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Tweddell, Ian William (Flight Lieutenant)

Prisoner of War 1943-May-13

Birth Date: 1917-January-12 (age )

Born: Whickham, County Durham, England

Doris Helen (Melville)

Home: Lashburn, Saskatchewan

Enlistment Date: 1941-01-12

98 (B) Sqn- Squadron (RAF)
Never Failing
Flying Officer
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Service Numbers

Mitchell Mk. ll FL197

Bombing Boulogne France 1943-May-13 to 1943-May-13

Mitchell II aircraft FL 197 crashed in the sea near Hardinot, France.

P/O GA Calder (RCAF) and Sgt F.P.C. Gower (RAFVR) were killed. F/O IW Tweddell (RCAF)and Sgt J Gale (RAF) were take as Prisoners of War. While a PoW F/O Tweddell received textbooks and material from the University of Saskatchewan so he could continue his studies in engineering (T. Barris). F/O Tweddle was interred in Stalag Luft L3, location of the Great Escape

On 29 April 1941 Ian reported to Saskatoon for a medical and left the same day for the new No. 2A Temporary Manning Depot at Penhold, Alberta; it would later become No. 36 Service Flying Training School (SFTS), where Ian would spend the month of June on Guard duty before proceeding to No. 4 Initial Training School at Edmonton, Alberta. No. 8 Bombing & Gunnery School in Lethbridge, Alberta was next (after which he married Doris Meville on 30 Jan 42). He completed his training at No. 1 Central Navigation School in Rivers Manitoba and shortly thereafter shipped out to Britain.

Flying Officer Ian Tweddell, Navigator/Bombardier, RCAF was among the first group of officers to report to 98 Squadron RAF at West Raynham, Norfolk on 14 Sep 42 just two days after it had been reformed following its exemplary WWI service.

1943 started with terrible weather, many lectures, some flying training, and air firing practice until 22 January; 98 Squadron's first operation of WWII, as well as for Ian and crewmates:

  • Flight Sergeant Calder, Gordon A. Pilot (RCAF)
  • Flying Officer Tweddell, Ian W. Nav/B (RCAF)
  • Sergeant Gale, John Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (RAF)
  • Sergeant Gower, Frank P. Air Gunner (RAFVR)

The aircraft Ian and crew manned that day, Mitchell FL176, would later become known as ‘Grumpy’ the holder of the record number of operations for Mitchells in the RAF (125); they were Grumpy's first crew.

Activity for January through April was Air Sea Rescue searches, ‘Exercise Spartan’ (RAF/Army cooperation tests that resulted in formation of 2nd Tactical Air Force), training and testing of gun turrets. On a 13 May operation; the 98 Squadron Operations Records Book (ORB) recorded: "Six aircraft were detailed to carry out operations. Bomb load for each aircraft was 4 x 1,000lb. Aircraft took off at 10.30 hrs, returning 12.50 hours. The aircraft bombed Boulogne Marshalling yards. Five aircraft returned safely to base. P/O Calder and crew failed to return in FL197. Crew presumed safe. Fighters reported four parachutes descending over sea near Hardelot, France."

Ian’s Mitchell FL197 had been set aflame by flak; the covering fighter pilots were optimistic in their reporting. P/O Gordon Calder and Sgt Frank Gower were KIA and are interred in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery. F/O Ian Tweddell and Sgt John Gale became prisoners of war; Tweddell in Stalag Luft III for commissioned officers at Sagan and Belaria, Gale in Stalag Luft VI for non-commissioned officers at Heydekrug.

Ian endured the enforced march between 28 Jan and 28 Apr 45 as German guards herded their Stalag Luft III charges away from the rapidly advancing Russian Army; it ended with liberation by US Army Forces after which the RAF flew Ian and fellow ‘kreigies’ back to England. David Poissant, 2nd Tactical Air Force Medium Bombers Assn

General Ian's long march journal and details Ian Tweddell RCAF (Nav/B • 98)

Crew on Mitchell Mk. ll FL197

North American Mitchell B-25 B-25D B-25J

North American B-25J Mitchell Mk. III
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The North American B-25 Mitchell is an American medium bomber that was introduced in 1941 and named in honor of Major General William "Billy" Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation. Used by many Allied air forces, the B-25 served in every theater of World War II, and after the war ended, many remained in service, operating across four decades. Produced in numerous variants, nearly 10,000 B-25s were built.

The North American B-25 Mitchell was flown by the RCAF during and after the Second World War. The RCAF flew the B-25 Mitchell for training during the war and continued flying operations after the war, in Canada with most of 162 Mitchells received. The first B-25s had originally been diverted to Canada from RAF orders. These included one Mitchell Mk. I, 42 Mitchell Mk. IIs, and 19 Mitchell Mk. IIIs. No 13 (P) Squadron was formed unofficially at RCAF Station Rockcliffe in May 1944 and flew Mitchell Mk. IIs on high-altitude aerial photography sorties. No. 5 OTU (Operational Training Unit) at Boundary Bay, British Columbia and Abbotsford, British Columbia, operated the B-25D Mitchell in a training role together with B-24 Liberators for Heavy Conversion as part of the BCATP. The RCAF retained the Mitchell until October 1963.

No. 418 (Auxiliary) Squadron received its first Mitchell Mk. IIs in January 1947. It was followed by No. 406 (Auxiliary), which flew Mitchell Mk. IIs and Mk. IIIs from April 1947 to June 1958. No. 418 Operated a mix of Mk. IIs and Mk. IIIs until March 1958. No. 12 Squadron of Air Transport Command also flew Mitchell Mk. IIIs along with other types from September 1956 to November 1960. In 1951, the RCAF received an additional 75 B-25Js from USAF stocks to make up for attrition and to equip various second-line units.. Wikipedia and Harold Skaarup web page

YouTube Mitchell Bomber

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Mitchell Bomber

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (164), Canadian Aircraft Losses (73), Canadian Ferried (5)
last update: 2021-09-23 15:53:49

Mitchell Mk. ll FL197

98 (B) Sqn- Squadron (RAF) Never Failing

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