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

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

RAF Waterbeach



   RAF Waterbeach, situated just north of Waterbeach village adjacent to the A10 trunk road five miles outside Cambridge, opened in March 1941, although building work was not complete, the first squadron to arrive was No. 99, which brought its Wellingtons from Newmarket.

No. 99 Sqd remained until March 1942 when it was ordered overseas. At this time the station was being shared with No. 1651 Conversion Unit (established in January 1941) the first to be equipped with the Short Stirling to prepare crews for handling this four-engined type in No. 3 Group squadrons. The unit remained the main tutor for Stirling crews for nearly three years. By late 1943, No. 3 Group was turning to Lancasters and No. 1678 Heavy Conversion Flight appeared at Waterbeach, remaining until being disbanded in the summer of 1944.. No. 514 Squadron joined Bomber Command's mounting campaign in November 1943, flying Lancasters from teh base until the end of September 1944. The squadron remained at Waterbeach until the end of hostilities, for much of the time with three flights and a complement of over 30 aircraft. Operational losses from Waterbeach amounted to 122 bombers, 33 Wellingtons, eight Stirlings and 81 Lancasters.

The airfield remained in use with the RAF until the 1980s when the station was transferred to the Army. It remains an MOD site today. A Hunter aircraft stands guard at the main gate in memory of the Hunter squadrons of the 1950s that operated from Waterbeach. A small, self funded museum, is open to the public. with displays about 514 Sqn RAF who were based at RAF Waterbeach 1943-45 and flew Lancasters.

 

13th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

28th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

7th Dec 1941 Aircraft Lost

10th June 1945 Transfers to Transport Command


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



Those known to have served at

RAF Waterbeach

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Ansell Frederick Neale. Sgt. (d.16th June 1944)
  • Austin Leslie E.. Sgt.
  • Barron Grace Shade.
  • Baxter S.. F/S
  • Black Joseph. Sgt. (d.16th June 1944)
  • Bloom Benjamin. Sgt. (d.16th June 1944)
  • Boanson J. G. S.. F/S (d.8th Jun 1944)
  • Bonell W. S.. F/S (d.30th Jul 1944)
  • Brown Andrew Angus. Flt.Sgt (d.6th Sep 1943)
  • Bryan K. E.. W/O (d.8th Jun 1944)
  • Chitty W. E.. P/O (d.30th Jul 1944)
  • Clark J.. Sgt.
  • Coles Eric Charles. F/Sgt. (d.30th June 1944)
  • Davis Daniel George. P/O (d.16th June 1944)
  • Davison John. F/Lt.
  • Day Richard. Sergeant (d.22nd Mar 1944)
  • Dennehy F. W.. F/S
  • Ding L. A.. W/O (d.30th Jul 1944)
  • Doherty Hilary Louis. P/O (d.30th June 1944)
  • Durham A. N.. W/O
  • Dyer MM.. Wallace Harry. Sgt.
  • Eley Jim.
  • Eyre W. E.. WO2
  • Fox R.. Sgt
  • Garland Earl Robert.
  • Gilmore H. . F/S
  • Gosnold Peter Andrew. Sgt. (d.21st Nov 1944)
  • Guy Charles Mathieson. Sgt. (d.30th Jul 1944)
  • Guy Robert Calder. Flight Sargeant (d.8th Jun 1944)
  • Hargreves DFC & Bar. Bernard Alburn James. Fgt.Sgt.
  • Holmes Arthur Albert. Sgt. (d.16th June 1944)
  • Hookway Frederick. F/O
  • Hutt Raymond Harold. F/Sgt. (d.16th June 1944)
  • Ive L. A.. Sgt
  • Jenner E. W.. F/S (d.30th Jul 1944)
  • Kell Lancelot. Flt.Sgt. (d.14th Jan 1944)
  • Kingham Ernest Arthur. F/O (d.16th June 1944)
  • Lane Robert. Sgt. (d.28/29 July 1944)
  • Lewis L. W. C.. W/O
  • Longson Francis. F/O (d.30th June 1944)
  • McClenaghan J. R.. F/S
  • McGowan W. L.. P/O
  • McIver Frederick Charles. LAC. (d.18th June 1944)
  • Morgan-Owen Maurice Linden. F/O. (d.23rd April 1942)
  • Morrison A. H.. F/O
  • Osborn Henry Albert. Sgt. (d.16th June 1944)
  • Pattison Allen Bruce. Sgt (d.31st Mar 1944)
  • Porrelli John. Sgt. (d.16th June 1944)
  • Pratt C.. Sgt
  • Prowles Charles Frank. F/Sgt. (d.16th June 1944)
  • Pugh Ronald W.. Sgt.
  • Reid J. D.. Sgt.
  • Richardson J. E.. F/S (d.30th Jul 1944)
  • Roberts Eric James. Sgt. (d.20th Dec 1943)
  • Scully Jim. Sgt
  • Shanks Ernest Thomas. F/Sgt. (d.30th June 1944)
  • Shepherd Joseph. Sgt (d.31st Mar 1944)
  • Smith Arthur J.. Sgt.
  • Spencer Frank Richard. F/Sgt. (d.16th June 1944)
  • Spencer Ronald Bernard. F/Sgt. (d.16th June 1944)
  • Stromberg Gordon. Flt/Sgt. (d.9th June 1944)
  • Surtees Raymond. Sgt. (d.16th June 1944)
  • Topham J. B.. F/S
  • Udell William Charles. F/Sgt. (d.30th June 1944)
  • Wells G. C.. F/S (d.30th Jul 1944)
  • Wigley Harold Man.
  • Woods Douglas Austin. F/O (d.30th June 1944)

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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F/S J. B. Topham pilot 514 Sqd.

On the 3rd of August 1944 at 11:58 F/S Topham took off in Lancaster LL716, JI-G2 from RAF Waterbeach to attack a flying-bomb supply facility at Bois de Cassan. The aircraft was shot down at 1410, crashing 10 km south of Beaumont (Oise), France, all the crew survived. Topham evaded capture along with F/S Dennehy, the other's were taken as prisoners of war.

