1945

The squadron operated as a heavy bomber squadron up until May

Stationed at:

  • RAF Graveley (Huntingdonshire)

Role

  • 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
  • Post War Clean Up (from 08/05/1945)

(*) 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. 8 [Pathfinder Force] Group, Bomber Command
  • 15/12/1945: Transferred to No. 3 Group, Bomber Command (when No.8 [Pathfinder Force] Group was disbanded)

Squadron Command

  • Commanding Officer:
    • Group Captain DFEC Dean DSO DFC
    • 01/03/1945: Handed over to Group Captain HJE Le Good DSO DFC
    • 11/09/1945: Handed over to Wing Commander AJL Craig DSO DFC

Strength

Note: On 24/05/1945, all Commonwealth airmen were posted out of the squadron in readiness for their repatriation.


Events affecting the squadron

VE Day was announced on the 8th May 1945 and the process of demobilisation of personnel and post war clean up started shortly afterwards

Activities

Air Crew

  • Ground Training
  • Flying Training (incl. air Exercises, such as Bombing, Fighter Affiliation and Cross Country)
  • Operational Sorties
  • Displays / Flypasts
  • At Home Exhibitions (Odiham and Filton)

Ground Personnel

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

[#] It is worth noting that personnel on strength of No. 9035 Servicing Echelon were attached to No 35 Squadron to assist with the daily servicing of squadron aircraft and equipment from 3rd November 1943 until 3rd March 1945

Log Book Extract [Courtesy of Bernard Humphreys]


Aircraft

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

AVRO LANCASTER B.I and B.III

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


AVRO LANCASTER B.I(FE)

The squadron took delivery of its first Avro Lancaster B.I(FE) in November 1945

Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The following link provides more detail regarding the aircraft that were on charge of the squadron


1944

The squadron operated as a heavy bomber squadron (Path Finder Role) throughout 1944

Stationed at:

  • RAF Graveley (Huntingdonshire)
Control Tower (PHerod)

RAF Graveley Control Tower


Role

  • 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. 8 [Pathfinder Force] Group, Bomber Command

Squadron Command

  • Commanding Officer:
    • Wing Commander SP Daniels DSO DFC
    • 25/07/1944: Handed over to Group Captain DFEC Dean DSO DFC
Dean

DFEC Dean


Strength

On 20th March, the squadron was reduced to two flights when Air Crew and Ground Crew from “B Flight” were posted to Downham Market” to form the nucleus of No. 635 Squadron – read more –


Activities:

Air Crew

  • Ground Training
  • Flying Training (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

[#] It is worth noting that personnel on strength of No. 9035 Servicing Echelon were attached to No 35 Squadron to assist with the daily servicing of squadron aircraft and equipment from 3rd November 1943 until 3rd March 1945

Target Photo Le Havre 10/09/1944


Events

Christmas Dinner Menu 1944
[Courtesy of Lisa Phillips]


A BIRTHDAY TO REMEMBER

Flying with No. 35 Squadron Path Finder Force from Graveley, our crew took part in an attack on Magdeburg on 21st January 1944
– read more –


D DAY COMMITMENTS

The following, which is extracted from the squadron’s Operations Record Book, summarises No 35 Squadron’s commitments to the D-Day landings
– read more –


Aircraft

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

HALIFAX HP59 B MKII (Series 1 / Series 1 Special)

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


HALIFAX HP59 B MKII [Series 1a]
(version with modified tail fin)

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


HALIFAX HP61 B MKIII

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


AVRO LANCASTER B.I and B.III

In March 1944, the squadron started to re-equip with the Avro Lancaster B.I and B.III

Avro Lancaster Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The following links provide more detail on the aircraft that were on charge of the squadron, along with information on losses and incidents::

1943

The squadron operated as a heavy bomber squadron (Path Finder role) throughout 1943

Stationed at:

  • RAF Graveley (Huntingdonshire)
RAF GRAVELEY copy

RAF Graveley


Role

  • 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

  • Pathfinder Force (No. 3 Group), Bomber Command
  • 01/1943: Renamed No. 8 [Pathfinder Force] Group, Bomber Command.

Squadron Command

  • Commanding Officer:
    • Wing Commander BV Robinson DFC
    • 01/05/1943: Handed over to Wing Commander DFEC Dean DSO DFC
    • 17/11/1943: Handed over to Wing Commander SP Daniels DSO DFC

Strength

July 1943 [Colin Hewlett [Credit - Friends of the Pathfinders]].jpg

July 1943 [Courtesy of Colin Hewlett / Friends of the Pathfinders]


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

[#] It is worth noting that personnel on strength of No. 9035 Servicing Echelon were attached to No 35 Squadron to assist with the daily servicing of squadron aircraft and equipment from 3rd November 1943 until 3rd March 1945

LogBook2

Extract from EC Brown’s Log Book


Events

MEMORIES OF A DITCHING

This is a true story about the experiences of a Pathfinder crew of No. 35 Squadron (No. 8 Group Pathfinder Force Bomber Command) – read more –


BOMB EXPLOSION AT GRAVELEY

On 25th July 1943 a 1,000lb GP bomb exploded during the fusing operation in a Fuzing Shed at RAF Graveley
– read more –


