103 Squadron RAF left
Slava

Menu

103 Squadron RAF

Notices and News

..........

103 Sqn History

103 Sqn WW1

103 Sqn 1937 to 1940

103 Sqn Post War

..........

Airfields of 103 Sqn

Aircraft of 103 Sqn

103 Sqn WW2 Aircraft Record

Lancaster ED888

103 Sqn WW2 Losses Index

..........

103 Sqn Roll of Honour

103 Sqn POWs, Escapers Evaders and Internees

..........

Profiles 103 Sqn A to M

Profiles 103 Sqn N to Z

Profiles Misc

..........

Articles and Misc

Resources

 

Northlincweb.net new logo
Baba Yaga

Check out active NAFO Ukrainian fundraising campaigns here

A of A
IWM logo
Logo_récent_de_la_CWGC
Thorpe Camp
[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn A to M] [Ron Dawson DFM 103 Sqn]

Sgt Ron Dawson DFM RAFVR - 103 Squadron - 1944 - Air Gunner.

P/O L J L Green RAFVR and crew - 103 Squadron - 1944

Crashed on return - 28/29th July 1944 - Lancaster III - PA985 - Op Stuttgart

Ron Dawson was born in Chadwell Heath, Essex on 23 June 1924. He was a member of the Air Defence Cadet Corp (6F Squadron) and then later became the Adjutant of the 6F ATC.

In 1942/3, Ron attended the Air Crew Receiving Centre in London (Stockley Hall) and went on to obtain his ITW (Initial Training Wing) in Bridlington. He attended Elementary Air Gunner School at RAF Bridgnorth, Shropshire, followed by joining Air Gunnery School (12 AGS) at Penross, N.Wales.

Ron joined 18 Operational Training Unit based at RAF Finningly, Doncaster and had his first taste of flying in Wellingtons while based here.

He was then stationed at RAF Bawtry, where he was stationed with members of the Polish OTU and continued flying in Wellingtons up to the fatal day when all of his then crew were killed in a crash. By fortune, Ron was ill in military hospital when his first crew perished so avoided a similar fate.

Ron was then re-crewed and was posted to 1662 Heavy Conversion Unit 1662 at Blyton.

His new crew consisted of:

Jimmy Green (Pilot) RAFVR

Jack Sweet (Wireless Op) RAFVR

Pete Thomas (Navigator) RAFVR

Ron Dawson (Mid-Upper Gunner) RAFVR

Johnny Freebairn (Bomb Aimer) RCAF

Taffy Jones (Flight Engineer) RAFVR

Vince Yates (Rear Gunner) RAFVR

103 Squadron - Green and crew

In March 1944, Ron and his crew attended Lancaster Finishing School at RAF Hemsell, nr Gainsbrough before being posted to RAF Elsham Wolds as part of 103 Sqn a month later.

Ron’s first flight in the Lancaster ( PA985 ) while stationed at Elsham was a cross-country flight on 29 April 1944, followed by his first Operational flight ( an abortive mission to Orleans, France ) on 19 May 1944.

This was followed by a further sortie two days later to Duisburg and Ron recalls “We arrived at the target a little early and had to circle. While circling, we sighted enemy aircraft for the first time, but thankfully they didn’t spot us. We were able to complete our mission and got out of there as quick as possible”.

Throughout their term, the crew had many memorable experiences, but one that remains vivid in Ron’s memory is the night of 28 July 1944.

On that night, the crew of PA985 were on a sortie to Stuttgart when they came under heavy fire. In the ensuing battle, they managed to loose 2 engines and came under attack from 2 enemy aircraft. It was during this battle that Ron and his co-gunner Vince Yates managed to destroy the enemy aircraft and as a result, they were both awarded the DFM (immediate).

Having been badly shot-up, the skipper had no choice but to jettison the bombs and instruct the navigator to head them straight home using the quickest path. Ron recalls that on this perilous journey back to base, while still over Germany, they were surprised to see a German airfield mistakenly turn on the runway lights as they approached. The skipper expressed his frustration that they had previously jettisoned, as it would have been a nice surprise for them.

As they limped back to England, they were told to stand-by to bail out and things were particularly bad over the Channel where the skipper had to radio in using the call ‘Darky – Darky’. The Lancaster managed to make it across the Channel as far as RAF Little Horwood..

Upon reaching the runway at Little Horwood, the skipper realised that they were approaching too fast to land and asked the crew whether he should go round and approach again which given the state of the plane was very risky or whether he should just get the plane on the ground.

To a man, the crew agreed to get down as quick as possible and the skipper thumped the plane onto the runway without wheels down in order to grind to a halt as rapidly as possible. Ron still recalls the severity of the impact to this day and has a clear memory of the plane scraping across the runway and into a field.