  • F/O J.B.Topham
  • Sgt J.D.Reid
  • F/O S.Baxter
  • F/S J.R.McClenaghan
  • F/S H.Gilmore
  • F/S F.W.Dennehy
  • Sgt J.Scully
  • W/O W.E.Eyre

Alan Costello



F/S J. R. McClenaghan 514 Sqd.

Having been shot down on the 3rd of August, F/S McClenaghan was interned in Stalag Luft 3.

Alan Costello



F/S S. Baxter 514 Sqd.

Having been shot down on the 3rd of August, Sgt Baxter evaded capture until the 9th when he was captured in Paris. He was incarcerated in the notorious Parisian Prison at Fresnes and eventually transported to Buchenwald. Luftwaffe officers obtained his release and he was interned in Stalag Luft 3.

Alan Costello



Sgt. J. D. Reid 514 Sqd.

Having been shot down on the 3rd of August, Sgt J.D.Reid evaded capture until the 9th when he was captured in Paris with his crew mates, they were taken to Buchenwald before internment in Stalag Luft 3

Alan Costello



F/S F. W. Dennehy mid upper gunner 514 Sqd.

Having been shot down on the 3rd of August, F/S Dennehy evaded capture.

Alan Costello



F/S H. Gilmore 514 Sqd.

Having been shot down on the 3rd of August, F/S Gilmore was interned in Stalag Luft 7.

Alan Costello



WO2 W. E. Eyre 514 Sqd.

Having been shot down on the 3rd of August 1944, WO2 Eyre was interned in Stalag Luft 7. He had previously flown with 15 Sqd. and had a narrow escape from death by burning when Stirling LS-C crashed into a pond at Potash Farm, Brettenham, near Ipswitch, on the 11th of August 1942 at 03:37 while trying to land at RAF Wattisham. The aircraft had been badly damaged by two Ju88s, one of which was claimed damaged by return fire. F/S Eyre was saved by the heroic actions of three men, Jim, John and Stan Arbons, who chopped their way into the fuselage and dragged the injured airman to safety. The rest of the crew perished. They were: F/S A.A.B.McCausland, Sgt P.Bushby, Sgt J.B.Hammond, Sgt F.Nixon, Sgt R.Tree and Sgt J.Mile.




Sgt Jim Scully rear gunner 514 Sqd.

My uncle was a rear gunner based at RAF Waterbeach 1944 he flew numerous missions and was shot down 3 8 44, and was a POW his pilot was mainly F/S Topham his name was Sgt Jim Scully I would like to hear from anyone who knew Jim I have his logbook POW and release papers Alan Costello nephew

Alan Costello



Flight Sargeant Robert Calder Guy Air Rear Gunner 514 Sqdn (d.8th Jun 1944)

Robert Calder Guy who along with twin brother Charles Mathieson Guy stationed at Waterbeach from 1943 to mid Summer 1944 when both were killed in action during June and July '44. Robert went down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 44 and is buried in the village along with two colleagues, his twin brother was lost when his aircraft went down returning from Caen over the English Channel, I am trying to trace P/O W.L. Mc Gowan from Glasgow who evdaded capture when Robert's aircraft came down or any person who was on the operation to bomb rail facilities in tactial support at Massy Palaiseau.

Robert's crew was:

  • P/O W.L.McGown
  • Sgt J.Clarke
  • W/O A.N.Durham RAAF
  • P/O L.W.C.Lewis
  • W/O K.E.Bryan RAAF
  • F/S J.G.S.Boanson
  • F/S R.C.Guy KIA

Jean Calder Guy Ronald



Sgt Joseph Shepherd mid upper gunner 514 Sqd. (d.31st Mar 1944)

Joseph Shepherd was the mid upper gunner of P/O Chitty's crew, he lost his life when Lancaster LL645 A2-R returned to Waterbeach on the 31st of March 1944. While attempting to go around after an aborted landing the aicraft struck the ground, ripping off the undercarrage. He was 19 years old and is buried in Heywood Cemetery, Lancashire.




Sgt Allen Bruce Pattison bomb aimer 514 Sqd. (d.31st Mar 1944)

Sgt Pattison was a member of P/O Chitty's crew, he lost his life when Lancaster LL645 A2-R returned to Waterbeach on the 31st of March 1944. While attempting to go around after an aborted landing the aicraft struck the ground, ripping off the undercarrage. He is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, he was 23 years old. His brother John was also killed whilst serving as a signalman with the 1st Canadian Division.




Sgt C. Pratt 514 Sqd.

Sgt Pratt was a member of P/O Chitty's crew, he survived a serious crash when Lancaster LL645 A2-R was returning to Waterbeach on the 30th of March 1944. While attempting to go around after an aborted landing the aicraft struck the ground, ripping off the undercarrage.




F/S G. C. Wells 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)

F/S Wells was lost without trace over the English Channel on the 30th of July 1944 when his Lancaster failed to return to Waterbeach after a raid on Caen.




Sgt L. A. Ive 514 Sqd.

Sgt Ive survived a serious crash when Lancaster LL645 A2-R was returning to Waterbeach on the 30th of March 1944. Their landing was aborted and whilst attempting to go around the aicraft struck the ground, ripping off the undercarrage.




Sgt R. Fox 514 Sqd.

Sgt Fox was a member of P/O Chitty's crew, he survived a serious crash when Lancaster LL645 A2-R was returning to Waterbeach on the 30th of March 1944. Their landing was aborted and whilst attempting to go around the aicraft struck the ground, ripping off the undercarrage.




F/S E. W. Jenner 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)

F/S Jenner was lost without trace over the English Channel on the 30th of July 1944 when his Lancaster failed to return to Waterbeach after a raid on Caen.




