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No 108 Squadron was reformed at Upper Heyford on 4 January 1937, when 'B' Flight of No 57 Squadron was raised to squadron status. Initially flying Hinds, they were requiped with Blenheims in June 1938. However, in September 1939, 108 squadron joinedr No 2 Group and began carrying out the operational training for the group, and was amalgamated with No 104 Squadron to form No 13 Operational Training Unit on 8th April 1940.
No. 108 Squadron reformed on the 1st of August 1941 at Kabrit in Egypt as a night bomber squadron, equipped with Wellingtons and began operations the following month, bombing targets in Libya and Greece. From November 41 to June 42 a few Liberators were used alongside the Wellingtons. In November 1942 Liberators replaced the Wellingtons and the squadron was reduced as a single flight, which was disbanded on 25th December 1942.
108 Squadron was again reformed as a night fighter unit on the 1st of March 1943 from a nucleus transferring from No 89 Squadron at Shandur, in Egypt. Equipped with Beaufighters the squadron operated over Egypt and Libya. Between June 1943 and July 1944, the squadron operated in the night intruder role from Hal Far and Luqa in Malta, also flying some Mosquito XIIs, before returning to Libya to attack targets in Greece and the Aegean area and following the German withdrawal The squadron moved to Greece, in october 1944 and took part in operations against the Communist rebels trying to take control of the country until March 1945 when it moved to Italy, where it disbanded on 25 March.
Airfields No. 108 Squadron flew from:
- RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. from 3rd to 17th September 1939
- RAF Bicester, Oxfordshire. from 17th September 1939 to 8th April 1940 (Became 13 OTU)
- Kabrit, Egypt. from 1st August 1941 to 15th March 1943 (re-formed then disbanded)
- Shandur, Egypt, from 15th March to June 1943 (re-formed)
- Luqa, Malta. from June 1943 to July 1944
- Libya. from Julyto October 1944
- Greece. from October 1944 to March 1945
- Italy from March 1945 (disbanded)
List of those who served with No. 108 Squadron RAF during the Second World War.
If you have any names to add to this list, or any recollections or photos of those listed, please get in touch.
F/Lt. Angus Graham Fyfe 108 Squadron
On 12 May 1942 Wellington 1C bomber HF 829 of 108 RAF squadron took off from Nancekuke airfield at Portreath, bound for Gibraltar and eventually for Egypt. On board was a crew of six as follows:
Over the Bay of Biscay the pilot reported that the port boost had gone and immediately the observer set course for Portreath, then the intercom was useless, and after they had done another 40 miles the starboard boost went useless. From this moment the plane flew at a 100 ft above the water and the air-speed dropped to 75 m.p.h. The plane passed Bishop’s Rock and the captain circled the aircraft around the Mount and then to Portreath.
- Sgt. S E Alcock (English) pilot
- Sgt. W. Robinson (N.Z.) second pilot
- Sgt. C. Hill (Canada) navigator
- Sgt. S. Pratt (N.Z.) bomb-aimer/rear gunner
- Sgt. J.A. Peacock (English) front gunner
- Sgt. A.G. Fyfe (N.Z.) wireless operator
The captain was afraid to jettison the petrol due to the instability of the aircraft, he could not make the plane rise and when the approach was made the down-draught from the cliff at Portreath pulled the aircraft down, the front wheels luckily caught the wall at the top of the cliff and the plane burst into flames. All the crew came out through the astrodome, Graham Fyfe minus one flying boot and his false teeth. Jim Peacock had previously turned his (gun) turret to starboard and came out with his parachute. (time was approx. 11.45 a.m.) After crawling away from the aircraft they only went about 50 yards and then the plane exploded and ammunition was flying all around.
Much of the above information came from Jim Peacock in a letter dated September 1978. The hole in the wall at Portreath was still there when we visited in May 2006.
My father joined the RNZAF on 15 March, 1940, and left for Britain on 14 September 1940. His original log-book was lost in the crash at Portreath, so I am a bit hazy about exact dates of his early service, although I know that he served with 18 Squadron in Oulton, Norfolk prior to leaving for Egypt.
The crew left Lyneham for Gibraltar on 29 May 1942 in Wellington Mark 1c, No DV607, and arrived at Kilo 17 in Egypt via Malta on 2 June, 1942. Pilot was Sgt. Alcock, although for most of Graham Fyfe's time in Kabrit his pilot was Sgt Brooks. His last flight was on 20 October 1942, and total operational hours with the squadron are recorded as 256.15 Most of the flights were over North Africa, except for one over Crete. I have a copy of his logbook from May 1942.
WO George Streeting 108 Squadron
My father, George Streeting, was in 108 Squadron during WW2. He still has his flying logs and photos from his time in the RAF.
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