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No. 153 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 153 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 153 Squadron Royal Air Force

   No 153 Squadron was formed at the end of WWI, in November 1918, and was disbanded the following June. In October of 1941 No 153 was formed from a flight from No 256 Squadron. It flew Defiants on night patrols until it received Beaufighters in May 1942, at which point it flew to Algeria for night patrols and convoy protection. In July 1944 a detachment was sent to Sardinia for intruder missions over southern France, and in August 1944 a flight of Spitfires and Hurricanes was added for dawn patrols. Squadron 153 was disbanded in early September 1944. It then reformed with Lancasters, carrying out raids as part of the main force of Bomber Command. After its last offensive mission it dropped food to the Dutch in Rotterdam. After VE-Day No 153 took British ex-POWs home from Belgium and British Troops home from Italy. It then disbanded again in late September 1945.

Airfields No. 153 Squadron flew from:
  • RAF Ballybalbert, County Down from the 14th October 1941 (Defiant I, Beaufighter If, Beaufighter VIf)
  • RAF Portreath, Cornwall from 18th December 1942
  • Maison Blanche from 20th December 1942 (Beaufighter VIf)
  • disbanded at Reghaia, Alberia on the 5th September 1944)
  • reformed at RAF Kirmington, Lincolnshire on the 7th October 1944 (Lancaster I, Lancaster III)
  • RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire from the 15th October 1944


20th Feb 1944 156 Squadron Lancaster lost

23rd Jan 1945 153 Squadron Lancaster lost

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

Those known to have served with

No. 153 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Baird James Franklin. F/O (d.26th August 1944)
  • Barker Noel Rochford Guyse. Flt.Lt.
  • Bell Andrew. Ft/Sgt
  • Crocker George William Osborne. Flt.Sgt.
  • Irving Frederic Cleveland. F/Sgt. (d.16th January 1945)
  • Jones Alan Edger. Flt. Lt. (d.22nd Jan 1945)
  • Powley Francis Sidney. Wing Commander (d.5th April, 1945)
  • Simpson Albert. Sgt. (d.22th Jan 1945)
  • Wicks William Henry. Sgt. (d.14th/15th Feb 1945)
  • Wilkinson Cecil. Sgt. (d.14th October 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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Wing Commander Francis Sidney "Logger" Powley DFC, AFC B flight 166 Squadron (d.5th April, 1945)

photo taken sometime in 1945 of my namesake uncle W/C Francis (Frank) Powley (centre) along with S/L Gee (second from right) and other officers of #153 squadron at Scampton. Both Powley and his friend and colleague Gee, who survived the war, were earlier with #166 squadron at Kirmington.

My namesake Canadian uncle, W/C Francis (Frank) Sidney Powley, was posted CO of "B" Flight 166 squadron based at Kirmington in July 1943. He flew missions from Kirmington until Sept-Oct 1944 when he was promoted to W/C of the re-formed 153 squadron, which was moved to Scampton for the duration of the war. Many of the 166 crews and aircraft were attached to 153. Following his initial flight training at RAF Depot Uxbridge in 1937, Powley was posted first to #4 Flying Training School at Abu Sueir in Egypt and later to 27 squadron in Kohat and other bases in the Northwest Frontier Province of British India. He also served as CO of the Advanced Training School of #1 Flying Training School at Ambala. Powley was listed as missing on the night of 4-5 April 1945 when the Lancaster RA 544 he was piloting on a mine-laying mission off the coast of occupied Denmark was shot down by a German night-fighter. As it happens, I have been living and working as a news journalist in Denmark for the past 30 years. My recent research into the uncle I never knew has turned up some interesting facts and anecdotes both from his time in India and later in Bomber Command in England. Naturally, I would very much appreciate any information, pictures or other material people might have about Powley and his activities at Kirmington.

Frank L. Powley

Ft/Sgt Andrew Bell 153 Sqn.

