© 2009 454 & 459 RAAF Squadrons


454 RAAF Baltimore Squadron


Sergeant William Stamp (RAF)


Service Number : 1384398

W. Stamp - back row - 3rd from right


Baltimore Crew:


Sgt. W. Stamp - Wireless Operator/Air Gunner

Based Berka 111 Cyrenaica, Attack south of Melos.


*NZ 411990 Warrant Officer MacMurray - Pilot

25th Dec 1943


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A Christmas tale by W. Stamp


I have always loved Christmas Family Reunions, turkey, Christmas  pudding and a “Bevi of three”, but as each Christmas disappears back in the midst of time, it is difficult to distinguish one from another, they all follow the same pattern – but one that didn't was Christmas Day 1943.  I'll never forget that one!! 


At Berka 111  (near Benghasi) we were on standby that day for the two Baltimores that took off at first light to reach the Aegean.  I thought if these aircraft take off we'll be home for Christmas (home being The Sergeants' Mess).  They took off, I was delighted, but one hour later we were called out, as one was approaching with an unserviceable turret.  As we approached the Aegean between the east coast of Greece (109 Corner) two ME109s were waiting for us and both attacked.  I signalled back to Base  D-A "I'm being attacked by enemy aircraft" - then got down on the floor in the fuselage - I remember thinking  “I thought they didn't fight on Christmas Day” as out Pilot MacMurray turned into each attack – I fired those guns and I had a glimpse of the blue Mediterranean one minute and the sky the next.  The attacks lasted about 20 mins, we shot one down and damaged the other.  Did I get drunk that day!!!




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Berka III's "Residential Area" Note the tents widely dispersed and the "Desert Lily" with flag flying.


454 Baltimore Squadron RAAF Xmas Dinner 1943, Sergeant's Mess.

William STAMP