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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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239 Squadron Crest
23/24.02.1945 239 Squadron Mosquito NF.30 NT354 Flt Sgt. Twigg

Operation: Pforzheim

Date: 23rd/24th February 1945 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit No: 239 Squadron

Type: Mosquito NF.30

Serial: NT354

Code: HB:F

Base: RAF West Raynham, Norfolk

Location: RAF Foulsham, Norfolk

Pilot: Flt Sgt. Leonard Eric Twigg 1681108 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Nav: Flt Sgt. Ronald Herbert 'Ron' Turner ?? RAFVR Age 22. Survived - injured


Taking off at 17:52 hrs on a Bomber Support sortie on an operation to Pforzheim.

On return the weather had seriously deteriorated and the pilot decided to divert to RAF Foulsham where they had the FIDO facility. (Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation). The pilot came into land at 22:40 hrs just as FIDO was being lit and it is reasonable to suppose that he was hampered by the large volume of smoke created at this juncture. He did in fact miss the runway altogether, touching down some 70 yards to one side and colliding with a Halifax parked at a dispersal pan No. 8. Flt Sgt. Twigg was killed and Flt Sgt. Turner was thrown clear.

Information received from Flt Sgt. Ron Turner's great niece tells us that the event wasn't discussed much by Ron but it is known that he was in hospital following the accident and then subsequently was put on desk duty. Ron and Eric were actually best friends and apparently he tried to pull Eric from the aircraft but wasn't able to do so.

Above Flt Sgt. 'Ron' Turner (Courtesy of Jody Little)

They Halifax was totally destroyed in the fire that erupted. No crew aboard the Halifax.

A memorial to ex-employees of Robert Jenkins in Rotherham is due to be unveiled at St. Pauls Church - local to the Jenkins works which is due for demolition. The dedication service is to be held on the 25th November 2017 - Flt Sgt. Leonard Eric Twigg is one of those named.

Burial details:

Above: Flt Sgt. Twigg (credit Alan Goy)

Flt Sgt. Leonard Eric Twigg. Brinsworth Churchyard (St. George) Sec. B. Grave 91. Grave inscription reads: ""YOUNG AND BRAVE MET BY FATE; LORD REWARD HIM AT THE HEAVENLY GATE". Born on the 3rd September 1921, the son of Leonard and Beatrice Twigg (née Bailey and husband of Kathleen Jessie Twigg (née Charlesworth), of Brinsworth, Rotherham, Yorkshire, England.

With thanks to Leslie Leng for bringing this loss to our attention. Researched by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) and dedicated to the relatives of this crew (Nov 2017). Thanks to Alan Goy for the image of Flt Sgt. Twigg who was a distant relative (Oct 2021). Thanks to Jody Little for the additional information and photograph for her Great Uncle, Flt Sgt. Turner (Sep 2022).

Other sources listed below

RS 21.09.2022 - Update to Flt Sgt. Turner's details and addition of photograph

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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