NIDO – Alberto A.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/37/Alberto_A._Nido_jpg..jpg

Brigadier General Alberto A. Nido (1 March 1919 – 27 October 1991) is a former United States Air Force officer who during World War II served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, the British Royal Air Force and in the United States Army Air Forces. He was also the co-founder of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard.[1]

Military Career

After he graduated, he was given a job as an aviation instructor in the institution. An officer of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) who was in Tulsa looking for recruits asked Nido to consider joining them. Nido accepted the offer and on September 1941, he received a telegram from the RCAF office in New York City, requesting his presence at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Nido traveled to New York and on 7 September, was sworn in as a member of the RCAF.[1] After 3 months of intense training in Canada, Nido was commissioned a Flying Officer and sent to an air base in Quebec, where he served as an aviation instructor to bomber pilots and artillery gunners.[1] Nido returned to his homeland, to spend 15 days with his mother and three brothers Rafael, Pedro and Thomas, who were members of the United States Armed Forces. During his stay he met his future wife, Alile Colon, a university student at the “Colegio del Sagrado Corazon”, from the town of Yabucoa.[1]

World War II

Type of P-51 which Nido flew for the USAAF

On 24 December 1942, Nido was sent to London, England, and participated on the European Theater of the war as a bomber pilot. He was transferred to 610 Squadron of the British Royal Air Force and participated in various combat missions as a Supermarine Spitfire pilot. In November 1943, Nido, then a Captain, was among 10 pilots of the 67th Reconnaissance Squadron who were sent to weather school at RAF Zeals under the command of Colonel T. S. Moorman. His unit participated in 275 missions.[2] Later, in 1943, Nido and 59 other American pilots were transferred to the U.S. Army Air Forces. He was assigned to the 67th Fighter Group as a P-51 Mustang fighter pilot. Nido baptized his P-51 with the name of “Alile” in honor of the girl that he left back home.[1]

[Source: Freebase.comWikipedia; Courtesy: Wayne Saunders]

GILORMINI – Mihiel

Brigadier-General Mihiel “Mike” Gilormini (August 3, 1918January 29, 1988) born in Yauco, Puerto Rico, was a United States Air Force officer who served in the Royal Air Force and in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. He was the recipient of the Silver Star Medal, the Air Medal with four clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross 5 times. He was also the founder of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard.

Upon the outbreak of World War II, Gilormini offered his services to the Royal Air Force and served with them until November 30, 1942, when he joined the United States Army Air Corps with the rank of second lieutenant. In October 1942, he was assigned to the 346th Fighter Squadron and flew the P-39 interceptor. In March 1943, he was transferred to the 345th Fighter Squadron of the 350th Fighter Group in North Africa and Italy, to replace pilot losses. He stayed with the 345th “Devil Hawks” and flew a P-47 Thunderbolt until February 1945. During the war he was promoted to captain and flew a total of 200 combat missions over England, North Africa, Corsica and Italy. On May 19, 1943, Gilormini was involved in an aircraft accident when his P-39 went down over Maison Blanche, Algiers.[2][3]

In an interview, Colonel Earl Miller, a former buddy and roommate of Gilormini, recalled the following:

“Gilormini was the commander of “A” Flight while I was commander of “C” Flight. We sometimes flew together. In fact, our last combat mission was attacking the airfield at Milano. I led the attack. The flak was real heavy. The 88 shells were bursting all around and also hitting a high bank (we were flying real low) to my right. Mike said, “Dutch, you better bail out, you are on fire!” Followed immediately with, “Don’t bail out, it’s another guy.” Unfortunately, my wingman crashed and was killed.”

[4]

Gilormini and Miller flew their last flight in Italy together giving air cover for General George C. Marshall‘s visit to their group at Pisa. They both returned to the United States on the same ship. Gilormini was awarded a Silver Star Medal and five Distinguished Flying Crosses. The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself in combat in support of operations by “heroism” or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.