F/S J. E. Richardson 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)

F/S Richardson was lost without trace over the English Channel on the 30th of July 1944 when the aircraft failed to return to Waterbeach after a raid on Caen.




P/O W. L. McGowan 514 Sqd.

I am trying to trace P/O W.L. Mc Gowan from Glasgow who evdaded capture when his aircraft came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau.

Jean Calder Guy Ronald



Sgt. J. Clark 514 Sqd.

Sgt Clark survived the loss of Lancaster DS822 JI-T when it came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau. He evaded capture until the 19th of July when he was picked up in Paris and taken to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, he was later transferred to Stalag Luft 3.




W/O A. N. Durham 514 Sqd.

W/O Durham survived the loss of Lancaster DS822 JI-T when it came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau. He evaded capture.




W/O L. W. C. Lewis 514 Sqd.

W/O Lewis survived the loss of Lancaster DS822 JI-T when it came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau. He evaded capture until the 16th of August and was then taken to Stalag 12a and later to Stalag Luft 1.




W/O K. E. Bryan 514 Sqd. (d.8th Jun 1944)

W/O Bryan was killed when Lancaster DS822 JI-T came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau.




F/S J. G. S. Boanson 514 Sqd. (d.8th Jun 1944)

F/S Boanson was killed when Lancaster DS822 JI-T came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau.




Sgt. Charles Mathieson Guy flight eng. 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)

Charles Mathieson Guy stationed at Waterbeach from 1943 to mid Summer 1944 along with twin brother Robert Calder Guy. Both were killed in action during June and July '44. Charles was lost when his aircraft went down returning from Caen over the English Channel on the 30th July 1944. Robert went down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 44 and is buried in the village.

Charles had survived a serious crash on return from Nuremburg on the 31st March 1944. On return to Waterbeach they were baulked on finals by another Squadron aircraft and crash-landed while attempting to go around. The crew were:

  • P/O W.E.Chitty
  • Sgt C.M.Guy
  • Sgt L.A.Ive
  • Sgt R.Fox
  • Sgt A.B.Pattison
  • Sgt C.Pratt
  • Sgt J.Shepherd

Charles' second crew were lost without trace and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

  • F/L W.E.Chitty
  • Sgt C.M.Guy
  • W/O L.A.Ding
  • F/O W.S.Bonell
  • F/S J.E.Richardson
  • F/S E.W.Jenner
  • F/S G.C.Wells

Jean Calder Guy Ronald



P/O W. E. Chitty pilot 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)

P/O Chitty was injured in a serious crash on return from Nuremburg on the 31st March 1944. On return to Waterbeach his aircraft was baulked on finals by another Squadron aircraft and crash-landed heavily whilst attempting to go around. The crew were:
  • P/O W.E.Chitty
  • Sgt C.M.Guy
  • Sgt L.A.Ive
  • Sgt R.Fox
  • Sgt A.B.Pattison
  • Sgt C.Pratt
  • Sgt J.Shepherd

On recovery he formed another crew, retaining his flight engineer Charles Guy. They were lost without trace on the 30th of July 1944 and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

  • F/L W.E.Chitty
  • Sgt C.M.Guy
  • W/O L.A.Ding
  • F/O W.S.Bonell
  • F/S J.E.Richardson
  • F/S E.W.Jenner
  • F/S G.C.Wells




W/O L. A. Ding 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)

W/O Ding was lost without trace over the English Channel on the 30th of July 1944 when the aircraft was returning to Waterbeach after a raid on Caen.




F/S W. S. Bonell 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)

F/S Bonell was lost without trace over the English Channel on the 30th of July 1944 when the aircraft failed to return to Waterbeach after a raid on Caen.




Flt/Sgt. Gordon Stromberg 514 Squadron (d.9th June 1944)

My grandmother died not so long ago, and although I had always know about my great uncle who died during the war, it wasn't until clearing out the house that my mother and I came across his flight log book. My great uncle was Flt/Sgt Gordon Stromberg No1386539 a w/op. From his log book he was posted to Waterbeach on November 1943. His first flight was on a Lancaster C on the 25th of November 1943 with no 1678 otu and flew ops with 514 Squadron. His first op was on the 29th of December 1943 to Berlin in a Lancaster S which ditched in the North Sea. He flew various other ops, mostly in C, until he was shot down on 7th June 1944 and died as a POW on 9th June 1944. I am trying to get as much information as possible as we were always told he died with his aircraft until his log book indicated he died two days later as a POW. I would welcome any information that anyone may have or advice on how I might proceed further. It would be great to piece together this family mystery.

Chris Wortley



Sergeant Richard "Jock" Day 514 Squadron (d.22nd Mar 1944)

My father's brother Sgt R J Day was a wireless operator with 514 Squadron and he was shot down in a Lancaster B2 L.L 684 J.I.N. in the village of Zwartemeer near Emmen(west of the Kamerlingswijk) a mile or so from the German border during an operational flight to or from Frankfurt on the night of 22 March 1944.

The aircraft crew who lost their lives were

  • F.O. IJF Rich
  • Sgt H John
  • Sgt JB Underwood( pilot)
  • Sgt AW Johnson
  • Sgt RJ Day (wireless operator)

Two members were apparently saved by parachute, but were imprisoned by the Germans. A copy of my uncle's RAF Observers & Air Gunner's Flying Logbook is now in a local museum near to his grave in Neiuw-Dordrecht:

Collectie Brands (Hans Brands), Heerenstreek 11, 7885 AT, Nieuw Dordrecht.

If any surviving family members of the aircrew wish to they can make contact with me.

Richard Day



Sgt. Eric James Roberts 514 Squadron (d.20th Dec 1943)

Eric James Roberts was the father of Eric James Roberts, the son he never met. His wife Adelaide was pregnant when he was shot down over Frankfurt-on-Main by Hauptman Wilhelm Herget on 20/21 December 1943. They were on flight DS817 which took off from Waterbeach on the 20th December, 1943. The crash site was near a small town called Rettert where the six crew were originally buried. They are now at Rheinberg Cemetery. My husband died over 2 and a half years ago but he did get to visit Rheinberg with me and our two children. The pilot, Flight Sergeant G. J Davies survived the crash and became a POW, he escaped three times and was re-captured three times.

