Rarely seen 148 special duty squadron, Warsaw uprising ( air bridge) casualty group.
1939-45 Star; Italy Star; 1939-45 War medal; Condolence slip, Box of issue address to his parents; Certificate of Death from the Air Ministry.
187 5074 sgt Dennis Aird, 148 special duties squadron, RAFVR. Killed in action 4/5 August 1945.
The son of John William and Jessie Amelia Aird of Watford Hertfordshire.
Commemorated at Krakow Rakowicki Cemetery.
His Aircraft crashed on his return trip from dropping supplies Warsaw uprising., from Brindisi they crashed near Lysa Gora, , Woininz in Letowice region of Poland.
Other members of the crew and also lost their lives where Charles and William Crabtree, pilot officer; JohnAloysius Carol ,warrant officer; Alexander Bennett, flight Sgt; Charles Alec Beanland, flight Sgt; and Alexander Sandilands, sgt.
There is a memorial plaque to the crew is Halifax bomber directed in the train church the local citizens, commemorating airmen’s sacrifice and proclaim is the contribution of Western nations to the liberation of Poland.
The inscription on the plaque reads :-
“On the anniversary of the Warsaw uprising to the memories heroic Allied pilots assisted the Warsaw uprising on 5 August 1944 the Letowice region the Halifax from 148 RAF Wayne shot down. Die for faith and liberty”
It is believed that his aircraft was shot down by Helmut Konter.
It was reformed at RAF Scampton on 7 June 1937 with the Hawker Audax and the Vickers Wellesley and moved twice before being disbanded and merged into No. 15 Operational Training Unit on 8 April 1940.
With the expansion of the Royal Air Force Special Duties Service the unit was reformed in 1943 as No. 148 (Special Duties) Squadron. The unit’s Halifaxes dropped supplies to partisans in southern France, Italy and the Balkans, while its flight of Lysanders under the command of Peter Vaughan-Fowler did agent pick-up operations to Greece, Yugoslavia and southern France. It participated in the Warsaw airlift, where it suffered heavy losses. The unit continued its work through the end of the war.
The Warsaw airlift or Warsaw air bridge was a British-led operation to re-supply the besieged Polish resistance Home Army (AK) in the Warsaw Uprising against Nazi Germany, after nearby Soviet forces chose not to come to its aid. It took place between 4 August and 28 September 1944 and was conducted by Polish, British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and South African airmen flying from Celone and Brindisi in Italy and was denied flyover rights from their Soviet allies, who shot at them when the planes entered Soviet airspace.
Allied aircraft dropped a total of 370 tons of supplies in the course of the two months of operations, of which at least 50% fell into German hands. The airlift proved to be ineffective and could not provide sufficient supplies to sustain the Polish resistance, who were overrun by Nazi forces on 2 October 1944. The airlift was further hampered by the Soviet Union not allowing Western Allies the use of its airfields for several weeks, forcing flights to operate at extended ranges from Italy and Britain and in so doing, reducing payload and limiting the number of sorties. An estimated 360 airmen and 41 British, Polish, South African and American aircraft were lost.
With a good file of research and lots of information on the Warsaw airlift.
Condition – NEF