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No. 18 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- No. 18 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

No. 18 Squadron Royal Air Force


30th September 1939 Dispatched to France

30th Sep 1939 Transfer

16th Oct 1939 Recce

16th Oct 1939 On the Move

20th Oct 1939 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

30th Oct 1939 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

27th Dec 1939 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

3rd Jan 1940 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

25th Feb 1940 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

30th Apr 1940 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

10th May 1940 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

10th May 1940 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

10th May 1940 Battle of France

11th May 1940 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

11th May 1940 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

12th May 1940 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

12th May 1940 Bombing Raid

16th May 1940 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

16th May 1940 18 Squadron aircraft lost

17th May 1940 In Action

20th May 1940 Return to Britain

21st May 1940 Aircraft Lost

21st May 1940 Aircraft Lost

25th May 1940 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

26th May 1940 On the move

6th Jul 1940 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

8th Sept 1940 Recuperation

3rd April 1941 Move back to ops.

11th Apr 1941 Blenheim Lost

13th Apr 1941 Blenheim Lost

22nd Apr 1941 Aircraft Lost

30th Apr 1941 Aircraft Lost

5th May 1941 Aircraft Lost

9th May 1941 Aircraft Lost

10th May 1941 Aircraft Lost

25th May 1941 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

25th May 1941 Aircraft Lost

2nd Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

9th Jun 1941 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

9th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

16th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

25th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

13th July 1941 Relocated

16th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

20th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

23rd Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

30th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

30th Jul 1941 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

5th Aug 1941 Aircraft Lost

12th Aug 1941 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

12th Aug 1941 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

12th Aug 1941 Aircraft Lost

18th Aug 1941 Aircraft Lost

19th Aug 1941 Spare leg delivered

4th Sep 1941 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

4th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

5th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

15th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

16th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

20th Sep 1941 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

20th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

12th October 1941 

12th Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost

12th October 1941 Sent to Malta

22nd October 1941 Blenheim lost

27th Oct 1941 Blenheim crew taken PoW

5th November 1941 Attack on convoy

8th November 1941 Convoy attacked

18th Nov 1941 Operation Crusader

19th November 1941 Blenheims lost

8th December 1941 Mid-air collision

11th Dec 1941 Blenheim shot down

16th December 1941 Air chief salutes pilots

26th December 1941 Boxing Day losses

7th January 1942 Patrol missing

10th January 1942 Relocation

22nd March 1942 Squadron disbanded in Egypt

13th May 1942 Reformed in Scotland

28th Jul 1942 18 Squadron Blenheim lost

23rd Aug 1942 Moved

11th November 1942 Back to N Africa

17th Nov 1942 Risks

30th Nov 1942 Desert airbases

17th April 1943 Into Tunisia

7th June 1943 Re-equipped

3rd Aug 1943 Into Sicily

7th October 1943 Move to Italy

16th February 1944 On the move

18th July 1944 Moved again

18th October 1944 Moved north

7th March 1945 On the move

21st April 1945 18 Squadron Boston lost

May 1945 

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

Those known to have served with

No. 18 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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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Leonard Bayes 18 Squardron

My Father, Leonard Bayes joined the RAF in 1935. In the early hours of the 21st of January, 1936, he was a member of the duty crew at RAF Bircham Newton in Norfolk when, following the death of King George V at nearby Sandringham, the ill-fated new King, Edward VIII, arrived to fly off to London. He was in no great hurry and chatted pleasantly to the people there, until an official suggested that they really should leave. No doubt the new King was dreading the formalities awaiting him. They then climbed into a De Havilland Rapide and it took off for the Metropolis. Dad therefore witnessed the first ever flight by a reigning Monarch.

Dad served in 18 Squadron at Upper Heyford flying Hawker Harts and at the ourbreak of WWII, he was stationed at Seletar, Singapore with 100 Squadron, equipped with Vickers Vildebeests. Heading home to the UK for training, he stopped off at Egypt, where he helped to re-assemble the long range flight Vickers Wellesleys. He then went on to Crete, where he missed the evacuation and was captured by the Germans. He ended up in Stalag Luft III, and was part of the evacuation March in January 1945. He was eventually repatriated in May 1945.

Jack Bayes

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:
  • 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
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.

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.

