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No. 49 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 49 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

No. 49 Squadron Royal Air Force

   No.49 Squadron, RFC, was formed at Dover, Kent, in 1916 and, after 20 months as a Training Unit, it went to France as a day-bombing squadron in November 1917. In May 1919, the squadron was posted to Germany as part of the Army of Occupation, but post-war disarmament led to its disbandment in July of that year. It was re-formed at Bircham Newton in 1936 from a nucleus provided by 'C' Flight of No 18 Squadron as a bomber squadron, equipped with Hawker Hinds. When war came No.49 was flying Hampdens from Scampton, Lincolnshire.

Airfields No. 49 Squadron RAF flew from during WW2.

  • RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire. from 3rd Sept 1939 to Jan 1943
  • Detachment at RAF Kinloss from January to March 1940
  • RAF Fiskerton, Lincolnshire. from Jan 1943 to Oct 1944
  • RAF Fulbeck, Lincolnshire. from Oct 1944 to Apr 1945
  • RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire. from April 1945


Sept 1939 

Jan 1940 Detachment

11th May 1940 Raid

12th May 1940 Bombing Raid

12th May 1940 Massed raid

15th May 1940 Ops

12th June 1940 

27th Jun 1940 49 Squadron Hampden lost

12th August 1940 Attack Made

17th Aug 1940 49 Squadron Hampden lost

11th Feb 1941 49 Squadron Hampden lost

27th May 1941 Aircraft Lost

19th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

25th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

30th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

5th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

6th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

12th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

25th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

14th Aug 1941 Aircraft Lost

24th Aug 1941 Aircraft Lost

28th Aug 1941 Aircraft Lost

2nd Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

6th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

7th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

8th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

28th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

1st Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost

8th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost

18th Dec 1941 Aircraft Lost

28th Dec 1941 Aircraft Lost

6th Jan 1942 Aircraft Lost

9th Jan 1942 Aircraft Lost

April 1942 

31st May 1942 49 Squadron Manchester lost

3rd Jun 1942 49 Squadron Manchester lost

July 1942 

17th Oct 1942 

17th October 1942 Raid

23rd Oct 1943 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

23rd Nov 1942 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

1st Jan 1943 

6th Mar 1943 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

13th Jun 1943 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

15th Jun 1943 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

9th Jul 1943 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

13th Jul 1943 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

Aug 1943 

23rd Oct 1943 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

11th Nov 1943 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

3rd Jan 1944 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

27th Mar 1944 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

30th Mar 1944 Aircraft Lost

11th Aug 1944 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

16th Oct 1944 

29th Oct 1944 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

22nd Nov 1944 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

17th Mar 1945 49 Squadron Lancaster lost

22 April 1945 

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

Those known to have served with

No. 49 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Cachart Ted. Sgt.
  • Fazakerley Thomas. Sgt. (d.29th March 1943)
  • Gaunt Philip Henry. WO.
  • Hardy James. Flt.Sgt.
  • Hartley Clement Alfred Victor. Sgt. (d.7th Apr 1942)
  • Hitchings Sydney James. Sgt.
  • Humble George. Sgt. (d.18th Aug 1943)
  • Kirwan John Anthony. Sgt. (d.18th Jul 1944)
  • McCracken . Sgt.
  • McNutt Frank Arthur. WO2 (d.29th March 1943)
  • Moore Philip. Flt.Sgt. (d.15th/16th Sep 1943)
  • Pullen Harold Brian. F/Sgt.
  • Robertson James. Sgt. (d.29th March 1943)
  • Shaw John. Sgt.
  • Vidow Allan William. Sgt.
  • Wood John. W/O.

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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There are 1 pages in our library tagged No. 49 Squadron Royal Air Force

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Sgt. Sydney James Hitchings 49 Squadron

My father Sgt Sidney Hitchings was POW number 276 in Stalag Luft 1

WR Chorley’s RAF Bomber Command Losses of Second World War (vol 1939 – 40) states: Night of 4/5 Set 1940 49 Squadron Hampden mk 1 P 1347 EA-D Op: Stettin

  • Pilot F/O LM Hodges POW escape report WO 208/3304 S/PG 345
  • Observer Sgt SJ Hitchings POW 276
  • WOp/AG Sgt JH Wyatt POW escape report WO 208/3303 S/PG 280
  • Wop/AG Sgt LC Turnbull POW 285

t/o Scampton. Strayed off course after being fired on by light flak from an airfield in Brittany, the Hampden was force landed in a field near St Brieuc. (Hodges and Wyatt escaped and arrived home via Gibraltar on 31 July 1941. Hodges rose in rank to become Air Chief Marshall Sir Lewis Hodges and was president of the RAF Escaping Society).

