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Beveridge, Charles

Date of birth:
June 7th, 1915
Date of death:
December 18th, 1984
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Servive Number 522807.

Charles Beveridge enlisted into the RAF as an aircraft-hand in August 1935, later re-mustering for training as an Air Gunner at the Air Gunnery School at Manbury on the Isle of Man. At the end of the course he was re-classified as a Leading Aircraftsman Air Gunner. He was posted to 219 Squadron at Catterick on 1st August 1940 flying the Bristol Blenheim 1F night fighter.
On Tuesday 6th August they took off from Leeming at 2255hrs in Blenheim L8724 on a searchlight co-operation flight, during which they dived low over a river. During this manoeuvre P/O Carriere flew into high tension cables and crashed into the river, completely wrecking the aircraft. Both Beveridge and Carriere suffered facial injuries, Carriere being admitted to hospital whilst Beveridge returned to the squadron. Beveridge did not fly again until Wednesday 4th September 1940
Because the new Beaufighter had greater speed and heavier armament with with air to air ‘radar’ and only needed a two man crew the crew, Beveridge included, were offered the choice of retraining as radar operators and staying with the squadron, or keeping their Air Gunner status and being transferred to another squadron.
Beveridge decided to stay with the squadron. This was a whole new world for Beveridge; from now on he would be peering into a small screen located in the aircraft, having been vectored into a position by the Ground Control Interception. He would then control the attack by using his instruments, bringing the pilot into visual contact behind the target in order to shoot at the enemy aircraft.
Beveridge flew fourteen sorties in the Battle of Britain with 219, followed by another forty flights (including exercises) during 1941.
During 1942, Beveridge spent the whole of his time in the UK retraining as a Flight Engineer at No. 1 School of Technical Training at RAF Halton and then on to St Athans in Wales for various courses and check flights. Obviously staring into ‘the box’ was not what he wanted to do for the rest of the war!
After this training, he found himself posted to 511 Squadron (Transport Command) flying in Liberators and Avro York aircraft, for the purpose of maintaining a transport service between England and Gibraltar, later expanding on a service to Landing Ground No 224 in Egypt. Another route, from Lyneham to Malta was established, and very soon the squadron became known for providing VIP transport after Churchill and the Chiefs of Staff were flown to Casablanca for a conference in January
On the 12th November, Beveridge was to collect ACM Sir Arthur Tedder (C in C RAF Middle East and Mediterranean). This was for a conference taking place on the 25th in Cairo with Churchill, Roosevelt, and Chiang Kai-shek (Operation Sextant). Later flights included VIPS as General Sir Alan Brooke (Chief Imperial Staff /advisor to Churchill), Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham ( C in C Mediterranean Fleet) and Rt Hon Sir Anthony Eden (Leader of House of Commons and confidante of Churchill). During 1944 until the end of the war, Beveridge flew with 24 Squadron under 44 Group, still engaged on ‘Special Flights’, transporting VIP’s in York aircraft.
He retired from the RAF on the 1st September 1951. He was re-appointed and given an extended commission until a year later when he was given his demob suit along with clothing and food coupons, ready for civilian life.

Promotions:
August 22, 1943: Flight Sergeant
Decmber 31 1943: Warrant Officer
February 22, 1944: Flight Officer
August 22, 1945: Flight Lieutenant

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flight Sergeant (now Warrant Officer)
Unit:
No. 24 (Commonwealth) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
January 1st, 1944
Citation:
"This airman has shown exceptional skill as a Flight Engineer. He was employed in that capacity on one of the first direct flights from the U.K. to Egypt, and from Egypt to the U.K. His devotion to duty, both during flights, and on the ground at overseas staging posts where he had to depend on himself and his resources, has set a fine example."

During World War Two, a total of 259 AFM’s were awarded, with only two participants in the Battle of Britain being awarded this decoration, Beveridge being one of them.

Air Force Medal
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flying Officer
Unit:
No. 24 (Commonwealth) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
September 1st, 1944
King's/Queen's Commendation for valuable service in the air
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)

With "NORTH-AFRICA 1942-43" clasp.
Africa Star
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)

With "BATTLE OF BRITAIN" clasp.
1939-1945 Star

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