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No. 158 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 158 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 158 Squadron Royal Air Force

   No 158 Squadron was originally formed and disbanded in late 1918 without ever becoming operational.

It re-formed at Driffield as a bomber squadron in No 4 Group, beginning with Wellington medium bombers in February 1942, converting to Halifax heavy bombers over the summer of 1942. No 158 took part in many major raids on naval and industrial targets, and participated in the mine-laying campaign. No 158 Squadron's final wartime operation was an attach on Wangerooge in April 1945. The squadron was disbanded on the 16th August 1945.

Airfields No. 158 Squadron flew from:

  • RAF Driffield, Yorkshire from the 14th February 1942 (formed. Wellington II)
  • RAF East Moor, Yorkshire from the 6th June 1942 (Halifax II. detached to Coastal Command)
  • RAF Beaulieu, Hampshire from the 25th October 1942 (Halifax. returned to Bomber Command)
  • RAF Rufforth, Yorkshire from the 6th November 1942
  • RAF Lissett, Yorkshire from the 28th February 1943 (Halifax III. to Transport Command May 1945)


 History of RAF Lisset



10th Apr 1942 Wellington Lost

14th Apr 1942 Wellington Lost

8th Nov 1942 Halifax Lost

3rd Apr 1943 Aircraft Lost

16th Apr 1943 Halifax Lost

16th Apr 1943 Halifax Lost

26th Apr 1943 Halifax Lost

28th Apr 1943 Aircraft Lost

3rd Aug 1943 158 Squadron Halifax lost

18th Aug 1943 158 Squadron Halifax lost

3rd Nov 1943 Bomber Command

3rd Nov 1943 Bomber Command

21st Dec 1943 158 Squadron Halifax lost

15th Feb 1944 158 Squadron Halifax lost

20th Feb 1944 Halifax Lost

19th Mar 1944 

24th Mar 1944 Aircraft Down

31st Mar 1944 158 Squadron Halifax lost

10th Apr 1944 Aircraft Lost

11th Apr 1944 Halifax Lost

18th Apr 1944 Halifax Lost

18th Apr 1944 Halifax Lost

18th Jul 1944 Aircraft Lost

26th Jul 1944 Aircraft Lost

25th Oct 1944 Bomber Command

25th Oct 1944 158 Squadron Halifax lost

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

Those known to have served with

No. 158 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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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A. G. "Pop" Salter pilot 158 Sqd.

My father, Gwyn Jenkins, flew 16 sortees with A.G. "Pop" Salter from Lisset. Pop Salter was completing his second tour. If anybody remembers my father or any of the others in Pop Salters crew please send me an email.

Peter Jenkins

Gwyn "Snowy" Jenkins flt eng. 158 Sqd.

My father, who is the last surviving member of A.G. "Pop" Salter's crew was based at Lisset from June 1944 until the Squadron moved to Stradishall and exchanged their Halifaxes for Stirlings and changed destinations from Fortress Europe to India. Dad flew 36 operations, 16 of them as "spare" Flight Engineer as Pop Salter "only" had to do 20 ops to complete his second tour. If anybody remembers my father or any of the others in Pop Salters crew please send me an email.

Peter Jenkins

Flt Sgt. James Leslie Rixon Grey 158 Squadron

The little I know of him is as follows. First from a family contact, the second info from

James Leslie Rixon Grey. Enlisted WWII RAAF. Rel: Baptist. Service No: 421086. Warrant Officer. Promoted to Flight Sergeant 20th February 1943. Missing, believed killed 15th July 1943 in operational flight behind enemy lines. Captured 28th July, taken POW at Stalag 357.


  • Service Royal Australian Air Force
  • Service Number 420186
  • Date of Birth 27 Jun 1921
  • Place of Birth CROYDON PARK, NSW
  • Date of Enlistment 11 Oct 1941
  • Locality on Enlistment HAMILTON
  • Place of Enlistment SYDNEY, NSW
  • Next of Kin GREY, WILLIAM
  • Date of Discharge 29 Oct 1945
  • Rank Warrant Officer
  • Posting at Discharge 2 MEDICAL REHABILITATION UNIT
  • WW2 Honours and Gallantry None for display
  • Prisoner of War Yes

Joye Rixon Walsh

Kenneth L. Smith 158 Squadron

My grandfather, Kenneth L. Smith, served as Rear Gunner 158 Squadron, on Halifax, J-Jiggs out of Lissett England. We would love to be able to find someone that flew with him or served at the same time as him.

