1942

The squadron operated as a heavy bomber squadron throughout 1942

Stationed at:

  • RAF Linton-On-Ouse (Yorkshire)
  • 12/08/1942: Moved to RAF Graveley (Huntingdonshire)

RAF Linton-On-Ouse


Role

  • To prepare and despatch aircraft and crews, in accordance with “scale of effort” instructions issued by Bomber Command.
  • From 12/08/1942: To prepare and despatch aircraft and crews(*) capable of accurately marking the aiming point at a specified time, to enable main force crews to identify the release point during their bombing runs.

(*) The number of aircraft required for each operation was contained in the “scale of effort” which was issued by HQ Bomber Command on a daily basis


Command

  • No 4 Group, Bomber Command
  • 12/08/1942: Transferred to Pathfinder Force (No. 3 Group), Bomber Command

Squadron Command

  • Commanding Officer:
    • Wing Commander BV Robinson DFC
    • 26/01/1942: Handed over to Wing Commander JNH Whitworth DSO DFC
    • 12/03/1942: Handed over to Wing Commander JH Marks DSO DFC
    • 09/1942: Wing Commander BV Robinson DSO DFC (following JH Marks death)

Robinson, Whitworth and Marks


Strength

Note: In February, No. 35 Halifax Conversion Flight was formed, with aircraft and personnel drawn from No. 35 Squadron.

35sqdnmarch1942

No. 35 Squadron (February 1942) [Courtesy of Linzee Duncan]


Activities

Air Crew

  • Ground Training
  • Flying Training (incl. air Exercises, such as Bombing, Fighter Affiliation and Cross Country)
  • Operational Sorties

Ground Personnel

  • Daily inspection, servicing and preparation of squadron aircraft, in readiness for air operations
  • Other Squadron related Technical and Administrative Duties

Events

ATTACKS ON THE TIRPITZ (MARCH / APRIL 1942)

Extracts from No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book regarding the attacks on the Battleship “Tirpitz” (which was moored in Fættenfjord, Norway) in March and April 1942 – read more –


VISIT OF THE KING AND QUEEN
(28th March 1942)

The Record Book shows “Their Majesties the KING and QUEEN accompanied by the A.O.C. 4. Group AVM CR Carr and other members of the party arrived this morning about 10.15. After inspecting a Halifax MkII loaded with 4,000lb bombs, their Majesties conversed with the crew of this aircraft, S/Ldr. P.H Cribb, W.O.Wilson, F/Sgt. Martin, Sgt. Gardiner, Sgt. Wing, Sgt. Ryan and Sgt. O’Kane. The remaining aircrew Officers and N.C.O’s paraded in working dress in front of ‘C’ Hangar and their Majesties spoke to several including All Dominion personnel and those whom the KING had previously presented with decorations. They left the Flying Field and proceeded to the Officers Mess and then departed for another station at approx 11.30. All ground crew and other personnel lined the approach and cheered their Majesties off”


VISIT OF PRIME MINISTER

On 15th May, the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill visited Linton-On-Ouse where he inspected aircrews, along with one of the Halifax aircraft. He also visited Flying Control and witnessed an aircraft making a blind approach


THE MOVE TO RAF GRAVELEY

The Record Book shows “On 12th August 1942, an Advance Party proceeded by rail from RAF Linton-On-Ouse to RAF Graveley and the squadron was transferred from No. 4 Group, Bomber Command to the newly formed Pathfinder Force (No. 3 Group, Bomber Command) on that day. On 14th August, a Road Party (with service vehicles) travelled to Graveley followed by the Main Party, which proceeded by rail and air on 15th August. The Rear Party, which had been left with two unserviceable aircraft at Linton-on-Ouse, travelled by rail on 17th August, thereby completing the move to RAF Graveley”


THE FIRST OPERATION AS A PATHFINDER SQUADRON

The squadron flew its first operational sortie as a Pathfinder squadron on the 18th August 1942

An extract from a 35 Squadron navigation report from the first PFF operation


VISIT FROM REPRESENTATIVE OF INDIAN WAR COUNCIL

On 21st October 1942, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar (Indian War Council) visited Graveley (as a representative of India which was funding aircraft under the Ministry of Aircraft Production [MAP] Empire Scheme).


Aircraft

The squadron was equipped with the following aircraft types (from its own establishment):

HALIFAX HP57 B MKI [Series 1 and 2]

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


HALIFAX HP57 B MKI [Series 3]

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


HALIFAX HP59 B MKII [Series 1]

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


HALIFAX HP59 B MKII [Series 1 Special]
(version with mid-upper turret removed)

Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The following link provides more details on the aircraft that were on charge of the squadron, including information on known losses and incidents:


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION