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No. 98 (Madras Presidency) Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- No. 98 (Madras Presidency) Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 98 (Madras Presidency) Squadron Royal Air Force

13th May 1943 98 Squadron Mitchell lost

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

Those known to have served with

No. 98 (Madras Presidency) Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Barrie George Wellesley. LAC (d.17thJune 1940)
  • Brunton John. AC2 (d.17th June 1940)
  • Dodd Jack. P/O (d.25th July 1944)
  • Eager Kenneth Richard Wilson. Sqd.Ldr.
  • MacAskill John Simeon McPhail. F/Sgt
  • MacAskill John Simeon McPhail. F/Sgt.
  • McGregor Ronald Angus. P/O (d.25th July 1944)
  • Nettleton John Dering. Sqd.Ldr. (d.13th July 1943)
  • Paynter Hugh. S/Ldr. (d.25th July 1944)
  • Riley Thomas Francis. Flt.Sgt. (d.23rd July 1944)
  • Riley Thomas Francis. F/Sgt. (d.25th July 1944)

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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F/Sgt John Simeon McPhail "Bible John" MacAskill 98 Sqd.

Does anyone know of my late father F/Sgt John MacAskill? He trained in Oudtshoorn, South Africa, from 31 Aug 1942- 2nd Jan 1943. He was then with 13 O.T.U Bicester before his first tour of duty with 98 Squadron 3rd May 1944. The Aircrafts he flew were :- Anson, Oxford, Blenheim(1V), Boston (IIIA), Mitchell (IID) It would be lovely if there's anyone still living that flew with him, especially Sgt.Nicholson who he seemed to spend most of his tour of duty. Many thanks,

Fiona MacAskill

Sqd.Ldr. John Dering Nettleton VC. (d.13th July 1943)

Squadron Leader John Dering Nettleton was born 7 in Nongoma, Natal Province, South Africa. He was commissioned in the RAF in December 1938, he then served with Nos. 207, 98 and 185 Squadrons before joining 44 Squadron flying the Handley Page Hampden. He took part in a daylight attack on Brest on 24 July 1941 and in a series of other bombing raids and was mentioned in dispatches in September 1940.

Nettleton was promoted Flying Officer in July 1940, Flight Lieutenant in February 1941 and was a Squadron Leader by July 1941. No. 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron was based at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire at this time and had taken delivery of Lancasters in late 1941.

In 1942 a daylight bombing mission was planned by RAF Bomber Command against the MAN diesel engine factory at Augsburg in Bavaria, responsible for the production of half of Germany's U‑boat engines. It was to be the longest low‑level penetration so far made during World War II, and it was the first daylight mission flown by the Commandos new Avro Lancaster.

On the 17th of April 1942 Squadron Leader Nettleton was the leader of one formation of six Avro Lancaster bombers on a daylight attack on a diesel engine factory at Augsburg, near Munich Germany flying Lancaster Mk I, R5508, coded "KM-B". A second flight of six Lancasters from No 97 Squadron based at RAF Woodhall Spa, close to Waddington, did not link up with the six from 44 squadron as planned, although they had ample time to do so before the aircraft left England by Selsey Bill, West Sussex.

When they had crossed the French coast at low level near Dieppe, German fighters of JG 2, returning after intercepting a planned diversionary raid which had been organised to assist the bombers, attacked the 44 Squadron aircraft a short way inland and four Lancasters were shot down. Nettleton continued towards the target in and his two remaining aircraft attacked the factory, bombing it amidst heavy anti aircraft fire. Nettleton survived the incident, his damaged Lancaster limped back to the UK, finally landing near Blackpool.

His VC was gazetted on 24 April 1942.

Nettleton was killed on 13 July 1943, during a raid on Turin in Italy. His Lancaster KM-Z ED331 took off from Dunholme Lodge and was believed to have been shot down by a night-fighter off the Brest peninsular. His body and those of his crew were never recovered. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

S. Flynn

Sqd.Ldr. Kenneth Richard Wilson "Johnny" Eager DFC MID B Flight 98 Squadron

My father, Kenneth Eager, was born in Exminster, Devon, England on 6th February 1921. He joined the RAF in 1940 and gained his "wings" at the end of that year, after which he was posted to North Africa as a part of Air Sea Rescue.