Sue Sharpe

Flt.Sgt. Harold Chambers 158 Squadron

Harold Chambers was my father. He very rarely talked about his experiences and we have only a few things that we know. He was with 158 Sqaudron at Lissett. He was the Flight Sgt on a Halifax 111 bomber, MZ734 NP-U. They took off from Lissett at 12:42 hours on 25th October 1944, the target being Essen, unfortunately they were shot down and the crew were taken prisoners. The crew consisted of
  • Flt Lt WD Harrison pilot
  • Fl Officer H Lanzetter
  • F1 Officer RJ Armstrong
  • Sgt H Chambers
  • Sgt TW Rutland
  • Sgt GR Johnson
  • Sgt WT Williams
Sgt Williams died in captivity on the 13th of April 1945, he was only 19 years old. Dad arrived back in England March 1945, which was earlier that other POW's. Rhis information was given to me by Rodger Stanton from the WW2 Escape Lines Memorial Society. Dad told us that he had escaped during the long march but this does not seem to fit with when others say the camp was moved. If anyone can advise on this I would be most grateful

Beverley Eccleston

Sgt. John William Furniss 158 Squadron (d.11th December 1942)

Sergeant John Furniss (1575389) was an Air Gunner (Rear Gunner) in 158 Squadron. He was originally from a farming family in rural Northamptonshire, before joining the RAF during World War 2.

On December 11th 1942, his Halifax Mark II bomber (Serial DT579 Code NP-V)took off from RAF Rufforth at 1645h, as part of a formation of 82 aircraft on Operation Torino (destination Turin). Many of the aircraft had to turn back however due to icing on the wings. Sadly John's aircraft was hit over central France by a heavy barrage of flak. The aircraft crashed near the village of Villeneuve-en-Montagne, with debris spread over a wide area. All crew were lost - John was 19 years old when he died. The villagers attended the crash site and hid the bodies of the crew from the Germans, before giving them a burial in their village cemetery - Only 2 of the bodies were identifiable due to the situation of the crash. To this day all 7 crew lay in a collective grave in this quiet rural corner of France. Their sacrifice is regularly honoured by the local community.

Anne-Marie Walduck

F/O Don Hall 158 Squadron

Flying Officer Don Hall served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during WW2. He was posted to 158 Squadron and was later shot down over Holland and spent the rest of the war in various POW Camps initially Stalag XIIIB.

The external link connects to a very detailed website relating his full story.

Flt/Lt. George Westmoreland DFC. 578 Sqd.

My father George Westmoreland served in 578 Squadron as a navigator. He retired from the RAF in 1971 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. He continued flying until 1966 when he was serving in 209 Squadron in Singapore. I remember he had a mounted 578 squadron crest, which I still have somewhere.

He also served in 158 Squadron and his crew in that squadron did an almost complete tour of about 23 operations, as a result of which he received a DFC, and other members of the crew were also awarded medals. I know this because as a relative I was invited several years ago to an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, along with other crew member relatives including the widow of the pilot from George's crew. I have somewhere a list of the operations George's crew undertook for 158 squadron. I would be very interested to find out what my father did with 578 squadron.

Geoff Westmoreland Geoff Westmoreland

Alan Howard Ryan DFC 158 Sqdn.

Alan Ryan served as an Air Bombardier with 158 Squadron.

LAC Samuel Reed 158 Sqdn.

I would like to hear from anyone who has information about 158 Squadron RAF Lissett. My father, Samuel Reed, was a LAC there in ground crew for the duration of the war and worked on Halifaxes.

Barbara Lawrence

William A. "Robbie" Robertson 4th Bomber Group 158 Squadron

I flew with 158 Squadron, 4 Bomber Group RAF.

Wm A Robertson

F/Sgt. Alan Charles Widdowson 158 Sqdn.

I am lookng for information regarding my grandfather Alan Widdowson who was a pilot. I believe he was stationed at RAF Rufforth, Yorkshire around 1945. Anyone who remembers him please contact me.


If your grandfather was Alan Charles Widdowson, 158 Squadron, F/Sgt Pilot, who went on to RAF Lissett from Rufforth, Halifax mark 3 bomber, he may well be my father's good friend and that of his crew, including Sgt Cyril Sibbley and Les Mewis. (David Towers)


My father was the navigator in this crew. (Neil Toogood)

K Guest

Sgt. Cyril Sibbley 158 Sqdn.

Sgt. Sibbley was a member of an aircrew along with Les Mewis, Alan Widdowson and Toogood.

Les Mewis 158 Sqdn.

Les Mewis was a member of an aircrew along with Sgt. Sibbley, Alan Widdowson and Toogood.

Toogood 158 Sqdn.

Sgt Toogood was a member of an aircrew along with Sgt. Sibbley, Alan Widdowson and Les Mewis.

F/Lt Bartsch 158 Sqdn.

