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No. 78 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 78 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -


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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

No. 78 Squadron Royal Air Force



   78 Squadron was first formed at Newhaven on the 1st of November 1916 as a Home Defence unit, tasked with intercepting enemy Zeppelins attacking the south coast.

No. 78 Squadron reformed in November 1936 at Boscombe Down when 'B' Flight of No 10 Squadron was re-numbered. At the outbreak of the Second World War, 78 Squadron was tasked with the training of newly formed crews before their to posting to operational squadrons. The Squadron began operational night bombing in July of 1940 with their Whitleys until re-equipping with Halifaxes in 1942. In May 1945 it was transferred to Transport Command and, after converting to Dakotas, moved to Egypt. No 78 Squadron was disbanded at Fayid, Egypt at the end of September 1954. Later the squadron was reformed.
Airfields 78 Squadron flew from.

  • Ternhill. 1st to 15th Sep 1939
  • Dishforth. 15th Sep to 15 Oct 1939 & 15th Jul 1940 to 7th Apr 1941
  • Linton-on-Ouse. 15th Oct 1939 to 15th Jul 1940 & 16th Sep 1942 to 16th Jun 1943
  • Middleton St. George. 7th Apr to 20th Oct 1941 & 10th Jun to 16th Sep 1942
  • Croft. 20th Oct 1941 to 10 Jun 1942
  • Breighton. 16th Jun 1943 to May 1945.

The 2017 RAF Middleton St George Memorial Service will take place at memorial garden outside the St George Hotel at 10.30am on 11th November 2017 all are welcome, please arrive in good time. If you would like to lay a wreath please let us know before the service begins. Our memorial garden has recently been refurbished to remember those whose ashes lie in this place. If family members of those who served would like to have ashes placed in the garden, please get in touch so arrangements can be made.


The annual Middleton St George remembrance and reunion weekend will take place on the weekend of the second weekend of June 2017 at the St George Hotel, Durham Tees Valley Airport. This event is open to all who wish to attend:

  • Memorial service, 10.30am on Saturday, please arrive in good time.
  • Three Course Dinner and Entertainment on Saturday evening, must be booked in advance.
  • Special offer on accommodation at the St George for those attending.
  • Raffle to support the Memorial Association, donation of prizes would be most welcome.
  • Come along for the whole weekend or just part of the celebrations.


 

