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151 Squadron Seat Type Parachute Harness

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    151 Squadron Seat Type Parachute Harness

    My other half has a seat type parachute harness with packs and Irvin parachute bag named to E.S.James 151 squadron,just wondered if anyone can shed any light on him?

    Your starter for 10,

    Flt Sgt, Listed as an observer rather than a Nav (EDIT - Because he was a RADAR Op.......doooh!)
    Last edited by Maple 01; 9th July 2018, 15:15.
    Krlewska Moc Powietrza nie jest lot cyrku.....


      Another quick poke of 'tinterweb - taken from someone's hard work on a spreadsheet

      Credited with at least 2.5 Do217s destroyed - sorry this is a bit messy

      12 17-Sep-04 Crew details from de Havilland Mosquito. Details of action from E/A details from Osprey 9. Location and time from , main source simply gives location as over the North Sea. Main source also gives a claim for a Do 217 E4 destroyed by DD606, flown by F/L Ritchie (sic) for this night, however this appears to be an error as MH can find no source to corroborate the entry. Mosquito l 2 29/30 29 1 July 1942 29/30-July-1942 151 DD669 F.II 1 Do 217 E4 Destroyed in the area of the Wash UK This was a night of full moon with good clear visibility. F/0 McRitchie with F/Sgt James were scrambled to investigate potential bandits. Flying at 14000 ft an A.I. contact was obtained which, on interception led to a visual on a Do 217 being obtained at a range of 2000ft. The Mosquito closed to a range of 450 ft and fired a burst as the enemy aircraft turned to port. This burst hit the port engine and set it on fire. Another burst from the cannons and machine guns set the starboard engine and fuselage on fire. The enemy aircraft went down in a spiral into the sea where it exploded on impact. Black crosses were seen under the Dornier wings, such was the excellent night visibility which existed. An object, probably a body, was seen to fall out during the dive. The Mosquito then set course for base. E/A Do 217 E-4 U5+GV of II./KG 2, flown by Oberfeldwebel Artur Hartwig. Patrol time 22.24 - 00.45, claim 0010. F/O A.I. McRitchie and F/Sgt. E.S. James OK 07 1942-07

      1896 17-Sep-04 Mosquito registration from "Mosquito." Latter source also gives a claim for a Do 217 E4 destroyed by DD606, flown by F/L Ritchie (sic) for this night, however this appears to be an error as MH can find no source to corroborate the entry. l 2 29/30 29 1 July 1942 29/30-July-1942 151 DD669 F.II 1 Do 217 E4 Damaged over the North Sea UK

      "After setting course for base, approaching the coast at 10000 ft, anti-aircraft fire was seen and an A.I. contact was obtained well below the aircraft. The Mosquito dropped to an altitude of 5000 ft but lost contact.

      Returning to base, P/O McRitchie was about to land when he noticed antiaircraft fire over Peterborough. He immediately climbed to an altitude of 10000 ft and with the aid of searchlights made an A.I. contact. They closed in and obtained a visual on an enemy aircraft at a range of about 2000 yds, but searchlights alternately illuminated the enemy and the Mosquito. On sighting the Mosquito, the enemy aircraft turned to port and dived to 6000 ft. P/O McRitchie tried to keep range with steep diving turns at up to 400 mph, but in the evasive action lost sight of the target.
      Again seeing another searchlight cone, F/O McRitchie repeated the type of interception be had just made and got an A.I. contact on an aircraft at a range of 12000 ft. The searchlights illuminated the target aircraft which turned out to be a bandit. He closed very quickly to a range of 400 ft when the enemy aircraft suddenly spotted the Mosquito and took severe evasive action. F/Sgt James identified the enemy aircraft as a Do 217. The Dornier gave return fire which hit the Mosquito in the mainplane. A two second burst of fire from the Mosquito hit the wing and starboard engine of the Dornier. Evasive action took the combat down to 1500 ft at which stage the Mosquito broke off the engagement because it had used up all its ammunition. Patrol time 22.24 - 00.45."
      F/O A.I. McRitchie and F/Sgt. E.S. James OK

