WIRELESS OPERATOR / AIR GUNNERS Part: III
(Last updated: 27.08.12 - Ted Nelson)
Here's the third list of WWII 206 Squadron WOp/AG's, click their photograph for their story...
William Rundle by Sonia Johnson (Nov 2009) Flew in Ken's crew
Ted Nelson by Ted (Nov 2009) Flew with Ken
George Ellison by Pauline and Terry Shea (May 2010)
James Jeffs by Paul Jeffs (June 2010)
Lloyd McKinnon by Darian Zacharias (June 2010)
Rank: Warrant Officer
Joined 206: 08/02/1943
Flew with Ken: 33 times
In October 2008 Sonia Johnson left a message on the Guest Book about her late father William Rundle who had flown with 206 Squadron during WWII. I immediately recognised the surname and checked Ken's logbook, sure enough Rundle was mentioned on 33 flights in 1943 with 206 Squadron in Benbecula.
Sonia has been able to provide all the following photographs and explained that William was known as Bill Rundle.
William Bate Rundle
November 11th 1939 Upavon 1945
Sonia had spoken to her mother and established that William was in the Air Training Cadets before the war started. He had a friend called Brooks who was also with the Cadets and they enlisted into the RAF together. William completed his initial training at Upavon in Wiltshire and according to Sonia he was stationed at other places such as...
Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall
Aldergrove in N.Ireland
Lagens, Praia de Victoria in the Azores
Renfrewshire billeted with the Macleans family
To find out more information Sonia obtained William's RAF Service Record which I reviewed and can provide the following overview.
William Rundle was born on the 21st September 1919 and was originally from Redruth in Cornwall but when he enlisted he was living in Exeter, Devon where his profession was book binding. He was a tall chap at 6ft 1" with a 34" chest, he had dark brown hair and brown eyes.
05/07/1939 - Date of enlistment
03/09/1939 - Officially enlisted RAF Voluntary Reserve
25/10/1939 - Posted to Exeter
??/01/1940 - Wireless Course in Scotland
15/09/1940 - OTU
??/11/1940 - Joined 233 Squadron
19/12/1940 - Posted to Aldergrove with 233 Squadron
06/03/1942 - Joined 1441 Flight
08/02/1943 - Joined 206 Squadron
??/10/1943 - Lagens, Azores with 206 Squadron
21/03/1944 - Posted to Bircham Newton with 206 Squadron
25/08/1944 - S.F.U with 206 Squadron
21/12/1945 - Released
05/07/1939 - Enlisted as an Aircraftman Number 2 Class (AC2)
06/09/1939 - Leading Aircraftman (LAC)
05/10/1940 - Temporary Sergeant
31/12/1941 - Sergeant
01/04/1942 - Temporary Flight Sergeant
31/12/1942 - Flight Sergeant
01/03/1944 - Temporary Warrant Officer
31/12/1944 - Warrant Officer
We're not sure about the order of these photographs but attempted to place them chronologically.
Adamson House, Scotland
'C' Squadron Number 4 Flight - Wireless Course
William - 2nd row from back, 1st on the right
Jan 15th - May 10th 1940
William - 3rd from left standing
When William was in 233 Squadron in Aldergrove he photographed an incident with a Hudson. You can tell these relate to that period because the Lockheed Hudson has markings of 'ZS' which is 233 Squadrons code. The photograph below has Sgt Ballentyne and Rundle written on the back, whether they were the crew at the time of the crash I'm not sure, but I did find reference to it in 'Ours to Hold' which states the Hudson was damaged beyond repair in a crash at Aldergrove on the 13/02/1943 where the pilot overshot the landing and the undercarriage collapsed.
Hudson N7372 'B' of 233 Squadron
Aldergrove 0840 hrs on 23rd February 1941
Inside an Aircraft
Lockheed Hudson likely to be from 233 Squadron
233 Squadron: Aldergrove
William has the white hat on
206 Squadron: Benbecula
We're unsure how Gibraltar fits in but William has clearly labelled this photograph from there.