Ian Fyfe

Flt.Sgt. George Carr 18 Squadron

My Dad, George Carr was a wireless operator air gunner in the RAF during WW2. He trained at Bicester in Oxfordshire, then flew out to Gibraltar and on to North Africa, Sicily and Italy with 18 Squadron which was equipped with Douglas Boston 3's. The only place I remember him talking about was Foggia in Italy, I know he would talk about bombing and strafing German and Italian troops moving undercover of darkness at night. I do recall many of his wartime flying stories but there are too many to tell right now, but it was very action packed.

Edward Carr

Flt.Lt. Derrick Stuart Fuller 18 Squadron

Contemporary Account of a Night Time Bombing Raid in a Blenheim as written by Flight Sergeant Derrick Stuart Fuller (63069). For some reason it is marked ‘Extract’. Presumably sent to his parents since they were living in Bristol although he was married. The contents are not exactly drafted in a manner calculated to allay fears about his personal safety, especially if intended for his wife.

Derek was awarded his ‘Wings’ as a Sergeant Pilot on 11th July 1940 and posted to Operational Training Unit (OTU) at Bicester where he was converted to Blenheims. Crewed up with Air Observer ‘Topsy’ Ford and Wireless Operator/Air Gunner ‘Polly’ Pollard. All three made up the crew of a Blenheim. It seems it was these two who formed his crew during the sortie below. He was promoted Flight-Lieutenant in August 1942.

Extract 18.11.40

I had a very exciting trip the other evening. I was detailed to raid an enemy aerodrome in order to try and prevent Jerry bombers from taking off. I thought it would be a good chance to show the Germans that they are not the only ones who can carry out a low flying attack. So we went whistling over the aerodrome at some 200 feet only and machine-gunned the men on the gun posts. But suddenly about 9 searchlights sprang up and caught me at point blank range and then they let us have it. I’ve never seen concentrated fire thrown up anywhere. Two shells burst in the aeroplane carrying away half of the tail and rudder and blowing away my bomb compartment (my bombs were still in it but were not affected). The aeroplane was riddled with holes, an oil-feed pipe was severed and one engine started to play tricks. We turned around and dropped our bombs on some aeroplanes that were taking off and then decided to make for ‘home’ (assumed word).

You can imagine my shock when looking to my right I could see 6 fighters in formation with bright yellow headlights on and 6 more to my left without headlights. I could see these very clearly because there was a full moon and it was very light. I escaped these by throttling back and sliding under them and I don’t think they saw me. Then to cap everything three more sat on our tail and chased us. I ..(two or three illegible words).. down to the deck and legged it for the French coast as best I could. We reached some cloud and evaded the fighters. When we got back home we couldn’t find our flare path. It was actually extinguished as a raid was in progress. Our wireless was shot up and wouldn’t work. After some fruitless searching around I saw a dim flare path. I flew over that and flashed S.O.S. on ..two or three illegible words.. and landed. This was an aerodrome called S…. M.. (presumably unnamed for security but possibly Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire?). We stayed the night there and went back to West Raynham in the morning by car. The authorities would not let me fly my plane back as they said it was too dangerous. It is still being repaired. None of us was injured except that Polly’s eyes were burned with the explosion of the shell that damaged our tail and wireless. We were very lucky ..two illegible words.. definitely the best trip I’ve ever had for excitement.

I’m glad to hear that things are more or less quiet in Bristol still. Poor old Coventry has suffered hasn’t it? Still we went over the next night and knocked hell out of Hamburg.

Note: He once told me that he crash landed in an airfield, other than his own, and was recommended for an award by the commander of that field. This had to be ratified by his own CO. Father’s plane was out of action so he was allowed to fly the CO’s personal plane for the raid. The CO was not well pleased with the state of it and, consequently, vetoed the award. As far as is known father only had two crash landings with the other being in Blida, Algeria in North Africa in November 1942, and that still had a full bomb load. Unfortunately I do not know to which of these events he referred but suspect it is the one above.

Neil Fuller

Douglas Beagley 18 Sqdn.

Doug Beagley served with the RAF in North Africa and Italy.

Jay Damschen

Pte. Kenneth Joseph Hay 18 Battalion

Pte Kenneth Joseph Hay was my husband's uncle, who enlisted with a younger brother, Leonard Ewald Hay. Leonard was killed and Ken was taken prisoner in Crete, then moved to Stalag VIIIB - Prisoner No. 5120. His final incarceration was at Stalag VIIIB Teschen. He returned to New Zealand on 5 September 1945 and never spoke a word of his experience. Did anyone know Ken whilst a POW?

Leigh Hay

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