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

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- RAF Waddington during the Second World War -


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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

RAF Waddington



   

RAF Waddington opened as an RFC station in 1916 and was used for military flying between the wars, being rebuilt and updated in the 1930s.

In 1939 at the outbreak of war 44 Sqd and 50 Sqd were flying Hampdens from Waddington. Other squadrons to fly from Waddington include 270 Sqd flying Manchesters, 420 (RCAF), 44 Squadron the first to operate the Lancaster, and 9 Squadron. After a shorty closure for runway construction, Waddington became home to 467 (RAAF) Squadron, later joined by a second Australian unit, 463.

Flying from Waddington continued after the was. Today RAF Waddington is still an active airbase.

Squadrons stationed at RAF Waddington

  • No: 9 Squadron
  • No: 44 Squadron
  • No. 50 Squadron. 1939 to 10 Jul 1940
  • No: 270 Squadron
  • No: 420 Squadron
  • No: 463 Squadron
  • No: 467 Squadron


 

3rd Sept 1939 

19th Mar 1940 Raid

26th March 1940 Raids

12th April 1940 Raid

12th April 1940 Aircraft Lost

14th April 1940 

13th May 1940 Night Ops

24th May 1940 

4th June 1940 

13th Jun 1940 44 Squadron Hampden lost

26th Jun 1940 Hampden L4078 lost

26th June 1940 Aircraft Lost

10th July 1940 

29th Jul 1940 44 Squadron Hampden lost

25th August 1940 

13th Mar 1941 207 Squadron Manchester lost

9th Apr 1941 207 Squadron Manchester lost

13th Aug 1941 207 Squadron Manchester lost

Sept 1941   In September 1941, No.44 Squadron's title was altered to No. 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron in recognition of that country's generous donations to the war effort, about a quarter of the squadron's personnel were Rhodesian.

Sept 1941 

2nd Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

7th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

15th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

14th Oct 1941 207 Squadron Manchester lost

17th Dec 1941 Losses

19th Feb 1942 420 Squadron Hampden lost

17th Apr 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

17th Apr 1942 Daylight Raid

8th May 1942 420 Squadron Hampden lost

8th May 1942 

9th May 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

9th May 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

6th Jun 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

1st Aug 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

5th Aug 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

7th August 1942 Squadron relocated and re-equipped

12th Aug 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

16th Aug 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

25th Aug 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

28th Aug 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

17th Sep 1942 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

17th Sep 1942 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

30th Sep 1942 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

2nd Oct 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

7th Oct 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

10th Dec 1942 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

20th Dec 1942 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

21st Dec 1942 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

3rd Jan 1943 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

14th Jan 1943 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

17th Jan 1943 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

29th Jan 1943 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

31st Jan 1943 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

31st Jan 1943 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

4th Feb 1943 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

14th March 1943 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

28th Mar 1943 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

30th Mar 1943 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

3rd Apr 1943 9 Squadron Lancaster lost

14th April 1943 On the move

14th May 1943 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

31st May 1943 

10th Nov 1943 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

1st Mar 1943 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

20th Sep 1944 467 Squadron Lancaster lost

3rd Jan 1945 467 Squadron Lancaster lost


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



Those known to have served at

RAF Waddington

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Aston Ron. Flt.Lt
  • Barlow Philip Tyers. Flight Sergeant (d.3rd March 1945)
  • Bates Douglas. Flight Sergeant (d.3rd March 1945)
  • Billard Charles. Sergeant (d.3rd March 1945)
  • Blundell MID.. Harold Mclenon. Sgt.
  • Brock Thomas W.. Sgt. (d.22nd Nov1942)
  • Brock Thomas W.. Sgt. (d.23rd Nov 1942)
  • Clelland James Watson. WO.
  • Currie DFM.. John Richard. Sgt.
  • Elliot Osric Brownrigg. Flight Sergeant (d.3rd March 1945)
  • Fleming Jerrold Ronald. Sqd.Ldr.
  • Foreman Eugene. Flight Sergeant
  • Gregory Wilfred. Sgt.
  • Howells Francis John. Flight Lieutenant (d.3rd March 1945)
  • Johnson Charles Edward. Sqd.Ldr. (d.24th May 1940)
  • Lewis DFC. Wilfred. Fl/Lt.
  • Miles June.
  • Millar J M H. Sergeant
  • Nettleton VC.. John Dering. Sqd.Ldr. (d.13th July 1943)
  • Peggs Geoffrey Charles. Sgt. (d.28th July 1943)
  • Phillips John Ernest. F/Sgt. (d.1st September 1941)
  • Player Geoffrey C. Flt.Sgt. (d.22nd Apr 1942)
  • Stenner Lester.
  • Toft William Eric. Sgt. (d.2nd Mar 1943)

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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Sergeant Charles Billard 463 Squadron (d.3rd March 1945)

I wish to find any survivors of Sgt Charles Billard's crew. His Lancaster from 463 Squadron was shot down on 3-4th March 1945 whilst on a mission over the Dortmund Ems Canal. Two survived: Sgt J M H Millar RAF and Flt/Sgt Eugene Foreman RAAF.