My father was one of the early pows in Stalag Luft 1 and the accompanying photos are from there. He was moved to several other camps including Stalag Lufts 3 and 4 and eventually after the forced marches of winter 1944 arrived at Camp 357 from which he was repatriated.

A group photo in front of what appears to be stage set. The reverse shows that it was posted from Stalag Luft 1 and I think the postmark is 1942-7-18. S.J.Hitchings is second from left front row

A propaganda “Christmas Spread” photo but my father told me all of the items were made of paper! SJH 3rd from right. 4th from left (with beard) is Sgt JC Shaw

Sgt JC Shaw (middle) and SJH back right. Others unknown. Sgt Shaw was shot while attempting to escape on the night of 2/3 Jan 42 (see Footprints in the Sands of Time, Clutton-Brock. p46.)

Sgt LC Turnbull

Sgt LC Turnbull (front) and SJH

6. S.J.Hitchings back left, others unknown.

Robert Hitchings

Sgt. Ted "Lad " Cachart 49th Squadron

Warrant Officer. E.B. (Ted) Cachart. Wop/Ag, 49th Squadron (Lancaster) RAF Fiskerton, Lincolnshire - otherwise known as 'Ted the Lad' - was UK’s youngest ever Bomber Command crew member. He managed to enlist at the age of fifteen and, by the age of 18, had been promoted to Sgt. Wop/Ag. In January 1944, Ted and his crew, two of whom were Royal Canadian Air Force, survived a mid-air collision near Berlin, only to become prisoners of war. All crew members of the second Lancaster tragically perished.

At the age of 86, Ted Cachart is on a mission to help other WW2 veterans access lottery funding before the Heroes Return 2 programme ends in January 2012. World War II veterans, their wives, husbands, widows or widowers and, in some cases, accompanying carers are eligible to apply for lottery funding that enables them to visit the countries where they or their loved ones once served. Funds of between £150 and £5,500 are available, depending on the number of people taking part and the destination. There are still many people who are unaware of this programme. It is not just ex-Army, Air Force and Navy personnel who can apply; Merchant Navy, Auxiliary Territorial Service, Navy Wrens and, in some cases, members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force may also be eligible.

The 'Heroes Return 2' programme was first launched by The Big Lottery Fund in 2004 and has already provided over 50,000 veterans with funding, affording them to travel to places such as France, Holland, Italy, Greece, Malta, India, America, the Far East and North Africa. The scheme was extended by 12 months to allow more veterans to participate, with closing date for applications now being 31st January 2012.

Time is fast running out and Ted Cachart desperately wants to spread the word and help as many people as possible access the funds before it is too late. Having been through the successful application process himself, Ted is offering to help others do likewise. Based on his personal experience, he is offering general advice and free help with the associated form filling.

Ted Cachart knows only too well the bravery shown by the men and women who saw active service during World War II. He experienced the terrors himself, from the exceptionally young age of 15 (he 'embellished' his age in order to enlist), and is now appealing to everyone to spread the word that the 'Heroes Return 2' programme is ending in January 2012. It is hoped that many more people can benefit from this opportunity to travel and pay their final and fitting respects, revisit old battlefields and/or visit the sites where their loved ones fought.


F/Sgt. Harold Brian Pullen 149 Squadron

My father Brian Pullen was in 49 squadron and 149 sqd. He trained in Salisbury Rhodesia to be a pilot abut prior to that he was an air gunner with 49 Sqn. I have a large photo of the squadron dated April 1943 in front of a Lancaster.

Peter Pullen

Flt.Sgt. James Hardy 49 Squadron

James Hardy served as a wireless operator with 49 Squadron.

Paul Davison

Sgt. John Shaw 49 Squadron

I came across these pictures in an album of my fathers and hope they might be of interest.

Paul Sadler

Sgt. John Anthony Kirwan DFM. 49 Squadron (d.18th Jul 1944)

Jack Kerwan served as an air gunner with 49 Sqd. He was killed aged 25, son of Michael and Bridget Kirwan, of Dungarvan, Co. Kilkenny, Irish Republic.

John Kirwan

Flt.Sgt. Philip Moore 617 Sqd. (d.15th/16th Sep 1943)

My uncle Philip Moore was the Flight Engineer who flew with pilot Ralph Allsebrook, DSO DFC in Lancaster EE130, which was shot down by flak on the Dortmund Ems canal raid in September 1943. The crew had formerly been with 49 Squadron and had volunteered to join 617 in June 1943 to replace those lost on the Dams raid.
Karen Moore

Sgt. George Humble 49 Squadron (d.18th Aug 1943)

On the night of the 17th/18th of August 1943 an attack was made on Peenemunde. Richard Todd-White and crew were flying on only their second trip of a second tour. All the crew died when Lancaster ED805 (EA-S) S-Sugar was brought down; five members were never found (possibly parachuted into the Baltic). The pilot is buried in Sweden and his 19 year-old gunner, Sgt George Humble is buried in Poland. The crew had only been on the squadron a week.