10th February 1941 Operation Colossus

24th May 1943 78 Squadron Halifax lost


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



Those known to have served with

No. 78 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Allberry. Charles Robert Cecil Austin . F/O (d.3rd/4th Apr 1943)
  • Angus. Jack Norman . Sgt.
  • Barnes Edward. Pilot Officer
  • Barnes Edward J. Pilot Officer
  • Barnes Edward J. Pilot Officer
  • Barnes Edward. Pilot Officer
  • Baxter. David . Sgt (d.13th May 1943 )
  • Baxter. Malcolm . Sgt
  • Bovaconti Michael Joseph. Flt.Sgt. (d.31st Aug 1943)
  • Bragg. Richard Edward . P/O (d.13th May 1943 )
  • Bush Robert Ernest. LAC
  • Campbell James Reith. Flt Lt (d.2nd Nov 1941)
  • Clark Charles F . Sgt (d.6th Nov 1942)
  • Daniel Thomas William Reynolds. Sgt. (d.12th June 1943)
  • Dennis Raymond Claud Walter.
  • Downs Bernard Sydney. F/Lt.
  • Duggan Rennie Frank. Sgt. (d.2nd Nov 1941)
  • Dunlop. Robert Obsourne Mitchell . Sgt (d.3rd/4th Apr 1943 )
  • Edgehill C M . Sgt
  • Evans William Herbert. Sgt. (d.31st Aug 1943)
  • Farrell. John Miller . W/O (d.13th May 1943 )
  • Gamble Alec William Henderson.
  • Gell H E . W/O
  • Gell H. E.. W/O
  • Gosling Eric.
  • Greenacre A.
  • Grey Robert . Sgt
  • Grey. Robert . F/Lt (d.13th May 1943 )
  • Hall Geoff.
  • Harvey William. W/O. (d.11th June 1944)
  • Hawkes. Denis .
  • Hetherington William Moffatt Tattersall. Flt.Sgt (d.30th July 1943)
  • Humphries Harry L . F/O (d.6th Nov 1942)
  • Jelfs Arthur Stanley. Sgt. (d.14th July 1943)
  • Jobling. Robert .
  • Jordan. Wilbur Haldayne . Sgt
  • Kerrick. Reginald John . Sgt (d.3rd/4th Apr 1943 )
  • Kew. Allan Alfred . F/Sgt (d.13th May 1943 )
  • Leyshon Alfred David. Sgt.
  • Loyer Wilfred Joseph. Sgt.
  • Mackenzie Thomas Watson. F/Lt.
  • Markille W.. Sgt.
  • Markillie Ken.
  • Martin Hugh Williamson. F/O
  • Masterton L G . Sgt
  • Matches. Rodger David . Sgt (d.13th May 1943 )
  • McCormick. John . Sgt (d.3rd/4th Apr 1943 )
  • McDonald. Alexander . Sgt
  • Mercer James. Sqn. Ldr. (d.2nd Nov 1941)
  • Mills J G . Sgt
  • Morrison G. E.. Sgt.
  • Nickels Edward George. Sgt. (d.30th July 1943)
  • Olsen. Gordon.
  • Payne. Cecil William . Sgt
  • Pope Percy William S. Sqd.Ldr.
  • Pritchard Edwin . Sgt Pilot (d.13th May 1943 )
  • Reilly Albert. F/Eng. (d.6 October 1944)
  • Richardson. Thomas Herbert Ottewill . F/Lt. (d.3rd/4th Apr 1943 )
  • Shadwell. Lancelot Rodney Cayley . F/O (d.3rd/4th Apr 1943 )
  • Sherman. Tony.
  • Short Frank. WO.
  • Simpson Gerald Anthony. (d.28th Apr 1942)
  • Steel Stanley Nelson. Sgt. (d.23rd April 1944)
  • Stevens John. W/O.
  • Stevens John. W/O
  • Strang James. Sgt (d.2nd Jun 1942)
  • Taylor Larry . F/Lt
  • Thompson Walter Gracey. Sgt. (d.2nd June 1942)
  • Turner George T . F/L (d.6th Nov 1942 )
  • Turpin Thomas Edward. (d.1st October 1942)
  • Wayte Clarence. Sgt. (Rear Gunner)
  • Webb Ernest Thomas. Sgt. (d.31st May 1942)
  • Webb. Thomas Henry . Sgt. (d.3rd/4th Apr 1943 )
  • Wenmoth Percival. Sgt. (d.1943)
  • Westall. Edward George . Sgt
  • Willoughby D.
  • Wilson. Douglas Anderson .
  • Woodbine William. Sgt. (d.3rd June 1944)
  • Woodhouse Thomas Peter. Sgt. (d.2nd Nov 1941)
  • Woodhouse Thomas Peter. Sgt. (d.2nd Nov 1941)
  • Wright Eric . Sgt
  • Wright Victor George. Flt. Sgt. (d.2nd Nov 1941)
  • Yarrow Norman. Cpl.
  • Young. Alexander McDonald . Sgt

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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Sqn. Ldr. James Mercer pilot 78 Sqd. (d.2nd Nov 1941)

I need some information of a crew stationed at Croft till the night of the 2nd November 1941 at 0106 hours as the Whitley V got lost after a run on Kiel. After writing to the MoD I found out the Names of the Crew which are as follows:
  • Sqn/Ldr J. Mercer – Pilot (my uncle)
  • Sgt R. F. Duggan – 2nd Pilot
  • Flt/Lt J. R. Campbell – Observer
  • Sgt. T. P. Woodhouse – Wireless operator
  • F/Sgt V. G. Wright – Air gunner

The R.A.F. No. for the aircraft of the Whitley Mk. V was Z9132. I now want to build a plastic model with the same markings as the one from my uncle. So it really would be nice if you could help me in my research for maybe the Identification letters on the Aircraft and nearer information on the other four chaps that got killed, for example Photographs or maybe the an E-Mail address from the relatives. The first two where EY anyway for the 78 Sqn. But the third letter is missing. It really would be great if anyone could help me with that. Thank you. It really would help me.

