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No. 214 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 214 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

No. 214 Squadron Royal Air Force

   No 214 Squadron was formed in 1917 as a heavy night bombing squadron (No 14 RNAS, becoming No 214 RAF in April 1918). It flew in France and Belgium during WWI and in Egypt in 1919, disbanding in 1920. It reappeared as a bomber squadron in 1935 at Boscombe Down.

During WWII, No 214 served in No 3 Group, flying many missions against naval and industrial targets in Fortress Europe and taking part in mine laying operations. Its tour with No 3 Group ended in January 1944, it was re-equipped with American Flying Fortress aircraft and up until May 1945 was engaged in radio counter-measures - the detection and jamming of enemy radio and radar equipment.

Airfields No. 214 Squadron flew from:

  • RAF Methwold, Norfolk from 3rd September 1939 (Wellington Ia)
  • RAF Stradishall, Suffolk from 12th February 1940 (Wellington Ic, Wellington II)
  • RAF Honington, Suffolk from 5th January 1942
  • RAF Stradishall from 12th January 1942 (Stirling I)
  • RAF Chedburgh, Soffolk from 1st October 1942 (Stirling III)
  • RAF Downham Market, Suffolk from 10th December 1943 (to 100 Group)
  • RAF Sculthorpe, Norfolk from 16th January 1944 (Fortress II)
  • RAF Oulton, Norfolk from 16th May 1944 (Fortress III)
  • disbanded 27th July 1945


7th Apr 1941 Aircraft Lost

8th Apr 1941 Aircraft Lost

8th May 1941 Aircraft Lost

9th May 1941 Aircraft Lost

11th May 1941 Aircraft Lost

2nd Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

4th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

24th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

7th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

14th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

29th Aug 1941 Aircraft Lost

2nd Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

7th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

13th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

14th Sep 1941 214 Squadron Wellington lost

20th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

29th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

12th Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost

7th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost

15th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost

30th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost

15th Jan 1942 Aircraft Lost

31st Aug 1943 Bomber Command

31st Aug 1943 Bomber Command

25th May 1944 214 Squadron Fortress lost

25th Feb 1945 214 Squadron Fortress lost

25th Feb 1945 214 Squadron Fortress lost

8th Mar 1945 214 Squadron Fortress lost

15th Mar 1945 214 Squadron Fortress lost

26th Aug 1944 214 Squadron Fortress lost

15th Mar 1945 214 Squadron Fortress lost

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

Those known to have served with

No. 214 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Cooper Eric Harold. Sgt. (d.24th Jul 1942)
  • Cooper Eric Harold. Sgt. (d.24th July 1942)
  • Dent Harold Charles . (d.15th Apr 1943)
  • Dutton Robert Ernest . (d.15th Apr 1943)
  • Ingram Eric Harold. Flt.Sgt. (d.15th Apr 1943)
  • Jacques Douglas Harold Morton. (d.15th April 1942)
  • James Ron.
  • Nash John Desmond. F/O.
  • Powell Leslie. P/O. (d.15th Apr 1943)
  • Robertson Maxwell George. Sgt. (d.8th May 1941)
  • Scott Edward Henry . F/O. (d.15th Apr 1943)
  • Shepherd Thomas. Sgt. (d.15th Apr 1943)
  • Taylor Albert Edward. Sgt. (d.23rd Nov 1940)
  • Van Den Bok Ralph. A/Sqd.Ldr.
  • Van Den Bok Ralph. Sqdn Ldr
  • Williams John William . (d.15th Apr 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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Sqdn Ldr Ralph Van Den Bok DFC & 2Bar. 214 squadron

I am most interested in Squadron Leader Ralph Van Den Bok, DFC & 2Bar. RAFVR, as my father, Flying Officer John Tudor Mills (Wop/AG), flew on Ops with him in Boeing B17 F & G aircraft of 214 Sqdn, based at RAF Oulton, Norfolk, part of 100 group, during 1944/45. Records of the squadron's activities are somewhat sparse, in view of what they did (ECM etc). I have been quite unable to determine S/Ldr Van Den Bok's nationality, although I suspect that he might have been Canadian,as he was awarded his first DFC in 1942, as a Flying Officer, whilst operating with 408 (Goose) Squadron, RCAF (although he himself was RAFVR). From bits and pieces that I have managed to unearth, I gather that he was shot down by Flak at some point and escaped through Belgium, but I don't know the details. 3 DFC's is quite an achievement, he was awarded one of them for "Devotion to operational flying", or words to that effect. I would really like to find out more about him.

