Dinnington - Part 3
Herbert Richardson - 54244
Harry Ethelbert Turner - 653544
Harry Ethelbert Turner was born in the third quarter of 1920, his birth being registered in Worksop as Ethelbert H Turner. His parents Ethelbert Turner and Minnie (nee Hather) who had married in Rotherham in 1901, but by 1911 were living at 8 Church Lane, Dinnington where Ethelbert was a grocer and beer dealer. His father died in 1941 by which time the family was living at 13 Addison Square, Dinnington.
Harry enlisted in the Royal Air Force, service number 653544, and eventually became a Warrant Officer. After training he served as a wireless operator/air gunner with 144 Squadron based at Hemswell in Lincolnshire. The Squadron was equipped with the Handley Page Hampden mk I was part of Bomber Commands 5 Group. It is believed the Harry had a fortunate existence with the squadron having had the notable achievement of baling out on three separate occasions :-
Night 8/9 November 1940 - Hampden P2079 – Airborne from Hemswell to attack Munch. Abandoned at 03:30 9 November, due to engine failure. 5 miles short of RAF Hemswell.
Night 8/9 February 1941 - Hampden P4359 – Airborne at 01:07 on 9 February from Hemswell to attack Mannheim. On return was abandoned at 06:15 and the Hampden crashed and burst into flames between two Army Nissen huts at Taverham Park, Taverham, 7 miles NW of Norwich. At the time of the crash, the crew were lost and due to a u/s radio were unable to ascertain their position.
Night 20/21 March 1941 - Hampden AD745 –Airborne from Hemswell on a ‘gardening’ mission to lay sea mines off Brest (Jellyfish Region). On return, in bad weather collided with a barrage balloon cable and was abandoned at 02:30 on 21 March near Chelveston, Northamptonshire.
Harry was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal on 6 June 1941 for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations, when he was still a Sergeant serving with 144 Squadron. After a tour of operations he would have been sent to a non-operational unit to act as an instructor before returning for another tour later. In 1944 he was serving with 112 Squadron in the Mediterranean theatre of operations. On the night of 11/12 September 1944 he was part of the crew of Douglas Boston IV serial number BZ499 which was to attack targets around Rimini. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed near St. Fortunato, southwest of Rimini, killing all the crew. He was buried by members of the Allied army at the scene of the accident, and later removed for reburial in the Commonwealth War Grave Commission cemetery at the Coriano Ridge War Cemetery on 3 September 1945.