Christopher Mercer



Sgt. Rennie Frank Duggan 2nd pilot 78 Sqd. (d.2nd Nov 1941)

Sgt Duggan flew with my Uncle, James Mercer, I would love to hear from anyone who knew him.

Christopher Mercer



Flt Lt James Reith Campbell observer 78 Sqd. (d.2nd Nov 1941)

Flt Lt Campbell flew with my Uncle, James Mercer, I would love to hear from anyone who knew him.

Christopher Mercer



Sgt. Thomas Peter Woodhouse w/op 78 Sqd. (d.2nd Nov 1941)

Flt Lt Campbell flew with my Uncle, James Mercer, I would love to hear from anyone who knew him.

Christopher Mercer



Sgt. Thomas Peter Woodhouse w/op 78 Sqd. (d.2nd Nov 1941)

Sgt Woodhouse flew with my Uncle, James Mercer, I would love to hear from anyone who knew him.

Christopher Mercer



Flt. Sgt. Victor George Wright air gunner. 78 Sqd. (d.2nd Nov 1941)

Flt Sgt Wright flew with my Uncle, James Mercer, I would love to hear from anyone who knew him.

Christopher Mercer



Pilot Officer Edward Barnes 78 Squadron

I am the son of P/O Richard Barnes who, with his identical twin P/O Eddie Barnes, were prisoners in Stalag Luft III.

The story of the Barnes brothers meeting each other for the first time in Stalag Luft III is described in Paul Brickhill's book "Escape to Danger" on page 111. Dick was shot down as a navigator in a 50 Squadron Manchester on 30th May 1942, the airplane crash happening in occupied Belgian. The event resulted in the pilot F/O Leslie Manser receiving a posthumous VC for holding the aircraft until the crew could bail out. Dick was captured by the Germans. Almost a year later on 5th May 1943, Dick's brother Eddie, a rear gunner of a 78 Squadron Halifax, was shot down and captured. He also arrived at Sagan and the story of the confusion and humour when Eddie arrived at the camp and was mistaken for Dick and is described in Paul Brickhill's book.

Towards the end of the war the two brothers joined the other POWs in the long march westwards during the winter of 1944/1945 to meet up eventually with Allied forces.

Julian Barnes



Pilot Officer Edward J Barnes 78 Squadron

I am the son of P/O Richard Barnes who, with his identical twin P/O Eddie Barnes, were prisoners in Stalag Luft III.

The story of the Barnes brothers meeting each other for the first time in Stalag Luft III is described in Paul Brickhill's book "Escape to Danger" on page 111. Dick was shot down as a navigator in a 50 Squadron Manchester on 31st May 1942, the airplane crash happening in occupied Belgian. The event resulted in the pilot F/O Leslie Manser receiving a posthumous VC for holding the aircraft until the crew could bail out. Dick was captured by the Germans. Almost a year later on 5th May 1943, Dick's brother Eddie, a rear gunner of a 78 Squadron Halifax, was shot down and captured. He also arrived at Sagan and the story of the confusion and humour when Eddie arrived at the camp and was mistaken for Dick and is described in Paul Brickhill's book.

Towards the end of the war the two brothers joined the other POWs in the long march westwards during the winter of 1944/1945 to meet up eventually with Allied forces.

Julian Barnes



Pilot Officer Edward J Barnes 78 Squadron

I am the son of P/O Richard Barnes who, with his identical twin P/O Eddie Barnes, were prisoners in Stalag Luft III.

