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No. 210 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 210 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 210 Squadron Royal Air Force

   210 Squadron was first formed at St.Pol on the 12th of February 1917, as part of the Royal Naval Air Service based in Flanders. It was disbanded and reformed several times before teh outbreak of the Second World War.

In September 1939, 210 Squadron were flying Sunderlands on patrols over the North Sea and Altantic. In April 1941 they converted to Catalinas.

The Squadron was disbanded on the on 4th of June 1945.

Airfields 210 Squadron flew from.
  • Pembroke Dock. Sep 1939 to 18th Jul 1940
  • Oban. 18th Jul 1940 to Feb 1942 & Oct 1942 to Apr 1943
  • Sullom Voe, Shetland. Feb to Oct 1942 & Jan 1944 to Jun 1945
  • Hamworthy Junction. Apr to Dec 1943


    • Invergordon, Cromarty. 1st Oct to 8th Nov 1939 & 24th Nov to 6th Jun 1940.
    • Oban. 16th Nov 1939 to 17th Jul 1940
    • Sullom Voe, Shetland. 30th Nov 1939 to 6th Dec 1939 & 9th Apr to Jun 1940
    • Reykjavik, Iceland. 24th to 28th May 1941 & 26th Jun to 14th Jul 1941 & 11th to 15th Aug 1941
    • Gibraltar Harbour. Oct 1942 to Dec 1943
    • Pembroke Dock. Nov 1944 to 4th Jun 1945


30th July 1943 U-Boat group attacked

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

Those known to have served with

No. 210 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Brooks Ronald Frank. Sgt. (d.23rd May 1941)
  • Cannings Arthur. Sgt. (d.25th March 1944)
  • Cannings Arthur Victor.
  • Evans Trevor Nicholas. Warrant Officer
  • Fitzgerald Reginald George. Sgt. (d.2nd Sep 1940)
  • Fosh Benjamin Joseph. Sgt. (d.13th Jan 1943)
  • Gill William. SAC.
  • Hall William James. Flt.Sgt.
  • Jeynes Kenneth. Flt.Sgt. (d.3rd Apr 1945)
  • Stone Norman Leslie.
  • Toner Thomas. WO.
  • Wilkes Harold. LAC.
  • Wilson Robert. F/Lt.

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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Sgt. Reginald George Fitzgerald 210 Sqd. (d.2nd Sep 1940)

My Great Uncle Reginald George Fitzgerald was attached to 210 Squadron as a Sargeant flying Short Sunderlands. He died aged 20, missing in action on the 2nd September 1940, I am not sure whether he was stationed at Pembroke Dock at that time. His name is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Michael FitzGerald

Warrant Officer Trevor Nicholas Evans AFC. Wireless op air gunner. 210 Squadron

Memories of 210 squadron and other flying boats

I joined 210 squadron in June 1939 and was crewed on L2168, The skipper was Shorty Evison with second Dickie Pilot officer Kite. It was rather an awe inspiring event in my life. I was an AC1 W/OP, it took me quite a while to get used to all things on board, but I would not have changed one second of it.

We flew up to Garth Voe on the 2nd. of Sept 1939 and were based on the S.S.Manela. On the 3rd of Sept at the declaration, we were armed with DC's and ammunition and went on our first anti sub patrol on the 4th of Sept 1939. No sightings were made then on the 12th September 1939 we flew back to PD for camouflage etc. and made a further 5 operational sorties.

My memory is not so good so the only crew member names I can recall are Colin Churm known as "Ches" an old school chum of mine. He was a WEM. Nat Irwin (Scouser) The armourer and the rigger named Reynolds known as quackquack because of his high toned voice.

My service with 210 was a short one. In December 39 after a gunnery course at Warmwell I got my brass bullet, and was posted to Calshot to become a member of the crew on Empire class flying boat-Cabot. Her sister boat was the Caribou. There were 3 other RAF types in the crew who made up the four gunners. The Captain and remainder of the crew were seconded Imperial airways personnel. On completion of training we flew to Invergordon which became our base and after another 10 operations we flew to Bodo via the Lofotens. This was on the 4th May 1940.

