A Fine Collection of Medals Relating to Rhodesia and South Africa

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Date of Auction: 10th May 2017

Sold for £2,400

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,600

A good Second War ‘Squadron Gunnery Leader’s’ D.F.C. group of seven awarded to Maryland, Baltimore and Marauders Air Gunner, Captain C. Te Water-Pohl, 21 Squadron, South African Air Force, who flew in at least 108 operational sorties over the Western Desert, Italy and Yugoslavia, and shared in the destruction of a Me 109 over Benina Aerodrome, 19 December 1941

Distinguished Flying Cross, G.VI.R., reverse officially dated ‘1944’; 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Italy Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; Africa Service Medal, with Protea Emblem (loose), campaign awards all officially impressed ‘102177 C. Te Water-Pohl’, generally nearly very fine or better (7) £2000-2600

Footnote

D.F.C. London Gazette 14 November 1944:

‘This Air Gunner’s personal example of courage and determination and his buoyancy of spirit throughout two lengthy tours of operations in which he flew on over a hundred sorties against the enemy was a major factor in keeping up the morale of his comrades especially in times of intensive operations when fatigue and stress began to tell on everyone and casualties were being sustained.

He has had several harassing experiences in the air and the gallantry and coolness which he never failed to display was in the best tradition of the Service. His ability and leadership was demonstrated by the great success with which he, as Leading Gunner of his Squadron, converted the total strength of Squadron Gunners onto new equipment in the field. He made up for the lack of normal instructional facilities by his own tireless energy and conscientious and unselfish application and it is to this that the standard of efficiency obtained by the gunners is due.

Remarks by Officer Commanding Wing:

Capt. Te. Water-Pohl has now completed two operational tours, totalling 108 sorties. Throughout the whole of this second tour he filled the role of Squadron Gunner Leader. His significant personal example of courage and determination has been an inspiration to the other gunners and great credit is due to him for his leadership ability and energy in converting in the field the Squadron Gunners to new equipment. His conduct in the face of the enemy over a long period earns him a strong recommendation for the award of the D.F.C.’


Carlisle Te Water-Pohl was a native of Pretoria, South Africa, and he was employed as a Clerk with Iscor prior to the war. He enlisted in the South African Air Force in May 1940, and carried out initial training as an Air Gunner at 41 Air School, East London, South Africa. After further training in Egypt, Water-Pohl was posted for operational flying to 21 (Bomber) Squadron, S.A.A.F. (Marylands and Baltimores), in November 1941. He flew in 33 operational sorties with the squadron over the Western Desert, between November 1941 - January 1943. These included, flying in Marylands, as recorded by his Log Book: 27 November 1941, ‘M.T. at Trigh. Capuzzo. Cloud base 3000! Bombed at 2500ft 8/250lb. Near Misses. Light A/A over target. Severe A/A experienced 12 mls from target. Port wing tip ht & stbd side of gunners cockpit. Radio hit & put out of action. Self suffered slight burn under left armpit from A/A shrapnel’; 9 December 1941, ‘A/C & buildings on Derna ‘drome. Height 10,000’ 8/250lb Direct hits on 2 twin engined A/C & near misses on others. Light inaccurate A/A over Derna & target. Attacked by 2 G/50s & 3 ME.109e Fighters over Martuba. Were attacked 4 times from stbd quarter. Fired 4 pans & consider hit enemy on a few occasions. One Me 109e was seen to crash. No damage suffered to our formation’; 10 December 1941, ‘Hotel at Cyrene, used as Senior German Officers Mess. Ht. 2,000’ 8/250lb. 1 stick 4 near misses on hotel. 1 stick 4 on road’, and 19 December 1941, ‘A/C on Benina ‘drome. Land at Sidi Rezegh on return. (Returned to 76 as passenger with Lt. Rich.) Ht. 17,000’ 8/250lb. Near misses on A/C. Attacked by 4 Me. 109f, one of which was shot down by self & bottom gunner (Moir). It made a stbd beam to quarter attack. I consider I “winged” the pilot as the enemy A/C dropped one wing - flew underneath us, where it presented a sitting target to my bottom gunner, who emptied a complete magazine into it. It was seen to hit the deck. It was confirmed & has been officially credited to us. Our stbd engine was hit by cannon shell on last attack by 2 remaining fighters (1 shot down by rest of formation). 1 bullet passed thro A/G’s cockpit severing my oxygen tube.’

The squadron withdrew to the Nile Delta in January 1942, and came off operations to convert to Baltimores. Water-Pohl, having advanced to Second Lieutenant, recommenced his operational tour with the squadron in October of the same year. They were immediately heavily engaged in operations supporting troops at the battle of El Alamein, including 24 October 1942, ‘Close support raid on 15th Panzer Div on Alamein line. 6/250lb. Led by 12 Bostons of 24 Sqdn. One 24 Sqdn Observer killed by A/A Ht. 7,000’ Fighter Escort.’ (Ibid)

Water-Pohl, having completed his first tour, was posted to No. 70 O.T.U. in February 1943. He undertook a Gunnery Leaders Course at (M.E.) Central Gunnery School, Ballah, before returning to operational flying with 21 Squadron in December 1943. The squadron was now based in Tortorella, Foggia, Italy, and he flew with them to targets over the mainland and in support of partisans in Yugoslavia. He carried out a further 75 operational sorties (the vast majority flown as Gunnery Leader and with the squadron’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel A. C. Jandrell) between December 1943 - September 1944 (in Marauders from July). These included: 28 February 1944, ‘Bomb Chieti Rly Station. Target hit successfully. Intense Ack Ack. Direct hit by Ack Ack shell (unexploded) thro’ our kite. Shell passed thro’ leading edge of centre section of wing thro’ the fuse & out thro’ the top 6” from Colonel’s back. Landed OK at base’; 3 March 1944, ‘Bomb Gun Emplacements N. of Anzio. Results unobserved due to 9- 10/10th cloud cover over the target area. Intense & accurate heavy Ack Ack over target area. 8 out 12A/C holed’; 28 May 1944, ‘Livno Town, Yugoslavia. Briefed to cause road block, chaos in town. Rendezvous with 4 Spits at Island of Vis. Excellent bombing & was there chaos in that town!’; 1 June 1944, ‘Enemy concentration near L. Albano [Rome, and three days before its capture] 14,000’ Furious Battle raging on deck. Intense heavy Ack Ack... 2nd box ‘copped’ more than we did. Several A/C holed. Colonel’s evasive action ‘beautiful.’ Lt Mackay shot down but managed to force land on our side. Etmyr badly hurt. “Little Mac” back in Sqd now. Good show! Good bombing’ and 4 September 1944, ‘Gun pos’ns W. of Rimini 4 A/C 6/500 & 4/250 Beautiful Bombing Mod Flak & accurate. A/C holed engine mounting being damaged’ (Ibid)

Water-Pohl advanced to Captain, and was discharged 20 November 1945.

On his W.W. 2 medals is a Protea Leaf emblem which indicates a commendation - this not confirmed.

Sold with riband bar; R.A.F. Observer’s and Air Gunner’s Flying Log Book (20 October 1941 - 5 September 1944); Campaign Medal Enclosure; Ex-Volunteer’s Identity Book and Release Certificate.