The Second World War in Northern Ireland

The Second World War in Northern Ireland

County Down Part 8

Army Motorcycle Trial at Newtownards

This series of Photographs shows Army Motorcycle Trials taking place at Ards Leadmines on 6th April 1941. The winners were Air Formation Signals.

(Photographs from the Imperial War Museum)

Flight Lieutenant Richard Field born Newtownards.

Flt Lt. Richard Field was born Newtownards before moving to Greenisland.

Richard Field joined RAF Coastal Command in 1939, as an Aircraftman until leaving in 1946 as Flight Lieutenant.

He was a Wireless Operator and Air Gunner, initially flying Ansons in 206 Squadron until 1941.

Whilst with 206 Squadron he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal after the aircraft in which he was flying convoy escort duty encountered very bad weather conditions.
The wireless set became unservicable and the crew were unable to get bearings for the return.
Working in dim light, he dismantled the set, and traced the problem to a broken wire.
He instructed the Air Gunner to hold the two ends of the wires, which returned the wireless set to working order, and bearings to the airfield could be obtained.
Upon landing they were 2 hours overdue and there was less than half and hours fuel remaining!

In May 1940, he converted onto the Lockheed Hudson, performing convoy escorts, bombing raids, and reconnaissance flights.

In early 1941, he moved to BOAC Atlantic Ferry Organisation, operating in Lockheed Hudsons and B17 Flying Fortresses.

In mid 1941, he was stationed again with 206 Squadron at Aldergrove.

He joined 279 Sqdn from late 1941 – 1943, again flying the Lockheed Hudson performing convoy patrols and Search and Rescue for downed airmen.

Further attachments with 5 Operational Training Unit (OTU) in late 1943, joining 1510 Flight as an instructor on the Beam Approach Beacon System (BABS) in early 1944.

In late 1945 he was attached to Atlantic Transport Group, before finally operating in Liberators with 220 Sqdn until leaving the RAF.
Richard is on the right in the Group Photograph. (Thanks very much to Rich Black for information and photographs)