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Mosquito

Manufacturer : De Havilland
Number Built : 7781
Production Began : 1940
Retired : 1955
Type :

Used as a night fighter, fighter bomber, bomber and Photo-reconnaissance, with a crew of two, Maximum speed was 425 mph, at 30,300 feet, 380mph at 17,000ft. and a ceiling of 36,000feet, maximum range 3,500 miles. the Mosquito was armed with four 20mm Hospano cannon in belly and four .303 inch browning machine guns in nose. Coastal strike aircraft had eight 3-inch Rockets under the wings, and one 57mm shell gun in belly. The Mossie at it was known made its first flight on 25th November 1940, and the mosquito made its first operational flight for the Royal Air Force as a reconnaissance unit based at Benson. In early 1942, a modified version (mark II) operated as a night fighter with 157 and 23 squadron's. In April 1943 the first De Haviland Mosquito saw service in the Far east and in 1944 The Mosquito was used at Coastal Command in its strike wings. Bomber Commands offensive against Germany saw many Mosquitos, used as photo Reconnaissance aircraft, Fighter Escorts, and Path Finders. The Mosquito stayed in service with the Royal Air Force until 1955. and a total of 7781 mosquito's were built.

Mosquito

Mosquito Artwork Collection



De Havilland Mosquito FBVI HX922 EG-F. by M A Kinnear.


Operation Jericho, the Jail Breakers by Gerald Coulson.


Shining the Way (Mosquito) by Ivan Berryman.


Night Raiders by Ivan Berryman.


Breakout. Amiens Raid by Mosquitos by Ivan Berryman.


Destination Amiens by Ivan Berryman.


Knockout Blow by Ivan Berryman.


The Mosquito's Sting by Ivan Berryman.


Mosquito Attack on U-2359 by Jason Askew. (P)


Prowler's Return by Ivan Berryman.


Return From Leipzig by Anthony Saunders.


A Moments Peace by Ivan Berryman.


Mosquito Attack by Graeme Lothian.

Liberation from Amiens by Tim Fisher.


Mosquito Bite by Geoff Lea. (P)

Pathfinder Force by Philip West.

Mosquito Pathfinders by Philip West.


Shell House Raiders by Ivan Berryman.


Lone Hunter by Nicolas Trudgian.


A De Havilland Beauty by Ivan Berryman.

Low Level Strike - 1943 by Gerald Coulson.


Cloud Companions by Robert Taylor.

Mosquito into Attack by Robert Taylor


Night Intruder by Robert Taylor.

Rangers on the Rampage by Robert Taylor.

Mosquito Attack by Philip West.

Night Hawks by Philip West.

Wings of Dawn by Philip West.


Low Level Raiders by Keith Woodcock.

Mosquitos Over the Rhine by Nicolas Trudgian.


Trainbusters by Nicolas Trudgian.


Banff Raiders by Stephen Brown.


Low Flying Mosquito by John Young.

Mission by Moonlight by Gerald Coulson.

Top Dog by Robert Taylor.


Rover Patrol by Richard Taylor


Mosquito Coast by Stephen Brown.

Dawn of a Legend by Stephen Brown.

Vital Support by Robert Taylor.

Twos Company by Philip West.


Ready for Action by Philip West.


Time To Go by Philip West.


Sunday Afternoon by Geoffrey R Herickx.


Moonlight Serenade by Troy White.


Mosquito - The Wooden Wonder of Salisbury Hall by Robert Tomlin. (AP)


The Jericho Boys by Ivan Berryman.


Night Hunters by Anthony Saunders.

Dangerous Coast by Robert Taylor.


Tribute to 488 Sqn RNZAF by Ivan Berryman.


Strike on Berlin by Anthony Saunders.


Royal Air Force WW2 Aircraft Triptych by Barry Price.


Devastating Strike by Robert Taylor.


Overture to Overlord by David Pentland


Home Run by Gerald Coulson.

Country Life 43 by Gerald Coulson.


De Haviland Mosquito by Gerald Coulson.


Mosquito Sting by Michael Turner.


Photo Reconnaissance Mosquito by Ivan Berryman.


Home Again by Ivan Berryman.

Out on a Limb by James Dietz. (AP)


Mosquitos by Keith Woodcock.


Mosquito Coast by M A Kinnear.


Mosquito by Frank Wootton.

Prelude to Peace by Ronald Wong.


Mosquitos at Dusk by Nicolas Trudgian.

De Havilland Mosquito by Barry Price.

Mosquito by Barry Price.

Mosquito Aces of World War Two.

De Havilland Mosquito - The Best British Multi-Role Combat Aircraft of the Second World War.

The Rail Strike by Robin Smith.

Thunder at Dawn by Robin Smith.

Broken Silence by Robert Taylor.


The Berlin Express by Stuart Brown.

Those Nagging Mosquitoes by Stan Stokes.


Mosquito Poster by P Oliver.

Top Aces for : Mosquito
A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.
NameVictoriesInfo
John Randall Daniel Bob Braham29.00
Branse A Burbridge21.00The signature of Branse A Burbridge features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
John Cunningham20.00The signature of John Cunningham features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Robert Carl Fumerton13.00The signature of Robert Carl Fumerton features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Edward Crew12.50The signature of Edward Crew features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Russ Bannock11.00The signature of Russ Bannock features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
George C Grumpy Unwin10.00The signature of George C Grumpy Unwin features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Michael James Herrick7.00
Don MacFadyen7.00The signature of Don MacFadyen features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Joseph Berry3.00
Squadrons for : Mosquito
A list of all squadrons from known to have used this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.
SquadronInfo

No.105 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 23rd September 1917
Fate : Disbanded 1st February 1968

Fortis in proeliis - Valiant in battles

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No.105 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.107 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 8th October 1917
Fate : Disbanded 10th July 1963

Nous y serons - We shall be there

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No.107 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.109 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st November 1917
Fate : Disbanded 1st February 1957

Primi hastati - The first of the legion

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No.109 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.11 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 14th December 1915

Ociores acrierosque aquilis - Swifter and keener than eagles

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No.11 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.110 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st November 1917
Fate : Disbanded 15th February 1971
Hyderabad

Nec timio nec sperno - I neither fear nor despise

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No.110 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.114 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 22nd September 1917
Fate : Disbanded 31st October 1971
Hong Kong

With speed I strike

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No.114 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.125 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st February 1918
Fate : Disbanded 10th May 1957
Newfoundland

Nunquam domandi - Never to be tamed

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No.125 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.128 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st February 1918
Fate : Disbanded 31st March 1946

Fulminis instar - Like a thunderbolt

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No.128 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.13 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 10th January 1915

Adjuvamus tuendo - We assist by watching

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No.13 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.139 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 3rd July 1918
Fate : Disbanded 31st December 1968
Jamaica

Si placet necamus - We destroy at will

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No.139 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.14 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 3rd February 1915

I spread my wings and keep my promise

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No.14 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.140 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st May 1918
Fate : Disbanded 20th September 1945
Photo Reconnaissance

Foresight

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No.140 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.141 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st January 1918
Fate : Disbanded 31st March 1964

Caedimus noctu - We slay by night

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No.141 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.142 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 2nd February 1918
Fate : Disbanded 24th May 1963

Determination

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No.142 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.143 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st February 1918
Fate : Disbanded 25th May 1945

Vincere est vivere - To conquer is to live

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No.143 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.151 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 12th June 1918
Fate : Disbanded September 1992

Foy pour devoir - Fidelity unto duty

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No.151 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.157 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 14th July 1918
Fate : Disbanded 16th August 1945

Our cannon speak our thoughts

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No.157 Sqn RAF

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No.16 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 10th February 1915

Operta aperta - Hidden things are revealed

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No.16 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.162 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st June 1918
Fate : Disbanded 14th July 1946

One time, one purpose

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No.162 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.163 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st June 1918
Fate : Disbanded 14th July 1946

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No.163 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.169 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th June 1942
Fate : Disbanded 10th August 1945

Hunt and destroy

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No.169 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.18 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 11th May 1915
Burma

Animo et fide - With courage and faith

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No.18 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.180 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 11th September 1942
Fate : Disbanded 31st March 1946

Suaviter in modo fortiter in re - Agreeable in manner, forcible in act

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No.180 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.192 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 5th September 1917
Fate : Disbanded 21st August 1958

Dare to discover

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No.192 Sqn RAF

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No.21 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 23rd July 1915
Fate : Disbanded 31st January 1976

Viribus vincimus - By strength we conquer

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No.21 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.219 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 22nd July 1918
Fate : Disbanded 31st July 1957

From dusk till dawn

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No.219 Sqn RAF

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No.224 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st April 1918
Fate : Disbanded 31st October 1966

Fedele all amico - Faithful to a freind

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No.224 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.23 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st September 1915

Semper aggessus - Always having attacked

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No.23 Sqn RAF

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No.235 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : August 1918
Fate : Disbanded 10th July 1945

Jaculamur humi - We strike them to the ground

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No.235 Sqn RAF

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No.239 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : August 1918
Fate : Disbanded 1st July 1945

Exploramus - We seek out

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No.239 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.248 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : August 1918
Fate : Disbanded 30th September 1946

Il faut en finir - It is necessary to make an end of it

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No.248 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.249 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 18th August 1918
Fate : Disbanded 24th February 1969
Gold Coast

Pugnis et cacibus - With fist and heels

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No.249 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.25 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 25th September 1915

Feriens Tego - Striking I defend

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No.25 Sqn RAF

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No.254 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : May 1918
Fate : Disbanded 23rd June 1963

Fljua vakta ok ljosta - To fly, to watch and to strike

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No.254 Sqn RAF

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No.255 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 25th July 1918
Fate : Disbanded 30th April 1946

Ad auroram - To the break of dawn

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No.255 Sqn RAF

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No.256 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : June 1918
Fate : Disbanded 21st January 1959

Addimus vim viribus - Strength to strength

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No.256 Sqn RAF

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No.264 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 27th September 1918
Fate : Disbanded 30th November 1962
Madras Presidency

We defy

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No.264 Sqn RAF

264 Squadron was formed from two former Royal Naval Air Service flights, No.439 and No.440, on 27th September 1918 at Souda bay in Crete with the role of anti-submarine patrols, and equipped with the Short 184 floatplanes. The Squadron was disbanded on 1 March 1919. On 8th December 1939 at Martlesham Heath, 264 Squadron was reformed and equipped with the new Boulton Paul Defiant fighter. In March 1940 the squadron started operations doing convoy patrols. After initial successes the Luftwaffe soon realised that the Defiant was vulnerable to frontal attack, and 264 Squadron along with the other Boulton Paul Defiant squadrons started to suffer heavy losses of aircraft and crew. At the end of May 1940, 264 Squadron was withdrawn from operations as a day-fighter squadron and began to train in the night-fighter role. During the Battle of Britain 264 Squadron was used again for day fighting but again suffered losses and returned to the night-fighter role. In May 1942 the squadron was re-equipped with Mosquito II and moved to RAF Colerne, and later receieved the new Mark VI. The squadron operated as night-fighters in the west of England and also in the role of day patrols in the Bay of Biscay and western approaches. 264 Squadron later became part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force providing night patrols over Europe and near the end of the war it was based at Twente in Holland patrolling over Berlin. 264 squadron was disbanded at Twente on 25th August 1945.

No.288 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 18th November 1941
Fate : Disbanded 30th September 1957

Honour through deeds

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No.288 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.29 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 7th November 1915

Impiger et acer - Energetic and keen

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No.29 Sqn RAF

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No.305 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 29th August 1940
Fate : Disbanded 6th January 1947
Polish

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No.305 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.307 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 5th September 1940
Fate : Disbanded 2nd January 1947
Polish

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No.307 Sqn RAF

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No.313 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 10th May 1941
Fate : Disbanded 15th February 1946
Czech

Jeden jestrab mnoho vran rozhan - One hawk scatters many crows

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No.313 Sqn RAF

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No.315 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 8th January 1941
Fate : Disbanded 14th January 1947
Polish - City of Deblin

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No.315 Sqn RAF

Flew Mustangs from March 1944.

No.333 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 5th May 1943
Fate : Disbanded 21st November 1945
Norwegian

For Konge, Fedreland og flaggets heder - For King, country and the honour of the flag

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No.333 Sqn RAF

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No.334 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 26th May 1943
Fate : Disbanded 21st November 1945
Norwegian

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No.334 Sqn RAF

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No.4 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 16th September 1912

In futurum videre - To see into the future

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No.4 Sqn RAF

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No.404 Sqn RCAF

Country : Canada
Founded : 15th April 1941
Fate : Disbanded 25th May 1945

Ready to fight

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No.404 Sqn RCAF

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No.406 Sqn RCAF

Country : Canada
Founded : 5th May 1941
Fate : Disbanded 31st August 1945
City of Saskatoon

We kill by night

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No.406 Sqn RCAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.409 Sqn RCAF

Country : Canada
Founded : 17th June 1941
Fate : Disbanded 1st July 1945

Media nox meridies noster - Midnight is our noon

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No.409 Sqn RCAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.410 Sqn RCAF

Country : Canada
Founded : 30th June 1941
Fate : Disbanded 9th June 1945
Cougar

Noctivaga - Wandering by night

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No.410 Sqn RCAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.418 Sqn RCAF

Country : Canada
Founded : 15th November 1941
Fate : Disbanded 7th September 1945
City of Edmonton

Piyautailili - Defend even unto death

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No.418 Sqn RCAF

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No.456 Sqn RAAF

Country : Australia
Founded : 30th June 1941
Fate : Disbanded 15th June 1945

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No.456 Sqn RAAF

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No.46 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 19th April 1916
Fate : Disbanded 31st August 1975.
Uganda

We rise to conquer

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No.46 Sqn RAF

No. 46 Squadron was formed on the 19th April 1916 and based at RAF Wyton base. In October 1916, 46 Squadron moved to France and was equipped with the two seater Nieuport. 46 Squadrons role was artillery spotting and reconnaissance until May 1917 when 46 squadron were re equipped with the fighter the Sopwith Pup. 46 Squadron operated as part of the 11th Army Wing, and saw many engagements with the enemy. Returning to England and based at Sutton's Farm, Essex, the squadron took part in the defence of London, in July 1917. London had been bombed several times by German Gotha Bombers but after 46 Squadrons patrols no enemy aircraft managed to bomb London in their area. Later 46 squadorn returned to France at the end of August 1917 and in November the squadorn was re equipped with the Sopwith Camel and participated in the Battle of Cambrai protecting the ground troops. In November 1917, Lieutenant (later Major) Donald Maclaren joined 46 Squadron. His first dogfight was not until February 1918, but in the last 9 months of the war Donald Maclaren was credited with shooting down 48 aeroplanes and six balloons, making him one of the top aces of World War I. By November 1918, 46 Squadron had claimed 184 air victories, creating 16 aces. After the First World War had ended the squadorn returned to England and was disbanded on the 31st of December 1919. The outbreak of war found 46 Squadron at RAF Digby, equipped with Hawker Hurricanes. Action with the enemy came quickly when, at the end of October 1939, Squadron Leader Barwell and Pilot Officer Plummer attacked a formation of 12 Heinkel 115s, destroying one each, and scattering the remainder. The next six months were uneventful, consisting in the main of providing air cover for the shipping convoys steaming along the East Coast - a few enemy aircraft were sighted but no contacts were made. In May 1940, the squadron was selected to form part of the Expeditionary Force in Norway, which had been invaded by the Germans on 9th April. The Hurricanes were embarked on HMS Glorious and, despite doubts that a Hurricane could take off from a carrier flight deck in a flat calm, they all took to the air without difficulty, thanks to the efforts of the ship's engineers, who managed to get the Glorious up to a speed of 30 knots. No.46 Squadron assembled at Bardufoss and began operation on 26 May. Patrols were maintained over the land and naval forces at Narvik without respite, some of the pilots going without sleep for more than 48 hours. Conditions on the ground were very basic with poor runways and primitive servicing and repair facilities. Many air combats took place, and in its brief campaign in Norway the squadron accounted for at least 14 enemy aircraft, besides probably destroying many others. On 7th June the squadron was ordered to evacuate Norway immediately and, on the night of 7th through 8th June, the Hurricanes were successfully flown back to Glorious a dangerous procedure as none of the aircraft were fitted with deck arrester hooks. The ground parties embarked on HMS Vindictive and SS Monarch of Bermuda and reached the UK safely, but the squadron's aircraft and eight of its pilots were lost when Glorious was sunk by German warships on 9th June 1940. The two pilots who survived were the Squadron Commander, Squadron Leader (later Air Chief Marshal) Bing Cross, and the Flight Commander, Flight Lieutenant (later Air Commodore) Jamie Jameson.

