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6 May 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 (becoming 466 Sqdn crew 175), and remained at Driffield.

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;
his RAFVR Service details, including scans of relevant documents and Training Course result sheets;
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 will be 94 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.
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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. Their 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 is 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
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.

"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, with some documents, but scans of the original log book pages will be added later. Please visit again.

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. (Scan 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 190746 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 Document 1, Item 1.4, below. His Posting at the time of that test is not known.)

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

 

05 December 1942 – first entry in log book for training at Air Operating Section, No. 1 Signals School, Cranwell, Lincolnshire, UK
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 Log Book Document 1, Item 1.1, below.)

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.
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.

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.
07 October – last training flight at 31 BAGS.
Results of AB Initio Bombing Course – in Anson aircraft – 66.6%, "Passed" by the Chief Instructor.
Results of AB Initio Gunnery Course – in Bolingbroke aircraft – 69.6%, "Passed" by the Chief Instructor.
(See Log Book Documents 3 and 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, below.)

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

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.
24 November 1943 – last training flight at 33 ANS.
A series of aerial stereo pairs of photos taken during training flights over Hamilton (on the western shore of Lake Ontario) are still with 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, below.)
26 November 1943 – at rank of Leading Aircraftman (LAC)

 

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.

1. Training qualifications recorded inside front 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.

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

 

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.

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.

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

 

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.
15 May 1944 – first training flight at 10 (O) AFU.
On one daytime training flight, 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.

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.
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 with a screen Instructor Pilot, or solo. This indicates that they had "crewed up" on or by 7 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, and bombing, and numbered Exercises 1 to 12.
On 7 June 1944 he 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.

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.
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 flight to Caen & Bayeux (Normandy coast of France), during their first flight over Europe.
Summary for course – Total 21 hours 30m day; 8 hours 15m night.

August 1944 – Crew of seven posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, Horridge at the rank of Sergeant.
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 with Brophy and Crew 3.
09 September 1944 – first Op for Crew 17 with Pilot Carthy at 462 Squadron.

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.)

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, including Horridge, remained at Driffield to finish their Tour, having been posted to 466 Squadron.

30 December 1944 – first Op with 466 Squadron, Driffield.

Commission 27 January 1945, to the rank of Pilot Officer, from the rank of Flight Sergeant, during his posting to 466 Squadron.

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; 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 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 - Certification that he had completed his first Operational Tour of 31 Ops (28 January 1945 at 466 Squadron, previously at 462 Squadron).

Above: Certification 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 Commissioned on 27 January 1945. The signature appears to be that of Wing Commander A Wharton (Officer Commanding 466 Squadron from 20 October 1944 to 3 April 1945). The slip of paper had been glued into the January 1945 page of his Flying Log Book.

John Walker Horridge, 1576752 RAFVR - Certification of no deficiencies or claims against him as of 31 January 1945 (466 Squadron, previously 462 Squadron).

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 (?), 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 was 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 .....

"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". 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!"
(Several major cities were targets during 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.)

To be added – scans of pages of his Flying Log Book; also aerial photos in stereo pairs, taken during his training at 33 ANS, Mt. Hope, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in late 1943. .......... Please visit again.
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