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No. 150 Squadron was fisrt formed at Salonika, Macedonia, on 1st April 1918 as a fighter squadron and saw action operated both in Macedonia and Turkey. 150 Squadron disbanded in 1919
150 Squadron re-formed as a bomber squadron in 1938 flying Fairey Battles. At the outbreak of the Second World War, No. 150 served with the Advanced Air Striking Force in France and in May 1940 attacked the Meuse bridges in an attempt to halt the German advance. In June 1940, the suqdron withdrew to England and bconverted to Wellingtons to join the night-bombing offensive. In December 1942 150 Squadron was posted to North Africa and took part in the Tunisian, Sicilian and Italian campaigns. In early October 1944, No. 150 was disbanded in Italy but re-formed in England in November as a Lancaster squadron and went on to fly 827 operational sorties dropping more than 3,827 tons of bombs on enemy targets. At the end of hostilities 150 was employed in dropping food supplies to the starving Dutch people and transporting ex-P0W's from Belgium to England as well as ferrying personnel home from Italy.
Airfields 150 Squadron flew from.
- Challerange. France. 3rd Sep to 11th Sep 1939
- Ecury-sur-Coole. France. 11th Sep 1939 to 15th May 1940
- Pouan. France. 15th May to 6th Jun 1940
- Houssay. France. 6th to 15th Jun 1940
- Abingdon. 15th Jun to 19th Jun 1940
- Stradishall. 19th Jun to 3rd Jul 1940
- Newton. 3rd Jul 1940 to 10th Jul 1941
- Snaith. 10th Jul 1941 to 15th Oct 1942
- Kirmington. 15th Oct 1942 to Sep 1944
- Fiskerton. Nov 1944
- Hemswell. 22nd Nov 1944 onwards.
List of those who served with 150 Squadron during The Second World War
- Sgt. Ronald Arthur Bramley Navigator (d.8th Nov 1941) Read his Story.
- Flt.Lt Stanley George Braybrook Read his Story.
- Flt.Sgt. Lewis Edmunds DFM. (d.31st July 1943) Read his Story.
- Sgt. Frederick Stephen Fish (d.3rd Sept 1942) Read his Story.
- AC1 Sydney Martin (d.14th May 1940) Read his Story.
- Sgt. Anthony Patrick "Mac" McTeer Read his Story.
- Sgt. Colin Gordon Perry B flight Read his Story.
- Maurice "Mo" Taylor rear gunner Read his Story.
- P/O James Edward Vernon DFC. (d.7th Jun 1940) Read his Story.
Maurice "Mo" Taylor rear gunner 458 Sqd.
Mr Taylor is a very long standing family friend, he is now 86 yrs. old, over the years he has told me many things about his wartime years.
He joined the RAF in 1938 and served with various units - 458, 460, 150 and possibly others. Holme on Spalding Moor, Molesworth, Binbrook are bases he remembers in the early part, flying in Wellingtons as a rear gunner. At this point in time he was shot down to which even today he finds hard to come to terms with and at the same time I would not press him to talk about. Beyond this point he served in Ceylon on various sqd's until 1946. I would love to find out more as the tales he tells me never cease to amaze me
Sgt. Frederick Stephen Fish 150 sqd (d.3rd Sept 1942)
Please can you tell me if anyone remembers my grandad, Fred Fish, he was based with 150 squadron at Snaith in 1941/42. He and the rest of his crew were shot down over the french coastline on their way back from ops at KARSRUHE on 3rd September 1942, it was their 23rd op. The other crew members were pilot L.H.Clarke,D. Laing, R.J.Deans, ad S.B.Ronaldson. I would love to know if anyone remembers anything. He was listed missing presumed dead, which devastated my nan and his 3 children.
Flt.Lt Stanley George Braybrook 150 Squadron
Learnt to fly in the US at Lancaster, California before USA was in war. Went on to Canada for Navigator training. Returned to UK on Queen Elizabeth. First posted to Coastal Command, then on Wellingtons in North Africa with 150 Squadron. Bombing focused on Sicily, Italy and Rumania. Was on one of the RAF raids on the Ploesti Oil Refinery. We still have log books, aerial photos and escape memorabilia. Ended the war flying a Liberator out East. A bomb dropped, Pacific war ended so ferried aircraft back from India to UK. Involved in early tests on ILS using Lancasters. Has written an autobiography, "Warts And All" published in Perth, Western Australia in 1993. Born in the UK in November 1920. Passed away in Perth, Western Australia during November 2000.
AC1 Sydney Martin 150 Squadron (d.14th May 1940)
Syd Martin was killed on one of the worst days of the Battle of France. He was the wireless operator/rear gunner (WOP/AG) of Fairey Battle P2182. He had only been married for just over five weeks when he and the other two members of of the crew were shot down whilst taking part in a raid on the Meuse River bridges, Ardennes.
Flt.Sgt. Lewis Edmunds DFM. 150 Squadron (d.31st July 1943)
My dad Lewis Edmunds died in July 1943 only a few months after I was born. He died an awful death, in an iron lung and of polio. A friend said, only a few months ago, that the odds of dying this way must have been very high. To my young mother his death must have been devastating and she left the air force base where they were living and moved back to her parents in the North of England. Eventually she remarried and in 1959, she and my stepfather and my half sister and I emigrated to NZ.
