Ottolangui-Langley OZ & NZ

Flight Sergeant Marcus Louis Langley/Ottolangui

Flight Sergeant Marcus Louis Langley/Ottolangui was born 11th June 1920 in Dunedin, New Zealand. He was the son of Albert Victor David Ottolangui and Rose Jacobs. He served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Service Number: 421067. He died: 17th July 1983 Christchurch, New Zealand

Mark was a decorated pilot of the Royal New Zealand Air Force during World War II being awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying) for his bravery.

Flt Sgt M. L. LANGLEY, R.N.Z.A.F., No. 489 (N.Z.) Sqn.
As pilot and navigator of aircraft respectively these airmen have participated in numerous attacks on enemy shipping and have set a fine example of skill and dash.  In May 1944 they took part in an attack on a heavily armed convoy and obtained a hit on one of the vessels.  Flt Sgt Langley also used his machine guns to good effect on two minesweepers.  Some days later these airmen were again in action against enemy shipping.  At the outset of the flight, Flt Sgt Langley was wounded in the throat, arms and thigh.  In spite of this he pressed home his attack and afterwards flew the aircraft to base.  He displayed courage and fortitude of the highest order.
Flt. Sgt. Parish also proved himself to be a cool and resolute member of aircraft crew.  On the return flight he attended to his wounded pilot and did everything in his power to assist him in his endeavours to reach this country.  He proved a tower of strength.

Flying Squadron History:
No. 489 New Zealand Beaufighter Squadron, under Wing Commander J. S. Dinsdale, was one of the torpedo-carrying units engaged in this campaign.  Together with No. 455 Australian Squadron, also flying Beaufighters, it made up an New Zealand Wing which operated over Dutch coastal waters.  In May 1944 there were several notable actions in this area.  On the 14th the target was a convoy of four ships protected by sixteen escorts, sighted off Ameland in the Frisian Islands.  Six Beaufighters from No. 489 carried torpedoes, and a further six aircraft from the New Zealand Squadron, together with twelve from No. 455 Squadron, made up the anti-flak force. Flight Lieutenant T. H. Davidson led the Torbeaus in low over the sea; they had to fly page 274 through a curtain of anti-aircraft fire but as they broke away crews saw that several torpedoes had scored hits.  On one 2000-ton ship which Davidson and Flight Sergeant Langley attacked there was a huge explosion followed by a cloud of smoke and flames.  It was soon blazing furiously.  A great column of smoke rose from a second ship at which Flying Officer J. G. Gow and Flying Officer Fraser had aimed their torpedoes, and a minesweeper appeared to be listing badly.  In addition, many cannon strikes were seen on the other merchantmen and on several of the escorts.  During the attack, however, the Beaufighter piloted by Flying Officer I. A. Pettit was shot down and four other machines were hit and damaged by flak; one of them had to make a crash-landing on return to base.

Whilst attacking another well-defended convoy a few days later No. 489 Squadron lost two more Beaufighters.  One was flown by Flying Officer Cameron of Inverness, the other by Warrant Officer Wright.  The pilot of a third, Flight Sergeant Langley, was badly wounded in the throat, arms, and thigh whilst approaching to drop his torpedo, but despite these injuries he completed his attack and then, aided by his navigator, flew his damaged machine back across the North Sea to make a successful night landing.  Langley, weak from loss of blood, collapsed at the controls as the Beaufighter came to rest.

In the last weeks before D Day the New Zealand Beaufighters flew patrols along the enemy coast in search of E-boats and other light naval craft that were operating from bases between Ijmuiden and Cherbourg.  Such patrols marked the first stage of operations designed to ensure that the Allied invasion fleets would not be molested by surface craft during their passage to Normandy from ports in southern England.  The main Neptune operations—the naval component of overlord—were planned to begin on the eve of D Day when squadrons of RAF Coastal Command and the Fleet Air Arm would co-operate with surface vessels of the Allied navies in a wide and complicated pattern of patrols which, it was hoped, would seal both the eastern and western entrances to the Channel.

22 May 1944 telegram from father to mother re combat injury:

26 May 1944 2nd telegram

2 June 1944 telegram from Mark

15 June 1944 telegram from Minister of Defence

14 June 1944 citation letter from New Zealand Air Secretary

Obituary submitted by Howard Langley Hoffman

By bryanell2020

Occasional genealogist and full-time Ottolangui family historian. 8th generation descendant of the 17th century Ottolenghi family of Livorno, born in London, graduated in Birmingham, lived around the United Kingdom, Israel, and in Rome, Italy. For a short while in Buenos Aires, and currently residing in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I have been since 2005.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s