The story of the Barnes brothers meeting each other for the first time in Stalag Luft III is described in Paul Brickhill's book "Escape to Danger" on page 111. Dick was shot down as a navigator in a 50 Squadron Manchester on 31st May 1942, the airplane crash happening in occupied Belgian. The event resulted in the pilot F/O Leslie Manser receiving a posthumous VC for holding the aircraft until the crew could bail out. Dick was captured by the Germans. Almost a year later on 5th May 1943, Dick's brother Eddie, a rear gunner of a 78 Squadron Halifax, was shot down and captured. He also arrived at Sagan and the story of the confusion and humour when Eddie arrived at the camp and was mistaken for Dick and is described in Paul Brickhill's book.

Towards the end of the war the two brothers joined the other POWs in the long march westwards during the winter of 1944/1945 to meet up eventually with Allied forces.

Julian Barnes



Pilot Officer Edward Barnes 78 Squadron

I am the son of P/O Richard Barnes who, with his identical twin P/O Eddie Barnes, were prisoners in Stalag Luft III.

The story of the Barnes brothers meeting each other for the first time in Stalag Luft III is described in Paul Brickhill's book "Escape to Danger" on page 111. Dick was shot down as a navigator in a 50 Squadron Manchester on 30th May 1942, the airplane crash happening in occupied Belgian. The event resulted in the pilot F/O Leslie Manser receiving a posthumous VC for holding the aircraft until the crew could bail out. Dick was captured by the Germans. Almost a year later on 5th May 1943, Dick's brother Eddie, a rear gunner of a 78 Squadron Halifax, was shot down and captured. He also arrived at Sagan and the story of the confusion and humour when Eddie arrived at the camp and was mistaken for Dick and is described in Paul Brickhill's book.

Towards the end of the war the two brothers joined the other POWs in the long march westwards during the winter of 1944/1945 to meet up eventually with Allied forces.

Julian Barnes



Sqd.Ldr. Percy William S "Paul" Pope DFC. Air Gunner 13.28.51.78.234.578.Squs

Paul Pope enlisted in 1931 to be an engineer but became air gunner in India Wariston Campaign. He joined 51Sq in 1937. on 23rd Jan 1940 he transferred to 234Sq as an air gunner and flew during the Battle of Britain including 35 hours of fighter sorties over Dunkirk in 3 days. By April 41 he had completed 81 sorties and moved to 39MU Nightfighter Development unit at Colerne. He was involved in an interesting event publicised during Bath bombing when he took off in spare Defiant to defend city.

In June 1942 he joined 78Sq and November 1943 he returned to 51Sq. Completing 507 hours of combat flying. On the 14th of January 1944 he transferred to 578Sq.

After the war in October 1946 he joined the Diplomatic Corp in Denmark and became King Gustarv's buddy having to stay with him all times. Particularly during the King's pub crawling on his bicycle. They had a drinking bet and Paul won himself the Order of the White Elephant. He was Adjutant of 84Group HQ during the Berlin Airlift and was involved with rebuilding airfields. He retired 15.3.1954 and became a significant member of the Airgunners Association London Branch. He died in September 1981.

Chris Pope



F/O Hugh Williamson Martin DFM. 78 Squadron

My father has told me numerous stories about my great uncle Hugh Williamson Martin who was in No.78 Squadron. To our delight we have been able to find out a bit about his RAF record. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal aged 21 whilst serving with No. 78 Squadron. He was promoted to Flight Sgt on the 1st of May 1942 and his appointment to commission as Flying Officer was on the 16th of May 1946 when he was age 26.

We would love to hear from anyone who knew or served with Hugh.

J.P. Martin



Sgt James Strang 78 Squadron (d.2nd Jun 1942)

My father, James Strang was stationed at Croft with 78 Sqn, he survived the first thousand bomber raid but stood in for his mate who was getting married and was shot down on the second thousand bomber raid on the 2nd Jun 1942. I understood that he was on a Stirling. His pilot bailed out and was a prisoner of war. He sent my mother a letter telling what happened and I still have it.

