- No. 108 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -
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No. 108 Squadron Royal Air Force
No 108 Squadron was reformed at Upper Heyford on 4 January 1937, when 'B' Flight of No 57 Squadron was raised to squadron status. Initially flying Hinds, they were requiped with Blenheims in June 1938. However, in September 1939, 108 squadron joinedr No 2 Group and began carrying out the operational training for the group, and was amalgamated with No 104 Squadron to form No 13 Operational Training Unit on 8th April 1940.
No. 108 Squadron reformed on the 1st of August 1941 at Kabrit in Egypt as a night bomber squadron, equipped with Wellingtons and began operations the following month, bombing targets in Libya and Greece. From November 41 to June 42 a few Liberators were used alongside the Wellingtons. In November 1942 Liberators replaced the Wellingtons and the squadron was reduced as a single flight, which was disbanded on 25th December 1942.
108 Squadron was again reformed as a night fighter unit on the 1st of March 1943 from a nucleus transferring from No 89 Squadron at Shandur, in Egypt. Equipped with Beaufighters the squadron operated over Egypt and Libya. Between June 1943 and July 1944, the squadron operated in the night intruder role from Hal Far and Luqa in Malta, also flying some Mosquito XIIs, before returning to Libya to attack targets in Greece and the Aegean area and following the German withdrawal The squadron moved to Greece, in october 1944 and took part in operations against the Communist rebels trying to take control of the country until March 1945 when it moved to Italy, where it disbanded on 25 March.
Airfields No. 108 Squadron flew from:
- RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. from 3rd to 17th September 1939
- RAF Bicester, Oxfordshire. from 17th September 1939 to 8th April 1940 (Became 13 OTU)
- Kabrit, Egypt. from 1st August 1941 to 15th March 1943 (re-formed then disbanded)
- Shandur, Egypt, from 15th March to June 1943 (re-formed)
- Luqa, Malta. from June 1943 to July 1944
- Libya. from Julyto October 1944
- Greece. from October 1944 to March 1945
- Italy from March 1945 (disbanded)
If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.
Those known to have served with
No. 108 Squadron Royal Air Force
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Barlow William Thomas. (d.8th Aug 1944)
- Fyfe Angus Graham. F/Lt.
- Graham F.. Sgt.
- Hall A. E.. Sgt.
- Hunter George Albert Kitchener. Flt.Sgt. (d.28th June 1942)
- James G. H.. LAC
- Smith Harry Allman. P/O
- Streeting George. WO
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/Lt. Angus Graham Fyfe 108 SquadronOn 12 May 1942 Wellington 1C bomber HF 829 of 108 RAF squadron took off from Nancekuke airfield at Portreath, bound for Gibraltar and eventually for Egypt. On board was a crew of six as follows:
Over the Bay of Biscay the pilot reported that the port boost had gone and immediately the observer set course for Portreath, then the intercom was useless, and after they had done another 40 miles the starboard boost went useless. From this moment the plane flew at a 100 ft above the water and the air-speed dropped to 75 m.p.h. The plane passed Bishop’s Rock and the captain circled the aircraft around the Mount and then to Portreath.
- Sgt. S E Alcock (English) pilot
- Sgt. W. Robinson (N.Z.) second pilot
- Sgt. C. Hill (Canada) navigator
- Sgt. S. Pratt (N.Z.) bomb-aimer/rear gunner
- Sgt. J.A. Peacock (English) front gunner
- Sgt. A.G. Fyfe (N.Z.) wireless operator
The captain was afraid to jettison the petrol due to the instability of the aircraft, he could not make the plane rise and when the approach was made the down-draught from the cliff at Portreath pulled the aircraft down, the front wheels luckily caught the wall at the top of the cliff and the plane burst into flames. All the crew came out through the astrodome, Graham Fyfe minus one flying boot and his false teeth. Jim Peacock had previously turned his (gun) turret to starboard and came out with his parachute. (time was approx. 11.45 a.m.) After crawling away from the aircraft they only went about 50 yards and then the plane exploded and ammunition was flying all around.
Much of the above information came from Jim Peacock in a letter dated September 1978. The hole in the wall at Portreath was still there when we visited in May 2006.
My father joined the RNZAF on 15 March, 1940, and left for Britain on 14 September 1940. His original log-book was lost in the crash at Portreath, so I am a bit hazy about exact dates of his early service, although I know that he served with 18 Squadron in Oulton, Norfolk prior to leaving for Egypt.
