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

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- RAF Elvington during the Second World War -


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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

RAF Elvington



   RAF Elvington was originally a grass airfield, being completely rebuilt with the wartime arrangement of three hardened runways in 1942, as a sub-station of RAF Pocklington. Elvington was home to 77 Squadron flying the Handley Page Halifax, four-engined bomber, between Oct 1942 and May 1944. The squadron took part in the Battle of the Ruhr and in many other operations aimed at the destruction of German industry. 77 Squadron moved, in early 1944, to the newly opened airfield at Full Sutton. Elvington became host to two French Squadrons No. 346 (Guyenne) and No.347 (Tunisie). Both squadrons played a major part in the bomber offensive.

In March 1945, RAF Elvington was attacked by a Junker JU 88 which followed the landing lights which had been switched on, awaiting the French squadrons' return. The German aircraft crashed into a farmhouse near the airfield and a memorial to the four German airmen and the two civilians who were killed stands outside the house.

The French Squadrons left for Bordeaux in October 1945, and Elvington became part of 40 Group Maintenance Command until 1952 when it became part of the expansion programme for US Strategic Air Command. The runway was lengthened to 1.92 miles, the longest in the north of England. The base never became operational and it was vacated in 1958.

In the early 1960s, The airfield was used by Blackburn Aircraft Company for test flying of the Buccaneer aircraft. Afterwards, the RAF flying training schools at Church Fenton and Linton-on-Ouse used the runway to practise circuits and landings. RAF Elvington closed in March 1992.

The derelect buldings were restored in the 1980`s by a group of volunteers, and in August 1985 the site opened as the Yorkshire Air Museum. The Museum is well worth a visit and hosts many special events though out the year, including veteran days, flying days and airshows. The control tower (complete with ghost) has been restored to its wartime condition, The origional buildings house the exhibits, including a permanent exhibition dedicated to Barnes Wallis. The museum also undertakes restoration of historic aircraft and is home to the only complete Halifax Bomber. Housed in the recently built Canadian Memorial "T2" Hangar, whose interior walls are covered with photos and displays commemorating ever Canadian squadron who flew from the Yorkshire area.

Squadrons stationed at RAF Elvington



 

 List of Aircraft which flew from Elvington.