Malcolm Strang



Sgt. Edward George Nickels 78 Squadron (d.30th July 1943)

Uncle Teddy died when his Halifax went down into the Channel on the night of the 29th July 1943 following a bombing raid, 17 years before I was born. He was 19. I only know that the plane was spotted on fire coming back to base before ditching. I believe one body was eventually recovered but not the wreckage. I'd love to hear about any other families who had relatives who might have flown with Uncle Teddy.

Tina Henderson



Cpl. Norman "Silver" Yarrow 78 Squadron

My father, Norman Yarrow, was employed in the Locomotive works in Darlington. Shortly after the outbreak of war he volunteered to join the R.A.F. His basic training took place in Blackpool and then he was trained as a Flight mechanic.

He was posted to 76 Squadron at R.A.F. Middleton St. George which was a newly constructed airfield. 76 Squadron were the first to operate from this station. Shortly after opening, 76 Squadron was joined by 78 Squadron at Middleton. (Also known locally as Goosepool) As he was fortunate enough to live in Darlington, only five miles from the airfield he was granted an S.O.P. (sleeping out pass) On some occasions, in school holidays, I would ride along with him on the morning trip to “work.” I was nine years old at that time. I took sandwiches and spent a large part of the day sitting on the fence beside the railway lines which formed the airfield boundary. I was about 25 yards from a dispersal point and watched all the activity. On my many vigils I watched the “Erks” doing routine maintenance, armourers bombing up and fitting ammunition belts, I knew that this indicated that the squadron would be operating that night. Later on when I was at home in bed I could hear the aircraft taking off and circling before setting course for the target of that nights raid.

I remember that there always seemed to be plenty of activity during the day. I particularly liked to watch the aircraft after an air test when they approached the main runway, they flew directly over my head and seemed very low. I recall one occasion when an Oxford from some other airfield collided in mid air with one of the 76 Squadron aircraft doing “circuits and bumps.” Some of the wreckage fell at the far side of the airfield closer to the River Tees. There were no survivors!

I did return to Middleton St. George some years later when, as a Cadet I was taught to fly in a Kirby Cadet. It is now a civilian airport and I have used it to fly to a holiday destination. I still remember the Halifaxes though!

Clifford Yarrow



Ken Markillie 78 Squadron

Ken Markillie a relative of mine is one of the last shot down bomber boys still alive. He was in 78 Squadron, shot down, captured and imprisoned in one of the Stalags. He was then forced on the 600 mile death march, only to watch while so many dropped by the wayside and were finished off by the Germans. He was a tail gunner in a Halifax.

Neil Monson



Sgt. Percival Wenmoth 78 Squadron (d.1943)

My uncle J P Wenmoth, 78th squadron (RAF) died in 1943 and was buried in Souilly Churchyard, Meuse, France. I do have a number of pictures of him and others standing in front of plane, probably in Brighton.

Jean Ragheb



Flt.Sgt William Moffatt Tattersall Hetherington 78 Squadron (d.30th July 1943)

Flight Sergeant William Moffatt Tattersall Hetherington (b.1914) of Regina was Killed in Action on the 30th July 1943 and is buried at Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf, Germany. He was serving with No. 78 Squadron RAF as a navigator. Hetherington's Halifax went down at Bad Oldsloe, southwest of Lubeck. He was the son of William Henry Hetherington a grocer and his wife Emma nee. Tattersall. He left a wife Esther Ellen nee. Percy and daughter Beverley Anne. William was a graduate of Haultain School and Scott Collegiate. He was a grocery broker when he enlisted at Regina in 1941. He had a younger sister Thelma Hetherington. He was a kind-hearted and loyal man, he was married, and his family came from England. He served his life but his spirit lives on.

Anonymous



Sgt. Walter Gracey Thompson 78 Squadron (d.2nd June 1942)

My uncle Walter Gracey Thompson, from Belfast in Northern Ireland, was a pilot with 78 Squadron of Bomber Command from Croft during WW2. He held the rank of Sergeant and flew a Halifax plane, code EY- Mark 11. On 2nd June 1942 he was shot down and killed off the Dutch coast, aged 22. He was buried at Essen and is commemorated at Runnymede. Many years after his death it was still painful for his older brother,my father, and the rest of the family to talk about him, so I don't know much about his life. I remember being told that like some of the other pilots, he had a little dog he used to take on flights with him, although it was forbidden. I would be interested to hear of any pets the airmen kept and any other details of how they lived.