No.464 Sqn RAAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th August 1942
Fate : Disbanded 25th September 1945

Aequo anumo - Equanimity

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No.464 Sqn RAAF

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No.47 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st March 1916

Nili nomen roboris omen - The name of the Nile is an omen of strength

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No.47 Sqn RAF

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No.48 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th April 1916
Fate : Disbanded 7th January 1976

Forte et fidele

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No.48 Sqn RAF

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No.487 Sqn RNZAF

Country : New Zealand
Founded : 15th August 1942
Fate : Disbanded 19th September 1945

Ki te mutunga - Through to the end



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No.487 Sqn RNZAF

487 squadron was formed at Feltwell, Norfolk, 15th August 1942, equipped with Lockheed Ventura aircraft, commencing operations on 6th December. 487 contributed 16 aircraft to the famous low-level raid on the Phillips radio and valve factory at Eindhoven, and continued in the daylight role with Venturas until June 1943. On one operation during this period, the squadron suffered heavy losses. On May 3rd during a raid on Amsterdam, ten out of 11 aircraft were shot down. After the war when the full account of the raid became known, the B Flight Commander Sqd Ldr L.H. Trent, a New Zealander in the RAF, who had been a prisoner of war since being shot down on the raid was awarded the Victoria Cross for his outstanding leadership during the Amsterdam raid. On 1st June 1943, 487 was transferred from Bomber Command to the newly formed 2nd Tactical Air Force (TAF). During September 1943, 487 re-equipped with the De Havilland Mosquito F.B VI and was mainly used on night bombing, although the squadron took part in several daylight precision operations. These included the Amiens prison raid 18th February 1944, Gestapo Headquarters, Aarhus in Denmark on 31st October 1944 and Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen on 21st March 1945. The squadron operated from the continent from February until September 1945 where at Cambrai/Epinoy, France it was renumbered 16 Squadron RAF (later amended to 268 Squadron). In addition to Sqd Ldr Trent's Victoria Cross, the New Zealand personnel of 487 squadron were awarded 1 DSO, 7 DFC's, one bar to DFC and 1 DFM.


No.488 Sqn RNZAF

Country : New Zealand
Founded : 1st September 1941
Fate : Disbanded 26th April 1945

Ka ngarue ratau - We shake them

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No.488 Sqn RNZAF

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No.489 Sqn RNZAF

Country : New Zealand
Founded : 12th August 1941
Fate : Disbanded 1st August 1945
Coastal Command

Whakatanagata kia kaha - Quit ye like me, be strong

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No.489 Sqn RNZAF

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No.500 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 16th March 1931
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
County of Kent (Auxiliary)

Qua fata vocent - Whither the fates may call

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No.500 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.516 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 28th April 1943
Fate : Disbanded 2nd December 1944

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No.516 Sqn RAF

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No.521 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st August 1941.
Fate : Disbanded 1st April 1946

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No.521 Sqn RAF

521 Squadron was formed on the 1st August 1941 from No 1401 Flight at Bircham Newton, it continued to conduct meteorological reconnaissance duties. 521 Squadron flew Hudsons and Blenheims for North Sea patrol duties, Spitfires and Mosquitoes over Europe. It was disbanded when it was divided into Flights again, No's 1401 and 1409. But on the 1st September 1943 it was reformed in its previous role at Docking. 521 Squadron was re equipped with Hampdens, Hudsons and Gladiators, with Venturas arriving in December 1943. In August 1944 Hurricanes joined the Gladiators and Hudsons returned to replace the Venturas in September 1944. In December 1944 Flying Fortress IIs arrived for long range sorties and these were operated together with Mk IIIs from May 1945 until February 1946. Halifax Mk.III bombers replaced the Flying Fortresses in December 1945 and following the withdrawal of the Fortresses, 521 Squadorn was disbanded on 1st April 1946 at Chivenor.

No.540 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 19th October 1942
Fate : Disbanded 31st March 1956

Sine qua non - Indispensable

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No.540 Sqn RAF

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No.541 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 19th October 1942
Fate : Disbanded 6th September 1957

Alone above all

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No.541 Sqn RAF

Flew Mustangs from June 1944.

No.544 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 19th October 1942
Fate : Disbanded 13th October 1945

Quaero - I seek

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No.544 Sqn RAF

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No.571 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 7th April 1944
Fate : Disbanded 20th September 1945

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No.571 Sqn RAF

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No.578 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 14th January 1944
Fate : Disbanded 14th April 1945

Accuracy

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No.578 Sqn RAF

578 Squadron was formed from C flight of No.51 Squadron as a heavy bomber squadron at Snaith, Yorkshire on 14th January 1944. Equipped with the Handley Page Halifax B.III, 578 was part of No.4 Group, Bomber Command and began operations on 20th/21st January 1944. During its short operational career, the squadron completed 2,271 operational sorties, lost 77 aircraft and among the awards given to squadron personnel were 1 VC, 3 DSO's, 143 DFC's and 82 DFM's. 578 Squadron, Royal Air Force was disbanded on 15th April 1945 whilst based at Burn.


No.58 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 8th June 1916
Fate : Disbanded 4th June 1976

Alis nocturnis - On the wings of the night

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No.58 Sqn RAF

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No.604 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 17th March 1930
Fate : Disbanded 10th March1957
County of Middlesex (Auxiliary)

Si vis pacem, para bellum - If you want peace, prepare for war

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No.604 Sqn RAF

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No.608 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 17th March 1930
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
North Riding (Auxiliary)

Omnibus ungulis - With all talons

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No.608 Sqn RAF

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No.613 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st March 1939
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
City of Manchester (Auxiliary)

Semper parati - Always ready

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No.613 Sqn RAF

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No.616 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st November 1938
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
South Yorkshire (Auxiliary)

Nulla rosa sine spina - No rose without thorns

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No.616 Sqn RAF

616 squadron was formed at Doncaster on 1st November 1938 as the last of the Auxiliary Squadrons. Formed initially as a bomber squadron equipped with Hawker Hinds, it was re-equipped with Gloster Gauntlets in June 1939 and transferred to Fighter Command. The squadrons first Spitfires arrived in late October. 616 first saw action and claimed its first victories whilst covering the evacuation from Dunkirk in May 1940. Returning to Yorkshire, the squadron claimed further enemy victims with 15th August standing out as a memorable day. 616 intercepted a large force of unescorted German bombers off the Yorkshire coast and claimed eight enemy aircraft destroyed. They moved to Kenley to join 11 Group at the height of the Battle of Britain, and destroyed 15 aircraft and claimed a further 15 as probables or damaged. During February 1941, 616 joined the Tangmere Wing led by Wg Cdr Douglas Bader. Flying Spitfire II fighters, they flew circus and ramrod sweeps over Northern France, and re-equipped with Spitfires Vb during July 1941. For the next two years 616 continued as a front line fighter squadron and was heavily engaged during the Dieppe expedition and later flying beach-head patrols on D-Day. In July 1944, 616 re-equipped with Gloster Meteor jet fighter thus becoming the first and only Allied squadron to operate jet aircraft in World War II. The squadron destroyed a number of V1 flying bombs whilst operating from Manston before joining the 2nd Tactical Air Force. In January 1945, 616 moved to the continent and operated in the ground attack role before being disbanded at Lubeck on 29th August. The squadron was re-formed at Finningley on 31st July 1946 equipped with Mosquito NF XXX night fighters which were replaced with Meteor F 3 day fighters a few months later. 616 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force was finally disbanded at RAF Worksop on 10th March 1957 whilst equipped with Meteor F8 aircraft.

No.617 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 23rd March 1943

Apres mois, le deluge - After me, the flood

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No.617 Sqn RAF

Crews of the 617 Sqn Dambusters Aircraft:

Crew of M for Mother :
Pilot : Flt Lt J V Hopgood
Flight Engineer : Sgt C Brennan
Navigator : Flg Off K Earnshaw
Wireless Operator : Sgt J W Minchin
Bomb Aimer : Sgt J W Fraser (survived)
Front Gunner : Plt Off G H F G Gregory
Rear Gunner : Plt Off A F Burcher (survived)

Crew of T for Tommy :

Pilot : Flt Lt J C McCarthy
Flight Engineer : Sgt W G Radcliffe
Navigator : Flt Sgt D A MacLean
Wireless Operator : Flt Sgt L Eaton
Bomb Aimer : Sgt G L Johnson
Front Gunner : Sgt R Batson
Rear Gunner : Flg Off D Rodger.

Crew of A for Apple :

Pilot : Sqn Ldr H M Young
Flight Engineer : Sgt D T Horsfall
Navigator : Flt Sgt D W Roberts
Wireless Operator : Sgt L W Nichols
Bomb Aimer : Flg Off V S MacCausland
Front Gunner : Sgt G A Yeo
Rear Gunner : Sgt W Ibbotson.

Crew of P for Popsie :

Pilot : Flt Lt H B Martin
Flight Engineer : Plt Off I Whittaker
Navigator : Flt Lt J F Leggo
Wireless Operator : Flg Off L Chambers
Bomb Aimer : Flt Lt R C Hay
Front Gunner : Plt Off B T Foxlee
Rear Gunner : Flt Sgt T D Simpson.

Crew of G for George :

Pilot : Wing Cdr G P Gibson
Flight Engineer : Sgt J Pulford
Navigator : Plt Off H T Taerum
Wireless Operator : Flt Lt R E G Hutchison
Bomb Aimer : Plt Off F M Spafford
Front Gunner : Flt Sgt G A Deering
Rear Gunner : Flt Lt R D Trevor-Roper.

Crew of L for Leather :

Pilot : Flt Lt D J Shannon
Flight Engineer : Sgt R J Henderson
Navigator : Flg Off D R Walker
Wireless Operator : Flg Off B Goodale
Bomb Aimer : Flt Sgt L J Sumpter
Front Gunner : Sgt B Jagger
Rear Gunner : Flg Off J Buckley.

Crew of N for Nan :

Pilot : Plt Off L J Knight
Flight Engineer : Sgt R E Grayston
Navigator : Flg Off H S Hobday
Wireless Operator : Flt Sgt R G T Kellow
Bomb Aimer : Flg Off E C Johnson
Front Gunner : Sgt F E Sutherland
Rear Gunner : Sgt H E O'Brien.


No.618 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 26th March 1943
Fate : Disbanded 21st July 1945

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No.618 Sqn RAF

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No.627 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 12th November 1943
Fate : Disbanded 30th September 1945

At first sight

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No.627 Sqn RAF

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No.68 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 30th January 1917
Fate : Disbanded 20th January 1959

Vzdy pripraven - Always ready

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No.68 Sqn RAF

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No.680 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st February 1943
Fate : Disbanded 1st September 1946

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No.680 Sqn RAF

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No.69 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 28th December 1916
Fate : Disbanded 1st July 1958

With vigilance we serve

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No.69 Sqn RAF

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No.692 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st January 1944
Fate : Disbanded 20th September 1945
Fellowship of the Bellows

Polus dum sidera pascet - So long as the sky shall feed the stars

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No.692 Sqn RAF

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No.7 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st May 1914

Per diem per noctem - By day and by night

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No.7 Sqn RAF

No.7 Squadron was formed 1st May 1914 at Farnborough as a Scout squadron, and went to France April 1915, equipped with the Vickers Gunbus. No.7 squadron saw service through the war with BE2c, RE5 and RE8 aircraft. The squadron pioneered the use of R/T (instead of normal W/T), using it operationally for the first time in October 1918. Disbanded at Farnborough on 31st December 1919 it reformed at Bircham Newton on 1st June 1923 equipped with Vickers Vimy bombers. These were replaced by the Vickers Virginia after moving to Worthy Down in April 1927. Between the wars No.7 squadron was equipped with various aircraft including the Handley Page Heyfords, Vickers Wellesleys and Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys and became the leading bomber squadron, winning the Laurence Minot Memorial Bombing Trophy more than any other squadron. At the outbreak of World War II, the squadron was equipped with Handley Page Hampdens, until August 1940, when it equipped with the RAF's first four engined bomber, the Short Stirling Mk I - becoming the first RAF squadron to be equipped with four engined bombers. The first raid by No.7 was 10th February 1941 on Rotterdam. The squadron settled down to a night bombing role, adding mine laying to its duties in 1942. Later with four other squadrons, it formed the nucleus of the new Pathfinder Force, its task to find and accurately mark targets with flares. In May 1943, the Stirling (which was handicapped by a low operational ceiling - it had to fly through flak rather than over it) was gradually replaced by the Avro Lancaster, which No.7 used in Peenemunde in August. From June1944 and until the end of the war, the squadron also undertook a daylight operational role in support of land forces in France and the low countries, and against V-1 and V-2 sites. No.7 squadron flew to Singapore in January 1947, and converted to Avro Lincolns, seeing action against Communist terrorists in Malay, during 'Operation Firedog'. Returning to UK, having won the Laurence Minot Memorial Bombing Trophy outright for the eighth time it was disbanded 1st January 1956. Reforming in November of the same year with the Vickers Valiant 'V' bomber. Disbanded on 30th September 1962, it was reformed in May 1970 at RAF St. Mawgan on target provision duties. Equipped with the English Electric Canberra, the squadron provided targets for the Army and Navy anti aircraft guns. They also provided silent targets for radar station practice. On 12th December 1981 the squadron was again disbanded, reforming soon after as the second operational Boeing Vertol Chinook helicopter Squadron on 2nd September 1982.

No.8 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st January 1915

Uspiam et passim - Everywhere unbounded

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No.8 Sqn RAF

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No.82 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 7th January 1917
Fate : Disbanded 10th July 1963
United Provinces

Super omnia ubique - Over all things everywhere

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No.82 Sqn RAF

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No.84 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 7th January 1917

Scorpiones pungunt - Scorpions sting

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No.84 Sqn RAF

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No.85 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st August 1917
Fate : Disbanded 19th December 1975

Noctu diuque venamur - We hunt by day and night

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No.85 Sqn RAF

No. 85 Squadron was formed on the 1st of August 1917 at Uphaven. Shortly afterwards the squadron moved to Mousehold Heath nea Norwich under the command of Major R A Archer. The squadron transferred to Hounslow in November 1917 and in March 1918 received its new commander Major William Avery Bishop VC, DSO, MC. On 1st April 1918 No.85 Squadron was transferred into the new Royal Air Force and went to France in May1918 flying the Sopwith Dolphin and later SE5A's. 85 Squadron duties were fighter patrols and ground attack sorties over the western front until the end of the war. On 21st June 1918 Major Edward Mannock DSO MC became commanding officer. On the 26th July 1918 during a patrol with Lt DC Inglis over the front line Major Mannock failed to return and on the 18th of July 1919 Major Mannock was awarded a posthumous VC. No. 85 Squadron had 99 victories during their stint on the western front, returning to the UK in February 1919, and being disbanded on the 3rd of July 1919. 85 Squadron was reformed on June 1st, 1938, as part of A Flight of 87 Squadron based at RAF Debden commanded by Flight Lieutenant D E Turner. The squadron started training on the Gloster Gladiator until the 4th of September when Hawker Hurricanes were supplied. On the outbreak of World War Two the squadron moved to Boos as part of the Air Component of the BEF 60th Fighter Wing, and their Hurricanes were given the role to support the squadrons of Bristol Blenheims and Fairey Battles. By 1st November 85 Squadron's Hurricanes were moved to Lille Seclin. 85 Squadron scored its first victory of World War Two when Flight Lieutenant R.H.A. Lee attacked an He111 which crashed into the Channel, exploding on impact while on patrol over the Boulogne area. In May 1940, during the German advance, 85 Squadron were in combat constantly and over an 11 day period the squadron confirmed 90 enemy kills. When their operating airfields were overun the squadron's last remaining three Hurricanes returned to England. The squadron lost 17 pilots (two killed, six wounded and nine missing). During the Battle of Britian the squadron took part in the conflict over southern England and in October the Squadron moved to Yorkshire and were given the new role of night fighter patrols. 85 Squadron continued in the night fighter role for most of the war, with only a brief period as bomber support as part of 100 group.

No.96 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 8th October 1917
Fate : Disbanded 21st January 1959

Nocturni obambulamus - We prowl by night

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No.96 Sqn RAF

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No.97 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st December 1917
Fate : Disbanded 2nd January 1967
Straits Settlement

Achieve your aim

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No.97 Sqn RAF

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No.98 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th August 1917
Fate : Disbanded 27th February 1976

Never failing

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No.98 Sqn RAF

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Signatures for : Mosquito
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking their name.
NameInfo

Flt Lt Mike Allen DFC

6 / 6 / 2001Died : 6 / 6 / 2001
Flt Lt Mike Allen DFC

Michael Seamer Allen was born in Croydon, Surrey on March 15th 1925, and educated at Hurstpierpoint College, Sussex. He then studied mechanical engineering at night school before being apprenticed to Fairey Aviation. Mike Allen managed with the help of his father to get Fairey Aviaiton to release him, so that he could join the RAF. Allen joined the RAF as a navigator in June 1941 and two months later was paired with Harry White at No 54 Training Unit, at Church Fenton, Yorkshire. They remained together throughout the war. They both joined No 29, a Beaufighter night squadron at West Malling, in Kent before going to No.534 at Tangmere, Sussex, from where they flew Havoc night fighters (converted Douglas Bostons), each equipped with a Turbinlite searchlight in the nose. The notion was that the Havocs would use their radar to search out enemy aircraft, which would then be picked out with the searchlight and shot down by an accompanying Hurricane. In practice, the scheme was none too successful, but Allen regarded the 15 months that he and White spent in Havocs as invaluable training in the art of night fighting. Allen along with Harry White spent a few months ferrying Beaufighters to the Middle East before Mike Allen and Harry White moved to No.141 Squadron having won two Bars to his DFC 1944. Sadlly around this time his parents were killed when a V2 rocket destroyed their house in July 1944. In January 1945 Allen and White had a close shave while taking off on their 91st operational sortie on a bleak evening in January 1945. The engine of their Mosquito failed as the aircraft left the ground, and the fighter nose-dived into a field. White and Alien found themselves in a heap in the cabin, with Allens foot jammed in the fuselage, White pinned underneath him, and the aircraft on fire, Fortunately, a farmer and two labourers who had seen the crash managed to pull them to safety just as the Mosquito went up in flames. Over the course of their partnerhsip they successfully destroyed at least 12 enemy aircraft. Flt Lt Mike Allen left the Royal Air Force in 1946, and began his civilian career working for Avro, the Manchester-based aircraft company, Pye Telecommunications, BTR and Rank Hovis McDougall. In 1966 he moved to South Africa, where he became chairman of the Pretoria branch of the South African Air Force Association. He returned to Britain in 1982 and worked for the Officers Association. In 1999 Mike Allen published the book Pursuit through Darkened Skies. Flight Lieutenant Mike Allen sadly died at the age of 78 on the 6th of June 2001. Mike Allen had won three DFCs as a navigator and radar operator in night fighters.

