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6 July 2017
Flight Sergeant John Walker Horridge, 1389580 RAFVR, 462 Squadron

 

Crew 17 of 462 Squadron, Driffield - Sydney John Carthy, James Edward Peasley, John Walker Horridge, William Alex McKinnon, Eric Kerr Leyden, L W Witt, H L Rundell.
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

The original crew were .......
Pilot: Sydney John CARTHY RAFVR
Navigator: James Edward PEASLEY (Jimmy) RAAF
Bomb Aimer: John Walker HORRIDGE (Jack) RAFVR
Wireless Operator: William Alex McKINNON RAAF
Flight Engineer: Eric Kerr LEYDEN RAFVR
Mid-Upper Gunner: L W WITT
Rear Gunner: H L RUNDELL

 

 

Crew 17, 462 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire, outside the Respirator Workshop, the usual location for Crew photos.

When 462 Squadron moved from Driffield to Foulsham in late December 1944, this crew was posted to 466 Squadron and remained at Driffield (renamed as Crew 175 at 466 Sqdn.)

This crew photo was also published in "Brave and True" page 152, with the following caption ......

Back, left to right: F/Sgt W A McKinnon, Sgt H L Rundell, F/Sgt L W Witt, Sgt E R Leydon (sic, E K Leyden).

Front, left to right: F/Sgt J W Horridge, P/O S J Carthy (captain), F/Sgt J W Peasley (sic, J E Peasley).

Link to Horridge photos; Jack's personal information; scans of relevant documents, Training Course result sheets, log book pages during his RAFVR Service, from enlistment; training at 1 Signals School, UK; Navigator training at 33 ANS, Canada; Bombing and Gunnery training at 31 BAGS, Canada; Bomb Aimer Training at 33 ANS, Canada; Advanced Bomb Aimer Training at 10 (O) AFU, Scotland; Operational Training at 20 OTU, Scotland; Heavy Conversion Training at 1652 HCU Yorkshire; Ops at 462 Squadron, Driffield; and Ops at 466 Squadron, Driffield; Commission and Post Tour details; stereo aerial photos.
Link to Carthy Crew 17 of 462 Squadron, later Crew 175 of 466 Squadron, with photo of Bomb Aimers at 466 Squadron, January 1945, including Horridge.

Reference sources – The National Archives of Australia (462 Squadron Operational Record Book); Books "Brave and True" and "To See The Dawn Again"; photos, log book, documents and personal information from the Horridge Family Archives, kindly supplied by Jon Horridge.

AC2 John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747), RAFVR, later Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron.
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

 

 

AC2 John Walker Horridge. His cap has the stripe usually worn by Air Craftman 2. The photo was undated, but may have been taken sometime during late 1941 or early 1942. His National Service Medical was carried out on 01 July 1941, and his enlistment notice recorded a call for service in the RAF with a presentation date of 18 July 1941.

 

LAC John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747) RAFVR during training in Canada, in 1943, later Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron.
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

 

 

 

On the right: LAC John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747) RAFVR, during training in Canada, during 1943. He is wearing a LAC propeller badge on his sleeve, with a Radio Operator / Signaller or "Sparks" badge above. He had previously completed a Signaller's Course in the UK.

On the left: unidentified airman, with similar rank (LAC Signaller). If you can identify him, please make contact.

 

John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747) RAFVR in Cornwall during 1944, in flying gear at a Newquay hotel, later Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron.
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747) RAFVR in Cornwall during 1944. This photo was taken at a Newquay hotel. He appears ready to fly as he is wearing flying boots, overalls with thick fur collar, one flying gauntlet, and is carrying flying cap. His rank would probably have been Sergeant, as he had competed his training in Canada.

 

John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747) RAFVR in Cornwall during 1944, in flying gear at a Newquay hotel, later Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron.
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747) RAFVR in Cornwall during 1944. This photo was taken at a Newquay hotel. He appears ready to fly as he is wearing flying boots, overalls with thick fur collar, both flying gauntlets, and his flying cap.

 

Bomb Aimer F/Sgt John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747) RAFVR at Driffield, Yorkshire, late 1944 (462 Squadron) or early 1945 (466 Squadron).
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

 

F/Sgt John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747) RAFVR at Driffield, Yorkshire, late 1944 or early 1945. This appears to be outside the Respirator Workshop, but not during winter when the crew photo was taken.

In the ORB, from his arrival in August 1944, and until 16 November 1944 he was recorded as Sergeant, but from 18 November 1944 he was recorded as Flight Sergeant.

He was Commissioned to the rank of Pilot Officer in January 1945, at 466 Squadron.

 

Group photo of Air Force staff at Flying Control, RAF Sturgate, in January 1946, including F/O John Walker Horridge 190747 (previously 1576752) RAFVR, who had completed Ops in 462 Squadron and 466 Squadron.
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

Group photo of Air Force staff at Flying Control, RAF Sturgate, Lincolnshire, in January 1946. F/O John Walker Horridge 190747 (previously 1576752) RAFVR is in the front row, 6th from left (circled). There are 25 males, and 4 WAAFs, with a mix of ranks and trades. Several are wearing Medal Ribbon Bars. None of the other personnel are named. If you can identify anyone, please make contact.

