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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. B W Mesner


Mesner's parents were Charles and Adelaide Aice Meiszner (nee Pritchard). Mr Meiszner is shown in the 1911 census as a 'Motor Cab Driver' and in the 1939 register as a 'Taxi Cab Driver'. The couple had five children.

The first four received their parents’ surname but Bertram William, the youngest, born in 1911 in East Ham, then in Essex, was registered with the surname 'Mesner'.

Mesner joined the RAFVR in March 1939 as an Airman u/t Observer. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training and probably joined 248 Squadron at Gosport in late March 1940. He was attached to No. 1 (C) OTU Silloth on 31st May and he rejoined 248 on 29th June.



He was flying in Blenheim IVf L9451 WR-V which failed to return from a reconnaissance of the Feje Island/Stadlandet peninsula area of the Norwegian coast on 13th September 1940.

It was claimed by Fw. Dyck of 4./JG77. The body of the pilot, Sgt. WJ Garfield, was recovered and buried in Mollendal Cemetery, Bergen.

Mesner and Sgt. A Kay were not found.

He was 29 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 17.

His home address at the time was 63 Prestbury Road, Forest Gate, Essex and administration was granted to his widow, Jessie (nee Brenchley). When Charles Meiszner died in 1955 he was still using that name. Administration was granted to Charles Henry Mesner, a civil servant and presumably a relative, but not one of Mr Meiszner's children, according to the names they received at birth.

Norwegian Police Officer Magnus Ulland submitted this report:

Coast Pilot Gunnar Forre was on board the SS Union at 10:20hrs. Mr. Forre saw an English aircraft and two German fighters. This was between Holmengra and the lighthouse Utvaer. The English aircraft tried to climb but was attacked by the two German fighters who came in from both sides, the English aircraft being shot down. The aircraft sank at once and no one was saved. No wreckage appeared on the surface and in addition there was poor visibility.



Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner


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