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RAF Cranwell in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- RAF Cranwell during the Second World War -

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RAF Cranwell


If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have served at

RAF Cranwell

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

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There are 1 pages in our library tagged RAF Cranwell

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Eveline Bunt

My Mum, Eveline Bunt joined the Women's Royal Air Force in September 1941 not long after she had married my Dad, Claude, who was serving in the RAF, they had met at RAF Netheravon where she had been working in the NAAFI. After training she was posted to RAF Andover as account's clerk, whilst at Andover the station was badly bombed and she was posted to Cranwell to train as a teleprinter operator eventually posted to RAF Madley, Hereford.

Philip Bunt

Sgt. Thomas Basil George "Titch" Pyne 73 Squadron (d.14th May 1940)

Thomas Basil George Pyne (Titch) was a Sergeant Pilot in 73 Squadron, RAF, flying Mk I Hurricanes. He was the second-born child of Flight Lieutenant George Pyne and Mary Delia Pyne of Hitchin. Born 1916, died 14th May 1940 during the Battle of France, he was killed in action near Namur, Belgium, and was later interred at Choloy War Cemetery [CWGC], Meurthe-et-Moselle). Basil Pyne went to St Michael's school, Hitchin and then RAF Cranwell.

Christopher Sheard

WO. James Watson "Jock" Clelland

My Dad, James Clelland, joined RAF in 1921 at Manston, I know he served on HMS Glorious. He also served at Shawbury, South Africa (Shalufa) Cranwell, Waddington, Binbrook, Watton and was discharged in 1955. I have a very rough, difficult to read record, his original service record I cannot find. He came from Hutchesentown in Glasgow hence his nickname (Jock). According to this record he received five good conduct badges. LS & GCM in 1941 (don't know which medal this is) Defence medal don't know the year. He lived in Lincoln all of his life when not serving but this is all I know. I have been to Duxford and seen the types of planes he worked on.

Jayne Clelland

Sgt. Charles Henry Brooks

Henry Brook's class 14th Oct 1942

Henry Brooks.

My father Henry Brooks was a lecturer during the War on Radio Operation. He taught at Cranwell, Chipping Warden and Bobbington that I know of. He wrote some stories and this is one of them:

Eventually I had to instruct all nationalities from the Empire Air Training Scheme to teach them Radio operating and theory for operating in the air. The equipment was old but one day there arrived in my laboratory a new transmitter and receiver made by Marconi. My instructions were to install it and be ready to instruct officers and staff on its uses. Within 4 hours of receiving it I gave a lecture on it. After that I instructed on it most of the time going to stations with new aircraft such as Lancasters and Halifaxes as the operational crews didn't know how to use it. In 1942 I was posted to RAF Bobbington as a Sergeant to an officers and crew training unit where the men came for training on the Marconi equipment. I have photographs of classes taken in front of aircraft whom I instructed prior to going into operations.

Andrea Eustace

LAC David Johnson 84 Squadron

Early February 1941 my Dad, David Johnson then aged 28 was working at Salford Electrical Instruments, then a Munitions factory on Silk St, Salford. He was in a reserved occupation and was not required to join the services. When a minor event changed this. Dad and a couple of workmates called at the pub in their lunch break unfortunately they arrived back at work a little late. There was a no nonsense approach to life those days, and Dad and his workmates were sacked. Mam was six months pregnant with their first child, Dad knew his priority was a wage coming in so he immediately went to the recruiting office and joined the RAF.

Going to war and fighting the enemy would have been nothing in comparison to telling my mother what had occurred. They had been married for three years and were renting a three bed. terraced hovel on West St, Lower Broughton. Mam at times could be terrifying, and no doubt verbally and possibly physically would have wiped the floor with Dad. Their parting would not have been amicable.

The next day Dad was at Recruit centre RAF Padgate, then after that onto 4 wing 5 recruit Centre West Kirby. Dad was based at Cranwell College on a training course in May when my older sister was born, the day after her birth Dad was granted five days leave. (And apart from one day in September of that year, that was the last Mam saw of him until June 1945). In April 1942 he was posted to Care and Maintenance party based at Santa Cruz, Station Headquarters, India. After this, 84 Squadron, 7084 Servicing Echelon.

He came home to England in May 1945 and was based for a short time at 1 Air crew officers school, RAF Hereford. He had an exemplary service record and a good conduct badge A1st. February 1946 Dad was demobbed from 101 Personnel Dispersal Centre RAF Kirkham.

It was hard for Mam without Dad whilst he was in India, and sadly, she never really forgave him for joining up. As a child I remember the dreadful traumatic scenes in the house my sister and I witnessed, we with our arms around Dad, all three of us sobbing uncontrollably as Mam verbally attacked him, and even threatened him with the poker. She was a strong woman not afraid of anyone either man or woman. Dad was a wonderful father to us, kind, thoughtful, caring, he loved us very much. Over the years Mam softened towards Dad, she realized she could not have had a better husband.