If any family, friends, other air crew or groundcrew knows the whereabouts of any of these men or has any information I would be grateful if they would contact me.

Other members of the crew were

  • Sgt Charles Edward Billard RAF 1595492. (my relative) Killed, age 27 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • F/O Francis Howells RAAF,
  • F/S Douglas Bates.RAF,
  • F/S Philip T Barlow RAF,
  • F/S Osric Elliott RAAF,They flew from RAF Waddington.

  • Roy Billard



    Flight Lieutenant Francis John Howells 463 Squadron (d.3rd March 1945)

    I wish to find any survivors of Sgt Charles Billard's crew. His Lancaster from 463 Squadron was shot down on 3-4th March 1945 whilst on a mission over the Dortmund Ems Canal. Two survived: Sgt J M H Millar RAF and Flt/Sgt Eugene Foreman RAAF.

    If any family, friends, other air crew or groundcrew knows the whereabouts of any of these men or has any information I would be grateful if they would contact me.

    Other members of the crew were

  • Sergeant Charles Edward Billard RAF 1595492. (my relative) Killed, age 27 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Lieutenant Francis John Howells RAAF 419044,killed age 20 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • F/S Douglas Bates.RAF,
  • F/S Philip T Barlow RAF,
  • F/S Osric Elliott RAAF,They flew from RAF Waddington.

  • Roy Billard



    Flight Sergeant Douglas Bates 463 Squadron (d.3rd March 1945)

    I wish to find any survivors of Sgt Charles Billard's crew. His Lancaster from 463 Squadron was shot down on 3-4th March 1945 whilst on a mission over the Dortmund Ems Canal. Two survived: Sgt J M H Millar RAF and Flt/Sgt Eugene Foreman RAAF.

    If any family, friends, other air crew or groundcrew knows the whereabouts of any of these men or has any information I would be grateful if they would contact me.

    Other members of the crew were

  • Sergeant Charles Edward Billard RAF 1595492. (my relative) Killed, age 27 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Lieutenant Francis John Howells RAAF 419044, killed age 20 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Sergeant Douglas Bates, RAF VR 1594894, killed age 19 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • F/S Philip T Barlow RAF,
  • F/S Osric Elliott RAAF,They flew from RAF Waddington.

  • Roy Billard



    Flight Sergeant Philip Tyers Barlow 463 Squadron (d.3rd March 1945)

    I wish to find any survivors of Sgt Charles Billard's crew. His Lancaster from 463 Squadron was shot down on 3-4th March 1945 whilst on a mission over the Dortmund Ems Canal. Two survived: Sgt J M H Millar RAF and Flt/Sgt Eugene Foreman RAAF.

    If any family, friends, other air crew or groundcrew knows the whereabouts of any of these men or has any information I would be grateful if they would contact me.

    Other members of the crew were

  • Sergeant Charles Edward Billard, RAF 1595492. (my relative) Killed, age 27 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Lieutenant Francis John Howells, RAAF 419044, killed age 20 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Sergeant Douglas Bates, RAF VR 1594894, killed age 19 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • F/S Philip Tyers Barlow, RAF 1802589, killed age 21 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • F/S Osric Elliott RAAF,They flew from RAF Waddington.

  • Roy Billard



    Flight Sergeant Osric Brownrigg Elliot 463 Squadron (d.3rd March 1945)

    I wish to find any survivors of Sgt Charles Billard's crew. His Lancaster from 463 Squadron was shot down on 3-4th March 1945 whilst on a mission over the Dortmund Ems Canal. Two survived: Sgt J M H Millar RAF and Flt/Sgt Eugene Foreman RAAF.

    If any family, friends, other air crew or groundcrew knows the whereabouts of any of these men or has any information I would be grateful if they would contact me.

    Other members of the crew were

  • Sergeant Charles Edward Billard, RAF 1595492. (my relative) Killed, age 27 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Lieutenant Francis John Howells, RAAF 419044, killed age 20 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Sergeant Douglas Bates, RAF VR 1594894, killed age 19 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Sergeant Philip Tyers Barlow, RAF 1802589, killed age 21 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Sergeant Osric Brownrigg Elliott RAAF 432217, killed age 21 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)

    They flew from RAF Waddington.

  • Roy Billard



    Sergeant J M H Millar 463 Squadron

    I wish to find any survivors of Sgt Charles Billard's crew. His Lancaster from 463 Squadron was shot down on 3-4th March 1945 whilst on a mission over the Dortmund Ems Canal. Two survived: Sgt J M H Millar RAF and Flt/Sgt Eugene Foreman RAAF.

    If any family, friends, other air crew or groundcrew knows the whereabouts of any of these men or has any information I would be grateful if they would contact me.