 Photographs

17th Apr 1943 77 Squadron Halifax lost

28th Aug 1943 77 Squadron Halifax lost

22nd Nov 1943 Aircraft Lost

23rd Apr 1944 77 Squadron Halifax lost

27th Jun 1944 First Operational sortie for Free French

14th Jan 1945  Aircraft Lost

3rd Mar 1945 Bomber Command Targetted

4th Mar 1945 346 Squadron Halifax lost


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



Those known to have served at

RAF Elvington

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Archibald Thomas. F/O (d.13th May 1943)
  • Bailey .
  • Barber .
  • Baxter .
  • Beckingham R. L..
  • Berry Thomas George . Sergeant (d.21st Jan 1944 )
  • Bertram S.. Group Capt.
  • Bickerdike .
  • Bird G. R..
  • Blackwell R..
  • Blewett .
  • Bodden .
  • Bond .
  • Bone . F/Sgt
  • Braithwaite W..
  • Brannigan .
  • Braund Marwood P . F/Lt. (d.12th Jan 1945)
  • Bridges H. E..
  • Brinker W. L.E..
  • Brooks R..
  • Brotchie D..
  • Brown Victor R .
  • Bryant L. D.. Sgt (d.6th May 1943)
  • Buss G..
  • Butterworth R. L..
  • Byrne .
  • Callaghan T..
  • Camburn .
  • Cardiff J. A..
  • Caseley .
  • Chabres. Henry . Adj. (d.15th Mar 1945)
  • Chambers E. D..
  • Charlesworth .
  • Chemin. Antoine . Lt. (d.15th Mar 1945)
  • Chester .
  • Chevalier. Raymond . Cne (d.15th Mar 1945)
  • Christian . J.
  • Clark D. S. . W/Cdr
  • Clifford .
  • Clinch .
  • Cobden D. W..
  • Codd W R L . Sgt (d.25th May 1943)
  • Colquhon R. A..
  • Cooper M. G..
  • Cooper M. G..
  • Cracknell .
  • Cragg A. G..
  • Craig A..
  • Cramer DFC.. Lawrence . P/O
  • Cranswick A..
  • Cumming D. G..
  • Currie J.. Sgt.
  • Dalzell .
  • Darribehaude Christian Bernard. Sergent-Chef.
  • Davies D T . P/O (d.25th July 1943)
  • Davison P..
  • Dean J. E..
  • Drake E..
  • Duder Derek Harvey . S/L
  • Duff B..
  • Duncan .
  • Dunlop .
  • earce H. V.P.
  • Eddleston. M. C.. F/Sgt (d.15th Feb 1945)
  • Edmonds .
  • Edwards E. V..
  • Ellis .
  • Embling. John Robert Andre . W/Cdr
  • Endicott .
  • Erickson .
  • Farmery .
  • Fearneyhough Neville Aubrey. Flt Sgt.
  • Fedi Eric. Flt Sgt (d.7th Sep 1943)
  • Fisher R..
  • Fitzgerald .
  • Foottit .
  • Forbes J. D.R. . W/Cdr
  • Froud K P . Sgt. (d.25th July 43)
  • Fuller. M.. Flight Sgt (d. 6th May 1943)
  • Fulsher Joseph Leroy . P/O
  • Gardner .
  • Garlette .
  • Garner E.. Sgt (d. 6th May 1943)
  • Gawler .
  • Gawler .
  • Gerry J.. Sgt.
  • Godden E. G..
  • Godwin H..
  • Goodhead Leslie Coulton. T/Sgt
  • Goulding .
  • Grant .
  • Gumm E. W . Sgt.
  • Gunn S..
  • Hale E. J..
  • Hall E. K..
  • Hallam .
  • Hamblyn .
  • Hancocks I. D..
  • Harvey Frederick Walter. Flt/Sgt (d.23rd Jun 1944)
  • Hewitson C.. Sgt.
  • Hill D..
  • Hirsch .
  • Hobbs .
  • Hogg J.. Sgt (d. 6th May 1943)
  • Holledge .
  • Holliday M..
  • Homer E. C..
  • Howard .
  • Huggard .
  • Hull A. F.R..
  • Hunter A..
  • Huntley William. Sgt. (d.21st Jan 1944)
  • Jacques H. V..
  • Jakeman C. I..
  • Jenkins A. A..
  • Jones. R. J. . Sgt
  • Judd S. E..
  • Jury K..
  • Kendal G..
  • Kennedy John James O'Neil. Flt Sgt. (d.16th Feb 1944)
  • Kenrick .
  • Kenworthy . Sgt.
  • Kershaw J . Sgt (d.25th May 1943)
  • Laking H..
  • Lane Frederick A. . Sergeant (d.17th Aug 43)
  • LaPlanche J. S. .
  • Laurence J F R . Sgt (d.25th May 1943)
  • Lawson. Aubrey Kenneth . F/Sgt (d.21st Jan 1944 )
  • Lea .
  • Leforte. Raymond Leslie . Sgt. (d.15th Feb 1945)
  • Lewis R . Sgt (d.25th May 1943)
  • Linehan .
  • Lord .
  • Lowe Arthur Ernest. W/Cdr
  • Lyon .
  • MacFarlane D W . Sgt (d.25th May 1943)
  • Malanchuk W..
  • Mann A. K..
  • Manstoff A..
  • Marlow G.. Sgt.
  • Marsden C..
  • Marshall .
  • Mason N. R..
  • Massie .
  • Mathers .
  • Matheson. F. D.. F/O (d.25th July 1943)
  • May K..
  • McGillivray G..
  • McKenzie H..
  • McKinnon. G F . F/Sgt
  • Mitchell R A . Sgt. (d.25th July 1943)
  • Moran .
  • Morgan F..
  • Morrison .
  • Munns W. F. . (d.7th Sep 1943 )
  • Musson J. E..
  • Nash T..
  • Needham .
  • Newman .
  • North A J . Sgt (d.25th July 43)
  • Norwood G..
  • Oats R. H.. Sgt (d.6th May 1943)
  • OGrady .
  • Orr .
  • Ostre. George . Cdt (d.15th Mar 1945)
  • Painter John Harry . Sgt. (d.7th Sept. 1941)
  • Parry C. F..
  • Payne G. H..
  • Pettigrew .
  • Pinder Charles Alan . Sergeant (d.21st Jan 1944 )
  • Plowright J..
  • Powell M..
  • Presbury A..
  • Puddephatt .
  • Pye .
  • Raymond. Rene . Sgt (d.15th Mar 1945)
  • Ready Arthur W.. Sergeant (d.17th Aug 1943 )
  • Rees .
  • Renton Dennis . Flight Sergeant (d.21st Jan 1944)
  • Reynolds .
  • Richardson J. W.. Sgt. (d.25th May 1943)
  • Ritchie. J.. F/O (d.15th Feb 1945)
  • Robertson F..
  • Roddy T..
  • Rodgers. Harry .
  • Rogers D..
  • Roncoroni J. A. . W/Cdr
  • Roza. Henry F.. Sergeant (d.17th Aug 1943)
  • Russell. R. E.. Sgt (d.15th Feb 1945)
  • Sage .
  • Sciolette. M . Sgc (d.15th Mar 1945)
  • Scrivens. J..
  • Scully Gerard. Sgt. (d.13th May 1943)
  • Shaw. W. . Sgt
  • Shefford Frank F.. Sergeant
  • Shelton .
  • Simmons T. C.E.. Sgt (d.6th May 1943 )
  • Simpson L. .
  • Simpson Rae R. J..
  • Sims .
  • Sinclair Peter. F/Sgt. (d.29th Mar 1944)
  • Slater R V . Sgt (d.25th Jul 1943)
  • Smart .
  • Smirk W. C. . (d.7th Sep 1943)
  • Smith B. D..
  • Smith F. K.. Sgt.
  • Smith John B.L.. Sergeant (d.17th Aug 1943)
  • Smith W. W. . (d.7th Sep 1943)
  • Smith. H..
  • Spears A.. W.
  • Spicer .
  • Stadnyk A..
  • Stonham D..
  • Stuart .
  • Surplice .
  • Sutton DFM. Edward.
  • Sykes .
  • Symes C. J..
  • Thomas Lawrence Derek .
  • Thompson DFC . Edward . F/Lt.
  • Tilliers. A . Sgc (d.15th Mar 1945)
  • Tittley Donald Frank. Sgt.
  • Tomlinson. C. W. . (d.7th Sep 1943)
  • Trengrove . J.
  • Tullt J R . Sgt
  • Varley Rowland Michael Gough . (d.25th Jul 1943)
  • Vint John R.. Sergeant (d.17th Aug 1943)
  • Waddilove J..
  • Wade. M. . Sgt
  • Walker .
  • Wall Frank Seton. W.O.
  • Walters F. W..
  • Walton. R. . Sgt
  • Warburton J..
  • Ward J. S..
  • Waterston J H . Sgt (d.25th May 1943 )
  • Waterston John. Flt.Sgt.
  • Watson. D. S.. Sgt (d.15th Feb 1945)
  • Webb A. D..
  • Webb A. D..
  • Webster .
  • Welch W. J. J. .
  • White C..
  • Whitfield Clarence Emerson . Sgt. (d.13th Aug 1941)
  • Williams Harold William . Sergeant (d.21st Jan 1944 )
  • Williams R..
  • Wilson .
  • Wilson R. R. . (d.7th Sep 1943)
  • Wood George . Sergeant
  • Wood. A.. F/O (d.15th Feb 1945)
  • Woods. R. V. . Sgt (d.17th Aug 1943)
  • Wright .