[Source: Nationmaster.com; Courtesy Wayne Saunders]

ARCHER – Phillip Leslie Irving

ARCHER, PHILLIP LESLIE IRVING Initials: P L I Nationality:United Kingdom Rank: Squadron Leader Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Air Force Age: 27 Date of Death: 17/06/1943 Service No: J/3508 Awards: D F C Additional information: Son of Frederick Leslie and Millicent Beryl Archer, of Hastings St. Michael, Barbados.

R Sc. 17 June 1943 421 RCAF Squadron.Spitfire IX LZ996 Rodeo pm. Shot down by JG26 Fw190 near St.Omer.FCL Vo.2 Franks.
[Extract courtesy CXX ww2chat.com. Source spitfires.ukf.net:] 6 enemy aircraft credited

[Source: Air Force Association of Canada:]- ARCHER, F/L Phillip Leslie Irving (J3508) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.416 Squadron – Award effective 24 August 1942 as per London Gazette dated 11 September 1942 and AFRO 1535/42 dated 25 September 1942.

Born in Bridgetown, Barbados, 1917.
Joined RCAF in Montreal, 6 June 1940.
Trained at No.1 ITS , No.6 EFTS, and No.1 SFTS.
Posted overseas immediately;
to No.57 OTU, 17 February 1941;
to No.92 Squadron, 5 May 1941 where he destroyed three enemy aircraft and damaged one.
To No.412 Squadron, 11 November 1941;
to No.416 Squadron (“A” Flight Commander), 10 March 1942.
To Station Kenley, 1 December 1942.  Presented with award 9 February 1943.  Designated CO,
No.402 Squadron, 13 June 1943 and attached to No.421 Squadron for a few days to get back to operational standards.  On 17 June 1943 he took command of No.421 Squadron on posting of CO;
killed in action 17 June 1943.

Aerial victories as follows:
23 June 1941, one Bf.109F destroyed southeast of Boulogne;
7 July 1941, one Bf.109F destroyed and one damaged near Lille;
9 July 1941, one Bf.109F destroyed near Bethune;
18 July 1942,  one Do.217 destroyed east of Orfordness;
17 June 1943, one FW.190 destroyed (action in which he was killed).

Photo PL-7689 (with P/O Buchan); PL-7690 (in front of Spitfire); PL-11906 (portrait); PL-15375 (F/L E.H. McCaffrey, S/L P.L.I. Archer, F/L D.J. Williams after investiture).

This officer has completed sorties over enemy territory and has destroyed at least four enemy aircraft.  On one occasion, although wounded in the leg, Flight Lieutenant Archer flew his badly damaged aircraft back to the base where he executed a skilful landing.  He is a most efficient leader.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot 8. Row A. Grave 1. Cemetery: LONGUENESSE (ST. OMER) SOUVENIR CEMETERY,FRANCE
[Source: Air Force Association of Canada & cwgc; courtesy Jerome Lee]

CAMACHO – Vivian Evelyn

CAMACHO, F/L Vivian Evelyn (J4899) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.59 Squadron -

Award effective 1 September 1944 as per London Gazette dated 15 September 1944 and AFRO 2373/44 dated 3 November 1944.
Born 1919 in British West Indies (Antigua); served in Officer Training Corps, England, 1932-1936.  Home in Radcliffe, Manitoba; enlisted in Montreal 24 August 1940.  Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 3 November 1940), No.3 EFTS (graduated 23 December 1940) and No.5 SFTS (graduated 17 March 1941).
Invested with award by King George 29 June 1945. This officer completed a tour of operational duty on Hudson aircraft.  He has since taken part in many anti-submarine patrols.  Early this year he was captain of an aircraft which delivered a telling attack on an enemy U-boat.  This attack was pressed home in the face of extremely heavy anti-aircraft fire and in very bad weather.  Since the above action Flight Lieutenant Camacho has continued to display great keenness and a fine fighting spirit.

NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/9276 has original recommendation dated 17 July 1944 when he had flown 23 Very Long Range sorties (326 operational hours); he was reported as having flown 500 hours on his first tour ! This officer joined No.59 Squadron on the 12th November 1943, and has since completed 23 sorties. This is his second operational tour wit Coastal Command, having already competed a tour on Hudson aircraft prior to joining this unit. On the 27th May 1944, Flight Lieutenant Camacho was captain of aircraft “S” (No.59 Squadron) when a U-boat was sighted in an estimated position of 62∞ 37′ North, 00∞ 57′ East.  The weather conditions at the time were extremely bad and the captain was forced to descend below 300 feet before breaking cloud and making his sighting, having previously obtained a radar contact. The captain, however, pressed home a very determined attack at low altitude in the face of extremely heavy flak. During the run in, the starboard engine was damaged by a cannon shell to such an extent that the aircraft returned to base on the remaining three engines.  The attack was, however, well executed, and an analysis given by higher authority was “probably sunk”. Since the above action, Flight Lieutenant Camacho has continued to display great keenness and aggressiveness in carrying out his duties concerning U-boat warfare, and has been a fine example to junior and less experienced members of the squadron.
[Source: Air Force Association of Canada; courtesy Jerome Lee]

VEIRA – Basil Vernon Lancelot


[Images courtesy Carl Ryan; click on images to enlarge]

VEIRA, F/O Basil Vernon Lancelot (J10677) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.12 Squadron – KIA 28 april 1943.

Award effective 27 April 1943 as per London Gazette dated 20 June 1944 and AFRO 1660/44 dated 4 August 1944.  Born 4 April 1914 in Basseterre, St.Kitts, British West Indies; home in Montreal; enlisted there 25 June 1941.
Attended No.3 Initial Training School (graduated 6th in a class of 18 observer candidates, 13 September 1941), No.9 Air Observer School (graduated 7th in a class of 22, air and ground subjects, 3 January 1942), No.6 Bombing and Gunnery School (graduated 9th in a class of 27 on 14 February 1942, received Air Observer Badge that date), and No.2 Air Navigation School (graduated 16 March 1942 in a class of 89, having stood 3rd in ground subjects and first in air subjects).  Further trained at No.31 General Reconnaissance School, Charlottetown, 10 April to 14 June 1942 (graduated 14th in a class of 26; his performance described as “disappointing”).
Embarked for overseas, 16 June 1942; taken on strength of No.3 Personnel Reception Centre, Britain, 25 June 1942.  Posted to No.20 Operational Training Unit, 13 July 1942; posted to No.12 Squadron, 21 October 1942.
Ranks: Aircraftman, Second Class on enlistment, 25 June 1941; promoted to Leading Aircraftman, 28 September 1941; promoted to Sergeant, 14 February 1942; commissioned as Pilot Officer, 16 March 1942; promoted to Flying Officer, 1 October 1942.


[Images courtesy Carl Ryan; click on images to enlarge]

Killed in action 28/29 April 1943 on Lancaster GB408.  Particulars of Death Aircraft was shot down by a German night fighter, 29 April 1943 in vicinity of Leba (near Lauenburg, Germany).  Body washed ashore and buried in Leba.  Lancaster ED408; Crew were 1315743 Sergeant G. Elsworthy (pilot), J10677 F/O B.V.L. Veira (navigator), 1311073 FS W.E. Freeman (WAG), 143857 P/O J.J.L. Haddow (bomb aimer), 621910 Sergeant E.A. Pye (flight engineer), 989136 Sergeant C.W.S. Downes (mid-upper gunner) and 930059 Sergeant R.C. Grant (rear gunner).  No.12 Squadron.
Aircraft carrying four 1,500 pound sea mines when it took off.  On 12 December 1944 his widow attended an investiture at Government House, Ottawa, to receive her husband’s Distinguished Flying Cross.  The Department of National Defence provided her with a rail ticket and $ 10.00 expenses.  It is interesting to note that this investiture was attended by 28 other next-of-kin receiving awards on behalf of deceased family; the list of those attending includes not only Mrs. B.V.L. Veira but also Mrs. D.E. Hornell (picking up her husband’s posthumous Victoria Cross).  This information is not on his personal file but is found in RCAF file 305-4-3 “Honours and Awards – Fifth Investiture at Government House”, National Archives of Canada, RG.24 E.1, Volume 3350.Award presented to next of kin, 12 December 1944.

