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No. 229 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 229 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 229 Squadron Royal Air Force

   No 229 Squadron was formed in August 1918, flying coastal patrols until the end of the war. It was disbanded in December 1919.

In October 1939, No 229 re-formed at Digby as a fighter squadron, equipped with Blenheims for shipping protection duties, convoy patrols and night training and radar trials. In March 1940 it was re-equipped with Hurricanes and briefly, in May, reinforced French-based fighter squadrons. It then flew defensive patrols over the east coast, moving to Northolt where it remained for the rest of the Battle of Britain. It moved to Merseyside in December 1940 and then to the Middle East in May of 1941. On arrival in Egypt a detachment was attached to No 274 Squadron to cover the evacuation of Crete, a second detachment was divided between Nos 6, 208 and 213 Squadrons and a flight was transferred from 274 to 73. The squadron re-coalesced in September 1941. Fighter sweeps were flown over Libya until the end of March 1942 when the squadron went to Malta to reinforce its fighter defences. By April 1942 its surviving aircraft and pilots had been absorbed by other units.

In August 1942 No 229 re-formed at Takali, Malta and flew Spitfires in the Defence of Malta toward the end of the siege. In January 1943 all the Maltese squadrons began to sweep Sicily and in May No 229 began to operate fighter-bombers, covering the landings in Sicily. It remained in Malta, then Sicily until April 1944 when it transferred to Hornchurch, providing escort missions over the Netherlands. With Spitfire XVIs, it flew fighter-bomber sweeps until re-numbered 603 Squadron in January 1945.

Airfields No. 229 Squadron flew from:

  • RAF Digby, Lincolnshire from 6th October 1939 (re-formed. Blenheim If, Hurrican I)
  • RAF Wittering, Northamptonshire from the 26th June 1940
  • RAF Northolt, Middlesex from the 9th September 1940
  • RAF Wittering from the 15th December 1940
  • RAF Speke, Lancashire from the 22nd December 1940
  • LG07 Egypt from 20th May 1941
  • Malta from March 1942
  • Takali, Malta from 3rd August 1942
  • Catania, Sicily from January 1944
  • RAF Hornchurch, Essex from 24th April 1944
  • RAF Detling, Kent from 19th May 1944
  • RAF Tangmere, Sussex from 22nd June 1944
  • RAF Merston, Sussex from 24th June 1944
  • RAF Gatwick, Surrey from 28th June 1944
  • RAF Coltishall, Norfolk from 1st July 1944
  • RAF Manston, Kent from 25th September 1944
  • RAF Matlaske, Norfolk from 22nd October 1944
  • RAF Swannington from 20th November 1944
  • RAF Coltishall from 2nd December 1944 (Spitfire LFXVIe)
  • renumbered as No 603 Squadron the 10th of January 1945


15th Sep 1940 Battle of Britain Day

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

Those known to have served with

No. 229 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Burns Charles Withers McLeod. Flt.Sgt. (d.31st Dec 1941)
  • Mabbott John.
  • Mains George. F/Lt. (d.11th June 1944)
  • McLellan William. F/Lt.
  • Ravenhill Malcolm. F/O. (d.30th Sep 1940)
  • Ravenhill Malcolm. FO/Pilot (d.30th September 1940)
  • Wing Frederick Thompson. Cpl.

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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Cpl. Frederick Thompson Wing 229 Squadron

My father Eric Wing joined the RAFVR shortly before the outbreak of WW2 as a Sergeant Pilot but found he was unsuitable for flying duties. He Then joined 229 Squadron and trained as a wireless operator at Hortholt. He served most of his service in the Western Desert ground based operating from a wireless truck. Photographs surviving include Cairo, Maaten Bagush,Memphis,Sakkara, Wadi Natrun, Sidi Heneish, Tobruk, Gazala, Barce, Tocra, Nofilia, Buerat, Homs, Misurata and Tripoli(Castel Benito). He 'Liberated' the Military Consul's official rubber stamp from Governors Palace at Castel Benito as a souvenir and said place was thoroughly looted prior to his visit there in April 1943. He spent from Spring 1943 until demob at the Wireless School in Yatesbury.

Mike Wing

Flt.Sgt. Charles Withers McLeod Burns 229 Squadron (d.31st Dec 1941)

Charlie Burns was lost and his aircraft was never found. I believe he was the tail end aircraft of his formation. His formation mates stated that they had seen a Messerschmidt 109 in the area but they never saw Charlie being shot down, nor did they hear a call from him so he may have fallen victim to a single pass from this fighter. It is all conjecture. Perhaps he was over the sea or his aircraft was lost in the desert. Charlie's instructor stated that he was very respectful under criticism and as he admired his courage he recommended him for fighters.

Charlie had been born in the Canadian Maritimes. His mother, Lou Withers, was from Granville Centre, Nova Scotia, and his father, Sidney Burns was from the Truro area of Nova Scotia. Charlie had spent some time as a child living in Regina, Saskatchewan before returning to the Maritimes with his family. He was married, and after his death his widow, who was living in New Brunswick, also passed away. He has no descendants. He has one surviving sister, Margaret, who served in the RCAF in England, and two cousins, Neil and Robert Wade, who served overseas in the Royal Canadian Signal Corps and the Royal Canadian Artillery respectively.

Fletcher Wade

F/Lt. William McLellan 229 Squadron

My father, William McLellan served in the Royal Air Force with 229 Squadron, based in the Middle East (Libya) and then Malta.

Catherine Gibson

F/O. Malcolm Ravenhill 229 Squadron (d.30th Sep 1940)

My late grandfather witnessed F/O Malcolm Ravenhill's Hurricane circling round over the field next to his house on what my mother describes as a horrendous day of dog fighting with ME109'S over Ightham in Kent. Within a few seconds the Hurricane plummeted to the ground and burst into flames. My grandfather desperately tried to get to the pilot but was forced to give up as unexploded ammunition was going off from the plane's machine guns. My grandfather was deeply upset by this but he was later told by the RAF that F/O Ravenhill had been killed in flight and the plane circling was doing so until the pilot slumped forwards which then caused the plane to fall from the sky.

Malcolm Ravenhill is buried in City Road Cemetery, Sheffiled. His headstone reads "Malcolm Ravenhill, Flying Officer (229 Squadron) Killed in the Battle Of Britain, Sept 30th 1940 Aged 27 Years. One Of The Gallant Few. RIP M Ravenhill. Lest we forget.

David Baldwin

FO/Pilot Malcolm Ravenhill 229 Squadron (d.30th September 1940)

Does anyone have any information about Malcolm Ravenhill? I look after his grave in Sheffield.

Beth Winkley

John "Reg" Mabbott 229 Sqdn.

I am looking for information about 229 Squadron RAF, especially if anyone has information in relation to my late father, John Mabbott (aka Reg Mabbott). He was from Nottinghamshire and served in Egypt and Italy. I believe he was a winchman or drogue operator. Any information would be great.

K Bennett

F/Lt. George Mains 229 Sqdn. (d.11th June 1944)

George Mains from Glasgow, Scotland was listed missing presumed dead in the English Channel. He was a Spitfire pilot in the City Edinburgh Squadron. Any information would be appreciated.

Denis Williams

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