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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Sgt. Gerard Scully bomb aimer 77 Sqd. (d.13th May 1943)

The the 13th of May 1943 at 06:20 on return to Elvington Halifax KN-K (JB 865) crashed in a field at High Belthorpe farm at Bishop Wilton killing the Pilot F/O Archibald and the Air Bomber Sgt Scully. The remainder of the crew, Sgt C.Hewitson, Sgt J.Gerry, Sgt G.Marlow, Sgt F.K.Smith and Sgt J.Currie, had only minor injuries.

Sgt Scully was taken to his home town and buried at Olton Franciscan Cemetery, Solihull. He was 21 years old, his parents were Thomas and Freda Veronica Scully, of Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Mavis Jarvis



F/O Thomas Archibald pilot 77 Sqd. (d.13th May 1943)

The the 13th of May 1943 at 06:20 on return to Elvington Halifax KN-K (JB 865) crashed at Bishop Wilton killing the Pilot F/O Archibald and the Air Bomber Sgt Scully. The remainder of the crew, Sgt C.Hewitson, Sgt J.Gerry, Sgt G.Marlow, Sgt F.K.Smith and Sgt J.Currie, had only minor injuries.

This aircraft crashed in a field at High Belthorpe farm. I was almost 14 years of age at the time and helped my mother to take care of the surviving members of the crew. F/O Archibald is buried in Barmby-on- the-Moor at St Catherine's Churchyard, he was 32 years old, the son of John and Janet Archibald and husband of Perla Doris Archibald. Sgt Scully was taken to his home town.

My mother received a letter of thanks from the Commanding Officer of No. 77 Squadron which my brother gave to the Museum at Elvington. There was also a later letter in which he said that the survivors were all flying again, and I would like to know if they survived the rest of the war.

Mavis Jarvis



Edward Sutton DFM 77 Squadron

I am looking for any information on my grandad, Edward Sutton, a Rear Gunner with 77 Squadron, who was awarded the DFM by King George in 1944.

Christopher Morgan



T/Sgt Leslie Coulton Goodhead 1473 Flight 11 FTS 109 Squadron 77 Squadron

My father served with 77 Squadron from 24/10/42 to 13/1/44, when he was discharged unfit for further service.

He joined the RFC as a boy, serving from 25/9/1917 to 26/4/19, training as a fitter. He re-enlisted 3/5/1921 to 1/2/1927 becoming an engine fitter and serving in Egypt and Aden. He was in E class reserve and was recalled to service 25/8/1939. He served in France 27/4/1940 to 17/6/1940, when he was able to get a ship to the UK from Brest.

Prior to 77 Sqdn. he served at 11 FTS, 109 Sqdn., Leuchars, and 1473 Flight.

He died in 1967. I have his service papers and a number of photographs from the 1920s of various subjects, plane crashes, Aden countryside, sports teams, etc.

Brian Goodhead



Flt/Sgt Frederick Walter Harvey 77 Squadron (d.23rd Jun 1944)

My Dad, Fred Harvey served in the RAF. He was shot down over Denmark on mine laying duty.He is buried in a cemetary in Faaborg. He was a Wireless Operator. His aircraft was a HalifaxV LL235 77 Squadron, flying from RAF Elvington.

Jack Harvey



Flt Sgt. Neville Aubrey Fearneyhough 77 Squadron

My father Neville Fearneyhough (d 2006) was stationed at RAF Elvington with Squadron 77. He was shot down in Holland on 1 May 1943 on the way to bomb Essen.(He was the navigator/observer) Only he and another, Butlin, survived. He was hidden by Dutch resistance leader Dr J Kreimel near Apeldoorn and was put on the escape route via Paris. This had been infiltrated by de Witter and he was betrayed to the Gestapo. He eventually was a POW of the Luftwaffe. He escaped during the retreat from the Red Army but was recaptured and treated for dipththeria in a POW hospital full of Russians with TB. As a POW he taught himself Latin and was able to matriculate.

I can't trace any more wartime information about Joe Kreimel, but I do know he was decorated by Prince Bernhard and I have letters from him to my father after the war. He was a doctor and hid a number of Jews as well as allied Airmen.

Sue Christie



Sgt. Donald Frank Tittley 77 Squadron

This fragment, in the possession of his younger brother, is all that can be found of a longer account of the wartime experience written by the late Donald F Tittley. (1434973 WO1 RAF. )

Donald Tittley's Recollections of 77 Squadron RAF. At the Squadron Re-Union in September 1989 I was asked to produce what I could remember of my time at Elvington with 77 Squadron.