Lorna Paterson



Gerald Anthony Simpson 78 Sqd (d.28th Apr 1942)

My uncle, Sergeant Gerald Anthony Simpson was a pilot in 76 Squadron based at Middleton St George during the 2nd World War. He was killed in action over France on April 28th 1942 and is buried in Dunkirk Town Cemetery. I know some of his crew survived the crash landing. I would be very interested to know more about his service at Middleton St George, the circumstance of his death and if any of the crew are still alive today

Chris Lumley



Sgt. Alfred David Leyshon 78 Squadron

Alfred Leyshon served with 78 Squadron, Royal Air Force during WW2.

Gillian Mills



Sgt. Arthur Stanley Jelfs 78th Squadron (d.14th July 1943)

Arthur Stanley Jelfs was a sergeant in 78 Squadron flying out of Breighton Airfield, North Yorkshire on the night of 14th July 1943. He was a Bomber Aimer/Air gunner; his aircraft was shot down near Giessenburg, Holland.

All crew were lost, they were

  • Pilot Warrant Officer Peter Horrocks,
  • Flight Engineer Sgt Wyndham Hadrian Harries,
  • Wireless Operator Sgt Jack Chaplin,
  • Navigator Flight Officer Charles Douglas Alexander Hosken RCAF,
  • Air Gunner Sgt Richard William Rouse,
  • Air Gunner Sgt Geoffrey Bowden.

Their bodies were all recovered and buried side by side in Crooswijk Roman Catholic Cemetery Rotterdam. There is to be a memorial unveiling ceremony on the 2nd of May 2015; dedicated to include these men along with the crews of another British Halifax, and two American B17's at Giessenburg, which is part of the municipality of Giessenlanden Holland.

If anyone has a photo of these crew members would you share it with me please?

Suize



F/Lt. Bernard Sydney Downs DFC. 78 Squadron

Bernard Downs died in 2015 in Bexhill-On-Sea, East Sussex. He was born in 1923 in Lambeth, London. He married Ann Gibson in spring 1949 in Lambeth, Surrey.

Flt Lt Bernard Downs DFC, 78 Squadron: The London Gazette of Friday, the 26th of May, 1944. Tuesday, 30th of May 1944: DFC Award: "Acting Flt. Lt. B. S. Downs R.A.F.V.R., No. 78 Sqn. Flight Global 20th of July 1944. Acting Flight Lieutenant Bernard Sydney Downs (169114), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 78 Squadron. Flight Lieutenant Downs is a highly efficient and devoted captain of aircraft. He has completed a large number of sorties and throughout has displayed the greatest determination to bomb his targets successfully. His example has greatly inspired his crews."

Bernard's appointment to commission was as a Pilot. Officer on probation (emergency) from being a Warrant Officer on the 28th of November 1943. He was promoted from Fight Officer to Ft. Lt. (war subs.) on the 28th Nov. 1945. Bernard was transferred to a direct commission as a Flight Lieutenant having served twelve years on the active list and four years on the reserve on the 8th Oct. 1954 (period of service to count from 5th Oct.1948).

He is listed in the Acknowledgement Pages of "Men Of Air: The Doomed Youth Of Bomber Command" by Kevin Wilson and also " Bomber Boys: The RAF Offensive of 1943" by Kevin Wilson'.

Kevin Regan



W/O. John Stevens 78 Squadron

W/O John Stevens RAF 78 Squadron was a pilot of Halifax W1180. He and his crew crashed on 6th of August 1942 at Posterholt in The Netherlands, a small village on the Dutch/German border.

He and two another crew members became POW's and were send to Stalag 344:

  • John Stevens 25119. Pilot
  • A Greenacre 25631 Flight Engineer
  • D Willoughby 25123 Airbomber
If you can remember this airmen or have pictures please let me know.

Michel Beckers



W/O. William Harvey 78 Squadron (d.11th June 1944)

My late father's brother, Willie Harvey, is buried in Stonefall Cemetery, Harrogate and I was told he was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident. He was a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. I would love to hear from anyone who served with or knew him.

Debra Hughes



Sgt. Thomas William Reynolds Daniel 78 Squadron (d.12th June 1943)

I never met Tom Daniel, he was my mother's cousin. His picture in his flying suit bearing the Welsh Dragon, lived on the wall in my Grandmothers sitting room adjacent to my mother's in her WREN uniform. He must have been exceptionally brave as he was a tail gunner. The family story says he volunteered for his final flight. I have visited his grave and those of all the crew of the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley in Eindhoven General Cemetery in the Netherlands.

Claire Hudson



A Greenacre 78 Squadron

A Greenacre was flight engineer in Halifax Bomber W1180 of RAF 78 Squadron. They crashed on 6th August 1942 at Posterholt in The Netherlands (a small village on the Dutch/German border). He and two other crew members became POW's and send to Stalag 344.




D Willoughby 78 Squadron

D Willoughby was air bomber in Halifax Bomber W1180 of RAF 78 Squadron. They crashed on 6th August 1942 at Posterholt in The Netherlands (a small village on the Dutch/German border). He and two another crew members became POW's and were sent to Stalag 344.




W/O John Stevens 78 Squadron

Who can remember W/O John Stevens RAF 78 Squadron? He was a pilot of a Halifax Bomber W1180. He and his crew crashed on 6th August 1942 at Posterholt in The Netherlands (a small village on the Dutch/German border).

He and two another crew members became POW's and were sent to Stalag 344

  • John Stevens Nr. 25119. Pilot
  • A Greenacre nr. 25631 Flight/Engineer
  • D Willoughby Nr 25123 Airbomber




Alec William Henderson Gamble 78 Sqdn.

My grandfather, Alec Gamble, was in 78th squadron. He spoke quite a bit about some parts of the war but kept rather quiet about others. It would be lovely to hear more from anyone who knew him or the relatives of people who remember him. I'd love to know more.

He was shot down in a Halifax 2 on 31st May 1942. He was a rear gunner and was unable to bail out, so went down with the plane. I recognise some of the names listed from his stories. Other names I can't recall but still have the stories stuck in my head. He had the squadron photo on his bedroom wall, I shall have to see if I can borrow and scan it to share.

Emma



Raymond Claud Walter Dennis 78 Squadron

I served in 78 Squadron during World War 2 and was shot down and spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft 3.

R C W Dennis



Sgt. (Rear Gunner) Clarence "Cal" Wayte 78 Squdron

Flight planning Log of final flight

Cal was rear gunner on Halifax II bomber (W7937) on a bombing raid from Linton-on-Ouse to Essen on 3/4April 1943. Due to the failure of the port inner engine. As the crew left the Halifax, two more engines cut. P/O Forster was unable to leave the aircraft; he has no known grave. Cal spent the rest of the war in POW Camps mainly in Poland.

Mike Paling



F/Eng. Albert Reilly 78 Squadron (d.6 October 1944)

My late, would have been, uncle was killed in action on 6 October 1944 (aged 22) before I was born. Albert Reilly was a flight Engineer with 78 Squadron based at RAF Breighton, Yorkshire, when on a flight to bomb Germany he was killed when the aircraft Halifax Mk 3 MZ310 was in collision with another Halifax from 78 Squadron from RAF Breighton over Belgium/Holland, (Grand Bloksepolder) near Oude Tonge.

All crew from both Halifaxes were killed (14 crew) and my uncle was buried in the military cemetery at Bergen op Zoom.

I am trying to find out more information about what caused the collision and obtain a picture of my late uncle.