      16 06-Aug-07 Second paragraph of details and date from, confirmed by de Havilland Mosquito. Second group of E/A details ("on loan … ") from Osprey 9. Second section of details from Time details from, which gives location as near Duxford. Full e/a crew from Julian Evenheart on the 12 O'Clock High Forum: Mosquito s 2 8/9 8 1 September 1942 8/9-September-1942 151 DD669 F.II 1 Do 217 E4 Destroyed at Orwell, Cambridgeshire UK "Squadron ORB says the Mosquito was camouflaged white, pale blue and a special manner devised by 151 Squadron. E/A Do 217 E4 5502 F8+AP of I/KG 2, crashed in flames on Rectory Farm, Orwell, Cambridgeshire.

      F/O Mc Ritchie and F/Sgt James were on routine patrol and orbiting a searchlight beacon at an altitude of 12000 ft when they were given ""smack"" instructions (proceed on a specified vector). They saw coned searchlights about 15 miles away which doused as the Mosquito approached. The Mosquito proceeded in the direction of more coned searchlights beams to the south and saw a flare dropped. An A.I. contact was obtained from the vicinity of the cone at 10000 ft. The blip on the cathode ray tube spread, indicating that bombs were probably leaving the target aircraft. Several other blips appeared on the cathode ray tubes and spread down to 2000ft range. Contact was lost. Bombs were seen exploding on the ground and a few seconds later another A.I. contact was obtained which, following a successful interception, resulted in a visual being obtained on a Do 217 at a range of about 1500 ft and at an altitude of 6-7000 ft. The enemy aircraft was taking severe evasive action when the Mosquito opened fire at a range of about 300 yds. Strikes were seen On the fuselage which started to glow dull red. The enemy aircraft did not appear to have seen the Mosquito. A further burst hit the target in the port engine which was set on fire. A third burst hit the wing. The enemy aircraft went down and crashed with a blinding flash at Orwell near Royston.
      E/A F8+AP (on loan to 3./KG 2), pilot Feldwebel Alfred Witting.

      During the evening of September 8, 1942, a Dornier Do217., unit codes FB+AP, left its base at Gilze-Rijen in Holland and set course for England. The machine, originally belonging to KG40, was operated at this time by 1./KG2.

      At approximately 11:40 p.m., the Dornier dropped flares, high explosives and incendiary bombs on R.A.F. Station Bourn and University Farm, Girton, Cambridgeshire. By firing its guns the Dornier revealed its position to a patrolling Mosquito flown by Flight Lieutenant Ritchie from 151 Squadron. Making an abrupt turn, Lt. Ritchie pursued the lone Dornier. The Mosquito opened fire and quickly set the German bomber ablaze. Loosing altitude fast, the burning Dornier made a wide arc, inverted itself and swept down over the village of Orwell. Passing over Cambridge Road and narrowly missing a row of bungalows, the bomber flicked over to its correct attitude before exploding on impact. The crew perished in the crash. Werk No.0525-502.
      Patrol time 22.37-00.03, claim 23.55.

      Feldwebel A. Witting, Oberfeldwebel F. Heusser, Obergefreiter A.Hoppe, Unteroffizier A. Eysoldt all KIA."
      F/O A.I. McRitchie and F/Sgt. E.S. James OK
      Last edited by Maple 01; 9th July 2018, 13:21.
      Krlewska Moc Powietrza nie jest lot cyrku.....


        DD606 NFII 151/307/264/51OTU SOC 9.10.46
        DD669 NFII 151/157/410 Collided with DZ259 during practice interception Nazeing Essex 26.11.43


        Lost in a mid-air collision in 1943 while serving with 410 Squadron. Pilot and Nav killed (both RCAF)
        Krlewska Moc Powietrza nie jest lot cyrku.....


          F/O A.I. McRitchie and F/Sgt. E.S. James are not listed in the CWGC website

          Page 136 for the story of one of the intercepts - Taken from

          There's also more about him on page 147 but google books won't let me see it
          Krlewska Moc Powietrza nie jest lot cyrku.....