It was in July 1943 that I was first introduced to other members of the crew at Rufforth and we were brought to Elvington in a service bus. We were put in a Nissen hut miles away from the station proper. It was a time of considerable activity and losses; we were held in reserve until we replaced a crew that had been lost. This was in the first week in August and before flying operationally as a crew both Peter Garlette, the pilot, and I flew with other crews to gain experience. Our first operational trip as a crew was about the first week in September. From that time on we were on many operations, not always bombing targets in Germany. Our duties included patrols round the British coastline, back-up flights for the air-sea rescue teams and once or twice we were reserve crews for dropping agents into France.

Looking back to these months we spent at Elvington I recall the abysmal Nissen hut site, always muddy and cold in spite of us keeping the stove red hot all day and night. Also it was rat infested and every morning a Land Army girl used to patrol round our site with three fierce ganders who chased the vermin away. Unfortunately they chased us too. We only slept in the huts and the ablutions hut and the Mess was a good ten minutes walk along a railway line and this caused us problems. Should we walk along in pyjamas and greatcoat, dress fully only to disrobe in the shower block and re-dress and go straight in to breakfast? The prospect of being chased by these creatures when in pyjamas and overcoat, given the damage they were said to inflict, made even the carefree reflective. Those geese frightened us more than the Germans.

Away from the Station we led a merry life; locals at Elvington treated us like family and I still marvel at the kindness and tolerance we received from everyone in York. We were spoiled and cosseted everywhere we went. Our noise and foolish, sometimes infantile, pranks were treated with forbearance and we were always pushed to the head of the innumerable queues there were outside cinemas, hairdressers and tea-rooms. It was a strange life we led, enjoying the glorious summer weather, wandering across those broad fields and chatting with the farm workers sowing autumn corn. They incidentally, from regular observation of the fuel tankers round the airfield, could predict with remarkable accuracy our likely target for any given night. Those of us familiar with bees used to help the local Vicar with his colonies. He was a keen beekeeper and endeavoured to supplement the village food supply. On wet days I would spend time combing the bookshops in York. Then as soon as it was dark we could be flying off into conflict. If we were lucky, back in the early hours for breakfast and a brief nap before another day in York. Often we walked to York or some other village and returned by Liberty Bus later in the day. We had a week off duty every seventh week and naturally we all rushed off home or, if you were from abroad, to some club, usually in London. Because of this and being quartered in a dispersal unit, we only ever got to know our immediate neighbours and our own ground crew.

Of the regular Station personnel we knew little except for encounters in the Mess, squabbling for the best armchairs or the morning papers. But one must not forget to mention those wonderful WAAF girls of the kitchen staff who fed us so cheerfully every hour of the day or night. Other wonderful lassies were those in the parachute section; there was to be an occasion when I thanked God for their consummate skill and devotion to duty. Then there were the girls from the transport section who drove us to our aircraft and, on many occasions when we were 'standing- by', would bring us tea and cakes every hour or so. It was not until many years later that I learned that each WAAF gave up a day's pay each month to provide us with these goodies.

The girls from SHQ, the control tower staff, the meteorological office and administration always seemed so cool and professional on duty, but at odd moments one saw a tear stained face. Sometimes when we were discussing operational points or concerns, a girl would rush away and hide herself from view for a time. It took me some time to realise that those who saw us off and awaited our return during the long hours suffered anxieties and stress too.

Our last day at Elvington was cold and icy and there was a low haze hanging over the fields. As we walked from our hut along the familiar railway line to the crew room our boots crunched the thin ice into the mud. It was a damp site and we were often scolded bitterly by our ground crew if we left traces of mud in the aircraft, so we always attempted to clean our boots before clambering aboard. When the usual briefing was over we were transported to Halifax Z Zebra. Scrambling aboard we waited. There was an ominous delay before we trundled down the runway and got airborne. We climbed and I looked for my favourite landmark, Beverley Minster. Its tower was always the last shape discernible in the darkening sky. It was to be forty-five years before I returned to Elvington.

2nd fragment:

There was the customary flak and searchlights as we approached Texel but after that it was quiet; an ominous sign that the night fighters were out. However, we flew on through occasional cloud and reached the Magdeburg region ahead of schedule. Over the target area we looked for the coloured flares which would mark our target and there were none to be seen. For several minutes we circled round until suddenly a red flare appeared; we lined up on it and proceeded to drop our bombs on to the target, a concentration of secret weapons (later to be called V2s). As we did so a Me 110 appeared on our starboard beam about a mile off. He began to attack us in a classic curve of pursuit. With his 30mm cannon he could hit us from far off, but we continued on our bombing run and as the bomb doors were closing we began taking evasive action. He rapidly closed in and followed us in our corkscrew. Firing again he hit our starboard wing setting it alight, but he had come close enough for our fire to damage him. Both turrets aimed at and hit his starboard wing root. He drifted slightly to port and I gave him two three-second bursts of fire as he closed and flames spurted from his starboard engine. I had shattered his exhausts I think. He broke away smartly, diving to port with his engine aflame. Anyway, were alone in the sky once more and we began to congratulate ourselves when Peter, the pilot, ordered us to prepare to abandon the aircraft. Despite George, the flight engineer, reporting that the starboard engine temperatures were normal there was a fear that the tanks would explode. So we jumped. Tumbling for a few seconds, then in seemingly absolute silence I was gliding very slowly downwards. Above my head was the huge white canopy of my 'chute and below like a beautiful model lay the city of Magdeburg and the river Elbe twisting towards the horizon. Soon I could see the outline of the famous castle and cathedral, then an island, a bridge and some mud banks. As I descended the noise of war resumed. Guns were roaring, tracer shells shot across the sky. The white searchlights began sweeping the sky as the blue master beams signalled them. Now, at what I thought was steeple height, I feared I might land in the river itself. Side-slipping I steered myself into a small field some fifty yards or so from the water and quite near a house landing amidst somebody's washing line and linen. Beyond I saw a yard and the back door of the house which was open. I heard voices so I lay quite still for a while. I saw no-one. I discarded my harness and 'chute by draping it over the washing line with the other sheets. Backing away from the house I discovered I had lost a flying boot in my descent so I threw the other one into a pool of water and ran off in my electric slippers. I cannot remember much after that apart from seemingly walking for a long time. Realising it would soon be day, I searched for a place to hide.

