Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 4, 2014 0:03:48 GMT 12
This chap sounds pretty fascinating. Has anyone got more details on his RAF, FAA or Army career? From Papers Past
Evening Post, Volume CXXXVIII, Issue 134, 4 December 1944, Page 4
A WELLINGTON OFFICER
(Official War Correspondent N.Z.E F) ATHENS, November 28.
"Mountains, mules, marching and lice" is how Captain D. J. Stellin M.C., Wellington, described ten weeks he spent recently in command of a patrol operating on the flank of the retreating German forces in Albania.
Captain Stellin, whom I last met on Lyall Bay beach before the war when he was a junior member of the Maranui Surf Club, went to England in 1938. After training with the R.A.F. and Fleet Air Arm, he enlisted in the British Army, and was subsequently commissioned.
Arriving in the. Middle East, he sought a transfer to the New Zealand Division and finally reached a Wellington Battalion just after the battles of Sidz Rezegh, when the division had commenced a long period of training and re-equipping.
A few months later he volunteered for service with a special force. Men of this formation, commanded by Colonel Earl Jellicoe, are trained as super commandos.
Captain Stellin was with special force units in the Dodecanese, where he won the M.C. His unit was first into the Dodecanese and last out. Three months ago his patrol was part of a small formation which parachuted with all supplies and equipment into the interior of Albania.
Post by errolmartyn on Dec 4, 2014 10:07:55 GMT 12
I wasn't aware of Dion Stellin's RAF/FAA connections but I note that his cousin was:
STELLIN, Pilot Officer James Kingston, CdeG avec Palme(Fr). NZ421785; Born Wellington, 2 Jul 1922; RNZAF 7 Mar 1942 to (kao) 19 Aug 1944; Pilot. Croix de Guerre avec Palme (Fr) (Posthumous award 26 Apr 1947): On 19 Aug 1944 Plt Off Stellin was the pilot of a 609 Sqn RAF Typhoon detailed to carry out an armed reconnaissance of the Orbec-Bernay area, France (his 26th sortie). While returning his aircraft ran out of fuel and in order to avoid crashing into a village he delayed baling out, but died when his parachute failed to deploy in time. An official file note refers to the “outstanding gallantry of this officer in sacrificing his life to avoid the inhabitants of the French village St Maclou la Brière (Seine Maritime), who witnessed the incident.” In recognition of his sacrifice the French Government awarded him the Croix de Guerre avec Palme. Buried St Maclou-la-Briere Churchyard, Seine Maritime, France. The Stellin Memorial Park, Wellington, was presented to the City of Wellington by James Stellin as a memorial to his son. (Colin Hanson’s By Such Deeds – Honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923 – 1999
Author: Swift to the Sky – New Zealand’s Military Aviation History Author/publisher: For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 & A Passion For Flight - New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Publisher of Gp Capt C M Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999