Coincidentally, Albert Reilly's own uncle, Albert Victor Reilly was killed in action in the 1st World War on 14 October 1918. He was a gunner in the Royal Filed Artillery and died only weeks before the end of the war.

It is a sad story for my mother's side of the family i.e. Reilly which I am endeavouring to try and find more information.

Paul Webb



F/Lt. Thomas Watson Mackenzie DFC. A flight 78th Squadron

I have been researching my father's wartime history and have his flight log and many pictures of the crew etc which I would like to share with the Association. He died in 1972

Sheila F Mackenzie



Sgt. Stanley Nelson Steel 78 Sqdn. (d.23rd April 1944)

Sgt Harry Steel flew as an airgunner with 78 Squadron. He died on 23rd April 1944 and is buried in Hastings Cemetery.

Aubrey



Thomas Edward Turpin 78 Sqdn. (d.1st October 1942)

I am looking for the surviving POWs Sgt K. Markille and Sgt G.E. Morrison, both of 78 Squadron, who were imprisoned in Stalag 344 Lamsdorf. My uncle, Tom Turpin, RCAF was killed in action, along with the rest of the crew on 1st October 1942 on the way to Flensburg. They crashed in the vicinity of Schleswig. Any information would be great.

Scott Turpin



Sgt. W. Markille 78 Sqdn.

I am looking for the surviving POWs Sgt K. Markille and Sgt G.E. Morrison, both of 78 Squadron, who were imprisoned in Stalag 344 Lamsdorf. My uncle, Tom Turpin, RCAF was killed in action, along with the rest of the crew on 1st October 1942 on the way to Flensburg. They crashed in the vicinity of Schleswig. Any information would be great.

Scott Turpin



Sgt. G. E. Morrison 78 Sqdn.

I am looking for the surviving POWs Sgt K. Markille and Sgt G.E. Morrison, both of 78 Squadron, who were imprisoned in Stalag 344 Lamsdorf. My uncle, Tom Turpin, RCAF was killed in action, along with the rest of the crew on 1st October 1942 on the way to Flensburg. They crashed in the vicinity of Schleswig. Any information would be great.

Scott Turpin



Sgt. William Woodbine 78 Sqdn. (d.3rd June 1944)

My uncle William Woodbine was stationed at Holme On Spalding Moor and who lost his life on 3rd June 1944 in a Halifax III bomber over France on Operation Trappas. I am searching for any information I have a few details after this date, i.e his burial site, but would like to know of anyone who knew or had contact with him before he lost his life.

Terry Woodbine



Flt.Sgt. Michael Joseph Bovaconti 78 Squadron (d.31st Aug 1943)

Letter from 78 Sqn CO

Flight Sergeant (Air Gunner) Michael J. Bovaconti was the tail gunner on a heavy bomber run to Berlin when his plane was lost without a trace. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Bavoconti of Toronto, Canada. His remains were recovered by the Germans and he is buried in The Berlin 1939-1945 Cemetery.

Kelsey Archibald



Sgt. William Herbert Evans 78 Sqd (d.31st Aug 1943)

Navigator Willie Evans died in the early hours of 31st of August 1943 during a raid over Monchengladbach. All but one of the Halifax crew lost their lives that night at Gerderath




Sgt. Ernest Thomas Webb 78 Squadron (d.31st May 1942)

Sgt. Ernest Webb died on the 31st of May 1942 at Spalding, Lincolnshire, He was a 21 year old W.Op./Air Gnr. On the night of the first 1000 bomber raid he flew in Halifax V.9991 to Cologne. On route back the Halifax began to ice up and over the UK at 1600 feet the crew were ordered to bail out. The Halifax did a belly landing at Wittering Airbase. Earnest was the only casualty and died on route to the hospital after bailing out.

My father remembers him dressed in his RAF blue uniform, "he was a lovely cousin" were his comments.

Mark Webb







Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.



Goosepool.

Stan Howes


The History of RAF and RCAF Middleton St George and Teesside Airport
More information on:

Goosepool.




Into the Night Sky: RAF Middleton St George: A Bomber Airfield at War

Paul Tweddle











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