Flt Lt Eric Atkins DFC(bar) KW(bar)
Flt Lt Eric Atkins DFC(bar) KW(bar)

Flew Mosquito aircraft with No.305 Polish Squadron


Air Marshall Sir Alfred (Freddy) Ball, KCB DSO DFC
Air Marshall Sir Alfred (Freddy) Ball, KCB DSO DFC

Air Marshall Sir Alfred (Freddy) Ball, KCB DSO DFC attended RAF College, Cranwell in 1939 and joined 13 Squadron in France in March 1940 on Lysanders (Army Co-operation). He joined No 1 PRU Benson early in 1941 on Spitfires. He commanded 4 PRU (later 682 Sqdn) as Squadron Leader in October 1942 and flew out to North Africa for Operation Torch, the Allied landings, flying Spitfires. He was posted to the UK as CF1, 8PR, OTU Dyce, Aberdeen in September 1943 and took over 542 Sqdn Benson in March 1944 (PR Spitfire Mk XIs and Mk XIXs). In September he was promoted to Wing Commander and given command of No 540 Squadron flying Mosquito 16s and 32s. The Squadron moved to France early in 1945 to support the Allied armies. In December, Freddy was posted to Egypt to take command of No 680 PR Sqdn (later to become 13 Sqdn), flying Mosquitoes and Spitfires. He was posted to Staff AHQ East Africa in 1946 and retired from the RAF in April 1979.

Wing Commander Russ Bannock
Wing Commander Russ Bannock

Russ Bannock joined the RCAF in 1939 and was posted to 112 Squadron. He transferred to 418 (City of Edmonton) Squadron RCAF in May 1944, equipped with the excellent Mosquito MkVI fighter-bomber and carried out many Intruder missions, mostly against enemy airfields, especially in the period prior to D-Day. With the squadron he helped to defend London against the V1 blitz, all night. With 19 flying bombs to his credit, he was given command of 406 (City of Saskatoon) Squadron based at Manston with the Mk30 Mosquito. From late 1944 until the war's end he carried out operations mainly against enemy airfields.

Warrant Officer Harry Barrett
Warrant Officer Harry Barrett

Warrant Officer Harry Barrett flew as a PR Mosquito Navigator for 17 months from October 1945 to April 1947. He volunteered for aircrew duties as a navigator in mid-1941, and was selected and put on deferred service until August 1942. He trained as a Navigator/Wireless Op. at Cranwell and in Canada, qualifying in November 1943. He was on the night-flying staff at 3(P) AFU at South Cerney for nine months. He qualified as an air-gunner in May 1945 on the Isle of Man. On joining 540 Squadron at Benson, he and his pilot ferried three Mosquitoes to the Middle East and was then posted to 680 in Palestine, where it was more dangerous on the ground than in the air. 680 then became 13 Squadron. Harry carried out aerial surveys in Egypt the Greek Islands, and then went on the Nairobi. Nine of the 15 Mosquitoes Harry flew in came to grief.

Wing Commander Eric Barwell

12 / 12 / 2007Died : 12 / 12 / 2007
Wing Commander Eric Barwell

Born in Suffolk in August 1913, Eric Barwell joined the RAFVR in 1938 to train as a pilot. He was commissioned into No.264 Sqn in February 1940, flying the Boulton-Paul Defiant. His squadron flew in support of the evacuation of Dunkirk, and he claimed two Me109s, two Ju87 Stukas and a Heinkel during this evacuation. However, in the combat with the Heinkel, his aircraft was damaged and he was forced to ditch, managing to put it down in the water between two British destroyers. He and his gunner were rescued by HMS Malcolm. On 24th August, while scrambling to intercept bombers, he and his wingman were attacked by five fighters, his wingman being immediately shot down. His gunner managed to shoot down one of the enemy fighters before the Defiant managed to escape, but it was clear that the aircraft was no match for the German fighters. They were withdrawn from combat and used in a night-time training role. Barwell was awarded the DFC for the six victories scored. In April 1941, he scored a night-time victory over a Heinkel, with a second also probable. He transferred to No.125 Sqn flying Beaufighters, claiming a Dornier damaged on 1st July 1942. By March 1943, No.125 Sqn were equipped with Mosquitoes. He shot down two Ju-88s in this aircraft, and also recorded his final victory, over a V-1 rocket. He was awarded the bar to his DFC and transferred to various experimental squadrons before leaving the RAF in September 1945. Sadly, Eric Barwell died on 12th December 2007.

F/O Mike Bayon DFC
F/O Mike Bayon DFC

Having completed training as a Navigator he joined the Path Finder Force flying on Mosquitos with 128 Sqn and later 139 Sqn as part of the Light Night Strike Force. During the final two years of the war he completed a total of 52 Operations over Europe.

Flight Lieutenant Brian Beattie
Flight Lieutenant Brian Beattie

Having served at 489 Coastal Command flying torpedo carrying Hampdens, he later joined Des Curtis at 248 Sqn where he also flew the Tse-Tse firing Mosquito.

Flt Lt Colin Bell DFC
Flt Lt Colin Bell DFC

Upon qualifying as a Pilot on Mosquitos he joined the Path Finder Force where he served with 608 and 162 Squadrons as part of part of the Light Night Strike Force. By the end of the war he had completed a total of 50 Operations including 13 trips to Berlin.

Tom Bennett DFM
Tom Bennett DFM

Born in 1919, Tom Bennett was a specialist navigator with 30 ops with 49 Sqn Lancasters followed by selection for Leonard Cheshires elite Mosquito Marker Force within the legendary 617 Sqn. Following the D-Day landings on 5/6th June, there was a very great danger that the Germans would reinforce their troops with their reserves Panzer tank corp. These had been stationed at Calais due to the Germans belief that the invasion would come at that point. The only way to get the Panzer through to the Beachhead at Normandy was via the French Saumur tunnel. 617 squadron were assigned to destroy this and were led by the famous Leonard Cheshire VC OM DSO DFC. He used 3 Mosquitoes as a marker force for the main 617 Bomber Force and the dropping of flares was so accurate that one of the Lancasters put a 12000 tall boy straight through the roof of the tunnel and the tunnel was not reopened until 1946. Three Mosquitoes were used on this operation and only one of the crew is surviving today. This is Tom Bennett DFM

Flight Lieutenant Benjamin Bent
Flight Lieutenant Benjamin Bent

Having joined the RAF in 1937, he flew with 25 Sqn as a Radar /Wireless Operator on Blenheims on night fighter duties throughout the Battle of Britain, assisting in five successful interceptions on his first tour. After a spell as an instructor, he reclassified a Navigator rejoining 25 Sqn on Beaufighters and then Mosquitoes, assisting in a total of eight victories including the first enemy aircraft shot down on D-Day.


Flt Lt Bertie Boulter DFC
Flt Lt Bertie Boulter DFC

Joining the RAF in July 1941, Bertie completed pilot training in the USA before returning to the UK in 1942, joining Coastal Command flying Ansons and Blackburn Bothas, and instructing on the use of radar. Converting to Blenheims he joined 1655 Squadron at Warboys, and began training on Mosquitos. In early 1944 he was selected for the Pathfinders, joining 128 Squadron flying Mosquitos from Wyton, then becoming part of the Light Night Strike Force with 163 Squadron, completing almost 50 operations. In early 1945 he was posted to Canada to ferry back Mosquitos but the war ended.

Wing Commander Robert Bray
Wing Commander Robert Bray

Robert flew his first tour of 32 ops in 75 (NZ) Squadron on Wellingtons. After a period instructing he joined 105 Squadron PFF on Mosquitos, flying Oboe operations, completing 87 ops by June 1944. In March 1945 he was posted to command 571 Squadron PFF, then commanded 128 Squadron PFF until Feb 1946.


Flt. Lt. Peter G Brearley DFC
Flt. Lt. Peter G Brearley DFC

Flt. Lt. Peter G Brearley DFC joined the RAF in 1941 from Cambridge University Air Sqn. He obtained his Wings in 1942, and then completed a navigation course at 3 School of General Reconnaissance and after OTU in Novembe 1942 Peter G Brearley was posted to 140 Squadron, Army Co-op Command, later Fighter Command, then Tactical Air Force. At first equipped with P.R Spitfires then P.R Mosquitoes. A Photographic Reconnaissance unit dedicated to the Army Intelligence, making a revising maps for the coming invasion, beach gradients for troop landings and photo targets relevant to that operation. Also coverage of flying bomb sites to enable No. 2 Group (Boston & Mitchell medium bombers), stationed on the same airfield to carry out bombing raids to minimise the V1 threat. V2s were launched from mobile lorries so we attacked when seen by fighter-bombers. At first Peter flew Spitfires and later Mosquitoes with F/O Leslie W Preston GM as navigator Flt. Lt Peter G Brearley was awarded the D.F.C in August 1944, presented by H.M. George VI at Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh: - Citation - This Officer has shown great keenness and ability and can always be relied upon to complete his allocated task. He has made a great number of high level photographic sorties, often through most adverse weather, but his results have always been of the highest order. His Squadron started at Mount Farm, near Benson, Oxon, then moved to Hartford Bridge, Hants, re-named Blackbushe, and finally to Northolt after which he left in May 1944. Flt. Lt. Peter G Brearley DFC finished his RAF service as a flying instructor on Mosquitoes when he was sent as a flying instructor to 132 O.T.U, RAF East Fortune, East Lothian. They were the vanguard in converting the Beaufighter squadrons operating from RAF Banff on the Mosquito. As Beaufighters were phased out the O.T.U used Mosquitos entirely. The unit moved to RAF Brawdy for three months in 1945 during which time VE-Day came. Flt. Lt. Peter G Brearley DFC unit then moved back to RAF East Fortune awaiting demob. He had a short spell March to April 1946 at RAF Tain with Coastal Command Instructors School until it closed, after which he was sent back to East Fortune. Flt. Lt. Peter G Brearley DFC was demobbed in August 1946.


Air Marshal Sir Ivor Broom KCB CBE DSO DFC AFC

24 / 1 / 2003Died : 24 / 1 / 2003
Air Marshal Sir Ivor Broom KCB CBE DSO DFC AFC

Entering the RAF in 1940 he joined No 114 Squadron as a sergeant pilot flying Blenheims. After 12 operations he and his crew were allocated to No 105 Squadron and then No 107 Squadron, the last remaining Blenheim Squadron in Malta. The Squadron remained there without relief for five months carrying out low level attacks on the shipping. Very few of the original crews survived the detachment, in fact he was commissioned during this period, when 107 Squadron had lost all their officers and for a short time was the only officer, other than the CO, in the Squadron. At the end of this tour he was awarded the DFC. In early 1943 he became one of the first Mosquito instructors in the Pathfinder Force and later moved to No 571 Squadron with the Light Night Strike Force. He then formed No 163 Squadron as acting Wing Commander. He was awarded a bar to his DFC for a low level moonlight mining attack on the Dormund - Ems Canal from 50ft and then a second bar for getting a 4000lb bomb into the mouth of a railway tunnel during the final German Ardennes offensive. During his time on Mosquitoes his navigator was Tommy Broom, together they formed an inseparable combination. Remaining with the RAF after WWII and in accordance with peacetime rules for a much smaller Air Force he was reduced in rank first to Squadron Leader and then to Flight Lieutenant in 1948. Promoted to Air Marshal in 1974 he became the Head of the UK National Air Traffic Services and was the first serving officer to be appointed to the Board of the Civil Aviation Authority. Retiring from the RAF in 1979 he has been actively engaged in civil aviation since then. He died 24th January 2003.


Squadron Leader TJ Tommy Broom DFC

18 / 5 / 2010Died : 18 / 5 / 2010
Squadron Leader TJ Tommy Broom DFC

Thomas John Broom was born on January 22 1914 at Portishead, Bristol, and educated at Slade Road School, leaving when he was 14 to work as a garage hand. As soon as he reached his 18th birthday he enlisted in the RAF and trained as an armourer. He served in the Middle East, initially in Sudan, and in 1937 was sent to Palestine to join No 6 Squadron. With the threat of war in Europe, however, there was an urgent need for more air observers; Broom volunteered and returned to Britain for training. In February 1939 he joined No 105 Squadron at Harwell, which was equipped with the Fairey Battle. On the day the Second World War broke out No 105 flew to Reims in northern France to support the British Expeditionary Force, and within three weeks Broom had flown his first reconnaissance over Germany. During a raid on Cologne in November 1940 his aircraft was severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire, but the crew managed to struggle back to England where they were forced to bail out as they ran out of fuel. For the next 12 months Broom served as an instructor. He returned to his squadron in January 1942, just as the Mosquito entered service, and on August 25 was sent to attack a power station near Cologne. As the aircraft flew at treetop height across Belgium, the crew spotted an electricity pylon. The pilot tried to avoid it but the starboard engine struck the top of the pylon and the aircraft ploughed into pine trees. Both men survived the crash, and were picked up by members of the Belgian Resistance. They were escorted to St Jean de Luz by the Belgian-run Comet escape line, and Broom crossed the mountains under the aegis of a Spanish Basque guide on September 8; his pilot followed him two weeks later. Twenty-five years after the event Broom returned to St Jean de Luz to meet the woman who had sheltered him from the Germans. After the German advance into the Low Countries on May 10 1940, the Battle squadrons were thrown against Panzers and attacked the crucial bridges across the main rivers, suffering terrible losses. After the fall of France, Broom and some of his comrades managed to reach Cherbourg to board a ship for England. No 105 Squadron was re-equipped with the Blenheim, and during the Battle of Britain Broom attacked the German barges assembling at the Channel ports in preparation for an invasion of England. After spending a period as an instructor at 13 OTU he rejoined 105 Squadron on Mosquitoes, they were in fact the first squadron in the RAF to receive them. Through early 1942 he was navigator on many of the daylight raids carried out by 105 Squadron. In August 1943 Tommy Broom was the chief ground instructor at the Mosquito Training Unit when he first met his namesake Flight Lieutenant Ivor Broom (later Air Marshal Sir Ivor Broom), an experienced low-level bomber pilot. They immediately teamed up and flew together for the remainder of the war, in 163 Squadron as part of the Light Night Strike Force forming a formidable on Mosquitoes including the low level attack on the Dortmund - Ems Canal and completing 58 operations together, including 22 to Berlin. Known as The Flying Brooms Initially they joined No 571 Squadron as part of Air Vice-Marshal Don Bennetts Pathfinder Force, and on May 26 1944 they flew their first operation, an attack on Ludswigshafen. On August 9 they took part in a spectacular night-time mission to drop mines in the Dortmund-Ems Canal. They descended rapidly from 25,000ft to fly along the canal at 150ft, releasing their mines under heavy anti-aircraft fire. The force of eight Mosquitos closed the canal for a number of weeks. Tommy Brooms brilliant navigation had helped ensure the success of the raid, and he was awarded a DFC. The Brooms took part in another daring attack on New Years Day 1945. In order to stem the flow of German reinforcements to the Ardennes, the RAF mounted operations to sever the rail links leading to the area, and the Brooms were sent to block the tunnel at Kaiserslauten. They were approaching the tunnel at low level just as a train was entering it. They dropped their 4,000lb bomb, with a time delay fuse, in the entrance and 11 seconds later it exploded, completely blocking the tunnel the train did not emerge. Tommy Broom received a Bar to his DFC and his pilot was awarded a DSO. When Ivor Broom was given command of No 163 Squadron, Tommy went with him as the squadrons navigation leader and they flew together until the end of the war. Their last five operations were to Berlin, where searchlights posed a perpetual problem. On one occasion they were coned for as long as a quarter of an hour. After twisting, turning and diving to escape the glare, Ivor Broom asked his disoriented navigator for a course to base. Tommy replied: Fly north with a dash of west, while I sort myself out. A few weeks later Tommy Broom was awarded a second Bar to his DFC an extremely rare honour for a bomber navigator. Tommy Broom left the RAF in September 1945, but he and his pilot remained close friends until Sir Ivors death in 2003. Sadly Tommy Broom passed away on 18th May 2010


Captain Eric Brown CBE DFC AFC RN
Captain Eric Brown CBE DFC AFC RN

In the autumn of 1943 a decision was made which was to result in the Mosquito becoming the first twin-engined aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier. To test the idea a Mosquito FBVI was semi navalised and an experienced naval test pilot, Captain Eric Brown, invited to take charge of the tests. After a programme of simulated carrier landings at an airfield, it was decided to carry out the first actual landing on HMS Indefatigable on March 25th 1944. Brown crossed the stern of the carrier with 69 knots indicated airspeed, received the cut signal from the batsman and touched down, picking the number two arrester wire. The touchdown speed was well below what had been expected. While the Sea Mosquito, the eventual, fully navalised version of the aircraft, was too late to see combat it proved, once again, the almost limitless flexibility of the basic Mosquito airframe.