    Other members of the crew were

  • Sergeant Charles Edward Billard, RAF 1595492. (my relative) Killed, age 27 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Lieutenant Francis John Howells, RAAF 419044, killed age 20 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Sergeant Douglas Bates, RAF VR 1594894, killed age 19 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Sergeant Philip Tyers Barlow, RAF 1802589, killed age 21 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Sergeant Osric Brownrigg Elliott RAAF 432217, killed age 21 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)

    They flew from RAF Waddington.

  • Roy Billard



    Flight Sergeant Eugene Foreman 463 Squadron

    I wish to find any survivors of Sgt Charles Billard's crew. His Lancaster from 463 Squadron was shot down on 3-4th March 1945 whilst on a mission over the Dortmund Ems Canal. Two survived: Sgt J M H Millar RAF and Flt/Sgt Eugene Foreman RAAF.

    If any family, friends, other air crew or groundcrew knows the whereabouts of any of these men or has any information I would be grateful if they would contact me.

    Other members of the crew were

  • Sergeant Charles Edward Billard, RAF 1595492. (my relative) Killed, age 27 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Lieutenant Francis John Howells, RAAF 419044, killed age 20 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Sergeant Douglas Bates, RAF VR 1594894, killed age 19 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Sergeant Philip Tyers Barlow, RAF 1802589, killed age 21 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)
  • Flight Sergeant Osric Brownrigg Elliott RAAF 432217, killed age 21 (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)

    They flew from RAF Waddington.

  • Roy Billard



    Flt.Lt Ron Aston 61 Squadron

    LANDING ON THREE! Ron Aston (a survivor) now living in Gordons Bay South Africa.

    November 25th 1944 was a wet wintry day in Wigsley, Nottinghamshire. Cloud was low and it was dull grey with showers. I was there to convert from twin engined Wellingtons to Stirling four engined aircraft, prior to going on to Lancasters and thence to joining a squadron.

    Today my crew and I were to undertake our first cross-country exercise. Well prepared, with four hours solo, briefed, in possession of the met forecast, we took off after lunch into the murky day. The weather didn't present any problems, we were well trained on instruments both in cloud and at night, and we knew we would have to make a night landing on our return. I had a good Navigator and was confident that this would be just another exercise... How wrong could I be?

    We were climbing on course and levelled out at about 6000' in and out of cloud. I was busy sighting the two port engines to synchronise the propellers, after which I would do the same with the starboard ones. This is done by simply adjusting each pair of throttles so that the pair each side are running at exactly the same speed - this cuts out the droning associated with multi-engined piston aircraft. Whilst adjusting the throttles, the port outer throttle lever gave me a severe rap across the knuckles which, despite the gloves, hurt. I immediately asked the Fight Engineer to check the instruments for that engine. I knew that there must have been a backfire through the fuel induction system which could be caused by a broken valve or faulty ignition. Either way is wasn't good news, especially when the Engineer reported that the engine was running hot and losing oil pressure rapidly. There was no choice but to tell him to feather the prop and shut down number one engine.

    Now I knew that the Stirling was underpowered, indeed, it was a very heavy and ponderous aircraft to fly. But I had no idea how it would perform on three engines... Shortly I would find out! With the remaining three engines now at full power, I now had a course to steer for a return to base, but there I was with both feet on the same rudder pedal, both hands straining the ailerons to keep the port wing up, and losing height.

    Returning for an emergency landing, at about 3000' feet I was holding height. We were now in cloud and it was getting dark. I called the Wigsley tower for an emergency landing and was told to stand by. This I accepted as I knew they would want to get the emergency vehicles at the ready. Meantime the Engineer and I were recalling items from the Pilot's Notes for the Stirling. One point kept coming back - on three engines with wheels and flaps down you cannot overshoot. This meant that once these were down we were committed to land. Then another thought occurred to me; I had never been demonstrated a three engine landing or practised one with an instructor! So I assumed it was the same as a single engine landing on a twin, so it didn't worry me too much.

    Continuing to call base for permission to break cloud and land, each time they came back with the same message to stand by. After half an hour of flying the crippled aircraft around in thick cloud I was beginning to sweat blood. Calling base again I told them I was breaking cloud and preparing to land at the first aerodrome I saw. Immediately they came back with the instruction to divert to Waddington. My Navigator gave me a course to steer and an ETA of eight minutes. At 1000' we broke cloud into a clear black night. In a short while I saw the runway lights and the Drem system of an airfield dead ahead and told the Navigator that I could see Waddington.

    Calling on the emergency frequency I requested permission to join the circuit for an emergency landing. This given, I reported in the circuit and again on downwind. As I turned onto base I lowered the undercarriage and still with plenty of height, lined up with the runway as I turned onto final. As we reduced speed it became more difficult to keep straight. At 300' I called for full flap as I was then certain of making the runway. Just as the flaps came down I was given a red from the runway caravan and a red Very light, just in time to see another four engined aircraft taxi out onto the runway for take off...