I believe the picture of this Lancaster crew to have been taken at RAF Scampton in 1945. The pilot, I believe, was F/O Clark and the crew member on the extreme left was my father, Ft Sgt Andrew Bell whose role was that of Air Bomber.

Douglas Bell

Flt.Sgt. George William Osborne Crocker 153 Squadron

My father was George William Osborne Crocker. He was an air gunner during the second world war on Ansons, Wellingtons & Lancasters. On Lancasters he was Mid Upper & Tail End Gunner. He served at Bishopscourt, Wymeswold, Worksop, Scampton & Binbrook. I have my fathers log books that tell of his raids on Germany and his crew who were sent after training to their first operation unit at 153 Squadron at RAF Scampton, his first entry being 12th March 1945.

  • His crew were:
  • Pilot: A. West. Pilot Officer
  • Bomb Aimer: G Cutting SGT
  • Navigator: Mac Millan SGT
  • Engineer: H. Brooks SGT
  • WOP: W. Teagle SGT
  • Rear Gunner: J. Adkin SGT
  • Mid Upper Gunner: G.Crocker SGT

I have dates of his raids on Nordhawsen / Lutzkendorf / Keil Canal where the Admiral Scheer was sunk on 9th April 1945, Bremen and his attack on a daylight raid on Hitlers residence Berchesgaden on 25/04/1945, with his comment " If only he was there" This gives you some background information on my dad; however the most important fact being that he dropped food on Rotterdam in Holland on 1st May 1945, at 300 feet height.

I am now married to a Dutch girl from Rotterdam, we have been together for 38 years. The dropping of food by my dad on Rotterdam saved my wife's parents who lived in Rotterdam at the time. When they met they produced my beautiful wife Ineke. So thank you dad for giving Ineke to me by your deed of dropping this food on the starving Dutch.

George Crocker

Sgt. Albert Simpson 153 Squadron (d.22th Jan 1945)

My dad, Sgt Albert Simpson 1238641, was flying as rear gunner on Lancaster PB636 of 153 Squadron. The pilot was F/Lt Alan Edger Jones. We cannot trace his family or find a photo of him. The op was a raid on a synthetic oil refinery at Duisburg. 286 Lancasters and 16 Mosquitos were involved, out of this number only two Lancasters were lost - PB636 P4D and NG185. My Dad's Lancaster was never seen or heard of again. NG185 was found crashed in Holland and their crew were buried in a war cemetery.

Albert Simpson

Flt. Lt. Alan Edger Jones 153 squadron (d.22nd Jan 1945)

FL/T Alan Edger Jones pilot of Lancaster PB636 of 153 squadron. The op on 22nd January 1945 was a raid on a synthetic oil refinery at Duisburg. 286 Lancasters and 16 Mosquitos were involved and out of this number only two Lancasters were lost - PB636 was never seen or heard of again. NG185 was found crashed in Holland and their crew were buried in a war cemetery.


F/Sgt. Frederic Cleveland Irving 153 Squadron (d.16th January 1945)

My brother, Frederic Irving, was stationed with 153 Squadron at Scampton. He was last heard of on 16th January 1945 when he left on an operation to bomb an oil plant in Seitz and was reported lost without trace. All crew members were presumed dead.

William G Irving

F/O James Franklin Baird 153 Sqdn. (d.26th August 1944)

Does anyone know what happened on F/O J.F.Baird's sortie on 25 or 26 August 1944? He is commemorated on Panel 13, Col. 1 of the Malta Memorial.

Audrey Sinden

Sgt. Cecil "Jack" Wilkinson 153 Sqdn. (d.14th October 1944)

Sgt Cecil Wilkinson was killed on 14th October 1944 during a raid on Duisburg. His aircraft was JB297. He is buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 16.C.9.

Sgt. William Henry Wicks 153 Squadron (d.14th/15th Feb 1945)

Bill Wicks was rear gunner on Lancaster Type 1 NN803 of 153 Squadron which went missing over villages of Amsfeld and Grumbach. All crew of the aircraft were missing or killed.

Mary Hindom

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