All of the crew survived and amazingly there were no bad injuries, just badly shaken bodies and cuts & bruises. The whole Crew were very lucky to survive this night.

The next day, Sgt. Marsh flew the crew of PA985 back to base.

A new Lancaster Bomber (PD236) was assigned and the sorties continued.

Another mission that sticks out in Ron’s mind was that of 12 August 1944. In a daytime trip that saw them bombing the U-boat pens at Bordeaux. Before take-off, the skipper, Jimmy Green, managed to misplace his sunglasses and as Ron already had his goggles, he agreed to lend his sunglasses to Jimmy.

Approaching from the Bay of Biscay, they came under intense fire and were badly shot up. During this attack, the skipper was injured when flak shattered the cockpit and glass flew into his face. If it hadn’t been for the sunglasses, things could have been a lot worse for Jimmy. Taffy Jones the engineer was also injured in this attack and Ron recalls “the plane dropped like a stone and began losing altitude quickly. One of the mosquito escorts came down with the plane and stayed with it until somehow they managed to get it back on an even keel”.

Having managed to get the plane back to base, even though badly shot-up, the skipper was loathed to let Ron have his sunglasses back as he reckoned that he could get at least a few beers on the back of the tale of how they probably saved his sight.

At the end of 1944, Ron became an Instructor (turrets) at Air Gunnery School (12 AGS) based in Bishops Court, Northern Ireland after having passed his training at RAF Manby, Lincolnshire. One of his pupils during his time here was the now Lord Richard Attenborough.

Written by Kevin Dawson.

..........

Additional background information

Green crew tour:-See below

19-May-44 - Orleans Lancaster - NE136 - P/O LJL Green – Early return – Port inner engine unserviceable

21-May-44 - Duisburg - Lancaster - NE117 - P/O LJL Green

22-May-44 - Dortmund - Lancaster - ND632 - P/O  LJL Green

24-May-44 - Aachen - Lancaster - LM538 - P/O LJL Green

27-May-44 - Aachen - Lancaster - ND381 - P/O LJL Green

02-Jun-44 - Calais - Lancaster - ME773 -  P/O LJL Green

03-Jun-44 - Wimereaux - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

05-Jun-44 - St-Martin-de-Varreville/Crisbec - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

06-Jun-44 - Vire - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

09-Jun-44 - Flers - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green - Bombed at low altitude to avoid an aircraft above.

12-Jun-44 - Gelsenkirchen - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

14-Jun-44 - Le Havre - Lancaster - PA985 -  P/O LJL Green

16-Jun-44 - Sterkrade - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

17-Jun-44 - Aulnoye - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green - Aborted by Master Bomber due to cloud cover over target. Jettisoned long delay bombs & returned to base

22-Jun-44 - Mimoyecques - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

23-Jun-44 – Saintes - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

25-Jun-44 - Flers Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

04-Jul-44 - Orleans-les-Aubrais - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O  LJL Green

05-Jul-44 -  Dijon Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

07-Jul-44 - Caen Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

12-Jul-44 - Revigny Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green - Diverted due to rain and low cloud at base

14-Jul-44 - Revigny Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green - Aborted by Master Bomber due to cloud cover over target. Jettisoned long delay bombs. Diverted

17-Jul-44 - Sanneville - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

18-Jul-44 - Scholven Buer - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

20-Jul-44 - Wizernes - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

23-Jul-44 - Kiel - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O  LJL Green

24-Jul-44 - Stuttgart - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

28-Jul-44 - Stuttgart - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green - Crashed while trying to land at Little Horwood. Very badly damaged by a night fighter. No injuries reported.

10-Aug-44 - Dugny - Lancaster - PD236 - P/O LJL Green

11-Aug-44 - Douai -Lancaster - PD236 - P/O LJL Green

12-Aug-44 - Bordeaux - Lancaster -  PD236 - P/O LJL Green

15-Aug-44 - Le Culot - Lancaster - PD236 - P/O LJL Green

..........

28-Jul-44 – Stuttgart

This attack is described in the Stuttgart 28/29th July 1944 Article in the relevant section here.

..........

Lancaster - PA985

This machine gave good service and was lost on its 28th operation. Most of these were with the Green crew.

03-Jun-44 - Wimereaux - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

05-Jun-44 - St-Martin-de-Varreville/Crisbec - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

06-Jun-44 - Vire - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

09-Jun-44 - Flers - Lancaster - PA985 – W/O JJ Rabchak RCAF

09-Jun-44 - Flers - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green - Bombed at low altitude to avoid an aircraft above.

