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No. 87 (United Provinces) Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- No. 87 (United Provinces) Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

No. 87 (United Provinces) Squadron Royal Air Force


No. 87 Squadron reformed at Tangmere on 15 March 1937. On 30 December 1946, the Squadron was disbanded. Airfields at which 87 Squadron were based:

  • Debden Essex 3 Sep 1939 to 9 Sep 1939. & 22 May 1940 to 24 May 1940
  • France with BEF 9 Sep 1939 to 22 May 1940
  • Church Fenton 24 May 1940 to 5 Jul 1940
  • Exeter 5 Jul 1940 to 28 Nov 1940
  • Colerne 28 Nov 1940 to 18 Dec 1940 & 7 Aug 1941 to 27 Jan 1942
  • Charmy Down 18 Dec 1940 to 7 Aug 1941 & 27 Jan 1942 to 2 Nov 1942
  • Phillipeville 2 Nov 1942


12th May 1940 Maastricht bridges

11th August 1940  Ports and ships attacked

13th August 1940  Battle of Britain

15th Aug 1940 Eagle Day

25th August 1940 Battle of Britain

15th Sep 1940 Battle of Britain Day

8th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

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

Those known to have served with

No. 87 (United Provinces) Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Badger I. J.. F/Sgt.
  • Beamont Roland.
  • Carver J. C..
  • Cock J. R..
  • Comley P. W.. P/O (d.15th Aug 1940)
  • Cowley J.. Sgt.
  • Culverwell J. H.. Sgt. (d.25th Jul 1940)
  • Darwin C. W.W.. P/O (d.7th Aug 1942)
  • David W. D..
  • DeSpirlet F. X.E.. P/O (d.26th Jun 1942)
  • Dewar J. S.. (d.12th Sep 1940)
  • Downey James. LAC
  • Gleed I. R.. F/Lt. (d.16th Apr 1943)
  • Glyde R. L.. F/O. (d.13th Aug 1940)
  • Howell F. V.. Sgt.
  • Jay D. T.. P/O (d.24th Oct 1940)
  • Lacock H. K.. F/O. (d.26th Aug 1943)
  • Lovell-Gregg T. G.L.. Sqd Ldr. (d.15th Aug 1940)
  • Malengreau R. F.G.. P/O
  • McLure A. C.R.. P/O (d.20th Jul 1942)
  • McNair Robin John.
  • Mills R. S.. F/Lt.
  • Mitchell H. T.. P/O
  • Nicholls D. B.F.. Sgt.
  • Rayner R. M.S.. F/O.
  • Roscoe G. L.. P/O (d.24th Feb 1942)
  • Tait K. W.. F/O. (d.6th Jul 1941)
  • Thomas A. H.. Sgt.
  • Thorogood L. A.. Sgt.
  • VanLierde W. E.. P/O
  • VanMentz B.. P/O
  • Voase-Jeff R.. F/Lt. (d.11th Aug 1940)
  • Wakeling S. R.E.. Sgt.
  • Walton H.. Sgt.
  • Ward D. H.. F/O. (d.17th Jun 1942)
  • Watson A. R.. P/O (d.28th Nov 1940)
  • Watson R. F.. F/O.
  • Watson R. F.. F/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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LAC James Downey 87 Squadron

I’m looking for Jimmy Downey LAC 87 Squadron who was stationed with the RAF in Palermo,Sicily during WW2 at a time when my father Giovanni (John) Palmeri who had been repatriated there, was working for the Allies in 1943/44.

My father had spent 16 years in the UK before the war as a fruit importer so he could speak English, and after Operation Husky in 1943 he worked for the Occupational Forces as an interpreter and was sent on courses to study mechanics and weaponry in order to equip him for his many roles. In his letters to my (English) mother and myself who had stayed in the UK for the duration, he often spoke of Jimmy with fondness: “I have some dear friends, particularly Jimmy Downey. He comes very often and likes fresh eggs with chips…” My father’s family of origin lived in a flat in Palermo from where he wrote: “Only the other day, I had three English boys home here. As you know, my home is like an English Recreation Home for them, and so many have been visiting us here. Very often I mention them some English food: Roast Turkey, Xmas pudding, Fillet steak and Chips, fish and chips, etc. Lager beer, Guinness etc. We all get so excited. They all say: Shut up, John...” In another letter he said: “…Sorry to tell you that my pal Jimmy Downey is sick. He is such a good fellow. I went to see him in hospital…” My father, who was a Catholic, must have asked Jimmy to write to my mother when he visited Rome. This he did, on 10 August 1944: “I am on leave this week and having a grand time. I’ve visited Rome and seen all the famous sights, including the Vatican. The Pope granted our party an audience, and spoke to each of us for several minutes, asking us where we lived in England and about our families and gave each of us his blessing. I need hardly tell you how thrilled I was. I had a very interesting hour or so in St Peter’s Church, looking at the paintings etc, it really is a wonderful place…. I had a letter from John last week. He is fine and well and sends all his love to Joan and yourself. He seems to be cheerful enough, but I know how he longs to be home again…” I am researching and writing the family history and would love to find out what happened to my father’s friend and if possible contact his family. I gather 87 Squadron was disbanded after the war. As I am housebound, I have to do research through the Internet, but have had no success in finding Jimmy Downey yet.

Giovanna Palmeri

P/O F. X.E. DeSpirlet 87 Squadron (d.26th Jun 1942)

P/O DeSpirlet was a Belgian serving in the RAF as a pilot.

P/O R. F.G. Malengreau 87 Squadron

P/O Malengreau was a Belgian pilot serving in the RAF

P/O W. E. VanLierde 87 Squadron

P/O Van Lierde was a Belgian serving in the RAF as a pilot.

P/O B. VanMentz 87 Squadron

P/O Van Mentz was a Belgian serving in the RAF as a pilot.

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