WorldNavalShips .com Home Page
Order Enquiries (UK) : 01436 820269

You currently have no items in your basket

Google

 

www.worldnavalships.com

Naval History by Country :
ROYAL
NAVY
US
NAVY
GERMAN
NAVY
FRENCH
NAVY
MORE
PAGES
VIEW ALL OF OUR CURRENT ART SPECIAL OFFERS ON ONE PAGE HERE
NAVAL ART AVIATION ART MILITARY ART SPORT ART
Ship Search by Name :
Product Search         




Meteor - Aircraft Details - Aviation Directory

Meteor


Name : Meteor
Manufacturer : Gloster
Production Began : 1944
Number Built : 3947

The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet. Designed by George Carter, and built by the Gloster Aircraft Company, Armstrong-Whitworth, the Meteor first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Gloster Meteor was not an aerodynamically advanced aircraft but the Gloster design team succeeded in producing an effective jet fighter that served the RAF and other air forces for decades. Meteors saw action with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in the Korean War and other air forces used the Meteor. The Royal Danish Air Force, The Belgian Air Force and Isreali Air Force kept the Meteor in service until the early 1970's. A Total of 3947 meteors were built and two Meteors, WL419 and WA638, remain in service with the Martin-Baker company as ejection seat testbeds.

Pilots and Aircrew for : Meteor
A list of all aircrew from our database who are associated with this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking their name.
NameInfo
Beardsley, Robert
Click the name above to see a profile of Beardsley, Robert
Beardsley, Robert

Pilot Officer Robert A.Beardsley flew with Spitfire's in No 610 Squadron and No 41 Squadron's during the Battle of Britain. He attacked a Do 17 and a Bf 109 on 30th September 1940 he became the prey. Six Bf 109's chased him and shot up his Spitfire with machine gun and cannon fire, Pilot Officer Beardsley managed to land at Hawkinge and jumped clear whilst the aircraft was still rolling to a halt well alight with the airfield tender giving chase.
Briggs, Don
Click the name above to see a profile of Briggs, Don
Briggs, Don

62 ops as Flight Engineer on Lancasters of 156 Pathfinder Squadron. After the war he qualified as a pilot and flew all three types of V-Bomber operationally including the famous Vulcan XH558 as well as Canberras and Meteors. He flew the mission that dropped the third and last Atom Bomb on Christmas Island.
Cassels, J R
Click the name above to see a profile of Cassels, J R

   Died : 19 / 12 / 2008
Cassels, J R

No's 14, 29, 98, 106, 125, 139 (Jamaica), and 162 Squadrons. "April, 1941 - Enlisted in Edinburgh and accepted for pilot training. April 1941 to April 1942 - No 4 I.TW. Paignton, No 9 E.F.T.S. Ansty, Coventry, No 12 S.F.T.S. Spittlegate, Grantham, (22/01/1941 Received wings as Sgt. Pilot) No 14 O.T.U. Cottesmore flying Hampdens. April 1942 - No 106 Squadron, RAF Coningsby commanded by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, DSO, DFC. I was second pilot on Manchesters and did 4 operational sorties. Converted to Lancasters as first pilot and did 26 operational sorties, including Le Creusot raid on 17 October '42, between June and December 1942. Final sortie on 8 December 1942. December 1942 to March 1943 - Survived several attempts to turn me into a flying instructor. March 1943 - No 1485 Conversion Unit ie. No 5 Group Gunnery Flight training air gunners. October- November 1943 - No 1655 Mosquito Training Unit. November 1943 to June 1944 - No 8 Group, Pathfinder Force - No 139 (Jamaica) Squadron. H2S Mosquito Marking Squadron, RAF Wyton and Upwood. Completed 44 operational sorties before ending up interned in Sweden. 12 June 1944 to 20th September 1944 interned at Falun, Sweden. October 1944 to June 1945 - rejoined No 139 (Jamaica) Squadron at RAF Upwood after an air crew medical where a Group Captain M.0. told me that, as I was warm and my goolies didn't drop oftwhen I coughed, I was back to war. Completed 46 operational sorties before V.E. day. Total sorties on 139 squadron 90. June 1945 to July 1946 - Transport Command, No 162 Squadron flying Mosquitos (ALDS ic, Air Delivery Letter Service) RAF Blackbush. August 1946 to February 1950 - No's 14 and 98 Squadrons, No 139 Wing, RAFO, at RAF Wahn and Celle. February 1950 to August 1950 - abortive EIPS Course. August 1950 to October 1951 - Air Traffic Controllers Course and ATC Officer at RAFWest Raynham. November 1951 to October 1952 - No 29 Night Fighter Squadron, RAF Tangmere. Meteor NFXI. October 1952 to April 1953 - Air Ministry and All Weather Wing, RAF West Raynliam. April 1953 to November 1955 - No 12 Group Headquarters, Group Accidents Officer. November 1955 to April 1957 - No 125 Night Fighter squadron, RAF Stradishall, Meteor NFM and Venom NF. April 1957 to August 1959 - Eastern Sector Operations Centre, Recovery Executive. RAF Neatishead. October 1959 to July 1962 - Hg FEAF, Joint Intelligence Staff. Commissioner Generals Office and RAF Changi. July 1962 to March 1965 - No 3 Group Hg, OC HQ Unit and RAF Liaison Officer to USAF Mildenhall. Retired from RAF as Squadron Leader March 1965. Employed by Airwork Services Ltd, as pilot. March 1965. March 1965 to August 1970 - No 3 (Civilian Anti Aircraft Unit) Exeter Airport. Vampire TX1 and Meteor T=. September 1970 to April 1977 - FRADU ( Fleet Requirements Air Defence Unit) RNAS Yeovilton. Hunter GAII and Mk 8. September 1977. Aged 55. RN age limit for fast jet flying. September 1970. Commissioned in RA17VR M. September 1970 to May 1982 - No 4 AEF, Exeter Airport, Chipmunk. Retired from RAFVRM aged 60, May 1982. Total Flying Hours - 11,300 Ins. Sadly passed away 19th December 2008.
Castagnola, James
Click the name above to see a profile of Castagnola, James
Castagnola, James

Joining the RAF in 1941 he graduated as a pilot after completing his training in America. Returning to England he joined 51 Squadron in early 1943 flying from RAF Snaith. Joining 617 Squadron in early 1944 he took part in many of the squadrons successes including attacks on U-boat pens and all three raids against the Tirpitz. Born in 1922 in Islington, Cass as he was known to all, enlisted in 1941 and trained in North America. Returning to England he crewed up at OTU and after completing their HCU course the crew, captained by a newly commissioned Cass, joined 57 Squadron in December 1943 for their first tour of operations. They were to be blooded with a series of attacks against Berlin, completing three operations against this target in four nights during January 1944. In all Cass was to visit the Big City eight times during his tour. During the Nuremberg operation of 30/31 March 1944 his Lancaster's rear turret guns froze up but a burst from the mid-upper caused an approaching Me 210 to break away. On return his gunners also claimed one Ju 88 destroyed and another damaged. On 5 April 1944 the crew were one of six attached along with their aircraft to the Squadron at Woodhall Spa, to provide an H2S capability. After an initial trip as passenger with Fg Off Fearn for the attack against the Luftwaffe Depot at St Cyr on 10 April to observe the Squadron's methods, Cass found himself non-operational for a month as the Squadron trained intensively for Operation Taxable. Teamed up with Nick Knilans he completed the D-Day deception operation and three nights later he was operating against the Saumur railway tunnel. Unable to carry Tallboy, his H2S equipped aircraft was loaded with thousand pounders to be aimed at the adjacent railway bridge across the Loire. His next three trips were as an additional member of Knilans'crew. By July Cass had been posted back to 57 Sqn at East Kirkby and would complete his first tour with them.He was not away from Woodhall for long, arriving back on the Squadron on 15 August to start his second tour. This was to be much more satisfying. With his trademark 'operationally battered' cap, Cass and his crew soon proved themselves a popular and valuable asset to the Squadron. Starting with a trip to Brest on 27 August and now carrying Tallboy they were part of the high level force for the attack on the Kembs Dam, and took part in all three operations against Tirpitz, claiming a direct hit in the middle of the superstructure during the final attack. During the attack on Bergen on 12 January 1945 his aircraft came under fighter attack and Cass dived to within the range of the flak batteries; the fighter deigned to follow. Heading out to sea he spotted Ian Ross' aircraft at low level, on fire and under fighter attack. With his bomb aimer manning the front turret and without thinking of his own safety Cass dived to offer whatever assistance he could. He was successful in driving the fighter away, but Ross was forced to ditch, while Cass circled overhead dropping an emergency radio wrapped in Mae Wests when it was seen that Ross' dinghy had not deployed. Climbing to 500 feet they signalled the ditched Lancaster's position and remained in the area, seeking cloud cover when a German fighter came too close. With fuel running low he was eventually forced to leave the stricken crew to their fate. The remaining months saw a new routine develop, railway viaducts replacing U-boat pens as targets during February and March, before returning to April's target list, along with other naval targets during the last month of hostilities. After a total of 62 operations Cass' war came to an end on 19 April 1945 with an attack on the island fortress of Heligoland. The latter part of 1945 saw him as the Squadron's Inspector Pilot as they worked up for 'Tiger Force' – the RAF's projected contribution to the Pacific War but, with the squadron prepared to go overseas to India, in January 1946 he was posted to RAF Snaith, to conduct aircrew training. Having been awarded the DFC for his time on 57 Sqn, Cass was to receive a bar in March 1945 for his service with 617 and a further award of the DSO in October 1945.Awarded a permanent commission in 1947, he was posted to the Central Flying Establishment, RAF West Raynham, flying Mosquitos, Vampires and Meteors, before transferring to the Empire Test Pilots School, RAE Farnborough, in March 1950. After qualifying as a test pilot his experience was put to good use for four years at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscombe Down. Cass transferred to fighters in April 1954 and served in the Middle East and Germany before becoming Officer Commanding No. 41 Sqn, Biggin Hill, flying the Hunter F 5. In keeping with a number of pilots following their fighter tour, at the beginning of 1958 he was sent on a radar control course prior to being posted to Neatishead radar station, Norfolk, as Control Executive. After a final tour as a Staff Officer with HQ No. 13 Group, at Ouston, he left the RAF in November 1961 as a Squadron Leader, joining British Airways as a captain on Comets and Tridents until his retirement in 1980.
Charlesworth, A M
Click the name above to see a profile of Charlesworth, A M
Charlesworth, A M