Squadron Leader John Brown DFC
Squadron Leader John Brown DFC

As a pilot he flew with 23 Sqn which was posted to Malta in 1942 where he flew Mosquitos on night time attacks across the Mediterranean.

Flt. Lt. Les Brown AFC AFM AE
Flt. Lt. Les Brown AFC AFM AE

First joined the war as soldier in 1939. He soon realised that he would much prefer to be fighting in the air rather than on the ground and soon joined the RAF and No. 4 Squadron. He amassed a total of 1500 hours flying Mosquitoes. In his flying career he flew 31 different types of aircraft.


Flight Lieutenant Robert Bruce
Flight Lieutenant Robert Bruce

Accepted for aircrew training in February 1942, but only entered Navigation School at Mount Hope, Ontario in March 1943. From there he went to Greenwood, Nova Scotia and was again delayed so that it was already almost Christmas 1943 when he met Sq/Ldr Russ Bannock RCAF, DSO, DFC and Bar, and was accepted by him as navigator. They reached No 418 Squadron RCAF who were Intruders in No 11 Group at D-Day and they destroyed a ME 110 landing at Bourges/Avord on 13/14 June. The Squadron was heavily engaged with VI Flying Bombs through July and August and they destroyed 19. Their other work was on Night Rangers over France and Germany and occasionally on Day Rangers mostly in the Baltic, usually paired with another Mosquito VI.Robert Bruce and Sq/Ldr D A MacFadyin DSO, DFC went to 406 Squadron to train them in Intruder techniques until the war ended and after that he went as Navigation Officer to No 29 Squadron.

Wing Commander Branse Burbridge DSO* DFC*
Wing Commander Branse Burbridge DSO* DFC*

Posted to 85 Squadron on night-fighters in October 1941, Branse Burbridge flew Havocs on his first tour, scoring just a single claim, but when he returned to 85 Squadron for a second tour - this time on Mosquitos, he was far more successful. During the period of the build up to the invasion of Normandy, and after, together with his radar navigator, Bill Skelton, he claimed 21 victories in a ten month spell. In June 1944 he also shot down three V-1s. With his final air victory, in January 1945, he passed the total set by John Cats Eyes Cunningham to become the highest scoring RAF night fighter Ace of the war.


Flight Lieutenant John Jock Cairns
Flight Lieutenant John Jock Cairns

Joined the RAFVR in May 1939 and was called up at the outbreak of war as a navigator. He completed his flying training by the early spring of 1941 and spent a brief period with 224 Squadron, Coastal Command before volunteering for Special Duties as a Navigator/Radio Leader. During training Jock Cairns was crewed with an experienced pilot and posted to the prestigious 85 Squadron, Fighter Command and together with his pilot Sq/Ldr Simon Maude, DFC, achieved the destruction of a Dornier 217 during the Canterbury blitz. After six months rest from operations, John took over as the Navigator/Radio Leader of the Squadron a short and lively tour intruding against Luftwaffe night-fighter airfields and interdiction of rail traffic during which five locomotives were destroyed. After another six months, Fl/Lt Cairns re-crewed with Fl/Lt John Hall and they enjoyed a very successful tour with 488 Squadron, RNZAF in 2nd TAF and were both credited with eight victories and each awarded the DFC with Bar.

Chris Capper
Chris Capper

Chris Capper served in the Royal Air Force from 1941 until 1952. During this time he became a flying instructor and later flew the Mosquito in squadron service. He joined the Empire Test Pilots School in 1948 then served three years at Aero Flight Farnborough where he made 51 flights with the DH108 Swallow. He joined de Havilland in 1953 and was involved in development testing of the 2nd prototype D11110 from Hatfield. Moving to Christchurch/Hum he then flew over 500 sorties on development and testing of the DH 11 0/Sea Vixen and personally flew 88 of the 150 odd aircraft produced. He subsequently took charge of development and testing of the DH125 making the first flight in 1962, finally retiring in 1982

Flight Lieutenant George Cash DFC
Flight Lieutenant George Cash DFC

As Navigator in Joe Patients Mosquito he flew with 139 Sqn over North West Europe. Whilst on his second tour with another pilot he was shot down and finished the war as a PoW.


Squadron Leader J R Cassels DFC*

19 / 12 / 2008Died : 19 / 12 / 2008
Squadron Leader J R Cassels DFC*

No's 14, 29, 98, 106, 125, 139 (Jamaica), and 162 Squadrons. April, 1941 - Enlisted in Edinburgh and accepted for pilot training. April 1941 to April 1942 - No 4 I.TW. Paignton, No 9 E.F.T.S. Ansty, Coventry, No 12 S.F.T.S. Spittlegate, Grantham, (22/01/1941 Received wings as Sgt. Pilot) No 14 O.T.U. Cottesmore flying Hampdens. April 1942 - No 106 Squadron, RAF Coningsby commanded by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, DSO, DFC. I was second pilot on Manchesters and did 4 operational sorties. Converted to Lancasters as first pilot and did 26 operational sorties, including Le Creusot raid on 17 October '42, between June and December 1942. Final sortie on 8 December 1942. December 1942 to March 1943 - Survived several attempts to turn me into a flying instructor. March 1943 - No 1485 Conversion Unit ie. No 5 Group Gunnery Flight training air gunners. October- November 1943 - No 1655 Mosquito Training Unit. November 1943 to June 1944 - No 8 Group, Pathfinder Force - No 139 (Jamaica) Squadron. H2S Mosquito Marking Squadron, RAF Wyton and Upwood. Completed 44 operational sorties before ending up interned in Sweden. 12 June 1944 to 20th September 1944 interned at Falun, Sweden. October 1944 to June 1945 - rejoined No 139 (Jamaica) Squadron at RAF Upwood after an air crew medical where a Group Captain M.0. told me that, as I was warm and my goolies didn't drop oftwhen I coughed, I was back to war. Completed 46 operational sorties before V.E. day. Total sorties on 139 squadron 90. June 1945 to July 1946 - Transport Command, No 162 Squadron flying Mosquitos (ALDS ic, Air Delivery Letter Service) RAF Blackbush. August 1946 to February 1950 - No's 14 and 98 Squadrons, No 139 Wing, RAFO, at RAF Wahn and Celle. February 1950 to August 1950 - abortive EIPS Course. August 1950 to October 1951 - Air Traffic Controllers Course and ATC Officer at RAFWest Raynham. November 1951 to October 1952 - No 29 Night Fighter Squadron, RAF Tangmere. Meteor NFXI. October 1952 to April 1953 - Air Ministry and All Weather Wing, RAF West Raynliam. April 1953 to November 1955 - No 12 Group Headquarters, Group Accidents Officer. November 1955 to April 1957 - No 125 Night Fighter squadron, RAF Stradishall, Meteor NFM and Venom NF. April 1957 to August 1959 - Eastern Sector Operations Centre, Recovery Executive. RAF Neatishead. October 1959 to July 1962 - Hg FEAF, Joint Intelligence Staff. Commissioner Generals Office and RAF Changi. July 1962 to March 1965 - No 3 Group Hg, OC HQ Unit and RAF Liaison Officer to USAF Mildenhall. Retired from RAF as Squadron Leader March 1965. Employed by Airwork Services Ltd, as pilot. March 1965. March 1965 to August 1970 - No 3 (Civilian Anti Aircraft Unit) Exeter Airport. Vampire TX1 and Meteor T=. September 1970 to April 1977 - FRADU ( Fleet Requirements Air Defence Unit) RNAS Yeovilton. Hunter GAII and Mk 8. September 1977. Aged 55. RN age limit for fast jet flying. September 1970. Commissioned in RA17VR M. September 1970 to May 1982 - No 4 AEF, Exeter Airport, Chipmunk. Retired from RAFVRM aged 60, May 1982. Total Flying Hours - 11,300 Ins. Sadly passed away 19th December 2008.

Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC OM DSO** DFC*

31 / 7 / 1992Died : 31 / 7 / 1992
Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC OM DSO** DFC*

One of the most courageous and determined bomber leaders of World War II, Leonard Cheshire flew four operational tours, starting in June 1940 with 102 Squadron on Whitley bombers at RAF Driffield. In November 1940, he was awarded the DSO for getting his badly damaged aircraft back to base. He completed his first tour in January 1941, but immediately volunteered for a second tour, this time flying Halifaxes with 35 Squadron. He became Squadron Leader in 1942, and was appointed commanding officer of 76 Squadron later that year. Leonard Cheshire ordered that non-essential weight be removed from the Halifax bombers in a bid to increase speed and altitude, hoping to reduce the high casualty rates for this squadron. Mid-upper and nose turrets were removed, and exhaust covers taken off, successfully reducing the loss rate. In July 1943 he took command of 617 Squadron. During this time he led the squadron personally on every occasion. In September he was awarded the Victoria Cross for four and a half years of sustained bravery during a total of 102 operations, leading his crews with careful planning, brilliant execution and contempt for danger, which gained him a reputation second to none in Bomber Command. Sadly, Leonard Cheshire died of motor neuron disease on 31st July 1992, aged 74.

Flying Officer Harold Corbin CGM
Flying Officer Harold Corbin CGM

Harold Corbin joined the RAF in November 1940 and was sent to the United States to train as a pilot. On completion he returned to England as a Sergeant and after several positions was posted to 235 Squadron at RAF Portreath flying operations on Beaufighters. He completed many missions attacking various ports and enemy shipping on the French coast and in the Bay of Biscay. In 1944 he converted onto Mosquitos and joined 248 Squadron at RAF Banff, part of the Banff Strike Wing. The Banff Wing was to become immortalised for undertaking some of the most dangerous and concentrated attacks on German surface vessels and U-boats in the North Sea and on the Norwegian coastline. He was awarded the CGM in August 1944, and was given a full commission in December 1944. He had flown as co-pilot / observer with Maurice Webb from 1943 until the end of the war.

Air Vice Marshal Edward Crew CB DSO DFC

18 / 8 / 2002Died : 18 / 8 / 2002
Air Vice Marshal Edward Crew CB DSO DFC

Ted Crew joined 604 Squadron in July 1940 and scored his first victory on August 11. By summer of 1941, flying with Sgt. Guthrie as radio operator, his tally had climbed to 6. In early 1942 he was appointed A flight commander. Later, flying Mosquitos, he had further successes. Between June and September 1944 he destoyed 21 V1s at night over southern England. He ended the war with a total of 12 1/2 victories. Born 24th December 1917. Died 18th August 2002.


Group Captain John Cunningham CBE DSO DFC AE DL FRAeS

21 / 7 / 2002Died : 21 / 7 / 2002
Group Captain John Cunningham CBE DSO DFC AE DL FRAeS

John Cunningham joined the RAF in 1935 with 604 Squadron. At the outbreak of World War Two he was based at North Weald flying Blenheims on day escort and night fighter operations. In September 1940 he converted onto Beaufighters equipped with radar, the first aircraft that made night fighting really possible. In November he had the Squadrons first successful night combat. He took command of 604 Squadron in August 1941. After a period at HQ81 Group, he was posted on his second tour to command 85 Squadron equipped with Mosquitoes. In March 1944 with 19 night and 1 day victory he was posted to HQ11 Group to look after night operations. The most famous Allied night fighter Ace of WWII - 20 victories. He died 21st July 2002. Born in 1917, Group Captain John Cunningham was the top-scoring night fighter ace of the Royal Air Force. Cunningham joined the RAF in 1935 as a Pilot Officer. He learned to fly in the Avro 504N and was awarded his wings in 1936. While assigned to the Middlesex Squadron Auxiliary based at Hendon, Cunningham received instruction in the Hawker Hart prior to moving on the Hawker Demon. The Demon was a two-seat day and night fighter. Cunningharns squadron was mobilized in 1938 following the Czechoslovak crisis. His No. 604 unit was moved to North Weald. Later in 1938 his unit returned to Hendon and was reequipped with the more modern Blenheim 1 fighter. In August of 1939 the unit was again mobilized and returned to North Weald. The Squadron was primarily utilized to provide daylight air cover for convoys. Lacking radar the Blenheim was relatively useless as a night fighter. In September of 1940 the unit was moved to Middle Wallop and the first Bristol Beaufighters arrived. The Beatifighter had a modestly effective, although often unreliable radar. It was an excellent aircraft with reliable air-cooled engines and four 20mm cannons. Cunningham attained the units first night victory in the Beaufighter, and his tally rose steadily. He was promoted to Wing Commander of 604 Squadron in August of 1941. Cunningham completed his first combat tour of duty in mid-1942 with a total of 15 victories. He was then posted to H.Q. 81 Group, which was an operational training group under the Fighter Command. In January of 1943 Cunningham was transferred to command of No. 85 Squadron which was equipped with the Mosquito. With the higher speed of the Mosquito, Cunningham was successful at downing Fw-190s, something impossible in the slower Beaufighter. Cunningham completed his second tour in 1944 with a total of nineteen victories at night and one by day. He was promoted to Group Captain at that time, and was assigned to H.Q. 11 Group. Cunninghams radar operator Sqd. Ldr. Jimmy Rawnsley participated in most of Cunninghams victories. The 604 Squadron was disbanded in 1945, but in 1946 Cunningham was given the honor of reforming the Squadron at Hendon - flying the Spitfire. Cunningham left the RAF in 1946 and joined the De Havilland Aircraft Co. at Hatfield as its Chief Test Pilot. Cunningham had a long and distinguished career in the British aviation industry, retiring from British Aerospace in 1980. Cunningham was appointed OBE in 1951 and CBE in 1963. He was awarded the DSO in 1941 and Bars in 1942 and 1944; the DFC and Bar in 1941, also the Air Efficiency Award (AE). He also held the Soviet Order of Patriotic War 1st Class and the US Silver Star. Group Capt John Cunningham died at the age of 84 on the 21st July 2002.

Squadron Leader Ron Curtis DSO DFC
Squadron Leader Ron Curtis DSO DFC

Qualifying as an Observer in 1941, Ron joined 144 Squadron on Hamdens before transferring to 44 Squadron at Waddington as a Navigator on Lancasters. At the end of the 1942 he moved to Marham, converting to Mosquitos, and in 1943 was posted to 109 Squadron equipped with Oboe as part of the Pathfinder Force. He flew 104 Oboe operations and 139 ops in total, and was widely credited with helping advance development of the Oboe system.

Flt. Lt. Arnold Cussons
Flt. Lt. Arnold Cussons

Flt. Lt. Arnold Cussons joined the RAF in July 1940, but pilot training did not start until early 1941. After EFTS (DH82) and SFTS (Oxford) he was told he must be an Instructor. FIS at Cranwell, instructing at 14 SFTS Lyneham (then grass field!) then secondment to RNZAF at Christchurch until got back to UK September 1943. 8OTU (Dyce) then 540 Sqn, A flight, January 1944. Flew 62 operational flights including Damage Assessment of the Tirpitz just 3 hours after it was sunk by Lancasters. He returned to instructing in July 1945, first as Flt Cdr Mosquitoes at PRU's 8OTU then as CFI when Frank Dodd left. Arnold then went to the Empire Central Flying School as a Tutor. He left the RAF at end of 1949 after a time flying Hornets with 65 Sqn., Linton-on-Ouse near York.

Squadron Leader Robert Dale DSO, DFC
Squadron Leader Robert Dale DSO, DFC

Highly respected Canadian Wellington pilot, and Mosquito master-bomber.

Reg Davie
Reg Davie

Flew on Lancasters and Mosquitos

Flight Lieutenant Allan Davies MID
Flight Lieutenant Allan Davies MID

Joined RAAF in October 1940, served in Iraq and Egypt on Blenheims, then Baltimores, before being posted back to Australia in June 1944. He flew Beauforts and Mosquitoes at 5 OTU. then posted to 97 Sqn at Coomalie Creek NT completing 17 PRU missions over Borneo. His aircraft PR Mosquito Mk XVI A52-600 is being restored to flying condition by the RAAF at Richmond Airbase outside Sydney.

Flight Lieutenant Frank Diamond DFC AE

9 / 2007Died : 9 / 2007
Flight Lieutenant Frank Diamond DFC AE

At the outbreak of war Frank was serving with the Territorial Army, transferring to the RAF in May 1941 and training as a navigator on flying Boats. In 1943 he completed a full tour on Stirlings, and in 1944 joined the Pathfinder Force as a navigator on Mosquitos with 571 Squadron, Light Night Strike Force. At the end of the war he joined Transport Command returning the wounded from Europe. Frank Diamond passed away in September 2007.

Warrant Officer Les Doughty DFM
Warrant Officer Les Doughty DFM

Joining the RAF in 1939 as a driver, Les Doughty was posted overseas to serve in Iraq. In 1941 he applied for, and was accepted, to be a pilot and went on to train in Rhodesia. In 1943 his first operational posting was to 248 Squadron flying Beaufighters from RAF Predannack, providing fighter escorts and coastal patrols, with combat strikes mostly against enemy shipping. He moved with 248 Squadron to RAF Portreath and converted to Mosquitos. In early 1944 whilst out on a strike mission, he attacked submarine U-155 whilst under heavy fire as it was entering the French harbour of Lorient. The submarine was put out of action for the duration of the war, and Les was awarded an immediate DFM.