Information received from Graham J. Platt, Researcher / Writer of the Bomber County Aviation Resource ( http://www.bcar.org.uk ) and used with his permission ......quote....

"Flying Control became what is now called air traffic control. From 1937 onwards, Bomber Command established control centres across the UK to provide weather information, flight information and control, homing devices and night landing aids. Flying Control was the airfield side of the operation, with responsibility for aircraft (and vehicle) movements on the airfield operational area, and in the immediate vicinity of an airfield. Other responsibilities included ensuring that obstructions and parked aircraft were marked with lights at night, and also for guiding in returning aircraft to the airfield. Flying Control during the war was a mixed-sex working environment, with many marriages ensuing from pilots or radio operators wandering up to Flying Control to see the face behind the feminine voice that had guided them back home after a sortie.

Sturgate airfield is still in use as a civilian airfield, located between Sturton-on-Stow and Gainsborough. It opened in early 1944 but was never used for operational flights. Your photo, from January 1946 would have been taken just before the airfield closed down on the 25th of that month. It remained unused until 1952 when the USAF arrived. By the late 1950s, Sturgate was again disused as an airfield, but was used as an accommodation site for American workers building the sites for the Thor ballistic missiles which were stationed in the county during the early 1960s."

 

F/O John Walker Horridge 190747 (previously 1576752) RAFVR, and Bride Myra after their wedding on 23 June 1946 at St Edmund's on the Isle of Wight. (462 Squadron)
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

F/O John Walker Horridge 190747 (previously 1576752) RAFVR, and Bride Myra Kemp after their wedding on 23 June 1946.
The church is St Edmund's at Wootton Bridge on the Isle of Wight.

John was known to his family as Jack. Sadly, he died in 1996, after 50 years of marriage to Myra.
Myra had her 94th birthday in May 2017 (born 1923), and now lives with her older son and his family.

 

F/O John Walker Horridge 190747 (previously 1576752) RAFVR, and Bride Myra after their wedding on 23 June 1946 at St Edmund's on the Isle of Wight. (462 Squadron)
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

Close-up of F/O John Walker Horridge and Bride Myra Kemp after their wedding on 23 June 1946, at St Edmund's.

Best Man was Myra's brother, Hilton Kemp. In both photos, he can be seen behind Jack & Myra inside the rather grand entrance. In June 1946 he had recently returned from Kohima in Burma, after 4 years military service in the far east. As of May 2017, Hilton is alive and well, aged 96 (born 1921), living on the Isle of Wight. Longevity appears to be Kemp family trait.

 

F/O John Walker Horridge 190747 (previously 1576752) RAFVR, and Bride Myra at the reception after their wedding on 23 June 1946. (462 Squadron)
Cropped from photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

F/O John Walker Horridge and Bride Myra at the reception after their wedding on 23 June 1946.
He is wearing his Medal Ribbon Bar below the Bomb Aimer's Brevet.
This photo was cropped from the one shown on the right.

 

F/O John Walker Horridge 190747 (previously 1576752) RAFVR, and Bride Myra Kemp after their wedding on 23 June 1946, with cousin Dora Kemp and Best Man Hilton Kemp. (462 Squadron)
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

Left to right: Dora Kemp (Myra's cousin), Bride Myra, F/O John Walker Horridge, Best Man Hilton Kemp (Myra's older brother).

The reception was at their home at 75 High Street, Wootton Bridge, on the Isle of Wight.

In each wedding photo, the Bride and Groom looked very happy, at the start of their 50 years together.

 

F/O John Walker Horridge 190747 (previously 1576752) RAFVR, and Bride Myra Kemp after their wedding on 23 June 1946, with Roland & Frances Kemp, the Bride's parents. (462 Squadron)
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

Left to right: Roland Kemp, Bride Myra Kemp, F/O John Walker Horridge, Frances Kemp at the wedding reception on 23 June 1946 at 75 High Street, Wootton Bridge, on the Isle of Wight.
Roland & Frances Kemp were Myra's parents.

 

F/O John Walker Horridge 190747 (previously 1576752) RAFVR, and Bride Myra Kemp, after their wedding on 23 June 1946, with family friend Florence. (462 Squadron)
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

Left to right: Bride Myra Kemp, F/O John Walker Horridge, and family friend Florence, at the wedding reception on 23 June 1946.
Florence represented John's parents, as his mother was recently deceased, and his father was too ill to travel from Manchester.

 

Horridge children and Jimmy Peasley II and Bernard, mid 1950s.
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

The Horridge children, Jon, Clive and Fran, with Jimmy Peasley II (back right) and friend Bernard (back left), mid 1950s.

From Jon ... "This might be Jimmy Peasley's brother or cousin, and a friend, Bernard (left). Dad (Jack) talked about Jimmy Peasley II. They came to stay, from Australia. Dad was in contact with Jimmy Peasley for years, and it would be great to re-establish contact with his family."
Contact is welcomed from the family of James Edward Peasley (Jimmy), Navigator of the Carthy Crew.

 

Myra Horridge and children with de Havilland biplane at Elmdon, 1958.
Photo from the Horridge Family Archives.

