De FREITAS – Celso

Celso de Freitas joined the Royal Air Force in 1940, and went into action as· a Sergeant-Observer. He took part in the now famous thousand-bomber raids on Cologne and Essen, and during a similar raid on Hamburg his plane was one of those which failed to return. On the way home both engines on one side of the giant bomber were shot away, and the pilot had to make a crash landing. The crew were badly shaken, but managed to get out of their plane and set it on fire; they were taken prisoner only a few miles from the coast.

[Source: Saint Stanislaus Magazine, april 1943] Read more

Celso de Freitas

 

 

 

 

 

 

He was one of the first to sign up from BG. His brother Arlindo de Freitas also signed up shortly afterwards.

Celso is one of the unfortunate prisoners of war who have been put in chains, and in a recent letter he speaks of the new experience of receiving Holy Communion in chains.
Mr. De Freitas was second only to South African, Billy Wade, in cricket batting averages in the POW camps and his style was later compared to Sir Colin Cowdrey. Cricket was going on in the POW camps as exercise and territorial rivalries led to informal “Tests”.  He is mentioned on pages 86/87 of this fascinating document which is a great read. https://www.lamsdorf.com/uploads/6/4/2/7/6427590/cricket.pdf

Celso was head of the British Guiana Volunteer Force (as its Lieutenant Colonel) in the run up to Guyanese independence. His small volunteer corps played a major role in quelling and preventing the political rioting which led up to the independence elections. He received an OBE (Mil) – a military OBE – for his efforts.

[Courtesy: Paul de Freitas]

short_I_15_sqn_aircrew-2

Aircrew of No.15 Squadron in front of Short Stirling I, December 1941. Celso de Freitas is last row, second from left. (Click to enlarge)

[Source: History of War]

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply