Dowling One Name Study

Dowling, G L

Male - DECEASED


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Dowling, G L  [1
    Gender Male 
    _MILTID Between 1940 and 1945  [2
    412500 
    _MILT Bef 1943  Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Royal Australian Air Force Flight Sergeant Pilot 
    Event or Activity 23 Sep 1943  Lichfield, Staffordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Took off in Wellington 111 X3966 bomber aircraft for 'Nickel' (leaflet dropping) sortie in Orleans, SouthWest of Paris 
    Event or Activity 28 Sep 1943  Toulouse, Haute-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénées, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Following plane crash, on foot to neutral territory in Spain 
    Event or Activity 6 Nov 1943  Gibraltar Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    en route to England 
    Name Les Dowling  [1
    _MILT Aft 6 Nov 1943  Holme, Spalding Moor, Yorkshire England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Royal Air Force 776 Squadron flying Halifax bombers in 30 operations 
    Occupation Aft 1945  Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Hotel Business 
    Reference Number 20357 
    Residence Aft 1945  Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Died DECEASED  [1
    Person ID I20357  Dowling-One-Name-Study
    Last Modified 17 Mar 2019 

    Family Dowling, Joan 
    Married Aft 1945 
    Last Modified 17 Mar 2019 
    Family ID F14054  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsEvent or Activity - Took off in Wellington 111 X3966 bomber aircraft for 'Nickel' (leaflet dropping) sortie in Orleans, SouthWest of Paris - 23 Sep 1943 - Lichfield, Staffordshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEvent or Activity - Following plane crash, on foot to neutral territory in Spain - 28 Sep 1943 - Toulouse, Haute-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénées, France Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Flt/Sgt G.L. Dowling (RAAF) Pilot

      CREW
      F/O W.C. Hawke RAAF Navigator
      Sgt W. Todd RAFVR Wireless Operator
      Sgt E.J. Anderson RAAF Bomb Aimer
      Flt/Sgt F.J. Page RAFVR Rear Gunner

      On the 23rd September 1943 at 1900 hrs Wellington 111 X3966 took off from Lichfield for a ‘Nickel’(leaflet dropping) sortie in the Orleans region SW of Paris.

      Extracts from Flt/Sgt Dowling Escape and Evaders Report

      "Whilst outbound in the vicinity of Rouen the Crew observed 2 fighters and ten minutes later we were hit by flak. All the leaflets were jettisoned and after much difficulty I managed to turn the aircraft towards home but fuel was being lost at an alarming rate and their was a strong smell of petrol in the fuselage so at 8000ft I gave the order to bale out. After the last man had jumped I realised that my own parachute had been knocked out of the escape hatch so I landed in a field South of Amiens.

      I got out of the plane uninjured and on hearing voices I left it alone and walked South for the rest of the night. In the morning I met an old man and a boy and they brought me food, clothing, and an identity card. I gave myself the identity of a butcher and got to La Falaise and then to a suburb of Paris where a woman put me up for the night, next day by train to Bordeaux and on the 28th to Toulouse. Here I got help and was taken and guided to the Spanish frontier over the Pyrenees but was arrested by Police in Spain and imprisoned in Barbastro for 11 days. An American and two English soldiers were also there and the American Consul came to get us out. On the 6th November I left Gibraltar and arrived at Whitchurch (near Bristol) 6 weeks after crash landing in France"

      Les Dowling went on to 76 Sqdn (See Web Site of Pauline Gashinski) at Holme on Spalding Moor in Yorkshire to fly Halifax Bombers and flew more than 30 Ops. He married Joan, a WAAF in Pay Accounts and when the War ended they returned to Australia and set up a Hotel business. He never piloted an aircraft again and his activities in the War years left him in poor health and he died recently leaving his widow Joan and two sons.

      THE OTHER CREW MEMBERS
      Sgt Todd evaded capture and returned to England from Gibraltar on the 20th December 1943.
      Sgt Anderson evaded capture and returned to England from Gibraltar on the 6th December 1943. He joined 51 Sqdn at Snaith in Yorkshire flying in Halifax Bombers and was KIA on a raid to Sterkrade-Holland on 19th August 1944. He has no known grave and is remembered at Runnymede.
      F/O Hawke was captured and became a POW.
      Sgt Page evaded capture and returned to England

      My thanks to Pauline Gashinski (Photo) and Joan Dowling who contributed to this page on raf-lichfield.co.uk/dowling.htm

  • Sources 
    1. [S1230] Pointon, Christopher, RAF Lichfield.

    2. [S1231] England, National Archives, http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14083711.