Joined the RAF straight from school just before his 18th birthday in the summer of 1940 with the sole purpose of becoming a fighter pilot. After training, at age just 18, he was posted to RAF Ibsley, Hampshire, to 118 Sqdn, flying Spitfire 2Bs. Here he took part in his first scramble. After a month he was posted where the action was thickest, to a 11 Group Station, RAF Kenley, where he joined 602 Sqdn. His Squadron Commander was Al Deere, by this time a highly decorated ace; Al was 23 then and had already been shot down nine times. 602 Squadron was equipped with the more advanced Spitfire VBs which had two 20mm cannons, firing at 1200 rounds a minute, plus four very useful Browning 50mm machine guns firing at an even higher rate per minute. Al Deere was eventually posted to another squadron and Paddy Finucane took over - "possibly the finest fighter pilot 1 came across", Max. Charlesworth continues, "I remember him trying to get his 21st victory before his birthday and I often flew No. 2 to him. These were twitchy and tiring days when three sweeps a over occupied France day were the norm, to be met each time by several hundred Me 109s and Focke Wolf 190s, at our maximum range, where hectic dog fights ensued. We were normally outnumbered and a day could last from an early morning call at 3.30am to the last landing at 10.30pm in the semi-dark of the long summer of 1941. The average age of the approximately 30 pilots on the squadron was always about 19." During this period they were scrambled to search for and attack the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau (although they did not know it at the time) which, with escorting vessels had slipped up the Channel from Brest. The weather was awful and Max flew straight across the German battle cruiser Hipper thinking it was a Royal Navy cruiser. The Hipper opened up at Max with guns blazing but he was fortunate to escape with just a hole in one wing. In April 1942 Max was posted to a secret unit called MSFU (Merchant Service Fighter Unit) where he flew Hurricanes from catapults on merchant ships attached to convoys of anything up to fifty merchant men a time. The ships were mainly bringing supplies from America and taking them to Murmansk and Archangel, the hard-pressed Soviets and Gibraltar. Max recalls this as a highly physical and uncomfortable task, apart from also being very scary. The ships were constantly attacked by U Boat packs and aircraft. When they were in range of the latter, if they launched the Hurricane they knew they would ultimately have to bail out and hope to be picked up by either a friendly escort vessel or a sunken ships lifeboat. "The North Atlantic route to Canada, north of Iceland and down the Greenland coast at an average sped of six knots in appalling seas was not our idea of a holiday cruise", Max vividly recalls. Having survived this posting Max was then moved to 124 Sq. at West Malting, Near Maidstone, Kent. The squadron was equipped with the much more powerful Spitfire IXs. Their task here was mainly escorting USAF and RAF bombing raids into Europe. With longrange tanks fitted they were able to reach Hamburg and Ludwigshafen; later on they were able to refuel from liberated bases in France. These ops. required them to fly as Top Cover at over 30,000 feet for up to three hours, where it was so cold the pilots returned to base hardly able to climb out of their cockpits. On February 9th 1945 Max was the Senior Flight Commander on 124 Squadron during their move to Cottishall. Here they adapted the Spitfire Ks to dive-bombing. The Spitfires carried either a 500lb. bomb under the fuselage and two 250lbs. under each wing or, a 90-gallon fuel tank under the fuselage and a 250lb. bomb under each wing. Their mission was to destroy V2 sites in Holland - mainly situated in small parks near the centre of the Hague. These V2 sites were launching rockets on London in ever increasing numbers. As well as attacking the V2 sites they were to destroy railway lines used by the Germans to transport V2s into the area. These were dangerous times as the V2s sites were heavily defended by 88mm guns down to 20mm. "The flak was horrendous and we lost many" recalls Max. As Senior Flight Commander, Max often led the squadron, though identifying targets from 12,000 feet was difficult. After the war Max was one of the first pilots to convert to the Meteor twin-engined jet, later to move on to Vampires and Canberras. His flying career was completed in June 1961 when he was posted to Warsaw, Poland as the Assistant Air Attache. He finally retired from the RAF in 1966.
Costain, Hank
Click the name above to see a profile of Costain, Hank
Costain, Hank

Hank Costain was born in Horton on the Gower Coast and was educated at Christ College Brecon. He joined the RAFVR for pilot training in September 1940. He trained in the USA in Arizona at Thunderbird Field and Falcon Field, returning to the UK in 1941 to complete operational training at 53 OTU on Spitfire Mk1s. He flew with No 154 Squadron (Motor Industries Squadron) Spitfire Vbs in the Hornchurch Wing. The Squadron was withdrawn from 11 Group to prepare for the invasion of North Africa, operation Torch. He flew with the Squadron throughout the North African campaign and moved with the Squadron to Malta to prepare for the invasion of Sicily, operation Husky. After moving to Lentini East in Sicily his tour was completed and he was posted back to The Canal Zone 73 OTU Abu Sueir as an instructor. Having completed his instructors tour the Far East were calling for experienced Spitfire pilots and he found himself en route to No 615 Squadron (County of Surrey) R.Aux.A.F. in Burma. He baled out of a Spitfire MkVIII while operating with 615 Squadron and spent several months in hospital in Calcutta before being invalided home. Fit again he became an instructor at 61 OTU Keevil on Spitfires and Mustangs. The next tour was with 245 Squadron at Horsham St Faith flying Meteor 3s. This tour was cut short, as there was a call for the two Spitfire Squadrons in Japan to be reinforced. At the end of 1946 he found himself on No 11 Squadron at Miho in Japan as part of the BCAIR element of BCOF (British Commonwealth Occupation Force). Returning from Japan in 1948 he spent a period ferrying with No 20 Maintenance Unit followed be an appointment as Unit Test Pilot at No9 MU. He completed the CFS Course in 1952 and became Training Officer of No602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron R.Aux.A.F. Promoted to Squadron Leader in 1953, a tour as Chief Ground Instructor and OC Gunnery Squadron at 226 OCU was completed. When 226 OCU was disbanded he took command of No608 (NR) Squadron R.Aux.A.F. at Thornaby on Tees, flying Vampires. He completed his RAF career in Guided Weapons. A tour of Woomera evaluating the Bloodhound Mk2 SAM missile. Then CO of No 33 (SAM) Squadron at Butterworth in Malaysia followed by appointment as CO of No 25 (SAM) Squadron at North Coates and RAF Germany.
Coward, James Baird
Click the name above to see a profile of Coward, James Baird

   Died : 25 / 7 / 2012
Coward, James Baird

James Baird Coward was born on May 18 1915 at Teddington and educated at St John’s School, Leatherhead. After a few years as an apprentice bookkeeper, he joined the RAF in October 1936 and trained as a pilot. When Coward joined No.19 Squadron at Duxford a year later, it was equipped with the Gauntlet biplane fighter. A fine artist, he executed a set of caricatures of his fellow pilots and was then asked to paint the squadron badge on the fins of the silver fabric covered aircraft. After weeks of painstaking work, he had just completed the final aircraft when the Munich crisis erupted and all RAF aircraft had camouflage paint applied to their skins. Shortly afterwards No.19 became the first RAF squadron to be equipped with the Spitfire. The squadron was heavily engaged in providing support during the evacuation of the BEF from Dunkirk, and on June 2 1940 Coward was credited with the probable destruction of a Messerschmitt Bf 109. Coward, who had seen action over Dunkirk, was one of the more senior pilots on No.19 Squadron flying from Duxford. Early on the morning of August 31 1940 the squadron was scrambled to intercept an incoming raid, and Coward was leading his section at 22,000ft when they identified a formation of Dornier bombers escorted by a force of 60 fighters. Coward dived on the bombers but his cannons jammed as he opened fire. As he pulled away, he felt a dull thud on his left leg and looked down to see his foot almost severed. The controls of his Spitfire Mk.I X4231 were damaged and he was forced to bail out. He decided to free-fall to a lower height but could not stand the pain as his foot twisted in the slipstream. He was also losing a great deal of blood, so he pulled the ripcord. Fearing that he would bleed to death in the long descent, he took off his helmet and used the long radio lead to tie a tourniquet to arrest the bleeding. The Spitfire I (X4231) crashed at Little Shelford, Essex. His leg was amputated, and after five months recovering from his wounds, Coward joined Winston Churchill’s personal staff. Each weekend was spent at Chequers or the Prime Minister’s private home at Chartwell, where Coward coordinated the roof-spotting organisation. In January 1942 Coward returned to flying and became an instructor at a fighter training unit. He later commanded the Aircraft Delivery Unit at Croydon. He remained in the post-war RAF, serving as the air attaché in Oslo and at the RAF College Cranwell before taking command of an advanced flying training school equipped with the twin-engined Meteor fighter. He carried out many test flights investigating the spinning characteristics of the jet, and at the end of his appointment was awarded an AFC. In 1957 Coward assumed command of RAF Boulmer in Northumberland, one of the RAF’s main radar early warning and fighter control units. Three years later he left for Australia to join the British Defence Liaison Staff. For four years he was the Air Officer Commanding Air Cadets and Commandant of the Air Training Corps before being appointed, in 1966, defence attaché in Pretoria. On leaving South Africa in 1969, Coward retired from the RAF and moved with his wife, Cynthia, to Australia. He passed away on 25th July 2012.
Cresswell, R C Dick
Click the name above to see a profile of Cresswell, R C Dick

   Died : 12 / 12 / 2006
Cresswell, R C Dick

Wing Commander Richard 'Dick' Cresswell, leading Australian Figher Ace. On December 2nd 1942 over Darwin, Cresswell shot down a Japanese heavy bomber. In total Cresswell logged over 450 hours flying hazardous operations as the leader of an Australian fighter squadron in two wars - WWII and Korea. He was three times Commanding Officer of 77 Squadron, his second stint was at Kamiri Airstrip on Noemfoor Island. The squadron were fying the Kittyhawk fighter. Cresswell handed over command on 23rd Secember 1944 to Squadron Leader W R C McCullough. Because of his distinguished service leading 77 Squadron he was known as 'Mr Double Seven'. He continued his service with 77 Squadron during the Korean War. Sadly Wing Commander R. C. (Dick) Cresswell DFC passed away on the 12th December 2006.
Dell, Jimmy
Click the name above to see a profile of Dell, Jimmy

   Died : 25 / 3 / 2008
Dell, Jimmy

Jimmy Dell joined the RAF in 1942 and after the war flew F-86Es and the first radar equipped F-86D with the USAF. He was the first RAF Lightning Project Test Pilot and later became Chief Test Pilot at English Electric/BAC test flying Lightning, TSR 2 and Jaguar. One of a unique breed of aviators who have achieved great career success as a fast jet test pilot within both military and commercial environments. Probably best known for his work on the English Electric Lightning, Jimmy Dell has used his skill, courage and intimate knowledge of aerodynamics to reach the very top of a highly demanding profession. Joining the RAF in 1942, Jimmy Dell did his initial pilot training in Southern Rhodesia. By 1944 he had already become a Flying Instructor for advanced trainers. After the war Jimmy performed various training and test flying roles on aircraft such as Spitfires, Meteors, Venoms and Hunters. He also led test flight teams to the USA and France to work on aircraft such as the F-100, F-104, F-105, F-106, Mystere 4 and Mirage 3. In 1960 he joined English Electric on the Lightning development programme and was Chief Test Pilot from 1961 to 1970. Jimmy also worked on the TSR2 programme and flew 12 of the aircraft’s 24 test flights, before its untimely cancellation in 1965. He worked on the French / UK Jaguar programme, and finally became Director, Flight Operations with responsibility for all Tornado test flight activities across the three participating countries. Jimmy Dell retired in 1989. Amongst his awards was the OBE for services to test flying. Sadly, Jimmy Dell died on 25th March 2008.
Duckenfield, Byron
Click the name above to see a profile of Duckenfield, Byron

   Died : 19 / 11 / 2010
Duckenfield, Byron

Byron Duckenfield started at Flying Training School on 25th November 1935 in a Blackburn B2 at Brough. As a Sergeant, he joined No.32 Sqn at Biggin Hill on 8th August 1936 and flew Gauntlets and Hurricanes. He joined 74 Squadron at Hornchurch on 11th April 1940, flying Spitfires, and on 5th May was posted to 501 Squadron flying Hurricanes at Tangmere. On the 11th of May at Betheniville, he survived a crash in a passenger transport Bombay aircraft in an aircraft in which he was a passenger, While comin ginto land the aircraft at 200 feet the aircraft stalled and the aircrfat fell backwards just levelly out as it histhe ground. 5 of th epassengers were killed when the centre section collapsed and crushed them. Duckenfield was fortunate as he had moved position during the flight. as the two passengers sitting each side of where he was sitting had died in the crash. (it was found later that the Bombay had beeb loaded with to much weight in the aft sectiion. ) recovering in hospital in Roehampton. On 23rd July 1940, he rejoined No.501 Sqn at Middle Wallop, then moved to to Gravesend two days later, scoring his first victory, a Ju87, on the 29th of July 1940. During August and September he scored three more victories. After a spell as a test pilot from 14th September 1940, he was posted to command 66 Squadron on 20th December 1941, flying Spitfires. On 26th February 1942 he took command of 615 Squadron flying Hurricanes from Fairwood Common, taking the squadron to the Far East. In late December 1942 he was shot down in Burma and captured by the Japanese. He remained a POW until release in May 1945. After a refresher course at the Flying Training School in November 1949, he took command of No.19 Squadron flying Hornets and Meteors from Chruch Fenton. After a series of staff positions, he retired from the RAF as a Group Captain on 28th May 1969. Duckenfield would write later his details :