    The very same runway we were now committed to! I had no time to be horrified, I knew that an overshoot was impossible, and the instinct for self preservation took over. There was no time to think; I knew I had to land and I didn't fancy landing on top of the other aircraft. So I did the only thing possible - turned 10„a to port and proceeded to land on the grass, looking out of the starboard window to judge my height from the flare path, seeing also the other aircraft take off. Fortunately there were no obstructions and we made a fair landing.

    Making back for the runway I turned off left, parked and shut down, with an incredible feeling of relief! Most of the crew had no idea what was going on - just that I had landed on the grass - but those up front soon put them wise. A van arrived shortly and we all piled in. I asked to be taken to the tower and arriving there marched up the steps feeling very much put out and more than a little peeved. I opened the door with a bang and asked who the hell let the aircraft take off whilst I was coming down on an emergency landing. They all looked puzzled and said they had no knowledge that I was making an emergency landing. I was quick to remind them that I had been talking to them only minutes before on joining the circuit... this they denied all knowledge of... and then it struck me... I asked "this is Waddington isn't it?" "Oh no!" they said, "this is Swinderby!" I had landed at the wrong airfield!

    24th February 1945 was my first daylight raid, the target being the Dortmund–Ems Canal Canal, Germany. I paid particular attention to the briefing to be ‘on the ball’ and to make sure of my designated position in the ‘goggle’. Unlike the US Army Air Corps, the Lancaster wasn’t designed to fly in formation; we kept position in loose groups of aircraft.

    We took off with a full bomb load from our Linconshire base early afternoon, expecting a return night landing. As we went out to the dispersals I kept an eye on the other aircraft that I was to fly alongside, so I could take off as close to them as possible. There was little wind and we used the whole runway to take off. Alas, once airborne it was impossible to catch up with those in front. We were climbing at nearly full power so I did what everyone else did and slipped into the gaggle at the nearest point and held station, which wasn’t easy as the Lancs in front & on either side began to wander. daylight raids demanded more attention than keeping course at night. All went well for a couple of hours, but then the Wireless Operator announced that the op had been abandoned due to heavy cloud over the target, and that we were to return to base. I thought that we should go for an alternative target, but no, we were to return to Skellingthorpe. As we turned I could see some of the other Lancs dropping their bombs into the North Sea. As we flew back 4Flight Enenginee and myself had a discussion about the weight of the aircraft for landing. The bomb load comprised fourteen 1000 lb bombs with half-hour delay acid fuses. We had consumed fuel on the engine run-ups prior to take off, climbing to height and cruising for two hours since then.

    The flight engineer gave his computed figure which showed that we were well over the maximum permitted weight for landing. Should I jettison some or all of our bombs? Hell, to come all this way and drop those precious bombs into the ocean seemed such a waste; overweight or not, I would take those bombs back. I was confident that I could handle it, as the Lancaster was the most forgiving aircraft that I had flown, so we continued back in the dark. I could see other aircraft landing as we approached Skellingthorpe, and I could already imagine the taste of the hot cup of cocoa as we entered the crewroom. I called up on the radio and we joined the circuit. Suddenly the whole world lit up. A huge explosion had taken place on the airfield, and even at 1000 ft we felt the shock wave. Immediately I turned off the navigation lights as I thought German night fighters had come back with us in the bomber stream, as sometimes happened. After a few minutes I was diverted to Woddington, just a short hop away from our own base, and was soon on the approach to landing there. In the meantime, with all the excitement, I had other things on my mind and had forgotten about our weight. However, all this came rushing back to me as we were about to land, but thankfully all went well. However, I was surprised when the groundcrew directed us to the far side of the airfield, where we began a long wait in the dark.

    Eventually, after we had tucked the aircraft down for the night, a ~n from Skellingthorpe picked us up. The driver told us that another LAnc with bombs on board had exploded, killing its crew as well as seven ground crew, and destroyed other planes and hangars.

    It was a very sad journey home, and we got to bed in the early hours of the morning. Early that same morning I was woken with the news that I was to return to Waddington to collect our aircraft, as it was required for a sortie that same night. A little piece of RAP St Mowgan’s 42 Squadron History: Flown by squadron CO Wg Cdr Carson, on 2nd Auciust 1965, Mk III SF~ack WR958 dropped supplies at a rendezvous 400 miles out into the Atlantic.

    Robert Manry, sailing a 14 ft dinghy from Falmouth, Connecticut USA to Falmouth, Cornwall was making the British National press headlines at the time and, of course, someone at Mob thought it great PR to drop mail and fresh fruit to sailor Manry. The skill in finding this tiny boat in the middle of the ocean didn’t occur to anyone, except the aircrew who had to find it - pre-GPSI. The Press were in the accompanying shack to witness and photograph the event, and this is the photo syndicated at the time.