Barbara Anne Roberts



Fgt.Sgt. Bernard Alburn James Hargreves DFC & Bar 514 Sqd

Looking for more information on my father's service record. His name was Bernard Hargreves and he was awarded the DFC on 4/5 November 1944. I hope to come to Waterbeach this summer and see if there is any info there. I would be very gratefully for any info anyone might have as my father didn't talk about the War.

Bernard Hargreaves



Earl Robert "Judy" Garland 514 Sqd.

Earl Garland "Judy" was a member of "Red" Campbell's crew in 514 Squadron at Waterbeach, flying Lancaster A2-C which was shot down on the night of the 28th - 29th of July 1944, near my small village. The Germans took him here, in my village but after I don't know what happened. Another crew member, Bob Giffin was killed and is buried in the cemetery of Saint Cloud en Dunois, near my house. Other members of the crew evaded by Freteval camp. I am looking for information, can you tell me where was prisonner Earl Garland?

Leroueil Michel



Sgt. Arthur J. Smith 99 Sqd

Arthur Smith was shot down over Berlin on the night of the 9th/10th of April 1941. His Wellington aircraft took off from Waterbeach. He was, as far as we can tell, held in Stalag Luft 111 hut 357, from information gleaned from relatives. He escaped 3 times, if he done it again he would have been shot. He took an electrical course while in prison.

Vic Hill



F/O Frederick Hookway 514 Squadron

My Father, Frederick Hookway, was a Flying Officer at Waterbeach in 1945.

His crew were,

  • Bobby, Rear Gunner from London.
  • George, Mid upper Gunner from Toronto, Canada.
  • Harry, Navigator from Birmingham.
  • Dennis, wireless Operator from Cornwall.
  • Cyril, Flight Engineer from London and
  • Sandy, Bombaimer from Scotland.

I would love to hear from anyone who knew him.

Linda Denny



Flt.Sgt Andrew Angus "Jock" Brown 149 Sqn (d.6th Sep 1943)

Andrew joined the RAF in December 1941, and did his Elementary Flying Training at 22 EFTS at Teversham, Cambs, with Marshalls, on the site of what is now Cambridge Airfield; the aircraft was the DH 82 Tiger Moth. He was then one of the student pilots to be sent to America under the Arnold Scheme.

He was posted to Lakeland School of Aeronautics (soon to become the Lodwick School of Aeronautics), Lakeland, Florida, in Feb 1942, he commenced training on the PT17 Stearman aircraft, mainly under the watchful eye of a civilian instructor, W.A. Lethio, before progressing to Cochran Field, Macon, Georgia in May '42 and the BT13A "Vultee Valiant". After that he was off to Dothan, Alabama in July '42, and the AT - 6A ("Harvard") aircraft, for Advanced Flying Training. At this stage he was also flying out of Elgin and Napier Fields. He was an average pilot, with comments from his flight commander of, "Flying O.K., but too cocky". But he persevered, and gained his wings.

He also gained the interest of a couple of the local young ladies. One was possibly Mary Malpass, the other possibly Lucille (?). Mary may have been the daughter of a Lakeland dentist. The pictures on the "Lakeland" page, which were in his personal effects, are now in my keeping.

Posted back to the UK( Nov '42), and No 14(P) A.F.U. at Ossington, Notts, he flew the Airspeed Oxford. His first twin-engined "solo" was on the 21st Nov '42 in Oxford Ser No 9635. After 3 months on the Oxford he was posted to fly the Wellington Aircraft. Steady progress meant that he went in May 1943 to 1651 HCU (Heavy Conversion Unit), at Waterbeach, Cambridge, to learn to fly the Stirling Bomber. During the 11 OTU and 1651 posting the final crew (Crew 6) teamed up. Completing the conversion training on the 18th May, 1943, he was posted with "Crew Six" as an operational crew to 149 (East India) Squadron, flying Stirling III Bombers out of Lakenheath, Suffolk.

On the 29th of May, he and the crew received their new Aircraft, A Short & Harland built "Stirling" Mark III serial number EE872, contract No 774677/38. This aircraft was transferred to 149 Sqn on the 26th May '43 and given the Sqn letters OJ-N. The Sqn records show it as "Cat E" (missing) on the 6th of Sep and SOC (Struck Off Charge) on the 11th. Although this was not the only Aircraft the Crew flew, it was still considered "theirs" by them, and treated as such.

The first trip for the crew with 149 Sqn was with Plt.Off. Laurie Blair as first pilot in OJ-M (BF531) on the 27th May '43. His first "Op" was on a trip to Wuppertal on the 29th May (Alex Holms also shows this trip in his log book). Again Plt Off Blair was first pilot.

A lot has been written about the Stirling, from its ability to turn inside a Hurricane at low level, to its insane vulnerability when flying fully laden at it's operational ceiling of 15,000 feet. Please see this page, this article or the Links page for more details on this aircraft.

It was in aircraft EE872, N-Nuts on the night of 5/6th Sept '43 for an "Ops" mission to Mannheim (his second trip to that target) that he and his crew encountered Leutnant Heinz-Wolfgang Hoppner of 6.Staffel/NG 1. He was flying a Messerschmitt 110 fitted he attacked from beneath his prey, silhouetted it against the sky, and deliver a burst of cannon fire directly into the aircraft.

The cockpit area was hit hard, and the aircraft descended over Ludwigshaven, being shot at by the Anti-Aircraft gunners as it came down. Witnesses stated that at least one gunner was firing at the searchlights up to the point of impact. Some of the crew managed to bail out, but Andrew and Doug Badcock were still aboard when it hit, just outside a little south-west of Mannheim.

