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Showing results for tags 'Christmas Day over Stadtkyll'.
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The model is a representation of a 98 Squadron RAF Mitchell II, FW262, coded VO-G. Its crew were involved in a raid over Stadtkyll on Christmas Day, 1944. The aircraft was piloted by Australian Ray Rogerson. The relevant ORB for 98 Squadron confirms the serial, the code and the events of that raid. The Australian Press duly recorded some particular events of the raid and the following account appeared in a Western Australian daily newspaper on 7 January 1945. “Pilot Officer Ray Rogerson had a thrilling experience on Christmas Day. He was piloting a Mitchell bomber in a raid against a German supply centre when a burst of Flak damaged the machine. Most of the instruments were shot away and the wings were holed but he carried on to his target. Returning, he found the bomb doors would not close and the wheels were out of order. He made a skilful emergency landing with all wheels up, then went with his crew to Christmas lunch”. Not really. The bomb aimer who stands in front of another 98 Squadron B-25 in the photograph below had been killed by the Flak. Ray Rogerson recalls neither Christmas festivities nor lunch that day. In the photograph below, taken sometime in January 1945, The Rogerson crew, with replacement bomb aimer, is shown at Melsbroek. My thanks to 72 modeler who provided much advice and quite a few Italeri B-25J bits to enable a conversion from my Italeri B-25G kit to as-close-as-I could-get-without-going-mad representation of this particular Mitchell II. It is not a very good result but never mind. Even my attempts at applying a patched-over paint job were not that successful. Over six decades of making model aeroplanes never has there been such a battle between Man and Italeri. All in all, a bit of a pyrrhic victory. In conversations and subsequent correspondence with Ray Rogerson in 1992, he made the following observation of war over Europe. “Every day in the UK was like an adventure, so that when we returned to Australia the ordinary problems of life seemed so trivial that many of us could not readily adjust to ordinary life. Two aircrew friends of mine committed suicide and a number of others drank pretty heavily. A few died fairly early in life”. Not the happiest of postings on this forum but I do like a contextual richness to my modelling endeavours. Michael