Flt. Lt. Ted Dunford DFC
Flt. Lt. Ted Dunford DFC

Joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve in January 1939 at the age of 19. He was mobilised September 1, 1939. Ted spent the next year training in the UK culminating in receiving his wings in September 1940. he was sent to Southern Rhodesia as a flying instructor, then returned to the UK to join the Mosquitoes of 608 Sqdn. in the Light Night Striking Force (based at Downham Market, Norfolk) , flying fast high level raids, navigated by Flt/Sgt. Bill Read (RCAF) and carrying 4 500lb bombs, and later re-equipped to deliver the 4000lb cookie. On one raid, flak over Berlin caused serious damage, including total loss of aileron control. The subsequent return flight and successful landing (at the third attempt) was recognised by the award of a DFC. On completion of the tour of 55 raids (including 27 to Berlin), navigator Flt/Sgt. Bill Read was awarded the DFM. After the war Ted flew for another 28 years as an airline captain.


Air Commodore John Ellacombe CB DFC*
Air Commodore John Ellacombe CB DFC*

John Ellacombe joined the RAF in 1939 and was posted to 151 Squadron in July 1940, immediately converting to Hurricanes. On 24th August he shot down a He111, but a week later his Hurricane was blown up in combat and he baled out, with burns. Rejoining his squadron a few months later, in February 1941 was posted to 253 Squadron where he took part in the Dieppe operations. On 28th July, flying a Turbinlite Havoc, he probably destroyed a Do217. Converting to Mosquitos, John was posted to 487 Squadron RNZAF, and during the build up to the Normandy Invasion and after, was involved in many ground attacks on enemy held airfields, railways, and other targets of opportunity. He completed a total of 37 sorties on Mosquitos. Flying a de Havilland Mosquito XIII with a devastating set of four 20mm cannon in the nose, John Ellacombe flew deep into occupied France on the night before D-Day searching out and destroying German convoys and railway targets. As the Normandy campaign raged on, 151 Squadron intensified its interdiction sorties - including night attacks on Falaise and the Seine bridges. On August 1st Ellacombe took part in the famous attack by 23 Mosquitoes on the German bar-racks in Poitiers, led by Group Captain Wykeham Barnes. Ellacombe had first joined 151 Squadron during the Battle of Britain, direct from Flying Training School. Within weeks he had scored his first victory but also force landed in a field, having shot down a He 111, and baled out of a blazing Hurricane. He baled out a second time during the Dieppe Raid in 1942 but was picked up safely. Postwar he had a long and successful career in the RAE.

Flt Lt Cecil S Elliott
Flt Lt Cecil S Elliott

Cecil S. Elliott, Navigator. volunteered for aircrew duties in 1940 and received his call up papers in early 1942. He was first posted to Newquay for ITW and billeted in two hotels, the Coniston and the Kilbourne, just north of Newquay town. He drilled in the large car park area adjacent to the Coniston. The ITW course lasted three months, but with a fortnight to go, two senior officers arrived to advise the trainees that there would be a new category of aircrew Navigator / W/T and six of the intake were interested. They were posted to Trafford Park where they stayed in a Nissen hut with no heating. In June 1943 they were sent to Cranwell on a 12-week course, where they learnt the fundamentals of radio, and MORSE transmitting and receiving. Unfortunately, Cecil failed the morse receiving test so had to stay on for another week, before being sent back to Trafford Park. They then went by rail to Glasgow where they boarded the Queen Mary and crossed the Atlantic in three to four days. On arriving in New York they were each given a small hand of bananas. What joy! They traveled by train on a roundabout route to Quebec airport and started on No 8 AOS Ancienne Lorette course. During the three-month course, from December 1943 to February 1944, a Navigator/W/T was never mentioned again. Elliott was very pleased with the exam marks and won the Navigator Pennant for the course work. The passing out parade was on 5 May 1944 and he was only a sergeant for a few hours as he and five others were offered commissions. The official RAF tailor was in Montreal so they all went together to be fitted and were then posted to Debert, Nova Scotia where they met the pilots with whom they would crew-up at the RCAF No1 OTU. They were confined to the Officers Mess for 48 hours during which time they had to agree the crews. He was fortunate as he crewed up with Dusty Rhoades, who was a professional pilot in civvy street with Bowater Paper. They flew daytime cross-countries and regular circuits and bumps. All those on this OTU returned to the UK in a liner and landed in Glasgow, immediately traveling to Thorney Island to join 21 Squadron. His service with 21 covered three stations Thorney Island; Rosieres near Amiens and Brussels Maelsbrook where they celebrated VE Day. His duties in 21 were classified as Intruders Night operations. They were given an area to patrol in which they shot up and bombed road and rail transport. If they had not released the bombs, they were given a target to bomb on the way out of the area. By June 1945 they had completed over 25 operations. Dusty was repatriated within 10 days of the end of hostilities (one of the terms available to RCAF personnel who volunteered for operations). Most of the crews were Canadian pilots and British Navigators, so the number of guys in the Mess almost halved by the end of June 1945. A serious thought to mention here was the esprit de corps and loyalty of the ground crews. The air crews would not have been able to produce the good record without their superb backing. Cecil does not remember a Mosquito ever being classed as u/s during his service with 21. They normally operated from 10p.m. to midnight and returned 3a.m. to 4a.m. The ground crew were always there enquiring whether everything was OK.

Ft Lt Arthur Eyton-Jones DFC
Ft Lt Arthur Eyton-Jones DFC

Arthur Eyton-Jones joined the RAF in 1940 and flew over 1,000 hours operationally as a navigator on Bostons, Mitchells and Mosquitoes. He flew on the notoriously dangerous day time bombing offensive conducted by the RAF during the Second World War, during which he survived a ditching in the North Sea after flying he spent a short on the gorund at wars end. After the war he left the Royal Air Force and pursued a career in management with Littlewoods Pools before eventually retiring in 1985. He wrote a superb book Day Bomber.


Pat Fillingham FRAeS

17 / 7 / 2003Died : 17 / 7 / 2003
Pat Fillingham FRAeS

A test pilot with de Havilland from the late 1930s, Pat Fillingham is the sole survivor of the elite group of wartime Mosquito test pilots that once included both John de Havilland and Geoffrey de Havilland, sons of the founder of de Havilland Aircraft. In a test career that took him through virtually every mark of Mosquito produced, Pat Fillingham flew over 2000 different aircraft and was involved in the development of manufacturing facilities in Canada and Australia. Candian Mosquitos presented a special delivery problem and one of Pat Fillinghams tasks was to investigate a spate of Mosquito losses on the Atlantic run. After one trip himself that nearly proved disastrous, and then one that was successful, he concluded that the major reason for the losses was a bravado amongst the crews, born of inexperience. For once, the Mosquito had inspired too much confidence. Pat Fillingham died 17th July 2003.


Flight Liutenant M B Flatman
Flight Liutenant M B Flatman

Joining the RAF in 1942, with pilot training in the USA, Mark Flatman is unusual in that his first operational posting was direct to 617 Squadron in September 1944. The final Tirpitz operation was his first as Captain of Aircraft, having done three operations as second pilot, including the previous Tirpitz attempt with Tony Iveson. He was to stay with 617 Squadron until November 1946. Granted an extended service commission he went on to the Bomb Ballistic Unit at Martlesham Heath flying Lancasters, Lincolns and Mosquitoes on experimental work. He left the RAF in 1949 to return to farming, for which he was originally trained.

Flight Lieutenant Les Fletcher DFC*
Flight Lieutenant Les Fletcher DFC*

Initially trained as a pilot in America and was posted to 100 Squadron in the spring of 1943 on Lancasters. Completing a full tour and after a spell training he was posted to 571 Squadron Light Night Strike Force, where he completed two tours on Mosquitos. He finally ended the war flying Yorks for the Diplomatic Service.


Air Chief Marshal Christopher Foxley-Norris

28 / 9 / 2003Died : 28 / 9 / 2003
Air Chief Marshal Christopher Foxley-Norris

Christopher Neil Foxley-Norris, (DSO 1945; OBE 1956; CB 1966, KCB 1969, GCB 1973 ) was born in Birkenhead, Cheshire 16 March 1917. Initially wanting to become a barrister, Foxley-Norris read Law at Trinity College, Oxford, but after he had learned to fly with the University Air Squadron his academic career was cut short by the outbreak of the Second World War, and in early 1940 he was piloting Lysanders with 13 Squadron in France. Then, having participated in the Battle of Britian, Christopher Neil Foxley-Norris trained as a flying instructor and applied his newly acquired skills in Canada under the Empire Air Training Scheme. Christopher Foxley-Norris was posted to the Middle East where he first teamed up with Pat Tuhill, initially on Beaufighters. Returning to Europe in 1943, he flew Beaufighters on anti-shipping operations over the North Sea and the Mediterranean. Foxley-Norris took command of 143 Squadron flying Mosquito IIs and VIs as part of the Banff Strike Wing, led by Max Aitken, for attacks on enemy shipping off Norway. Hazardous operations against heavily defended ships, using rockets and cannon, were made even more dangerous by the weather and fjords which the Mosquitos often had to negotiate below cliff height. Christopher Foxley-Norris went on to a distinguished career in the post-war RAF. His experience was now broadened with a variety of staff and command appointments, including a spell on the Directing Staff at Bracknell and command of the Oxford University Air Squadron and in 1953 his staff skills were recognised when he took over the air planning in Singapore at the height of the Malayan Emergency. Back home in 1956, Foxley- Norris found himself commanding a fighter station, Stradishall, at the time of the Sandys cuts in Fighter Command and in 1963 he served in the recently formed Defence Staff under Earl Mountbatten of Burma, where he gained invaluable experience of Nato and Commonwealth affairs. He was thus an excellent choice to return to Singapore to command 224 Group during the confrontation with Indonesia in 1964. There he commanded a miniature air force of some 300 aircraft in a joint-service campaign where air mobility was the key; this highly cost-effective exercise, as he called it, contributed much to the subsequent stability of South East Asia. Director-General, RAF Organisation, Ministry of Defence 1967-68, Chief of Personnel and Logistics 1971-74; Commander-in-Chief, RAF Germany and Commander, Nato 2nd Tactical Air Force 1968-70; Chairman, Cheshire Foundation (later Leonard Cheshire) 1974-82 (Emeritus), President 2001-03; Chairman, Battle of Britain Fighter Association 1978-2003. Sadly Air Chief Marshal Christopher Foxley-Norris passed away on 28th September 2003.

Wing Commander Moose Fumerton DFC* AFC

10 / 7 / 2006Died : 10 / 7 / 2006
Wing Commander Moose Fumerton DFC* AFC

One of the finest Canadian Beaufighter and Mosquito Aces, 14 victories. Moose Fumerton flew in the Battle of Britain with 32 Sqn before joining 1 RCAF Sqn. Converting to night fighting, he flew successfully in Egypt with 89 Sqn. In June 1942 he and his radar operator Sgt L.P.S. Bing flew with the squadron detachment to Malta. Here they were rapidly to become the islands top scoring night fighter team with 9 victories, Fumerton receiving the DFC and bar, and Bing the DFC and bar and a commission. On his second tour Fumerton commanded 406 Sqn on Mosquitoes, where he claimed the last of his 14 victories. He died 10th July 2006.

Lieut (A) N C Gillis RNVR.
Lieut (A) N C Gillis RNVR.

Volunteered for training as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm in 1940. After training he was posted to join HMS Indomitable and sent to the Far East. The posting did not materialise and after some months in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and Nairobi, Kenya, joined 810 Squadron in HMS Illustrious. 810 was a Swordfish squadron and remained so until HMS Illustrious returned to UK. The squadron then reformed with Barracuda aircraft and rejoined the Illustrious. After a short spell with the Home Fleet the Illustrious was despatched to serve with the Mediterranean Fleet, subsequently returning to the Home Fleet. 810 Squadron served in the ship during this time and was retained in the ship when she retuned to the Eastern Fleet and was actively engaged in the Burma campaign. During joint operations with the US carrier Saratoga, Lt Gillis was mentioned in Despatches during the operation at Sabang in Malaysia. Having overspent his time in an operational squadron he was returned to UK where he served as Dive-Bombing Instructor at RNAS Crail, then converted onto twin-engine aircraft and flew in a Mosquito squadron until demobilised in 1946.

Sqn Ldr George Glenn DFC*
Sqn Ldr George Glenn DFC*

During 1941 he flew as a Pilot on Hampden Bombers with 144 Sqn before joining the Path Finder Force on Mosquitos and serving with 139 Sqn as part of part of the Light Night Strike Force and completing a total of 83 Operations by the end of the war in Europe

Wing Commander Geoffrey Goodman
Wing Commander Geoffrey Goodman

Initially serving with 89 Sqn, he completed a full tour of Operations as a Pilot on Wellingtons. Having converted to Mosquitos he then completed another one-and-a-half tours, amassing over 500 hours of flying over enemy territory, with 544 and 541 Squadrons of the Photo Reconnaissance Unit.

Flight Lieutenant Herbert Bert Graham
Flight Lieutenant Herbert Bert Graham

Bert Graham joined the RAF in 1941 and was immediately posted to a pilot training station in Torquay, Devon. After passing his final exams he then went on to fly Tiger Moths, before being posted to RAF Brize Norton flying Oxfords. In 1942 Bert transferred to start flying with 143 Squadron on Blenheims, but quickly moved on to Beaufighters with the North Coates Strike Wing. For his second tour Bert was posted to Scotland flying Mosquitos, where, before the end of hostilities, he completed many port and shipping strikes over Norway and occupied Europe.

Wing Commander William Gregory DSO, DFC*, AFC, DFM

6 / 10 / 2001Died : 6 / 10 / 2001
Wing Commander William Gregory DSO, DFC*, AFC, DFM

Radar Operator to Ace Bob Braham, flying Defiants, Beaufighters and Mosquitos, and contributing to 29 victories. Wing Commander Bill Sticks Gregory was Air Interception (AI) radar operator to the Second World War night fighter ace Wing Commander Bob Braham. William James Gregory, was born on November 23rd 1913 at Hartlepool, where he attended the Lister Sealy School. Before the war, he worked for his father as a plasterer, and was drummer in the Debroy Somers Band - earning the nickname Sticks. William James Gregory enlisted in the RAF soon after the outbreak of war, and in May 1940 was posted to No 29.Squadron as a wireless operator/air gunner. Subsequently, he was redesignated observer/radio operator and then radar operator. Before teaming up with Braham, Gregory had a nasty experience when he and his pilot were, as he noted in his logbook, scrambled to intercept Huns raiding Liverpool. They were about to shoot down a Do17 when their Beaufighter was hit in the starboard wing by friendly anti-aircraft fire. Having baled out at 16,000 feet, Gregory landed on the roof of Lime Street station - and as he climbed down to the ground rail passengers mistook him for a German airman and roughed him up. Flight Sergeant William Gregory joined Wing Commander Bob Braham when he stood in temporarily for Brahams usual radar operator, Gregorys superb radar skills helped Braham to destroy 29 German aircraft in the night skies over Britain and occupied Europe - a tally which was among the highest of any wartime RAF fighter pilot, flying by day or night. Their first combat took place in early July 1941. Flying in a twin-engine Bristol Beaufighter of No.29 Squadron over a moonlit Thames Estuary, Gregory called to Braham: Contact dead ahead and at 2,000 yards.As Braham went into a gentle dive to close the range and to get below a Ju 88 bomber, the enemy opened fire. When Gregory urged Braham to open up, Braham said calmly: No, not yet. We must get closer to make sure of him. Despite heavy fire from the Ju88, Braham continued to delay firing, until with three short bursts he sent the bomber blazing down into the Thames. Later that year, after a brief detachment in Scotland to assist No.141 Squadron convert from obsolescent Boulton Paul single-engine Defiants to Beaufighters, Braham and Gregory returned to No.29 at West Malling in Kent. Early in 1942, Gregory was commissioned a pilot officer - a promotion for which Braham had been pressing - and he and Braham were posted as instructors to No.51, a night fighter Operational Training Unit at Cranfield. Keen to return to operations, in early June the two men slipped away for an unofficial weekend visit to their old squadron, No.29, in Kent. During a night sortie, Gregory positioned Braham to attack a Do217 bomber. Braham soon set it alight, and it dived into the sea off Sandwich. Bad weather then caused them to divert to Manston, on the Kent coast. With fog rolling in from the sea, Braham overshot and crash-landed in a ploughed field. After the mishap at Manston, Gregory and Braham returned to No.29 Squadron where Braham became a flight commander. In December 1942 Braham, aged only 22, received command of No.141 Squadron at Ford on the south coast; Gregory, at 29 the old man of the team, stayed with him. One moonlit night, Gregory and most of the squadron aircrew were having a party at Worthing, on the Sussex coast, when they heard enemy aeroplanes overhead. Racing back to their airfield they took off in their waiting Beaufighter. Gregory brought the aircraft to within visual range of a Do 217 bomber, flying at 15,000 feet. There was an exchange of fire in which Braham, having rather enjoyed himself at the party, opened up at too long a range. Gregorys caustic comments quickly sobered Braham up, and in four long bursts he sent the Dornier diving ablaze into the sea. Early in 1943 the squadron moved west to Predannack, near the Lizard Point in Cornwall, mainly for night training. Visiting Fighter Command, Braham urged the use of AI night fighters in support of the bomber offensive over occupied Europe, in which heavy losses were being incurred. Although his proposal was not accepted at this stage, he won approval for moonlight attacks on rail and road traffic on the Brest peninsula. At the end of April 1943 Braham and Gregory led No.141 Squadron to Wittering, near Stamford, Lincolnshire. Their aircraft were now fitted with Serrate, a radar device which enabled Gregory and his fellow operators to home in on enemy fighter transmissions from a distance of up to 100 miles. This was an ideal aid in Gregorys new night-intruding role, and after he and Braham had exchanged their Beaufighter for a de Havilland Mosquito equipped with Serrate, the two men went into action in support of Sir Arthur Harriss bomber formations. One night, flying over Cologne, they were attacked by two enemy night fighters, one of which shot out their port engine, obliging them to make a perilous return back to base. Another night, supporting a raid over Mannheim, Gregory logged a hell of a dogfight. In a 25-minute battle, they destroyed one German aircraft - an Me 110 fighter - and drove off another. In March 1944, Gregory, by now highly experienced, joined the night operations staff at No 2 Group, 2nd Tactical Air Force (2nd TAF) headquarters, where Braham had preceded him. Such was his and Brahams hunger for action that from time to time they would slip away from their desks to freelance on sorties over Europe with various Mosquito squadrons. On one daylight sortie, they destroyed an He 177 heavy bomber which was circling Chateaudun airfield in France at 1,000 feet. Caught in a stream of fire from their Mosquitos nose guns, the bomber, Gregory recalled, reared up like a wounded animal, winged over on its back and dived vertically into the ground. On May 12 1944, Gregory and Braham - truanting again from the operations room - had just taken part in the destruction of a Fw190 fighter off the Danish coast when an Me 109 fighter struck. Short of fuel, and further damaged by anti-aircraft fire, Braham coaxed the stricken aircraft towards home until he had to ditch 70 miles off the Norfolk coast, where they were rescued by two minesweepers. Shortly after that, the team broke up. Braham was shot down and ended the war as a prisoner; Gregory continued staff duties. While Braham accumulated three DSOs, three DFCs and an AFC in the course of his wartime service, Gregory was awarded a DSO, two DFCs, an AFC and a DFM. At the end of the war, Gregory accepted a permanent commission, specialising in navigation and fighter control. He received the Air Efficiency Award in 1946, and after commanding RAF Wartling, in East Sussex, retired in 1964. Thereafter, until final retirement, he worked as an estate agent at Eastbourne. He was a member of Cooden Beach golf club and, having retained his drumming skills, played with a local band. Later in life, so as to be near his daughter, he moved to Camberley, Surrey, where golf, bowls and darts - he was known as The Demon - brought him much enjoyment. Sadly Wing Commander Gregory passed away at the age of 87, on the 6th October 2001