Andrew's full story, pictures and other 149 Sqn tales are at www.stirlingpilot.org.uk

Alan Fraser



Sgt. Robert Lane Mid Upper Gunner 514 Squadron (d.28/29 July 1944)

My uncle (my father's brother) was Sgt Robert Lane RAF VR N514 Squadron, Waterbeach, a mid-upper gunner in Lancaster LM206. He was shot down May 28/29, 1944 over Neufchateau. There were two survivors. The five airmen sadly killed that night were buried on July 30, 1944 in the Communal Cemetery by the towns people of Neufchateau. I have written Robert's biography and amassed a lot of information on what happened that fateful night.

Michael J Lane



Harold Man Wigley 514 Sqd.

Harold Wigley served as an engineer with 514 Squadron, Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire. He remembers drying his uniform after washing it using the stream of hot air from the engines of the Lancaster planes inside the hanger. He says that his squadron was the most smartly dressed!

A OConnor



Grace Shade Barron

My mother Grace Barron, served at Waterbeach 99th Squadron 1942 until 1943. She was an "ACHGD" (Aircrafthand, General Duties). She is looking for any photos of the WAAF Service Women at that time. She would like to find a photo of herself.

John Murphy



Sgt. Peter Andrew Gosnold A Flight 514 Squadron (d.21st Nov 1944)

Peter Gosnold's crew

Peter Gosnold was a Flight Engineer having volunteered for the RAF in 1942. He joined the crew of Sgt (later F/O) Geoffrey France and was posted to 514 Squadron at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire. The crew's first op was to Watten on 5th July 1944. On 21st November 1944 the crew were tasked to take part in an operation to Homberg, flying Lancaster I PD265, JI-G. The aircraft took off from Waterbeach at 12.28hrs. Whilst approaching the target, the Rheinpreussen synthetic oil production plant at Meerbeck outside Homberg, the aircraft was hit by flak, initially in one engine. There was a fire and the aircraft became uncontrollable, crashing in the waterway surrounding the Guildhall at Moers. The loss of this aircraft was witnessed by a 75 Squadron Pilot Harry Yates D.F.C. and is described in his book "Luck and a Lancaster". Its crash location was provided by a German historian in Moers.

Simon Hepworth



F/Lt. John Davison 104 Squadron

John Davison enlisted on 4 October 1940 and was trained as a Wireless Operator/Rear Gunner. He spent a long time training at Hendon, being there during the great blitz. He was then posted to Blackpool and then Yatesbury in Wiltshire. A spell at Stranraer followed on a ground station where he became a first operator and got his first real flying in a Sunderland Flying Boat. He left Stranraer in early 1942 to go back to Yatesbury for a refresher course and then on to Evanton in north Scotland for gunnery training and he was promoted to Sergeant. He travelled from here to his home in Sunderland in August 1942 to be married. The newly married couple travelled to Barnard Castle for their honeymoon. On the first night the town had its first air raid of the war and he was recalled during the second night.

John then went to Chipping Warden for operational training, was ‘crewed up’ and was eventually posted to an overseas unit leaving England on 20 December 1943. He flew to Gibraltar and then on to Malta where he was transferred to No 104 Squadron. During his first operation on Tripoli the plane was badly shot up but returned safely; the realisation that he and his crew may not last long hit home. The squadron moved to Egypt where John contracted jaundice and was admitted to the RAF Hospital for 3 months, rejoining the squadron near Misurata in Tripolitania. He joined a different crew here and flew many operations. They were then moved to Kairounon in Tunisia from where he completed his first tour. The next move was to Italy where he was commissioned Acting Flight Lieutenant, Signals Leader. He completed a second tour of operations there in March 1944.

At the end of hostilities John returned to the UK landing at Liverpool on 1 April 1945. After an Assessment Board he was posted as a Briefing Officer to Transport Command and returned to Hendon for a short time. He then moved to Holmesley South in Hampshire in May 1945, where his wife Lilian was able to join him. John’s final posting was to Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire in September 1945, where he organised the Briefing Section. He was demobbed in March 1946 and returned home to live in Sunderland.

This is from the information written down by my father before he died in 1994.

Kathleen Gill



Sgt. Wallace Harry "Bob" Dyer MM. 99 Squadron

Bob Dyer was my father in law and flew as rear gunner with 99 Squadron in Wellingtons from Waterbeach. He was shot down over Belgium on 28th September 1941. Although injured when bailing out, he evaded capture escaping from an enemy patrol. He was arrested in Northern France in unoccupied territory but escaped by assaulting his guards and finally succeeded in making his way to Spain from where he was repatriated. He was awarded the Military Medal. He lived in Dumfries and died in 1987.

Alan Scouller



LAC. Frederick Charles McIver 2746 squadron (d.18th June 1944)

My Grandfather Frederick C McIver served in the RAF Regiment 2746 Squadron. He was stationed at RAF Lossiemouth and his family were with him there. Later he was at RAF Waterbeach. He was killed on 18th June 1944, probably at Waterbeach.

I know next to nothing other than he was killed by one of our aircraft while he was on watch. I'm very interested in any information as our family only have sketchy pieces of information.

Lynne Arrowsmith



Flt.Sgt. Lancelot Kell 514 Sqdn. Royal New Zealand Air Force (d.14th Jan 1944)

During the Second World War many allied airmen trained on the Canadian prairies. They were assigned to families in the area for places to visit when on leave. Two young men from the RNZAF were assigned to my grandparents' home in Calgary, Alberta. One airman was Flight Sergeant Lance Kell (wireless operator/air gunner) who married my aunt before being sent overseas. He was assigned to 514 Squadron at Waterbeach. Kell was shot down near Hanover on a bombing run on 14th of January 1944 at the age of 29. Other members of the crew wereL Paul Mason RNZAF (pilot, 23), Ron Laishley RAF (flight engineer, 19), James Gallagher RNZAF (navigator, 22). All were killed. Two other crew members - Flight Sgt. Dimmock (bomb aimer) and Sgt. Dennis (rear gunner) may have survived.

