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[576 Squadron RAF]
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[Roy Whalley DFC 576 Sqn]
[B D Sellick DSO DFC]
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[A C Blackie DFC 576 Sqn]
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F/L Albert Charles Blackie DFC RAFVR - 576 Sqn

576 Squadron Blackie Medal Group

F/L Blackie’s medal group

Albert Charles Blackie was born in Tooting, London, in 1923. He joined the RAFVR in 1941, and underwent initial pilot training at No. 6 EFTS, Sywell, from Apr 42, followed by further training in Georgia, U.S.A from Aug 42 - Feb 43. He was promoted to Sgt and returned to the UK to No. 6 AFU and 28 OTU Castle Donington where he flew a Wellington on his first operational sortie on Sept 3rd 43 to a target in the Forest of Aisnes.

Blackie was posted to 1667 HCU in Oct 43, and flew Halifax’s before converting to Lancasters. He joined the newly formed 576 Sqn (Lancasters), at Elsham Wolds, at the start of Dec 43 in time for the height of the Battle of Berlin. He flew 29 operational sorties with the squadron in just 5 months, including: Berlin (7); Stettin; Magdeburg; Schweinfurt; Augsberg; Stuttgart; Frankfurt (2); Karlsruhe; Friedichshaven;  Lyon;  Mailly Le Camp; Hasselt; Orleans; Duisburg; Dortmund and the disastrous raid on Nuremberg on 30 Mar 44. During the return from Mailly le Camp they were attacked by fighters. The aircraft was severely damaged and the crew were forced to land at the emergency landing ground at Woodbridge.  Fortunately, they had the satisfaction of claiming the destruction of a JU88 during the combat. Whilst at Elsham he met his wife Wyn; they were married for 68 years.

After his 1st tour, Blackie was posted to No 1 LFS, Hemswell, in Jun 44, and awarded the DFC (LG 19 Sept 44).  Subsequent postings, as a Fg Off, included 1662 HCU, Blyton and 1336 TSCU Welford where he converted to Dakotas.  He joined 76 Transport Sqn as a Flt Lt in Poona, India, in Feb 46 and left the RAF on 12 Jun 46.

Flt Lt Blackie died on the 6thNov 2016 near Church Stretton, Shropshire, aged 93.  He was buried in Shrewsbury on 22 Nov 2016.

London Gazette 19 September 1944:

“‘Since commencing his operational tour in December, 1943, as Captain of a Lancaster Bomber, this Officer has completed 29 sorties over enemy territory, and has attacked many of the most heavily defended targets, including seven attacks on Berlin. He has carried out these attacks with consistent skill and determination, often in the face of fierce opposition. During the attack on Mailly Camp on 3rd May, 1944, P/O Blackie’s aircraft was attacked by a Ju 88 and severely damaged just after leaving the target. In spite of the fact that the damage made the aircraft extremely difficult to fly, P/O Blackie succeeded in bringing it back to this country and made an emergency landing  without further damage to the aircraft or crew. This Officer’s outstanding ability and strong sense of duty has set a fine example to Squadron and I strongly recommend him for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.”  Despite the damage the aircraft landed safely at RAF Woodbridge and the Ju 88 was claimed as destroyed.

Remarks by Station Commander:

“Pilot Officer Blackie displayed a splendid fighting spirit during his tour of bomber operations. Even on the most bitterly defended German targets he faced the hazards with a cheerful demeanour which was an inspiration to his own and to other crews. His skill and courage was of an exceptionally high order; and enabled him to pursue the aim of the Command with the utmost accuracy. I therefore strongly recommend that he be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.”

F/L Blackie’s Tour with 576 Sqn

01/01/1944

Berlin

JA715

Sgt

AC

Blackie

02/01/1944

Berlin

JA715

Sgt

AC

Blackie

05/01/1944

Stettin

JB744

Sgt

AC

Blackie

20/01/1944

Berlin

ME583

Sgt

AC

Blackie

21/01/1944

Magdeburg

ME583

Sgt

AC

Blackie

27/01/1944

Berlin

ME583

Sgt

AC

Blackie

28/01/1944

Berlin

ME583

Sgt

AC

Blackie

30/01/1944

Berlin

ME583

Sgt

AC

Blackie

24/02/1944

Schweinfurt

ME583

F/S

AC

Blackie

25/02/1944

Augsburg

ME583

F/S

AC

Blackie

15/03/1944

Stuttgart

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

18/03/1944

Frankfurt

ME583

F/O

AC

Blackie

22/03/1944

Frankfurt

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

24/03/1944

Berlin

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

26/03/1944

Essen

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

30/03/1944

Nuremberg

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

11/04/1944

Aachen

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

18/04/1944

Rouen

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

20/04/1944

Cologne

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

22/04/1944

Dusseldorf

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

24/04/1944

Karlsruhe

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

27/04/1944

Friedrichshafen

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

01/05/1944

Lyons

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

03/05/1944

Mailly-le-Camp

ME583

P/O

AC

Blackie

11/05/1944

Hasselt

ND994

P/O

AC

Blackie

19/05/1944

Orleans

ND994

P/O

AC

Blackie

21/05/1944

Duisburg

ND994

P/O

AC

Blackie

22/05/1944

Dortmund

ND994

P/O

AC

Blackie

 

A Selection of Bombing Photos from these operations.

576 Squadron Blackie Bombing photos 1

576 Squadron Blackie bombing photos 2

576 Squadron Blackie Bombing photos 3

With grateful thanks to Kip Smith who submitted this item.

Kip will be most interested in a photo of F/L Blackie and or his crew and if these are sent to me I will pass them on.

 

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