Myra Horridge and children Fran, Jon and Clive, with biplane de Havilland DH89 Dragon Rapide Dominie, at Elmdon, Whitsun 1958. From Jon, this photo "relates to a 10 minute flight that Dad (Jack) took us on, from the Elmdon air field (now the Birmingham City Airport), at Whitsun, 1958". When recently looking at the photo with Mum (Myra, aged 94, May 2017), she immediately responded with "de Havilland Dragon Rapide Dominie, we were cutting out the plywood parts for that". During WW2, Myra had worked at the Saunders Roe (Saro) factory at Folly, by the River Medina, still seen by the Folly Inn using Google Earth. It's not known if Dad knew about that when we flew in that plane."
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Personal information – received from the Horridge Family

Name: John Walker HORRIDGE (known to his family as Jack)
Date of Birth: 18 December 1912, born at Crumpsall, Manchester; the youngest of six children; brought up in Gatley, Manchester.

Civil occupation prior to enlistment:
Home address: 45 Common Lane, Sheldon, Birmingham
Marital Status: Single

Quote from Jack's son ..."He had not been able to get a job in Gatley, so he moved to Birmingham in about 1934 where he got several jobs, finally working at Morris Commercial Cars in Adderley Park commuting from 45 Common Lane, Sheldon. Mum still owns the same little house.  One day, I guess in 1941, he threw down his pencil and much to the horror of his fellow office staff who thought he'd gone mad (hadn't he got a nice cushy number working here?), declared he couldn't sit there any longer with a war on and would join the RAF. Much later, but long before Dad died, my brother-in-law found a book of aerial photographs taken by the Germans which had a white cross pencilled right on Dad's office!"

Marriage 23 June 1946 in Wootton, on the Isle of Wight. (please refer to photos in previous section)

Quote from Jack's son ... "Myra and Jack married on 23 June 1946 in Wootton. The Kemp's newly acquired house was 75 High Street, Wootton Bridge, Isle of Wight, where Myra and her Mum and Dad had moved to after being bombed out of their house in 78 Arthur Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight in 1943. So the church was St Edmund's and the reception was back home at 75 High Street."

Wife Myra HORRIDGE (nee KEMP). Myra's father was Roland KEMP and her mother was Frances (nee ATTRILL).
Myra's older brother Hilton Kemp was Best Man.
Most of Jack's family had travelled from Manchester to the Isle of Wight for the wedding. However his mother had recently died (1943) and his father was not well enough to attend, so a close family friend, Florence, stood in for his parents. Myra's sister Elsie had died in childbirth in about 1942, so the wedding was the Horridge family's first joyful occasion for years.

Jack's family – 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren (please refer to photos in previous section)
1. son born 1947 in Ryde on the Isle of Wight; he has a son and daughter by his first marriage, and a son and daughter by his second marriage.
2. daughter born 1948 in Birmingham, deceased 2015 after a long illness; she had two daughters, one who has 2 daughters, and the other who has one son.
3. son born 1953 in Sheldon, Birmingham; living in eastern Europe with wife and one daughter.

Jack's Post War employment

Quote from Jack's son ... "He had the choice of working at a holiday camp with a guy called Mr Harrison but they decided to move back to his old secure job at Morris Commercial Cars and the house in Common Lane (Sheldon, Birmingham). How different our lives would have been had they decided to stay on the Island. I loved it there. The holiday camp has been a great success but he couldn't have known that. He was a chaser at Morris Commercial Cars till he was made redundant on 31/08/1974 at 61 years old."

"Dad was in contact with Jimmy Peasley until Jimmy died. There is a photo of Jimmy's brother and his friend, I think, when they visited us along with my brother, sister and I in about 1956."
(Former navigator Jimmy Peasley was from Victoria, Australia; in 1956, the Horridge family were living in Sheldon, Birmingham.)

Jack's interests – photography and stereoscopy – as advised by his son. Four of the stereo aerial photos are included in the last section of this web page.

"He kept five of the stereo pairs that he took during training exercises flying over Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 1943. I have managed to identify one site and over-layed it on Google Earth. On a [training] bombing run the bomb aimer's routine was to take two photos in quick succession, then let the bombs go and after the plane was turned on a reciprocal course take two more photos in quick succession. This provided a stereo pair before bomb damage and a second pair after bombing, The success of the bombing was judged on this evidence and I think marks were awarded for accuracy."

"One of the aerial stereo pairs .... is of Aurora Street, Hamilton."

"Dad got very enthusiastic about taking pictures in stereo pairs (by taking a second shot after shifting the camera sideways a bit) and made a stereo viewer for viewing them, like the modern Virtual Reality headsets they sell today. My sister and I used to play with it but quickly realised that if the pairs were rearranged, i.e. swapped left for right, we didn't need the viewer and just looked cross-eyed at them! I can still go into stereo mode given stereo pairs and found it was a really useful ability in my job of horticultural research. I spent my working life looking down a x 50 stereo microscope and also taking scanning electron microscope images. My eldest daughter trained as an orthoptician largely because she was so interested in Dad's photos, She has spent her career mostly correcting children's eyes."