My capture, when it came was almost comical. Quite suddenly somewhere in the darkness to my left I saw flashes then heard rifles being fired seemingly wildly. Not at me, but all over the place. I later learned I had walked into a Home Watch Patrol. I dropped into a ditch full of icy water and tried to sneak along the road. I had gone but a few yards when I almost bumped into a crouching German policeman who, I think, was sheltering from his comrade's rifle fire. He grabbed me and said something in German before shining his torch at me. He joined the others and they led me to the Mayor's house, kicking at the door until he was awakened and came, in his nightshirt, to look at me. Behind him his diminutive wife carrying a most magnificent candelabrum was also in quaint night attire.

Next I was taken to the police station. I didn't know where I was but I saw on the way a signpost with the name Konigsborn. I was treated with a mixture or formal courtesy and kindness. There was only one incidence of ill-treatment when an elderly policeman unfastened his service belt and began to slap my face with it. Immediately the others stopped him and led me down to a basement cell. Some time later while it was still dark a constable opened the cell door and led his wife in to see me. They brought me some soup and a hunk of black bread. In broken English he told me that he and some of the other policemen had been prisoners in Suffolk in the last war. After the soup I fell asleep and dreamed of plucking fowls and tossing the feathers about. Suddenly the feathers began to fall on my face. I woke and discovered that local children on their way to school were dropping pieces of paper on to my face through the iron grating in the cell wall. One young boy spoke to me in good English, even quoting Shakespeare to me to the admiration of his comrades. Further exchanges were curtailed when my policeman chased them off to school. Later in the day another bloodstained airman was led in; it was the bomb-aimer of my crew. In accordance with our training we pretended we did not know each other.

Early the following morning we were collected by Luftwaffe guards and driven to a Luftwaffe station. We soon discovered that all movements of people and goods happened in the hours of darkness. There were about eight of us sitting inside this canvas topped truck; we couldn't see each other and as we tried to give clues as to identity the guards would shout 'Silence, silence' and cock their rifles. We arrived at Kȍthen, a celebrated Luftwaffe base just as day broke. After formal registration in the Adjutant's office, we were put in solitary confinement in the sparkling clean cells of the service lock-up. The feeding was meagre, a slice of black bread and honey at 0630; a bowl of soup at midday and a slice of bread at 1800. This and the fact there was nothing to read or do were the chief hardships. At odd times in the day an officer would visit us or the gaoler would let us out for a brief chat to some of the others. I always remember the man in the next cell to me was a German pilot serving four weeks for low flying offences.

About a week later we were taken in small groups across Germany to Frankfurt am Mainz to the central interrogating centre called Dulagluft. Again life was lonely and boring, confined in cells little bigger than a wardrobe. One could only lie and look at the plain walls or the barred window. The lighting and heating were controlled centrally so were in constant glare of electric lights. The heating fluctuated ceaselessly from very cold to intense heat and one could only dress and undress to keep any sense of comfort. It was while I was stripped naked during a hot session when the guard the guard came to take me for interrogation. Hurriedly dressing myself I was bustled away to a large airy room. There at a desk sat a German officer; around him English books, papers and cigarettes. The walls were covered in English maps and illustrations. When I refused cigarettes, there was a choice of brand, he promised to try and get me a pipe and tobacco. In common with others I was astonished at the personal details he knew about me, my crew and Squadron. We chatted amicably enough for several minutes about different English verbs; what was the difference between to occupy and to reserve a seat? He then wanted to know why I had failed to become a pilot. I hadn't told him this. He was guessing I had trained in England not knowing of course I had been an instructor in Canada before commencing operational flying. By this I was afterwards able to work out the sources of his intelligence. There must have been an excellent filing system containing all references to the RAF personnel in the British press including birthday greetings and such like. This linked with your service number gave them a basic outline which could be filled in by interrogating other prisoners.

Soon after this we were moved to a transit camp in the middle of Frankfurt. Here there was an English army officer and a Sergeant-major in charge. These two were a source of worry to me months later. Suddenly one evening just as it got dark we were loaded into trucks and driven to a nearby railway siding. Here we were loaded into cattle trucks, twenty five to each wagon; by the use of barbed wired screens the guards divided us into two groups, leaving space for themselves in front of the doors. For over a week we travelled across Germany, Poland and into Lithuania. Every five or six hours we stopped, often outside a town, where we would be allowed to stretch our legs under close guard. Two of us would be detailed to collect large buckets of coffee or soup from a military canteen or club. At Frankfurt am Oder I walked about half a mile along the track to collect coffee from the rear of a military canteen. As I stood there I glimpsed through the serving hatch and saw a crowd of German servicemen on their way to the Eastern Front. They eyed me in a strange wistful manner. Another occasion, with the same guard, I stood on a station platform. I was in Germany but the other side of the track the platform was in Poland. On either side of the railway tracks were fields littered with rusting burnt-out tanks, trucks, horse drawn carts and other battle relics. It was here the war had begun.