William in Gibraltar
When William went out to the Azores with 206 Squadron he was part of the first group there, he assisted in the construction of the airfield and base. The photograph below has the Squadron in front of a Flying Fortress.
206 Squadron in Azores 1944
William Rundle marries Phylliss Margaret Bonfield Cox
1st June 1946
Links to Ken
Having checked through Ken's logbook I found 33 entries of flights with William Rundle in 1943.
Feb - 18th
Mar - 1st, 3rd, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st
Apr - 3rd, 9th, 13th, 17th, 23rd
May - 3rd, 13th, 14th, 18th, 22nd
Jun - 19th, 20th, 26th
Jul - 1st, 1st, 1st, 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 16th, 21st, 22nd
The interesting link on from these dates is that 28 of the flights above were with Eric McIlwrick; all the ones in black. Eric's story is covered in the 'Pilots: Part I' section.
After studying one of the crew photographs I realised that Ken (Grandad) was in the photograph. Not only that but I also recognised Ken Roberts and Hunt who appears on other photographs I have of Ken's crews. I checked through Ken's logbook for any records of flying in a Fortress with aircraft number 'D'.
Sure enough there were 7 flights in total in FL541, 5 of these had William Rundle listed. On each those 5 flights the following men were also all present along with Ken and William: Eric McIlwrick, Ken Roberts, Hunt, Justice.
1st and 2nd Sept 1942 - William not listed
13th April 1943
19th and 20th June 1943
16th and 22nd July 1943
I initially recognised 4 of the men in the photograph, there was high probability that Eric McIlwrick was on it along with Justice and another. After posting a blown up copy to Eric in Edinburgh he telephoned me confirming it was indeed him standing next to William!
With this information I am able to name 5 of the 7 crew members below.
Flying Fortress FL451 'D'
William Rundle - Eric McIlwrick - Unknown - Hunt
Ken Roberts - Ken Bass - Unknown
I'm sure this story will continue.
Joined 206: 01/10/1941
Flew with Ken: 5 times
I first contacted Ted in December 2007 and we exchanged several letters throughout 2008 and 2009. In July 2009 I had learned that Ted was writing a book about his time during WWII and I was able to supply his publisher with a number of photographs of the period. This photograph is taken from a flyer that Ted sent to me in November 2009.
Ted and Ona Nelson
Stand Up Parade: June 2009
In February 2012 Ted passed away. The following 2 scans are taken from the Dorset Advertiser on the 6th June 2012.
The book is entitled 'A Survivor's Tale' and the following information was taken from the back of a flyer.
A Survivor's Tale
Ted Nelson was born in Hazel Grove, Stockport in May 1923 and despite attending six different schools in Lancashire, London and Southampton between the ages of 4 and 11 he still managed to obtain academic scholarship to King Edward Vi Grammar School in Southampton in 1934.
To avoid becoming and evacuee when the Second World War began he 'ran away' from school and later enlisted in the RAF as aircrew at just 17, recording his age s 18, despite signing a declaration that any untruth could result in 2 years imprisonment with hard labour!
In completion of his training as a Wireless Operator / Air Gunner he survived 87 operational flights spread over 698 operation flying hours.
In total he completed 717 flights covering 1658 hours, flew with 125 different pilots in 25 different aircraft. He landed or was stationed at 75 airfields during his service, with 206 Squadron, the Coastal Command Development Unit and the Air/Sea Warfare Development Unit.
He was demobilised in 1946 and finally wrote 'A Survivor's Tale' in the Autumn of 2008 at the age of 85. He is married to Ona and has 3 children and 7 grandchildren and has lived in Corfe Mullen, Dorset for the past 46 years.
Please see the 'Useful Info' section for details on where to buy the book.
Links to Ken
In Ted's first letter to me on the 21st December 2007 he confirmed that he had flown with Ken (Grandad) five times as it was recorded in his logbook. Those flights were as follows.
March 17th 1942
Four of the five flights were on this date in Lockheed Hudson's. They were all compass swing operations between Langford Lodge and Aldergrove.