    I can only tell you how relieved the navigator in ‘b’ was when the aircraft landed - the crew also had an AVM on board, a future AOC for 18 Group! Waddington knew of the tragic accident at Skellingthorpe before we landed, and didn’t want a repeat performance with another of our aircraft. Last night there had been seven aircraft lined up with ours, but this morning mine was the only plane there and all the other crews were back in bed - where I wanted to be as I expected to fly an op again that night. Meanwhile, there was not a soul in sight by our aircraft - everyone knew that my bomb-bay was full of bombs! On entering the aircraft we were staggered to see the fuselage aft of the tail door stocked with the fins from our 1000 lb bombs, each standing chest-high. There were also ammunition boxes containing the bomb fuses. With so much weight in the rear of the aircraft it was impossible to take off, so something had to be off-loaded. I then contacted control and asked if the armourers could take off some of the bombs. But we waited and waited, and nobody came. After two hours I had had enough, so I sent the bomb aimer to see if the bombs were safe. He did just that and reported that all was well. I started the engines, did the proof light checks, switched off the radio, and then told the bomb aimer to release the entire bomb load on the grass. We felt a jolt as the bombs left the aircraft, and I could feel the Lanc breathing a sigh of relief, just like me. To clear the tail wheel around the bombs I locked one main wheel and pivoted the Lanc around. Fortunately this manoeuvre worked, and as I headed for the runway I glimpsed our 14 large bombs laid out neatly on the grass. I then took off and landed at Skellingthorpe a few minutes later. Believe it or not, I never heard another word about the incident. Thankfully I also didn’t have to fly that night, but I did return to Dortman Elms Canal several times.

    Ron is alive but not too well, in Gordons Bay South Africa.

    Peter Chamberlain



    Sgt. Thomas W. Brock Air Gunner 44 Sqn (d.22nd Nov1942)

    Thomas Brock was my cousin and, at the age of 32, was the "old man" of his crew captained by Plt Off Stanley Ryder Young aged 23. They took off from Waddington, time unknown, on the night of 22 Nov 1942 en-route for Stuttgart. Their aircaft was Lanc W4304 KM-C which had been delivered to Waddington on 10 Oct 1942 and had completed 55 flying hours to date. Somewhere, either en-route or returning from Stuttgart, they were lost without trace. No further communication had been received from the aircraft. All 7 of the crew are remembered on the Runneymede Memorial like so many were before and after them.

    I only wish that they had been found and had a resting place. I served with the RAF for 20 years, some of that time in Germany, and would have liked just to be able to stand infront of his grave and just say "Thanks" for their sacrifice. I know nothing of his previous service which is a great pity as he left a wife, who I have never met and have no idea what happened to her after his passing.

    Paul Evans



    Sgt. Thomas W. Brock Air Gunner 44(R) Squadron (d.23rd Nov 1942)

    This is the brief history of my 1st cousin , once removed , Thomas W Brock.

    Thomas was born in Suffolk , his birth being registered at Mildenhall. He was the son of Thomas Brock and Emma Maude Cross. I have yet to establish when he joined the RAF and subsequently where he trained as an Air Gunner. I have tried to research the relevant ORB for 44 Sqn but unfortunately it does not state when Thomas arrived on 44 Sqn.

    He was crewed up with P/O Stanley Ryder Yyoung aged 23 Pilot, the rest of the crew being as follows :

    • 106529 F/O David John Appleton aged 20 Nav
    • 1395027 Sgt Thomas W Brock 32 Mid Upper Gunner
    • 1310164 Sgt Walter Kenneth Page 20 WOP/AG
    • 525640 Sgt Charles A Weymouth 28 Flight Engineer
    • R83273 WO2 John George Tough 20 Rear Gunner RCAF
    • 405531 Sgt Edward Aston Waters 22 Bomb Aimer RNZAF
    The ORB shows Thomas crewed with Sgt R Easom to Cologne in Lanc W4180 on 15 Oct 42 - he may well have been a substitute for Sgt Easom's regular rear gunner for this op.

    6th Nov 42 shows Thomas with P/O Young in Lanc R5062 KM-B on ops to Genoa leaving Waddington 21.57 returning 07.04

    7th Nov 42 again with P/O Young this time in Lanc R5666 KM-F . Forced to jettison bombs due to extreme icing at 17000 ft on approach to Alps. no target attacked.

    9th November saw the same crew on ops to Hamburg again in KM-F . Take off was 17.58 , bombs gone 20.33 - returned to Waddington 23.09

    This crew then had a break until 20th November when , again in KM-F , they attacked Turin - take off 1850 - bombs gone 22.27 - return to Waddington 03.36

    22 November saw their last operation - destination Stuttgart. The take off time was not logged by operations and no further contact was had with the aircraft W4304 KM-C . The ORB just states "Aircraft failed to return" It was lost without trace either on the way to or from the target. Did they manage to bomb? Were they shot down either by flak of nightfighters? Unfortunately we will never know. Thomas has no marked grave , only a mention with thousands of other aircrew on the Runnymede Memorial.