I knew very little about my dad, except that the warm sheepskin rug in my parent’s room had been brought from Australia by him. I also had his DFM medal, a certificate and gold presentation watch from the local council, his logbook and some newspaper cuttings and photographs that my mother had saved. Sadly, when we came to New Zealand the logbook was given away, but I remember it vividly and I would love to have it back. In 1985 I visited England on holiday and I was determined to visit his family and record his story, so I joined the NZ Genealogy Society to learn how to research my families.
Lewis went to Western Australia in 1929 at that time he was only aged 18, and it must have seemed a big adventure. He was also ‘honest, steady and industrious’ according to the vicar who wrote a glowing testimony for him. It also helped that he had an aunt and uncle living there, and he was able to stay with them for a while. He returned to England, on an Australian passport, in 1935. I suspect that it was only the Depression that sent him home. He learned bricklaying but later enlisted in the RAF in 1938, moving up the ranks and training to be an Air Gunner. He was posted around Lincolnshire and in May 1941, while returning from a sortie to Boulogne, the Wellington Bomber crashed into a hill near Halstead and he was the sole survivor, though his back was broken.
After many years I was able to get the commendation that his Station Commander had written, before his DFM was announced. The investiture took place at Buckingham Palace on the 18 May 1943. A week before he died, my mum said that they were going to a wedding, dad had the flu' but he said "I am going to this wedding if it kills me". The following day mum called the Base doctor and Dad was admitted to the hospital in Donnington, where he was diagnosed with polio, and he died the following weekend.
Sgt. Ronald Arthur Bramley Navigator 150 Squadron (d.8th Nov 1941)
My Great Uncle, Ronald Arthur Bramley was a Navigator in 150 Squadron 150 during the Second World War. He was shot down over the Dutch coast on the night of the 8th of November 1941. Apparently weather conditions were terrible and many crews were lost that night. They flew from Snaith Airbase and were heading for Mannheim. Unfortunatly, he was never found but two of his crew are buried in Amsterdam. Rest in peace.
This is all the infomation I could gain from my Granddad. If anyone can help with more infomation I would be grateful. Are there any photos of 150 Squadron?
P/O James Edward Vernon DFC. 150 Squadron (d.7th Jun 1940)
James Vernon 1915 – 1940
James Edward Vernon was born on 21 August 1915, at Roxburgh, Central Otago, son of George and Jemima Vernon. The Vernons were a mining family, originally from Waikaia, subsequently moving to Roxburgh and later Glenorchy. James attended Otago Boys High School for three years secondary education from 1929 until 1931, passing his matriculation. He played rugby and cricket for his school, and later played senior rugby for Glenorchy, where his father was gold-mining. Following the family tradition James became manager of an alluvial gold mining company at Queenstown.
In 1937 James applied for a Short Service commission in the Royal Air Force, and on being selected was commissioned as a Pilot Officer and posted to No.1 Service Flying Training School, Wigram to undertake preliminary flying training and obtain his ‘A’ flying licence. On 15 November 1937 he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer at Wigram. On 18 July 1938 he embarked on the Akaroa at Auckland to proceed to the United Kingdom.
On reporting to the Air Ministry, Pilot Officer Vernon was instructed to proceed to RAF Depot Uxbridge, Middlesex on 23 August 1938, for a short disciplinary course. This completed, he was posted to 150 (Bomber) Squadron for squadron flying duties, flying Fairey Battle bombers. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, 150 Squadron was moved to France as the part of the Advanced Air Striking Force and in May 1940 was one of the Battle squadrons which attacked the Meuse bridges in an attempt to stem the German advance.
The Fairey Battle first flew in 1936. After the First World War, relatively slow, light day bombers were considered militarily feasible until, early in the Second World War, Fairey Battles were blown from the sky by fast single-seat fighters and anti-aircraft fire. Their place in the military armoury was filled by fighter aircraft which were fast and could effectively defend themselves after dropping their bomb. The Fairey Battle has been described as a disaster, being too slow, vulnerable and under-gunned for air warfare in Second World War. Those surviving the early war years were reallocated to training duties.
James Vernon undertook a three months course in navigation at the School of Air Navigation from December 1939 to February 1940. Apart from that, he remained with his squadron in England and France undertaking operational flying for the remainder of his service. During this time he was promoted to Flying Officer.
On 26 May 1940, Flying Officer Vernon led an action for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He took off at 0925 from Pouan, east of Paris, to attack a German headquarters at a Château at Roumont near Recogne in Belgium, some 250 kms away. His crew comprised Flight Sergeant G Busby and Leading Aircraftman L W Rutland. In the vicinity of the target the formation he was leading lost touch while flying through a storm, but Vernon went on to locate and bomb his objective. On the return flight he was attacked by six Messerschmitt 110s, but by skillful flying he evaded their initial attacks and his gunner was able to shoot down one Messerschmitt and set fire to another. However, the remaining fighters continued to attack and seriously damaged the British bomber. With its engine failing, the aircraft began to lose height rapidly and Vernon was forced to land in enemy territory near Avioth (Meuse), 6 km NNE of Montmedy, France. He assisted his wounded crew from the aircraft and set it on fire. A German patrol approached and took the wounded men prisoner, but Vernon managed to escape, reach the French lines, and make his way back to his unit. Sgt Busby was interned in Camp 357 (POW No.38248), and LAC Rutland in Camps 8B/L6/357 (PoW No.18162).
