- No. 540 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. 540 Squadron Royal Air Force
No. 540 Squadron was formed on 19 October 1942 from H and L Flights of the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, at Leuchars in Coastal Command. The 540's Mosquitoes carried out reconnaissance missions over Norway and a detachment at Benson undertook similar flights over France and Italy. No 540 Squadron was disbanded on 30 September 1946 and reformed after the war.
Airfields at which No.540 Squadron were based:
- Leuchars. 19 Oct 1942 to Feb 1944
- Benson. 19 Oct 1942 to Mar 1945
- Coulomiers France Mar 1945
- North Front Gibraltar Oct 1942. Detachment. Left Mar 1945.
- Lossiemouth Morayshire Feb 1944 Detachment. Left Mar 1945.
- Dyce Aberdeenshire Feb 1944 Detachment. left 14 Apr 1944.
- Yagodnik Russia Sep 1944 Detachment. Left Mar 1945.
- Agadir Sep 1945 Detachment. Left Mar 1945
If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.
Those known to have served with
No. 540 Squadron Royal Air Force
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Carter Lesley. LAC.
- Clark Thomas. F/O
- Foreman Douglas Montague. Squadron Leader (d.13th Jan 1943)
- Haney Robert Shirley. F/O (d.26th October 1943)
- Lenton Reginald Arthur. Sq. Ldr. (d.25th October 1943)
- Mann Geoffrey Edward. F/O (d.16th July 1943)
- Shepherd Reginald Bernard. Flt Sgt. (d.14th May 1943)
- Watson George. Sqd.Ldr.
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.
May 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 231539, 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.Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted. 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.
Squadron Leader Douglas Montague Foreman DFC 7 Squadron (d.13th Jan 1943)I am posting this message on your web site in the hope that someone can tell me about a fatal crash of Squadron Leader Foreman, DFC, who was killed at RAF Benson on 13th January 1943. He was a friend of my father, the late Flight Lieutenant A Seymour, who lost his life in November 1943 with 7 Squadron. I think he lived at Chelmsford before the war.Douglas Seymour
Flt Sgt. Reginald Bernard Shepherd 540 Squadron (d.14th May 1943)I would like to tell you the story of my wife's uncle Reginald Bernard Shepherd, who having joined the army, decided in 1941 that he wanted to join the air force. Reg, did all his training in Canada, 2 months flying Tiger Moths, gradually flew a lot of different aircraft during his training, Oxford, Master 1, Master II, Anson, Blenheim IV, Beaufighter, then the Mosquito with the 540 Squadron.
Reg was shot down in France on a reconnaissance operation, it is said he managed to get his plane down outside the village. We cannot be sure where he had been as none of the letters we have from the Air Ministry in 1943 would say. He was presumed missing for 6 months. Reg was 23 years old.
The other crew member was Flight Sargeant H.W. Evans aged 19, who parachuted from the aircraft before it crash landed. He was eventually to get away to Switzerland.
We have since, through letters from the Mayor of Longuyon, Dr Gousset, dated 05.04.45, found that Reg was shot in the head, no one from the town was allowed to touch Reg, not even Dr Gousset. The Germans, however, had all his papers, watch, valise etc. Dr Gousset goes on in his letter that it was his duty to see to Reg's burial and the town arranged for a coffin with internment in the French Military section of the town cemetery, alongside French soldiers killed in WW2. The letter goes on the say that the people of Longuyon laid flowers & wreaths on Reg's grave, which the Germans hated and he was afraid that some people would be put in prison. With this letter he also sent a photograph of the grave with the promise it would be attended to in the same way the French graves would be. To this day I can say this promise has been kept, even last year having a new headstone.
All this information is from Reg's Pilots Log Book, letters from Air Ministry, private letters from Reg, letters from Longuyon, which are all kept by my Mother-in-Law, June Belchem, Reg's younger sister, who is now 82.
We can tell from his log book that he flew operations to Drammen, Stavanger, Egersland, Grimstadt, Falkenau, Hoff Kaaden, Bergen, Bruxells, Pilzen & Prague, sadly the final page reads 'Death Presumed 14.5.43'. It would be nice to know where he had been to on the day he was shot down, as it's the only date missing from his Log Book. We know from information from Dr Gousset that the Mosquito he was shot down in had the identification number DZ523.
My mother-in-law, with her husband Derrick, since just after the war have been to Longuyon on numerous occasions, have met some of the people involved in this, found out that Dr Gousset was in fact part of the RAF Escape Committee they made life long friends with the Banckart family. Mrs Bannckart being the local interpreter for the allies. I have myself, with my wife, also been over to Longuyon.
We feel we know Reg at 23 from his photographs in his album of his training in Canada, pictures of his girl friends during his air force days, his athletic club photos, I feel he lived a full life in his short 23 years, sadly bought to an abrupt end. He was obviously liked from all the photographs with friends, there is also a letter from Switzerland from Flight Sargeant H.W Evans on 27.2.44 which shows the bond between the two men, quite moving.Trevor G Shilling
LAC. Lesley Carter 540 Squadron.My brother, 921542 L.A.C. Lesley Carter, served with 540 Squadron at Wick. Before he passed on he told me he was attached to a section commanded by the son of the owner of Ilford Film Co. which consisted of two Spitfires that were stripped down fitted with extra fuel tanks and a camera, he told me the Germans had nothing to touch them. He also said the Ilford Company petitioned for these special planes but were refused as production for fighters had priority so the the film company bought and paid for the equipment needed.
I am searching for other photographs of this period at Wick that I know exists. The reason I am sending these photographs is because there is no mention of Spitfires flying from that station and there must be many who would have personal photographs of this small group of men.Geoffrey Carter
F/O Geoffrey Edward Mann 540 Sqdn. (d.16th July 1943)F/O Mann served with 540 Squadron. He was killed in action on 16th July 1943 and is buried in Milan War Cemetery, Joint Grave III.B.12.
F/O Robert Shirley Haney 540 Sqdn. (d.26th October 1943)F/O Haney was killed on 26th October 1943 and is commemorated on Panel 124 of the Runnymede Memorial.Joanne
Sq. Ldr. Reginald Arthur Lenton MC DFC 540 Sqdn. (d.25th October 1943)Squadron Leader Lenton of 540 Squadron died on a mission on 25th October 1943.Joane
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