You are not logged in.
No. 72 (Bastoland) Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- No. 72 (Bastoland) Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -


Air Force Index
skip to content


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to accept cookies.


If you enjoy this site

please consider making a donation.




    Site Home

    WW2 Home

    Add Stories

    WW2 Search

 WW2 Features

    Airfields

    Allied Army

    Allied Air Forces

    Allied Navy

    Axis Forces

    Home Front

    Prisoners of War

    Allied Ships

    Women at War

    Those Who Served

    Day-by-Day

    Library

    The Great War

 Submissions

    Add Stories

    Time Capsule

    TWMP on Facebook



    Children's Bookshop

 FAQ's

    Your Family History

    Volunteering

    Contact us

    News

    Bookshop

    About

    Links







World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

No. 72 (Bastoland) Squadron Royal Air Force



   Number 72 Squadron formed at Netheravon, July 1917, was based in Basrah, disbanding in September 1919.

No 72 (Basutoland) Squadron was reformed 22nd February 1937, when 'B' Flight of No 1 Squadron at Tangmere was increased to squadron strength. It flew Gladiators at Church Fenton until April 1939 when Spitfires were delivered. At the outbreak of WWII, No. 72 was in the north of England on air defence and convoy protection. The squadron moved south to support the evacuation at Dunkirk in June 1940. During the Battle of Britain, No 72 spent the early days at Acklington as part of No 13 Group, before moving south during September to aid the main defence force. In September 1942, the Squadron moved to Gibraltar to support the Tunisian campaign before moving on to Malta in June 1943 with the updated Spitfire IX, used to support the Allied Eighth Army as it advanced through Sicily. In 1944 it was in Corsica, then moved to France. With German surrender the squadron moved to Austria. It was disbanded there in December 1946.
Airfields No. 72 Squadron flew from.

  • RAF Church Fenton, Yorkshire from 3rd September 1939
  • RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire from 17th October 1939
  • RAF Church Fenton from 1st November 1939
  • RAF Drem, East Lothian from 1st December 1939
  • RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire from 12th January 1940
  • RAF Church Fenton from 13th January 1940
  • RAF Acklington, Northumberland from 2nd March 1940
  • RAF Gravesend, Kent from 1st June 1940
  • RAF Acklington from 5th June 1940
  • RAF Biggin Hill, Kent from 31st August 1940
  • RAF Croydon, Surrey from 1st September 1940
  • RAF Biggin Hill from 12 September 1940
  • RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire from 13th October 1940
  • RAF Coltishall, Norfolk from 20th October 1940
  • RAF Leuchars, Fife from 29th November 1940
  • RAF Acklington, Northumberland from 15th December 1940
  • RAF Gravesend, Kent from 8th July 1941
  • RAF Biggin Hill, Kent from 26th July 1941
  • RAF Gravesend from 20th October 1941
  • RAF Biggin Hill from 22nd March 1942
  • RAF Lympne, Kent from 30th June 1942
  • RAF Biggin Hill from 7th July 1942
  • RAF Morpeth, Northumberland from 4th August 1942
  • RAF Ayr, Ayrshire from 12th August 1942
  • RAF Ouston, Northumberland from 26th September 1942 to 8th November 1942
  • RAF Maison Blanche from 8th November 1942


 

15th Aug 1940 Eagle Day

15th August 1940 


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



Those known to have served with

No. 72 (Bastoland) Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Pigg Oswald St. John. F/O. (d.2nd Sep 1940)
  • Smith William .
  • Winter D. C.. P/O.
  • Young Mervyn F.S.. F/Lt.

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

The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website.

Announcements

  • To commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day, we are launching a new feature, Second World War Day by Day and also a new Library to allow access to records which have previously been held in our offline archive.
  • Looking for help with Family History Research?   Please read our Family History FAQ's
  • The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors. If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.
    If you enjoy this site

    please consider making a donation.

  • We are also looking for volunteers to help with the website. We currently have a huge backlog of submissions which need to be edited for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

Research your own Family History.

June 2017 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 231812, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

      

We are aware of the issue with missing images, this is due to the redesign of the website, images will reappear as soon as the new version of the page is completed, thank you for your patience.