26th of May was the day that the evacuation of British forces in France was ordered to begin from Dunkirk. The evacuation was completed on 3 June, and on 13 June the Germans entered Paris. But just 12 days after he was shot down at Montmedy, Flying Officer Vernon was killed in action. With his crew Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Jack F. Atkins, RAFVR 751819, age 20, and Sergeant (Obs.) George W. Clawley, RAF 533480, age unknown. He took off on 7 June 1940 from Echemines, southeast of Paris, to attack a vehicle convoy at Vergies, near Abbeville, south of Dunkirk, some 250 km away.
The aircraft failed to return, and Vernon and his crew were posted as missing. In due course his death was presumed to have occurred on 7 June 1940 as a result of air operations.
After the war it was established that he had been buried in the cemetery at Vergies. His grave is in Vergies Communal Cemetery Row 1. Grave 21. His crewmates are buried together in Graves 19-20. James was 24 years old.
Sgt. Anthony Patrick "Mac" McTeer 150 Squadron
My Dad, Anothony McTeer was shot down on the first night raid on Budapest Hungary on the night of the 3rd/4th of April 1944, he was a rear Gunner on LN858 Wellington MK X based at Amendola Italy 1944. His Pilot Sgt G G Pemberton, four of the crew survived although wounded. In my Dad's case his ear was shot off, and the bullet went into his head, which he carried until the day he died. He thought, at the time, he was keeping a bit of his flying helmet for a keepsake! The Wop lost an eye, he was Sgt Redpath RAAF, the other two Sgts Taylor and Bennett were uninjured. The pilot Pemberton pulled off a masterful landing on Lake Balaton however he bled to death from a leg injury as he was hit. I have no knowledge of Taylor and Bennett, which is a shame.
I have been in contact with the German Pilot Hans Krause of NJG 101 based at Parnsdorf Austria, he was flying a Dornier Do 217N a converted Bomber, Hans told me that my Dad's aircraft was his last kill with Nose Guns as he then flew a Junker JU88. He said that he attacked LN858 from the rear but he got caught in the propeller back wash, causing him to use more ammo on this occasion than on any other. He hit the Port Engine and he waited for it to cause the aricraft to crash which he said happened more often that not, but the fire in the engine died out and all he could see was a red glow, he wanted to attack again but because of the hills all around Budapest he did not. He put in for a kill but the Luftwaffe Command said no as there was no proof. The next day he and his crew took off to have a look, and sure enough he saw LN858 in the water. Hans sent me more than ten shots of LN858 where I had only two photos of it, Hans also said that my Dad hit him quite a few times but no bad damage occurred.
My Dad wound up in Stalag 344 Lamsdorf where he stayed until he went on the Death March eventually being rescued by the Russians, which is another story.
Sgt. Colin Gordon Perry B flight 150 Squadron
My Father, Colin Perry, served in the Air Force during WW2 joining up in 1939 at the age of 19 years. I know he qualified as an air gunner and wireless operator and flew many ops in North Africa and Sicily. He mainly flew in Wellingtons but his log book does show he also flew in Dakotas and Mosquitos.
As like most people I never asked him much about his war time experiences and he did not talk about it. He had a picture painted of his plane with the markings of JNV if this means anything to anyone. I have tried to trace some of the names mentioned as his crew:
. I have a feeling some of this crew could be Canadian. The main dates of ops appear to be from late 1942 until December 1943. If anyone has any information about my Dad, or any of his crew, I would love to hear from them.
- Pilot F/Sgt S J Holmes,
- Navigator Sgt JU Trewick, Bomb Aimer,
- F.Sgt L Stanford,
- Rear Gunner Sgt R J Sillwood
Lie in the Dark and Listen
Ken Rees & Karen Arrandale
Life is pretty dull for Ken Rees these days. At seventeen he carved danger and excitement; fast planes and cars; rugby, speed and women. Then war came and by the age of twenty-one he had already trained to be a pilot officer; flown fifty-six hair-raising bomber missions by night over Germany; taken part in the siege of Malta; got married; been shot down into a remote Norwegian lake; been captured, questioned by the Gestapo, then sent to Stalag Luft III, where he participated in and survived the Great Escape and terrible forced march to Bremen. Now he lives relatively peacefully in Anglesey and in finding time to research and write his memoirs with Karen Arrandale, has vividly recreated what it was like to be in charge of an air crew at such a tender age with responsibility for a large and expensive aircraft going 300 miles behind enemy lines, at the same time avoiding flak and enemy fighters and witnessing other comrades being shot down out of the sky. Moreover, he writes movingly abou
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