During his time in the desert he flew mainly Vickers Wellingtons and it was in 1943 that he was awarded the Air Force Cross, having landed in the desert behind enemy lines to rescue a downed Allied pilot. On take-off from the desert a rock punctured one of the tires of the Wellington which forced him to crash land the aircraft when they reached home base.

In late 1943 he was posted back to England to take up training on the B25 North American Mitchell. Upon completion if this training he was posted to number 98 Squadron which was a part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force based at Dunsfold in Surrey, where as a Flight Lieutenant he took part in raids over German occupied France.

On the night of June 5th 1944 my father led one of the first air raids of D-Day on the Germans with a raid on marshaling yards at Caen, in his aircraft was Air Commodore Helmore and a BBC commentator, who was reporting and recording the raid which was one of the first over Normandy on D-Day, which was then played over the BBC radio after D-Day to the world. (See the attached report from his log book below). Later in 1944 he led raids on V-1 rocket sites and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in that year.

Later on in 1944 he was promoted to Squadron Leader and at only 23 years of age, was at the time the youngest Squadron Leader in the RAF and was later asked to be Aid to the King, a position he declined as I his eldest son, had by that time been born.

At the end of the war my father was seconded to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and helped design London Airport. He remained in the RAFVR and flew for two weeks of every year up to 1955 and in 1957 he, with my mother and my siblings, emigrated to Kenya where he took up farming.

John Eager

Flt.Sgt. Thomas Francis Riley 98 Squadron (d.23rd July 1944)

Thomas Riley's aircraft, FV 985 blew up upon release of a bomb when "softening up" doodle bug sites on 23 July 1944. He was buried at St Philbert sur Risle with the other crew members.

F/Sgt. John Simeon McPhail MacAskill 98 Squadron

My late father, F/Sgt John MacAskill, trained in Oudtshoorn, South Africa, from 31st August 1942 to 2nd January 1943. He was then with 13 OTU RAF Bicester before his first tour of duty with 98 Squadron on 3rd May 1944. The aircraft he flew were Anson, Oxford, Blenheim(1V), Boston (IIIA) and Mitchell (IID).

If anyone reading this flew with my father, especially a Sgt. Nicholson with whom he seemed to spend most of his tour of duty, please contact me.

Fiona MacAskill

LAC George Wellesley Barrie 98 Sqdn. (d.17thJune 1940)

My uncle, George Wellesley Barrie, was last seen swimming away from SS Lancastria. Does anyone remember what happened to him?


According to the CWG site, LAC Barrie, 98 Sqdn, RAF is recorded as "lost on SS Lancastria". He is commemorated on Panel 122 at Runnymede.

Joyce Grant

P/O Ronald Angus McGregor 98 Sqdn. (d.25th July 1944)

P/O R. A. McGregor, known as Mac, was stationed at RAF Colerne but later transferred to Scotland. He was an airgunner in a flying fortress. He was buried in St Philbert-sur-Risle Cemetery, Eure, France. Some other members of the crew were:

P/O Jack Dodd, RAF, navigator

S/Ldr Hugh Paynter, RAF, pilot

F/Sgt Thomas Francis Riley, RAFVR, Wop.

M A Jones

P/O Jack Dodd 98 Sqdn. (d.25th July 1944)

P/O Jack Dodd was a navigator in a flying fortress. He was buried in St Philbert-sur-Risle Cemetery, Eure, France. Some other members of the crew were:
  • P/O R. A. McGregor, RAAF, airgunner
  • S/Ldr Hugh Paynter, RAF, pilot
  • F/Sgt Thomas Francis Riley, RAFVR, Wop.

  • S/Ldr. Hugh Paynter AFC 98 Sqdn. (d.25th July 1944)

    Squadron Leader Paynter AFC, was a pilot in a flying fortress. He was buried in St Philbert-sur-Risle Cemetery, Eure, France. Some other members of the crew were:
  • P/O Jack Dodd, RAF, navigator
  • P/O R. A. McGregor, RAAF, airgunner
  • F/Sgt Thomas Francis Riley, RAFVR, Wop.

  • F/Sgt. Thomas Francis Riley 98 Sqdn. (d.25th July 1944)

    F/Sgt. Thomas Francis Riley was a wireless operator in a flying fortress. He was buried in St Philbert-sur-Risle Cemetery, Eure, France. Some other members of the crew were:
  • S/Ldr. Hugh Paynter AFC, RAF, pilot
  • P/O Jack Dodd, RAF, navigator
  • P/O R. A. McGregor, RAAF, airgunner.

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