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29.08.1941.N0.15 O.T.U. Wellington II.W5569. Sgt.Dyan Location: North Front Aerodrome,Gibraltar +
Mission: Delivery flight

Date: 29th August 1941

Unit: O.A.D.U (15 O.T.U.)

Type: Wellington II

Serial: W5569

Coded: -

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

W/O: Sgt. R. D. Stevenson Injured

Air/Gnr: Sgt. C. Desmond Injured

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

Passenger: Lt. Cdr. Longdon

REASON FOR LOSS:


Took off from Portreath, Cornwall for a delivery to Gibraltar and overshot the landing, crashing into a Beaufort L9896. This Beaufort we believe had crashed on an earlier date and had yet to be recovered.

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Sgt. Louis Meyer suffered head injuries and multiple injuries. 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 ½ an hour 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.

Below: North Front Aerodrome, Gibraltar. Right: R.A.F. Portreath, Cornwall

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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. 

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Medals of Sgt Harold Rex Teskey Left to right: Canadian Voluntary Service, 1939-45 War Medal, Canadian Memorial Cross,
George V medal (also shown engraved) (Courtesy Mike Harrison)

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Sgt Harold Rex Teskey (Courtesy Mike Harrison)

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Burial Details:

Harold Rex Teskey Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery. Plot 2. Row A. Joint grave 4. From Carmangay, Albert, Canada.

Researched by David King With thanks to the following: Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses", Martin Middlebrook "Bomber Command War Diaries". The superb work of the C.W.G.C.

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