Having landed at Bodo we moored up and got supplies and equipment ashore. With a ground wireless technician we erected an aerial and transmitter plus receiver and connected up a factual generator and make contact with the VR

We returned to the aircraft and started to make our dinner, but were rudely interrupted by sirens and a Heinkel 115. This aircraft attacked us while we were taxiing to avoid being hit, but unsuccessfully a number of crew were wounded but not before we shot down the 115. We beached the Bothe aircraft and swam ashore with guns ammo and wounded. Both aircraft were attacked and bombed again, the rest you can guess.

The Norwegians were good to us and we were given beds,food and dry clothes and remained in the hotel until we were rescued by HMS Vansitart. The Vansitart took us to the Lofotens then on to HMS Zulu to Cripple Creek as it was called because Navy ships, British and Polish were damaged and anchored there. From there we were taken up the fiord, picking up several army personnel and thence to Greenock in Scotland. With our wounded we were billeted at Abbotsmith for a few days then back to Invergordon.

After this we were sent to Rochester to collect 3"G" boats bigger than Sunderlands or "C" class, they were the Golden Horn, Golden Hind and Golden Fleece. After some time on ops. with these boats, and having lost the Fleece they were retired to Imperial airways. I was then posted back to Invegordon as an instructor and remained there until November 1942.

(M/SIG) T.N.Evans AFC

This letter is a copy of my brothers recollections of his time in the forces up until 1942. He was finally discharged in March 1968. His log books medals etc. were left to my son along with this recollection. My brother was 16 years my senior so I was too young to know much about the war, but am trying to piece together all the things that happened to him.

Eileen Brooks

Sgt. Benjamin Joseph Fosh 210 Squadron (d.13th Jan 1943)

Benjamin Joseph Fosh was born about Dec 1920 in Poplar died 13 Jan 1943. He was a Sergeant Pilot in the RAFVR with 210 Squadron. He trained in Pensacola, sending a 45rpm audio message home before returning to the UK and flying Catalina's. He was recorded as missing in his flight book, not returning from flying duty in the bay of Biscay. He was known for his happy nature and musical instruments, and was reputed to take his ukulele with him on flights.

Brian Fosh, Jr.

F/Lt. Robert Wilson 201 Squadron

My father, Robert Wilson flew a Sunderland Flying boat in WW2. He was stationed at various locations with various squadrons but I do know that he was at Pembroke Dock and Calshot. He and my mother left the UK after the war for the Caribbean. I was very young and have no memories of his war experiences. My mother left the UK and did not keep up with anyone, and since she was very young when they married in 1946 in Pembroke Dock, she has very little knowledge of his military service. My father was given a desk job in Shrewsbury in 1947 while my mom was expecting, but the rest of the time I believe he was flying. I believe he also participated in the Berlin Air Lift. The London Gazette shows that he was granted the rank of Flight Lieutenant on 1st November, 1947. Somewhere along the way he had a Commanding Officer named Owen "Bobby" Roberts. The two of them formed Caribbean International Airways, Ltd. in Kingston, Jamaica in 1948/49. They both died on April 10th, 1953 in a plane crash.

I have no flight crew photographs to share, but am hopeful that someone will post some. My mom remembers that he flew in the Bay of Biscay and his plane was shot down. Not sure of casualties, if any. There should be a record of that. I would love to see some photos or hear some stories from anyone who might remember Flight Lieutenant Robert Wilson. There was a Canadian Robert Wilson who was killed in WW2 who, I believe, was also a pilot so I am hopeful that the two will not be confused.

Pamela Wilson Meguiar

LAC. Harold Wilkes 210 Sqd.

Harold Wilkes served with 210 Squadron and worked on Sunderland Flying Boats.

Norman Leslie Stone 210 Squadron

My father, Norman Stone, was with 210 Squadron Sunderland flying boat as an armourer I think, at Invergordon Aug 1939, Pembroke Dock Sep 1939 to July 1940 and Oban July 1940 to Oct. I have his photograph album of his time with the Squadron and some great pictures of the aircraft and crews at base and on patrol.