"Dad was a keen (but financially poor) photographer – he modified his camera to get twice the number of negatives from a roll of film. So quality suffered but there are loads of them. He was a keen dinghy sailor and made his own Mirror dinghy."

Death – Jack died on Monday, 5th February 1996 of a pulmonary thrombosis, after slipping on a soapy pavement and  breaking his patella whilst on holiday in Tenerife. He was aged 83.

Jack's wife Myra Horridge is now aged 94 (as of May 2017) and lives with her oldest son and his family.
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RAFVR training and Service History – extracted from scans of documents, photos and Log Book received from the Horridge Family.
The information is included below – scans of the documents and original log book pages have been reduced in size from the originals.

01 July 1941 – Medical Examination by the Birmingham Medical Board, prior to enlistment in the Armed Forces;
Medical Category Grade I (one); Jack was aged 28; height 5 feet 9⅜ inches (three/eighths); blue eyes; dark brown hair (going grey).
Registration Number SPF16182; address at enlistment 45 Common Lane, Sheldon, Birmingham. (Scans of document below)
By the time he had finished training he was over 30, so was quite "old" compared with many others in the Squadron.

John Walker Horridge - front side of RAFVR pre-enlistment Medical Grade Card dated 01 July 1941 (later Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron).
Document from the Horridge Family Archives.

J W Horridge – front of pre-enlistment Medical Grade Card, dated 01 July 1941. Registration Number SPF16182, Category Grade I.

John Walker Horridge - reverse side of RAFVR pre-enlistment Medical Grade Card dated 01 July 1941 (later Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron).
Document from the Horridge Family Archives.

J W Horridge – reverse side of pre-enlistment Medical Grade Card, dated 01 July 1941, with his age and physical description.

Enlistment Notice for John Walker Horridge dated 15 July 1941, later 1576752 RAFVR, Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron.
Document from the Horridge Family Archives.

15 July 1941 – Notice of Enlistment from the Divisional Office, Birmingham; J W Horridge was required to present himself on Friday 18 July 1941 for "Deferred Service" in the Royal Air Force, with 4 shillings included "in respect of advance of service pay" (presumably for fares ?).

What was Deferred Service? Had his Service previously been deferred, and he was now required? Or was his service to be deferred until a later date? If you can assist, please make contact.

Place of Enlistment: Birmingham *
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Enlistment Service Number: 1576752,* changed to 190747 on 27 January 1945 after receiving a Commission.

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers. No. 1575001 to No. 1585000 were allocated from June 1941 at Birmingham. This batch includes 1576752 for John Walker Horridge.

18 July 1941 to 20 February 1942 – postings & training not known.

20 February 1942 – Night Vision Test, result "Below Average", perhaps limiting future training in crew positions where night vision was critical, e.g. gunners, pilots. (See Log Book below; also Document 1, Item 1.4, in later section. His Posting at the time of that test is not known.)

20 February to 05 December 1942 – postings & training not known.

 

Flying Log Book cover, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Cover of Form 1767, Royal Air Force "Observer's and Air Gunner's Flying Log Book" for John Walker Horridge. The number 752, crossed out, was part of his initial Service number 1576752; the 747 was part of his later Officer Service Number 190747.

 

Flying Log Book, inside cover, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Inside front cover of Flying Log Book. On the left side are the instructions for use. On the right side are Certificates of Qualification, and results of a Night Vision Test. (See later section, after June 1943, for enlarged view of this page). Return to top of page

 

05 December 1942 – first entry in log book for training at Air Operating Section, No. 1 Signals School, Cranwell, Lincolnshire, UK (see Log Book page at right).

10 December 1942 – last log book entry at Signals Squad.

17 December 1942 – signed off by Officer Commanding, as having completed 5 hours 55m in Multi-engine aircraft (DOM) and 5 hours 35m in single engine aircraft (Proctor), all daytime flights; also mentions 24 hours of "Hawell Box Training" (sic, ? Howell Box – Aircraft box camera).

29 December 1942 – qualified as Wireless Operator Air, at No. 1 Signals School. (See Certificates of Qualification in Log Book above; or enlarged version in Document 1, Item 1.1, below.)

 

For all of the Log Book pages, whether training, or on later Ops:- entries shown in black or blue ink are for DAY flights;
entries shown in RED ink are NIGHT flights.

 

Flying Log Book, No. 1 Signal's School, December 1942, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, No. 1 Signal's School, for December 1942.

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Sometime in early 1943 – embarked from the UK for Canada, date not known.

08 February 1943 – posted to No. 33 Air Navigation School (33 ANS), Mt. Hope, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
03 March 1943 – first entry in log book for training at No. 33 ANS; training in Anson aircraft; various pilots; crew position as 1st Nav, or 2nd Nav, or Wireless Operator; day and night flights; duties included map reading, drift finding, navigation, use of Astro, photography, loop bearings and wireless telegraphy (see Log Book pages for March, April, May and June of 1943, below).
08 June 1943 – Course at 33 ANS completed; for subjects listed on his results sheet, his overall total was 1193 out of 2000, (59%) and he was "Failed" by the Chief Instructor. (See Log Book Document 2 below.) However he scored well in Armament 36/50, Photo (Air Work) 85/100, Instruments 43/50; aircraft recognition 82/100, and was posted for training in a Bombing & Gunnery Course.
Summary for course – 81 hours 45m day, 47 hours 30m night.