David Ballantyne



F/O. Maurice Linden Morgan-Owen 514 Sqdn. (d.23rd April 1942)

Lancaster DS682 of 514 Suadron was supposed to return to RAF Waterbeach at 03.00 on Sunday 23rd of April. At 02.56, an SOS message was received from the aircraft. Their position was over the sea, approximately 70 miles west off the Dutch coast. Nothing more was heard from the aircraft. According to the acting Squadron Leader at the time, Barney Reid, at first light an Air Sea Rescue aircraft was despatched to look for the crew. Barney Reid personally took part in this. However, despite good visibility, nothing was found.

Paul Morgan-Owen



Jim Eley RAF Waterbeach

I served at RAF Waterbeach in 1944/45. Two of my crew were F/Sgt Ronald W Pugh (flight engineer) and Sgt Leslie E Austin (mid-upper gunner).

Jim Eley



Sgt. Ronald W. Pugh RAF Waterbeach

Sgt Pugh served with Jim Eley and Leslie E. Austin at RAF Waterbeach in 1944/45.

Jim Eley



Sgt. Leslie E. Austin RAF Waterbeach

Sgt. Leslie Austin served at RAF Waterbeach with Jim Eley and Sgt Ronald Pugh in 1944/45.

Jim Eley



F/O Ernest Arthur Kingham 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

514 Sqdn Lancaster II LL690 JI-J took off at 2314 Waterbeach. Believed to have fallen victim to a night-fighter, coming down between Iwuy (Nord) and Rieux-en-Cambresis two small villages 9km NE and ENE respectively of Cambrai. Five lie in Rieux Communal Cemetery while F/S Hutt rests at Iwuy Communal Cemetery. Sgt Bloom is commemorated on panel 235 of Runnymede Memorial. The crew:
  • F/O E.A. Kingham
  • Sgt J. Black
  • F/S F.A. Spencer
  • Sgt B. Bloom
  • Sgt F.N. Ansell
  • Sgt D.G. Davis RCAF Also lost from 514 Squadron on this raid was Lancaster II DS816-JI-O. Crew:F/S C.F. Prowles, Sgt H.A. Osborn, F/O A.H.Morrison, F/S R.B. Spenser, Sgt R. Surtees, Sgt. J. Porelli and Sgt. A.A.Holmes.

  • John & Kathleen



    Sgt. Joseph Black 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

    We have today acquired some papers and photographs of a Sergeant Joseph Black (Flt Eng) who is buried at Rieux Communal Cemetary together with 11 others who were lost the same day. All 12 died on 16th June 1944.

    514 Sqdn Lancaster II LL690 JI-J took off at 2314 from Waterbeach. Believed to have fallen victim to a night-fighter, coming down between Iwuy (Nord) and Rieux-en-Cambresis two small villages 9km NE and ENE respectively of Cambrai. Five lie in Rieux Communal Cemetery while F/S Hutt rests at Iwuy Communal Cemetery. Sgt Bloom is commemorated on panel 235 of Runnymede Memorial. The crew:

  • F/O E.A. Kingham
  • Sgt J. Black
  • F/S F.A. Spencer
  • Sgt B. Bloom
  • Sgt F.N. Ansell
  • Sgt D.G. Davis RCAF Also lost from 514 Squadron on this raid was Lancaster II DS816-JI-O. Crew:F/S C.F. Prowles, Sgt H.A. Osborn, F/O A.H.Morrison, F/S R.B. Spenser, Sgt R. Surtees, Sgt. J. Porelli and Sgt. A.A.Holmes.

  • John & Kathleen



    F/Sgt. Frank Richard Spencer 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

    514 Sqdn Lancaster II LL690 JI-J Valenciennes took off at 2314 from RAF Waterbeach. Believed to have fallen victim to a night-fighter, coming down between Iwuy (Nord) and Rieux-en-Cambresis two small villages 9km NE and ENE respectively of Cambrai. Five lie in Rieux Communal Cemetery while F/S Hutt rests at Iwuy Communal Cemetery. Sgt Bloom is commemorated on panel 235 of Runnymede Memorial. The crew:
  • F/O E.A. Kingham
  • Sgt J. Black
  • F/S F.A. Spencer
  • Sgt B. Bloom
  • Sgt F.N. Ansell
  • Sgt D.G. Davis RCAF Also lost from 514 Squadron on this raid was Lancaster II DS816-JI-O. Crew:F/S C.F. Prowles, Sgt H.A. Osborn, F/O A.H.Morrison, F/S R.B. Spenser, Sgt R. Surtees, Sgt. J. Porelli and Sgt. A.A.Holmes.

    (Bob)

  • John & Kathleen



    Sgt. Benjamin Bloom 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

    514 Sqdn Lancaster II LL690 JI-J took off at 2314 from RAF Waterbeach. Believed to have fallen victim to a night-fighter, coming down between Iwuy (Nord) and Rieux-en-Cambresis two small villages 9km NE and ENE respectively of Cambrai. Five lie in Rieux Communal Cemetery while F/S Hutt rests at Iwuy Communal Cemetery. Sgt Bloom is commemorated on panel 235 of Runnymede Memorial. The crew:
  • F/O E.A. Kingham
  • Sgt J. Black
  • F/S F.A. Spencer
  • Sgt B. Bloom
  • Sgt F.N. Ansell
  • Sgt D.G. Davis RCAF Also lost from 514 Squadron on this raid was Lancaster II DS816-JI-O. Crew:F/S C.F. Prowles, Sgt H.A. Osborn, F/O A.H.Morrison, F/S R.B. Spenser, Sgt R. Surtees, Sgt. J. Porelli and Sgt. A.A.Holmes.