I am trying to trace Royal Canadian Air Force personnel who served with 158 Squadron, 4 Group at Lissett in early 1945. They are: F/Lt Bartsch and F/Sgt Stan Hare (upper mid gunner). Both flew in Halifax bombers.

R Lawes

F/Sgt. Stan Hare 158 Sqdn.

I am trying to trace Royal Canadian Air Force personnel who served with 158 Squadron, 4 Group at Lissett in early 1945. They are: F/Lt Bartsch and F/Sgt Stan Hare (upper mid gunner). Both flew in Halifax bombers.

R Lawes

Flt.Sgt. Frank Henry Andrews Bomber Command 158 Sqdn.

Flight Sergeant Frank Henry Andrews was serving with 158 Squadron when his Halifax Mark II No LW298 was shot down over Tongeren (Belgium) on 3rd/4th November 1943, when it was returning from a Dusseldorf raid. He was found by a local farmer, who contacted Comet Line to send him back to the UK. He was discovered by the Gestapo, together with Rear Gunner Ronald Stokes, on 5th December 1943 in the home of Robert Goffaux and his niece Jeanne Macintosh. All were arrested. Robert Goffaux was sentenced to hard labour, Jeanne (being a British national) was sentenced to death. Frank was sent to Stalag Luft 3 (IVB) on 13th January 1944.

Frank was released by Cossacks in April 1945 and exchanged with Americans for Soviet POWs as part of the Yalta Agreement. He watched the Soviets begging for their lives as they were loaded onto trains - they knew they would be shot or sent to a Gulag. He remained deeply shocked at Soviet POW treatment - they were left to die of starvation and typhus. They begged the Brits to scrape out the remains of empty Red Cross food tins.

When Frank returned to the UK he saw a story about Jeanne Macintosh in the Sunday Times and contacted her. In August 1944, following her death sentence, she was transported to Germany - as the Allies raced to liberate Brussels ten days later. She spent the rest of the war in prison until released from Waldheim Fortress in May 1945 by US troops.

Frank and Jeanne met again, fell in love and were married in September 1945. I was one of the baby boomers, born July 1946.

Ginny Caldwell

Sgt. Eric Durrant 158 Squadron

Air Gunner Sergeant Eric Durrant joined the 1658 HCU on 12th of April 1943 as the tail gunner for a Halifax bomber. Prior to this he was with a different squadron and was shot down, being the only survivor of that crew to make it back home. The day after arriving at the 1658 HCU they flew a mission and were shot down again. Sergeant Durrant was captured while trying to escape the continent and sent to a POW camp where he remained until sometime after D-day. I wish I could say more but he told his stories some 30 years ago and passed away about 24 years ago having moved to Canada immediately after the war.

Robert Durrant

Sgt. Ronald George Frederick Prowse 158 Squadron

My Dad told me about my grandfather and his adventures. I called him Grandad George even though his name was Ron, I only ever heard my Grandmother call him this. George was a plumber before the War. He was born in 1922. I believe his occupation was a reserved occupation and he wasn't required to enlist. However, while working at Princetown Home of Dartmoor Prison, George received a few white feathers and subsequently asked his employer for permission to enlist.

Eventually, in 1943 he joined the RAF as part of 158 Squadron. Initially, George was a radio controller but couldn't get on with morse code so volunteered to be a rear gunner on a Halifax. Unbeknownst at the time, George suffered sinus problems so spent most of his flight time, with misted up flight goggles and icicles hanging from his eyes. Eventually he was grounded on medical advice.

George then joined the Navy as a coppersmith with the rank of Chief Petty Officer onboard the HMS Sirius (I think). Upon his return to shore and the end of his naval career, George became a member of the Home Guard. He is the only man I have come across to have been part of all 3 services He married my grandmother, Alma Wilkins, who was also involved in the war effort.

George was an amazing man and I am very proud to have called him Grandad. Sadly, he passed away in 2003 at the age of 81.

Annette Prowse

P/O. Bernard Oliver Baldwin 158 Squadron (d.24th May 1944)


Bernard Baldwin

Bernard Baldwin was a Pilot Officer with 158 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was 22 years old and the son of Frank and Olive Baldwin of Boardy Locks, Apsley. Bernard was born and educated in Apsley.

He flew from RAF Lissett on Wednesday 24th May 1944 in a Halifax on a mission to Aachen. Unfortunately, his aircraft never returned. He had just passed his final interview for a commission as Flying Officer and the following Saturday was due to receive this promotion. His medals were however awarded posthumously to Pilot Officer Baldwin. The local paper reports that his mother, Mrs Olive Baldwin, had sent him £7 by post to help him purchase various necessities for the occasion. "The money is in the post now", she told the Observer. "He had striven so hard to become an officer".

Peter Farthing

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