This is post number 30 on this blog.
Little did I know someone was looking for Fred Gash back in the 70s.
Collection Gérard Pelletier
In the 70s I was a history teacher too young to be teaching history. In fact in 34 years as a teacher, I only taught history for two years to 12 year-old students in Montreal-North.
I learned very little about World War II when I was a student in the 50s and 60s. What I had learned was in war movies and in WWII books and comic books. In 2009 I found out that my wife’s uncle was a sailor on HMCS Athabaskan. I got curious when he did not want to tell us more about that faithful night on April 29, 1944.
This led me to write a blog which I named Souvenirs de Guerre. This blog was written in French to pay homage to a kid who lied on his age to join the Royal Canadian Navy. I then created Lest We Forget which is an English version of Souvenirs de guerre when English speaking people started sharing their Souvenirs de guerre or their father’s, uncles’ or grandfathers’ war memories.
Little by little my interest for WWII, which started back in 1958, led me to create more and more blogs like this one. 264 Squadron was created to pay homage to Sergeant Gérard Pelletier.
Sergeant Pelletier’s body was never found. He left an album with hundreds of photos which are all on this blog. Gérard’s niece shared all about her uncle.
Even his log book.
Fred Gash’s photo was one of the photos. He was posing for posterity with “Bubbles” Chandler.
Yesterday someone contacted me about Fred Gash.
I knew Fred Gash in Woking. We dug up a Heinkel that he shot down in 1941. His Pilot was Hawkeye Hughes. I presented him with part of the German bomber
Adam shared these combat reports…
A letter dated 6 December 1978…
A picture of Flight Lieutenant Hughes’ Boulton Paul Defiant.
Pages of his album…
A part of Heinkel 2994 of KG55.
Adam added these notes…
On 12/3 /41 Hughes and Gash intercepted the Heinkel 111 and shot it down over Surrey.
We dug some relics up in 1978/79 as part of an aviation archaeological team,The Air Historical Group based in Surrey. We had full Ministry permission to excavate as well as the farm owner.
Combat report showing Fred’s signature.
Desmond Hughes mentions Fred’s eyesight in his letter to me.
This is another combat report involving Fred .The Dornier has been raised and will be restored for the RAF Museum. It is currently at RAF Cosford (see newspaper cutting below).
Above is a photo of Hughes & Fred’s Defiant at either West Malling or Biggin Hill in 1941 showing 5 kills below the cockpit. The badge is the Red Hand of Ulster where Hughes came from originally.
Above is the important Heinkel makers plate showing 2994 which is so important when confirming historical detail. The German pilot baled out and was a POW in Canada for 4 years his name was Brunning.
Naturally Fred’s name is on the Battle if Britain memorial on Westminster a Embankment, London which I have visited
Hope this helps, Adam, Surrey UK
To be continued…