- No. 163 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -
Royal Air Force Index
If you enjoy this site
please consider making a donation.
Airfields of WW2
Royal Air Force
Prisoners of War
Secrets of WWII
Women at War
Those Who Served
The Great War
How to add Memories
TWMP on Facebook
Can you Answer?
Your Family History
No. 163 Squadron Royal Air Force
No 163 Squadron existed for only a few weeks near the end of 1918.
It re-formed at Suez in July 1942 for transport duties, embarking for Massawa in Eritrea and proceeding to Asmara where it received its Hudsons. In September 1942 it opened a mail service between Asmara and Khartoum, opening communications in Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Madagascar. By December 1942 the squadron was reduced to a cadre, and disbanded in June 1943.
No 163 reformed in January 1945 at Wyton with Mosquitoes, in No 8 Group for night raids on Germany. These continues until the end of the war, and the squadron was disbanded in August 1945.
Airfields No. 163 Squadron flew from:
- Suez. Reformed 10th July 1942 (Transport Command)
- Asmara from 15th July 1942 (Hudson)
- disbanded 16th June 1943
- RAF Wyton, Huntingdonshire from 25th January 1945 (re-formed, Bomber Command. Mosquito XXV, Mosquito XVI)
- disbanded 10th August 1945
If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.
Those known to have served with
No. 163 Squadron Royal Air Force
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Broom Ivor Gordon. Wing Co.
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
The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website.
- To commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day, we are launching a new feature, Second World War Day by Day and also a new Library to allow access to records which have previously been held in our offline archive.
- Looking for help with Family History Research? Please read our Family History FAQ's
- The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors. If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.If you enjoy this site
please consider making a donation.
- We are also looking for volunteers to help with the website. We currently have a huge backlog of submissions which need to be edited for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.
Research your own Family History.
May 2017 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 231539, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.
We are aware of the issue with missing images, this is due to the redesign of the website, images will reappear as soon as the new version of the page is completed, thank you for your patience.
We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates.
If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.
Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to WW2. We would like to obtain digital copies of any documents or photographs relating to WW2 you may have at home.
If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes.Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted. World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.
Wing Co. Ivor Gordon Broom DSO, DFC. 163 SquadronIvor Broom was born at Cardiff on June 2 1920 where his father was district manager for the Prudential Assurance Company and a Baptist preacher. Ivor was educated at the Boys' County School, Pontypridd. When he was 17, Broom passed the Civil Service exam and began work with the Inland Revenue.
He joined the RAF in 1940 and was posted to No 114 Squadron at the rank of Sergeant, where he flew Bristol Blenheim bombers against targets in the Channel along the French and Dutch coasts as well as in Germany. In September 1941 he was detailed to lead six Blenheims to Malta, en route to reinforce Singapore. At Malta Air Vice Marshal Hugh Lloyd commandeered Broom and his aircraft due to the heavy losses his squadron had suffered, leaving the other five planes to proceed to the Far East. Broom was then transferred to 107 Squadron, which was engaged in attacks upon Axis shipping, and land targets in North Africa and Italy.
During 1941 Broom was promoted to Pilot Officer. On November 17 1941 he bombed and set ablaze a 4,000-ton ship in the Gulf of Sirte, and helped attack a destroyer for which he was awarded the DFC. By January 1942 when he returned to England he had survived 43 operations with 107 Squadron.
After his return from Malta, Broom took an instructor's course at the Central Flying School at Upavon, and he then spent a year there teaching novice Blenheim pilots how to attack at low level. Later he became an instructor for pilots on the de Havilland Mosquito twin-engined fighter-bombers for No 8 Pathfinder Group.
In May 1944 Broom went back onto operational flying and joined No 571 squadron, flying the Mosquito XVI. There he teaming up with his navigator (and namesake), Flt Lt Tommy Broom, and they became known as the 'Flying Brooms' and had their plane emblazoned with crossed broomsticks. At this time 571 squadron was part of the Light Night Striking Force (LNSF) making targeted raids into Germany. In their Mosquito - modified to carry a 4,000lb bomb known as 'cookies' they made numerous raids over Germany undertaking precision bombing of selected targets. They also excelled at mine-laying, and Ivor Broom was awarded his second DFC followed a neat low-level operation in which he dropped mines in the path of shipping in the Dortmund-Ems canal. On another raid the Flying Brooms with two fighters on their tail dropped a cookie up the mouth of a railway tunnel in Germany, for which Ivor Broom received a second Bar to his DFC.
In autumn 1944 he was promoted acting squadron leader in command of a flight in No 128 (another LNSF Mosquito squadron). A few months later he was appointed acting wing commander to lead No 163 Squadron. Tommy Broom, now DFC and Bar, joined him as squadron navigation officer. The pair then led a series of brilliant offensive operations over Germany and Occupied Europe. When the war in Europe ended on May 8 1945, the Flying Brooms had undertaken 58 missions together (including 22 raids on Berlin). Ivor Broom was awarded a DSO, and Tommy a third DFC.
After VE Day, Broom was posted to Ceylon, but was spared further action by the Japanese surrender.
Ivor Broom remained in the RAF for the rest of his career, commanding No 28 Spitfire fighter squadron in Singapore and then 57 squadron flying English Electric Canberra jet bombers. In 1955 Broom piloted a specially-modified Canberra from Ottawa to London via the North Pole after which Broom was awarded the AFC. In 1956 he was made responsible for the Bomber Command Development Unit at Wittering, where he led intensive trials on Valiants and Canberras of the nascent nuclear deterrent, V-Force. In 1959 he moved into the Air Secretary's department until 1962, when he was appointed station commander at RAF Bruggen in Germany. Following a year at the Imperial Defence College, two years at the Ministry of Defence, and a spell as commandant of the Central Flying School (relocated by then to Rissington), Broom took command in 1970 of No 11 fighter Group. He was appointed CB in 1972, and KCB in 1975. He concluded his RAF career as controller of National Air Traffic Services and retired in 1980.
He died on the 24th January 2003.
Available at discounted prices.
Suggest a link
The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.
This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.
If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small
to help with the costs of keeping the site running.
Website © Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
- All Rights Reserved