JOHNSON – Basil Lawrence Ivan

Serial Number: 1396487
RAF Trade: Flight Engineer
Date of Enlistment: 1939

Rank Achieved: Warrant Officer
Operational Sorties:  3 Ops with 115 Squadron, 47 ops with 156 Squadron

On 31st August 1941, he left New Providence for England via Miami, New York and Halifax, Nova Scotia from where he sailed to England in a convoy of ships arriving at Liverpool on September 19th 1941.  He spent several days in London and then went to Readcar to be outfitted and spent thirteen months in training and studying.  He passed out as a mechanic and later remustered to fitters course and then to aircrew as a Flight Engineer Air Gunner.   

He first served with the 115 Squadron of Bomber Command and later with Group 8 of 156 Squadron of the elite Path Finder Force, Bomber Command stationed at Warboys Airfield in South West England.

After completing thirty-six operational flights in April 1944 he was recommended and received the prestigious award of the Distinguished Flying Medal (D.F.M.). 

 His Wing Commander in the citation described him –

He is a member of an outstanding Path Finder Force crew, and his resourcefulness and unfailing efficiency have contributed to the aircraft returning to base from raids during which the safety of the aircraft depended upon his knowledge and skill.

He is cool and unruffled under fire and his consistent skill and reliability under harassing circumstances have been inspiring to other members of the crew.

His high sense of devotion to duty made him well worth of the Award of Distinguished Flying Medal.”

[Source: http://www.156squadron.com/Crew_Johnson.html]

Read more about Mr. Johnson’s remarkable life and career at the wonderful website www.156squadron.com and here: http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/highlighting-heroes-remembrance-day

Basil Johnson 1 Basil Johonson 2

De SILVA – Desmond Michael

R/95750 – Desmond Michael De Silva – W/O – 218 Squadron – KIA 24/08/1943

[Sources: CWGC and RCAF Casualty List 0918 and Chorley’s; courtesy Alieneyes]

W/O De Silva DFM shows up with parents in Flushing, NY. RCAF Casualty List 0918, however, shows W/O Desmond Michael De Silva DFM as being from Georgetown, British Guiana.

CWGC says 218 Squadron but Chorleys has him lost as a rear gunner on a Stirling from No. 623 Squadron. Both list him as an American from Flushing Meadows, NY City.

RCAF Casualty List 0918 and Chorley’s

HAZELL – V.B.

1377112 – P/O V.B. Hazell – Jamaica – attested 29.8.40 – Flight/Mech. (‘Jet Eng’?) – commissioned 9.6.44 – DFM

[Source: NA AIR 2/6876 - Nominal Roll of Coloured Candidates, October 1944]

Inscription on the back: To Syd form Viv, Kingston Jamaica, British West Indies 30/4/45
[Photograph courtesy Max Dyson, son of Syd Dyson]

HYNAM – Winston Kitchener (Pony)

Winston Kitchener Hynam, 103 Squadron, was awarded the DFM in November 1942 while Sergeant. He was described as an impurturbable and reliable NCO who has served as Wireless Operator/Front Gunner, and Bomb Aimer.

In December 1943, now Pilot Officer with 100 Squadron, he was awarded the DFC.

Possibly his RAF numbers: 1283669 when Sergeant and 155808 when Pilot Officer (promoted September 1943?) .

He is the only West Indian to hold both the DFM and DFC.

Used to be Warden of West Indian Students Centre in Earls Court in 1980.

[Source: AE]

Military History of Barbados 1627-2007 by Major Hartland

Matthew McKinnon is the grandson of Winston Kitchener Hynam. He kindly sent us the photographs below – including images of his logbook. ‘Pony’ Hynam died in 1991 and his widow Doris Hynam passed away in early 2008. They are survived by their daughters Roma and Carole. Mr. McKinnon informs us that Winston was the Warden (and resident, in the top floor flat) of the West Indian Students Centre from 1954 until 1980, where he got to know Cy Grant (who also flew with 103 Squadron) when he would visit.

Click on any picture to enlarge.

Pony 1

‘Pony’ Hynam

Pony 2

 

Group 4

Air Gunners Course

Group 5
Group 1
Group 2

No.50 Bombing Leaders Course, Manby 1943

Missions

List of missions

Recommendation

Recommendation for DFM

Pony & Molly

Pony & Doris Molynyeaux a.k.a. ‘Molly’, the future Mrs. Hynam

 

Plaque 2 Plaque 1

LYNCH – Lincoln

Sgt LO Lynch from Jamaica, winner of the Air Gunner’s Trophy for 1944 standing by the rear gun turret of a Lancaster bomber, his right hand resting on the barrel of one of the four machine guns. The Lancaster had three gun turrets, used to defend the aircraft against enemy fighters during long-range bombing raids. [Source: www.movinghere.org.uk – Imperial War Museum (IWM) Reference: CH12263]

605520 (605500?) – L.O. Lynch – Jamaica – Sgt. Air Gunner UK 4.5.43
148235 – P/O – DFM 5.9.44 – commissioned 17.6.44

[Source: NA AIR 2/6876]

Sergeant – DFM – based in Yorkshire
[Source: CMHA]
Lincoln Lynch was stationed at Pocklington and billeted with a family in a village outside York. They all featured on a BBC TV programme two or 3 years ago (around 2005) called “We’ll Meet Again”. The three daughters of this family (who had been children at the time) wanted to be reunited with Lincoln. He was brought over here and they all met up on the programme which featured Vera Lynn.

[Source: AE; photograph courtesy Mrs. A. Dewjee]

SYLVESTER – Oscar Owen

Sergeant/Warrant Officer – Pilot – 15 sqn – Lancaster – DFM

ATS; 33 Missions, awarded DFM. Post war RAF Wyton, Lincoln B2

[Source: CG, CMHA]