Hudson AM706 - Ken was pilot, Weir, Marriott, Nelson
Hudson AM706 - Ken was pilot, Weir, Marriott, Nelson
Hudson AM785 'C' - Marriott was pilot, Ken Bass, Weir, Nelson
Hudson AM785 'C' - Weir was pilot, Ken Bass, Marriott, Nelson
November 17th 1942
The fifth flight was in a Flying Fortress IIA on an operation out to 22 degrees west on a creeping line ahead search for a Uboat known to be in the vicinity. A ten and a half hour trip where Ken was a Warrant Officer with Ranald Anderson as his second pilot.
Fortress FK210 'E' - Ken was pilot, Anderson, Miller, Morgan, Clemson, Roberts, Nelson
Joined 206: ??/??/194?
Flew with Ken: 0 times
I was first contacted by Pauline and Terry Shea in May 2010 after they had left a message on my Guest Book. They have provided the information and most of the photographs below.
George Arthur Hoskins Ellison is already mentioned on the site in Jim Glazebrook's Memoir in 'Pilots: Part II' as part of Jim's Liberator crew.
George was born on the 13th April 1925 in Catford in South London. Both his parents died from TB within a year of each other, his mothers maiden name was Hoskins. George was the youngest of 4 and he was orphaned at the age of 3, his brother and 2 sisters were split between the family. He enlisted on the 19th April 1943 after his local youth club in Catford was bombed.
Sgt George Ellison
George was killed in action in the Kattegat on the night of the 8th/9th April 1945. He was part of F/Lt Howells crew on that night and they took off from Leuchars at 8:18pm on an anti U-boat patrol. He was the only one to be found, his body was recovered from the shore at Marstrand on June 3rd and buried in the local graveyard with full honours from the local Swedish people.
There are a number of sad parts to Georges story, the first one being that he was normally part of Jim Glazebrooks crew but for this particular flight he joined a different crew. Secondly he died just prior to his 21st birthday, and thirdly, according to Jim Glazebrook he was about to be married.
Jim Glazebrook stated the following:
"Sergeant Ellison was my gunner and should not have been with F/Lt Howell. For some reason my crew were asked to take a couple of weeks leave earlier than originally scheduled. George came to me to say he had fixed his wedding for the first day of our scheduled leave and the change was upsetting plans. I took him to the Squadron Gunnery Leader who said not to worry - he'd use him in the Gunnery Office whilst the rest of the crew went on leave. Sadly George volunteered, or was asked to join F/Lt Howell on operation and so was lost."
Here's George with Jim Glazebrook and the rest of their Liberator crew, it was taken shortly after Jim took over as captain in 1944 with George standing next to Jim.
Leuchars: Liberator Crews
F/S Johnny Boorman - F/S Nick Nicholson - F/S Jim Glazebrook - Sgt George Ellison - F/S Jock Bain
F/S Hartwig - F/S Doug Riley - Sgt Frank Angel - Sgt Frank Smith - F/S 'Mac' McLean
Other than Ellison (top right) and William Milligan (bottom right) we're not sure which one's which
We have the following listed as:
Fitch? (Ron) - Edwards (Vernon) - Edge (Bill - maybe William Milligan) - Ellison (Shag)
Duncan (Taff) - Drysdale (Jock) - N Fowler (Chick) - WL Elmer (Lou)
The crew members from that fateful night on the 8th April 1945 were in Liberator Mk VIII KK259 'E' on an anti U-boat patrol. I found the relevant entry in the National Archives confirming the crew on that date.
I also checked the 206 Roll of Honour and found them by searching on the date of 9/4/45, they are as follows:
F/Lt B.L.Howell (1293??)
F/Lt J.E.McDonald (61039)
P/O A.J.Barton (196257?)
F/O J.A.W.Heatlie (153632)
F/O Milligan (Aus) - See his Memoir within 'WOp / AG: Part IV'
F/O K.W.Milne (Aus 23823)
F/O A.G.Stass (152214)
W/O F.Poole (1204005)
F/S M.Jerome (57633)
F/S G.Tupman (1684144)
Sgt A.W.A.Mason (1867529)
Sgt G.A.Ellison (1894253)
Georges CWGC memorial is at Kviberg but his burial is at Marstrand, his medals were only issued in 2007 and are below.
