dob 11.5.24 - known as Dessie or Desmond died last week aged 94.
He was a lovely man, and managed to live fairly independently until about 9 months ago when he went into a care home. He was very modest, and although we knew he was a rear gunner in Lancaster's who was involved in ops over the Ruhr. He was very reluctant to talk about this in any detail, and would change the subject very quickly if we discussed it with him.
I have found his log book, which makes fascinating reading, along with several photos copies of which I am sending to you. He started his air gunners trainings in Feb 1944, and this was followed by flight training and exercises until he started ops in October 44, including the flight over Cologne on October 30, when I believe many planes were lost. His last flight was Dec 27th 44. His tour ended on 19.1.45.
In total he did 24 ops and survived unscathed, which is amazing considering how vulnerable gunners were in the belly of the plane. After the war he returned to run the family motor trade business in Paignton Devon, but went on to take his private pilots licence in the 1950s, I believe he stopped flying in 1970.
His funeral is on 30.1.19 at 2:45, at Torquay Crematorium, an RAF standard bearded will be present.
Best wishes, Juliet Hartridge
Lancaster MkI - HK 595 KO-A crew,
F/O Rowe A. I. - Captain
W/O Shea L. - Navigator (AUS 429355 RAAF)
Sgt Hume G. - Air Bomber
F/O Currin J. - WOP/Air
Sgt Wilson J. - Mid. Upper
Sgt Perry G. - Rear Gunner
Sgt Cornett F. - Flt. Eng.
With Greetings from "Sunny Queensland" we received (04/01/2019) from Philip Martin Rodhouse a photograph of his half brother Sgt Raymond Arthur Rodhouse.
"My father was Arthur Laundon Rodhouse who married Constance Lever, of Northampton. The Levers where at that time major player's in Boots and Shoes. As there where several Rodhouse Boot and Shoe manufactures in and around Northampton at that time I can only imagine that the Lever family incorrectly assumed Dad was of that family line, for I can see no other reason that the union would have been allowed to start.
Constance died of blood poisoning after cutting her finger whilst slicing bread. Leaving Dad with Raymond Arthur and Peter Neville. Constance was buried in the Billing Rd Cemetery Northampton. Where, according to my other half brother Peter the only Bomb dropped on Northampton during the war hit her grave.
Dad then married Edna Irene Meeks, of Weston Favell, Northampton. Siring three more children Sister Brenda Irene, Brother Paul Godfrey and myself. Whilst I have no memory of Ray I was told that he held me as a baby just prior to leaving on his last mission.
Ray was 21 when he was K.I.A that was also his Step-Mothers birthday."
The crew was lost on 14 January 1944 during a mission on Brunswick, Germany.
There were no survivors,
F/L Christiansen John Horace - Pilot - age 25
F/L Vinson Ronald Anthony - 2nd Pilot - age 30
Sgt Rodhouse Raymond Arthur - FE - age 21
F/P Downer George Lionel - Nav - DFC - age 23
F/O Braithwaite Frederick Arthur - Wop - RNZAF - age 23
F/O Wright Claude Henry - BA - RNZAF - age 28
Sgt Kewin Alfred - MUG - age 22
P/O Boswell-Kitching Jack Lambert - RG -RNZAF - age 24