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No. 180 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 180 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 180 Squadron Royal Air Force

   No 180 Squadron was formed at West Raynham, Norfolk as a light-bomber squadron equipped with Mitchells. From Foulsham it flew its first operational mission, a raid on oil targets at Terneuzen, Belgium; two of six aircraft failed to return, one captained by the CO, W/C Hodder AFC.

No 180 joined No 2 TAF during 1942-3. It moved to Germany as part of the occupational forces, renumbered No 69 Squadron in March 1946.

Airfields No. 180 Squadron flew from:

  • RAF West Raynham, Norfolk from 13th September 1942. (formed, Bomber Command. Mitchell II)
  • RAF Foulsham, Norfolk from 19th October 1942
  • to 2TAF the 1st June 1943


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

Those known to have served with

No. 180 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Coleman Charles Robert. WO.
  • Hanafy John Theodore. Sqd.Ldr. (d.25th May 1943)

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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Sqd.Ldr. John Theodore Hanafy 180 Squadron (d.25th May 1943)

John Theodore Hanafy died aged 25, born in Bromley in 1918 he was the son of John (real name Mohammad) Zaky Hanafy and the late Agnes May Hanafy (nee South) of Jarrow

John is buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension. He iscommemorated at Cambridge University Peterhouse World War 2 War Memorial and also on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

From other research: The following is posted on the Airfield Information Exchange website blog but is only an assumption: A 1943 B25 Mitchell crash which has left three crewmembers buried in a local (Pende) cemetery. The aircraft, part of a flight of Mitchells of 180 Squadron (based then at Foulsham) came down on 25 May 1943 near Pende, ten minutes from St.Valery-sur-Somme. They had semi-successfully attacked Abbeville airfield, which had by then become the home of the "Abbeville Boys", a gang of Focke-Wulf 190's who played havoc with allied bombers. Three of the four-man crew of the B-25 are buried at Pende, Gunners DRN Reynolds and J Palmerley and Navigator RJ Fowler, yet the pilot, Squadron Leader JT Hanafy lies in Abbeville Cemetery, and I am again puzzled as to why the team has been separated in this way.

Vin Mullen

WO. Charles Robert Coleman 180 Squadron

Charles Coleman served in the RAF towards the end of the Second World War. He was a navigator bomber and saw most of his friends killed during active service. He trained in Canada and flew in many raids over Europe, crash landed once at the edge of the runway and was shot down by enemy fire once. For a long time he kept his flak jacket which was covered with bullet holes. He was extremely lucky to survive but, until he was an old man, he would not speak of his experiences. When he was about 80 he suddenly started to speak of a cockpit full of blood and it turned out this was another RAF plane flying in formation with his plane which he watched as it was shot down - that pilot paid the ultimate price. I have several precious pictures of his squadron and of the Mitchell bombers he used to fly in.

Jane Johnson

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