“This officer has participated in numerous operational sorties which have included missions to Hamburg, Berlin, the Ruhr, Stettin and Spezia. His navigation has always been of a very high standard and he has a fine record of achievement.  His determination and confidence while on operations has always been an inspiration to the squadron while his gallantry and devotion to duty has done much to create a high morale among his fellow navigators.”
[Source: Air Force Association of Canada; courtesy Jerome Lee]

Below: copies from Basil Veira’s log book










Below: Yearly reunion at what was RAF Base Wickenby where #12 Squadron was stationed.

[Images courtesy Carl Ryan; click on images to enlarge]

WOOD – Thomas Reader Russel

67642 – Thomas Reader Russel Wood – F/O – Pilot – 115 sqn – Welington – KIA 3.6.1942

WOOD Initials: T R Nationality: British Guiana Rank: Pilot Officer Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Sunday Guardian 14 June 1942:- PO T R Wood, son of the Hon’ble B R Wood of British Guiana, reported missing after Bremen raid on night June 4/5 1942. Sometime during Oct/Nov last year (1941), he injured his shoulder when forced to bail out after petrol supply ran out.
Possibly this Officer: WOOD, THOMAS READER RUSSELL Initials: T R R Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Flying Officer (Pilot) Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Unit Text: 115 Sqdn.Date of Death: 03/06/1942 Service No: 67642 Additional information: Wellington X3635 Airborne 2300 3 Jun 42 from Marham. Cause of loss and crash-site are not established. Four of those killed are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, but F/O Wood is buried in Becklingen War Cemetery. F/O T.R.R.Wood KIA Sgt J.W.Chapman RNZAF KIA Sgt L.J.Howe KIA Sgt M.J.M.Davies KIA P/O H.B.Pearce PoW Sgt B.F.Wischusen KIA P/O H.B.Pearce was interned in Camp L3, PoW No.556.Notice of award of DFC Gazetted London Gazeette 36108_3383/4 on 23 Jul 1943. Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: 26. G. 12.Cemetery: BECKLINGEN WAR CEMETERY

BRYANT – Harold Cherberd

[Picture: Dominica Legion, a branch of the Royal Commonwealth Ex Servicemen League, courtesy Gabriel Christian]

This stamp was issued in 1998 to mark the 80th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force. It reflect the portraits of Dominicans who served with Honor as RAF Aircrew. From left to right; Wallace Wordsworth Plenderlieth, L.A. McKoy, Harold Cherberd Bryant, DFC, Clifford Severin, Edward Dyrample (AKA Edward Scobie). McKoy, Bryant and Osmunde St. Claire Alleyne were killed in action. Their names are on the cenotaph on Victoria Street Roseau next to the battlements of the old British Army Fort Young (within which a modern hotel now nestles – cannons and all). Every year the aged veterans (very few left), the Police, Scouts, Girl Guides and Army Cadets of the Dominica Cadet Corps parade by in honor to men who are considered heroes for the gallant service rendered in the fight for democracy and freedom.

FLYING OFFICER HAROLD CHERBERD BRYANT

Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Flying Officer (Air Gunner)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 514 Squadron
Age: 32
Date of Death: 02/05/1944
Service No: 143598
Awards; D.F.C
Additional Information: Son of Gerald King Bryan and Helen Bryant of Dominica
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Block “S” Plot 4. Row U. Coll., Grave 8-14
Cemetery: ST. SEVER CEMETERY, ROUEN

[Courtesy Gabriel Christian]

