EDWIN MICHAEL BRITTON  (2)

Extended Description
E042 Edwin Michael BRITTON, Lieutenant Commander at Royal Naval Air Station at HMS Falcon. Died 21st June 1946 aged 26 at Malta - Lieutenant Commander Edwin Michael Britton RN (A) discharged dead. Suffered multiple burns and injuries as the result of an aircraft accident at the Royal Naval Air Station at HMS FALCON on 3 June 1946. Son of Brigadier Edwin John James Britton CBE, DSO of the Royal Army Service Corps and Mary, nee Erwin. Husband of Pamela A.B. Britton, nee Jeans of Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.

London Gazette dated 2 January 1945. Admiralty - For good services in air operations against the enemy in the Far East: Mentioned in Despatches. Acting Lieutenant-Commander Edwin Michael Britton, Royal Navy (Weybridge).

At rest in Capuccini (Kalkara) Naval Cemetery, Malta Plot E Grave 42

Some more information obtained from Noonan's auction house, London who sold E.M Brittons medals in March 2020. (photo of actual medals)

britton medals.jpg

A Fine Second War Fleet Air Arm Barracuda pilot’s campaign group of seven awarded to Lieutenant Commander E. M. Britton, Fleet Air Arm and Royal Navy, who was twice mentioned in despatches - firstly for leading anti-shipping operations with 828 Squadron out of Ta Kali, Malta in 1943, during which time he scored a direct hit on an Italian destroyer; and secondly as a Wing Leader during the strike on Emmahaven Harbour, Sumatra, 26 August 1944, when he once again secured a direct hit on a motor vessel.

After commanding the 12th Torpedo Bomber Reconnaissance Wing, as part of the British Pacific Fleet, Britton was posted to the command of 728 Squadron at Malta. It was whilst serving with the latter that he suffered fatal injuries when his Beaufighter crashed on take-off in June 1946

Naval General Service 1915-62, 1 clasp, Palestine 1936-1939 (Sub-Lieut. E. M. Britton. R.N.); 1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star; Africa Star; Burma Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, M.I.D. Oak Leaf

M.I.D. London Gazette 5 October 1943, the original recommendation states:

‘Lieutenant Britton arrived in Malta on 11 April 1943, and commanded 828 Squadron for a period of four weeks. Subsequently he flew as a senior pilot showing great keenness for operational flying. During his tour of duty in Malta he has taken part in 11 sorties, several of which he has led, and has now completed 60 operational hours. He secured a direct hit with a bomb on an Italian destroyer, scored near misses on E-Boats, and bombed a number of land objectives.’

M.I.D. London Gazette 2 January 1945, the original recommendation states:

‘He was Wing Leader of the strike on Emmahaven harbour, Sumatra. This strike achieved an estimated six hits on two motor vessels and considerable damage to harbour installations. He has always shown zeal and fighting spirit and led this strike in a most competent manner. He himself scored one hit and one near miss on a motor vessel.’

Edwin Michael Britton was born in 1920, the son of Brigadier E. J. J. Britton, C.B.E., D.S.O., and was educated at Cheltenham College (Hazelwell House 1933-37). He was appointed a Midshipman in the Royal Navy in May 1938. Subsequently qualifying as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm, he was advanced to Lieutenant in June 1941.

In his subsequent wartime career, Britton held several Squadron and Wing commands, his first such appointment occurring on 7 August 1942, when he became C.O. of 788 Squadron in East Africa for a few weeks.

He took command of 828 Squadron on 12 March 1943, and led his unit’s Barracudas on anti-shipping operations out of Ta Kali, Malta, gallant work that won him his first “mention”, not least for successful strikes in the Sicilian Channel.

In May 1943 the squadron carried out attacks on shipping along with 821 squadron, and provided flare illuminations for bombardments of Pantellaria island. Then followed a few weeks at Monastir in Tunisia.

In total 828 and 830 squadrons had accounted for sinking 30 enemy ships and damaged another 50 ships. 828 squadron disbanded at Monastir in September 1943, and Britton assumed command of 831 Squadron during the same month.

Britton advanced to Acting Lieutenant Commander, and was appointed to command 52 Torpedo Bomber Reconnaissance (T.B.R.) Wing, 5 January 1944. The latter comprised of 829 and 831 Squadrons, and was one of the first to fly the Fairey Barracuda. Britton was appointed Wing Leader of the newly formed 2 TBR Wing (828 and 841 Squadrons), 24 January 1944, and later the same day took over 12 TBR Wing (815 and 817 Barracuda Squadrons). The Wing sailed east with HMS Begum to join the British Pacific Fleet and on arrival in August joined HMS Indomitable.

Flying off HMS Indomitable they dive bombed oil storage facilities and airfields at Sabang, Sumatra, then on 26 August 1944, targets on Emmahaven (Operation Banquet). Flying with 815 Squadron as Wing Leader, Britton won his second “mention” for gallantly leading a successful Barracuda strike from the carrier Indomitable against enemy shipping and installations in Emmahaven harbour, Sumatra. Britton scored a direct hit on a motor vessel during the raid.

Britton was subsequently posted to command 778 Squadron in February 1945, and remained in this posting until the end of the war. At the start of the following year he was appointed to command 728 Squadron at H.M.S. Falcon, R.N.A.S. Hal Far, Malta. Britton suffered multiple burns and injuries as the result of an aircraft accident when his Bristol 156 Beaufighter TF.X S/No. NV483 crashed on take-off during the first week of June 1946. He died as a result of these injuries whilst trying to recuperate on the Hospital Ship Maine, 21 June 1946.
 
This is a photo from of a collection of photographs donated to Mi.Net belonging to Captain E.F Gueritz Royal Navy.

It would seem that this photo of the grave of Lt Commander Britton was taken some years before the picture posted by @28TH61ST+ONE

E.M Britton grave site resized.jpg

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MALTA - CAPUCCINI NAVAL CEMETERY "E PLOT"
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