- No. 196 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. 196 Squadron Royal Air Force
During WW1, No 196 was a training squadron at Heliopolis, Egypt in 1917 before being redesignated the Aerial Flying School.
No 196 Squadron was re-formed at Driffield in November 1942 as a night-bomber squadron, raiding enemy ports and industrial centres in Europe and mine-laying throughout 1943. It transferred from Bomber Command to the Allied Expeditionary Air Force in December 1943, training in parachute dropping and glider towing. In February 1944 the squadron was involved in supply drops to resistance forces in France, and on D-Day carried troops to Normandy. In September 1944 it took part in the Arnhem landings and in February 1945 began tactical bombing raids in support of the army, including the Rhine crossing in March 1945. It transported fuel to the advancing army, and troops to Norway and Denmark to disarm the German forces. No 196 was disbanded in March 1946.
Airfields No. 196 Squadron flew from:
196 Squadron was disbanded the 16th of March 1946
- RAF Driffield, Yorkshire from 7th November 1942 (formed, Bomber Command. Wellington X)
- RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire from 22nd December 1942 (to 3 Group)
- RAF Witchford, Cambridgeshire from 19th July 1943 (ex-4 Group. Stirling III)
- RAF Leicester East, Leicestershire from 18th November 1943 (Fighter Command. Stirling III, Stirling IV)
- RAF Tarrant Rushton, Dorset from 7th January 1944
- RAF Keevil, Wiltshire from 14th March 1944
- RAF Wethersfield, Essex from 9th October 1944
- RAF Shepherds Grove, Suffolk from the 26th January 1945 (Stirling V)
If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.
Those known to have served with
No. 196 Squadron Royal Air Force
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Gordon Thomas Donald McKinlay. F/O. (d.26th Feb 1943)
- Makens Louis. W/O
- Town . F/Sgt
- Westbrook Mervin Charles. W/O.
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.
Mar 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 229915, 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.We are also looking for copies of photos, documents and letters as well as any information on the whereabouts of individual units throughout the war. If you have any information please get in touch. 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.
W/O Louis Makens 196 SquadronMy father-in-law, Louis Makins, was in the RAF in WW2 in 196 Squadron. He was a rear gunner. The plane and crew were shot down over F and taken POW Stalag 1vb. He was also on the long march and is still very much alive to this day, 3rd october 2013 .John Hill
F/O. Thomas Donald McKinlay Gordon 196 Squadron (d.26th Feb 1943)Tom Gordon was my only uncle but sadly he was killed 5 years before I was born. He was a navigator in 196 Squadron and was in a Wellington X bomber serial BE161 code ZO when it crashed near Middleton on the Wold, Yorkshire on 26 February 1943. There were no survivors. The only other name from the flight that I have found is a Sergeant G.A.A. Ranken.
I have found it extremely difficult to ascertain whether Tom and his fellow crew members were embarking or returning from an operation or whether it was a training flight but there is a suggestion that an unsecured piece of canvas blew out of the bomb bay and lodged in the tail ailerons.
I have plenty of photographs of Tom including some taken during his training in South Africa on Avro Ansons that I would be pleased to post if anyone was interested.
Editors Note: Flying Officer Thomas Donald McKinlay Gordon served with 196 Squadron Royal Air Force during WW2 and was killed on the 26th February 1943.
The squadron was operating from RAF Leconfield, East Riding of Yorkshire from December 1942 to July 1943.
- Ranken, George Alexander Aitken (1052516) RAFVR; age: 21 Sgt
- Robinson, Walter (1073018) RAFVR; age: 32 LAC
- Gordon, Thomas Donald (120884) RAFVR; age: 22 Fg Off
- Herbert, Dennis (1425487) RAFVR; age: 19 Sgt
- Smart, Nevill (124547) RAFVR; age: n/k Fg Off
- Bernick, Lloyd Adolf (R/62500) RCAF; age: 21 WO II
Middleton on the Wolds is in East Yorkshire near Driffield. The aircraft crashed at 1210 hrs some 2 miles E of Middleton-on-the-Wolds, 7 miles SW of Great Driffield, Yorkshire, exploding on impact. The accident was attributable to the canvas bomb screen detaching and fouling the elevator control surfaces. This was apparently during an aircraft test flight.Jim Gordon
W/O. Mervin Charles Westbrook 196 squadronMy father Mervin C. Westbrook served on Wellies & Stirlings of 196 Squadron. He talked about many, many supply trips over France and Holland; during one the flak so affected his aircraft that it lurched alarmingly just as he was dispatching a bicycle and other goodies to the Free French. How he escaped following it out of the plane he never knew! He was the Flight Engineer on the craft and was particularly friendly with his pilot Askew (who has a daughter Stella 10 days younger than myself) and Navigator MacFadyean (spelling?) who went to live at Westbrook End near Godalming of all places.
His flying stories were told matter of fact with no embroidery; everybody had a job to do and they just got on with it. He was particularly affected by the death of some of his friends who were in a plane that crashed in Norway. Routine early bombing missions were somewhat boring as his responsibilities amongst others were to wind the rear wheel up or down at take off and landing.
After the war he returned to his Civvy job with Portsmouth City Treasurer's Dept but each year he continued to serve in the Reserve; as a small child I recall being taken by relatives to a hilltop at a certain time and watched his flight fly over. He died in 1985 and now that my parents have both passed on to glory and I'm nearly 70 this is a very poignant memory and mental image for me.Michael A. Westbrook
F/Sgt Town 196 SquadronSgt Town was an air gunner and a crew member of a Short Stirling that belonged to 196 Sqn & flew from RAF Tarrant Rushton, Dorset on a mission to parachute supplies to the resistance. Unfortunately the aircraft (EF469) crashed into a mountain in a snow blizzard & Sgt Town was captured & sent to Stalag 357. I am looking for any information, documents or photos.Nick Pank
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