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Beurling, George Frederick "Screwball DSO (Flight Lieutenant)

Survived 1942-October-31

Birth Date: 1921-December-06 (age 20)

Son of Friedrich Gustav Beurling and Hetty Florence Beurling

Home: Verdun, Quebec

Enlistment: Glasgow Scotland

Decorations: DSO, DFC, DFM&Bar

Distinguished Service OrderDistinguished Service CrossDistinguished Flying Medal Bar
249 (F) Sqn- Squadron (RAF)
Pugnis Et Calcibus With fists and heels
Takali Airfield Malta
Flight Lieutenant
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

Liberator C. Mk. II AL516

Transport 1942-October-31 to 1942-October-31

511 (T) Sqn (RAF) Malta

#511 Squadron RAF (Surely and Quickly) Alexandria, Egypt. Liberator II AL516 was transporting a mix of passengers and crew of RCAF, RAF and RAAF very experienced, wounded and end-of-tour fighter pilots as well as some civilians, including military wives and two children, from Malta to Gibraltar. Arriving at Gibraltar in a thunderstorm, the Liberator overshot it's landing and crashed into the sea, killing fourteen aboard and various injuries to most survivors. The flight had intended to travel from Malta to Gibraltar before continuing to England. Some aboard were missing, not recovered but are commemorated on the Gibraltar Memorial (Shores, Cull & Malizia; Dennis Burke

The Liberator in Royal Air Force and Commonwealth Service by James D Oughton, page 100

General Aviation Safety Network

General Aircraft accidents in Yorkshire

General [Royal Air Force Serials and Image Database]...


  1. Warrant Officer 2 Rupert Henry Davey (RCAF)
  2. Flying Officer Edwin Herbert Glazebrook DFC (RCAF)
  3. Pilot Officer John William Williams DFC (RCAF)
  4. Flight Sergeant Charles Edward Mutch (RCAF)
  5. Flight Lieutenant Erik Lawson Hetherington DFC (RAF)
  6. Sergeant David William James Spencer (RAF)

  7. Mr Edward James Rowe BEM age 40
  8. Mrs Hannah Eunice Rowe age 44
  9. Mrs Elizabeth Pricilla Sheldon (widow of Herbert Sheldon)
  10. Mrs Mabel Hucklebridge age 30
  11. Mrs Isabella Josephine Aston and her baby son Simon Aston, age 2 (Isabella was Maltese wife of FAA Pilot)
  12. Mrs Edna Patricia Chase age 27 and her baby son Thomas Chase


  1. Flight Lieutenant Rae Walton (RAF - crew, injured)
  2. Pilot Officer GWR. Frampton (RAF - crew, injured)
  3. Pilot Officer EJ Sanders (RAF - crew)
  4. Sergeant EJ Booker (RAF-crew)
  5. Flight Sergeant I Watson (RAF - crew)
  6. Flight Sergeant J McCulloch (RAF - crew)
  7. Mrs DW Spencer, injured
  8. Mrs J Neighbours, injured
  9. Flight Sergeant LG Pow (RCAF)
  10. Flight Lieutenant AF Roscoe DFC (RCAF) (USA),
  11. Pilot Officer GF 'Buzz' Beurling DSO DFC DFM and Bar RAF (Canada)
  12. Warrant Officer 2 GHT 'Gord' Farquharson (RCAF)
  13. Wing Commander AH Donaldson DSO DFC AFC (RAF)
  14. Flying Officer FR Johnson (RAAF)
  15. Flying Officer AS Yates (RAAF)
  16. Flying Officer CAM Barbour (RAF)
  17. Flying Officer JGW Farmer (RAF)
  18. Flying Officer JAH Pinney (RAF)
  19. Pilot Officer FD Thomas (RAF)
  20. Pilot Officer LS Reid (RAAF)
  21. Pilot Officer CF Bush (RAF)
  22. Flight Sergeant DA Bye (RAF)
  23. Flight Sergeant AW Varey (RAF)
  24. Flight Sergeant EL Mahar (RAAF)
  25. Sergeant KR Mitchell (RAAF)
  26. Sergeant FW Clewley (RAAF)

#249 Gold Coast Squadron RAF (Pugnis et calcibus), Malta. Canadian Pilot Officer GF Beurling (RAF)(Can) had several nicknames: "Buzz" , "Screwball" and "The Falcon of Malta" and was the highest scoring Canadian fighter ace in WW2. Pilot Officer Beurling is said to have jumped from the aircraft into the sea as it crashed and swam ashore despite having a cast on his leg and was taken to hospital. Beurling would return to Canada to speak in a Victory Bond tour and transfer to the RCAF. He never flew in combat again and was honourably discharged

After the war, Beurling went to Israel to fly P-51 Mustangs but was killed under mysterious circumstances flying in a Noordyne Norseman aircraft that crashed just after take off at Urbe Airfield at Rome, Italy 1948-05-20

Hero, The Falcon of Malta by Brian Nolan

Aces High, A Tribute to the Most Notable Fighter Pilots of the British and Commonwealth Forces of WWII by Christopher Shores and Clive Williams, Volume 1, pages 126-7

General Beurling, George Frederick "Buzz" -


Google MapVerdun, Quebec

Liberator AL516

Consolidated Liberator B-24 / F-7

(DND Photos via James Craik) (Source Harold A Skaarup Web Page)
Consolidated Liberator G.R. Mk. VIII, RCAF (Serial No. 11130) ex-USAAF Consolidated (Vultee) B-24L Liberator USAAF (44-50154)
ex-RAF (Serial No. 5009), ex-Indian Air Force (Serial No. HE773).
Currently preserved in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum Ottawa Ontario.

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was an American heavy bomber flown by the RCAF during the Second Word War. It was designed with a shoulder-mounted, high aspect ratio Davis wing which gave the Liberator a high cruise speed, long range and the ability to carry a heavy bomb load. Early RAF Liberators were the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean as a matter of routine. In comparison with its contemporaries the B-24 was relatively difficult to fly and had poor low speed performance; it also had a lower ceiling compared with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. Of the roughly 18,500 B-24s built in the USA during the war, 148 were flown by the RCAF on long range anti-submarine patrols, with the B-24 serving an instrumental role in closing the Mid-Atlantic gap in the Battle of the Atlantic. The RCAF also flew a few B-24s post war as transports.

Roughly half of all (RAF) Liberator crews in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theatre were Canadian by the end of the war. John Muir of Vancouver flew the longest mission of the war: 24hrs, 10mins from Ceylon to Burma and back. (Kyle Hood) Harold Skaarup web page

YouTube Liberator bomber

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Liberator bomber

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (148), RCAF 400 Squadron (19), Canadian Aircraft Losses (145), Canadian Ferried (1)
last update: 2021-09-18 19:06:22

Liberator C. Mk. II AL516

Construction No. 14
Took on charge Dorval 26-9-1941
Dorval to Gander 15-10-1941
Gander to Ayr 17-10-1941
To Scottish Aviation 17-10-1941
To 150 Squadron 28-11-1941
To 1653 CU 30-5-1942
To 1445 Flt 10-6-1942
To Scottish Aviation 1-8-1942 for Bomber Command mods, changed to Transport mods
To 1425 Flt 30-9-1942
To 511 Squadron 10-10-1942
Overshot landing at Gibraltar 31-10-1942

To BOAC as freighter, registered as G-AHZP

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