- No. 68 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -
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No. 68 Squadron Royal Air Force
7th January 1941 New night-fighter Squadron formed In the first World War 68 Squadron was the RFC identity given to No.2 Squadron of the Australian Flying Corps. However that designation was discontinued in February 1918.
A new No. 68 Squadron was formed at Catterick on 7 January 1941 as a night-fighter Squadron equipped with the Blenheim 1f. The Blenheims carried airborne interception radar, known as A.I. Most of the the pilots were from single-engine fighter squadrons and needed to go through a twin-engine conversion course. The first A.I. operators were mostly ex-gunners who were trained on the equipment by the Squadron mainly by the ground 'boffins'. At this time there were no operational training units for night-fighter crews, and no A.I. training school for operators (until No.3 Radio School was opened at Prestwick in July 1941). Consequently the initial training period for 68 Squadron was lengthy and it did not become operational until 7 April 1941.
7th January 1941 New night-fighter Squadron formed
23rd April 1941 Operational
18th May 1941 Crashed on night Patrol
17th June 1941 Night interception success
1st July 1941 Czechoslovak aircrew arrive
12th Oct 1941 Night fighter success
1st Nov 1941 Night fighter success
1st March 1942 Relocated
27th April 1942 Sacking of Norwich
29th April 1942 Norwich bombed
May 1942 Maritime duties
1st May 1942 Night fighter success
30th May 1942 Night action
23rd July 1942 Enemy bombers intercepted
August 1942 New duties
5th September 1942 Air accidents
16th February 1943 Ground attack role
18th February 1943 Mixed missions
22nd April 1943 Detachment
3rd October 1943 Reinforcements
12th December 1943 Enemy engaged
17th January 1944 Detachment
29th January 1944 Trainee success
5th February 1944 Relocated
1st March 1944 Relocated again
15th May 1944 Successful sortie
28th May 1944 Mosquitos arrive
23rd June 1944 V1 defences
9th July 1944 Flying Bombs
August 1944 Frustration
October 1944 US Aircrew join 68 Squadron
16th Oct 1944 Success
27th October 1944 Relocated
5th November 1944 V2 spotted
4th December 1944 Aircraft lost
January 1945 Aircraft missing
8th February 1945 Flooded
3rd March 1945 Bombers shot down
4th March 1945 Aircraft lost to AA fire
20th April 1945 On the Move
May 1945 Airfields used
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Those known to have served with
No. 68 Squadron Royal Air Force
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Butcher Geoffrey Robert. PO (d.18th May 1941)
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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PO Geoffrey Robert Butcher 68 Squadron (d.18th May 1941)My Great-Uncle, Geoff Butcher, was a Pilot Officer with 68 Squadron during WW2. Before the war he won a scholarship to Brasenose College, Oxford; after the outbreak of war he was transferred to Christ Church, Oxford. In July 1940 he volunteered for the RAF, a year before finishing his studies. After training he became a Sergeant Pilot, and at the beginning of 1941 he got his commission as a Pilot Officer. The squadron was based at Catterick during training as a night-fighter squadron. The 1st CO was Spn Ldr DL Clackson, but later replaced by Wg. Cdr Max Aitken, DFC. In April 1941, 68 squadron was made operational and moved to High Ercall Airfield, Staffs. The first casualties occured when Geoff and Sgt. Irwin Harold Wiskar (Czech) were killed on the night of the 17/18 May 1941. They were engaged in local night flying practice in their Bristol Blenheim L8675 when the aircraft stalled at low altitude. Six of their squadron brothers acted as pall-bearers at their funeral. Geoff is buried at Wombridge Church Yard.Rebecca Farr
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