Roger Mills

A/Sqd.Ldr. Ralph Van Den Bok DFC. "B" Flight (CO) No. 214 (FMS) Sqdn

Further to my researches into the service career of this interesting and remarkable man, with whom my father flew a number of missions or "Ops" in 1944/45,I now have something approaching a proper "story".

Ralph Van Den Bok was born in London, in about 1907, of a Dutch father and Australian mother. After school, he attended Dulwich College, and by the outbreak of WW2, was working at the London Stock Exchange. In 1940,he applied to join the RAFVR, and was granted a commission as a Pilot Officer on Probation (July,1940). After training as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, Ralph joined No.408 (Goose) Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force, with whom he flew 30 Operations as a "Wireless Air Gunner ", to use RCAF parlance.

In August 1941, Ralph was "Gazetted" as a Flying Officer, and continued to serve with No.408 Sqdn, rising to become a leader , and so always flying with the Squadron Commanding Officer, Wing Commander John D Twigg, RCAF. In the summer of 1942, following a brave but unsuccessful attack on the German cruiser "Scharnhorst", and having exhibited outstanding devotion to operational flying, Ralph was awarded his first DFC (Gazetted August 1942, at which time he was also Gazetted as a Flight Lieutenant).

Within a few weeks, however, Ralph's aircraft, a Handley-Page Hampden, was shot down over Belgium, returning from a mission to bomb Saarbrucken, by Luftwaffe night-fighter "Ace" Hauptmann Wilhelm Herget in a JU 88. The pilot Wing Commander Twigg and the rear gunner, Flt/Lt Maitland DFC were killed, but Ralph and Flt/Lt Gordon Clayton Fisher, RCAF, baled out and after contacting Belgian esacape organisations , in Ralph's case "Comete" ,they returned to the UK. Ralph was then awarded a second DFC, Gazetted November 1942.

Ralph was then accepted for training as a pilot,and was sent to Hagersville, Ontario, Canada,where he was awarded his wings, aged 38. Returning to Britain, he joined No. 12 OTU at Chipping Warden, where he "crewed up" with my father, then Flt/Sgt John Mills RAFVR, who became Ralph's Wireless Op/Air Gunner, they first flew together in Wellington bombers in June 1944.

After further training in Stirlings of 1657 Conversion Unit, they became "operational" with No.214 (Federated Malay States) Squadron, which flew Radio Counter-Measures (radio/radar jamming) sorties using Boeing B 17 "Flying Fortress" aircraft, from RAF Oulton in Norfolk.

In January 1945, Ralph was promoted to Acting Squadron Leader,and became Commanding Officer of "B" Flight of No.214 Squadron.By the end of hostilities,in May 1945, Ralph had flown a further 17 "Operations",and had exhibited such qualities of leadership and devotion to duty that he was awarded his third DFC ,in October (Gazetted November 1945). He remained in the RAF,in the rank of Flight Lt. for many years after the war, resigning his commission (as a Sqd/Ldr) in the Reserve in 1955. After flying a Proctor for a while with Standard Oil (ESSO), Ralph was, sadly, badly hurt in the Lewisham Rail Disaster of 1957, losing a leg to gangrene. He died in Salisbury in 1976.

I am deeply indebted to Adrian Van Den Bok, in Australia,for all the information he has provided about the life of his admirable and inspirational father, without whose skill and professionalism I would not be here today to write this tribute.

Roger Vaughan Mills

Sgt. Eric Harold Cooper 214 Sqd. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (d.24th Jul 1942)

Eric Cooper answered his country's call and joined the RAF and became a rear gunner in 214 Sqn RAF flying Stirling bombers. His aircraft was shot down over Holland on the night of 24th July 1942, Eric along with all but one of the crew perished. Eric Harold Cooper was 21 years old. He is buried alongside his comrades in arms at Werkendam CWG cemetery in Noord-Brabant.