12-Jun-44 - Gelsenkirchen - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

14-Jun-44 - Le Havre - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

16-Jun-44 - Sterkrade - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

17-Jun-44 - Aulnoye - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green - Aborted by Master Bomber due to cloud cover over target. Jettisoned long delay bombs & returned to base

22-Jun-44 - Mimoyecques - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

23-Jun-44 - Saintes - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

25-Jun-44 - Flers - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

28-Jun-44 - Chateau Benapres - Lancaster -  PA985 - P/O HR Anthony

29-Jun-44 - Domleger - Lancaster - PA985 - F/O JPD Bartleet

30-Jun-44 - Oisemont Neuville au Bois - Lancaster - PA985 - F/O JPD Bartleet

02-Jul-44 - Domleger - Lancaster - PA985 - F/O JPD Bartleet

04-Jul-44 - Orleans-les-Aubrais - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O  LJL Green

05-Jul-44 - Dijon - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

07-Jul-44 - Caen - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

07-Jul-44 - Caen - Lancaster - PA985 - F/O JPD Bartleet

12-Jul-44 - Revigny - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green - Diverted due to rain and low cloud at base

14-Jul-44 - Revigny - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green - Aborted by Master Bomber due to cloud cover over target. Jettisoned long delay bombs. Diverted

17-Jul-44 - Sanneville - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

18-Jul-44 - Scholven Buer - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

20-Jul-44 - Wizernes - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

23-Jul-44 - Kiel - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

24-Jul-44 - Stuttgart - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green

28-Jul-44 - Stuttgart - Lancaster - PA985 - P/O LJL Green - Crashed while trying to land at Little Horwood. Very badly damaged by a night fighter. No injuries reported.

Item compiled by David Fell

....................

Sources and Books page.

Contact - D W Fell at e mail on the link below

103 Squadron RAF

www.103squadronraf.org.uk

Privacy Policy

©️ David Fell - Northlincsweb.net. All rights reserved

Member of Cross and Cockade and Air Britain

Cross and Cockade logo smallBanner UKWA and RAFAAir Britain Historians Logo small

RAFA Cleethorpes

         

13 Base RAF Website Logo - Copy

Contact - D W Fell at e mail on the link below

Contact Me

For privacy matters see the

Privacy Policy

  For latest updates see the

  Notices and News Page.

For sources etc see the

 Sources and Books Page

For site search see

103 Squadron Website Google Site Search

Other Websites in the 13 Base - RAF Series

Click Links Below

576 Squadron - RAF

RAF Elsham Wolds

Featured Page of the Month

Brian Williams Profile

Latest additions to this site

1st July 2024 - Boklaschuk Profile

1st July 2024 - Ullinger Profile

1st July 2024 - Light Flak

1st June 2024 - RAF Bombsights

1st June 2024 - Armstrong NH Profile

1st June 2024 - Marsden JTA Profile

1st June 2024 - Flak Scrapbook

1st May 2024 - Fairey Battle Photo Gallery

1st May 2024 - Barratt Profile

1st May 2024 - Remy and Crew Profile

1st May 2024 - Breen Profile

* 1st April 2024 - 80 Wing

1st April 2024 - Shields Profile

1st April 2024 - Anderson Profile

1st April 2024 - Cavanagh Profile

* 1st March 2024 - Advanced Air Striking Force

1st March 2024 - Riches Profile

* 1st February 2024 - Kilvington Profile

1st February 2024 - Garton Profile

1st February 2024 - Holland Profile

* 1st January 2024 - Pamplin Profile

1st January 2024 - Milan - 24/25 October 1942

* 1st December 2023 - Photos of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st December 2023 - Bremen – 2/3rd July 1942

1st December 2023 - Skinner Profile

* 1st November 2023 - Memoirs of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st November 2023 - Mine laying Biarritz / Biscay coast - 21 November 1942

1st November 2023 - Billie - Lancaster - W4364 - 103 Squadron

1st November 2023 - Curtin Twins Profile

*1st October 2023 - Dusseldorf - 1 August 1942

1st October 2023 - RAF Usworth Photo Album - 103 Squadron Era 1937/38

1st October 2023 - Mills Profile

*1st September 2023 - Tilley Profile

1st September 2023 - Ostend docks and barges - 22 December 1940

* 1st August 2023 - Defensive Armament - 103 Squadron and 576 Squadron

1st August 2023 - Chesterton Profile

1st August 2023 - Targets in Holland - 21/22 July 1940

1st August 2023 - Numerous additions and updates throughout the site

Also of local RAF Bomber Command interest are the

166 Squadron website

and the

550 Squadron and North Killingholme website.