    I served 20 years in the Royal Air force. I walked around the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery and saw all the graves of those aircrew who have a final resting place. I saw their ages , some as young as 18 years of age. I must admit it bought a tear to my eye.

    Paul R Evans



    Sqd.Ldr. Jerrold Ronald Fleming 50 Squadron

    My father joined the RAAF in 1928 and served at both Point Cook (Vic) and Richmond (NSW) before being sent to the Staff College at Andover. From Andover he was posted to 50 Sqd. at Waddington at the beginning of 1939; in August he and my mother were en route to France for his annual leave, and I can remember their rapid return with war imminent. My mother recalled lying awake at night counting the departing bombers and waiting to count their returning. He then had a staff posting for 1940, and returned to Australia at the beginning of 1941.

    Brian Fleming



    Sgt. William Eric Toft 44 Squadron (d.2nd Mar 1943)

    Eric Toft was my husband's uncle, who died before he was born and my husband is named Eric in his memory. He was a wireless operator on board the Lancaster. They were shot down over Germany, and the crew are buried in the Commonwealth Cemetery in Berlin.

    We have visited the cemetery, it is a beautifully kept and peaceful place, and a fitting memorial to such a young and dedicated group of men. We have not discovered any more detail of the sortie, so if anyone does have information, Eric's surviving brothers and sister, as well as the rest of his family, would love to know more of his story.

    Editor's Note: Eric's Lancaster was W4829, KM-V. They took off from Waddington at 18:46 on the 1st of March 1943. They crashed near Doberitz, from where the burials of all the crew were reported on the 15th of March 1943. The crew were moved to War Cemetry at Berlin at the end of the war. They were:

      Sgt B.F.Forman
    • Sgt L.Farmer
    • Sgt D.G.J.Coombes
    • Sgt L.J.Holleron
    • Sgt W.E.Toft
    • Sgt J.Little
    • Sgt B.F.Brown RCAF

    Deborah Toft



    Sgt. John Richard Currie DFM. 44 Squadron.

    My father, John Currie was shot down in 1941 and spent the rest of the war in various POW camps.

    He was awarded the DFM, his citation reads: 'Sergeant Currie has taken part in 33 operational flights involving a total of over 200 hours flying. He has always been keen and efficient and has shown coolness and courage in all operations. In April he took part in a daylight raid of warships in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire and attacks by a squadron of enemy fighters. The aircraft was badly shot up, and in part due to the skill in which he was able to obtain correct wireless telegraphic bearings that the aircraft made a successful return to its base. Sergeant Currie has also taken part in bombing raids on all the important targets and has given valuable assistance to his navigator. He has set an excellent example to other Sergeants in his squadron by his continuous devotion to duty.’

    John Richard Currie, who was born in August 1920, enlisted in the Royal Air Force in January 1939, and commenced his operational tour with No. 44 Squadron, a Hampden unit operating out of Waddington, Lincolnshire, in March 1940, as an A.C.1 Air Gunner. And it was on 12 April, in a strike against enemy shipping in Kristiansand Harbour, that his aircraft, captained by Pilot Officer F. E. Eustace, was attacked by Me. 109s, 44’s Operation Record Book noting that the tail plane was damaged and the W./T. mast shot away.

    A full account of this disastrous excursion into Scandinavian waters appears in Christopher Shores’ definitive history of the “Phoney War” and Norwegian campaign, Fledgling Eagles: ‘First off of the attacking force were seven Hampdens of 44 Squadron and five of 50 Squadron, which departed from Waddington from 0815 onwards, while 12 more Hampdens of 61 and 144 Squadrons set off from Hemswell. The latter formation, unable to find any targets, turned back; the former, led by Squadron Leader D. C. F. Good of 50 Squadron, having also found no vessels at sea in the bad weather prevailing, headed instead to attack two naval vessels in Kristiansand harbour. As they made their bombing run the weather cleared and the Bf. 109Es of II/JG77 struck. At 1215 the fourth section of bombers was seen to be in heavy flak bursts, and two bombers were observed to fall in flames. These were L4083 (Flying Officer M. W. Donaldson) and L4073 (Sergeant G. M. Wild) of 50 Squadron. At that moment the fighters were seen making a beam attack, and within seconds the third bomber of the section, L4081 (Pilot Officer M. Thomas), and two more from the 44 Squadron part of the formation - L4099 (Flying Officer W. G. Taylor) and P1173 (Flying Officer H. W. Robson) - were all shot down in flames. Taylor’s aircraft had apparently been hit by flak, and was lagging when caught by the fighters.

