Further to yesterday’s post, which included photos of Dai Thomas and Sid Parlato, here is a page in Dai Thomas’s logbook, made when he and his pilot, Sid Parlato, were at 139 Squadron at Wyton during September to November 1943.
Mosquitoes relied on their speed and agility to get them out of trouble, but on 26 September the crew was unlucky. The first entry in the logbook page below tells of the aircraft being hit by flak, and the pilot (Sid Parlato) being injured. The corresponding entry in Sid Parlato’s logbook is believed to read: ‘Moderate flak. Aircraft hit including self.’
The deadpan factual nature of the comments is very striking. However, it is clear from the gap in the crew’s operations afterwards that something far from trivial had happened.
Looking up 627 Squadron’s ORB, we find a brief description of the incident, including the detail that Sid Parlato had been hit just above the left knee and that there had been considerable damage to the aircraft:
Perhaps on the same principle as you need to get back on a horse after a fall, Dai Thomas was flying the following day on an NFT (Night Flying Test) with a different pilot. Apart from one further NFT, his logbook does not show him flying again until 16 October, and then only on NFTs and Gee training, also with different pilots.
Finally, Sid Parlato rejoined him on 22 October, close to a month after the Homborn flight in which he had been injured. They flew an NFT together and then an operation against Frankfurt, after which the normal pattern of ops resumed.
Enormous courage and a strong sense of duty were what it took to be Pathfinders.
Logbook images courtesy of Michael Thomas.