  • John & Kathleen



    Sgt. Frederick Neale Ansell 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

    514 Sqdn Lancaster II LL690 JI-J took off at 2314 from RAF Waterbeach. Believed to have fallen victim to a night-fighter, coming down between Iwuy (Nord) and Rieux-en-Cambresis two small villages 9km NE and ENE respectively of Cambrai. Five lie in Rieux Communal Cemetery while F/S Hutt rests at Iwuy Communal Cemetery. Sgt Bloom is commemorated on panel 235 of Runnymede Memorial. The crew:
  • F/O E.A. Kingham
  • Sgt J. Black
  • F/S F.A. Spencer
  • Sgt B. Bloom
  • Sgt F.N. Ansell
  • Sgt D.G. Davis RCAF Also lost from 514 Squadron on this raid was Lancaster II DS816-JI-O. Crew:F/S C.F. Prowles, Sgt H.A. Osborn, F/O A.H.Morrison, F/S R.B. Spenser, Sgt R. Surtees, Sgt. J. Porelli and Sgt. A.A.Holmes.

  • John & Kathleen



    P/O Daniel George Davis 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

    514 Sqdn Lancaster II LL690 JI-J took off at 2314 from RAF Waterbeach. Believed to have fallen victim to a night-fighter, coming down between Iwuy (Nord) and Rieux-en-Cambresis two small villages 9km NE and ENE respectively of Cambrai. Five lie in Rieux Communal Cemetery while F/S Hutt rests at Iwuy Communal Cemetery. Sgt Bloom is commemorated on panel 235 of Runnymede Memorial. The crew:
  • F/O E.A. Kingham
  • Sgt J. Black
  • F/S F.A. Spencer
  • Sgt B. Bloom
  • Sgt F.N. Ansell
  • Sgt D.G. Davis RCAF Also lost from 514 Squadron on this raid was Lancaster II DS816-JI-O. Crew:F/S C.F. Prowles, Sgt H.A. Osborn, F/O A.H.Morrison, F/S R.B. Spenser, Sgt R. Surtees, Sgt. J. Porelli and Sgt. A.A.Holmes.

  • John & Kathleen



    F/Sgt. Raymond Harold Hutt 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

    514 Sqdn Lancaster II LL690 JI-J took off at 2314 from RAF Waterbeach. Believed to have fallen victim to a night-fighter, coming down between Iwuy (Nord) and Rieux-en-Cambresis two small villages 9km NE and ENE respectively of Cambrai. Five lie in Rieux Communal Cemetery while F/S Hutt rests at Iwuy Communal Cemetery. Sgt Bloom is commemorated on panel 235 of Runnymede Memorial. The crew:
  • F/O E.A. Kingham
  • Sgt J. Black
  • F/S F.A. Spencer
  • Sgt B. Bloom
  • Sgt F.N. Ansell
  • Sgt D.G. Davis RCAF Also lost from 514 Squadron on this raid was Lancaster II DS816-JI-O. Crew:F/S C.F. Prowles, Sgt H.A. Osborn, F/O A.H.Morrison, F/S R.B. Spenser, Sgt R. Surtees, Sgt. J. Porelli and Sgt. A.A.Holmes.

    (Bob)

  • John & Kathleen



    Sgt. John Porrelli 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

    My father, John Porrelli and crew were lost after a raid on Valenciennes on 16th June 1944. Six of the crew are buried at Croisilles British War Cemetery (one member survived and evaded capture). I have a photo of the funeral cortege. It was taken by the brave French resistance I believe. If anyone has an interest or further information about the crew please email me.

    His Lancaster was DS816 JI-O. The full crew were:

  • F/Sgt C.F. Prowles, KIA
  • Sgt. H.A. Osborn, KIA
  • F/Sgt R.B. Spencer, KIA
  • Sgt. R. Surtees, KIA
  • Sgt. J. Porrelli, KIA
  • Sgt. A.A.Holmes, KIA
  • F/O A.H.Morrison, evaded capture

  • John Porrelli



    F/Sgt. Charles Frank "Ted" Prowles 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

    F/Sgt Ted Prowles was lost after a raid on Valenciennes on 16th June 1944. Six of the crew of Lancaster II DS816 JI-O are buried at Croisilles British War Cemetery (one member survived and evaded capture). The full crew were:
  • F/Sgt C.F. Prowles, KIA
  • Sgt. H.A. Osborn, KIA
  • F/Sgt R.B. Spencer, KIA
  • Sgt. R. Surtees, KIA
  • Sgt. J. Porrelli, KIA
  • Sgt. A.A. Holmes, KIA
  • F/O A.H. Morrison, evaded capture




  • Sgt. Henry Albert Osborn 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

    Sgt. H.A. Osborn was lost after a raid on Valenciennes on 16th June 1944. Six of the crew of Lancaster II DS816 JI-O are buried at Croisilles British War Cemetery (one member survived and evaded capture). The full crew were:
  • F/Sgt C.F. Prowles, KIA
  • Sgt. H.A. Osborn, KIA
  • F/Sgt R.B. Spencer, KIA
  • Sgt. R. Surtees, KIA
  • Sgt. J. Porrelli, KIA
  • Sgt. A.A. Holmes, KIA
  • F/O A.H. Morrison, evaded capture




  • F/Sgt. Ronald Bernard Spencer 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

    F/Sgt R.B. Spencer was lost after a raid on Valenciennes on 16th June 1944. Six of the crew of Lancaster II DS816 JI-O are buried at Croisilles British War Cemetery (one member survived and evaded capture). The full crew were:
  • F/Sgt C.F. Prowles, KIA
  • Sgt. H.A. Osborn, KIA
  • F/Sgt R.B. Spencer, KIA
  • Sgt. R. Surtees, KIA
  • Sgt. J. Porrelli, KIA
  • Sgt. A.A. Holmes, KIA
  • F/O A.H. Morrison, evaded capture