Some time in March we finally reached our prison camp. It was at a place called Heydekrug in Lithuania. In a way I suppose I had reached my next RAF station. It was Stalag Luft VI and I had a new number - 913.

John Tittley



Flt Sgt. John James O'Neil Kennedy 77 Sqd. (d.16th Feb 1944)

John was a bomb aimer on Halifax Bomber LW341. The plane was shot down on a mission to Berlin which left RAF Elvington on 15th February 1944. It crashed into the Baltic Sea, and John's body was never found. One member of the crew was buried on the Danish Island of Keppel. John was a member of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and was just 20 when he died. He is commemerated at the Runnymede Memorial on Panel 219.

Paul Kennedy



F/Sgt. Peter Sinclair (d.29th Mar 1944)

Flight Sergeant Peter Sinclair RAAF, flew from RAF Elvington, the twenty-two year old son John Sinclair and Wilhelmina Agnes (Mackintosh). Peter died from injuries in Ayrshire on 29 March 1944 and is buried in the Stonefall Cemetery, Harrogate, Yorkshire.

The family owned the 'Ki-Downs' property in Euston, NSW, AUS where Peter was a jackaroo for his father.

Jay



Sergent-Chef. Christian Bernard Darribehaude 346 (French) Squadron

My father Christian Darribehaude was stationed at Elvington in Yorkshire with 346 (French) Squadron, and flying as a wireless operator in Capitaine Brion's crew. They were twice diverted to Carnaby, at two days' interval.

On December 24th 1944, while bombing Mulheim airfield, their Halifax III (MZ737) was hit by flak and diverted to Carnaby on return. The duration of the flight was 5h25. On December 26th 1944, after an operational trip to bomb German troop concentrations at Saint-Vith (Belgian Ardennes region) as part of the Battle of the Bulge, their Halifax III (PN365) was again hit by flak and they had to land at Carnaby, using FIDO, after nightfall. The flight lasted 4h55. He and his crew survived the war. After his tour, he was posted to Lossiemouth as an instructor.

Michel Darribehaude



W.O. Frank Seton "Tony" Wall

I have been looking for information about my paternal grandfather Frank Wall and his service in WW2, he was stationed at Elvington. I know he spent some time as a POW but where or what times are unknown. I have entered the information I know, if anyone else has any info I would be grateful.

Monique Wall



Flt Sgt Eric Fedi (d.7th Sep 1943)

My Uncle Eric Fedi was a Canadian who flew with the RAF out of Elvington. He was a tail gunner with the rank of Flight Sgt. He flew with Pilot Munns on this plane/mission: Halifax 2 DT793 KNE lost 07-Sep-43 on Ops to Munich, Pilot, Munns. My Uncle Eric was 17 years old when he went missing.

Crew:

  • W.F. Munns pilot/captain
  • W.C. Smirk flight engineer
  • W.W. Smith navigator
  • C.W. Tomlinson air bomber
  • R.R. Wilson air gunner
  • E. Fedi air gunner
  • D.V. Webb air gunner
DT 793 lost Sept. 7 1943

Originally from my home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Eric forged my Grandmothers signature so that he could enlist at the age of 16. My other Uncle Ken, Eric's brother, ordered Eric to "Get the hell home", after bumping in to him in the centre of London.

Eric's name is on the Runnymede memorial.

I value very much what my Uncle and the thousands of others sacrificed, so that I could live in the UK 60 years on.

Gary Lavallee



Rae R. J. Simpson

Rae. R. J. Simpson ex R.N.Z.A.F who was on the Halifax 5 LL122 KNY that crashed on the 9th Dec 1943, he is the only survivor and has written a dedication towards that event that has left him deeply scared today. The plane was called the Z-Zebra, the crew were:

  • Charlie Grob R.A.A.F(Rear Gunner)
  • "Junior"Hemming R.C.A.F(Mid Upper-Gunner)
  • Jimmy Clark R.A.F (Wire-less Operator)
  • Les Ford R.A.F(Flight Engineer)
  • Geoff Sharp R.A.F (Navigator)
  • Ken Forrest R.C.A.F (Pilot)
  • Rae.R.J Simpson (Bomb Aimer)

Rae now lives in N.Z,and I think he is in one off the above photos at the top 3rd row forth one in. He is now 82 years and still bear the scars off that crash. I am his care giver and have my own family but love all the memories off the history as he tells it.

Jeanette Belle



Sgt. William Huntley 77 Sqd. (d.21st Jan 1944)

This photograph of his crew has been sent to me by the only surviving member (Ernie Gumm) Top to bottom: Sgt Harold Williams, Sgt Charles Pinder, Sgt Ernie Gumm, Sgt William Huntley, Sgt Thomas Berry and mascot Zola.

My uncle William Huntley was in the RAF and was based at Elvington in Yorkshire. Details below of the mission and crew of only which one survived. The dead are buried in the Berlin War Cemetery. William Huntley was Killed in action 21st January 1944 aged 19 years. They took off at 20:10 hours in aircraft JD471 KN-A on ops to Magdeburg
  • Lyon, Aubrey Kenneth Lawson, Flight Sergeant, (pilot) 1320186 -killed.
  • Sergeant Charles Alan Pinder (flight engineer) 1623092 - killed.
  • Flight Sergeant Dennis Renton (navigator) 1439513 -killed.
  • Sergeant Harold William Williams (b/a) 1336295 -killed.
  • Sergeant E W Gumm (wireless operator) -Prisoner of War.
  • Sergeant Thomas George Berry (mid-upper gunner) 913231 -killed.
  • Sergeant William James Huntley (reargunner) 1890773 -killed.

