Pilot with Searchlights and Flak all around the aircraft.

The photos show
Squadron Base – Mep is Mepal.
Date.
Height.
Compass bearing.
Time.
Target.
Bomb Load.
Camera and Flash setting.
Pilots Rank and Name.
Aircraft letter and Squadron number.

cologne

COLOGNE
Daylight
28.10.44
18,000′
Aircraft “M”
We were one of the first over the target.
Little flak.
Visual Bombing

soligen

SOLINGEN
Daylight
4.11.44.
20,000′
Aircraft “M”
Light Flak
Plenty of Cloud
Bombed on Markers

NEUSS Night 28/29.11.44. 19,000' Aircraft "M" Light flak Bombed on Markers Poor photo.

NEUSS
Night
28/29.11.44.
19,000′
Aircraft “M”
Light flak
Bombed on Markers
Poor photo.

TRier Daylight 23.12.44. 17,000' Aircraft "M" Little Flak

Trier
Daylight
23.12.44.
17,000′
Aircraft “M”
Little Flak

RHEYDT Daylight 27.12.44. 20,000' Aircraft "M" We were one of the first over the target Visual Bombing

RHEYDT
Daylight
27.12.44.
20,000′
Aircraft “M”
We were one of the first over the target
Visual Bombing

NEUSS Night 6/7/.1.45. 20,000' Aircraft "V" Medium amount of flak on way in and over target Bombed on Markers Poor Photo

NEUSS
Night
6/7/.1.45.
20,000′
Aircraft “V”
Medium amount of flak on way in and over target
Bombed on Markers
Poor Photo

WESEL Daylight 16.2.45. 20,000' Aircraft "M" (it was our 102nd operation for "M") Vsual Bombing in formation - we led.

WESEL
Daylight
16.2.45.
20,000′
Aircraft “M”
(it was our 102nd operation for “M”)
Vsual Bombing in formation – we led.

OSTERFELD Daylight 22.2.45. 19,000' Aircraft "Z" We led our Squadron formation and the other aircraft bombed when we did. We were the target for most of the Flak but we got a good photo. Hit in all engines and one hade to be feathered over the target. Had a total of 37 holes .Skipper awarded Bar to D.F.C.

OSTERFELD
Daylight
22.2.45.
19,000′
Aircraft “Z”
We led our Squadron formation and the other aircraft bombed when we did. We were the target for most of the Flak but we got a good photo.
Hit in all engines and one had to be feathered over the target. Had a total of 37 holes .Skipper awarded Bar to D.F.C.

KIEL NIght 9/10.4.45. 19,000' Aircraft "K" Our last Operation. Bombed on Markers Note 2 other aircraft below us shown on photo.

KIEL
NIght
9/10.4.45.
19,000′
Aircraft “K”
Our last Operation.
Bombed on Markers
Note 2 other aircraft below us shown on photo.