1939-45 Star - War Medal 1939-45 - Atlantic Star
Pauline and Terry have a number of letters from 1945 that offered sympathy and covered some details of Georges funeral in Sweden, one of which is below.
Rank: Warrant Officer
Number: Aus 9298
Joined 206: 24/04/1945
Flew with Ken: 0 times
I was first contacted by Paul Jeffs in March 2010 after he had seen the website. James George Jeffs was Paul's Uncle. Paul provided the following information and photographs for this memoir.
RAAF James George Jeffs
1942 - 1943 W/O 1945
James Jeffs was born on the 24th April 1920 in Perth, West Australia. He joined the RAAF on the 19th of February 1940 in Adelaide with a service number of 9298. On the 23rd of March 1943 he entered aircrew training, possibly in Brisbane, Australia. On the 30th April 1943 he departed from Brisbane in H.M.T ANDES. On the 30th May 1943 he started the Wireless Operators and Air Gunners course in Calgary and Mossbank, Canada. On the 25th March 1944 he left Canada for the UK, he arrived in the UK 4 years after joining the RAAF, on the 2nd April 1944.
Whilst in the UK James completed further training in Carew Cheriton in Wales and then onto Wheaton Ashton in Staffordshire.
James joined 459 Squadron on the 20th March 1945 flying Wellington bombers, this was a RAAF Squadron that was based at Chivenor, Devon at the time. 459 Squadron had operated around the Greek islands until March 1945 when it redeployed to the UK, however it was disbanded only a month later on the 10th April 1945.
It was at this time that James joined 206 Squadron, 24th April 1945. 206 Squadron was based in Leuchars flying Liberators through that period. At that time James was a Flight Sergeant and he flew 5 operations with 206 Squadron totalling 60 hrs.
James Jeffs Service Record
19/02/1940: Joined RAAF
08/07/1940: Clerk General Ascot Vale Adelaide
14/08/1944: Flight Sergeant
14/08/1945: Warrant Officer
One of the stories James' sister told was that on an operation over Germany their Liberator was hit, killing the crew member next to James. She also said that as peace was declared their job was to escort surrendering U-boats back to port.
James Jeffs left the UK in July 1945 and arrived in Sydney on the 28th July 1945. He was discharged from the RAAF on the 8th October 1945.
James settled in Adelaide living at the same address for over 50 years, he sadly passed away on the 2nd January 2001 when on holiday in Sydney, Australia.
Thanks to Paul Jeffs for all this information.
Rank: Warrant Officer
Joined 206: ??/??/????
Flew with Ken: 0 times
In May 2010 Darian left a message on the website 'Guest Book' asking about his Great Uncle Lloyd George McKinnon. Lloyd's father was Issac James McKinnon from P.E.I, Canada, born on the 14th September 1873. His mother was Teresa Agnes King from County Galloway, Ireland, born on 31st March 1876. They both passed away in 1949.
I checked through the 206 Squadron Roll of Honour and Lloyd McKinnon is mentioned within it as 'Death Presumed' on the 28th September 1944, he was 28 years old.
On further investigation of the Roll of Honour I found 7 men with 'Death Presumed' on the same date: 28th September 1944, these 7 are listed below, however on checking the 206 National Archives for that date there was another 3 men on that flight which I've added to the bottom of this list...
F/O Peter.F Carlisle (59697) - Pilot
F/O T.M.C.Ball (55232)
W/O K.D.Fox (751873)
Temp W/O E.Hopkins (13155??)
F/S E.Hoyle (1481202) - Navigator
W/O W.G.Lewis (1196423)
W/O L.G.McKinnon (J95171) RCAF
F/S A.M.Cleland (J92275) RCAF
F/S A.J.Nadeau (J90270) RCAF
Sgt J.A.Gillett (1588769)