Burma

At first light, 12 Hurricanes IIC aircraft of 615 Squadron, myself in the lead, took off from Chittagong for central Burma to attack the Japanese air base at Magwe, 300 miles away on the banks of the River Irrawaddy. Arriving at Yenangyaung, we turned downstream at minimum height for Magwe, 30 miles to the South and jettisoned drop tanks. Just before sighting the enemy base, the squadron climbed to 1200 feet and positioned to attack from up sun. On the ramp at the base, in front of the hangers, were 10 or 12 Nakajima KI - 43 Oscars in a rough line up (not dispersed) perhaps readying for take. These aircraft and the hangars behind them were attacked in a single pass, before withdrawing westward at low level and maximum speed. A few minutes later perhaps 20 miles away form Magwe, I was following the line of a cheung (small creek), height about 250 feet, speed aboput 280 mph, when the aircraft gave a violent shudder, accompanied by a very lound, unusual noise. The cause was instantly apparent: the airscrew has disappeared completely, leaving only the spinning hub. My immediate reaction was to throttle back fully and switch off to stop the violently overspeeding engine. Further action was obvious: I was committed to staying with the aircraft because, with a high initial speed, not enough height to eject could be gained without the help of an airscrew. So I jettisoned the canopy and acknowledged gratefully the fact that I was following a creek; the banks of either side were hillocky ground, hostile to a forced landing aircraft. Flying the course of the creek, I soon found the aircraft to be near the stall (luckily, a lower than normal figure without an airscrew) extended the flaps and touched down wheels-up with minimum impact ( I have done worse landings on a smooth runway!) My luck was holding, if one can talk of luck in such a situation. December is the height of the dry season in that area and the creek had little water, it was shallow and narrow at the point where I came down: shallow enough to support the fusalage and narrow enough to support wing tips. So I released the harness, pushed the IFF Destruct switch, climed out and walked the wing ashore, dryshod. The question may occur -Why did not others in the squadron see their leader go down? - the answer is simple, the usual tatctic of withdrawal from an enemy target was to fly single at high speed and low level on parallel courses until a safe distance from target was attained. Then, the formation would climb to re-assemble. Having left the aircraft, I now faced a formidable escape problem? I was 300 miles from friendly territory: my desired route would be westward but 80% of that 300 miles was covered by steep north-south ridges impenetrably clothed in virgin jungle; these were natural impediments, there was also the enemy to consider. Having thought over my predicament, I decided the best I could do - having heard reports of mean herted plainspeope - was to get as far into the hills as possible and then find a (hopefully sympathetic) village. I suppose I may have covered about 15 miles by nightfall when I came upon this small hill village and walked into the village square. Nobody seemed surprised to see me (I suspect I had been followed for some time) I wa given a quiet welcome, seated at a table in the open and given food. Then exhaustion took over, I fell asleep in the chair and woke later to find myself tied up in it. Next day I was handed over to a Japanese sergeant and escort who took me back to Magwe and, soon after that, 2.5 years captivity in Rangoon jail.

Sadly we have learned that Byron Duckenfield passed away on 19th November 2010.


Byron Duckenfield during a signing session in March 2010.

Cranston Fine Arts extend our many thanks to Byron Duckenfield for signing a number of our art prints over a number of sessions.

Byron Duckenfield at a signing session in 2010.

Byron Duckenfield's Hurricane P3059 (SD-N) of 501 Squadron.




Byron Duckenfield signing the print Quartet by Gerald Coulson at a signing session in February 2010.

Cranston Fine Arts extend our many thanks to Byron Duckenfield for spending the day (21/2/2010) signing a number of our art prints.

Durham, Ed
Click the name above to see a profile of Durham, Ed
Durham, Ed

After Meteor, Javelin and Hunter tours, Ed Durham flew Lightnings with No.74 23 and 92 Sqns and took part in the first trans-Atlantic Lightning flights. In 1977 he commanded No.92 Sqn, the last Lightning F2A unit in RAF Germany.
Farquharson, William
Click the name above to see a profile of Farquharson, William

   Died : 20 / 9 / 2012
Farquharson, William

William Farquharson was a pilot with 115 Squadron and flew Lancasters with 195 Squadron. William Farqharson was born om September 28th 1919 in Malacca, Malaya. His father was a police officer in the Colonial Service. His early schooling was in Malaya and Australia, and he completed his education at Harris Academy, Dundee, and later went to the Birmingham Central Technical College. In January 1941 William Farqharson enlisted in the Royal Air Force to become a pilot. William Farqharson joined No 115 Squadron in July 1942 and flew his first bombing operations in the Wellington before the squadron converted to the four-engine Stirling. Farqharsons first sorties were to drop mines in the Kattegat, the Baltic and off the French Biscay coast. Farquharson also bombed targets in Germany and in northern Italy, the latter involving very long flights over the Alps. On April 20 1943 he and his crew attacked Stettin at low level in full moonlight. Dissatisfied with the first attempt, he made a second bombing run despite heavy opposition. His Stirling was badly damaged, but he then made a third run to photograph the results of his attack before turning for the long flight home. He was awarded his first DFC. After a period training bomber crews, Farquharson returned to operational flying in October 1944 when he joined No 195 Squadron. Bomber Command was concentrating on attacks against the German oil industry and he bombed many targets in the Ruhr. Farquharson and his crews also wre involved in Operation Manna these humanitarian operations which saw them dropping food to the starving population in the Netherlands and also took his Lancaster to Belgium and France for Operation Exodus to pick up prisoners of war recently released form German PoW camps. In total William Farqharson completed 63 operations as a pilot in Bomber Command. He recalled on one occasion the engine of his Wellington caught fire and he ordered his crew to bail out. As the last man left, he realised that the aircraft would be too low for him to survive a jump and he was forced to crash land into the tops of some trees before hitting a farm in the Cotswolds. The wings sheared off and he ended up, badly concussed, in the fuselage section. The farmer's son rushed into the house shouting, there's an aeroplane in the greenhouse. On another occasion his bomber was damaged by anti-aircraft fire. On landing he discovered a large piece of shrapnel embedded in the parachute he had been sitting on. Farquharson remained in the RAF and much of his early service was involved in training pilots. After attending the Central Flying School he commanded flying training squadrons and in 1953 led a large formation of aircraft in the Coronation Flypast. Later he was the chief instructor at an advanced flying school equipped with the Meteor jet fighter. After appointments in the Far East and as station commander at RAF Episkopi in Cyprus, Farquharson was appointed air attaché in Warsaw at the height of the Cold War. There all his activities were closely monitored by the secret police. Having shown no previous interest, he suddenly became an expert in birdwatching when he 'discovered' that the most interesting sites were close to military airfields. After retiring from the RAF in 1976, Farquharson worked in the sales division of a company manufacturing flight simulators and was for a period of time chairman of the Bomber Command Association. He was later made an honorary vice-president and worked hard seeking recognition for his fellow veterans. With his wife, a former WAAF operations officer on his bomber station, he was able to attend the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial by the Queen in July 2012. Sadly Group Captain Bill Farquharson, died on September 20th 2012.
Gaze, Tony
Click the name above to see a profile of Gaze, Tony
Gaze, Tony

Australian Tony Gaze joined Bader at Tangmere in March 1941 flying with 610 Sqn, scoring several victories during the high summer of that famous year. In 1942 he was posted to 610 Sqn and then commanded 64 Sqn. In Sept 1943 he joined 66 Sqn but was shot down. Evading capture he escaped back to England. In July 1944 he flew again with 610 Sqn then 41 Sqn. In the final days of the war he flew meteor jets with 616 Sqn. Tony Gaze finished the war an Ace with 11 and 3 shared destroyed, 4 probable and one V. He was awarded the DFC with 2 bars.
Glassop, Ross H
Click the name above to see a profile of Glassop, Ross H
Glassop, Ross H

Joined the RAAF in March 1941 and trained in Australia. In November 1941, Sgt Glassop joined 22 Sqn and in January 1942 was posted to 24 Sqn based at Rabaul with Wirraways. He was en route to Townsville when 24 Sqn was decimated by the Japanese. Ross was attached to 76 Sqn at Townsville on 24th May and flew his first Kittyhawk that same day. Arriving at Milne Bay on 24th July, he shot down a Zero strafing No.1 strip on 24th August. Glassop participated in many successful strafing ops during the battle and remained with 76 until they withdrew to Australia on 22nd September. In March 1943 he was posted to 2 OTU as an instructor until November 1943. Ross joined 5 Sqn equipped with Boomerangs in June 1944 and in November moved to Bouganville until the end of the war. Flt Lt Ross Glassop was awarded the DFC in February 1945 and a bar and MID whilst serving in Korea flying Mustangs and Meteors with 77 Sqn RAAF.
Harries, Raymond Hilary
Click the name above to see a profile of Harries, Raymond Hilary

   Died : 14 / 5 / 1950
Harries, Raymond Hilary

Joining the RAFVR in September 1939, after training Harries was posted to No. 43 Squadron at Drem in Scotland. He was then posted on 8 July 1941 to 52 OTU at Debden as an instructor. In February 1942 he joined No. 131 Squadron RAF, based at Llanbedr as a flight commander, and claimed his first kill, a Junkers Ju 88, soon after. He served with the unit until December 1942, when he became CO of 91 Squadron, and in April 1943 received the new Mark XII Spitfire and were based at Hawkinge. Harries was ultimately the most successful pilot to fly the Rolls-Royce Griffon powered Supermarine Spitfire, scoring 11 kills in the type, including a brace of Focke-Wulf Fw 190s on 25 May 1943. Flying a Spitfire XII, Harries intercepted the Fw 190s from SKG 10: I was leading Blue Section on a defensive patrol. I had just returned to base, with my No 2, had just landed when the scramble signal was given from the watch office. We both immediately took off again, and saw enemy aircraft approaching Folkestone. I sighted one lone Fw 190 at sea level returning to France. I came in from his starboard side, delivering a three-second burst at 250 yards. The enemy aircraft hit the sea tail first, split in two, and sank immediately. The Fw 190 was thought to be Fw 190A-5 Wrk Nr 2511 of 6./SKG 10, flown by Oberleutnant Josef Keller. I then spotted another Fw 190 to starboard. I flew straight over the top of it in order to identify it in the failing light. The enemy aircraft pulled his nose up and gave me a quick squirt. I pulled straight up to about 1000ft, and turning to port, dived right onto his tail, opening fire from 300 yards and closing to 150 yards. I fired a four-second burst, seeing strikes and flames all over the enemy aircraft. The enemy aircraft gradually lost height, with smoke and flames coming from it, skimmed for some distance along the surface of the water and then sank. I orbited around taking cine gun snaps of the oil patch and pieces of wreckage that were visible. In June the squadron moved to Westhampnett to form a Mk XII fighter wing with No. 41 Squadron. On 18 July 1943 Harries shot down three Bf 109's while flying MB831. In doing so he became the first pilot to reach five kills in the Griffon-engined Spitfire. Harries became Wing Leader in August 1943, and by November, had been awarded a total of three DFCs and a DSO. In early 1944 Harries went to the United States, to lecture on fighter tactics, only to return and become Wing Leader of 135 Wing, 2nd TAF, in the spring of 1944. On 22 September 1943 Harries claimed one Fw 190 shot down and another as a probable. The Westhampnett Wing were the highest scoring Wing in Fighter Command for the month of September, claiming 27 kills. On 20 October 1944 Harries shot down a pair of Messerschmitt Bf 109Gs near Rouen, his last kills in the type. In January 1945 he underwent a conversion course on the Hawker Tempest, prior to the wing being re-equipped, but was posted then to 84 Group as Wing Commander/Training. After the war he was awarded a bar to the DSO, and served as CO No. 92 Squadron RAF in 1949. On 14 May 1950 he died while flying a 92 Squadron Gloster Meteor F4 when it ran out of fuel and crashed near Sheffield, Yorkshire. His funeral was held at RAF Linton-on-Ouse on 18 May 1950.
Large, R G Bob
Click the name above to see a profile of Large, R G Bob
Large, R G Bob

