Personnel Index - Detail

First Names
Charles Woodbine
Pilot Officer
Service Number
Crew Position
Posting Details
Posted in and out 11/40


Records show he was posted in 3rd November 1940 from 149Sqn but there is no posting out date.

It is likely that he was posted immediately to another squadron as there are no records that this airmen flew operations with 49sqn.

F/L Parish was killed on 21st April 1943 whilst flying with 7Sqn and is buried in the Svino Churchyard, Norway.

Image courtesy of "Airmen"......a Danish website.


Extract is from Bill Chorley's Bomber Command Losses.

Extensive research by Colin Cripps (49Sqn Researcher) has uncovered the following information.

According to the 149Sqn historian he flew 16 'ops' with them, including four to Berlin, between 25th August 1940 and 1st November 1940.
On his way back from a raid he had an amazing escape.
He was the sole survivor of a crash over the North Sea off the Essex coast on September 8, 1940 when his Wellington bomber was struck by lightning.
The strike disabled both engines and its six-strong crew jumped from the plummeting aircraft.
P/O Parish was the only one to survive – after swimming an incredible seven miles to shore, using the stars to guide him.
Even more remarkably, P/O Parish took just a week to recover before returning to the fray with his squadron.

Between November 1940 and September 1942 there are no records that he flew with 49Sqn but others that indicate he was treated for frostbite in the RAF Ely Hospital and was then posted to another OTU possibly in Suffolk.
He returned to action in September 1942 when he was posted to 75Sqn.
On the 15th January 1943 he was again posted, this time to 7Sqn.
F/L Parish was posthumously awarded the DFC.

This is the citation from the London Gazette dated 5/11/43 with effect from 14/3/43.

Air Ministry, 5th November, 1943

The King has been graciously pleased to approve the following award in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty in the Execution of air operations: 

Distinguished Flying Cross.

Flight Lieutenant Charles Woodbine PARISH (81927), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No.- 7 Squadron (deceased).
Awarded with effect from14th March 1943.

We suspect that the main reason for the award was that it was granted after his fiftieth operation (he was killed on his fifty fourth operation).

The Researcher would like to thank Dave Cheetham (Archivist ) 7 Squadron Association, Alan Fraser (Historian) 149 Squadron Association and Kevin King (Chairman) 75 Squadron Association for their assistance.

F/L Parish is remembered on a plaque in St Bartholomew's Church, Burwash, East Sussex.

Information received courtesy of Richard Maddox:
During the Second World War Charles Parish lived in Rudyard Kipling's home..........'Batemans' at Burwash in Sussex.
The property is now owned by the National Trust.

His father donated a new bell to the local parish church, St. Bartholomew's Church, Burwash to memoralise his son.

It is inscribed: 'For memory I peal or toll of one beloved Christian soul'.