 

Flying Log Book, 33 ANS, March 1943, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 33 Air Navigation School, Mt. Hope, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; for the month of March 1943, commencing flying training on 03 March.

 

Flying Log Book, 33 ANS, April 1943, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 33 Air Navigation School, Mt. Hope, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; for April 1943.

 

Flying Log Book, 33 ANS, May 1943, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 33 Air Navigation School, Mt. Hope, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; for May 1943.

 

Flying Log Book, 33 ANS, June 1943, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 33 Air Navigation School, Mt. Hope, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; for June 1943.
The paper folded back along the left edge of the page, is the Results Sheet, shown enlarged below.

 

John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747) RAFVR - training qualifications recorded in Flying Log Book during 1942 & 1943, later Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron.
Document from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: 1. Training qualifications inside cover of Flying Log Book:-
1.1 – 29 December 1942, Wireless Operator Air, at 1 Signals School;
1.2 – 14 October 1942, Air Bomber Armament, 31 BAGS;
1.3 – 26 November 1943, Air Bomber, 33 ANS;
1.4 – 20 November 1942, Night Vision Test, Result "Below Average".

 

John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747) RAFVR - result sheet for Navigation training at 33 ANS Canada, recorded in Flying Log Book 08 June 1943, later Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron.
Document from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: 2. Result sheet for Navigation training at 33 ANS Canada, recorded in Flying Log Book 08 June 1943. John Horridge failed this course but went on to qualify as a Bomb Aimer at 31 BAGS.

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26 July 1943 – commenced Bombing and Gunnery Course 87 at No. 31 Bombing and Gunnery School, Picton, Ontario, Canada.

20 August 1943 – first entry in log book for Course 87 at No. 31 BAGS; training in Anson II and Bolingbroke aircraft; various pilots; crew position Gunnery or High Level Bombing; day and night flights; duties included Windfinding by three course method, bombing, use of camera gun, various gunnery exercise, and many bombing exercises (see Log Book pages on the right for August 1943, and below for September and October 1943).
07 October – last training flight at 31 BAGS.
Results of AB Initio Bombing Course – in Anson aircraft – 66.6%, "Passed" by the Chief Instructor. (See Log Book Document 3 below.)
Results of AB Initio Gunnery Course – in Bolingbroke aircraft – 69.6%, "Passed" by the Chief Instructor.(See Log Book Document 4 below.)
Summary for course – 35 hours 45m day, 3 hours 30m night.

14 October 1943 – qualified as Air Bomber (Armament) effective 15 October, at No. 31 BAGS.
(See Log Book Document 1, Item 1.2, above left.)

14 October 1943 – at rank of Leading Aircraftman (LAC).

Flying Log Book, 31 BAGS, September 1943, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 31 Bombing and Gunnery School, Picton, Ontario, Canada, for September 1943.

 

Flying Log Book, 31 BAGS, August 1943, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 31 Bombing and Gunnery School, Picton, Ontario, Canada, for August 1943, with first flight on 20 August.

(Above: Log Book page for August 1943 – blank mid-section of page, without any information, has been removed to save space.)

 

 

Flying Log Book, 31 BAGS, October 1943, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 31 Bombing and Gunnery School, Picton, Ontario, Canada, for October 1943.

Results sheets for Bombing and Gunnery Courses are shown below.

 

John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747) RAFVR - result sheet for AB Initio Bombing Course at 31 BAGS Canada, recorded in Flying Log Book 15 October 1943, later Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron.
Document from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: 3. Result sheet for AB Initio Bombing Course at 31 BAGS Canada, recorded in Flying Log Book, 15 October 1943.
Passed, and Qualified as Air Bomber Armament.

 

John Walker Horridge 1576752 (later 190747) RAFVR - result sheet for AB Initio Gunnery Course at 31 BAGS Canada, recorded in Flying Log Book 15 October 1943, later Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron.
Document from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: 4. Result sheet for AB Initio Gunnery Course at 31 BAGS Canada, recorded in Flying Log Book, 15 October 1943.
Passed, and Qualified as Air Bomber Armament.

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22 October 1943 – first entry in log book for Course 87 at No. 33 Air Navigation School (33 ANS), Mt. Hope, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; training in Anson I aircraft; various pilots; crew position Air Bomber; duties included map reading, keeping log, aerial photography (see Log Book pages for October and November of 1943 below).
24 November 1943 – last training flight at 33 ANS.
A series of stereo pairs of aerial photos taken by John during training flights over Hamilton (on the western shore of Lake Ontario) are held by the Horridge family. (See comments in previous section on Personal Information.)
Summary for course – 24 hours 15m day, 18 hours night.
26 November 1943 – qualified as Air Bomber, at 33 ANS. (See Log Book Document 1, Item 1.3, shown in previous section.)
26 November 1943 – at rank of Leading Aircraftman (LAC)

 

Flying Log Book, 33 ANS, October 1943, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 33 Air Navigation School, Mt. Hope, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, for October 1943, with first flight on 22 October.
The photo of the Halifax LW440 Z5-B, dates from September 1944 at 462 Squadron, Driffield. It has been enlarged for viewing on the Carthy Crew page. Horridge was the Bomb Aimer for that crew, and they carried out 7 Ops in LW440.

