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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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R.A.F. Crest
29.08.1941 O.A.D.U. Wellington II W5569 Sgt. Dyan

Operation: Delivery flight

Date: 29th August 1941 (Friday)

Unit: O.A.D.U  (15 O.T.U.)

Type: Wellington II

Serial: W5569

Code: ?

Location: North Front Aerodrome, Gibraltar

Pilot: Sgt. L.A. Dyan Injured

Pilot2: Sgt. Louis Felix Meyer R.C.A.F. Injured

Nav: H.J. Ryan. Not injured.

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. R. D. Stevenson Injured

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt Harold Rex Teskey R/60125 R.C.A.F. Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. C. Desmond Injured

Passenger: Lt. Cdr. Longdon. Not injured.

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off from Portreath, Cornwall for a delivery to Gibraltar and overshot the landing due to a hydraulic failure with the flap controls, crashing into a Beaufort L5896. 

Sgt. Louis Meyer suffered head injuries and multiple injuries but recovered later. Sgt. Teskey received multiple injuries and died at the scene.



Left: Wellingtons at Gibraltar and below: airport at Portreath.


Description of incident – Sgt. Meyer was second pilot of a Wellington Bomber aircraft, which crashed on landing at North Front airfield Gibraltar.  He was thrown from the airplane and landed in sand. He was unconscious for about thirty minutes and semi conscious for 24 hours.  Some blood clot in left ear (? abrasion) more probably a middle ear injury, also suffered multiple abrasions, none life threatening. One crew member, Sgt Harold Rex Teskey, was killed during the landing attempt.  Landing failed primarily from damages to the aircraft structure caused by ground and anti-aircraft fire. 


Early in the war, RAF Kemble (Portreath) became host to a unit that prepared aircraft for service overseas, mainly the Middle and Far East. No. 1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit (OAPU) was established at Kemble to carry out the task of modifying aircraft to operate in these regions.  After modification aircraft were flown to Portreath from whence they were despatched to their destination with O.A.D.U; Portreath’s geographical position making it an ideal departure point for North Africa.

In October 1941, a detachment of the Honeybourne based Ferry Training Unit was established at Portreath to organise ‘ferry flights’ for crews that had been trained for overseas flying duties. The influx of crews during this period stretched the available hutted accommodation to its limit and a colony of tents was established on the hillside to provide additional crew quarters. During October 1942 the airfield was selected to take part in ‘Operation Cackle’ which involved the supply of aircraft, aircrew and supplies for the USAAF 12th Airforce to take part in “Operation Torch” which was the Anglo-American invasion of French North Africa. 


               

Burial Details:

Harold Rex Teskey. Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery. Plot 2. Row A. Joint grave 4. Son of Ray and Hazel Teskey brother to Alan and Leonard from Carmngay, Alberta, Canada. Born on June 6th 1916. Joined the R.C.A.F. at Calgary, Canada on April 24th 1940.

                 

                The medals of Sgt Harold Teskey were later sold at Auction. No further details on this.

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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