M E Gregg

630 Squadron

71 Air Bombers course

M E Gregg

M E Gregg Canada

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Malcolm Gregg

Malcolm Elliot Gregg (aka Ginger) was born in West Bridgford, Nottingham on 7th January 1923 the son of Reuben Henry and Meggie Elizabeth Gregg. He joined the RAF on 8th July 1941 aged 18 years and 6 months.

On the 9th July he was sent to No 26 ACSB (Air Crew Selection Board) for training as a Pilot/Observer. After initial training in both the UK and the USA, he was posted to 71 Air Bomber's Course in Port Albert, Ontario. The change from Pilot to Air Bomber came about as a result of an altercation with his Pilot instructor... Upon landing Malcolm saw a large hole on the runway and attempted to steer away from it. Unfortunately the instructor P/O Davies (in the rear cockpit of the trainer) did not realise this and forced the aircraft straight (as in straight into the hole!). The end result was that despite backing from his Commanding officer Malcolm was excluded from the Pilot's course and moved to Air Bomber training (much to his disappointment after 13 months training!)

In July 1943 Malcolm was posted to 17 OTU (Operational Training Unit) in Silverstone, Northamptonshire where he flew in a number of Wellington III and X bombers

Aircraft

Type

HE298

III

HE242

X

HE856

X

HE277

X

HE259

X

3460

X

BK314

III

3281

X

3332

X

1722

X

LN447

III

HE227

III

HE915

III

HE688

III

HE242

III

HE298

III

BK185

III

BK451

III

3445

X

BK133

III

Wellington Bomber

 

 

From there he moved to no. 1654 Conversion Unit at Wigsley, Nottinghamshire, prior to joining 630 squadron in December 1943. Once in his operational squadron Malcolm flew a number of sorties in various aircraft  as listed below up until the ill-fated sortie in ND50 (LE-P)

Aircraft

LE-Z

ED944

LE-Q

LE-W

JB710

LE-Y

LE-O

JB666

LE-Q

LE-P

ND530

On 15-16 March 1944, ND/530  laden with 1 x 4 000 Lbs,30 x 48 Lbs, 4 x 800 Lbs and 4 x 100 Lbs bombs  took part in a large raid on Stuttgart. The Lancaster was attacked, in a typical Schragemusik attack (a fighter using upward pointing cannon) and shot down close to Soissons (Aisne), more or less 50 km north-west from Reims.

According to a French  Gendarmerie report, the Lanc crashed at Mont-sur-Courville, close to  Saint-Gilles (Marne), 24 km west from Reims.

Here is a "rough" translation of that report:-

"March 16 1944 around One O'Clock an English four engine plane was shot down on the territory of the commune of Mount-on-Courville (Marne) but close to the borders of the department of Aisne.

Two bodies were discovered in the remains of the plane scattered in the fields. The other members of the crew had escaped by parachute. One of the surviving crew, slightly wounded, took refuge at guard-pastoral commune of Crugny (Canton ofFismes), another was discovered towards Fere-en-Tardenois by Feldgendarmerie of Ch√Ęteau-Thierry. "

The Mid Upper and rear Gunner were killed in this attack. Malcolm sustained shrapnel wounds to his hand but  managed to bail out with the rest of the crew. Upon landing (in a tree I believe), he made his way across country and came upon a convent. When he asked for aid, he was given some food, but was subsequently captured and spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft I. He was "liberated" by  US troops on 12th May 1945 and returned to England on the 6th September 1945. Upon his release from the RAF (8th  November 1945) he held the rank of Warrant Officer and was entitled to wear the following medals:

1939/45 War Medal

1939/45 War Medal

1939/45 Star

1939/45 Star

Air Crew Europe Star

Air Crew Europe Star

Defence Medal

Defence Medal

 

 

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