John Huntley



Sergeant Thomas George Berry 77Sqd (d.21st Jan 1944 )

flew from Elvington as a mid-upper gunner




F/Sgt Bone

Sgt Bone was shot down on 13th Aug 1941 and died in Apr. 45 on forced marched as a POW, Germany.




F/Lt. Marwood P Braund (d.12th Jan 1945)

Marwood Braund was killed on Ops to the Kattegat, Nr.Kiel on the 12th Jan 1945. His twin brother John was killed a month later.




Victor R Brown 77 Sqd.

Victor Brown served as a pilot with 77 squadron.




Sgt L. D. Bryant (d.6th May 1943)

Sgt Bryant served as a Rear Gunner he died on Ops.on 6th of May 1943, flying from RAF Elvington.




Adj. Henry Chabres. 347 Squadron (d.15th Mar 1945)

Henry Chabres served as a Wireless Operator with 347 Tunisie Sdq Free French he was killed on 15th of Mar 1945 when his aircraft crashed near Scawton.




Lt. Antoine Chemin. 347 Squadron (d.15th Mar 1945)

Antoine Chemin served as an Air Gunner with 347 Tunisie Sdq Free French he was killed on 15th of Mar 1945 when his aircraft crashed near Scawton.




Cne Raymond Chevalier. 347 Squadron (d.15th Mar 1945)

Raymond Chevalier was a Navigator with 347 Tunisie Sdq Free French he was killed on 15th of Mar 1945 when his aircraft crashed near Scawton.




W/Cdr D. S. Clark 77 Sqd.

Wind Cmdr Clark was C.O. of 77 Sqd. from Sept to Dec 1944




Sgt W R L Codd (d.25th May 1943)

Sgt Codd was killed on 25th May 1943 on Ops to Düsseldorf.




P/O D T Davies (d.25th July 1943)

P/O Davies was killed on 25th of July 43 on Ops to Essen.




F/Sgt M. C. Eddleston. (d.15th Feb 1945)

F/Sgt Eddleston was killed on 15/2/45 on Ops South of Zeland.




W/Cdr John Robert Andre Embling. 77 Sqd.

John Embling was C.O. of 77 Sqd. from April to Dec 42.




W/Cdr J. D.R. Forbes

J. Forbes was C.O. of 77 Sqd. from Dec 44.




Sgt. K P Froud (d.25th July 43)

Sgt Froud was killed on 25th July 43 on Ops to Essen.




Flight Sgt M. Fuller. (d. 6th May 1943)

F/Sgt Fuller served as a Wireless Operator he was killed on on Ops. 6th May 1943.




Sgt E. Garner (d. 6th May 1943)

Sgt Garner was a Bomb Aimer, he was killed on Ops. 6 May 1943.




Sgt. E. W Gumm

Sgt Gumm was a wireless operator he was held as a Prisoner of War.




Sgt J. Hogg (d. 6th May 1943)

Sgt Hogg was a Mid Upper Gunner who died on Ops. 6 May 1943.




Sgt R. J. Jones.

Sgt Jones was pilot he was killed on Ops in Nov 1943.




Sgt J Kershaw (d.25th May 1943)

Sgt Kershaw was killed on 25th May 1943 on Ops to Düsseldorf.




Sergeant Frederick A. Lane (d.17th Aug 43)

Frederick Lanes was a Flight Engineer the was killed on 17th Aug 43 on Ops.




Sgt J F R Laurence (d.25th May 1943)

Sgt Laurence was killed on 25th May 1943 on Ops to Düsseldorf.




F/Sgt Aubrey Kenneth Lawson. (d.21st Jan 1944 )

Aubrey Lawson was a Pilot with 77Sqd he was killed on 21st January 1944 on Ops.




Sgt. Raymond Leslie "Roy" Leforte. (d.15th Feb 1945)

Roy Leforte was a Flt. Engineer, he was killed on 15/2/45 on Ops South of Zeland.




Sgt R Lewis (d.25th May 1943)

Sgt Lewis was killed on 25th May 1943 on Ops to Düsseldorf.




W/Cdr Arthur Ernest "Lofty" Lowe

Loft Lowe was the C.O. of 77 Sqd. from Dec 42 to Oct 43.




F/Sgt G F McKinnon.

F/Sgt McKinnon was a Rear Gunner, he was killed on on Ops in Nov 43.




Sgt D W MacFarlane (d.25th May 1943)

Sgt McFarlane was killed on 25th May 1943 on Ops to Düsseldorf.




F/O F. D. Matheson. (d.25th July 1943)

F/O Matheson was killed on 25th July 43 on Ops to Essen.




Sgt. R A Mitchell (d.25th July 1943)

Sgt Mitchell was killed on 25th July 43 on Ops to Essen flying from RAF Elvington.




W. F. Munns (d.7th Sep 1943 )

Served as a pilot with Bomber Command and was based at Elvington




Sgt A J North (d.25th July 43)

Sgt North was killed on 25 July 43 on Ops to Essen flying from RAF Elvington.




Sgt R. H. Oats (d.6th May 1943)

Sgt Oats was a Navigator, killed on Ops. 6 May 1943 flying from RAF Elvington.




Cdt George Ostre. 347 Squadron (d.15th Mar 1945)

George Ostre was a Pilot with 347 Tunisie Sdq Free French he was killed on 15th of Mar 1945 when his aircraft crashed near Scawton flying from RAF Elvington..




Sergeant Charles Alan Pinder 77 Sqd. (d.21st Jan 1944 )

Charles Pinder was a flight engineer with 77Sqd he was killed on 21st January 1944 on Ops flying from RAF Elvington..