INNISS – Aubrey

Wing Commander, Aubrey Inniss, DFC, wartime fighter ace, was born in Barbados on November 21, 1916. He joined the RAF in January 1939 on a service commission and by September when war broke out he had been trained and was posted to 236 Squadron, flying the Blenheim 4Fs on anti-shipping duties. On September 23, 1940 Inniss had his first kill when he shot down a Heinkel He 111. In 1941 he was posted to the 248 Squadron, flying the Beaufighter which was a powerful and much faster aircraft with four 20mm cannon and six machine guns. Patrolling from St. Eval in Cornwall to as far as the Bay of Biscay, he was able to shoot down two Ju 88s in January and March 1943. In July of the same year he was awarded his DFC having added another victim to his tally. He was later promoted to Wing Commander and ended the war with seven (7) kills. Aubrey Inniss retired from the RAF in 1958 and along with his wife Ruth, ran a fishing pub at Sheepwash, North Devon. After his wife‘s death in 1975, he spent most of his time in Barbados and died there on January 30th, 2003 at the age of 86.

[Source: Barbados Postal Service]

In 2008 the Barbados Postal Service issued a set of stamps commemorating their men who served in the Royal Air Force in WW2, Aubrey Inniss is portrayed on the one to the right. More »

EDE – Herman Francis Grant

Herman Francis Grant  EDE – F/O
Service No: 33307  Service: RAF
Trade/Branch:   Pilot   263 Sqn Gladiator
Station/Unit/Ship: HMS Glorious
Command:   Fighter
Nationality: Bermuda
Awards/Decorations: DFC
Disposal:   KIA   Age  23  yrs   Date Died:    9 Jun 1940

Equipped with Gladiators and sent to Norway in April 1940 in an attempt to give air cover for British and Norwegian forces. Operations from the frozen Lake Lesjaskag ended when Luftwaffe bombers destroyed the aircraft on the ground and returned to the UK to re-equip. In May, the squadron arrived back in Norway, this time further north and flew patrols until the Allied forces were withdrawn from Narvik. They fought continuously until 7 June, claiming 26 confirmed victories. 10 Gladiator aircraft of 263 Sqn were flown on board HMS Glorious in the early hours of 8 June for transport to the UK. Shortly after 1600hrs on 8 Jun 1940, Gneisenau and Scharnhorst were sighted. “Glorious” received her first hit from Scharnhorst at 1638hrs and sank at about 1810hrs. Also sunk were HMS Ardent & HMS Acasta. Total losses of over 1500 officers & men of the RN, RM and RAF.

Buried At: Runnymede Memorial Grave/Memorial : Panel 5
Next of Kin: Son of Ernest Grant Ede and Winifred Louise Ede, of Pembroke, Bermuda.

[Sources: CWGC – www.warship.orgMOD]

ROBERTSON – James Duncan Alexander

Name: ROBERTSON, JAMES DUNCAN ALEXANDER
Initials: J D A
Nationality: Canadian
Rank: Flying Officer
Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Unitt: 160 Sqn
Age: 22
Date of Death: 01/05/1945
Service No: J/29252
Awards: D F C
Additional information: Son of Frederick Henry Robertson and Madge Robertson,(nee Goodey) of St Andrew, Jamaica.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Column 456.
Memorial: SINGAPORE MEMORIAL

Liberator GR.V BZ868 Ran out of fuel and ditched 100 mi SE of Trincomalee, Ceylon May 1, 1945.

S/L D G M Joy
F/O F L Newby
F/O J D A Robertson
F/O R L Freeman
W/O P R Arscott
W/O C N Fisher
F/S J L MacDonald
F/S G P Brown

From the Squadron ORB:

Three American Mk. 36 mines were dropped between positions 011342N 1033330(?)E and 011330N 1033620(?)E. On return journey when in position 0710(?) 830?E all engines failed and captain glided aircraft from ???? feet to sea level, levelled out and ditched. The crew got out with the exception of J29???F/O D. J. A. Robertson (Nav) who was not again seen. The Captain Can C12?? S/Ldr D. G. M. Joy suffered from sever head injuries in the ditching and died in the water. Aus. 414878(?) W/O P. D? Arscott (Wop/AG) was drowned. The remainder of the crew were in the water approx. 8 hrs until being picked up by HSL after sighting A/C.

http://www.rquirk.com/160oper/160sqdn1945bknmar07.pdf

[Source: www.WW2chat.com]

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