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

The Wartime Memories Project

- RAF Feltwell during the Second World War -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

RAF Feltwell

   During World War 1, Feltwell airfield was used as No. 7 Training Depot Station. The Station rebuilt in 1937 and at the outbreak of war was allocated to Bomber Command. On the 4th April 1940 No. 75 (NZ) Squadron of the RAF became the first Commonwealth squadron to be formed in Bomber Command. They took part in the early bombing offensive against enemy-occupied territories, flying Wellington bombers. While returning from a raid on Munster on 7/8th July 1941, one of its aircrew, Sergeant Pilot JR Ward, RNZAF, won the Victoria Cross. Feltwell suffered a series of raids by enemy aircraft in February and March, 1941. The airfield sustained little damage, except to the Sergeant's mess, but several houses in the village were demolished, and families made homeless.

Today Feltwell is home to the American Airforce.

Squadrons stationed at Feltwell

  • 37 Squadron from 1937 to 8th Nov 1940
  • 75 (NZ) Squadron. Apr 1940 to Aug 1942
  • 57 Squadron from 20th November 1940
  • 21 Squadron from 14th March 1942
  • No. 3 Lancaster Finishing School
  • No. 464 (Aus.) Squadron from September 1942
  • No. 487 (New Zealand) Squadron from September 1942


3rd September 1939 

3rd Sept 1939 Sweep

12th February 1940 On the move

7th March 1940 Operational

4th April 1940 New Squadron titles

9th April 1940 Night Ops

12th April 1940 Reconnaissance

7th May 1940 Attached

21st May 1940 Aircraft lost

June 1940 Detachment to France

1st Jun 1940 Aircraft Lost

1st June 1940 Aircraft Lost

20th July 1940 Aircraft lost

25th July 1940 Aircraft lost

10th October 1940 Bomber attacks

21st October 1940 Raids

8th Nov 1940 In Support

20th Nov 1940 Conversion

14th January 1941 Routine flight crashed

21st Feb 1941 Failed to return

3rd April 1941 Collision

18th Jun 1941 Scharnhorst attacked

13th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

6th August 1941 Failed to return

13th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

10th Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost

30th Nov 1941 Friendly fire

27th Dec 1941 Aircraft Lost

5th Jan 1942 Aircraft Lost

14th March 1942 Disbanded and reformed

1st Apr 1942 Aircraft Lost

11th Aug 1942 Bomber Command

15th August 1942 Relocation

4th Sept 1942 Conversion

10th Sept 1942 Reorganisation and Training

30th October 1942 Relocation

2nd Dec 1942 Ventura of 464 Squadron lost

6th Dec 1942 Ventura of 464 Squadron lost

6th Dec 1942 Ventura of 487 Squadron lost

6th Dec 1942 Ventura of 464 Squadron lost

6th Dec 1942 Ventura of 487 Squadron lost

6th Dec 1942 Bombing Raid

13th March 1944 Lancasters arrive

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

Those known to have served at

RAF Feltwell

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Banks MID.. James Henry. Flt Sgt.
  • Davies Alfred. Sgt. (d.24th July 1942)
  • Houghton John.
  • Mobley AFC.. Arthur Benjemin. Ft.Lt.
  • Pearson Ray Sidney. Tech Sgt.
  • Pinney Doreen Eva.
  • Powell DSO, DFC, OBE. John Alexander. Group Captain (d.18th Aug 1944)
  • Stace John Alan. Flt.Sgt.

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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John Houghton Military Police

I would be grateful for any information through your site regarding the military police. My father was stationed at RAF Feltwell from 1939 and also at Prestwick. He told me he once escorted a prisoner from Feltwell to Prestwick via train and bus. He also played the french cornet in the military band. Sadly, my hero died at 57yrs of age in 1969 but would have been proud of a mention on your site

John Houghton

Group Captain John Alexander "Speedy" Powell DSO, DFC, OBE 19 Sqd. (d.18th Aug 1944)

I understand that Group Captain Powell was at Feltwell during WW2 although not as a Group captain at the time. He was a pilot and flew Wellingtons amongst other aircraft. Can anyone confirm whether he did?

