Flight Lieutenant Chandler's service after 49 Squadron
This is a follow up page detailing the career of former Sgt Chan Chandler following his departure from 49Sqn.
Chan's first operation with 617Sqn was on the 11th November 1943 when the target was the Antheor Viaduct in the south of France.
This was the second of three unsuccessful attempts to destroy the viaduct.
In April 1944, Chan was one of three officers awarded the Soviet Medal for Valour.
Chan was the only member of 617Sqn to receive the award.
The whole squadron was on parade for the presentation by the RAF's Senior Air Staff Officer.......possibly Air Vice Marshal W B Callaway.
Unfortunately, Chan was unable to attend the official ceremony at the Soviet Embassy.
It is interesting to note that Chan always said that he was awarded the medal for, "staying alive".
None of Chan's operations had been directly in support of the Soviet Union and it is believed that, as a very experienced airman with almost 100 operations, he was a symbol of the support given by the RAF to the Soviet war effort.
We believe this is Chan's Lancaster at 617Sqn....unfortunately, no markings are visible.
Chan completed his tour of 31 operations with 617Sqn, including five raids on the V-3 supergun site.
His last operation was to St Pol on the 25th June 1944.
Chan eventually reached the Aircrew Disposal Centre at RAF Kinloss and remained there until March 1945.
Almost immediately he received a letter from Buckingham Palace and on the 6th March 1945 he was presented with his earlier DFC and recent Bar at the same ceremony. This double award meant that he was first in line, in front of several much more senior officers.
Chan and family outside Buckingham Palace.
Chan's DFC & Bar is LHS.
Chan was then posted to No:1 FPU (Film Photographic Unit) at Pinewood Studios.
On completion of his cameraman course, his first job (13th April 1945) was to film fuel being delivered to tanks on the front line.
A Dakota filled with cans of fuel is unloaded at Limburg, near the front line.
Once the fuel was unloaded, the Dakato returned with recently released PoWs from Stalag 12A at Limburg.
Chan managed to borrow a jeep and visit the camp, taking these photographs.
On the 24th April 1945, Chan was a cameraman onboard a 514Sqn Lancaster involved in Operation Manna.
In early May 1945 he accompanied troops engaged in Operation Doomsday, the Allied 'invasion' of Normandy.
1st Airborne Division departing for Norway. Chan was tasked to photograph the provision of supplies to the local resistance.
He returned to the UK on the 18th May 1945.
In June 1945 he returned to Norway and a few days later flew to Copenhagen to photograph the results of the Mosquito raid on Gestapo Headquarters. To please their Norwegian hosts, they brought back as many eggs as they could carry. Unfortunately, all the eggs were smashed in a traffic accident back in Oslo and Chan's hand was injured.
Chan, with the injured hand and (we believe) Norwegian resistance leader Torloff Torlefsen.
This final photograph was taken at some point during an expedition to film the Tirpitz.
They borrowed a Sunderland flying boat with a Norwegian crew (possibly pictured here).
Torloff Torlefsen is enjoying a drink.
After attempting to fly to Berlin, Chan's final logbook entry is shown below.
So ended the RAF career of Chan Chandler.
Chan Chandler with his niece, Sarah Wenger.......photographed in 1991 in Switzerland.
Posted out..........April 1995
Chan's book........ISBN 1-84037-051-3
Airlife Publishing Ltd