Flight Lieutenant Douglas Hadland
Flight Lieutenant Douglas Hadland

Joining the RAF in 1941, Douglas completed his training in Canada and qualified as a navigator, returning to the UK to spend a brief time with the Navigation Research Flight before being posted to 162 Squadron in No.8 Pathfinder Group at Bourn, near Cambridge, flying Mosquitos. At the end of the war he went briefly to Black Bush Airport flying operations, dropping diplomatic mail in Oslo, Visbarden and Brussels before being posted back to 8 group with 692 Squadron Light Night Strike Force to prepare for the then proposed invasion of Japan.

Flying Officer Les Hadley
Flying Officer Les Hadley

As a Navigator Les did a full Tour with 40 Squadron on Wellingtons. His second tour was completed on Mosquitos with 139 PFF, from where he later transferred back to heavy Bombers with 156 PFF, completing his war-time service.

Group Captain Richard Haine OBE DFC

30 / 9 / 2008Died : 30 / 9 / 2008
Group Captain Richard Haine OBE DFC

Richard Dickie Haine was born in St Stephens in October 1916. In 1936, he qualified as an RAF pilot, and flew the Hawker Fury with No.25 Sqn, which re-equipped with Bristol Blenheims prior to the outbreak of war. In February 1940, he transferred to No.600 Sqn. Shortly afterwards, he piloted one of six Blenheims tasked with attacking an airfield where Ju52 transport aircraft and their cargo of paratroops were reported to be landing during the Blitzkrieg on Holland. During this action he was shot down and crash landed, escaping back to Britain on the destroyer HMS Hereward, the destroyer which evacuated Queen Wilhelmina and her government. He was awarded the DFC for his actions over Holland that day. On his return to England, he flew night patrols on Blenheims, Defiants and Beaufighters, but rarely intercepted any aircraft due to poor radar. In January 1944 he took the post of Commanding Officer of No.488 Sqn flying Mosquitoes. With this squadron he flew beachhead patrols on D-Day, and had victories over two Ju88s. He was appointed to No.302 Sqn in the Pacific but had yet to arrive when the Japanese surrendered. He continued his career in the RAF until his retirement. Sadly, Richard Haine died on 30th September 2008


Squadron Leader John Hall, DFC*
Squadron Leader John Hall, DFC*

Squadron Leader John Hall, DFC and Bar (85 Sqn. Pilot) joined the RAF in 1940 and after gaining his wings, followed by operational training at Cranfield, near Bedford, he joined 85 Squadron, then stationed at Hunsdon, in the North Weald sector. At that time, 85 Squadron flew twin engine Havocs, a night fighter version of the American light bomber, the Boston, with the radar operator where the Bostons gun turret would have been and 12 machine guns in the nose, in place of the Bostons navigator. The radar then was the Mark 4, not very reliable, and with a very limited range. During 1942, the Squadron re-equipped with the much faster and more maneuverable Mosquito, with a scanner in the nose for the infinitely more effective Mark 8 radar and 4 cannon, [instead of the Havocs 12 machine guns] After a rest from operations, during which he taught budding night fighter pilots air gunnery, John Hall teamed up with John Cairns as his navigator/ radar operator and they joined 488 New Zealand Night Fighter Squadron at Bradwell Bay on the Essex coast, destroying three German bombers during the mini-blitz of early 1944. The Squadron flew over the D-day beaches from Zeals, and Colerne in Wiltshire, before moving at the end of 1944 to Amiens Glisy in northern France and then to Gilze Rijen in Holland, where it celebrated VE Day. During this time Hall shot down a further 5 German aircraft over France and Germany.

Flight Lieutenant Ray Harington
Flight Lieutenant Ray Harington

Ray joined the RAF in 1941, completing his training in South Africa. In January 1944 he was posted to 603 Squadron flying Beaufighters in North Africa. Here he teamed up with navigator, Warrant Officer A.E. Bert Winwood, and from where they launched attacks across the Mediterranean into Crete, Greece and the Aegean Islands against shipping, harbour installations and enemy aircraft with much success. In December 1944 they were posted to 235 Squadron Coastal Command, part of the Banff Strike Wing, converting to Mosquitos. In April 1945 they were shot down following a strike in the Kattegat, but avoided capture and with the help of the Danish resistance made it home, where they continued to fly again from Banff.

Flight Lieutenant Frank Hawthorne
Flight Lieutenant Frank Hawthorne

Joining the RAF in 1940, Frank Hawthorne trained on Mosquitos as a Navigator and Observer. Between 1942 and 1944 he completed a tour on Beaufighters, and was then posted to fly a tour with 333 Squadron, Royal Norwegian Air Force, at Banff. Owing to their knowledge of the Norwegian coast, 333 Squadron flew in advance of the rest of the Wing, seeking targets for the main Banff Strike Wing force. Frank retired from the RAF in 1946.

Flight Officer Eric Hill DFC DFM
Flight Officer Eric Hill DFC DFM

Flight Officer Eric Hill DFC DFM joined the RAF in 1941 and crewed up with F/Lt F L Dodd AFC in January 1944. He joined 544 Mosquito PRU Squadron (detached from RAF Benson to Leuchars) in March 1944. They did all their 53 operational flights together, including flying diplomatic mail to Churchill at the Big Three Conferences in Moscow, Athens and Yalta. They photographed the battleship Tirpitz at anchor in Alten Fjord (north Norway) in July 1944 having lost their cockpit hood cover moments before. In other sorties, they survived a half-hour chase by two ME262 jets over Magdeburg and a ME109 attack while on one engine over the same city. Frank Dodd stayed in the service as a pilot after the war, finally retiring as Air Vice Marshal, CBE DSO DFC AFC*** AE LRPS.


Flight Lieutenant Aubrey Hilli Hilliard
Flight Lieutenant Aubrey Hilli Hilliard

'Hilli' Hilliard trained as a pilot on Blenheims and Beaufighters, and in April 1943 was posted to 618 Squadron on Mosquitos, specially formed to carry Barnes Wallis's famous bouncing bomb. In August he transferred to the Mosquitos of the Banff Strike Wing. Whilst attacking and damaging a number of U-boats, one of which returned fire, damaging his aircraft. Forty years later 'Hilli' met the U-boat's capitan, Gunther Heinfich, and became good friends.

Wing Commander B.E. Dick Hogan
Wing Commander B.E. Dick Hogan

Pilot, transferred from the Army to the Royal Air Force in May 1941 and was trained as a pilot on Tiger Moths at Brough on Humberside and on Air Speed Oxfords at Grantham, Lincs. After qualifying in December 1941, he served at several flying stations in the UK, before being posted to Army Cooperation at Old Sarum, Salisbury, as a Flying Instructor. It was here in the Officers Mess one night after dinner, that he first met the legendary Group Captain Charles Pickard DSO, DFC. who had recently assumed command of 140 Mosquito Wing in 2 Group. Group Captain Pickard was on the lookout for suitable pilots to join his wing, and was personally recruiting likely chaps in his travels around the flying stations and at the RAF Club in Piccadilly, London, as casualties had been high and replacements too slow coming from the Mosquito Operational Training Unit. After a late night drink Group Captain Pickard asked Dick Hogan two questions, Have you flown 1000 hours and also twin-engined aircraft? After receiving an affirmative reply, he wrote Hogans name on the back of an envelope and left the Mess. At the time it was every pilots ambition to fly the Mosquito, particularly the Mark V1 Fighter Bomber on low-level operations. The competition was fierce and Hogans expectations were none too high after this informal late-night encounter with Pickard. However a few days later he was posted direct to 140 Wing at Sculthorpe, Norfolk where, on arrival, he found great activity on the Wing as they were preparing for the first low-level- raid on the V1 Flying Bomb sites in France. The first attack was to be led by Air Vice Marshal Basil Embry, DSO, DFC, AFC. the Air Officer Commanding 2 Group. His navigator was to be Francis Chichester the famous navigator and yachtsman. Soon after this raid the Wing moved to a new airfield at Hunsdon just north of London. Here Hogan was able to complete a couple of conversion flights and was teamed up with navigator Alan Crowfoot, a splendid, imperturbable Australian. After 10 training flights they were launched into Operation No Ball the code name for the systematic low-level bombing of all the known flying bomb sites, located mainly in the Pas De Calais area. It was tree and wave top flying to keep under the German radar. On approach to the target the boxes of 4 Mosquitoes would climb to about 400 feet, then a shallow dive followed at approximately 50 feet with the bomb release by the pilot of 4 x 500 lb. 11 second delay bombs. (The pilots stick head had four separate controls for the operation of; (1) 4 x 20MM Canon (2) 4 x .303 Machine Guns (3) V.H.F. Transmit Button 4) Bomb Release Button.) In the heat of the moment errors could occur! Following 140 Wings raid on the prison at Amiens on 18th February 1944, low-level raids were phased out and the Wing tried high-level bombing with a lead aircraft from the Pathfinder Force, followed thereafter by night interdiction. The Germans had re-calibrated their gunsights and the low-level daylight strategy was now too expensive. In the spring of 1944 Hogan spent some months in RAF Hospital, Ely before being returned to duty with a limited medical category. Then followed ground appointments at the Central Fighter Establishment, Tangmere and Air Ministry, London, before being posted overseas to the British Military Mission in Budapest in 1946. This was the beginning of a series of Special Duty assignments, which were followed by attach posts at the British Embassies in Baghdad, Bonn, Berne and Rome. Hogan also flew Wellingtons, Lancasters and the earlier post-war jets and qualified from the Central Flying School in November 1955 as a jet instructor. From there he took over the University of Birmingham Air Squadron and then as C.O. RAF Staging Post at Hickham A.F.B. Hawaii, the support unit for the atomic test base on Christmas Island. In August 1973 he was recruited by the International Red Cross to coordinate the medical and relief aid in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Wing Commander Hogan retired from the RAF after 33 years of service.

W/O S. F. (Paddy) Hope
W/O S. F. (Paddy) Hope

W/O S. F. (Paddy) Hope joined the RAFVR in July 1940 and trained as a WOP/Nav at Blackpool, Yatesbury, Torquay and Staverton, joining 236 Squadron, Coastal Command at Carew Cheriton, S. Wales in October 1941 on Blenheims. After 3 operations, he converted to Beaufighters before moving to Wattisham, where he did 3 operations on Beaufighters over the German Bight. Paddy then transferred to PRU Benson on Mosquitoes in May 1942. He completed 20 more ops with F/O F McKay (N.Z.) before baling out over Belgium in December 1942 after engine failure. After evading for one month, he was captured at the Spanish frontier with Comete Line leader (A deJongh) and held by the Gestapo for questioning, for four months. He was made a P.o.W. in Germany until returning home on 11 May 1945.

Flight Lieutenant Harry Hughes DFC DFM AE*
Flight Lieutenant Harry Hughes DFC DFM AE*

After joining the RAF in March 1941, Harry Hughes trained as a Navigator. On completion of training he was posted to join 102 (Ceylon) Squadron at RAF Pocklington flying Halifaxes. Harry completed his first tour with 102 Sqn. For his second tour Harry was posted to join 692 Squadron at Graveley, as Navigator (B). Equipped with Mosquito light bombers, 692 Squadron was part of the Light Night Striking Force of N0.8 (PFF) Group, Bomber Command; famous for its fast striking raids on Berlin using 4000lb cookie bombs.

Squadron Leader Leonard C. Jacobe DFC RAAF
Squadron Leader Leonard C. Jacobe DFC RAAF

Joined the RAAF in February 1941 and after training and instructing, was posted to fly Mosquitos with 109 Sqn PFF in June 1943. During his time with 109, Len completed 96 sorties, flew LR503 on two occasions, and attacked every main target with the squadron, including ground marking of German coastal batteries on the eve of the Normandy landings on June 6th 1944.

Kev Kavin
Kev Kavin

Navigator on Mosquitos on the Amiens Raid.


Squadron Leader T Kearns
Squadron Leader T Kearns

New Zealander Terry Kearns joined the RNZAF in December 1940, transferring to England in 1941 to join 75 (NZ) Squadron, flying Wellingtons. In 1942 he took part in the first 1000 bomber raids before joining 156 Squadron Pathfinders. After a period as an instructor, he joined 617 Squadron at Warboys on operations. He flew the Mosquito FBVI on precision low-level target marking throughout 1944. He took part in most of 617's major operations, including raids on the Samur rail tunnel, and the V1 rocket sites.

Wing Commander Rollo Kingsford Smith DSO DFC AM
Wing Commander Rollo Kingsford Smith DSO DFC AM

Rollo Kingsford Smith flew in the Pacific escorting the 1st AIF convoys to leave Australia. Posted to Europe he commanded 467 and 463 Lancaster Sqns RAAF, Bomber Command, also 627 Pathfinder Mosquito Sqn becoming Chief Instructor. Commanded RAAF contingent to victory celebration in 1946.


Flight Lieutenant Charles A Krause
Flight Lieutenant Charles A Krause

Charlie Krause flew Mosquitos with No.418 Sqn RCAF.

Squadron Leader Frank Leatherdale DFC
Squadron Leader Frank Leatherdale DFC

Originally flew as a Navigator with 115 Squadron on Lancasters and after a period of instructing was sent to 7 Squadron PFF as a Master Navigator. Frank finished the War on Mosquitoes and completed 59 Operations with Bomber Command.

Sqd Ldr Larry Lewis DFC DFM
Sqd Ldr Larry Lewis DFC DFM

Larry Lewis started the war on Wellingtons, moving to Dakotas on Special Operations in Burma where he won an immediate DFC for a mission to pick up crew and special forces from the jungle, where two other Dakotas had failed.

Wing Commander Ian Linney
Wing Commander Ian Linney

Flew the Mosquito with No.107 Squadron.


Flying Officer Eric Loveland
Flying Officer Eric Loveland

Flew the Mosquito with No.68 Squadron.


Sqn Ldr W E Bill Lucas DFC
Sqn Ldr W E Bill Lucas DFC

Born in 1917, Bill Lucas volunteered for aircrew early in 1940 and after training as a fighter pilot he became, due to the high demand, a bomber pilot and joined 9 Squadron (Wellingtons) in August 1941. After 14 missions over Germany Bill converted to Stirlings and completed a further 26 operations, this time with 15 Squadron at Wyton. After two years instructing at 19 OTU Kinloss he was selected to join Pathfinder Force in October 1944 to fly Mosquitoes with 162 Squadron at Bourn, Cambridgeshire, where he remained until war end to complete 41 more missions making 81 in total. Bill attained the rank of Squadron Leader and was awarded the DFC and a Mention in Despatches. The most memorable of his missions must be the first 1000 bomber raid on Cologne on May 30 1942, as this seems to have struck a lasting memory in the minds of the general public. After the war Bill pursued a career in the insurance industry and also began to pick up the pieces of a serious athletic activity with the Belgrave Harriers which resulted in selection for the 5000 metres at the Olympic Games at Wembley in 1948, but at the age of 32 he was not in his own words very successful. Bill says his greatest regret was missing the games in Helsinki in 1940 and the cancelled games in 1944. These should have been the best athletic years of my life.