 

Flying Log Book, 33 ANS, November 1943, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 33 Air Navigation School, Mt. Hope, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, for November 1943, with last training flight on 24 November.
(Stereo aerial photos, taken during his training at 33 ANS, may be seen in the last section of this web page.)

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Promotion to Sergeant – not recorded, but possibly 26 November 1943, or soon after receiving his Bomb Aimer Brevet.

Sometime late 1943 or early 1944 – returned to the UK from Canada, date not known.

Undated 1944 – photos in flying gear (badges of rank not visible) at an un-named hotel in Newquay, Cornwall, after his return from Canada, but presumably before his posting to 10 (O) AFU at Dumfries, in March 1944.
(The 2 photos may be seen in a previous section. Why was he in Newquay? Was he there on post-disembarkation leave, and dressed in flying gear just for the photo? OR was he there on an overnight stay during training on a posting elsewhere? OR had he been temporarily posted to RAF St Mawgan, which is near Newquay? No mention is made of Newquay or St Mawgan or nearby RAF St Eval in his Log Book.)

07 March 1944 – commenced Air Bomber Advanced Flying course, at No. 10 (Observers) Advanced Flying Unit, Dumfries, Scotland; flying in Anson I aircraft (see Log Book pages for March and April of 1944 below).
15 March 1944 – first training flight at 10 (O) AFU.
On one daytime training flight (26 March), they landed at Bobbington, Worcestershire, then returned to Dumfries.
Training included Bombing and Navigation with various Pilots on day and night flights; duties for Horridge included high level bombing, navigation, and Astro sightings.
06 April – last training flight at 10 (O) AFU.
10 April 1944 – course completed at 10 (O) AFU.
Summary for course – Navigation 7 hours 20m day, 9 hours 55m night; Bombing 1 hour 35m day, 3 hours 20m night.
Total 8 hours 55m day; 13 hours 15m night.

 

Flying Log Book, 10 (O) AFU, March 1944, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 10 (Observer's) Advanced Flying Unit, Dumfries, Scotland, for March 1944, with first flight on 15 March.

 

Flying Log Book, 10 (O) AFU, April 1944, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 10 (Observer's) Advanced Flying Unit, Dumfries, Scotland, for April 1944.

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Mid to late April 1944 – posted to 20 Operational Training Unit, Lossiemouth, Scotland; the crew of 6 with Pilot Carthy would have formed soon after arrival; training in Wellington aircraft (see Log Book pages for May and June of 1944 below).
04 May 1944 – first flight logged at 20 OTU.
07 May 1944 – third training flight, but first flight with Pilot F/Sgt Carthy. All subsequent training flights were logged with F/Sgt Carthy as Pilot, either solo, or with a screen Instructor Pilot. This indicates that they had "crewed up" on or by 07 May.
During training, the crew carried out day and night flights, which included cross country, circuits and landings, and fighter affiliation. Duties for Horridge as 2nd Navigator or Bomb Aimer were air plots, Astro position lines, bombing, and numbered Exercises 1 to 12.
07 June 1944 – records a "Bullseye" during a night cross country flight.
11 June 1944 – last flight at 20 OTU, 'B' Flight.
Summary for course – Total 42 hours 25m day; 41 hours 25m night.

 

Flying Log Book, 20 OTU, May 1944, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above and below: Flying Log Book, 20 Operational Training Unit, Lossiemouth, Scotland, for May 1944, with first flight on 4 May.

Flying Log Book, 20 OTU, May 1944, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

 

Flying Log Book, 20 OTU, June 1944, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 20 Operational Training Unit, Lossiemouth, Scotland, June 1944.

From 7 May to 11 June, all flights were undertaken with Pilot F/Sgt Carthy, indicating that the permanent crew had formed.

(At left: Log Book second page for May 1944 – blank mid-section of page, without any information, has been removed to save space.)

 

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Late June 1944 – Crew of 6 posted to 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit, Marston Moor, Yorkshire, for training in Halifax aircraft; most likely carrying out training at nearby Acaster Malbis in the first few weeks prior to flying training (see Log Book pages for July and August of 1944 below).
Flight Engineer Eric Kerr Leyden would have joined the crew at 1652 HCU, making a crew of seven.
22 July 1944 – first flight logged at 1652 HCU, with Pilot F/Sgt Carthy and a screen instructional Pilot.
During training with a Screen Pilot or Carthy solo, the crew carried out day and night flights, which included cross country and bombing, circuits and landings, dual circuits, fighter affiliation, air firing, and Numbered Exercises 2 to 14.
18 August 1944 – last flight at 1652 HCU. Horridge recorded a "Bullseye" on 18 August, during a four hour and ten minute flight to Caen & Bayeux (Normandy coast of France), their first flight over Europe.
Summary for course – Total 21 hours 30m day; 8 hours 15m night.

 

Flying Log Book, 1652 HCU, July 1944, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit, Marston Moor, Yorkshire, July 1944, with first flight on 22 July.

