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  #1  
Old 28th February 2011, 12:47
SteveB SteveB is offline
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541Sqn - 3 South African PR pilots

At the end of June 1944 three South African pilots "trained in low level photography" were attached to No 541 Sqn at Benson in the UK. They were Capt C A D Williams (41334V), Lt C F Godden (328535V) and Lt T P Meyer (number n/k). It seems that the "low level photography" was actually vertical photography carried out with short focal length cameras at low altitudes ie below the cloud base usually 3500 to 5000ft.

Can anyone provide any additional information on these pilots and these operations? I would especially like to know where they came from - were they in 680 or 683Sqn in the Med?

I have checked out the 541Sqn ORB and it seems they were on 541Sqn at least until March 1945. Godden apparently ftr on 14/3/45 but he is not listed on CWGC and it seems that Williams was awarded the DFC in March 1945.

I will also make a post on RAF Commands.

Thanks for any help

Steve
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Old 28th February 2011, 14:00
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: 541Sqn - 3 South African PR pilots

It is also possible they came from SAAF units. I can remember two flying reconnaissance in MTO:

40 Sqn SAAF using Spitfires for tactical recon
60 Sqn SAAF using Mosquitoes for strategic recon
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Old 28th February 2011, 14:12
Henk Welting Henk Welting is offline
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Re: 541Sqn - 3 South African PR pilots

Mustang III.B on a reconnaissance mission to the Arnsberg area (Sauerland, Germany) was hit by flak near the Sorpe Dam and crashed about 600 metres SE of Beckum, approx. 17.30 hrs. The pilot baled out and came down near the Beckum cemetery.

Henk.
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Old 28th February 2011, 14:13
Henk Welting Henk Welting is offline
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Re: 541Sqn - 3 South African PR pilots

Forgot to mention the aircraft serial:this was FB182 (in Air Britain mentioned 'reconnaissance Arnhem'.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 12:22
SteveB SteveB is offline
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Re: 541Sqn - 3 South African PR pilots

Thanks all I appreciate your efforts and these points are helpful.

With, what I assume to be, large numbers of trained PR pilots in the UK I am hoping to get a lead that explains the need to use SAAF pilots who I am assuming (again!) came from the Med somewhere. Perhaps I should just stop assuming...

Steve
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  #6  
Old 2nd March 2011, 13:50
stefaan stefaan is offline
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Re: 541Sqn - 3 South African PR pilots

Hi Steve.
Many SAAF pilots flew with the RAF without ever having been in the MTO.
As south africa was part of the Empire Traing Scheme, there was a period where there were to many pilots trained, so many went to the europian theatre, as well as the Far east and served in SAAF Sqdns.
They kept their SAAF identity and often one sees group photos with brown aps and Uniforms in a sea of blue.
Hope it helps
Stefaan
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Old 2nd March 2011, 19:51
SteveB SteveB is offline
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Re: 541Sqn - 3 South African PR pilots

Hi Stefaan

Thanks for that it is helpful confirmation but these 3 guys are the first I have encountered in 45 to 50 ORBs. I was hoping for some more on these guys from the SA end of the story but perhaps it is not there.

Best wishes

Steve
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Old 2nd March 2011, 21:02
stefaan stefaan is offline
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Re: 541Sqn - 3 South African PR pilots

Their service records should be in our archives, but only SAAF family is allowed to access those files.Will see whai I can do
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  #9  
Old 3rd March 2011, 18:13
Hans Nauta Hans Nauta is offline
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Re: 541Sqn - 3 South African PR pilots

Hi Steve,

I can add that Lt Meyer's service number was 328474V. I would be interested to learn the full first names too, as these pilots flew several sorties over North West Holland.

Regards,
Hans
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Old 6th March 2011, 17:33
SteveB SteveB is offline
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Re: 541Sqn - 3 South African PR pilots

Thanks Hans for service number I did not have that from my notes on 541Sqn ORB.

Stefaan any help much appreciated.

Steve
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