Sgt Rene Raymond. 347 Squadron (d.15th Mar 1945)

Rene Raymond was an Air Gunner with 347 Tunisie Sdq Free French he was killed on 15th of Mar 1945 when his aircraft crashed near Scawton flying from RAF Elvington..




Sergeant Arthur W. Ready (d.17th Aug 1943 )

Arthur Ready was a Navigator, killed on 17th Aug 43 on Ops flying from RAF Elvington.




Flight Sergeant Dennis Renton 77 Sqd. (d.21st Jan 1944)

Dennis Renton was a navigator with 77Sqd killed on 21st January 1944 on Ops.




Sgt. J. W. Richardson (d.25th May 1943)

Sgt J W Richardson was killed on 25th May 1943 on Ops to Düsseldorf flying from RAF Elvington.




F/O J. Ritchie. (d.15th Feb 1945)

F/O Ritchie was killed on 15/2/45 on Ops South of Zeland.




Harry Rodgers.

Harry Rodgers was an engine fitter who served at RAF Elvington




W/Cdr J. A. Roncoroni 77 Sqd.

W/Cdr J.A. Roncoroni C.O. 77 Sqd. from Oct 43 to Sept 44 flying from RAF Elvington.




Sergeant Henry F. Roza. (d.17th Aug 1943)

Henry Roza was aBomb Aimer killed on 17th Aug 43 on Ops.




Sgt R. E. Russell. (d.15th Feb 1945)

Sgt Russell was killed on 15/2/45 on Ops South of Zeland flying from RAF Elvington.




Sgc M Sciolette. 347 Squadron (d.15th Mar 1945)

M. Sciolette was a Flight Eng with 347 Tunisie Sdq Free French he was killed on 15th of Mar 1945 when his aircraft crashed near Scawton.




Sgt W. Shaw.

Sgt Shaw was a W/Op who was killed on Ops in Nov 43.




Sergeant Frank F. Shefford

Frank Shefford was a Pilot killed on 17th Aug 43 on Ops flying from RAF Elvington.




Sgt T. C.E. Simmons (d.6th May 1943 )

Sgt Simmons was a Flight Engineer killed on Ops. 6 May 1943 flying from RAF Elvington.




Sgt R V Slater (d.25th Jul 1943)

Sgt Slater was killed on 25 July 43 on Ops to Essen flying from RAF Elvington.




W. C. Smirk (d.7th Sep 1943)

W. Smirk was a flight engineer killed on 7th of Sep 1943 flying from RAF Elvington.




W. W. Smith (d.7th Sep 1943)

W Smith was a navigator killed on 7th Sep 1943 flying from RAF Elvington.




Sergeant John B.L. Smith (d.17th Aug 1943)

John Smith was a Wireless Operator killed on 17th Aug 43 on Ops flying from RAF Elvington.




C. W. Tomlinson. (d.7th Sep 1943)

C. Tomlinson was a bomber aimer killed on 7 Sep 1943 flying from RAF Elvington.




Sgc A Tilliers. 347 Squadron (d.15th Mar 1945)

A Tilliers flew as a Rear gunner with 347 Tunisie Sdq Free French he was killed on 15th of Mar 1945 when his aircraft crashed near Scawton.




J. Trengrove

Sgt Tullt was killed on 25th of July 43 on Ops to Essen flying from RAF Elvington.




Sergeant John R. Vint (d.17th Aug 1943)

John Vint was a Mid Upper Gunner killed on 17th Aug 43 on Ops from Elvington.




Sgt M. Wade.

Sgt Wade was a Bomb Aimer killed on Ops in Nov 43.




Sgt R. Walton.

Sgt Walton was a Navigator killed on Ops Nov 43 flying from RAF Elvington.




Sgt J H Waterston (d.25th May 1943 )

Sgt Waterston was killed on 25 May 1943 on Ops to Düsseldorf flying from RAF Elvington.




Sgt D. S. Watson. (d.15th Feb 1945)

Sgt Watson was killed on 15/2/45 on Ops South of Zeland flying from RAF Elvington.




Sergeant Harold William Williams 77Sqd (d.21st Jan 1944 )

Harold Williams served with 77Sqd he was killed on 21st January 1944 on Ops, flying from RAF Elvington.




R. R. Wilson (d.7th Sep 1943)

R Wilson served as a air gunner, he was killed on 7 Sep 1943, flying from Elvington.




F/O A. Wood. (d.15th Feb 1945)

F/O Wood was killed on 15/2/45 on Ops South of Zeland, flying from RAf Elvington.




Sergeant George Wood

George Wood was a Rear Gunner kiled on 17th Aug 43 on Ops flying from RAF Elvington.




Sgt R. V. Woods. (d.17th Aug 1943)

Sgt Wood was a Flight Eng killed on Ops in Nov 43 flying from RAF Elvington.




Flt.Sgt. John Waterston 77 Squadron

John Waterston was in the RAF and in 1943, held the rank of Flight Sergeant. As a crew member of 77 Squadron based at RAF Elvington, Yorkshire and crewing a Halifax V, serial LL121, code KN-G was shot down Dec 20/21 1943 while on a mission to Frankfurt, by what is believed to be by either JU88 or Bf110 of 8./NJG3 night fighter squadron, piloted by, again not confirmed, Oblt. Paul Zorner, from Hintermellingen, near Frankfurt. Two of the crew died, while the other five including John were held as POW's. John was held at Stalag IVB. He survived the war passing away in 2002.

Peter Hill







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