Learned to fly in Scotland in 1940 and in 1941 joined 616 Squadron as part of the Tangmere Wing, commanded by the famous legless pilot Wing Commander Douglas Bader. The Squadron flew Fighter and Bomber sweeps over Northern France. The remains of Bobs Spitfire lie at the bottom of the sea ten miles off Hythe (where he now lives) after being bounced by eighty plus ME 109Gs over the English Channel. Having learned of the activities of 161 SD Squadron he was interviewed by the CO, Wing Commander Lewis Hodges, and joined the Lysander Flight. He then flew many important missions into occupied France in single, double and a memorable treble pickup when his excuse for being late at the rendezvous was that he had had a haircut in the firms time because it grew in the firms time! After D-Day he returned to Fighter Command and later flew Meteors. (Bobs dog, Patrick, became the first dog in the Allied Forces to fly in a jet which took place in a Meteor 3 on 11th May 1946 and is now recorded in the Guinness Book of Records!)
Lockspeiser, David
Click the name above to see a profile of Lockspeiser, David
Lockspeiser, David

Joining the RAF in 1949 he flew with various fighter squadrons on many aircraft including Vampires and Meteors. After leaving the RAF in 1955 he joined Hawker Aircraft Ltd as a test pilot where he was instrumental in the development and production testing of the Hunter and also the Sea Fury and Buccaneer. On leaving Hawker in 1976 he joined BAC as a communications and test pilot and in 1977 was under contract to Lockheed, running all aspects of the fighter testing department for specific weapons, navigation and reconnaissance development. Whilst still test flying he formed Lockspeiser Aircraft Ltd serving as Managing Director, to develop his own design, the Land Development Aircraft (G-AVOR). The prototype was first flown in 1971 and he oversaw development to production configuration until 1989. In all he flew 7100 hours and 90 types of aircraft.
McCarthy, Joseph Charles
Click the name above to see a profile of McCarthy, Joseph Charles

   Died : 6 / 9 / 1998
McCarthy, Joseph Charles

In March 1943, a special Royal Air Force (RAF) unit, 617 Squadron, was created to try a new tactic--low altitude bombing using deep penetration bombs that weighed from 9,500 to 22,000 pounds. Their first targets were three dams in the Ruhr industrial area of western Germany: the Mohne, the Eder, and the Sorpe. These dams supplied water for Ruhr steel mills and hydroelectric power. Twenty Avro Lancaster bombers were specially modified for this mission to carry a new, rotating skip bomb that would bounce across the lake, sink, and then explode at the base of the dam. So secret was the dambusting mission, that the pilots and navigators were briefed only the day before as to the actual targets. The three dams were struck, and two were breached, on the night of 16 May 1943. "Joe " McCarthy, from Long Island, New York, was an original member of 617 Squadron. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1941 and soon transferred with his crew to RAF Bomber Command. From 1941 until late 1944, he flew the Hampden, Manchester, Lancaster, and Mosquito bombers and compiled a total of 80 combat missions. As Officer Commanding, German Aircraft Flight, he tested and flew over 20 different German aircraft, which had been taken from captured German airfields back to Farnborough for extensive engineering evaluation. During this period, McCarthy flew the first British operational jet, the Meteor, and the experimental Windsor bomber. Upon returning to Edmonton, Canada, he continued flight testing a variety of aircraft for cold weather operations as well as the experimental Canadian flying wing. During 28 years in the RCAF, he flew 64 different British, American, German, and Canadian aircraft. Later assignments included base executive officer for an F-86 NATO installation in France; Commander, Flying Training School, RCAF Station Penhold, Canada; and Commanding Officer of the 407 Maritime Squadron, flying the P2V Neptune. From 1961 to 1962, he was Chief of Air Operations for the United Nations' forces in the Congo, and from 1963 to 1966, worked in plans and policy for CINCLANT/CINCLANTFLT. Wing Commander McCarthy's final assignment was as base operations officer for two maritime squadrons flying the Argus antisubmarine warfare aircraft in Nova Scotia. He retired from the RCAF in 1969 and, after a second career in real estate, fully retired in 1986. Passed away 6th September 1998.
Merewether, Hugh
Click the name above to see a profile of Merewether, Hugh
Merewether, Hugh

Born in South Africa, he joined the South African Navy during WWII and after secondment to the Royal Navy was taught to fly by the US Navy in 1944. From 1948 to 1953 he worked under Sir Barnes Wallis at Vickers Armstrong in research and development and during this time flew with 615 Squadron on Meteors. After spending a year as a freelance pilot he joined Hawker as a test pilot in 1954 where his aeronautical engineering background led to development flying of the Hunter. He had a deep involvement in a comprehensive inverted spinning programme and all aspects of the Hunter development. In 1967 he became Chief Test Pilot at Hawker and worked extensively on the P.1127 and its derivatives, the Kestrel and the Harrier. Awarded a Queens Commendation in 1963 and OBE in 1965 he retired in 1970.
Morgan, Alun
Click the name above to see a profile of Morgan, Alun
Morgan, Alun

Air Commodore Alun Morgan was called up for National Service in 1950, and was then selected for RAF College Cranwell, (1951-53). His first tour was on 81 Sqn in Singapore flying Meteor PR 10s and Pembroke's. He joined the V-Force in 1960, first as a co-pilot then as a captain on Vulcan Is and 1As. From 1967- 67 he was FIt Cdr on 83 Sqn at Scampton flying the Blue Steel Vulcan 11. A short tour in 1974 as OC the Vulcan Standardisation Sqn was followed by a tour at Akrotiri, Cyprus as OC Vulcan Bomber Wing. A desk tour at HQ 1 Group followed as Vulcan Operations, but he still managed two of the USAF Bombing Competitions in the USA, leading the Vulcan High Noon and Giant Voice detachments in 1975 and 1977. From 1978-81 he was the NATO Targeting Representative at Headquarters SAC at Offutt USA, and retired in 1986 as the UK National Military Representative at SHAPE, Belgium. He flew his last Vulcan sortie on 18 Nov 1982.
Nicholls, John
Click the name above to see a profile of Nicholls, John

   Died : 17 / 5 / 2007
Nicholls, John

A Korean war veteran with 2 MiG kills in F-86 Sabres, in April 1952 Nicholls was sent to the US to convert to the F-86 Sabre before joining a USAF squadron in Korea. He was assigned to the 335th Fighter Interceptor Squadron operating from Kimpo airfield near Seoul and over the next six months he completed 100 operations On June 28th 1952 John Nicholls flew his first sortie, he flew every day and soon built up his experience. Two months later he was credited with damaging two MiGs on one sortie. He set one on fire before it disappeared into cloud and the other was seen damaged and with a lot of smoke as it made its escape across the Yalu River, an area Allied pilots were forbidden to fly over. On his 99th and penultimate operation, John Nicholls was a wingman to the Wing leader when they intercepted four MiGs just south of the Yalu. Nicholls chased one of the MiGs for some time and fired his cannons, scoring hits on the enemy fighter, which broke up and crashed. It was the first MiG to be shot down by an RAF pilot. On December 9th John Nicholls flew his last sortie in Korea and shortly afterwards was awarded a DFC to add to an American DFC and Air Medal. John Nicholls has flown every great fighter from the Spitfire to the Phantom, including the USAF century series. On his return to the RAF, Nicholls continued his career as a fighter pilot flying Meteors and Hunters before becoming a tactics instructor at the prestigious Day Fighter Leader's School. In 1959 he was attached to English Electric as RAF project test pilot on Lightnings. He commanded AFDS at RAF Binbrook where in 1963 Lightning vs Spitfire combat trials were flown and later, he commanded RAF Leuchars. He retired as Vice Chief of the Air Staff to become Director in charge, BAe Lightnings in Saudi Arabia. John Nicholls was appointed CBE (1967) and KCB (1978). Sadly, he died 17th May 2007, aged 80.
Olding, Robert
Click the name above to see a profile of Olding, Robert

   Died : 19 / 10 / 2012
Olding, Robert

Robert Charles Olding was born in Colchester on November 29 1932 and attended Colchester Royal Grammar School. During National Service he trained as a navigator and elected to remain in the RAF. In April 1954 he joined No 264 Squadron, operating Meteor night fighters, before his adventurous streak led him to volunteer for a two-year appointment with the Fleet Air Arm. Olding was an experienced RAF night fighter navigator when he volunteered for an exchange tour with the Fleet Air Arm’s 893 Squadron in May 1956. With the crisis over Suez escalating, 893 flew its Sea Venoms to the Mediterranean and embarked in HMS Eagle. The Anglo-French air offensive, Operation Musketeer, began on the night of October 31 with the aim of neutralising the powerful Egyptian Air Force (EAF), initially by bombing its airfields. At first light the following day, carrier-borne aircraft launched a series of attacks to destroy aircraft on the ground. During a further raid that afternoon Olding and his pilot, Lt-Cdr John Willcox, led a formation to attack the airfield at Bilbeis, destroying a number of EAF aircraft by rocket and cannon fire. The next day Willcox and Olding flew on another strike, attacking aircraft dispersed at Almaza airfield. Here the anti-aircraft fire was both accurate and heavy, and Olding’s Sea Venom was hit under the forward fuselage, blasting a large hole in the floor of the cockpit. Olding suffered severe shrapnel wounds to his legs but continued with his duties. With the hydraulics damaged, Willcox had to control the aircraft in the reversionary manual mode. En route back to Eagle, Olding applied a tourniquet to his leg and injected himself with morphine. Unaware of the full extent of the damage to his Sea Venom, Willcox elected to land on the carrier without the flaps and with the undercarriage up. The first attempt had to be aborted but, with the hook lowered, Willcox made a second, slower, approach with Olding calling out the speeds. After landing, Olding passed out. He was rushed to the ship’s sick bay before being flown to a hospital in Cyprus, where his leg became infected and had to be amputated above the knee. He was awarded a DSC. After returning from Suez, Olding spent three months having treatment and learning to walk with his false leg. He refused to use a stick (he walked unaided throughout his life) and even tried to ride a bicycle, but came off, breaking his arm. He returned to duty, and a year later started flying again, this time on the Javelin night fighter. Robert Olding died on 19th October 2012.
Raby, Ray
Click the name above to see a profile of Raby, Ray
Raby, Ray

F/Lt Ray Raby jojned the RAFVR in 1940. His flying training began in the USA, where he was retained as an instructor with both USAF and RAF wings. He qualified on his return for an Air Navigators Certificate. He was posted to 519 Squadron, Wick, on Spitfires prior to joining 542 Squadron, Benson PRU with Jerry Fray as Flight Commander. In 1943, he was posted to Benson and survived 58 operational sorties until he was demobbed in 1946. In 1947 he joined 605 (County of Warwick) Wsquadron, Raux AF, Honiley on Vampire and Meteor jet aircraft as flight commander until disbandment in 1957. His total hours flown are 3265.
Rawlinson, Alan
Click the name above to see a profile of Rawlinson, Alan