We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates.

If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.



Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to WW2. We would like to obtain digital copies of any documents or photographs relating to WW2 you may have at home.

If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted. World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.








William Smith 72 Squadron

I am the Grand Daughter of William Smith (Bill), and I have been learning the stories today of his time in service in the RAF WW2, Squadron flying Spitfires from Biggin Hill. I have heard some totally mind blowing events, and I am so proud of my Granddad! I feel now, I have to try and do something for him... He has just recently lost his wife, and I would love him to know we all care, and honour him as a person/ Granddad, and a war hero, as many of you are. I would love to find out if there are any events, I could bring my Granddad to in relation to the Spitfires, or 72 Squadron of Biggin Hill. He has not managed to attend such things in the past, but I will make sure we get him there now. His ultimate dream would be to go up in a Spitfire! I have been reading that there is only 3/4 two seaters in the uk, but they are not licensed to carry paying passengers. Would anyone be able to let me know if there is any possibility that a old servent of the RAF, would be able to attend a display, or get a flight in one of these planes. I am so desperate to spark his spirit again, I would appreciate any information on where to bring him for a reunion, or see Spitfires flying again.

Lisa



F/O. Oswald St. John "Ossie" Pigg 72 Squadron (d.2nd Sep 1940)

Oswald St John Pigg was born in Jarrow in 1918 and was the son of the Reverend John James Pigg and Mabel Tyson Pigg of Chatton Vicarage, Northumberland. He went to the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle. Rev John Pigg, was curate at St John's Church in Grainger Street, Newcastle, then chaplain at Durham Prison and vicar of Chatton in Northumberland.

F/O Oswald St John Pigg served in the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. He joined the RAF in March 1937 on a Short Service Commission and was posted to 72 Sqn at Church Fenton on 27 November 1937. On June 2, 1940 he shot down a Ju87 over Dunkirk, then crash-landed, slightly wounding himself, at Gravesend. On 15 August 1940 Oswald shot down a Bf109. The 22-year-old had been involved in an aerial fight and he died when his Spitfire, P9458, was shot down by a Messerschmitt 109 at 11:15am on September 1, 1940. His aircraft crashed and burned out at Elvey Farm, Pluckley. Oswald lies in the Cemetery at Durham, St. Oswald’s Burial Ground and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

Vin Mullen



F/Lt. Mervyn F.S. Young 129 Sqn, 72 Sqn

Mervyn Young with 129 Sqn at RAF Ibsley in the summer of 1943

A good friend of mine was based at RAF Hornchurch in 1943 - Flt Lt Mervyn Young of 129 Sqn & later 72 Sqn in Italy & Europe. He flew Spitfire DV-R (Serial No MH384). Mervyn told me that he was inspired to become a fighter pilot after watching the Howard Hughes Movie Hells Angels about WW1 Fighter pilots. He said his flight commander ‘Wag’ Haw had the same thoughts after seeing the movie.

He flew many missions in Europe including Ram-rod missions in support of the daylight bombing raids, mostly B17’s including the famous Memphis Belle at one time. On one sortie his No 2 Sgt Carmichael was shot down & killed but in 2003 his aircraft was recovered & in Sept' 2003 Mervyn was among the memorial parade with full miltary honours for Sgt Carmichael; lost on a sortie over Belgium & located 60 years later, the fateful sortie was flown while Mervyn was based at RAF Hornchurch.

Sadly Mervyn passed away in March 2006, I enclose a photo taken at RAF Ibsley in his Spit' DV-R (MH384) complete with his mascot logo of Jiminy Cricket.

David Perry



P/O. D. C. Winter 72 Squadron

D.C. Winter served in 72 Sqn. I have a hand written combat report for this officer dated 15th August 1940. He reports shooting down 2 ME110s 30 miles east of Farne Is. He was in Green Sect. of "A" Flt.

John Hughes







Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.









Links


    Suggest a link















    The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.

    This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.

    If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.



    Hosted by:

    The Wartime Memories Project Website

    is archived for preservation by the British Library





    Website © Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
    - All Rights Reserved