Dennis Terry Biography

BTerryRTerryDv1.pdf
BTerryRTerryDv2.pdf

Title

Dennis Terry Biography

Description

A brief biography of Dennis featuring photographs described in the collection. It covers his training and service as a fitter in the UK and Canada. He maintained a Lancaster that completed 124 ops and the aircraft was, unusually, awarded a DSO.
A second document contains the text only of the biography.

Language

Format

Five printed sheets

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Contributor

Identifier

BTerryRTerryDv1, BTerryRTerryDv2

Transcription

Dennis Terry.

Managed to join the RAF in 1939 after multiple attempts due to his protected trade as a tool maker. Initial training was undertaken at Hendnesford camp near to the site of the current raceway and on completion attained Airframe Fitter status (fix everything relating to the airframe except engines, munitions and instruments).

His first posting was in 1940 to 10sqdn RAF Leeming where he worked on Whitley bombers. He often recalled how the airfield was 'beaten up' by spitfire's from nearby RAF Catterick with some flying so low between the hangars. While at 10 sqdn in 1941, he was sent along with other tradesmen and a replacement tail section by road to repair a stranded Whitley bomber and return it to serviceable flight. Dennis recalls "On arrival at RAF Waddington we were issued with "Temporary Meal Permit" for the airmen's mess to use once the job was complete. While waiting for the aircrew to fly us back to RAF Leeming I decided to have a look around the hangars, I looked into one hangar via a side door and noticed a yellow marked four engine bomber with a large "P" roundel on it, I was then approached by an armed guard who promptly told me to leave as this hangar was "Out of Bounds". I realised later when the Lancaster entered RAF service that this aircraft was in fact the Lancaster bomber protype."

[pass] [meal permit]

Dennis visited RAF Waddington in 2008 and returned the meal permit some 67 years late. The pass is now currated in the base museum.

In 1942 he was posted to Canada to the SFTS at RCAF Swift Current servicing Harvards and Oxfords.

On returning from Canada in 1944 he was then posted to 166sqdn RAF Kirmington as fitter 2A status and made NCO, responsible for the complete airframe servicing of 'C' Flight.

Lancaster 'V' for Victor
Lancaster 'U' for Uncle
Lancaster 'R' for Roger

'R' for Roger was replaced after he arrived with 'R2' Roger Squared.

As far as Dennis was concerned Lancaster ME746-R2 was his aircraft and he made sure that is [sic] was kept in top condition.

In early 1945 R2 received the DSO after completing 100 operation and Dennis can be seen holding the DSO with F/O Musselman DFC representing both the flight and ground crew's effort to achieve such a milestone.

[page break]

[photograph]
The effort of the ground crews did not go un-noticed with a letter from Wing Commander Vivian of 166 sqdn congratulating them all on such an achievement (shown far right).

[underlined] No. 166 SQUADRON [/underlined]

[underlined] LANCASTER AIRCRAFT ME.746 – R2 [/underlined]

This aircraft has now completed 100 sorties against the enemy, in a wide variety of attacks, ranging from targets in enemy occupied territory to the deepest penetrations made into Germany itself.

Throughout their sorties this aircraft has carried many gallant and courageous crews through the fiercest opposition which the enemy has been able to offer, and has never failed to bring them safely home.

The magnificent record established by 'R2' has only been made possible by the devotion to duty of the ground crews. Called upon to service their charge at all hours of the day and night, they have set a standard of serviceability which it will be difficult to equal. The successful completion of 100 sorties by the aircraft bears striking testimony to their skill.

In recognition of the fine achievement of [missing letters]he fine achievement of this aircraft , and as a tribute from the aircrew of the Squadron to the ground crew whose efforts have met with such remarkable success, the aircraft is awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

11.3.45.

[indecipherable words]
[missing letters]ing Commander, Commanding
166 Squadron. R.A.F.

[page break]

At some time during 1945-6, R2 was sent to Boscombe Down for flight evaluation after it had completed 100 ops and the aircraft received a glowing service report with no faults being found.

After this R2 was one of 166sqdn's 'show off' aircraft and everything was kept in top condition.

In total R2 completed 124 ops and everyone was hand painted by Dennis, R2 was eventually scrapped in 1946

[photograph]
R2 shown at the completion of operations with P/O Todd – Dennis is 2nd left.

Dennis was asked to stay on in the RAF with improved rank and move to RAF Binbrook, but he chose to leave after fulfilling his duty.

After leaving he received a Commendation from Bomber Command for Good Service which is signed by N.J Bottomly Vice Chief of Staff, he did not believe that many of these were issued to ground staff.

[page break]

[R.A.F. crest]

Headquarters. Bomber Command
Corporal D. G. Terry.
Your name has been brought to my notice
I am authorised to signify, by the award to you of this Certificate, my appreciation of the good service which you have rendered.

I have given instructions that a note of your devotion to duty shall be made in your Record of Service.

NJ Bottomly. Air Marshal.
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief

Date 2 April 1946

Dennis passed away peacefully on 6th September 2011 aged 92 years.

He was always passionate about the work that was undertaken by ground crews during WW2 and was always very proud of his achievements.

[page break]

Dennis Terry.

Airframe fitter 2A status status (fix everything relating to the airframe except engines, munitions and instruments)

First posting was in 1940 to 10sqdn RAF Leeming where he worked on Whitleys.

Incidently, while at 10 sqdn he and a team of fitters were taken to RAF Waddington to repair a battle damaged Whitley, where he found one of the first prototype Lancaster’s in one of the hangers [sic], all he can remember is that it had a letter ‘P’ in yellow on the side before he was asked to leave the hangar.

In 1942 he was posted to Canada to the SFTS servicing Harvards and Oxfords.

On returning from Canada in 1944 he was then posted to 166sqdn RAF Kirmington and made NCO, responsible for the complete airframe servicing of 'C' Flight.

'V' for Victor
'U' for Uncle
'R' for Roger

'R' for Roger was replaced shortly after he arrived with 'R2' Roger Squared.

As far as he was concerned R2 was his aircraft and he made sure that is [sic] was kept in top condition. At some time during 1945-6, R2 was sent down to Boscome Down for flight evaluation after it had completed 100 ops and the aircraft received a glowing service report with no faults being found.

After this R2 was one of 166sqdn's show off aircraft and everything was kept in top condition.

In total R2 completed 124 ops and everyone was hand painted by Dennis, R2 was eventually scrapped in 1947.

Dennis was asked to stay on in the RAF with improved rank and move to RAF Binbrook, but he chose to leave.

After leaving he received a Commendation from Bomber Command for Service and Devotion to Duty which is signed by N.J Bottomly Vice Chief of Staff, he does not believe that many of these were issued to ground staff.

I hope that this information is of use and that you will be able to use the photgraphs [sic] I have sent previously on your web site as it would mean a great deal to him.

Collection

Citation

“Dennis Terry Biography,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 21, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/34460.

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