    For 25 minutes the Messerschmitts kept after the remaining Hampdens and when they finally broke off due to shortage of fuel and ammunition, all the bombers had been damaged, two of them badly. In Squadron Leader Good’s L4168, Air Gunner Corporal J. Wallace shot down one Bf. 109, for which he was later awarded a D.F.M. P4290 (Pilot Officer F. E. Eustace) of 44 Squadron was attacked by two Bf. 109s and badly damaged, but one of the attackers was eventually shot down by cross fire from another Hampden. L4074 (Pilot Officer M. G. Homer) from the same unit was also repeatedly attacked, receiving cannon shells in the right wing, left engine and through the astro-hatch. Sergeant E. Apperson, the Rear Gunner, put a burst into one fighter and saw flames from the engine - this was later confirmed to bring the credited score to two destroyed and two seriously damaged.

    Four of the bombers crashed into the sea south-west of Kristiansand, while Flying Officer Donaldson’s aircraft crash-landed on a nearby island, where three of the four crew were captured - the only survivors of the five aircraft. As the bombers limped home Pilot Officer J. B. Bull’s L4064, another 50 Squadron aircraft, came down in the sea 120 miles east of Newcastle, the crew being lost, while 44 Squadron’s L40491 crash-landed at Acklington, the crew unhurt. Only five made it back to Waddington, where Squadron Leader Goo was first to land at 1555. The Germans pressed home their attacks closer than was wise, or indeed was necessary with their cannon armament, and the Hampdens’ gunners’ return fire had been more effective than they realised ... ’

    May witnessed the Squadron attacking a number of railway targets, while in June, as a recently promoted Sergeant, Currie completed another eight sorties, mainly against oil plants, two of them in the Hamburg region; July and August witnessed a further spate of similar operations, in addition to strikes against an enemy aircraft factory and a power plant. Finally, in September, among other activities, Currie participated in attacks on Magdeburg aerodrome and enemy shipping at Calais, his final sortie being a strike against a power station in Berlin on the night of the 23rd-24th.

    Currie volunteered for a second tour of operations in the following year, when he joined another Waddington unit, No. 207 Squadron. But on the night of 16-17 August 1941, his Manchester bomber, captained by Pilot Officer H. G. Keartland, was shot down by German night fighter ace Hauptman Werner Streib of I/NJG1, crashing in flames at Oberkruckten. Luckily, however, he and his crew were able to bale out and became P.O.W.'s, Currie eventually being incarcerated in Stalag 357 at Kopernikus - in the interim having been held at Stalag Luft III from May 1942 to June 1943.

    Werner Streib, winner of The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oakleaves and Swords, accounted for 66 Allied aircraft, all but one of them at night. His most successful sortie was flown in a prototype of the Heinkel 219 on the night of 11-12 June 1943, when he shot down five bombers in 30 minutes.

    Mark Currie



    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



    Sqd.Ldr. John Dering Nettleton VC. (d.13th July 1943)

    Squadron Leader John Dering Nettleton was born 7 in Nongoma, Natal Province, South Africa. He was commissioned in the RAF in December 1938, he then served with Nos. 207, 98 and 185 Squadrons before joining 44 Squadron flying the Handley Page Hampden. He took part in a daylight attack on Brest on 24 July 1941 and in a series of other bombing raids and was mentioned in dispatches in September 1940.

    Nettleton was promoted Flying Officer in July 1940, Flight Lieutenant in February 1941 and was a Squadron Leader by July 1941. No. 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron was based at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire at this time and had taken delivery of Lancasters in late 1941.

    In 1942 a daylight bombing mission was planned by RAF Bomber Command against the MAN diesel engine factory at Augsburg in Bavaria, responsible for the production of half of Germany's U‑boat engines. It was to be the longest low‑level penetration so far made during World War II, and it was the first daylight mission flown by the Commandos new Avro Lancaster.

    On the 17th of April 1942 Squadron Leader Nettleton was the leader of one formation of six Avro Lancaster bombers on a daylight attack on a diesel engine factory at Augsburg, near Munich Germany flying Lancaster Mk I, R5508, coded "KM-B". A second flight of six Lancasters from No 97 Squadron based at RAF Woodhall Spa, close to Waddington, did not link up with the six from 44 squadron as planned, although they had ample time to do so before the aircraft left England by Selsey Bill, West Sussex.

    When they had crossed the French coast at low level near Dieppe, German fighters of JG 2, returning after intercepting a planned diversionary raid which had been organised to assist the bombers, attacked the 44 Squadron aircraft a short way inland and four Lancasters were shot down. Nettleton continued towards the target in and his two remaining aircraft attacked the factory, bombing it amidst heavy anti aircraft fire. Nettleton survived the incident, his damaged Lancaster limped back to the UK, finally landing near Blackpool.

    His VC was gazetted on 24 April 1942.