  • S/L R.N. Todd-White Pilot (Killed)
  • Sgt A. Purrington F/E (Killed)
  • F/O H.O. Batchelor Nav (Killed)
  • F/O B. James W/AG (Killed)
  • Sgt G. Humble A/G (Killed)
  • F/O F. Plant B/A (Killed)
  • gt T. Brocklehurst A/G (Killed)

Sgt George Humble was my uncle, but as I was not born until 1965 obviously I never knew him. I struggle to get my head around the fact that he was only 19, and I know my father (who had himself been in the Burma campaign) struggled with the loss of his little brother George for the rest of his life. My parents found George's grave in Poland when they retired and I have since befriended the relevant association as my way of honouring my uncle.

Ruth Baldasera

Sgt. Clement Alfred Victor Hartley 49 Sqdn (d.7th Apr 1942)

My uncle, Clement Hartley flew with 49 Sqdn. Unfortunately, I do not have a story to tell you. I wished I did. I was named after maternal Grandfather Victor and my uncle Clem. Can anyone give me more information about my namesake please?

W/O. John Wood 49 Squadron

According to my father's log book he was transferred to 49 squadron on 27th Oct 1942 and out on 5th July 1943. His name was John Wood, during this time he completed 31 missions with Bomber command as a Rear and Mid gunner on Lancasters. I am interested in any information you may have about his service during this time.

Vic Wood

Sgt. McCracken 49 Sqdn.

My father was shot down over Germany on the night of 29th March 1943. He was captured and sent to Dulag Luft Oberursal, then to Stalag Luft III Sagan, then Luft VI Heydekrug, then Stalag 357, then Fallingbostel XIB. He was flying a Lancaster for Bomber Command, Squadron 49. His crew were:
  • Sgt McNutt, RCAF
  • P/O Cullum
  • Sgt Robertson, RAFVR
  • Sgt Fazakerley, RAF
  • Sgt Fyffe
  • Sgt Link

    Sgt McNutt, Sgt Robertson and Sgt Fazakerley were all killed and are buried in Raalte General Cemetery, Graves 5 to 7.

  • Andrew McCracken

    WO2 Frank Arthur McNutt 49 Squadron (d.29th March 1943)

    WO Frank Arthur McNutt was killed on 29th March 1943 when his Lancaster was shot down over Germany. The members of the crew were: Sgt McCracken, P/O Cullum, Sgt Robertson, Sgt Fazakerley, Sgt Fyffe and Sgt Link.

    WO McNutt, and Sgts Robertson and Fazakerley are all buried in Raalte General Cemetery, Graves 6 to 8.

    Sgt. James Robertson 49 Squadron (d.29th March 1943)

    Sgt James Robertson, RAFVR was killed on 29th March 1943 when his Lancaster was shot down over Germany. The members of the crew were: Sgt McCracken, WO McNutt, P/O Cullum, Sgt Fazakerley, Sgt Fyffe and Sgt Link.

    WO McNutt, and Sgts Robertson and Fazakerley are all buried in Raalte General Cemetery, Graves 6 to 8.

    Sgt. Thomas Fazakerley 49 Sqdn. (d.29th March 1943)

    Sgt Fazakerley was killed on 29th March 1943 when his Lancaster was shot down over Germany. The members of the crew were: Sgt McCracken, WO McNutt, P/O Cullum, Sgt Robertson, Sgt Fyffe and Sgt Link.

    WO McNutt, and Sgts Robertson and Fazakerley are all buried in Raalte General Cemetery, Graves 6 to 8.

    WO. Philip Henry "Tubby" Gaunt 49 Squadron

    My late father, Tubby Gaunt flew with 49 Sqn. completing his first tour on Hampdens, out of Scampton, 1941 & 42, as wireless op air gunner, having trained in South Africa to be a pilot. Gaining his wings he moved on to Wellingtons at Foggia, with 37 & 70 Sqns. After 23 operations, he iced up and force landed in Gorski Kotar. He and all his crew were safe and fairly sound, where they were helped by Titos partisans, and repatriated back to Tortorella, then back to Liverpool by troop ship. It was late April 1942, and thinking he had done his bit, they demobbed him in November 1945.

    Starting in 1939 having a forced landing at Manston, and a little while later a mid air collision with a Lancaster, later to survive his crash in the mountains of Gorski Kotar, Croatia as it is now, he lived a charmed life indeed.

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