Richard Hallam

Sgt. Maxwell George Robertson 214 Squadron (d.8th May 1941)

Sgt. Max Robertson, from St.John's Newfoundland, went overseas in 1940 with the Newfoundland Foresters.

He transfered to the RAF and was posted to the 214 Squadron.

On a mission his aircraft was shot down but he was picked up and returned to base.

On a subsequent misson he was repored missing in action on May 8th 1941. He was one of thee Robertson boys who lost their lives in the RAF and RCAF

Bob MacLeod

Ron "Jimmy" James 90 Squadron

My father Ron James joined 90 Squadron at West Wickham in July 1943 as mid-upper gunner in the crew of F/O Bill Day (RCAF). He flew on Stirling 'R' Roger and took part in raids on Hamburg, Essen, Turin, Peenemunde, Berlin and Mannheim. Later he transferred to 214 Squadron where he completed a second tour of operations on B-17 Flying Fortresses as part of 100 Group secret countermeasures operations. His autobiography 'I Was One of the Brylcreem Boys' has just been published and is available on Amazon. It details his personal experiences and contains some photographs.

Elizabeth Ingham

Douglas Harold Morton Jacques 214 Squadron (d.15th April 1942)

My mother died last month & in her possesions was a silver name tag inscribed "Wings June 21st 1941 Jarvis, Ont.", on the other side "Doug H M Jaques WAG RCAF". My mother had told me of a boyfriend she had met while in the WRAFS who had died in action in April 1942. I suspect this was a serious relationship as newspapers & magazines from this date were also in mother's things. Mother was shortly afterwards invalided out of the WRAFs. She married an English captain in 1946 but kept these mementos for 71 years.

F/O. John Desmond Nash 214 Sqd.

My father Jack Nash was a New Zealander who enlisted in Bomber Command - he was a navigator with RAF 214 Bomber Command Squadron based at Oulton in Norfolk - 214 Squadron was part of 100 Group Special Operations - he trained in Winnipeg, Alberta, Canada at the Empire Training School prior to going on to England. He flew many missions over Germany notably Kiel Canal and Cologne - he also flew the last bomber Command raid of WW2 on 2nd/3rd of May 1945 in the Kiel area. John Nash returned to New Zealand along with New Zealanders and Australians returning to their respective countries arriving in Wellington on 25th of October 1945 - they were delayed leaving England as they were on standby in case the war with Japan didn't end they were going to be posted to Okinawa to fly bombing missions against the Japanese.

My father in civilian life was a Chartered Accountant - he married prior to leaving New Zealand to serve with Bomber Command and after the war went on to have 3 children with his beautiful wife Kathleen - my parents had a very happy marriage and we were all so sad when Dad died on 1st August 1986. Dad kept in touch with several of his fellow crew members now sadly all deceased also his 'adopted' English family with whom he use to spent time off with in Dawlish, Devon - the Denner Family.

Lynette Murphy

Flt.Sgt. Eric Harold Ingram 214 Squadron (d.15th Apr 1943)

Sergeant Eric Harold Ingram

Stirling Mark 1 EF331 BU-H took off from Chedburgh at 21:26 (9:26pm) on the crews 6th operation, flying to Stuttgart. They were Shot down by a night-fighter and crashed at Sept-Saulx 19km South-East of Reims, France. All are buried in the Sept-Saulx Churchyard, Marne, France

Crew consisted of:

Sgt Harold Charles Dent 1384029, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, age 26

Sgt Robert Ernest Dutton 1338700, Air Bomber, age 27

Flight Sgt Eric Harold Ingram R/119142, Air Gunner, age 23

Pilot/Officer Leslie Powell 144037, Pilot, age 22

Flight Officer Edward Henry Scott 127266, Navigator, age 30

Sgt Thomas Shepherd 573650, Flight Engineer, age 21

Sgt John William Williams 1094029, Air Gunner, age 31

Lorraine Wager

Harold Charles Dent 214 Squadron (d.15th Apr 1943)

Harold Dent served as a W.Op./Air Gunner and was the son of Harold Martin Dent and Francisca Violeta Dent (nee Saenz) of Guatemala City. He died aged 26, and is buried in the Sept-Saulx Churchyard, Marne, France.