The crew left Lyneham for Gibraltar on 29 May 1942 in Wellington Mark 1c, No DV607, and arrived at Kilo 17 in Egypt via Malta on 2 June, 1942. Pilot was Sgt. Alcock, although for most of Graham Fyfe's time in Kabrit his pilot was Sgt Brooks. His last flight was on 20 October 1942, and total operational hours with the squadron are recorded as 256.15 Most of the flights were over North Africa, except for one over Crete. I have a copy of his logbook from May 1942.Ian Fyfe
WO George Streeting 108 SquadronMy father, George Streeting, was in 108 Squadron during WW2. He still has his flying logs and photos from his time in the RAF.Paul Streeting
P/O Harry Allman Smith 108 SquadronHarry Allman Smith, Pilot Officer 108 Squadron, 2nd July 1942 – 26th November 1942
My father Harry Smith joined the New Zealand Air Force in May 1941. He arrived in England from New Zealand via Canada on Christmas Eve 1941 and after various training courses involving spells at Honnington, South Cerney and Harwell/Mount Farm disembarked in the Middle East on 3rd June 1942 to join 108 Squadron. He served with the squadron as second pilot, flying Wellington 1c bombers from their desert airfield, based at Kilo 40, Kabrit, often at night. His targets were based around Tobruk, including the airfield, port and shipping, battlefields and transport movements in the area. His log book of course mostly just records times and dates and targets as well as statistics such as flying hours although he did occasionally note instances of “Caught in searchlight” “ Heavy flak” and on his 39th ops “Close call”. First pilots he flew with included Sgt Brookes, Ft Sgt Murray but mostly P/O Gunn. His last operational flight was a bombing raid on Heraklion airfield on Crete on November 23rd 1942, which was his 40th op. Also recorded were the aborted ops, usually due to an aircraft problem such as “port engine u/s” “dynamo u/s”, when the bomb load would be jettisoned on the way back to base. His last two flights (non ops) with 108 Squadron recorded in his Flying Log were in late November on 26th and 29th with Flight Sgt Murray as 1st Pilot, the laconic comments in the log book being respectively “Bags of fun” and “Cooks Tour”. Overall flying hours with 108 Squadron totalled 532.35 hrs. Of these Day Ops hour total was 26.55 hrs and Night Ops 213.35 hrs (He did 3 further bombing ops with 37 Squadron before transfer to 117 Squadron)Stephanie Santaana
Sgt. A. E. Hall 108 Sqdn.Blenheim L9039, of "D" Flight 130otu took off from Bicester for a formation cross-country exercise. It left the formation in cloud and, banking gently, it crashed on Carnedd Llewelyn 6 miles SSE of Bethesda, Caernarvon. It is thought that the pilot, Sgt A.E. Hall may have been dazzled by the sun after emerging from the cloud. Sgt. F. Graham LAC G.H. JamesAlan
William Thomas Barlow 108 Squadron (d.8th Aug 1944)We have a cup in the Bury Table Tennis League league called the Barlow Cup. The Barlow Cup is named after a man named William Barlow who died serving the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 108 Squadron in 1944 in Alexandria, Egypt. I was able to find William Thomas's grave and as such learned he had a wife named Vera and he was the son of James & Florence Barlow. The Barlow Cup was presented to the Bury league by Vernon Peatfield in 1947. The winner of the open singles championships gets presented this cup. Twice throughout the years it has gone missing but we have it back now. We are getting it restored and it will look great when we have done this.
Both Bill & Vernon were National standard table tennis players in the late 1930s and are featured in a few magazine articles from 1938 & 39 but I cannot find them in any other post war magazines. Vernon & Bill were a formidable doubles team making many finals together. In addition to being doubles partners they were frequently opponents. Bill won the open singles tournament in Bury in 1937/38 and in the 1938/39 season Vernon & Bill were opponents in the open singles final with Vernon being victorious.
This cup has an engraving on the front of it relating to how Bill passed serving for the RAF on the 8th of August 1944. We have correspondence (the last) from Vernon from 1959 stating that even though he moved to Northampton he liked to keep in touch how the Bury League was performing.
Does anyone have any knowledge of anything relating to Bill Barlow or Vernon Peatfield within your memory banks or stores of information, Anything at all relating to Bill Barlow or Vernon Peatfield? Vernon was A Vernon Peatfield. We believe the A stood for Arthur and he possibly married a lady called Marjorie Naylor although this may be incorrect. Bill was W.T Barlow. Anyway, hoping you can help somehow, would love to hear from you.Simon King
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