Wing Commander Laddie Lucas CBE DSO DFC

1998Died : 1998
Wing Commander Laddie Lucas CBE DSO DFC

Laddie Lucas rose in two years from Aircraftman 2nd class to Command no. 249, the top scoring fighter squadron in the Battle of Malta in 1942. He was then 26. Lucas led two Spitfire squadrons and in 1943 a wing on the Western Front. 1944 switching to Mosquitoes of the 2nd tactical air force. After the war he was a conservative MP for ten years. He was also one of Britains best amateur golfers, captaining Cambridge University, England in the Walker Cup, Great Britain and Ireland against the United States, to date he has written eleven books. Sadly Laddie Lucas passed away in 1998.

Squadron Leader Don MacFadyen DSO DFC*
Squadron Leader Don MacFadyen DSO DFC*

Born in Montreal on 18th December 1920, Don MacFadyen flew Mosquito night intruder missions with 418 & 406 (RCAF) Squadrons deep into the heart of the Third Reich. He finished the war with 7 air-to-air kills, 1 probable & 5 V-1 rocket bombs destroyed in the air. He flew with No.418 Sqn RCAF from 7th December 1943 to 25th July 1944, then with No.406 Sqn RCAF from 20th November 1944 to 10th September 1945.

Wing Commander Norman Mackie DSO DFC

1 / 1 / 2003Died : 1 / 1 / 2003
Wing Commander Norman Mackie DSO DFC

Joining the RAF in 1940 he was posted in April 1941 to 83 Sqn at Scampton flying Hampdens and Manchesters, joining OTU as an instructor on Wellingtons in March 1942. He then rejoined 83 Sqn now at Wyton as a Pathfinder flying Lancasters until he was shot down by German Night Fighters in March 1943. Having been captured he escaped to Switzerland and after a period there managed to return to Britain through France and Spain. In May 1944 he joined 571 Sqn flying Mosquitoes with the Light Night Strike Force taking part in many of the units operations over Western Germany. He left the RAF in December 1967.He died 1st January 2003.

Flight Lieutenant Walter Le May DFC
Flight Lieutenant Walter Le May DFC

Flight Lieutenant Walter Le May DFC joined the R.A.F. in 1941,and trained as an Observer in Canada, joining 140 Squadron, Army Co-operation Command, at Hartford Bridge (now Blackbushe). The squadron, engaged on photo- reconnaissance, was unique in that one flight was equipped with Spitfires while a second flight, converting from Blenheims to Lockheed Venturas, was used for night operations. In June 1943 the squadron became part of the 34 Wing 2nd Tactical Air Force, and later converted to Mosquito 1X & XV1. Mainly involved in night operations, he, with his pilot, F/Lt Ray Batenburg DFC, R.N.Z.A.F., crossed the French coast a few minutes after midnight on D-Day, and took photographs of key points, followed by nearly 2 hours of low-level visual reconnaissance, at heights down to 200 feet. After operational flying he was appointed Night Ops. Controller 34 Wing, and, afterwards Ops. Controller at H.Q. 2 Group, Gutersloh.

Squadron Leader Tom McPhee CB DFC*

22 / 2 / 2009Died : 22 / 2 / 2009
Squadron Leader Tom McPhee CB DFC*

Born in Greenock in November 1917, Tom McPhee joined the RAFVR in 1938, and at the outbreak of war Tom was called up and posted to 139 Squadron as a Sergeant Pilot flying Blenheims on low level bombing raids. He was commissioned in 1941. In August 1943 he joined 464 Squadron flying Mosquitos, and in February 1944 took part in Operation Jericho when 18 Mosquitos of 140 Wing , nd TAF, attacked the Gestapo held prison at Amiens, liberating over 100 French Resistance fighters, many of whom had been condemned to execution the following morning. Flying number two on the raid he was promoted to Squadron Leader as a result. From June 1944 he was posted to a Forward Control Unit until the end of the war. Sadly passed away 22nd February 2009.

Flt Lt Bob Milne DFM
Flt Lt Bob Milne DFM

As a pilot with 47 Squadron, Bob flew Beaufighters in North Africa and the Mediterranean. His Squadron was then sent to the Far East where they converted to Mosquitos, operating over Burma in 1944/45.

Flying Officer Ken Oatley
Flying Officer Ken Oatley

As a Navigator, Ken was due to fly four-engined Bombers, but was transferred to 627 Squadron on Mosquitoes for the Pathfinder Force of 8 Group. Ken was the lead marker in the bombing of Dresden February 1945.

Wing Commander Douglas Oxby DSO DFC DFM*

10 / 4 / 2009Died : 10 / 4 / 2009
Wing Commander Douglas Oxby DSO DFC DFM*

Wing Commander Douglas Oxby, DSO, DFC, DFM and Bar, wartime night fighter navigator, was born on July 10, 1920. Douglas Alfred Oxby was born in Cardiff in 1920 and educated at Canton High School there. He worked as a barristers clerk before enlisting in the RAF in 1940. Wing Commander Douglas Oxbys combat career lasted, with one rest from operations, from the autumn of 1941 until the spring of 1945. Douglas Oxby was responsible for 22 successful interceptions, making him the RAFs top-scoring radar operator of the Second World War. These combat victories were achieved first in Beaufighters with the Australian pilot Flight Lieutenant Mervyn Shipard,with 68 squadron there first air victory was a Heinkel HE 111 bomber which they shot down over llangefri in North Wales. They were next posted to 89 Squadron, operating first out of Egypt and then, as a detachment of the squadron, sent to join in the desperate air defence of Malta, where they were in the thick of the action. From July 1942, a particularly intense month, they often took off to intercept the enemy with bombs falling on their airfield all around them. In this month and during the resumption of the enemys air offensive in October that year they accounted for about eight Axis aircraft, mainly Ju88s and He111s. Oxby took part in the defenc eof Tobruk and in June 1943 Oxby was posted back to the UK where he was commissioned. In August 1944 Oxby was posted to 219 Squadron (Mosquitoes) commanded by Peter Green, fresh himself from a busy summer intercepting V1 buzz bombs. Green and Oxby now embarked on a period of remarkable success as the RAFs night fighters grappled with the enemys tactical bombers and fighters over the battlefields of northwest Europe. Their most spectacular achievement was the destruction of three Ju87s in a single sortie over Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and they continued to take a toll both of this type and the Ju88. Once feared as the Stuka by the Polish, French and British armies to which its presence had been the bane in the early battles of the war, the Ju87 had by this time been exposed as a lumbering anachronism. For his service and achievement he was awarded two Distinguished Flying Medals (he had begun flying as a sergeant) a Distinguished Flying Cross and a Distinguished Service Order. His combat Service saw him in North Wales, and the Mediterranean and North Africa and operations supporting the North West Europe campaign over the Netherlands and Germany. After the war Oxby was granted a permanent commission and rose to the rank of wing commander. After appointments that included directing staff of the Joint Services Staff College and assistant air adviser, British High Commission, Ottawa, he retired from the RAF in 1969. Thereafter he made his home in Canada where he was a civil servant in the Ministry of Health in Ontario until 1984. Sadly he died on April 10, 2009, aged 88.

Wing Commander D A G Parry

8 / 1999Died : 8 / 1999
Wing Commander D A G Parry

Born in 1915 in England, George Parry was interested in aviation from an early age, and the daring exploits of the WW1 aces inspired the youngster with the ambition to become a flyer. Parry joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and flew on weekends and in his spare time. When War was declared against Germany, Parry was activated and was sent to 10 F.T.S. and 13 O.T.U. for training. Parry was posted to 110 Squadron at Wattisham, which was equipped with the Mk IV Bristol Blenheim. Parry flew daylight missions attacking Axis airfields and shipping. When cloud cover permitted, deeper penetration was possible. These attacks were carried out against Channel ports, and waterways on the continent. As the Luftwaffe shifted to night bombing emphasis, 110 Squadron shifted its emphasis to enemy airfields and industrial targets. Parry completed his combat tour in October of 1940, and was reassigned to 13 O.T.U. in Bicester in April. In October of 1941 Parry was posted to 105 Squadron in Swanton Morley. This Squadron was equipped with Mosquitoes shortly after Parry arrived. The Squadron was utilized for the first daylight bombing raid on Berlin. Many mission were flown against power stations, locomotive repair works, and other important industrial targets. These missions were typically low altitude, high speed raids, where the Mosquito's fast speed could be used to advantage. In September of 1942 Parry was selected to lead a daring daylight low altitude raid on the Gestapo Headquarters in Oslo, Norway. This mission was requested by Norwegian resistance officials to boost morale. One of the four aircraft which participated in the raid was forced to make a crash landing, while the other three aircraft returned unharmed. Parry also made many flights to Stockholm carrying diplomatic mail. On these missions Parry flew a Mosquito with civilian markings while carrying a civilian passport. In 1943 Parry completed his combat tour with 105 Squadron, and was thereafter posted to Headquarters Bomber Command. After a short assignment with O.T.U. at Silverstone, Parry was transferred to the 2nd Tactical Air Force. Parry assisted No 2. Group Squadrons in their conversion to the Mosquito, and then ran the O.T.U. at Bicester which provided aircrew training for the 2nd Tactical Air Force. His final assignments with the RAF were at H.Q. 12 Group and RAF Church Fenton. Following the war in 1947, Parry left the RAF, but remained in the Reserves. In civilian life Parry took up the occupation of structural engineer. Following thirty-two years in civilian life, Parry retired in 1979. While in the RAF Reserve, Parry commanded the Norfolk Air Training Corps from 1949 to 1956. He also commanded No. 3620 Fighter Control Unit of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and was involved with the Norfolk Emergency Commission as its Scientific Adviser. Parry's decorations include the D.S.O., M.B.E., D.F.C., and A.E. Sadly he died in August 1999.

Flight Lieutenant Gwyn Parry DFC
Flight Lieutenant Gwyn Parry DFC

Flight Lieutenant Gwyn Parry DFC was called up from Oxford University Air Squadron in August 1941 and was commissioned after completion of training in Canada in June 1942. After a navigation course at Squires Gate and PR, OTU he joined 140 Squadron based at Hartfordbridge and later Northolt. The operations he undertook on Spitfires were mostly at high level (up to 34,000 feet) over France and the Low Countries, but also some in Mosquitoes at 12,000 feet over French pre-invasion beaches.

Squadron Leader Joe Patient DFC
Squadron Leader Joe Patient DFC

As a pilot on 139 Sqn he flew with George Cash as his Navigator as part of the Pathfinder Force completing 59 Operations in Mosquitos over North West Europe.

Squadron Leader Charles Patterson
Squadron Leader Charles Patterson

Charles Patterson joined the RAF on the outbreak of WWII and flew Whitleys. He switched to Blenheims in 1940 with 114 Squadron on anti-shipping operations over Norway. After a period instructing he briefly flew Bostons before converting to Mosquitoes with 105 Squadron flying mostly Daylight raids, but also the first night raid to Berlin. In January 1943 he was selected as pilot for the Mosquito Film Unit and flew Mosquito DZ414 (now restored) on over 20,000 operational hours both day and night. In September 1943 he converted 3 Ventura Squadrons to Mosquitoes under Group Captain Pickard. In total he completed an unprecedented 3 tours on Mosquitoes, his final tour being with 487 Squadron (New Zealand) mainly on strikes against V1 sites. On D-Day he flew the film unit Mosquito over the beach head during the invasion.

Sqn Ldr John Pemberton
Sqn Ldr John Pemberton

Also known as Zbysek Necas, Czechoslovakian 'Nicky' joined 68 Squadron as a Navigator and flew Mosquitos as night time defence over the British mainland, accounting for 3 German aircraft. Post War he flew Lightnings and Phantoms in the Cold War against the Russians.


Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Perks DFC
Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Perks DFC

Joining the RAF in July 1941 he trained as a pilot in the USA and was posted to 420 Sqn as part of no 6 Group (RCAF) initially flying Wellingtons. The unit then converted to Halifaxes and he moved firstly to 427 Squadron and then 434 Sqn still flying this aircraft. In November 1944 he joined OTU as an instructor on Halifaxes, converting to Mosquitoes in January 1945. He then joined 571 Sqn as part of the Light Night Strike Force, flying the B Mk XVI and dropping 4000lb cookie bombs over Germany. He left the RAF in 1946 but rejoined, finally leaving in 1958

Lt Derek Phillips
Lt Derek Phillips

Originally a Navigator with the Fleet Air Arm on Fairy Fulmars with 784 Squadron, but during 1943 he was with 456 Squadron flying Mosquito Ranger Missions over North West Europe.

Flight Lieutenant Tom Pratt DFC
Flight Lieutenant Tom Pratt DFC

Flight Lieutenant Tom Pratt DFC joined the RAF in 1940 and after initial training in Paignton, Duxford and Hidlington he was posted to West Freugh. He left there in 1943 and went to Squires Gate for navigational training, and then to Dyce for conversion to Mosquitoes. He was posted to 544 Sqdn. at Benson and stayed until the war was over. Tom says, I flew 68 sorties and was fortunate to be chosen to fly to Moscow, when Churchill attended the Yalta Conference, and had an extremely pleasant few days being entertained by the Russians! Tom finally left the RAF in 1946.


Wing Commander Ernest Rodley DSO DFC AFC AE
Wing Commander Ernest Rodley DSO DFC AFC AE

Ernest Rodley initially joined the RAFVR in 1937 and was commissioned and posted to Bomber Command in 1941. Joining 97 Sqn flying Manchesters he was involved in the attack on the Scharnhorst, Prinz Eugen and Gneisenau whilst in Brest harbour and in the famous Augsberg daylight raid for which he received a DFC. At the end of 1942 he joined RAF Scampton helping to convert to Lancaster Bombers before rejoining 97 Sqn at Bourn as a Pathfinder. After a spell at Warboys as an instructor he took command of 128 Sqn at Wyton, flying Mosquitoes as part of the Light Night Strike Force and involvede in doing 7 trips to Berlin. Staying with this unit he finished the war having completed 87 operations. In 1946 Ernest Rodley joined British South American Airways flying Lancastrians across the Atlantic from a tented Heathrow. On 13th April 1950 he was checked out on the new Comet jet airliner by John Cunningham and became the worlds first jet endorsed Airline Transport Pilots Licence holder. Ernest Rodley retired from BOAC in 1968 as a Boeing 707 Captain, joining Olympic Airways a few days later. He amassed an amazing 28000 flying hours.

Warrant Officer Tony Rogers
Warrant Officer Tony Rogers

Originally from Poland he joined the RAF in 1942 and was first assigned to 303 Sqn with whom he completed over 50 fighter sweeps. He then transferred to 300 Polish Sqn as a pilot on Wellingtons and Lancasters before time with 315 Sqn on Mosquitos. For his distinguished service he was awarded the Polish equivalent to the VC, the Virtute Militare.


Flying Officer Leslie Rosser
Flying Officer Leslie Rosser

Joined the RAF in April 1941, having transferred from the Army. After two months, he was on his way to the USA via Iceland and Canada. He entered the USA at Detroit, in July 1941, on a student visa and wearing civilian clothes. His pilot training started in Florida at a civilian flying school with most of the instructors being old barnstormers from flying circuses etc. Discipline was maintained by a few US Army officers. Most of the pupils were ex-British Army, so the change of food, climate etc was much appreciated. The final course, before receiving the US Army wings was carried out flying Harvards. The course was completed mid-February and the return to Canada followed. On return to the UK and after some delays the conversion to twin-engined planes was completed at RAF Assington. The OTU course started at Wellesbourne in September 1942, flying Wellingtons, and a full crew formed of pilot, navigator, bomb-aimer, wireless operator and rear-gunner. The crew were posted to 420 Squadron of RCAF at Middleton St George in January 1942. Operations were carried out on targets from Hamburg to St Nazaire - Bomber Command was under pressure to assist the war against U-boats. The last operation over Germany for the crew was on March 5th 1943 and was an historic one for Bomber Command, as the target at Essen was marked by a system called Oboe. This involved a high flying Mosquito and various radio and radar equipment. The crew were posted in April 1943 to 142 Squadron - one of the two RAF Squadrons attached to the US North West African Airforce under General Doolittle. The RAF Squadrons did the night bombing on targets in Tunisia, Italy, Sicily and Sardinia. Twenty-one operations by the crew involved dropping 4,000lb block-busters. After returning to the UK in August 1943, FISgt Rosser instructed at Bruntingthorpe OTU and later after being commissioned, at Edgehill. After VE day he converted to flying Mosquitos at Barford St John and was posted to 128 Squadron at Warboys the day the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan. Since the Squadron was destined for Okinawa it meant there would be no second tours of operations and the Squadron was posted to Melsbroek, now Brussels Airport, to join the 2nd Tactical Airforce. Flying consisted mostly of exercises and formations flying over parts of Germany. He was discharged in February 1946.

Warrant Officer Martin Sawyer
Warrant Officer Martin Sawyer

Originally a Pilot with 153 Squadron flying Beaufighters in North Africa during 1943, Martin returned to England in 1944 and was posted to Number 1 PRU Benson flying Mosquitoes in photo reconnaissance missions over NW Europe.


