S/L Trent VC

Discussion in 'Stories' started by Njaco, May 2, 2008.

  1. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    This was brought up in "This Day in Europe..." thread about Ramrod 16. For Pb.

    Leonard Henry Trent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    On 3 May 1943 the No. 487 Squadron RNZAF, under Royal Air Force control was ordered on a 'Ramrod' bombing attack on a target in Amsterdam, (the code Ramrod meant that the mission was deemed so important, it was to be continued regardless of losses). Two squadrons were to escort the Venturas, a low-level Supermarine Spitfire Mk V group and a high-level escort of Spitfire Mk IXs, which were to cross the coast at sea level so as not to alert German radar, then climb. Unfortunately the Mk IXs arrived early, and had also crossed the coast high, being anxious to gain a height advantage. They ran low on fuel before the Venturas arrived and had to leave. A conference of leading German fighter pilots was taking place at an airfield virtually en route. These pilots scrambled when the Mk IXs were detected. Under constant attack, 487 Squadron continued on to its target, the few surviving aircraft completing bombing runs before being shot down. Squadron Leader Trent, whose leadership was instrumental in ensuring the bombing run was completed, was awarded the Victoria Cross. Trent shot down a Messerschmitt Bf 109 with the forward machine guns of his plane. Immediately afterwards, his own aircraft was hit, went into a spin and broke up. Squadron Leader Trent and his navigator were thrown clear and became prisoners. He had displayed cool, unflinching courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

    After his capture, Trent was assigned to Stalag Luft III; Sagan, Germany (now Zagan, Poland). He participated in the "Great Escape" of March 24, 1944; although he was recaptured shortly thereafter. Trent survived the war in a POW camp. He later achieved the rank of Group Captain; retiring in 1965. Rejoining the Royal Air Force, he trained in jets, (having the dubious distinction of having to eject from a Vampire and a Meteor), and later commanded 214 Squadron with the then new Vickers Valiants. He became a Group Captain, and Air Attaché to Washington, before returning to New Zealand with his wife and two daughters. A biography, Venturer Courageous by James Saunders was published by Hutchinson in 1983. He returned to New Zealand and died May 19, 1986 in a hospital in Auckland, New Zealand.

    see also

    PV Ventura/Harpoon Units of World War 2 - Google Book Search
     
  2. Aussie1001

    Aussie1001 Member

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    Wow, what a gutsy guy.
     
  3. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Gutsy New Zealanders on the ground as well. Double VC winner, Charles Hazlitt Upham...

    [​IMG]

    rorkesdriftvc.com - Charles Hazlitt Upham

    Charles Upham - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "Modest Hero
    Epitomising a certain strain of Kiwi modesty, Charles Upham was embarrassed by the accolades he received and attempted to avoid international media attention. When the people of Canterbury collected and offered him 10,000 pounds to purchase a farm in recognition of his gallantry, Upham refused and instead insisted the money be put towards an educational scholarship for children of returned soldiers.?
     
  4. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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  5. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Sgt. Ward certainly deserved his! :salute:
     
  7. Negative Creep

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    Wasn't the raid against the Philips radio factory?
     
  8. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Is any body aware of which Sqns were escorting
     
  9. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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  10. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I've been trying to find something Pb. Do you know who would be flying the Spitfire Mk V and Mk IX at that time or is that a needle in a haystack?


    Found this:

    Aces of the Luftwaffe - Hans Ehlers

    "On 3 May 1943, 6./JG 1 intercepted a formation of RAF Ventura twin-engine bombers and its escort of Spitfire fighters raiding a power station at Amsterdam. In the ensuing combat, Ehlers claimed a Spitfire and a Ventura shot down for his 18th and 19th victories. The Spitfire was piloted by the Wing Leader of the Coltishall Wing, RAF, Wing Commander Howard “Cowboy” Blatchford (6 confirmed, 3 probable and 4.5 damaged victories). Blatchford ditched in the Channel but was not found."

    and

    41 Squadron Roll of Honour, 1939-1945

    So RAF No. 41 Sqdrn was aleast involved?
     
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