            Ah, found the missing page quoted elsewhere:

            "Three minutes later Fg Off Alex McRitchie and Flt Sgt E James (RO) followed Bodien
            down Wittering’s runway to man S/L box 20 under Duxford sector control. This is their
            account of the sortie.
            Pilot orbited beacon at 12,000 feet. Given ‘smack’ and saw S/L beams fifteen miles away,
            which doused as Mosquito approached. Then proceeded in direction of more beams to the
            south and saw a flare dropped. Duxford control ordered pilot to return to beacon but he
            obtained permission to continue as he felt sure hostile aircraft were near. He was then
            warned of presence of a bogey. A blip was obtained at 10,000 feet altitude at maximum
            range. The blip spread and pilot assumed this indicated bombs dropping. Several other
            blips followed which came down to 650 yards range and spread as in the first case but
            contact was lost again. Bombs were seen exploding and RO was warned by control of
            possibilities of a contact. A few seconds later an AI blip was obtained at maximum range
            and a visual of exhausts was obtained when it was at 500 yards range. Mosquito was at
            7,000 feet altitude with the E/A, confirmed through binoculars by the RO as a Dornier
            Do217, jinking violently at 200mph, 500 feet above and in front, heading north. Opened
            fire from astern at 300 yards with a four-second burst that hit the fuselage and a fire broke
            out. E/A began diving turns and fired back ineffectually but failed to avoid a three-second
            burst that set the port engine on fire. Another three-second burst from 300 yards hit the
            wings and the bomber dived into the ground, exploding in a vivid white flash.
            The Dornier F8+AP from II/KG40 crashed at 23.35 hours at Rectory Farm, Orwell near
            Cambridge and its crew of Fw A Witting, Ofw F Heusser, Ogefr A Hoppe and Uffz A
            Eysoldt all died in the engagement. This was McRitchie’s last combat victory and
            promoted to Flt Lt, he was posted away on non-operational duties in April 1943.

            I'm guessing that if Alex McRitchie was tourex then so would Flt Sgt E James.
            Alex later took part in the Amiens prison raid during which he was shot down and made POW. He was a Sqn Ldr at this point.

            Last edited by Maple 01; 9th July 2018, 15:18.
            Krlewska Moc Powietrza nie jest lot cyrku.....


              Fishpond, it would be nice to see some pictures of the equipment please



                Pages from the McRitchie Log book for the 1942 events.

                Regards Mike
                Attached Files


                  Thank you so much to all !!! Amazing responses!!! I will re-attempt putting some photos of parachute harness and Irvin label of chute bag which details F/O James's name and squadron.Wish harness was mine and not my other half,Jacquie's! May have to alter that situation! My own Great Uncle was killed with 630sq Lancaster ME737 by a Schrage Musik equipped Me110,hence user name "Fishpond" which their Lanc was equipped with.All three of Jacquies Uncles were pilots, Douglas Chopping 50sq DFC,bar and AFC,Will Chopping Dakotas and Stanley Chopping 51sq unfortunately killed in March 1945.Got to take her 95 year old father to hospital appointment shortly so will attempt photos later.Thanks again to all.Fishpond.(Laurence)


                    'Alex McRitchie' is Flying Officer Alexander Ian McRitchie (89763) RAFVR (AUS) DFC

                    Trying to ID ES James
                    Weather - Fair with cloudy patches, clear by early evening.


                      I think E S JAMES

                      Is 1378466 Eric Sydney JAMES

                      Who according to London Gazette 3 NOVEMBER, 1942

                      Was promoted to P/0 from Flt. Sgts.

                      1378466 Eric Sydney JAMES (131631). 3rd Aug. 1942

                      Especially as he is now listed as P/O James

                      Feb 1943

                      Weather - Fair with cloudy patches, clear by early evening.


                        Hopefully pictures of 151 squadron parachute harness ! JPEG photos will not upload,maybe to big?? So e-mail for photos only way I can think of.All the best,Fishpond.


                          Hi Jules,new to this and have failed miserabely in attempts to post picture of harness,will try to attach my e-mail to this message so that can send you pictures that way,all the best,Fishpond.(Laurence)