- No. 256 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -
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No. 256 Squadron Royal Air Force
No 256 squadron originally formed in June 1918 for coastal patrols of the coast of north-east England; it disbanded at the end of June 1919. In late November 1940 No 256 re-formed at Catterick as a night fighter squdron with Defiants, operating over south-west England by February 1941. In March 1941 it moved north to defend Merseyside, acquiring Hurricanes. Beaufighters arrived in May 1942; the squadron trasferred to southern England and converted to Mosquitoes. In October 1943 the squadron moved to Malta and in April 1944 it moved to Algeria, absorbing the Spitfires of the Gibraltar Defence Flight in May. It moved to Sardinia in August 1944, to Italy in September 1944, flying intruder flights over the Balkans until the end of the war.
Airfields No. 256 Squadron flew from:
- RAF Catterick, Yorkshire from 23rd November 1940 (re-formed. Defiant I)
- RAF Pembrey, Camarthenshire from the 4th January 1941
- RAF Colerne, Wiltshire from the 6th February 1941
- RAF Squire's Gate, Lancashire from the 26th March 1941 (Defiant II, Beaufighter If)
- RAF Woodvale, Lancashire from the 1st June 1942 (Beaufighter VIf)
- RAF Ford, Sussex from the 24th April 1943 (Mosquito XII)
- RAF Woodvale, Lancashire from 25th August 1943
- Luqa, Malta from the 25th September 1943
- Algeria from April 1944
- Sardinia from August 1944
- Italy from September 1944
If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.
Those known to have served with
No. 256 Squadron Royal Air Force
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Bennett Cyril Victor. Flt.Lt. (d.13th Jan 1945)
- Davies Gordon.
- Griffin William Henry. Cpl.
- Harris Alec Edward. Flying Officer (d.19th Jan 1945)
- Munns Lionel. Cpl.
- Paulton Francis Joseph.
- Reynolds Frederick Thomas. F/Lt. (d.6th Mar 1945)
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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Flying Officer Alec Edward "Pops" Harris Observer 256 Squadron (d.19th Jan 1945)I am Alec Harris' daughter and was ten years old when he and his pilot crashed when taking off from Nice airport in their mosquito in January 1945. My father was the navigator. They were first posted as missing and son after my father's body washed up on a beach just south of Marseilles. He is buried in the British cemetry there. I would be most interested to hear from anyone who may remember my father.He was forty years old when he died and quite the oldest in the squadron where his nickname was "pops". Most members of the squadron would have been much younger so may still be alive. His death affected my mother deeply and she died of cancer in 1960. I think she felt it was a cruel fate in that he died so close to the end of the war and especially after he had been in much more dangerous missions previously. As far as I remember my father was in Malta, North Africa, Sardinia and Fogia, Italy. I have a photo of him also in front of the Sphinx in Egypt but am not sure where this fits in chronologically. If there is any record of his service and a record of where he was and when I would be most grateful to know how to obtain this information. I now live in Oregon in the USA. Sincerely Sally B Smith (nee Harris)Sally Smith
Cpl. Lionel Munns 3059 Servicing Echelon 256 SquadronLionel Munns served in 256 Squadron as engine fitter with 3059 servicing Echelon, mainly in Italy from late 1942 until it was disbanded in 1946, previous to that he served in 255 squadron.George Munns
F/Lt. Frederick Thomas "Eric" Reynolds 65 Squadron (d.6th Mar 1945)Flight Lieutenant Frederick Thomas Reynolds joined the R.A.F.V.R. in 1938, his original Service Number was 742592, This changed to 86373 on or around 29th September 1940 when he was promoted to 'Pilot Officer' (on probation) Ref 'London Gazette No 34986 Tuesday 5th November 1940'. He served in RAF No 65 Squadron and we know from a letter to his family he was stationed in with them at RAF Turnhouse near Edinburgh in the period August-November 1940. We also know from another letter he was with RAF Squadron 256 stationed February - March 1941 at Colerne near Chippenham, he flew Hurricanes at this time, and that he was involved in the defence of Liverpool. His sister (my mother) says she knew he destroyed a German aircraft in this period but we have no details, she also recalls he crashed his aircraft on Rhyl Beach but again we have no details.
In 1944/45 he was with 219 Squadron flying Mosquito NF30's under Wing Commander Peter Green based at Amiens-Glisy in France and he is recorded as destroying a Messerschmitt Me110 on night of 1-2 January 1945. He was killed when his Mosquito crashed in flames in the town of Amiens (eye witness account) on 6th March 1945. This was officially recorded as an Aircraft Accident but we do not know the cause or any details.Peter L. Young
Flt.Lt. Cyril Victor "Bennie" Bennett DFC 515 Sqd. (d.13th Jan 1945)Cyril Bennett DFC served with 256 and 515 Squadrons.R W Bennett
Gordon Davies 256 SquadronGordon Davies served as an Armourer with 256 Squadron.Stewart Taylor
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