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Historical Help - name that FAA Lt-Cdr...

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Historical Help - name that FAA Lt-Cdr...

Old 13th Mar 2010, 09:08
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: See that little island just above France? Yeah, there...
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Historical Help - name that FAA Lt-Cdr...

Hello all..

I'm having issues remembering the name of a particularly heroic WWII FAA Squadron commander. I can't for the life of me remember his name, or the squadrons he commanded, only that he was the youngest Lt-Cdr to gain squadron command, had a DSO and bar flew Avengers and Corsairs and his exploits included...

-Flying his squadron in formation under the sydney harbour bridge at the end of WWII

-Borrowing a Hurricane from the RAF to test fly it - then proceeding to shoot down a roving Luftwaffe aircraft (this being his first flight in the Hurricane), the kill of which he had to credit to the RAF Squadron Leader as he himself should have been in Cairo on leave

-Being on a carrier (again cant remember the name) that was torpedo'd by a U boat - despite being at 20 degree's list, and more than that down at the stern he took off with another Avenger and mounted a 4 hour U boat patrol to protect the ship, and then landed in terrible fog, using the parked aircraft as his arrestor wire.

Any help from these meagre facts will be much appreciated - if it helps, his story is on one of the paintings on the wardroom bulkheads on HMS OCEAN - the one on the right of the arch as you move through from the dining area to the bar.

Thanks in advance
Yeoman_dai is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2010, 11:13
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Join Date: Oct 1999
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Flying under the Sydney Harbour Bridge - The Australians have a go

Any help ?
SeldomFixit is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2010, 15:57
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Lieutenant Commander Bobby Bradshaw DSC** according to Trebah my story p16

Any more help?


Last edited by Union Jack; 13th Mar 2010 at 16:07.
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Old 13th Mar 2010, 20:42
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Bingo - many thanks!
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Old 14th Mar 2010, 08:20
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Join Date: Aug 2002
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Trebah's wartime role and in particular Tony and Eira (Bobby's sister) Hibbert's contribution makes another fascinating tale of 'quality' people. Well worth a visit to the place when next in Cornwall.
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Old 16th Jul 2010, 21:54
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Carrier was HMCS NABOB (D77).

Torpedoed off Northern Norway in August 1944 whilst taking part in Op Goodwood 4 against Tirpitz. Bradshaw was Squadron commander of 852 NAS who were attached at that time.

U - 354 fired two Gnat acoustic homing torpedoes. First hit, stopping the engines. Second sailed straight underneath hull as the homing source had stopped !

When the torpedo hit at 17:15, my dad was sitting in his aircraft, which, along with others, were warming-up their engines in preparation for one of the Goodwood attacks.

I think the u-boat attack saved his bacon, 'cause the plan-of-attack, which nearly caused a mutiny was for the squadron to fly in daylight straight and level along 12 miles of Alten Fjord at 200 feet, negoiating shore-based and ship-based flak guns and then lay mines. The fjord is no more than a mile across. Imagine the film 633 squadron, but with more anti-aircraft fire.

Film (Digitised) by 852 squadron surgeon showing Bradshaw walking across the deck of Nabob (And various pilots landing-on, including my dad) with Fleet Air Arm museum, Yeovilton. (I have copy too).

I believe that NABOB had the honour of being the first escort carrier to be torpedoed which didn't immediately blow-up.


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