   Died : 28 / 8 / 2007
Rawlinson, Alan

Alan Rawlinson was born on 31st July 1918 in Fremantle, Western Australia. Alan Rawlinson was a keen aviator and at the age of 19 in 1937 received a private pilots licence while learning to fly in DH60 Gypsy Moths. In 1938 Alan Rawlinson enlisted in the RAAF and in 1939 graduated as a Pilot Officer and was posted to 3 Squadron at Richmond, New South.Wales. When World War ll broke out 3 squadron was posted to the Western Desert and Pilot Offcier Alan Rawlinson was involved in combat flying in September 1940 to April 1941. From May 1941 to August 1941 he was stationed at Cyprus then returning to the Western Desert , Rawlinson became commanding Officer of 3 squadron soon after. It was while he served in the western desert that Rawlinson received the DFC. He returned to Australia in 1942 as Chief Flying Instructor at Mildura and was promoted to Squadron Commander and Wing Leader in 1943 and served in the Pacific campaign. In 1947 Alan Rawlinson transferred to the RAF flying the new jet aircraft Vampires and Meteors, finally retiring in 1961. Alan Rawlinson passed away 28th August 2007.
Seward, Dave
Click the name above to see a profile of Seward, Dave
Seward, Dave

Dave Seward flew RAF Meteors, Canberras and Javelins and USAF F-86, F-102 and F-106 fighters. In 1961, as C.O. of No.56 Sqn he led the 'Firebirds' Lightning aerobatic team and later Commanded the Lightning OCU and Battle of Britain Flight, flying the Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire.
Sheppard, George
Click the name above to see a profile of Sheppard, George
Sheppard, George

Volunteering initially in October 1940 and called up in January 1941, George Sheppard learnt to fly in America and graduated and was commissioned in April 1942. He stayed on as an instructor in America returning to England in March 1943. He joined 198 Typhoon Squadron and after the invasion moved to Normandy in July 1944. He stayed with the squadron all the way through to Germany, becoming a flight commander in February 1945. He flew a total of 84 operational sorties. He felw Meteors with 74 Squadron and Spitfires with 263 Squadron in Italy before demob in May 1946. -- At the time of the Falaise battle we were operating from B7 Martragny and checking my log book I flew 16 ops during this time. The targets in and around Falaise were troop concentrations, tanks, trucks, armoured vehicles and gun positions. A flight which I was in, claimed many tanks, trucks etc, these being the ones that could be identified. One did not hang around after firing rockets and cannons to check results of attacks as the flak was intensive. In our flight we lost 2 pilots killed, 2 baled out but returned to base. Many planes were damaged by flak. I was hit and lost my brakes. Crash landed back at B7. I was also hit by 88mm flak on July 31st and forced landed over our lines at Cuverville, near Caen. After the battle a few of us went down to the Falaise area in our Commer 15 cwt truck. The destruction was incredible, burnt out vehicles, tanks, dead animals in the fields and dead Germans on the roadside. The smell was overwhelming. I thought at the time what it must have been like on the ground being under constant attack from the air. It was the first time I had seen on the ground the destruction caused by rockets, bombs and 20mm cannon fire.
Simpson, Duncan
Click the name above to see a profile of Simpson, Duncan
Simpson, Duncan

Educated at the De Havilland Aeronautical Technical School he joined the RAF in 1949 and completed a tour with 222 Squadron. He then served with the Central Fighter Establishment flying Vampires, Meteors, Venoms, Swifts, Sabres and Hunters. Joining Hawker Aircraft Ltd as a test pilot in 1954 he became involved in development and production test flying of the Hunter. From 1964 he was part of the P.1127 Kestrel - Harrier Squadron and became responsible for the conversion of the Kestrel Tripartite Evaluation Programme pilots. In 1969 he repeated this with the first RAF Harrier training team. Awarded the Queens Commendation in 1969 he became Hawker Chief Test Pilot in 1970 and continued on the Harrier dvelopment, making the first flight in the Hawk aircraft in 1974. Retiring from flying in 1978 he became Deputy Director of the Society of British Aerospace Companies until he finally retired in 1992.






Squadrons for : Meteor
A list of all squadrons known to have flown the Meteor. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.
SquadronInfo

No.1 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 13th May 1912

In Omnibus Princeps - First in all things

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.1 Sqn RAF

No.1 Sqn RAF

On 13 May 1912, with the establishment of the Royal Flying Corps, No. 1 Company of the Air Battalion was redesignated No. 1 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. No. 1 Squadron was one of the original three Royal Flying Corps squadrons. Maitland continued as the new squadron's Officer Commanding and he was promoted to major several days after the establishment of the squadron. It retained the airships Beta and Gamma, adding Delta and Eta, as well as kites and a few spherical balloons. However, in October 1913 a sudden decision was made to transfer all the airships to the Naval Wing of the RFC (which became the Royal Naval Air Service by Admiralty dictat, not Cabinet decision, on 1 July 1914). While retaining kites 1 Squadron was reorganised as an 'aircraft park' for the British Expeditionary Force. On 1 May 1914, Major Charles Longcroft was appointed as the new squadron commander. Apart from a few weeks as a supernumerary in August and September 1914, Longcroft continued as the squadron commander until January 1915. The squadron returned to the UK from France in March 1919, being formally disbanded on 20 January 1920. On the next day it reformed at Risalpur in the North West Frontier of India (now part of Pakistan), flying the Sopwith Snipe. and from January 1920. It moved to Hinaidi near Baghdad in Iraq in May 1921, to carry out policing duties, retaining its Snipes, although it also received one Bristol Jupiter engined Nieuport Nighthawk for evaluation. It remained in Iraq, carrying out strafing and bombing against hostile tribal forces until November 1926 when it was disbanded. In early 1927 it was reformed at Tangmere, Sussex as a Home Defence Fighter Squadron, equipped with the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin. After receiving the Hawker Fury Mk.1 in February 1932, the squadron gained a reputation for aerobatics, giving displays throughout the United Kingdom and at the Zurich International Air Meeting in July 1937, where its display impressed but it was clear that it was outclassed by the German Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Dornier Do 17 also displayed at Zurich. The squadron re-equipped with the Hurricane Mk.I in October 1938 By the outbreak of the Second World War the Squadron had worked up sufficiently to deploy to France as part of 67 Wing of the Advanced Air Striking Force. In October it flew over enemy territory for the first time and on the 30th of that month claimed its first victory, a Dornier DO17. Further occasional combat took place and the successes mounted. However, the situation developed significantly in April 1940, and 10th May was the date on which No 1(Fighter) Squadron became fully operation in every sense of the word. Fighting was intense and a week later the Squadron was bombed out of its base at Berry-au-Bac; then began a series of retreats ending finally in a return to the UK. The Squadron was back at Tangmere by 23rd June and operational the following month. In August it marked its entry into the Battle of Britain by destroying 2 Messerschmitt BF110s; there was no let up in the fighting until 9th September when the Squadron moved North to Wittering for a rest. It returned South for the New Year when it engaged in fighter sweeps and carried out bomber escort duties. In February, it started Rhubarb and night flying; during the month the first of its Hurricane 11As arrived. This heralded a period of change for the Squadron whose strength now included both Czechs and Poles; the emphasis increasingly focused on night flying. In July the Squadron returned to Tangmere and, having achieved night operational status, this became its main task. The Squadron continued to conduct night intruder patrol until re-equipping with Hawker Typhoons in July 1942;it then moved North to Acklington where it reverted to daytime operations. The Unit exchanged its Typhoons for Spitfire X1s in April 1944 and with these continued its bombing raids. In June the Squadron began anti-V patrols (Divers) and this became its exclusive occupation, eventually tallying 39 hits. In the autumn it reverted to carrying out bomber escorts; to extend its range it sued the airfield at Haldegham on the Continent as an advanced landing ground. In May 1945 it converted to Spitfire F21s but these were only used operationally to cover the Channel Island landings. In 1946 the Squadron returned to Tangmere and took delivery of its first jet aircraft, Gloster Meteors. These aircraft were followed by Hawker Hunter F5s, which were flown from Cyprus during 1956 Suez crisis. In June 1958 No 1(Fighter) Squadron was disbanded but was reformed almost immediately on 1st July, to fly Hunter F6s from Stradishall, by renumbering No 2683 Squadron. It then moved to Waterbeach from where, flying Hunter FGA9s, it operated in the ground attack role as part of 38 Group. The Squadron continued in this role for the next 8 years, operating out of Waterbeach and then West Raynham. July 1969 heralded a move to Wittering to commence conversion to the Harrier and become the first operational squadron in the world to fly this unique vertical/short take off and landing aircraft. Since this time No 1(Fighter) Squadron has served in many parts of the globe, including Belize and most notably, the South Atlantic during the Falklands War in 1982, where it undertook the air defence role in Ascension Island before deploying for aircraft carrier based operations over the Falkland Islands equipped with Sidewinder air to air missile. Aircraft flew for 9 hours, direct to Ascension Island which set a new distance/duration record for the Harrier. Some aircraft then flew direct to the South Atlantic, where they operated from HMS HERMES. During this conflict, over 130 sorties were flown against heavily defended targets on the Islands; 3 aircraft were shot down by enemy fire. All 3 pilots ejected successfully, although one, who sustained shoulder injuries, was captured and became the only prisoner of war; he was later repatriated to the UK. The Squadron moved to RAF Stanley in the Falkland Islands at the end of hostilities and took on air defence duties until the latter part of the year when it returned to Wittering.

No.124 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st February 1918
Fate : Disbanded 1st April 1946
Baroda

Danger is our opportunity

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.124 Sqn RAF

No.124 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.125 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st February 1918
Fate : Disbanded 10th May 1957
Newfoundland

Nunquam domandi - Never to be tamed

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.125 Sqn RAF

No.125 Sqn RAF

No. 125 Squadron was formed on 1 February 1918 as a light bomber unit at Old Sarum but did not become operational before it was disbanded on 1 August 1918. was reformed on 16 June 1941 at RAF Colerne equipped with Bolton-Paul Defiant night fighters. The squadron became operational at the end of September covering western England and South Wales. The squadron was raised as a result of a War Loan raised by the Newfoundland Commission on Government. The Commission presented the British Government with $500,000 to establish the squadron with the hope that it would be manned by Newfoundlanders. In September 1941 the squadron moved to RAF Fairwood Common and became fully operational, with the Defiant proving to be a more than effective night fighter. By March 1942, 125 Squadron started converting to the twin-engined Beaufighter. Defiants and Hawker Hurricanes were also used to supplement the Beaufighters. November 1943 saw the squadron move to RAF Valley in Wales to enable patrols to take place over the Irish Sea. With a conversion to Mosquitos in February 1944, No. 125 moved to RAF Hurn in preparation to cover the Operation Overlord landings in Normandy. With the commencement of V-1 attacks on London the squadron moved to RAF Middle Wallop to assist in the defence and to fly patrols from RAF Bradwell Bay over the Low Countries. A move to RAF Coltishall saw the squadron defend against enemy intruders and flying bomb carriers. whilst undertaking reconnaissance to locate the remainder of German shipping. No. 125 transferred to Yorkshire, where it was disbanded on 20 November 1945. On 31 March 1955, No. 125 reformed at Stradishall with Meteor night-fighters, beginning to replace these with Venoms in November 1955. This latter type was flown until the Squadron was disbanded on 10 May 1957.

