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No. 84 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 84 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 84 Squadron Royal Air Force

   No: 84 Squadron moved to the Western Desert at the outbreak of the war, flying Blenheims. They took part in the campaigns in Greece, Iraq, Syria and Persia. In 1942 the Squadron was transferred to the Far East theatre, carrying out raids on Japanese forces in Sumatra, Batavia and Java. The Squadron was over run by Japanese forces in Java and all were taken prisoner except a small party including the CO and 11 aircrew. No 84 Squadron reformed in India and went on to serve in Malaya and Singapore. 84 Squadron also flew the Vultee Vengence in 1943 and converted to Mosquitos in July 1944 but the tropical conditions were not suitable for the wooden airframe as the high humidity spoiled the glue.
Airfields No: 84 Squadron flew from.
  • Heliopolis
  • Habbaniya
  • Manipur


16th April 1941 Airfield bombed

8th February 1942 Retreat from Singapore

12th February 1942 Sumatra abandoned; 27 Squadron disbanded

26th Feb 1942 Evacuation from Java

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

Those known to have served with

No. 84 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Goldfinch John Howard. F/Lt.
  • Hadrick Frederick. LAC. (d.16th Feb 1944)
  • Holden Joseph Ignatius . AC2. (d.22nd June 1943)
  • Johnson David. LAC
  • Taylor Freddie. AC1. (d.24th Nov 1943)
  • Wilkinson Jack Stuart. LAC.

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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AC2. Joseph Ignatius Holden 84 Squadron. (d.22nd June 1943)

I found a mass card in my aunt's papers. The card says "Pray for the soul of Joseph Ignatius Holden. R.A.F Youngest son of Mr and Mrs R Holden of Woodplumpton Lodge, nr Preston who died June 22nd 1943 at Haroekoe, Dutch East Indies, while a prisoner-of-war in the hands of the Japanese, aged 21 years". The Holdens were family friends.

Roberta Snape

LAC David Johnson 84 Squadron

Early February 1941 my Dad, David Johnson then aged 28 was working at Salford Electrical Instruments, then a Munitions factory on Silk St, Salford. He was in a reserved occupation and was not required to join the services. When a minor event changed this. Dad and a couple of workmates called at the pub in their lunch break unfortunately they arrived back at work a little late. There was a no nonsense approach to life those days, and Dad and his workmates were sacked. Mam was six months pregnant with their first child, Dad knew his priority was a wage coming in so he immediately went to the recruiting office and joined the RAF.

Going to war and fighting the enemy would have been nothing in comparison to telling my mother what had occurred. They had been married for three years and were renting a three bed. terraced hovel on West St, Lower Broughton. Mam at times could be terrifying, and no doubt verbally and possibly physically would have wiped the floor with Dad. Their parting would not have been amicable.

The next day Dad was at Recruit centre RAF Padgate, then after that onto 4 wing 5 recruit Centre West Kirby. Dad was based at Cranwell College on a training course in May when my older sister was born, the day after her birth Dad was granted five days leave. (And apart from one day in September of that year, that was the last Mam saw of him until June 1945). In April 1942 he was posted to Care and Maintenance party based at Santa Cruz, Station Headquarters, India. After this, 84 Squadron, 7084 Servicing Echelon.

He came home to England in May 1945 and was based for a short time at 1 Air crew officers school, RAF Hereford. He had an exemplary service record and a good conduct badge A1st. February 1946 Dad was demobbed from 101 Personnel Dispersal Centre RAF Kirkham.

It was hard for Mam without Dad whilst he was in India, and sadly, she never really forgave him for joining up. As a child I remember the dreadful traumatic scenes in the house my sister and I witnessed, we with our arms around Dad, all three of us sobbing uncontrollably as Mam verbally attacked him, and even threatened him with the poker. She was a strong woman not afraid of anyone either man or woman. Dad was a wonderful father to us, kind, thoughtful, caring, he loved us very much. Over the years Mam softened towards Dad, she realized she could not have had a better husband.


AC1. Freddie Taylor 84th Sqd. (d.24th Nov 1943)

Aircraftman 1st Class Freddie Taylor died on 24th November 1943, aged 24 and is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial in Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore. He was the son of Ada Taylor and Edward Taylor of Hindhead, Surrey

s flynn

LAC. Jack Stuart Wilkinson B Flight 84 Squadron

FEPOW 84th Squadron Reunion Nov 1948

Dog Tag Front

Dog Tag Back

84th Squadron Reunion Nov 1948 group

Jack Wilkinson enlisted in the RAFVR on 25th Jan 1940 and was assigned to 84th Squadron (Blenheim IV’s). His Service Record as recorded by war office) shows: 22nd Jul 1940 to the Middle East stationed in Southern Greece and Crete at the RAF Base at Herecklion; then to Iraq at Mosul; to Egypt at Giza and then in Tel Aviv, Then stationed in Southern Greece at Heliopolis. The aircraft left for Palembang on 13th January 1942. The main route the aircraft took was by way of Habbaniya, Bahrein Island, Sharjah, Karachi, Allahabad, Calcutta (Dum-Dum), Toungoo, Rangoon, Lhoknga, Pakan Baros to Palembang. The Sea Party left Heliopolis at 21.00 hours on the 16th of January and reached Port Tewfik at about 04.00 hours on the 17th, and then embarked on "HT Yoma" during the forenoon and left about 14.00 hours same day. They sailed via Aden and Colombo to Oosthaven, Sumatra, where they arrived on the 14th February (the day that the Japanese parachute troops invaded Palembang (P1) aerodrome. On the 23rd Jan 1942 the Squadron retreated to Oosthaven, then by boat to the northern tip of Java on the SS ”Silverlarch” On the 15th Feb 1942 by train to Batavia (Jakarta) where they were billeted in Dutch Barracks at Meesters Cornelis. They were at Kalidjati aerodrome for only 48 hours and then were attacked by the Japanese. They left by convoy to Bandoeng. On 6th March 1942 they abandoned Bandoeng and made for Tlilajap on south coast to search for escape ship. On the 7th April 1942 in Sumatra at Pelembang.

On the 3rd July 1942 he was captured by Japanese forces, transferred to Boei Glodok Jail (Batavia). He was subsequently moved to PoW camp on Java – transferred via a port on the Rio Janeiro Maru, then to Ambon, to the Molucas Islands, to Singapore and finally to Pakan Baroe (the other 'death railway').

He was freed on the 2nd Sept 1945 and returned home via Singapore to Liverpool on SS Monowai, stopping at Adabiya and Suez. He arrived home and was granted 117 days leave from No.104 PDC Dispersal Centre. On the 8th January 1946 he was released from RAF service.

Kim Wilkinson

F/Lt. John Howard Goldfinch 84 Sqdn.

My father, John Goldfinch, trained in Australia but was posted to the RAF in 84 Squadron in which he served through the war. He did not speak much of his experience, but experienced depression issues towards the end and was hospitalised with his problems. He met his wife in the hospital who was nursing there.

Roger Goldfinch

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