 

Flying Log Book, 1652 HCU, August 1944, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR, later 462 Squadron.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit, Marston Moor, Yorkshire, August 1944, with last training flight on 18 August, a night flight of 4 hours 10 minutes to France with "Bullseye".

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August 1944 – Crew of seven posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, Horridge at the rank of Sergeant. (See Log Book pages for August, September, October, November, and December of 1944 below.)
26 August 1944 – first daytime training flight at Driffield with Pilot F/Sgt Carthy, as Crew 17 – local area circuits.
28 August 1944 – daytime training flight – Flamborough Head.
29 August 1944 – daytime training flight – St Bees Head – Belfast – Manchester.
29 August 1944 – night training flight – local area circuits.
30 August 1944 – daytime training flight – Lincoln – Birmingham (Horridge's home city) – Nottingham.

31 August 1944 – Pilot Carthy flies his first Op, as 2nd Pilot for S/Ldr J T Brophy and Crew 3.
09 September 1944 – first Op at 462 Squadron for Pilot Carthy and Crew 17, with Horridge in his usual crew position of Bomb Aimer.
October 1944 – Horridge carried out the role of Navigator, for two Fighter Affiliation training flights.

18 November 1944 – Horridge's rank now recorded in ORB as Flight Sergeant (Exact date of promotion is not known, but it appears to be about 12 months from when he qualified as Bomb Aimer in Canada.)

17/18 December 1944 – last Op with 462 Squadron; total of 24 Ops at 462 Squadron with Pilot Carthy.
Please refer to the Carthy Crew page for tabulated list of Ops at 462 Squadron as recorded in the ORB, and Ops at 466 Squadron as recorded in "Brave and True".

29 December 1944. – 462 Squadron relocated to Foulsham, to join 100 Group. Carthy and Crew 17, including Horridge, remained at Driffield to finish their Tour, having been posted to 466 Squadron.

 

Flying Log Book, 462 Squadron, August 1944, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 462 Squadron, August 1944, with crew's first familiarisation training flight on 26 August; followed by three daytime training exercises, and one at night.
Signed off by S/Ldr J Brophy, Officer Commanding 'A' Flight.

 

Flying Log Book, 462 Squadron, September 1944, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 462 Squadron, September 1944, the crew's first Op on 09 September; their 9th Op by 30 September; two daytime local area Fighter Affiliation training exercises on the 27th.
Signed off by F/Lt P H Finley, for Officer Commanding 'A' Flight.

 

Flying Log Book, 462 Squadron, October 1944, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 462 Squadron, October 1944, with Ops 10 to 16 carried out during the month; as well as three daytime practice bombing flights; and two Fighter Affiliation exercises (day and night).
Signed off by S/Ldr J Brophy, Officer Commanding 'A' Flight.

 

Flying Log Book, 462 Squadron, November 1944, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 462 Squadron, November 1944, with Ops 17 to 22 carried out during the month; as well as a daytime Air Test with air to sea firing.
Signed off by S/Ldr J Brophy, Officer Commanding 'A' Flight.

 

Flying Log Book, 462 Squadron & 466 Sqdn, December 1944, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR.
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 462 Squadron, December 1944, with Op 23 on 02 December, and Op 24 on the night of 17/18 December; as well as daytime Fighter Affiliation, Blind Bombing and Cross Country, flights, and practise bombing and air to sea firing.

30 December 1944 – first Op with 466 Squadron, Driffield; Op 25 for Horridge (Op 26 for Pilot Carthy).

Signed off by S/Ldr W E Eagleton, Officer Commanding 'A' Flight, 466 Squadron. (William Edmund Eagleton, 'Ted", 403727 RAAF, Pilot of Crew 54, 466 Squadron; DFC and Bar, later received MBE.)
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Flying Log Book, 466 Squadron January 1945, John Walker Horridge 1576752 (190747) RAFVR (previously 462 Squadron).
Log Book from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Flying Log Book, 466 Squadron, January 1945, with Op 26 on 01 January; a short daytime Fighter Affiliation training exercise on 15 January, and their final Op 31 on the 28 January, thus completing their Tour.

The paper folded back along the top edge of the page, is the Certification that Horridge had completed his Tour of 31 Ops, shown enlarged below.

Signed off by S/Ldr W E Eagleton, Officer Commanding 'A' Flight, 466 Squadron; and also by W/Com A Wharton, Officer Commanding 466 Squadron.
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27 January 1945 – Appointment to Commission, to the rank of Pilot Officer with new RAFVR Service Number 190747, from the rank of Flight Sergeant (old Service Number 1576752), during his posting at 466 Squadron, Driffield.

From the London Gazette of Friday 09 March 1945, (2nd Supplement, Tuesday 13 March 1945), Issue 36978, page 1375
.... quote ...

ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE
GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
Appointment to Commission
As Pilot Officers, on probation (emergency)
.....
Flight Sergeants
27 January 1945
1576752 John Walker HORRIDGE (190747).

28/29 January 1945 – last Op at 466 Squadron; completed Tour, with 31 Ops; at the rank of Pilot Officer.

