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

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- RAF Dalton during the Second World War -

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RAF Dalton

   RAF Dalton was in North Yorkshire. Today the site is an industrial estate.

Squadrons stationed at RAF Dalton

  • 102 Squadron


 History of RAF Dalton

9th Apr 1943 A Difficult Flight

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Those known to have served at

RAF Dalton

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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Ed Cooke 102 Sqd.

3rd.from left S/Ldr/Griffith,pilot:   4th.Sgt.A.E.Waddicor, flight engineer:5th from left  Fl Sgt Thomas McIlquham

Squadron picture of 102 taken October 1941,
not too many of these boys survived the war.

I joined 102 Squadron at Topcliffe in May 1941,the Seargants Mess was really crowded as 77 Squadron was also there,as regards losses, this will give you a little idea:- June 6 aircraft lost complete with crews 1 aircraft lost on return July 6 aircraft lost complete with crews 1 aircaft lost on return, I was in that one and we just made the coast of Norfolk,So this will give you some idea of the losses and from what I have read 102 Squadron suffered some of the highest losses at that time.

The latter part of July replacements came in,the first from the Commonwealth Air Training Plan and mostly Canadians, Fl Sgt Thomas McIlquham "Mac" came in with another input in August and actually on Aug 18th, from some records I have. His first trip was to Cologne on the 24th and the next one to Essen on the 31st. and that is the extant of the records I have,and this was all on Whitley V's.

"Mac" was in "A" Flight the same as I and of course got to know him although he was a little different from most of the boys, being a little dour, probably because I think that he was a little older than most of us, one thing was a must, everyone left him alone when he returned to billets after visiting the local pubs, but other than that we all got along just fine.

November and we moved to Dalton while they put runways in at Topcliffe, also I went on leave and came back to find that my crew had gone, I flew with the Flight Commander S/Ldr.Walker so F/Lt.Griffiths was elevated to S/Ldr.and took over the flight. Meanwhile with the advent of the new year we began conversion to the Halifax11's and S/Ldr.Griffith formed a new crew,

I was the W/OP, Mac was our tail gunner, Ed.Brain was navigator, Ted Waddicor was Flight Engineer,can't remember who was upper gunner. Think I only did six trips with Mac, did two or three nurseries and then was posted to Kinloss and instructing there.

This is the last I saw of Mac, but heard about him when attending the first re-union of 102 Squadron Association in Nottingham in 1983. A fellow who new Mac and stopped in to visit him after the war told me that Mac and a son went ice fishing, drove on the lake, the ice gave way and they were drowned, so that is all that I can tell you about Mac, although I did hear from boys who were on the Squadron later that he was taken off Ops,because he was taking a big flashlight with him trying to lure in fighters,think this must have been true as I have heard it from more than one source.

Ed Cooke

Sgt. John Basil "Jack" Martyn 428 (Ghost) Squadron (d.30th March 1943)

My uncle John Martyn was the son of Lionel Hubert and Edith Martyn (nee Lanyon) of Rangiora, North Canterbury; elder brother of Allan David Martyn. Born at Rangiora on 1st March 1919, Jack was educated at Rangior High School. He played rugby and cricket at school, later becoming a member of the North Canterbury Football Club. At the time of his enlistment into the Airforce Jack was employed by the North Canterbury Electric Power Board Rangiora as an Electrical Apprentice.

Jack applied for aircrew training on 24 June 1940 and he entered the Ground Training School at Levin in September 1941 then underwent basic flying training at 1 Flying Training School (FTS), Tairei and 1 FTS, Wigram. In early February 1942 Sgt Martyn was awarded his Wings at RNZAF Station Wigram, and promoted to Sergeant Pilot on 28th of March 1942.

Sgt Martyn embarked for the UK on 13th of April 1942 and underwent further training on Airspeed Oxford aircraft at No 3 Advanced Flying Unit at South Cerney, Gloucestershire followed. Sgt Martyn commenced operational training on the Vickers Wellington bomber at No 11 Operational Training Unit, Westcott, Buckinghamshire from October 1942 and in December was posted to 428 (RCAF) Squadron, RAF Dalton, Yorkshire.

On 29th of March 1943 Sgt Martyn, having accumulating 47.16 operational flying hours to date, was on his 9th bombing mission to Germany. He was one of the crew of 428 (Ghost) Squadron, RCAF, Vickers Wellington B MkX HE-175 NA-U on operations to Bochum.

  • NZ415001 Sgt (Pilot) J. B. Martyn, RNZAF pilot
  • 1237623 Sgt (Obs) N. S. Farr, RAFVR Navigator
  • 1270441 F/Sgt (WAG) L. W. Hayward RAFVR Wireless Op/Air Gunner
  • 1331554 Sgt (Obs) K. Benjamin, RAFVR Air Bomber/Aimer/Forward Gunner
  • 411746 Sgt (AG) J. C. Donaldson, RNZAF Air Gunner (Rear)

Sgt Martyn and his crew were returning from the mission to Bochum when at approx 0200hrs on 30 March 1943, in particularly bad weather, he transmitted that he was preparing to ditch his aircraft into the sea, 26 miles east of Acklington, Northumberland. Despite a lengthy search later that day no trace of the aircraft or crew was ever found. All crew members were subsequently posted missing presumed dead .

Ian D. Martyn

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