Flt Lt D W Shanahan DFC
Flt Lt D W Shanahan DFC

Mosquito pilot with No.107 Sqn

Squadron Leader David J Shannon DSO* DFC* RAAF

1993Died : 1993
Squadron Leader David J Shannon DSO* DFC* RAAF

Born 27th May 1922 in Australia, Dave Shannon joined the RAAF in 1941, and trained as a pilot. He flew an extended tour of 36 operations with 106 Squadron RAF before being chosen for 617 Squadron. Pilot of Lancaster AJ-L in Gibsons group, he was called off as he began his run on the Mohne Dam after the breach became apparent; but flew on and was the first pilot to attack the Eder Dam. Awarded a DSO for the Dams operation, he later served as Deputy to Leonard Cheshire, flying Mosquitos on what was by then his third tour. He later served with 511 and 246 Squadrons, and returned to Australia after the war. David Shannon died in 1993.


Wing Commander Joe Singleton DSO DFC AFC
Wing Commander Joe Singleton DSO DFC AFC

Wing Commander Singleton flew the Mosquito in both the offensive and defensive role. During the latter, his more notable engagements included the interception of three JU 88s in a matter of minutes. The three aircraft were the lead pathfinders of a much larger bomber force heading for the city of Hull. The downing of these three aircraft effectively put an end to the success of the enemy raid.

Air Commodore E. B. Ted Sismore DSO DFC AFC
Air Commodore E. B. Ted Sismore DSO DFC AFC

Air Commodore Edward Barnes Sismore DSO, DFC, and two bars, AFC was born on the 23rd June 1921 at Kettering, Northamptonshire. Sismore joined the RAF in 1939 as aircrew but became a Flight Sergeant on the 29th of August 1942. He was also later given an emergency commission as a general Duties Branch Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, being given a permanent commission on the 1st of February 1945. On 31st January 1943, Mosquitos bombed Berlin for the first time. Timed to coincide with a speech by Hermann Goering, three Mosquitos from 105 Squadron, led by Squadron Leader R W Reynolds and Ted Sismore, attacked at exactly 11.00 hrs to disrupt the Reichmarshalls speech for over an hour. Ted later navigated the final large daylight raid by 105 Squadron in May 1943, when both men led the attack on the Zeiss Optical factory and the glassworks in Jena. Ted Sismore planned the route for the famous Amiens prison raid, and master-navigated all three Gestapo raids in Denmark - Aarhaus, Shelhaus and Odensa. Sismore was awarded a bar to his DFC and was also honoured with the Order of Dannebrog, Degree of Knight. After the war Sismore remained in the Royal Air Force and with Squadron leader Mick martin (former dambuster) broke the Flying record for the London to Cape Town, 6,727 mile journey, completing it in 21 hours and 31 minutes. He was later awarded the Royal Aero Clubs Britannia Trophy for 1947. In 1962 Sismore was promoted to Group Captain and later became Station Commander of RAF Bruggen in Germany and in the late 1960s became commanding Officer of the Royal Air Forces Central Reconnaissance Establishment at RAF Brampton.

Flying Officer Ernest Skinner
Flying Officer Ernest Skinner

Speedy, as he was known, was originally with 69 Squadron in the Middle East on Baltimores. Moving onto 226 Squadron as a navigator on B25 Mitchell bombers, he completed a full tour during the summer of 1944, and then was transferred to 128 Squadron based in Brussels on Mosquitos.

Flying Officer Malcolm Mac B. Skinner RAAF
Flying Officer Malcolm Mac B. Skinner RAAF

Joined the RAAF in June 1943 and after training was posted to 105 Sqn PFF at Bourne, where he joined pilot David Young (NZ). On 13th April 1945 attacked Reisa in GBF. At 02.26 on 21st April 1945, in Mosquito A, he released 4 times 500 MC bombs on Berlin using OBOE the last bombs dropped on Berlin in world War II, then took past in the last RAF raid of the European war on 2/3 May.


Vivian Snell

21 / 2 / 2010Died : 21 / 2 / 2010
Vivian Snell

Battle of Britain Hurricane pilot with No.501 Sqn. Shot down over Cranbrook on 25th October 1940 while flying Hurricane P2903, bailing out uninjured. During his service life Vivian flew the Fairy Battle with 103 Squadron, later flying the Hawker Hurricane with 151 and 501(F) Squadrons during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Vivian shot down a Bf109E on the 25th October 1940 and was then shot down himself while piloting Hurricane Mk.I serial N2438. After having minor wounds attended to he returned to his squadron and flew through the rest of the Battle of Britain. In 1941 he was flying the American built Douglas DB7 Havoc night fighter with number 85(F) Squadron. He commanded his own Mosquito Squadron towards the end of the War. Vivian was released from the RAF in 1946 with the rank of Wing Commander.


Flight Lieutenant Maxwell N. Sparks A.F.C., R.A.F.
Flight Lieutenant Maxwell N. Sparks A.F.C., R.A.F.

Flight Lieutenant M.N. Sparks A.F.C., R.A.F., gained his pilots wings with the R.N.Z.A.F. in December 1941. Posted to the United Kingdom he joined the newly formed 487(N.Z.) Squadron in September 1942. Equipped with the Lockheed Ventura (a bomber version of the Hudson) the squadron was meant for medium-level daylight circus operations, but after losing 10 out of 11 aircraft and crews over Holland in March 1943 it was wisely decided to re-equip the depleted squadron with a different type of aircraft. In September 1943 the Squadron was again operational with the new Mosquito Mk.V1 aircraft, attacking daylight pinpoint targets such as V1 and V2 rocket sites and night intruder sorties against enemy airfields. From D-Day on, 487 sqn. in company with 464 (R.A.A.F.) and 21 (R.A.F.) was part of the 2nd T.A.F., operating behind enemy lines day and night, searching out enemy road convoys, railway troop trains, enemy airfields, etc. all designed to cause maximum disruption to the enemy forces. Flt. Lt. Max Sparks completed 42 operational sorties with 487 squadron and returned to New Zealand in March 1945.

Flight Lieutenant F S Fred Stevens
Flight Lieutenant F S Fred Stevens

After training in Australia and Canada, Fred Stevens found himself in October 1941 flying Bolton Paul Defiants, converting shortly after to Beaufighters, which he throughout 1942. In early 1943 he converted to the Mosquito Mk2 Night Fighter with A1 radar. This was with 456 Squadron (RAAF), they later re-equipped with the Mosquito Night Fighter Mk17. Before D-Day they transferred to Ford in West Sussex for the build up to the invasion, carrying out numerous operations. Later Fred and 456 were involved with attacking V1s at night.


H. E. Tappin

8 / 1 / 2007Died : 8 / 1 / 2007
H. E. Tappin

Started flying, as an N.C.O. pilot, with the R.A.F.V.R. at No.3 E.& R.F.T.S. run by Air Service Training, at Hamble near Southampton.in April 1937. Awarded Pilot's Flying Badge (wings) in May 1938. Moved to 26 E.& R.F.T.S. run by Marshalls Flying School at Kidlington, near Oxford in September 1938. Flying Instructor's Course, November/December 1938 Started instructing 30th December 1938. School at-Kidlington closed on outbreak of hostilities, staff moved to 22 E.F.T.S. at Carpbridge. Instructed at Cambridge until April 1941, when posted to 52 O.T.U. (Hurricane) at Debden. Commissioned December 1940. 52 O.T.U. April/May 1941. Posted to 3 Squadron (Hurricane) at Martlesham Heath 2nd June 1941, became Flight Commander in March 1942. Posted to 534 Squadron (Turbinlite) as Hurricane Flight Commander September 1942. Tutbinlite Project abandoned February 1943,,posted to 157 Squadron (Mosquito) at Castle Camps. Became Flight Commander July 1943. Posted from 157 at Predannack, March 1944 to 51 O.T.U. at Cranfield and Twinwood Farm, near Bedford, as W/Cdr Flying. January 1945 posted to Mediterranean to command 108 Squadron (Beaufighter), to learn on arrival that the Squadron was to be disbanded. I spent a short period with 334 (Special Duties) Wing at Brindisi, in Southern Italy, and in March 1945 was posted to Command 256 Squaron (Mosquito) with the Desert Air Force at Forli, iii-Northern Italy. In September 1945 the Squadron moved to Egypt,, from where I returned home in December of that year. In February 1946 1 returned to Cambridge to continue my work with Marshalls as a civilian pilot, where the work was varied and interesting, covering flying-instruction, charter work and testflying on a variety of aircraft, including the Vampire, Venom, Canberra, Valiant, Viscount and Ambassador. I left Cambridge in January 1961 to instruct at The College of Air Training at Hamble, which had been set up by B.E.A. and B.O.A.C., (taking over the Air Service Training facilities) to train new pilots ?,rom scratch, as the supply of ex-service pilots was running short. It proved to be very successful. Retired from Hamble January 1972. Service Numbers: N.C.O. 740167. Commissioned Officer 89304. D.F.C. September 1942 Bar to D.F.C. April 1944. Died 8th January 2007.

Air Commodore Roger Topp AFC 2 bars
Air Commodore Roger Topp AFC 2 bars

Commanded Royal Air Force Coltishall. Commandant of the Aircraft & Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscome Down. Commanding Officer and acrobatic team leader of No. 111 Squadron joined the R.A.F. in 1943 and learned to fly in Canada. When he returned, to England in 1944 there was a surplus of powered aircraft pilots so he transferred to the Glider Pilot Regiment. On March 2, 1945, he flew a Horsa glider carrying jeep, guns and troops in the airborne crossing of the Rhine. In 1947 he joined No.98 Squadron, flying Mosquitos in Germany, becoming a flight commander and instrument flying examiner for his Wing. He was awarded the Air Force Cross in 1950. In that year he took the course at the Empire Test Pilots School, and remained at Farnborough on the staff of the Royal Aircraft Establishment. He undertook flying tests of various experimental armament installations, including guided weapons and the new 30 mm. Aden gun, four of which formed the Hunters armament. He was a leading acrobatic demonstration pilot on the Canberra twin-jet bomber, flying before the Emperor of Ethiopia and the Shah of Persia during their visits to Britain. In 1954, with another pilot, Squadron Leader Topp shared the 100 hours intensive flight testing of the Comet jet air liner undertaken from Farnborough. He was awarded a Bar to the A.F.C. in 1955 and a second Bar in January 1958 for work with the acrobatic team.

Flying Officer Joe Townshend DFM
Flying Officer Joe Townshend DFM

Flying Officer Joe Townshend DFM joined the RAF in February 1942 and after a wireless course at Cranwell went to Canada for Navigation, GR and an OTU on Torpedo Hampdens on Vancouver Island. He returned to England for an OTU on Mosquitoes at Dyce where he teamed up with F/Lt H C S (Sandy) Powell DFC. After four ferry trips to Rabat in Morocco, he joined 540 Squadron in May 1944 and completed 50 Photo Reconnaissance operations over Europe, including finding the Tirpitz at Tromso for the Lancasters to sink in November 1944.


Flight Lieutenant Pat Tuhill DFC
Flight Lieutenant Pat Tuhill DFC

Pat Tuhill was navigator to Christopher Foxley Norris on Moquitos. After taking part in the Battle of Britain as a fighter pilot, Christopher Foxley-Norris was posted to the Middle East where he first teamed up with Pat Tuhill, initially on Beaufighters. A return to Britain brought Foxley-Norris command of 143 Squadron flying Mosquito IIs and VIs as part of the Banff Strike Wing, led by Max Aitken, for attacks on enemy shipping off Norway. Hazardous operations against heavily defended ships, using rockets and cannon, were made even more dangerous by the weather and fjords which the Mosquitos often had to negotiate below cliff height. Christopher Foxley-Norris went on to a distinguished career in the post-war RAF. Pat Tuhill was Vice-Chairman of the Aircrew Association.


Wing Commander George Grumpy Unwin, DSO, DFM*

28 / 6 / 2006Died : 28 / 6 / 2006
Wing Commander George Grumpy Unwin, DSO, DFM*

George Unwin joined the RAF in 1929, and in 1936 was posted to Duxford with 19 Squadron as a Sergeant Pilot. He was one of the first pilots in the RAF to fly the Spitfire. With the outbreak of war 19 Squadron moved to Hornchurch and George, now one of the Squadrons most experienced pilots, took part in the great air battles over France and Dunkirk, scoring 3 and a half victories. He flew with 19 Squadron continuously during the whole of the Battle of Britain. He was commissioned in 1941. After a period instructing, he resumed operations, flying Mosquitoes with 16 Squadron. George finished the war with 13 victories, 2 shared, 2 unconfirmed, and 2 probables. He died 28th June 2006.

Flying Officer Doug Waite
Flying Officer Doug Waite

Volunteered at the age of 18 and went solo at Brough in Yorkshire, from where he went to Canada for further training at EFTS and SFTS with a final period at Spitalgate near Grantham flying Blenheims, Beauforts and Beaufighters. Doug then joined 169 Squadron Mosquito night-fighter unit attached to 100 group, conducting various deployments. The last one being 48 hours before the war ended, flying to Sylt at low-level dropping Napalm jelly 100 gallon drop tanks as bombs.

Group Captain Brian Black Jack Walker

21 / 4 / 1997Died : 21 / 4 / 1997
Group Captain Brian Black Jack Walker

Brian Walker joined the RAAF in 1935. The outbreak of World War Two found him with 25 Squadron RAAF flying Wirraways. After a period of instructing he went to 12 Squadron before joining 30 Squadron RAAF as Command Officer. This was the first RAAF Beaufighter Squadron. He then went north to New Guinea where his exploits on Beaufighters are legendary. In 1944 he was seconded to de Havilland as test pilot on Mosquitoes. At the end of the year, until the conclusion of the war, he commanded No. 1 Fighter Wing in Darwin flying Spitfires and Mustangs. Brian Walker passed away on 21st April 1997, aged 84.

Flying Officer Maurice Webb DFM
Flying Officer Maurice Webb DFM

Maurice joined the RAF in 1942, and trained as an observer/ wireless operator/ gunner. In October 1943 he was posted to 235 Squadron based at RAF Portreath, flying Beaufighters attacking shipping and harbour installations. In 1944 he converted to Mosquitos, and joined 248 Squadron, moving on to serve with the Banff Strike Wing until March 1945. He was awarded the DFM in August 1944, and then spent time flying in a RAF Walrus on Air Sea Rescue operations. He had flown with Harold Corbin as his co-pilot / observer from 1943 until the end of the war.

Flight Lieutenant S J 'Stan' Williams
Flight Lieutenant S J 'Stan' Williams

Joining the RAAF in May 1941, Stan Williams left for the U.K. via the U.S., arriving in England after a five month trip. Initially flying Blenheims and Beaufighters, he eventually joined 456 Squadron (RAAF) in 1943 on Mosquitoes, flying out of RAF Ford. The role of 456 at this time was to include Ranger and Intruder missions, as well as night defense, especially prior to D-Day. They also defended against V1s at night. Their last mission of the war was against He177s towing glider bombs en-route to Scapa Flow, they destroyed the lot.

Warrant Officer Bert Winwood
Warrant Officer Bert Winwood

WO A.E. 'Bert' Winwood was a Navigator on Mosquitoes and Beaufighters, flew only with pilot Ray Harrington attached to 603 sqn in the Greek Campaign. Bert did his Navigator training in Canada and in January 1944 was posted to 603 Squadron on Beaufighters, based at Gambut, near Tobruk. From here they launched attacks right across the Mediterranean into Crete, Greece and the Aegean Islands against shipping, harbour installations and enemy aircraft with much success. In December 1944 he was posted to 235 Squadron at RAF Banff flying as navigator on Mosquito's flying in the Banff Strike Wing. In April 1945 he was shot down when returning from a strike in the Kattegat, he and his pilot Ray Harrington avoided capture, and with the help of the Danish resistance made it home to England. After a short rest he continued to fly again from RAF Banff, he left the RAF in 1946.


Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Wolstenholme DFC*

26 / 3 / 2002Died : 26 / 3 / 2002
Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Wolstenholme DFC*

Ken Wolstenholme was a pilot first with 107 Sqn flying Blenheims before joining 8 Group Pathfinders flying Mosquitos. He completed 100 ops. After the war he became a famous sports broadcaster with the BBC. He died 26th March 2002.


Flying Officer Jim York DFC
Flying Officer Jim York DFC

Joined the RAFVR in 1941 when he was just 19 and early in 1942 he was sent to America for pilot training as a cadet in the US Army Air Corps in Alabama and Georgia. After operational training in 1943 he spent some time ferrying Beaufighters around the Middle East. Early in 1944 he joined 85 Night Fighter Squadron, 11 Group Fighter Command, at West Malling in Kent, where he flew Mosquitoes on defensive night fighter patrols. In May 1944, 85 Squadron was transferred to 100 Group Bomber Command at Swannington in Norfolk where the Squadron initiated Bomber Support. This meant changing from defensive night fighting to offensive night fighting, attacking Luftwaffe night fighters over Germany. Each aircraft was a predator on its own without the benefit of any Ground Control. They patrolled Luftwaffe airfields, radar beacons and accompanied bomber streams, generally creating havoc amongst the German night fighters. Jim York stayed with the Squadron until the end of the war and completed 39 Operations over the continent destroying two enemy aircraft. Shortly after moving to Swannington, the Squadron was switched back to West Malling for a short spell to help deal with the VI flying bomb menace and Jim went on to destroy four of the V1 bombs over the English Channel. After the war he resumed his career as a Chartered Surveyor.

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