No.164 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 6th April 1942
Fate : Disbanded 31st August 1946
Argentine British

Firmes Volamos - Firmly we fly

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.164 Sqn RAF

No.164 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.167 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 18th November 1918
Fate : Disbanded 15th September 1958
Gold Coast

Ubique sine mora - Everywhere without delay

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.167 Sqn RAF

No.167 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.19 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st September 1915

Possunt quia posse videntur - They can because they think they can

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.19 Sqn RAF

No.19 Sqn RAF

o. 19 Squadron was formed from a nucleus provided by No. 5 Reserve Squadron at Castle Bromwich on 1 September 1915. It was almost a year later that the Squadron went to France, flying contact patrols with BE12s before re-equipping with French-built Spads. These were used to strafe ground troops during the battles at Arras, Messines Ridge and Ypres. Early in 1918, Sopwith Dolphins arrived and these were used in bomber escort duties. A year after the end of the War, the Squadron was disbanded reforming on 1 April 1924 at Duxford. The Squadron remained at Duxford throughout the inter-war years with a succession of fighters: Siskins, Bulldogs and Gauntlets receiving Spitifre on the 4th August 1938 The Squadron was stationed in the UK after the outbreak of the Second World War,the Squadron fought well over the evacuation at Dunkirk where they lost 4 aircraft for the destruction of 13 E.A.'s. The Squadron destroyed 2 He 111's on the night of the 19th of June 1940, and was part of No. 12 Group RAF, RAF Fighter Command, during the Battle of Britain. 19 Squadron formed part of the Duxford Wing, 12 Group's 'Big Wing' formation. Later versions of Spitfires were flown until the arrival of Mustangs for close-support duties in early 1944. After D-Day, No. 19 briefly went across the English Channel before starting long-range escort duties from RAF Peterhead for Coastal Command off the coast of Norway. After world war two the squadron flew at first de Havilland Hornets and later a variety of jet fighter aircraft including the Hawker Hunter fighter then re-equipping with English Electric Lightning, (1962 - 1964) at that time 19 Sqdn was based at RAF Station Leconfield. The Squadron and the sister Squadron 92 were called upon as fast response interceptors during the "cold war", later being disbanded on 9 January 1992. Their final location before being disbanded was RAF Wildenrath in Germany near Geilenkirchen

No.222 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st April 1918
Fate : Disbanded 30th June 1964
Natal

Pembili bo

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.222 Sqn RAF

No.222 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.234 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : August 1918
Madras Presidency

Ignem mortemque despuimu - We spit fire and death

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.234 Sqn RAF

No.234 Sqn RAF

Flew Mustangs from September 1944.

No.245 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : August 1918
Fate : Disbanded 18th April 1963
Northern Rhodesia

Fugo non fugio - I put to fight, I do not flee

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.245 Sqn RAF

No.245 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.257 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 18th August 1918
Fate : Disbanded 31st December 1963
Burma

Thay myay gyee shin shwe hti - Death or glory

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.257 Sqn RAF

No.257 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.263 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 27th September 1918
Fate : Disbanded 30th June 1963

Ex ungue leonem - From his claws one knows the lion

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.263 Sqn RAF

No.263 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.264 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 27th September 1918
Fate : Disbanded 30th November 1962
Madras Presidency

We defy

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.264 Sqn RAF

No.264 Sqn RAF

264 Squadron was formed from two former Royal Naval Air Service flights, No.439 and No.440, on 27th September 1918 at Souda bay in Crete with the role of anti-submarine patrols, and equipped with the Short 184 floatplanes. The Squadron was disbanded on 1 March 1919. On 8th December 1939 at Martlesham Heath, 264 Squadron was reformed and equipped with the new Boulton Paul Defiant fighter. In March 1940 the squadron started operations doing convoy patrols. After initial successes the Luftwaffe soon realised that the Defiant was vulnerable to frontal attack, and 264 Squadron along with the other Boulton Paul Defiant squadrons started to suffer heavy losses of aircraft and crew. At the end of May 1940, 264 Squadron was withdrawn from operations as a day-fighter squadron and began to train in the night-fighter role. During the Battle of Britain 264 Squadron was used again for day fighting but again suffered losses and returned to the night-fighter role. In May 1942 the squadron was re-equipped with Mosquito II and moved to RAF Colerne, and later receieved the new Mark VI. The squadron operated as night-fighters in the west of England and also in the role of day patrols in the Bay of Biscay and western approaches. 264 Squadron later became part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force providing night patrols over Europe and near the end of the war it was based at Twente in Holland patrolling over Berlin. 264 squadron was disbanded at Twente on 25th August 1945.

No.266 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 27th September 1918
Fate : Disbanded 30th June 1964
Rhodesia

Hlabezulu - The stabber of the sky

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.266 Sqn RAF

No.266 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.29 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 7th November 1915

Impiger et acer - Energetic and keen

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.29 Sqn RAF

No.29 Sqn RAF

No 29 Squadron was formed at Gosport on 7 November 1915 from a nucleus supplied by No 23 Squadron, and after training moved to France in March 1916 as the third squadron to be fully equipped with fighters. Its DH2s were engaged in escort duties to protect the slow and vulnerable reconnaissance aircraft over the Western Front ,By late 1916 the DH.2 was outclassed by new German fighters, but No. 29 kept its pushers until March 1917, when it was re-equipped with Nieuport 17s. These were replaced with later Nieuport types, such as the Nieuport 24bis, as these became available. Due to a shortage of the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a the squadron retained its Nieuports until April 1918, being replaced by SE5As, which were used for the rest of the war on fighter and ground -attack missions. After a short period in Germany, the squadron Squadron was reduced to a cadre and in August 1919 returned to Spittlegate in the UK, in August 1919 where it was disbanded on 31 December 1919. The squadron was reformed on 1 April 1923, initially equipped with Sopwith Snipes. These were replaced by Gloster Grebes in January 1925, In turn, these were replaced by the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin IIIA in March 1928 and Bristol Bulldogs in June 1932. In March 1935, the squadron received two-seater Hawker Demons, which it operated until 1938. This included service in Egypt from October 1935 to 1936, during the Abyssinian crisis. The squadron also operated a few old Fairey Gordons for night patrols in Egypt. No 29 began the Second World War with its Blenheims, which at the period operated as day fighters – especially on convoy protection patrols. From June 1940 it became a night fighter squadron, receiving some of the first Beaufighters in November, though it was February 1941 before the squadron was fully equipped with the new fighter. Various marks of the de Havilland Mosquito were flown by the squadron from May 1943 culminating in the Mosquito NF30. From the middle of 1944 most of the squadron’s missions took it over the continent. The Mosquitoes continued to serve until replaced by Meteors in August 1951 at Tangmere. In January 1957 the squadron Squadron moved north, first to Northumberland and then in July 1958 to Scotland, conversion to Javelins taking having taken place in November 1957. In February 1963, No 29 was moved to Cyprus and in December 1965 went detached to Zambia for nine months on detachmentduring the Rhodesian crisis. In May 1967 the squadron Squadron returned to the UK to become are-equip with Lightnings squadron, disbanding on 31 December 1974. No 29 reformed at Coningsby as a Phantom squadron on 1 January 1975. A detachment was provided for the defence of the Falklands as soon as the airfield at Stanley was capable of operating Phantoms at the endin August of 1982. This became No 23 Squadron in March 1983 The Squadron swapped its Phantoms for Tornado F3 fighters in 1987 remaining at Coningsby until disbanded in October 1998. Five years later, the squadron was reformed, this time as the Typhoon operational conversion unit (OCU) based at BAE Systems' Warton airfield. In April 1987, No 29 Squadron became the first operational squadron to be equipped with the Tornado F3, deploying to Saudi Arabia after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 and flying throughout Operation DESERT STORM in the air-defence role. The Squadron was again disbanded in October 1998.

No.43 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th April 1916

Gloria finis - Glory is the end

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.43 Sqn RAF

No.43 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.46 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 19th April 1916
Fate : Disbanded 31st August 1975.
Uganda

We rise to conquer

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.46 Sqn RAF

No.46 Sqn RAF

No. 46 Squadron was formed on the 19th April 1916 and based at RAF Wyton base. In October 1916, 46 Squadron moved to France and was equipped with the two seater Nieuport. 46 Squadrons role was artillery spotting and reconnaissance until May 1917 when 46 squadron were re equipped with the fighter the Sopwith Pup. 46 Squadron operated as part of the 11th Army Wing, and saw many engagements with the enemy. Returning to England and based at Sutton's Farm, Essex, the squadron took part in the defence of London, in July 1917. London had been bombed several times by German Gotha Bombers but after 46 Squadrons patrols no enemy aircraft managed to bomb London in their area. Later 46 squadorn returned to France at the end of August 1917 and in November the squadorn was re equipped with the Sopwith Camel and participated in the Battle of Cambrai protecting the ground troops. In November 1917, Lieutenant (later Major) Donald Maclaren joined 46 Squadron. His first dogfight was not until February 1918, but in the last 9 months of the war Donald Maclaren was credited with shooting down 48 aeroplanes and six balloons, making him one of the top aces of World War I. By November 1918, 46 Squadron had claimed 184 air victories, creating 16 aces. After the First World War had ended the squadorn returned to England and was disbanded on the 31st of December 1919. The outbreak of war found 46 Squadron at RAF Digby, equipped with Hawker Hurricanes. Action with the enemy came quickly when, at the end of October 1939, Squadron Leader Barwell and Pilot Officer Plummer attacked a formation of 12 Heinkel 115s, destroying one each, and scattering the remainder. The next six months were uneventful, consisting in the main of providing air cover for the shipping convoys steaming along the East Coast - a few enemy aircraft were sighted but no contacts were made. In May 1940, the squadron was selected to form part of the Expeditionary Force in Norway, which had been invaded by the Germans on 9th April. The Hurricanes were embarked on HMS Glorious and, despite doubts that a Hurricane could take off from a carrier flight deck in a flat calm, they all took to the air without difficulty, thanks to the efforts of the ship's engineers, who managed to get the Glorious up to a speed of 30 knots. No.46 Squadron assembled at Bardufoss and began operation on 26 May. Patrols were maintained over the land and naval forces at Narvik without respite, some of the pilots going without sleep for more than 48 hours. Conditions on the ground were very basic with poor runways and primitive servicing and repair facilities. Many air combats took place, and in its brief campaign in Norway the squadron accounted for at least 14 enemy aircraft, besides probably destroying many others. On 7th June the squadron was ordered to evacuate Norway immediately and, on the night of 7th through 8th June, the Hurricanes were successfully flown back to Glorious — a dangerous procedure as none of the aircraft were fitted with deck arrester hooks. The ground parties embarked on HMS Vindictive and SS Monarch of Bermuda and reached the UK safely, but the squadron's aircraft and eight of its pilots were lost when Glorious was sunk by German warships on 9th June 1940. The two pilots who survived were the Squadron Commander, Squadron Leader (later Air Chief Marshal) Bing Cross, and the Flight Commander, Flight Lieutenant (later Air Commodore) Jamie Jameson.

