454 and 459 RAAF Squadrons
Sergeant William STAMP
454 RAAF Squadron
Service No. 1384398 (RAF)
Date of Birth: Unknown
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Enlistment: Unknown
Date of Discharge: Unknown
NZ 411990 Warrant Officer MacMurray - Pilot
Sgt. W. Stamp - Wireless Operator/Air Gunner
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 our 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!!!
W. Stamp - back row - 3rd from right
454 Baltimore Squadron RAAF Xmas Dinner 1943, Sergeant's Mess.