24.12.1944 No. 3 Squadron Tempest V EJ747 Sgt. Dryland
Date: 24th December 1944 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 3 Squadron (motto:Tertius primus erit - 'The third shall be the first)
Type: Tempest V
Base: ALG B.80 Volkel
Location: South of Malmedy
Pilot: F/O. Rodney Dryland DFC. 162837 RAFVR Age 22. Evaded
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a patrol he engaged and shot down an Me109 over Malmedy, only for himself to be hit by flak.
He force landed his Tempest behind enemy lines but as luck would have it an USA army jeep was going through the area on a penetration patrol. They picked the pilot up - continued with the patrol with the pilot and then Sgt Dryland returned to his unit.
Left: F/O. Rodney Dryland DFC with Fl/Lt. Arthur Robert Moore DFC.
London Gazette 27th October 1944:
"F/O. Dryland has completed a large number of sorties against a wide variety of targets including many attacks against strongly defended enemy shipping convoys. He has at ail times pressed home his attacks with great determination and his courage and enthusiasm have been an inspiration to all. This officer has destroyed 18 flying bombs, five of which he destroyed in one day."
He survived the war and joined the Gloster Aircraft Company in 1946, later to become the chief test pilot.
The RAF wanted to replace the Spitfire PR XI as a photo reconnaissance aircraft and the Gloster Meteor was the one chosen.
Meteor FR5 VT347 was taken directly off the production line to be modified to carry oblique cameras in the nose and vertical cameras in the rear fuselage.
On the maiden flight Mr. Dryland made a high 'G' manoeuvre over the airfield with this leading to the failure of the centre section tank side skin followed by total disintegration of the aircraft.
No details have been found - if you are able to assist the information will be placed with full credits.
For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below.