  • Sgt. Raymond Surtees 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

    Sgt. R. Surtees was lost after a raid on Valenciennes on 16th June 1944. Six of the crew of Lancaster II DS816 JI-O are buried at Croisilles British War Cemetery (one member survived and evaded capture). The full crew were:
  • F/Sgt C.F. Prowles, KIA
  • Sgt. H.A. Osborn, KIA
  • F/Sgt R.B. Spencer, KIA
  • Sgt. R. Surtees, KIA
  • Sgt. J. Porrelli, KIA
  • Sgt. A.A. Holmes, KIA
  • F/O A.H. Morrison, evaded capture




  • Sgt. Arthur Albert Holmes 514 Sqdn. (d.16th June 1944)

    Sgt. A.A. Holmes was lost after a raid on Valenciennes on 16th June 1944. Six of the crew of Lancaster II DS816 JI-O are buried at Croisilles British War Cemetery (one member survived and evaded capture). The full crew were:
  • F/Sgt C.F. Prowles, KIA
  • Sgt. H.A. Osborn, KIA
  • F/Sgt R.B. Spencer, KIA
  • Sgt. R. Surtees, KIA
  • Sgt. J. Porrelli, KIA
  • Sgt. A.A. Holmes, KIA
  • F/O A.H. Morrison, evaded capture




  • F/O A. H. Morrison 514 Sqdn.

    F/O A.H. Morrison evaded capture after a raid on Valenciennes on 16th June 1944. Six of the crew of Lancaster II DS816 JI-O are buried at Croisilles British War Cemetery. The full crew were:
  • F/Sgt C.F. Prowles, KIA
  • Sgt. H.A. Osborn, KIA
  • F/Sgt R.B. Spencer, KIA
  • Sgt. R. Surtees, KIA
  • Sgt. J. Porrelli, KIA
  • Sgt. A.A. Holmes, KIA
  • F/O A.H. Morrison, evaded capture




  • F/Sgt. Eric Charles Coles 514 Sqdn. (d.30th June 1944)

    Lancaster Bomber LL620 JI-T was brought down by flak near Villers Bocage on 30th June 1944. It is thought that the tail had been damaged. There were no survivors. The crew are all buried in Coulvain Churchyard, Calvados, France. They were:
  • F/O Douglas Austin Woods, pilot
  • F/Sgt Eric Charles Coles, flight engineer
  • Sgt Kenneth Royston Heron, wireless operator
  • F/O Francis Longson, navigator
  • F/Sgt Ernest Thomas Shanks, airbomber
  • F/Sgt William Charles Udell, airgunner
  • P/O Hilary Louis Doherty, airgunner




  • P/O Hilary Louis Doherty 514 Sqdn. (d.30th June 1944)

    Lancaster Bomber LL620 JI-T was brought down by flak near Villers Bocage on 30th June 1944. It is thought that the tail had been damaged. There were no survivors. The crew are all buried in Coulvain Churchyard, Calvados, France. They were:
  • F/O Douglas Austin Woods, pilot
  • F/Sgt Eric Charles Coles, flight engineer
  • Sgt Kenneth Royston Heron, wireless operator
  • F/O Francis Longson, navigator
  • F/Sgt Ernest Thomas Shanks, airbomber
  • F/Sgt William Charles Udell, airgunner
  • P/O Hilary Louis Doherty, airgunner




  • F/O Francis Longson 514 Sqdn. (d.30th June 1944)

    Lancaster Bomber LL620 JI-T was brought down by flak near Villers Bocage on 30th June 1944. It is thought that the tail had been damaged. There were no survivors. The crew are all buried in Coulvain Churchyard, Calvados, France. They were:
  • F/O Douglas Austin Woods, pilot
  • F/Sgt Eric Charles Coles, flight engineer
  • Sgt Kenneth Royston Heron, wireless operator
  • F/O Francis Longson, navigator
  • F/Sgt Ernest Thomas Shanks, airbomber
  • F/Sgt William Charles Udell, airgunner
  • P/O Hilary Louis Doherty, airgunner




  • F/Sgt. Ernest Thomas Shanks 514 Sqdn. (d.30th June 1944)

    Lancaster Bomber LL620 JI-T was brought down by flak near Villers Bocage on 30th June 1944. It is thought that the tail had been damaged. There were no survivors. The crew are all buried in Coulvain Churchyard, Calvados, France. They were:
  • F/O Douglas Austin Woods, pilot
  • F/Sgt Eric Charles Coles, flight engineer
  • Sgt Kenneth Royston Heron, wireless operator
  • F/O Francis Longson, navigator
  • F/Sgt Ernest Thomas Shanks, airbomber
  • F/Sgt William Charles Udell, airgunner
  • P/O Hilary Louis Doherty, airgunner




  • F/Sgt. William Charles Udell 514 Sqdn. (d.30th June 1944)

    Lancaster Bomber LL620 JI-T was brought down by flak near Villers Bocage on 30th June 1944. It is thought that the tail had been damaged. There were no survivors. The crew are all buried in Coulvain Churchyard, Calvados, France. They were:
  • F/O Douglas Austin Woods, pilot
  • F/Sgt Eric Charles Coles, flight engineer
  • Sgt Kenneth Royston Heron, wireless operator
  • F/O Francis Longson, navigator
  • F/Sgt Ernest Thomas Shanks, airbomber
  • F/Sgt William Charles Udell, airgunner
  • P/O Hilary Louis Doherty, airgunner




  • F/O Douglas Austin Woods 514 Sqdn. (d.30th June 1944)

    Lancaster Bomber LL620 JI-T was brought down by flak near Villers Bocage on 30th June 1944. It is thought that the tail had been damaged. There were no survivors. The crew are all buried in Coulvain Churchyard, Calvados, France. They were:
  • F/O Douglas Austin Woods, pilot
  • F/Sgt Eric Charles Coles, flight engineer
  • Sgt Kenneth Royston Heron, wireless operator
  • F/O Francis Longson, navigator
  • F/Sgt Ernest Thomas Shanks, airbomber
  • F/Sgt William Charles Udell, airgunner
  • P/O Hilary Louis Doherty, airgunner








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