Flying Officer Ernie Pedrazzini - 431 Squadron  
   

Flying Officer Ernie Pedrazzini  - RAFVR 

 

 

 Flying Officer Ernie "Pedro" Pedrazzini RAFVR had an Italian father, John Battista and an English mother, Emma Harriet and was born in Lambeth, London in 1923. He had two brothers, James and Ricardo. He received his call up papers in 1942 when he was working at a razor blade manufacturer, Gillette Industries. He wanted to follow his elder brother, Ricardo into the RAF so volunteered for P.N.B. (Pilot/Navigator/Bomb Aimer training). 

 Although he had passed all the intelligence and adaptability exams, he was turned down due to an alleged and untrue eyesight defect. This was due to his father being classed as an enemy alien despite living in England for forty years. Even though  not interned, his father was forbidden a car, bicycle and wireless set and restricted to a five mile radius of his home, having to report to the police station, at first every day and then once a month. His mother, though English was under the same restrictions and was dismissed from the ARP. 

 Ernie’s brother was then dismissed from the RAF when Italy declared war but later was allowed to rejoin only, sadly, to be killed in August 1944 in 635 Pathfinder Squadron. Ernie was given the choice to become a Flight Mechanic, (ground crew), and joined and trained at Cosford before volunteering for aircrew as a Flight Engineer. He went on to train at St.Athans in Wales and after passing out as a Sergeant was sent to 1664 HCU at Dishforth for flying training. He joined Flying Officer Hagar and his crew as their Flight Engineer and was posted to a cold and miserable Croft. After further training, the crew commenced their first tour on the 27th August 1944. Their total operational trips were 14 on Halifax’s and 17 in Canadian Lancaster’s. On the 1st November 1944 on a raid to Oberhausen,,the crew flew the brand new" S", for Sugar Lancaster "Solid Sender". They were at the front of the main stream and therefore ahead of the Window Cover and were riddled by flak to the annoyance of the ground crew. Ernie remembers the pilot, Don Hagar was known as "press ahead Hagar" for evermore! This mistake was not repeated. The crew flew this particular Lancaster on nine ops.

 Flying Officer Pedrazzini and his crew went their separate ways after the end of their tour. Flying Officer Hagar went on to fly Spitfires and the rest of the crew returned to Canada. Flying Officer Pedrazzini was posted to Riccal to train on Yorks for Transport Command, one of the longest courses he had been on. He was posted to Holmsley South flying to India with troops and VIP’s.In 1946 he was a EVT Officer at Oakington in Cambridge and opted for de mobbing.

 The crew's operational log:

Date

Target

Aircaft

Serial #

Code

Time Up

Time Down

Notes

27/8/1944

Mimoyecques

Halifax Mk BIII

LW576

SE-F

1810

2152

V1 Construction Depot-Daylight

31/8/1944

Isle-De-Cezembre

Halifax Mk BIII

LK828

SE-S

1015

1544

Fortified Island, Height 3,000 feet-Daylight

09/09/44

Le Havre

Halifax Mk BIII

MZ375

SE-U

0630

1022

Scrubbed at target-Daylight

09/10/44

Le Havre

Halifax Mk BIII

MZ861

SE-Q

1406

1846

Troop concentration-Daylight

12/09/44

Wanne-Eickel

Halifax Mk BIII

MZ375

SE-U

1124

1630

Oil Depot (holed by flak)-Daylight

25/9/1944

Calais

Halifax Mk BIII

MZ375

SE-U

0946

1428

troops and guns-Daylight

26/9/1944

Calais

Halifax Mk BIII

MZ861

SE-Q

0914

1309

Gun Emplacements-Daylight

27/9/1944

Sterkrade

Halifax Mk BIII

LK828

SE-S

0724

1332

Oil facilities

28/9/1944

Cap Griz Nez

Halifax Mk BIII

MZ375

SE-U

1712

2150

Heavy gun emplacements-Daylight

04/10/44

Bergen,Norway

Halifax Mk BIII

NR123

SE-V

0517

1158

Submarine pens (light flak)-Daylight

06/10/44

Dortmund

Halifax Mk BIII

NR123

SE-V

1606

2250

Residential Section

09/10/44

Bochum

Halifax Mk BIII

NP999

SE-W

1725

2305

Residential Section

14/10/1944

Duisberg

Halifax Mk BIII

MZ861

SE-Q

0600

1204

Residential Section - Daylinght

14/10/1944

Duisberg

Halifax Mk BIII

MZ375

SE-U

2205

0410

Residential Section

01/11/44

Oberhausen

Lancaster Mk.X

KB801

SE-S

1741

0002

First Lanc op-Good Do!-

02/11/44

Dusseldorf

Lancaster Mk.X

KB802

SE-V

1610

2229

moderate flak

16/11/1944

Julich

Lancaster Mk.X

KB802

SE-V

1302

1827

Army support troop conc

18/11/1944

Munster

Lancaster Mk.X

KB802

SE-V

1226

1831

Oil refineries-Fighters!!-

21/11/1944

Castrop Rauxel

Lancaster Mk.X

KB796

SE-R

1538

2143

Army Support

27/11/1944

Nuess-Dusseldorf

Lancaster Mk.X

KB801

SE-S

1631

2243

German Defence weakening

30/11/1944

Duisberg

Lancaster Mk.X

KB801

SE-S

1623

2243

10/10 Cloud Marshalling Yards-

02/12/44

Hagen

Lancaster Mk.X

KB801

SE-S

1732

0059

10/10 Cloud “G” Bombing

04/12/44

Karlsruhe

Lancaster Mk.X

KB801

SE-S

1629

2349

10/10 Cloud “G” Bombing

05/12/44

Soest

Lancaster Mk.X

KB821

SE-P

1737

0056

Visual Bombing,6/10 cloud

06/12/44

Osnabruck

Lancaster Mk.X

KB810

SE-H

1601

2223

10/10 Cloud “G” Bombing

24/12/1944

Dusseldorf

Lancaster Mk.X

KB822

SE-W

1134

1730

(Airfield)-Heavy flak-Daylight

29/12/1944

Scholven

Lancaster Mk.X

KB811

SE-T

1510

2155

10/10 Cloud Marker Bombing

02/01/45

Nuremberg

Lancaster Mk.X

KB802

SE-V

1443

0021

Defences overwhelmed

07/01/45

Munich

Lancaster Mk.X

KB809

SE-Q

1814

0308

Weak defences.H2S bombing

14/1/1945

Merseburg

Lancaster Mk.X

KB811

SE-T

1841

0402

PFF Support H2S Bombing

01/28/45

Stuttgart

Lancaster Mk.X

KB801

SE-S

1651

0021

Marshalling Yards

01/30/45

Screened from operations

 

Ernie is now retired and living in East Yorkshire.

 

 

 
 

 Photo’s and information  courtesy of Ernie Pedrazzini, research by Linda Ibrom