Total operational hours at 462 and 466 Squadrons – 65 hours 55m day; 95 hours 10m night.
Total non-operational hours at 462 and 466 Squadrons – 19 hours 45m day; 2 hours 15m night.
Total of all flying hours at 462 and 466 Squadrons – 85 hours 40m day; 97 hours 25m night.

Total flying time for all training and all Ops – 311 hours 05m day; 229 hours 20m night.
Final entry in log book.

John Walker Horridge, 1576752 RAFVR (later 190747) - Certification that he had completed his first Operational Tour of 31 Ops (28 January 1945 at 466 Squadron, previously at 462 Squadron).
Document from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Certification at RAF Station Driffield that F/Sgt John Walker Horridge had completed his first Operational Tour of 31 Ops. His last Op was to the Target of Stuttgart, on the night of 28/29 January 1945, at 466 Squadron, Driffield. Apparently the news had not yet arrived that he had received a Commission on 27 January 1945. The slip of paper had been glued into the January 1945 page of his Flying Log Book. The signature is that of W/Com A Wharton. (Wing Commander Alan Wharton, 404556, RAAF, DSO, DFC, MID, OBE; Officer Commanding 466 Squadron from 20 October 1944 to 3 April 1945.)

John Walker Horridge, 1576752 RAFVR (later 190747) - Certification of no deficiencies or claims against him as of 31 January 1945 (466 Squadron, previously 462 Squadron).
Document from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: 31 January 1945 – Certification that F/Sgt John Walker Horridge had no deficiencies or other claims known and recorded as chargeable to him. The signature may be F/Sgt S O Dean (?), for Accountant Officer.
The slip of paper had also been glued into his Flying Log Book.

Mid February 1945 – Posted from 466 Squadron, postings & duties not yet known.
27 February 1945 – Pilot Carthy lost his life during a flight instructing new aircrew at 20 OTU, Lossiemouth, Scotland, aged 22 years and 8 months (further details on the Carthy Crew page). The Carthy Crew had formed and trained at 20 OTU during April/May/June of 1944.

February 1945 to January 1946 – postings & duties not yet known, but Jack Horridge was at RAF Sturgate by January 1946.

27 July 1945 – Promotion to Flying Officer ? (assumed, usually after 6 months as Pilot Officer; publication not yet found in London Gazette.)

January 1946 – refer Group photo of "Air Force staff at Flying Control, RAF Sturgate, Lincolnshire, in January 1946", including John Walker Horridge at rank of Flying Officer. Advice received was that the airfield closed on 25 January 1946.

January 1946 to June 1946 – postings & duties not yet known.

23 June 1946 – married, in RAF uniform at the rank of Flying Officer, on the Isle of Wight.

Date of Discharge: not known, but later than 23 June 1946.
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer (?)
Posting at Discharge: not known.

Jack Horridge's memories of Ops – as recalled by his son (in italics) .....

"One sortie they failed to drop the bombs and landed with them still on board at a special runway."

That was most likely the Op on 23 October 1944, Target Essen, when "one bomb got hung-up, and brought back". As recorded in the ORB for 462 Squadron, on other ops where the Master Bomber abandoned the mission, or when bombs got hung-up, they managed to jettison the bombs at sea during their return.
On 7 October 1944, they had landed away at Woodbridge, with flak damage to LW440 Z5B.
For photo of LW440 and List of Ops, please see Carthy crew page.

"Another story he told was that from his position lying in the perspex nose of the plane he could see the full extent of the damage they were contributing to. I don't remember the city they were over but he couldn't help muttering to himself "My God , what are we doing?" His intercom was switched on so everyone [in the crew] heard what he had said and he was threatened with court-martial when they got back home!"

Many major cities were targets during this crew's Ops – several in the Ruhr valley, and multiple flights to Essen and Duisburg. There was no mention in the ORB of any official action against him, so he may only have been reprimanded for failing to have his intercom turned off. Given that he was about 10 years older than most of his fellow crew, his views on life and death were probably different from theirs.

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Stereo Aerial Photos, taken by (John) Jack Horridge during his Bomb Aimer training in November 1943, at 33 Air Navigation School, Mt. Hope, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Please refer also to "Jack's Interests" in his "Personal Information" section; and also to his Flying Log Book pages for October and November 1943 for 33 ANS, shown in his training section.

Horridge, 33 ANS Hamilton, Ontario, stereo aerial photos, November 1943 (a).
Photos from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Horridge, 33 ANS Hamilton, Ontario, stereo aerial photos, November 1943 (a).

Horridge, 33 ANS Hamilton, Ontario, stereo aerial photos, November 1943 (b).
Photos from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Horridge, 33 ANS Hamilton, Ontario, stereo aerial photos, November 1943 (b).

Horridge, 33 ANS Hamilton, Ontario, stereo aerial photos, November 1943 (c).
Photos from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Horridge, 33 ANS Hamilton, Ontario, stereo aerial photos, November 1943 (c).

Horridge, 33 ANS Hamilton, Ontario, stereo aerial photos, November 1943 (d).
Photos from the Horridge Family Archives.

Above: Horridge, 33 ANS Hamilton, Ontario, stereo aerial photos, November 1943 (d).
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