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No. 549 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 549 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 549 Squadron Royal Air Force

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

Those known to have served with

No. 549 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Carter Thomas Charles. F/Lt.

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F/Lt. Thomas Charles "Nick" Carter 234 Squadron

Flt Lt TC Carter sketching wtched by Fg Off Bickford

Some of the pilots of 549 Sqn. Nick Carter at left.

My father Thomas Carter joined the RAF soon after his 18th birthday and started his flying training at 16FTS, Derby. At some point during these early months he was given the sobriquet 'Nick', after the hero of a popular radio series entitled 'Nick Carter Private Detective'. For the rest of his life he was known as Nick to RAF and work colleagues.

After basic flying training he was posted to 57 at RAF Hawarden to convert onto Spitfires. After 12 hours of solo on Spitfires he was suddenly posted, as a Sergeant Pilot, to RAF Roborough where he flew Lysanders on Air-Sea Rescue duties. From Roborough he was transferred to RAF Warmwell in Dorset where he continued flying Lysanders on 1487 Target Towing Flight. Finally, at the beginning of 1943 he was posted to 52 OTU at RAF Aston Down to restart his conversion onto Spitfires. This time he completed the course.

From Aston Down he joined 234 Squadron at RAF Skeabrae in the Orkneys flying Spitfire Vb and from there he moved with the squadron to RAF Honiley and then to RAF West Malling. At West Malling 234 Squadron commenced fighter sweeps and bomber escort sorties over France. During a busy couple of months Nick Carter was awarded one Messerschmitt Bf 109, probably destroyed, and one damaged.

Then, virtually all of the 234 Squadron pilots were sent to Australia to form 549 Squadron flying Spitfire Mk VIII. For the rest of the war Nick and the rest of the pilots, their aircraft serviced by RAAF groundcrew, flew in the defence of Darwin in Northern Australia.

In many ways Nick had a lucky war; despite 5 years of operational and training flying he came through unharmed. Unlike the 'aces' he did little damage to the enemy, but, in common with the vast majority of RAF aircrew who never made it into the history books he did 'his bit' and we should be immensely proud of all of them.

Chris Carter

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