Fay Murphy

Robert Ernest Dutton 214 Squadron (d.15th Apr 1943)

Robert Dutton served as an Air Bomber and died age 27. He was the son of Ernest Samuel and Sarah Louise Dutton of Acton, Middlesex.

Fay Murphy

P/O. Leslie Powell 214 Squadron (d.15th Apr 1943)

Leslie Powell was the son of Mark Henry and Gertrude Powell of Tredegar, Monmouthshire, who died age 22.

Fay Murphy

F/O. Edward Henry Scott 214 Squadron (d.15th Apr 1943)

Navigator Edward Scott died age 30. He was the son of Edward Henry and Edith Scott, husband of Edith Scott (nee Jenkins) of Finsbury Park, Middlesex.

Fay Murphy

Sgt. Thomas Shepherd 214 Squadron (d.15th Apr 1943)

Sergeant Thomas Shepherd served as a Flt. Engineer and died age 21. He was the son of William and Mary Shepherd, of Harraby, Carlisle.

Fay Murphy

John William Williams 214 Squadron (d.15th Apr 1943)

Sergeant John Williams served as an Air Gunner and died aged 31. He was the son of Louis Henry and Arabella Williams; husband of Gertrude Jane Williams, of Marchamley, Shropshire.

Fay Murphy

Sgt. Eric Harold Cooper 214 Sqdn. (d.24th July 1942)

Eric - 3rd from left middle row - Evanton

Eric Cooper was born on 14th August 1920 in a small Nottinghamshire village of East Stoke. He joined the RAF as a Volunteer Reserve on 4th January 1941, aged about 20.5 years. He did his 'square bashing' at Bournemouth before being selected for air gunner training at RAF Evanton. From graduating Evanton Eric was posted to 12OTU a Wellington OTU. At some point he would have been promoted to Sergeant AG.

Eric arrived at 101 Squadron (Wellington) on 12th of June 1942 and was crewed with P/O Angel, Sgt Gerein, Sgt Howe and Sgt Morris they completed four operational trips when Eric was posted out to 214 Sqn (Stirling).

Eric arrived at 214 Sqn on 5th July 1942 and on 11th July 1942 he found out his 'old' crew had gone 'down' at Kiel. Eric himself was killed in action just 13 days later on 24th July 1942 when his Stirling, piloted by P/O Jack D Peel, was attacked by a night fighter. All but one of the crew were killed. The wireless operator Sgt H C Fairhall was pulled out of the wreckage badly injured and was taken POW after treatment from the local Dutch doctor.

Richard Hallam

Sgt. Albert Edward Taylor 214 Squadron (d.23rd Nov 1940)

On the recent death of my aunt, we have found documentation relating to her brother, Albert Edward. He died in 1940 as per an entry in the 'Operations Record Book' but I have tried several different websites and can find no records for him. The 214 Squadron were on a mission to bomb the Chancellory in Berlin on 23rd November 1940 but his plane failed to return.

We have no date of birth for my uncle and, as he was missing in action, no death certificate. On requesting copies of said birth certificate via 'My Ancestry', there is no record of any births in the village of Tinkletown, Dorset recorded for Albert Edward Taylor 1920, the year he was born. I have looked on the RAF website but cannot find any record of him there. I have got the Runnymede listings and he name is on Panel 20. If you could give me any other sites that might be able to help me

Sue Williams

Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.

I Was One of the Brylcreem Boys

Ron James

Ron James was born in Northampton, England in 1923 and he joined the RAF in 1942, aged 18. After the war, he served two years in South East Asia as Movements Control Officer, helping to release the prisoners of war and internees held by the Japanese in the prison camps of Java. Ron later worked in the commercial side of the engineering industry, owned a transport motel and later fulfilled his lifetime ambition by opening a bookshop in Northampton. He was a keen amateur historian and published a history of 214 Squadron 'Avenging in the Shadows' in 1989. His autobiographies 'I was one of the Brylcreem Boys' and 'Mercy Mission to Java' were completed a couple of years before his death in 1995 and published by his daughter in 2013.
More information on:

I Was One of the Brylcreem Boys


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