- RAF Blida, North Africa during the Second World War -
If you enjoy this site
please consider making a donation.
Allied Air Forces
Prisoners of War
Women at War
Those Who Served
The Great War
TWMP on Facebook
Your Family History
RAF Blida, North Africa
11th November 1942 Back to N Africa
17th Nov 1942 Risks
7th June 1943 Move to the Mediterranean
17th May 1944 Tactics
If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.
Those known to have served at
RAF Blida, North Africa
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List
The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website.
- The 1st of September 2017 is The Wartime Memories Project's 18th Birthday. If you would like to send us a present, a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web.
- To commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day, we are launching a new feature, Second World War Day by Day and also a new Library to allow access to records which have previously been held in our offline archive.
- Looking for help with Family History Research? Please read our Family History FAQ's
- The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors. If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.If you enjoy this site
please consider making a donation.
- We are also looking for volunteers to help with the website. We currently have a huge backlog of submissions which need to be edited for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.
Research your own Family History.
Sep 2017 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 235634, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.
We are aware of the issue with missing images, this is due to the redesign of the website, images will reappear as soon as the new version of the page is completed, thank you for your patience.
We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates.
If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.
Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to WW2. We would like to obtain digital copies of any documents or photographs relating to WW2 you may have at home.
If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes.Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted. World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.
Sgt. Maurice "Paddy" Hayes 150 SquadronMy dad Maurice Hayes, was a Rear gunner with 150 Squadron and was based in Blida, North Africa. He was involved with the Tunisian, Sicilian and Italian campaigns. I have a picture of him and his crew and also their names. He wouldn't talk much about his activities during the war but retained his log book and flying mask. I do know that most times I went away on holiday to Europe he'd say "I flew over there" or "I dropped a few on there". That was always the only time he'd open up. But he kept the photo I am attaching of his colleagues in his treasure tin, so I am sure he looked at it many times and remembered the camaraderie and good times that I am sure were had in the face of the adversity.
The crew (I believe) are: L - R:
- Sgt. J. Baxter, Scotland. Bombardier
- Sgt. F. Doyle, Crosby, Liverpool. Navigator
- Sgt. M. Hayes, Lismore, Ireland. Rear Gunner
- Sgt. J. Umbers, Coulsdon, Surrey. Wireless Operator/Air Gunner
- Flght. Sgt. SSM Tunstall, Boonah, Australia. PilotMargaret Craig
P/O. Donald Charles Seymour Atkins 148 SqdnMy uncle Don Atkins volunteered for the RAF and was trained as a pilot in Pensacola, Florida, before joining 624 (Special Duties) Squadron based at Blida in North Africa in August 1944 as a 21-year-old Flight Sergeant. He flew all of his operations with the same crew, with a change of navigator in March 1945. They flew Short Stirlings, the first of the RAF's four-engine heavy bombers, which by then was considered obsolete in that role but widely used for the dropping of agents and supplies by parachute into occupied Europe. Don and his crew flew one operation on the night of 30/31 August, Operation Caracole, dropping supplies to the French Resistance engaging retreating German forces in southern France. In light of the success of the Allied invasions of June and August 1944, 624 Sqdn was disbanded, and Don and his crew were transferred to another Special Duties squadron, No 148, part of the Balkan Air Force at Brindisi, Italy.
148 Sqdn had sustained terrible casualties in the operations to supply the Warsaw Uprising, and many replacement crews arrived at Brindisi at that time. Don had a circuits-and-bumps conversion to flying the squadron's four-engine Handley Page Halifax aircraft courtesy of a very experienced pilot, Larry Toft. He then flew 36 operations with the squadron until the end of the war. They dropped supplies and agents and on one memorable occasion - in support of Operation Tombola - a jeep, to partisans in the Balkans and southern central Europe.
The life of a Special Duties crew was very different to that of a "typical" i.e. Bomber Command crew - for security's sake there were few communal activities with other crews, even operational briefings were usually individual, and the men lived isolated and fairly uncomfortable lives. In addition they faced danger on each operation: typically at this time, a drop was made in daylight at very low altitude, a few hundred feet, and often entailed several passes over the drop zone to make sure the reception party was there and was from the right side! Small arms and anti-aircraft fire from the ground caused casualties, as did mechanical failure and the weather; on top of this was the danger of low-flying between mountains, etc. The strain was considerable - the chances of bailing out safely at low altitude are low, and this alone must have given those young men considerable pause for thought - and increased as the end of the war in Europe approached. Don and his crew all survived the war, and went their separate ways on demobilisation. Don himself died in Brighton at the age of 42 in 1966.
The original crew (ranks given as of May 1945) were: P/O DC Atkins; P/O EF Lock; P/O WA Belson DFC (an Australian); F/Sgt D Sullivan; Sgt J Allcock; F/Sgt BA Lawler; F/Sgt J Sharples. F/O AS Allen (also an Australian) replaced P/O Belson DFC as navigator from March 1945.
The following aircrew flew with them on one or more occasions: Sgt JR Evans, F/Sgt FW Hubbard, W/O DF Hinsby, F/Sgt HS Milman, F/Sgt EG Ambrose, Sgt RG Heyward, F/Sgt PH Small, F/Sgt CW Bromage, F/Sgt RA Walkden.Pat Atkins
Roy "Corks" Cornell 624 SquadronRoy Corks Cornell was with 1575 SD Unit stationed at Desborough in the UK and then at Blida, Algeria in Stirling aircraft.Roy Cornell
SAC. William Gill 210 SquadronBill Gill was my father, he was Assigned to Coastal Command 210 Squadron, then off to 1PRU and 540 Squadron at Station Benson in the early days of Photo Reconnaissance. He was posted after 1PDC to 156 Maintenance Unit, Northwest Africa Aircraft Repair Unit as a Senior Aircraftsman. I was 14yrs when he passed in May 1969 and I am now tracing his WWII experiences. His War Record states he was a Commercial Photographer in Civilian Life, Glasgow, Scotland.Kenneth J. Gill
Available at discounted prices.
The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.
This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.
If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.
Website © Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
- All Rights Reserved