No.500 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 16th March 1931
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
County of Kent (Auxiliary)

Qua fata vocent - Whither the fates may call

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.500 Sqn RAF

No.500 Sqn RAF

The squadron was originally formed in March 1931, with a mix of regular and part time personnel. It was equipped with the Vickers Virginia, and was to serve as a reserve for twin engined bomber squadrons. In January 1936 the twin engine aircraft were replaced with single engined Hawker Harts, which were believed to be more suitable for part-time personnel, before in May the squadron became part of the Auxiliary Air Force. On 7 November 1938 the squadron saw another role change as it was transferred to RAF Coastal Command and became a general reconnaissance squadron flying on Anson Mk.Is. In April 1941 these were replaced with Blenheim Mk.IVs which the squadron used till November 1941, when Lockheed Hudsons took their place. Some of 500 squadron ground crew, went in with the first wave of Operation Torch on 7 November, to secure beachheads and airfields around Arzeu, North Africa. Later, from December 1943, the squadron's Hudsons began to be replaced with Lockheed Ventura Mk.Vs. This process continued until the squadron was completely equipped with them in April 1944. In September 1943, a Special Detachment of RAF 500 squadron was flown into Ghisonaccia, Corsica over several days while the Nazis were still on the island with the orders "to establish squatters rights". The squadron later operated up through Italy. It was briefly disbanded on 11 July 1944, but reformed soon after, handing over their Venturas to No. 27 Squadron SAAF The Squadron was reformed on 1 August 1944 at La Sénia as a bomber squadron, receiving Martin Baltimores. In September 1945, No. 500 squadron left Italy and headed for Kenya, being renumbered on arrival 23 October 1945 at RAF Eastleigh to No. 249 Squadron RAF. During World War II the squadron members had been awarded with 1 GC, 2 DSOs, 21 DFCs, 1 bar the DFC, 9 DFMs and one CGM. Beside these, the squadron was mentioned in dispatches 25 times

No.501 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 14th June 1929
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
County of Gloucester, City of Bristol (Auxiliary)

Nil time - Fear nothing

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.501 Sqn RAF

No.501 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.504 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 26th March 1928
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
County of Nottingham (Auxiliary)

Vindicat in ventis - It avenges in the wind

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.504 Sqn RAF

No.504 Sqn RAF

504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force: 504 Squadron came into being on the 14th March 1926 based at Hucknell as part of the Special Reserve Squadron in the light bomber role. The squadron was equipped with Horsleys, Wallaces and Hinds before becoming a fighter squadron equipped with Gloster Gauntlets on 31st October 1938. By the beginning of World War II, 504 had been re-equipped with Hawker Hurricanes. The squadrons first victory was a Ju88 shot down over France on May 14th 1940 where it had been sent as a BEF reinforcement. After suffering heavy losses in France, 504 was sent back to Wick in the UK and began to build itself back to operational strength. On 5th September 1940 504 flew to Hendon and began intensive operations attacking German formations over London and the South East of England during the Battle of Britain. During 1941, 504 was re-equipped with Mk IIb Hurricanes and then divided. A flight joining No.81 squadron to go to Russian and a new 504 squadron being built up from B flight. 504 squadron saw action throughout World War II, taking part in offensive fighter sweeps over occupied Europe, escorting transport aircraft to Arnhem and bomber escort duties. During January 1945, six pilots were posted to Glosters for conversion to the Meteor, but the war ended in Europe before they could be used in combat. On 16th December 1947 King George VI gave permission for the use of the Royal prefix for all Auxiliary Air Force squadrons. On 12th February 1957 504 squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force based at RAF Wyneswold was disbanded.

No.54 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th May 1916

Audax omnia perpeti - Boldness to endure anything

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.54 Sqn RAF

No.54 Sqn RAF

No. 54 Squadron was formed on the 5th of May 1916 at Castle Bromwich. The squadron was equipped with BE2C's and Avro 504's and was part of the home defence force. Shortly after 54 squadron changed to day fighter duties and moved to France then equipped with Sopwith Pups. Their role was to escort bombers and attack observation balloons. Near the end of the great war 54 squadron was re -quipped with Sopwith Camels and tasked with ground attack as well as fighter sorties. In February 1919, the squadron returned to RAF Yatesbury and on 2nd October 1919 54 squadron was disbanded. On the 15th of January 1930, 54 squadron was reformed at RAF Hornchurch as a fighter squadron equipped initially with Siskin aircraft. The Siskins were subsequently replaced with Bulldog fighters and in September 1936 54 squadron was re-equipped with Gloster Gauntlets and in April 1937, they recieved Gloster Gladiators. In March 1939 the squadron recieved the new Supermarine Spitfire. After the outbreak of world war two, 54 Squadron was given the duties of patrolling the Kent coast, until having to support and give air cover to the evacuation of Dunkirk in May and June 1940. The squadron was heavily involved during the Battle of Britain until November 1940 and after the Battle of Britain had ceased the squadron moved in November 1940 to RAF Castletown where its duties were coastal patrols. In June 1942 the squadron moved to RAF Wellingore to prepare for the squadron moving to Australia. In January 1943 54 squadron joined No.1 Wing of the Royal Australian Air Force. The Spitfires of the squadron were given the role of air defence duties against Japanese air attacks in the Darwin area. After the war had ended 54 squadron was disbanded in Melbourne on the 31st of October 1945, although the squadron name continued when on the 15th of November 1945 No.183 Squadron was renumbered 54 Squadron and flew initially Hawker Tempests. Taking up jet aircraft, the squadron subsequently used Vampires, Meteors, Hunters, Phantom and Jaguars before disbanding on 11th March 2005. 54 Squadron reformed on 5th September 2005 as an ISTAR (Intelligence Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance ) unit equipped with Sentry, Nimrod and Sentinel aircraft.

No.541 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 19th October 1942
Fate : Disbanded 6th September 1957

Alone above all

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.541 Sqn RAF

No.541 Sqn RAF

Flew Mustangs from June 1944.

No.56 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 9th June 1916
Punjab

Quid si coelum ruat - What if heaven falls

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.56 Sqn RAF

No.56 Sqn RAF

56 Squadron was formed on 8th June 1916 and in April 1917 was posted to France as part of the Royal Flying Corps. 56 squadron was equipped with the new SE5 fighter. One of the major aerial combats of the squadron was the shooting down of Lt Werner Voss. By the end of the first world war 56 Squadron had scored 402 victories, and many famous fighter aces flew with 56 Squadron including James McCudden, Reginald Hoidge, Gerald Maxwell, Arthur Rhys-Davies, Geoffrey Hilton Bowman, Richard Mayberry, Leonard Monteagle Barlow, Cyril Crowe, Maurice Mealing, Albert Ball, Harold Walkerdine, William Roy Irwin, Eric Broadberry, Kenneth William Junor, Cecil Leiws, Keith Muspratt, Duncan Grinnell-Milne, William Spurret Fielding-Johnson, William Otway Boger, Charles Jeffs, and Harold Molyneux. The squadron lost 40 pilots during the first world war with another twenty wounded and thirty one taken prisoner. When world war two broke out on the 6th of September 1939, 56 Squadron was based at North Weald. 56 Squadron flew Hurricanes during the Battle of France and during the Battle of Britain. 56 Squadron claimed just over 100 enenmy aircraft shot down during 1940. In 1941 as part of the Duxford Wing it was the first squadron to be equipped with the new Hawker Typhoon and during 1942 and 1943 was based ay RAF Matlaske as part of No.12 Group. No 56 Squadron was the frist squadron to confirm a victory while flying the Hawker Typhoon. In 1944 56 Squadron moved to RAF Newchurch and was re equipped with the new Hawker Tempest V, becoming part of the No.150 Wing under the command of the Ace Wing Commander Roland Beamont. 56 Squadron's new role was to defend Britian against the V1 flying bombs, and the squadron shot down around 75 V1s. The squadron moved to Europe on the 28th of September 1944 to Grimbergen in Belgium as part fo 122 Wing of the Second Tactical Air Force. During this period to the end of the war 56 Squadron became joint top scorers with a total of 149 aircraft cliamed. Over its history the squadron flew, SE5's Sopwith Snipes, Gloster Grebes, Armstrong Whitworth Siskins, Bristol Bulldogs, Gloster Gauntlets, Gloster Gladiators, Harker Hurricanes, Hawker Typhoon, and Hawker Tempests. Battle of Honours of the Squadron are : Western front 1917 - 1918 , Arras, Ypres 1917, Cambrai 1917, Soome 1918, Amiens, Hindenburg Line. During World war two : France and the Low Countries 1940, Battle of Britian, Fortress Europe 1942 - 1944, Dieppe, France, Germany 1944 - 1945, Home Defence 1942 - 1945 and Arnhem.

No.600 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 14th October 1925
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
City of London (Auxiliary)

Praeter Sescentos - More than six hundred

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.600 Sqn RAF

No.600 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.602 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 12th September 1925
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
City of Glasgow (Auxiliary)

Cave leonem cruciatum - Beware the tormented lion

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.602 Sqn RAF

No.602 Sqn RAF

We have been informed by pilot Ian Blair about one of the aircraft of this squadron : The Spitfire MkVII had the Squadron markings of 312 Sqdn (DU-G) but the aircraft was on the strength of 602 Sqn. and was inherited by 602 Sqn from the Station Flight at Skae Bray, after 312 Sqn had left the area. The time span did not permit the ground personnel sufficient time to paint new letters on the aircraft. This fact has led to the incorrect assumption that I, the pilot of the aircraft, was a member of 312 Sqn.

No.605 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 5th October 1926
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
County of Warwick (Auxiliary)

Nunquam dormio - I never sleep

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.605 Sqn RAF

No.605 Sqn RAF

Formed on 5 October 1926 at RAF Castle Bromwich, 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron was originally a day bomber unit of the Auxiliary Air Force. recruiting in the Birmingham area. Initially equipped with DH.9As, it received Westland Wapitis in April 1930 and Hawker Harts in October 1934. The latter were replaced by Hawker Hinds in August 1936. On 1 January 1939 No. 605 squadron was redesignated as a fighter squadron and re-equipped with Gloster Gladiators., they moved to RAF Tangmere at the start of World War II with a mixture of 6 Hurricanes and 10 Gloster Gladiators. In 1940, the Squadron flew patrols over northern France and took part in the closing stages of the Battle of Britain. It then carried out escort duties and fighter sweeps until posted overseas. In November 1941, the Squadron flew off the carrier HMS Argus to Malta, where it was retained as part of the island's defences, prior to continuing its journey to the Far East. Arriving in Singapore too late to prevent its capture, it moved to Sumatra and then to Java, where they were caught up in the Japanese invasion. It operated any aircraft it could fly until it ceased to exist with its personnel either escaping in small groups or being captured. A new 605 Squadron was formed at RAF Ford on 7 June 1942. Initially equipped with Douglas Boston and Havocs in the intruder role, they were replaced with de Havilland Mosquitoes from February 1943. The Squadron continued to operate this type of aircraft until the end of the war and during this period they were tasked with destroying the German V1 Flying Bombs en route to England. The Squadron disbanded at Volkel Air Base on 31 August 1945; however, with the reactivation of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 605 Squadron was reformed as a night fighter squadron at RAF Honiley on 10 May 1946. Becoming a day fighter Squadron in July 1948, it flew de Havilland Vampire F.1s and Vampire FB.5s before finally being disbanded, along with all the flying units of the RAuxAF, on 10 March 1957. The Squadron Standard was awarded on 15 October 1953, but it was presented by HRH Princess Margaret on 11 March 1954. It is now laid up in the Parish Church of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, Castle Vale, which was built on the original site of RAF Castle Bromwich.

No.609 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 10th February 1936
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
West Riding (Auxiliary)

Tally ho!

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.609 Sqn RAF

No.609 Sqn RAF

609 (West Riding) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force: 609 Squadron came into being on the 10th February 1936 as part of the expanding Auxiliary Air Force. Initially a bomber squadron equipped with Hawker Harts. On 8th December, 1938, the Squadrons role was changed from bomber to fighter and the squadron took delivery of its first Spitfires Mk I during August 1939. The squadrons first victory was a Heinkel HE111 H-2 of 2/KG26 which was shot down near St. Abbs Head, 27th February 1940, by Flying Officer G. D. Ayre, Pilot Officer J R Buchanan and Flying Officer D Persse-Joynt. 609 squadron was, it is said, the first Spitfire Squadron to reach 100 victories (Ju88 A-5 1/KG51) on 21st October 1940. The victory was shared by Flight Lieutenant F J Howell and Pilot Officer S J Hill. During April 1942, 609 began to replace its Spitfires with Hawker Typhoons, and went on to become the first Typhoon squadron with 227 victories. Based at many RAF Stations 609 was in action throughout WWII, covering the Dunkirk evacuation, the Battle of Britain and supporting the D-Day landings as part of the 2nd TAF. There were many decorations awarded to squadron members, these included 3 DSOs, 22 DFCs and Bars and 4 DFMs. On 16th December 1947, King George VI gave permission for use of the Royal Prefix for all Auxiliary Air Force Squadrons. 609 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force was disbanded on 10th March 1957, whilst equipped with Gloster Meteors F8 at RAF Church Fenton, Yorkshire. On 1st October, 1999, 609 (west Riding) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, was re-formed at RAF Leeming operating in the guise of Air Defence Support Squadron (ADSS).

