RAF Halifax mid upper gunner log book grouping, DFM, full tour.
RAF sergeant Ronald, Vernon Swan was a Halifax bomber mid upper gunner. He flew with RAF 158 squadron from RAF Lissett, Yorkshire, as part of flying officer, William R. Dennis' crew.
On the night of 12/13th June 1944, Sgt Swan and his crew were detailed to fly on their first operation with 158 squadron, to Amiens marshalling yard. Over the target the night fighter activity was found to be intense. In the light of a fighter flare dropped by the enemy, Sgt Swan saw two FW. 190's flying a parrel course and preparing for an attack on another bomber. Asking his pilot 'Lofty' Dennis to bank the Halifax over a bit, Sgt. Swan brought his guns to bear on the nearest 190 and with a long accurate burst he sent it down in flames. Destruction of this aircraft was also confirmed.
On the crew's third operation, on the night of 16/17th June 1944, to Sterkrade in the Ruhr, Sgt. Swan was again in action with his Browning machine guns. This time with a JU88 night fighter which he hit and sent down in flames. For both of these actions Sgt. Swan was awarded an immediate DFM (copy of the citation is included in the lot).
Further operations were then flown to - Evrecy, St. Martin L'Hortier, Siracourt, Oisemont, Le Grand Rossignel, Wizernes, Caen, Ardouval II, Les Catilliers (Swan beat off an attack by a JU88) Wanne Eickel (shot up by flak) Foret de Nieppe. August 1944, brought further operations to - Foret de Nieppe, Dijon (fired at an Me 110) Ferfay, Brunswick (a/c badly damaged by Flak) Tractable 21A (a rough trip) Eindhoven, Kiel (hellfire) Sterkrade (hellish trip) Brest. September 1944, operations to - Soersterberg airfield, Le Havre (twice) Kiel (badly shot up and lost half of port rudder). October 1944, to - Duisburg, Wilhemshaven, Essen, Zoutelande, Cologne. It was then to be Sgt. Swan's 35th and ultimately his final wartime operation, this came on 6th November 1944, to Gelsenkirchen.
With the group are two log books. The first is his original log which he has entered all of his training and all his operational flights with 158 squadron. Each operation was neatly written, and he also wrote a comment after nearly all them. Each of these comments have subsequently been crossed out and he has written a note in log book explaining why. Apparently, after reading his log again postwar, he felt that anyone else who read it and who had not shared his wartime experiences, may have thought his comments were (as the RAF put it) "shooting a line" - or exaggerating. This doesn't detract in anyway from the log book, but merely adds to the logs 'history'. In fact, what he also did even later was to acquire a second log book (which is included) copying all his first original log, but in this adding his crossed out comments. These comments give a personal insight to his thoughts and fears after each operational flight. The first log has had some strengthening to the spline cover and is about a quarter full of entries. These include officer signatures, rubber stamps and pasted-in inserts. The second log is a newer wartime RAF issue log book without any wear. Fascinating two log books to a brave airman.
The log books come within a ring binder, which contains copies of all of his operational flights copied from the squadron ORB. A copy of his DFM citation and some extracts from Bill Chorley's book 'In Brave Company'. These extracts refer to Sgt. Swan and his crew. It is thought that his family retain his DFM and other medals.
Due to ongoing issues with European Customs, this item is NOT FOR SALE to the EU.
Please fill in the information below