    Nettleton was killed on 13 July 1943, during a raid on Turin in Italy. His Lancaster KM-Z ED331 took off from Dunholme Lodge and was believed to have been shot down by a night-fighter off the Brest peninsular. His body and those of his crew were never recovered. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    S. Flynn



    Sgt. Wilfred Gregory 9 Squadron

    Wilfred Gregory was my father in law. He served in 9 Squadron RAF as Flight Engineer on Lancasters. In his log book he wrote in red the date his plane bombed the Tirpitz. His flying officer was a Canadian called Newton who was later killed in action. He was last based at RAF Waddington before leaving the service. His daughter and wife lived on the station

    He was a very kind man who never talked about his flying experiences. Sadly he died aged 60 in 1982. Prior to dying he had joined the Sale Manchester branch of the RAFA where he acted as Treasurer. He met a Mr Hunter there who had served with him in 9 Squadron and believed he had been killed so it was a lovely surprise for him to find him alive and well.

    Gordon Jones



    Sgt. Harold Mclenon "Nobby" Blundell MID. 463 Squadron

    Nobby Blundell was born in Blundell's Cottage in Canberra in 1914. lthough a qualified mechanic he was also a wheat farmer at Weethalle (near West Wylaong) in New South Wales when he was called up in January 1940. His preliminary training was at Richmond near Sydney and then Ascot Vale in Melbourne as a Fitter 2E after which he traveled to the UK and joined 456 RAAF Nightfighter Squadron on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales.

    In September 1942 he was remustered as a Flight Sergeant but a plane crash rendered him unfit for operational duties and he returned to 456 Squadron. In early 1943 he joined 617 Squadron for special duties. 617 Squadron were the Dam Busters and Nobby flew with the Lancasters during test drops of their bombs. On the night of 16/17 May 1943 617 Squadron attacked the Mohne and Eder dams causing considerable damage in Germany’s industrial centres in the Ruhr valley. Nobby Blundell’s role was to redesign the undercarriage of the Lancaster so it was able to carry the drum type bombs.

    In November 1943 he was posted to 463 Squadron which was based at Waddington in England as a Sergeant Engine Fitter. He was Mentioned in Despatches for his work during the D-Day operations in June 1944 and in October 1944 Blundell was sent to Russia to service Lancaster bombers attempting to sink the German raider, Tirpitz.

    After the war he ran a motor engineering business in Sydney until he retired in 1974 to live in Dubbo. He self-published five books on 467 and 463 Squadrons and was awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1995 for services to war veterans. He later moved to Cairns but died in Hervey Bay, Queensland on 13 September 2003.




    Sqd.Ldr. Charles Edward Johnson 44 Squadron (d.24th May 1940)

    My cousin, Squadron Leader Charles Edward Johnson's parents were Charles Frederick Johnson and Catherine Mary (nee Cable). His father, a Lincolnshire man, was an engineer who joined the Royal Navy in World War 1. Sadly, Charles Frederick died in 1919 from a disease he contracted during his navy service. He was only 37 years old. Charles Edward was just a toddler of 3 when this happened. The family had moved to London after living in Portsmouth for many years. It was here that tragedy struck a second time when his mother died when he was just 9 years old.

    He was made of resilient stuff though and obviously had leadership qualities. This young man was flying a Handley Page Hampden Mark B.I on a mission from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire to attack rail communications in Germany when he was hit by flak over Aachen, Germany on the 24th of May 1940. The plane crashed and all on board perished.

    The crew are now buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery:

    • S/L C.E.Johnson
    • P/O D.C.Barker
    • Sgt H.G.Collins
    • Cpl W.Crook

    Chris Brammer



    Flt.Sgt. Geoffrey C Player 420 (Snowy Owl) Squadron (d.22nd Apr 1942)

    Geoffrey Player was a British airman seconded to the RCAF stationed at Waddington flying Handley Page Hamptons.

    Don Player



    Lester Stenner

    I lived in Lincoln during WWII. My father was stationed at Waddington, Swinderby, Skellingthorpe and Coningsby.

    Lester Stenner



    Sgt. Geoffrey Charles Peggs 467 Sqdn. (d.28th July 1943)

    My uncle, Sgt Peggs, was an engineer in the RAFVR. He was killed in action on 28th July 1943 on his first mssion with 467 Squadron, which was based at RAF Waddington. He is commemorated on Panel 161 at Runnymede.

    Geoff



    F/Sgt. John Ernest Phillips 44 Sqdn. (d.1st September 1941)

    My grandad's brother, F/Sgt Phillips, was part of the crew of a Hampden bomber that flew out of RAF Waddington and never returned. He is commemorated on Panel 37 at Runnymede.

    Graham



    June Miles RAF Waddington

    June Miles was a WAAF stationed at RAF Waddington Bomber Command from 1941 to 1945. She also spent some time at RAF Exning, Suffolk.

    June Miles



    Fl/Lt. Wilfred "Mike" Lewis DFC RAF Waddington

    Wilfred "Mike" Lewis, DFC, was a Canadian stationed at RAF Waddington in 1941. Later in the war he was a POW in Stalag Luft 3.

    Clive Jones







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