No.610 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 10th February 1936
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
County of Chester (Auxiliary)

Alifero tollitur axe ceres - Ceres rising in a winged car

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.610 Sqn RAF

No.610 Sqn RAF

610 squadron was formed AT Hooton Park, Wirral in Cheshire on 10 February 1936 as one of the Auxiliary Air Force squadrons equipped with the light bomber the Hawker Hart. In May 1938 610 Squadron aircraft were upgraded to the new Hawker Hind. On 1 January 1939 the squadron role was changed into that of a fighter squadron, and on the outbreak of war in September 1939, he Squadron began receiving the new Hawker Hurricane. By the end of that same month it was flying the Supermarine Spitfire. During the Battle of Britain 610 Squadron was attached to No. 3 Group and was initially based at RAF Gravesend but moved to Biggin Hill before the German offensive began and was one of the units bearing the brunt of German attacks. It moved to RAF Acklington for the rest and recuperation at the end of August, having sustained severe casualties. During the Battle of Britain the squadron included Pilot Officer, later Squadron Leader, Constantine Pegge. In 1941, the squadron moved south to RAF Tangmere where it became part of the Tangmere wing, a three squadron wing under the command of Douglas Bader. 610 Squadron remained based in the UK until 1945, when it moved to the continent to provide fighter cover as the allies entered Germany. 610 Squadron was disbanded before the end of the war at RAF Warmwell in March 1945.

No.611 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 10th February 1936
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
West Lancashire (Auxiliary)

Beware, beware

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.611 Sqn RAF

No.611 Sqn RAF

Formed 10th February 1936, at RAF Hendon. Initially flew Hawker Hart aircraft then Hawker Hinds, before converting to a number of variants of Spitfires throughout the war. During the war, they were present at Dunkirk and fought in the Battle of Britain. The squadron converted to Mustangs in March 1945, but disbanded in August 1945. The squadron reformed in May 1946, again with Spitfires, beforing converting to Meteor jets in May 1951. The squadron finally disbanded on 10th March 1957.

No.612 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st June 1937
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
County of Aberdeen

Vigilando custodimus - We stand guard by vigilance

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.612 Sqn RAF

No.612 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.613 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st March 1939
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
City of Manchester (Auxiliary)

Semper parati - Always ready

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.613 Sqn RAF

No.613 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.614 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st June 1937
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
County of Glamorgan

Codaf I geislo - I rise and search

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.614 Sqn RAF

No.614 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.615 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st June 1937
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
County of Surrey (Auxiliary)

Conjunctis viribus

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.615 Sqn RAF

No.615 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.616 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st November 1938
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
South Yorkshire (Auxiliary)

Nulla rosa sine spina - No rose without thorns

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.616 Sqn RAF

No.616 Sqn RAF

616 squadron was formed at Doncaster on 1st November 1938 as the last of the Auxiliary Squadrons. Formed initially as a bomber squadron equipped with Hawker Hinds, it was re-equipped with Gloster Gauntlets in June 1939 and transferred to Fighter Command. The squadrons first Spitfires arrived in late October. 616 first saw action and claimed its first victories whilst covering the evacuation from Dunkirk in May 1940. Returning to Yorkshire, the squadron claimed further enemy victims with 15th August standing out as a memorable day. 616 intercepted a large force of unescorted German bombers off the Yorkshire coast and claimed eight enemy aircraft destroyed. They moved to Kenley to join 11 Group at the height of the Battle of Britain, and destroyed 15 aircraft and claimed a further 15 as probables or damaged. During February 1941, 616 joined the Tangmere Wing led by Wg Cdr Douglas Bader. Flying Spitfire II fighters, they flew circus and ramrod sweeps over Northern France, and re-equipped with Spitfires Vb during July 1941. For the next two years 616 continued as a front line fighter squadron and was heavily engaged during the Dieppe expedition and later flying beach-head patrols on D-Day. In July 1944, 616 re-equipped with Gloster Meteor jet fighter thus becoming the first and only Allied squadron to operate jet aircraft in World War II. The squadron destroyed a number of V1 flying bombs whilst operating from Manston before joining the 2nd Tactical Air Force. In January 1945, 616 moved to the continent and operated in the ground attack role before being disbanded at Lubeck on 29th August. The squadron was re-formed at Finningley on 31st July 1946 equipped with Mosquito NF XXX night fighters which were replaced with Meteor F 3 day fighters a few months later. 616 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force was finally disbanded at RAF Worksop on 10th March 1957 whilst equipped with Meteor F8 aircraft.

No.63 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 5th July 1916
Fate : Disbanded September 1992

Pone nos ad hostem - Follow us to find the enemy

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.63 Sqn RAF

No.63 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.66 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 24th June 1916
Fate : Disbanded 20th March 1969

Cavete praemonui - Beware, I have given warning

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.66 Sqn RAF

No.66 Sqn RAF

Stations during the Battle of Britain : Coltishall from29th May 1940, Kenley 3rd September 1940, Gravesend 11th September 1940, West Malling 30th October 1940.

No.74 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st July 1917
Trinidad

I fear no man

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.74 Sqn RAF

No.74 Sqn RAF

Hurricane of 56 Squadron was shot down by mistake by No. 74 Squadron and Pilot Officer M L Halton-Harrop of 56 sqd was killed on the 6th September 1939

No.77 Sqn RAAF

Country : Australia
Founded : 16th March 1942
Trinidad

I fear no man

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.77 Sqn RAAF

No.77 Sqn RAAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.79 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st August 1917
Fate : Disbanded (renumbered) 1st January 1962
Madras Presidency

Nil nobis obstare potest - Nothing can stop us

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.79 Sqn RAF

No.79 Sqn RAF

Formed at Gosport on the 1st of August 1917, No.79 Squadron was moved to France in December 1917 and equipped with Dolphins which carried out fighter patrols and ground attack missions until the end of the war. After the Armistice 79 Squadron was stationed in Germany as part of the occupation forces, and on the 15 of July 1919, the squadron was disbanded.

79 Squadron was reformed on 22nd March 1937 at Biggin Hill, being formed from B Flight of No.32 Squadron. Initially the squadron was equipped with Gauntlets until the end of 1938 when they were replaced with Hawker Hurricanes. When World War Two broke out, 79 Squadrons role was to fly defensive patrols until May 1940 when 79 Squadron was sent to France for only a short period of 10 days. The Squadron took part in the Battle of Britain and after the Battle of Britain the squadron moved to South Wales until the end of 1941. 79 Squadron was sent to the Far East on 4th March 1942 arriving in India on 20th June. Between May 1944, and September 1944 No.79 was withdrawn from active service to be re-equipped with Thunderbolts and after the war the squadron was disbanded on 30th December 1945.

No.79 was reformed for a ten year period on 15th November 1951 at Gutersloh initially flying the Meteor jet fighter but being re-equipped with the new Swift and being used in the role of a fighter-reconnaissance unit. On the 1st of January No.79 squadron was renumbered 4 Squadron.

No.81 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 7th January 1917
Fate : Discarded 16th January 1970

Non solum nobis - Not for us alone

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.81 Sqn RAF

No.81 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.87 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st September 1917
Fate : Disbanded 3rd January 1961
United Provinces

Maximus me metuit - The most powerful fear me

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.87 Sqn RAF

No.87 Sqn RAF

No. 87 Squadron was formed from a major part of D Squadron of the Central Flying School at Upavon on 1st September 1917. In April 1918, 87 Squadron was equipped with Dolphins when it was sent to France to fly in fighter and ground attack operations. This the squadron did to the end of the Great War, returning back to the UK in February 1919, and was disbanding on 24th June 1919.

87 Squadron was reformed on 15th March 1937 at Tangmere and was equipped with Hawker Furies until being re-equipped with the Gloster Gladiator in June when the squadron was based at Debden. In July 1938, 87 Squadron was again re-equipped with Hawker Hurricanes and with the outbreak of World War Two the squadron was moved to France as part of the Air Force supporting the British Expeditionary Force. 87 Squadron supplied air support to the troops on the Northern Front until their airfields were overrun by the German forces. The squadron was then moved to Yorkshire, moving again to south-west England in July for defence roles both day and night. The squadron was mainly used in a night fighter role during the Battle of Britain and remained mainly in that role until the end of 1942, while also beginning intruder missions in March 1941. The squadron was then moved to Gibraltar In November 1942 as part of the build up for the invasion of North Africa, remaining there until September 1943 when the squadron again moved to Sicily. In January 1944, the squadrons main role was to patrol over the Balkans form their base in Italy. In August 1944, the squadron returned to night duties performing fighter-bomber missions and in this role 87 squadron remained until the end of the war. On 30th December 1946, the squadron was disbanded.

No.87 reformed on 1st January 1952 at Wahn as a night-fighter squadron in Germany, initially operating the Meteor jet fighter but by the end of 1957 the Meteor was replaced with the Javelin until the squadron was finally disbanded in January 1961.


Pilots of 87 Sqn c.1941. Second from the right is P/O G. L. Roscoe.

Many thanks to Flight Lieutenant Alex Thom DFC who supplied this photo.

No.91 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st September 1917
Fate : Disbanded 31st January 1947
Nigeria

We seek alone

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.91 Sqn RAF

No.91 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.92 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st September 1917
Fate : Disbanded 1st October 1994
East India

Aut pugna aut morere - Either fight or die

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.92 Sqn RAF

No.92 Sqn RAF

92 Squadron was formed in the First World War, as a squadron of the Royal Flying Corps, on 1st September 1917. It flew Pups, Spads and SE5s during the war, becoming an RAF squadron on the formation of the RAF on 1st April 1918, before being disbanded on 7th August 1919. On the outbreak of hostilities of World War Two, 92 Sqn reformed on 10th October 1939, flying Blenheims before converting to Spitfires. It transferred to North Africa, and for some time flew as part of 244 Wing RAF. After the war, the squadron was disbanded on 30th December 1946. On 31st January 1947, the former 91 Squadron was redesignated 92 Squadron, flying the Meteor before re-equipping with the Sabre and then the Hunter. While flying the Hunter in 1960, the squadron was designated as the RAF's aerobatic squadron, with the name Blue Diamonds, a name the squadron carried on after tranferring to the Lightning. The squadron then re-equipped with Phantoms, before being disbanded on 1st July 1991. It was reformed from a rserve squadron on 23rd September 1992, and became No.92 (Reserve) Squadron, flying the Hawk aircraft before being disbanded once more on 1st October 1994.




Last edited : 16:31, May 11, 2017
Last editor : kc

Return to Aviation Directory Search Home

Click here to go to our naval history forum

Everything we obtain for this site is shown on the site, we do not have any more photos, crew lists or further information on any of the ships.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE. ALL IMAGES DISPLAYED ON THIS WEBSITE ARE PROTECTED BY  COPYRIGHT  LAW, AND ARE OWNED BY CRANSTON FINE ARTS OR THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.  NO REPRODUCTION OR COPYING ALLOWED ON OTHER WEBSITES, BOOKS OR ARTICLES WITHOUT PRIOR AGREEMENT.

Contact Details
Shipping Info
Terms and Conditions
Classified Ads
Valuations

Join us on Facebook!

Sign Up To Our Newsletter!

Stay up to date with all our latest offers, deals and events as well as new releases and exclusive subscriber content!

This website is owned by Cranston Fine Arts.  Torwood House, Torwoodhill Road, Rhu, Helensburgh, Scotland, G848LE

Contact: Tel: (+44) (0) 1436 820269.  Fax: (+44) (0) 1436 820473. Email:

Follow us on Twitter!

Return to Home Page