F/Sgt. Edwin Stanley Power 106 Squadron

My Father Flight Sgt Edwin Stanley Francis Power 755045 joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Air Crew Section in June 1939. He trained at Cranwell, Evanton in Scotland and Pembrey in Wales.

He was posted to 106 Sqdn in 1940 to March 1942. Based at Cottesmore & Finningley as an Air Gunner wireless op. He flew in Hampdens over Germany dropping leaflets. He took part in bombing of the invasion barges at Antwerp, mine laying and bombing of Mannheim and other cities. In March 1942 he was posted to Idku in Egypt with 227 and 252 Sqdn and flew in Halifaxes and Beaufighters. He was posted to 272 Beaufighter Sqdn based at Takali Airfield, Malta. During this time he was involved in various missions including shipping strikes, ground attacks in North Africa and attacking troop carrying planes. He was posted to Sicily and then returned to England. From Jan 1945 to November 1945 he was posted to 577 Sqdn Bomber Command Naval cooperation.

Brian Power

W/O John Benjamin "Curly" Beeching 169 Squadron

I was stationed at Spitalgate being transferred from Cranwell in the early part of 1944. Both of these places were equipped with Blenheim Mark 1 and Mark IV twin enginged aircraft. I was a pilot being trained for night-fighters and these aircraft were considered to be a suitable transition, which, although fairly obsolescent, they were. Pilots stationed there were given a pretty thorough training, including Standard Beam Approach and 'Day-Night', a system using dark goggles simulating night flying. We were subsequently posted to a night-fighter Operational Training Unit, (OTU), either to Cranfield in Bedfordshire or Charter Hall in Scotland, where we did a further transition via Bristol Beauforts, Beaufighters and subsequently on to De Havilland Mosquitoes, before finishing up, generally, on a 100 Group, Bomber Command station somewhere in Norfolk. I was on 169 Squadron at Great Massingham, from where I flew my operations over Germany, but was transferred to Pathfinder Mosquitoes on 627 Squadron at war's end to engage in operations from Okinawa against the Japanese, but the atomic bombs knocked that on the head.

Spitalgate was a pretty good station, being built in peacetime with comfortable accommodation and messes; a far cry from most Bomber Command places rapidly established for war-time. About the only dramatic incident at Spitalgate which I can recall was having to land a Blenheim with one wheel fully retracted, due to a hydraulic failure, but apart from a bent propeller the aircraft wasn't very damaged at all. I was twenty years old when that happened and things like that during the war never even made the local paper ! Sic transit and all that. I regret I have no photos.

John Beeching

Flt.Sgt. John Alan Stace 111th Sqd.

My Dad, John Stace, served in the RAF Bomber Command on Lancasters. I believe his crew were:

  • Johnny Brown Pilot Flight Engineer
  • John Stace Wireless Operator
  • Peter Bishop Mid Air Gunner
  • Gordon Cox Rear Gunner
  • Nobby Clark Observer or Bomb Aimer Hadfield

Dad joined the RAF in 1942 from school having been an Air Cadet. He left in 1946. The only time he crashed was not whilst with his own crew but with another crew in 1946 he survived but the pilot died. I believe he was at Eastchurch and Feltwell amongst other bases. He flew with 115 Sqadron and also 44 Squadron. He was at Cranwell and also Scampton

I would love to know more about his life as sadly he died in 1977 so I didn't get time to ask him.


Lt. Ahmet Ersin

I am looking for anyone who may have come into contact with my grandfather, a Turkish Lieutenant pilot in training at RAF Cranwell in 1943-44, Group 1. His name was Ahmet Ersin. He was a Lt. in the Turkish Army before his training over here. I understand that there were many pilots from other allied countries there at the same time. I would like to hear from anyone who remembers them.

Sally Marshal

Clement Geoffrey Dry RAF Cranwell

Can anyone help to trace the whereabouts, or former whereabouts, of Clement Geoffrey Dry, an RAF radio instructor at Cranwell in 1944?

Graham Dry

WO. William Coates

William Coates was a navigator and wireless operator in Coastal Command. He spent time at the RAF Cranwell and Cambridge colleges. He lived in Emmanuel and trained in Downing. He was also in Ancienne Lorette, Carew Cheriton, Killadeas and Lossiemouth. He was in charge of German prisoners at some point.

Jan Coates

Sgt. Frederick Henry Erdwin 50 Squadron (d.17th April 1941)

Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) Frederick Erdwin is buried in the north-east corner of the Blessington (St. Mary) Church of Ireland Churchyard in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. From Frodshim, Cheshire, later living at Old Trafford, Manchester. He was orphaned at an early age and was reared with his sister in a National Children's Home. He joined the RAF in 1938 and was trained as a wireless operator at RAf Cranwell.

s flynn

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