Jeremy Powell

Tech Sgt. Ray Sidney Pearson 192 Squadron

My brother and I were in Coventry during the Blitz in 1940 and 1941. Ray joined the RAF in 1941 and after training in Terrill Texas and Ontario Canada qualified as Air Bomber. He actually passed as a pilot but developed a phobia about flying the aircraft so did extra training to be an air bomber. He arrived to 424 Squadron at Topcliffe and took part in approximate 19 raids including 'gardening- laying mines' until Mar 5th 1943 when he reported sick with a painful lump in the groin. He had an operation for a hernia and was off flying until April 21st. When he returned from leave he found that 424 Squadron had left for North Africa and No 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit had arrived At Topcliffe.

Ray then did a mad thing, he volunteered for the secret 192 Squadron at Feltwell (see Espionage in the Ether by W and J Rees). These guys did all sort of things with RADAR and Wireless some of which involved arriving over the target before the bomber streams and hanging about after the raid had finished. Rays career at flying finished after the raid on Hamburg 27th July 1943 when the German defences were baffled by the anti Radar action with 'Window' and misdirection of their fighters by wireless and Hamburg was destroyed. It was Ray's last raid of his tour and he refused to fly any more. He was transferred to the Royal Signals. After the war he went to reunions and one of his comrades told me 'They should have given him a medal, not thrown him out. He brought the plane back three times'. And this was inspite of his phobia about flying the aircraft! A condition not unknown in commercial flying.

Derek Pearson

Ft.Lt. Arthur Benjemin "Mobs" Mobley AFC. 37 Squadron

My father, Arthur Mobely served at Feltwell in 1939/40 with 37 Squadron.

Terry Mobley

Flt Sgt. James Henry "Monty" Banks MID. 212 Squadron

My father, James Banks was evacuated from Orleans airport, France, Tuesday 18th June 1940. A Dakota landed to pick him up, in his words "a lady". They landed at Heston and he was given immediate leave and returned to RAF Feltwell and given sedative to calm uncontroled shakes. This is all I have discovered written in the margins of The Daily Sketch dated Tuesday June 18th.

Any additional info would be wonderful.

Peter Henry Banks

Doreen Eva Pinney 75 Squardron

My nan Doreen Eva Pinney, served at R.A.F Feltwell during WW11 from the years 1940 to 1943 in the MT section (Motor Transport)as a driver her service number is 2002699. she drove a small van and the ambulance but mainly took the men out to the field to collect their aircraft before the raids and also waited for them to come back. Her oppo (mate) was called "Rocky" Parker however the Rocky was her nickname and my grand mother can not remember her first name.

My grandmother has a few stories of her time. I shall give you an example; my gran remembers one late afternoon when the crews were back she remembers a lone German fighter swooped down on the field circled the airfield twice and then waggled his wings then flew off back home this pilot never shot up the planes or the field which surprised my nan and her oppo Rocky. In fact my nan was so impressed that she thought he was a cheeky little begger and she hoped he would make it home safe, as she has told me before that not every German was a Nazi!

Leo Blake

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.


Sgt. Alfred Davies 57 Sduadron (d.24th July 1942)

Alf Davies was the son of my great aunt Mary and her husband Alf. They lived in Whitley Bay in the 1950s. I was then too young to realize that the black and white picture of a man in RAF uniform was their son Alf who had died during the war. The picture of Alf in RAF uniform was always around in all my aunties` living rooms. He was much thought of by the family. He was in Wellingtons out of RAF Feltwell, Norfolk during WW2, until his death in July 1942. He is buried in West Terschelling General Cemetery in Holland.

D R Thompson

Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.

Espionage in the Ether - the Wartime Story of Electronic Intelligence and Radio Countermeasures Carried Out By 192 Bomber Support Squadron

William J Rees & John E Rees


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