Nigel Stone

Flt.Sgt. Kenneth Jeynes 210 Squadron (d.3rd Apr 1945)

For many, many years my late mother was always telling stories about her cousin, Kenneth Jeynes who was killed in the war. She was very close to her cousin as he was only 2 years younger. Since she died, I have been on a mission to find out more about her cousin, who is also my second-cousin. Last month, whilst listening to Glen Miller, I struck gold. I found him, and I feel very proud of him. He was only 22 when he was killed flying his Catlina flying boat. I know my mum would be proud too.

Jayne Stevens

Sgt. Ronald Frank Brooks 210 Squadron (d.23rd May 1941)

My wife's great uncle, Ronald Frank Brooks, was aged 19 on 23rd May 1941 when he was reported missing in action whilst on a Catalina flight out of Gibraltar. It was last seen by the crew of a Short Sunderland flying boat at 20:30, 25 miles south of the Cape of St Mary. No contact was made after that sighting. The fate of the Catalina was never received. His mother received a letter on May 30th reporting that he was missing.

Editor's Note:- Sergeant Brooks was the son of Frederick John and Lily Mabel Brooks, of Dunkerton, Somerset. He is commemorated on the Combe Down War Memorial, Bath, as well as on the main Bath Memorial. He is also commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Mark Fabiano

Sgt. Arthur Cannings 210 Squadron (d.25th March 1944)

Arthur Cannings was born in 1920, the son of George Ernest and Mary Cannings. He served in 210 Sqn, RAF. He died on 25th March 1944 in a crash 'near to a croft'. He is buried in Stockport (Willow Grove) Cemetery.

Peter Cannings

WO. Thomas Toner 210 Sqn

My Uncle was Warrant Officer Thomas Toner 1143471 (WOP/AG) Wireless Operator Air Gunner. I have his service record details that show he served with 190 Sqn from 2 June 1943 until then getting posted into 210 Sqn on 25 April 1944. Sadly I have no photographs of him serving at any units or stations. I only have the information on him that was passed on from the RAF Disclosures unit based at RAF Cranwell. I would like to make a plea on the off chance that anyone reading this little synopsis has any information or photographs of Thomas if you could share it either on this site or get in touch with me.

What I do know is that he was on active service and was a member of the crew of a 210 Sqn Catalina involved in torpedoing and sinking a German U Boat. At this stage I haven't recovered the local newspaper report that he submitted of the event.

Joseph Toner

Flt.Sgt. William James Hall 210 Sqdn.

My father William James Hall served with 210 Squadron during the latter stages of World War Two. I know relatively little about his service, but I think he served on Catalinas.

Gavin Hall

Arthur Victor Cannings 210 Squadron

The piece I have is from my cousin Arthur Cannings: "At Sulloy Voe, Shetland Islands on the 25th of March 1944, Catalina JX210 of 210 Squadron, narrowly missed us in JX243 as it crashed beside a small croft, killing all on board.

In around 1985 I painted a watercolour of catalina FP131 and added an imaginary shetland background, including that croft. In June 2005 I attended a Squadron reunion at Stratford upon Avon, a lady named Mary was introduced, whose fiance, Bill Hurd was 2nd Pilot to F/Lt Keates. She was seeking information and was pleased to learn something of the crash. I later sent her my watercolour as an 80th Birthday present and received a full scale print in return. A remarkable fact that the small croft should prove significant after so long."

Peter Cannings

SAC. William Gill 210 Squadron

RAF Blida

Bill Gill was my father, he was Assigned to Coastal Command 210 Squadron, then off to 1PRU and 540 Squadron at Station Benson in the early days of Photo Reconnaissance. He was posted after 1PDC to 156 Maintenance Unit, Northwest Africa Aircraft Repair Unit as a Senior Aircraftsman. I was 14yrs when he passed in May 1969 and I am now tracing his WWII experiences. His War Record states he was a Commercial Photographer in Civilian Life, Glasgow, Scotland.

Kenneth J. Gill

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