2nd BOMB EXPLOSION AT GRAVELEY

A bomb exploded at RAF Graveley on 25th November 1943, killing three airmen (RC Boak, C Crane and M Shaw) and injuring two others (E Webster and  AC Muller)
– read more –

Note: Photograph of Fuzing Shed not taken at RAF Graveley


Aircraft

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

:

Halifax HP59 B MKII (Series 1 / Series 1 Special)

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


HP59 Halifax B MKII [Series 1a]
(version with modified tail fin)

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


HP61 Halifax B MKIII

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:

Handley Page Halifax


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Memories of 1943 (Ronald Gayner)

Ronald Gayner [Courtesy of Dick Gayner]

“It was a long time ago, and funny how we remember the things that happened way back, yet we sometimes have a job to remember what happened yesterday – read more –

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

1941

No. 35 Squadron became operational with the Handley Page Halifax on 10th March 1941 and operated as a heavy bomber squadron after this date

Stationed at:

  • RAF Linton-on-Ouse (Yorkshire)

Role

  • “To bring the newly developed four-engine Handley Page Halifax heavy bomber into operational service”
  • From 10/03/1941: To prepare and despatch aircraft and crews, in accordance with “scale of effort” instructions issued by Bomber Command.

Command

  • No. 4 (Bomber) Group, Bomber Command

Squadron Command

  • Commanding Officer:
    • Wing Commander RWP Collings AFC
    • 03/07/1941: Handed over to Wing Commander BV Robinson DFC

Strength

During April, forty airmen from No. 10 Squadron were attached to squadron crews for “conversion training”, so that they could gain experience of the Halifax before moving on to form the nucleus of the newly reformed No. 76 Squadron (which was based at Linton until its move to Middleton-St-George in June).

In May, with many of the squadron’s aircraft grounded due to technical problems, its second pilots were detached to No. 58 Squadron (which was also based at Linton-On-Ouse) to gain operational experience on the twin-engine Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley. In addition, a number of personnel were posted to the newly reformed No. 76 Squadron.

In May, thirty Fitters from the squadron successfully completed a course to enable them to operate as Fitter II [Flight Engineer] on the Halifax.

In August, a Halifax Conversion Flight (No. 28) was formed at Linton-On-Ouse with aircraft and personnel drawn from No. 35 and No. 76 Squadron. Note: This flight transferred to Leaconfield October / November 1941.


Activities

Air Crew

  • Ground Training
  • Flying Training (including Cross Country, Night Flying, Lorenz Blind Approach and Air Firing [Filey Bay])
  • Air Tests (#) , including flights to test:
    • fuel consumption
    • operational heights
    • “all-up weight” handling
    • standard blind approach
    • wireless telegraphy
    • automatic pilot (George)
  • Operational Sorties (from 10/03/1941)

Ground Personnel

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

(#) It is worth noting that testing highlighted a number of serious problems with the operational handling of the Halifax, resulting in ongoing changes to its design.

Some of the pilots from 1941


Events

BENINGBROUGH HALL

With the influx of airmen into RAF Linton-On-Ouse in April 1941, the Air Ministry requisitioned Beningbrough Hall (approx. 3 miles from the airfield) to accommodate all Non Commissioned Air Crew.


AIRFIELD ATTACK

The airfield at Linton-On-Ouse was attacked by enemy aircraft on 11/12th May 1941
– read more –


L9506 at West Raynham (IWM H10315)

L9506 at West Raynham on 6th June 1941
(IWM H10315)


2nd AIRFIELD ATTACK

No. 4 Group’s Operations Record Book shows that the airfield at Linton-on-Ouse was attacked by enemy aircraft on 17th August 1941 at 03.11 hours.

Superficial damage was done to one dispersal point. 1 aircraft dropped 10 HE bombs.


Aircraft

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

HALIFAX PROTOTYPE
(DUAL CONTROL)


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

Memories of 1941 (Leslie Thorpe)

I joined the Squadron Easter 1941 at Linton-on-Ouse, I was at that time a Fitter 11A. My first work on aircraft was on the old Halifax Mk 1. This aircraft had finished its squadron life and was waiting to be returned to Handley Page for stripping down and a post-mortem to be carried out – read more –

1940 (Squadron Reformed)

No. 35 Squadron reformed at Boscombe Down (Wiltshire) on 5th November 1940, and was attached to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE)

It was charged with “bringing the newly developed four-engine Handley Page Halifax heavy bomber into operational service”

Stationed at:

  • 05/11/1940: Boscombe Down
  • 20/11/1940: Moved to RAF Leeming (Yorkshire)
  • 05/12/1940: Moved to RAF Linton-on-Ouse (Yorkshire)

RAF Leeming [Courtesy of RAF Leeming Historical Training Facility]


Role

  • “To bring the newly developed four-engine Handley Page Halifax heavy bomber into operational service”.

Command

  • HQ, No. 4 (Bomber) Group, Bomber Command

Squadron Command

  • Commanding Officer:
    • RWP Collings

RWP Collings


Strength


Activities

  • Air Crew and Ground Personnel
    • Building up to establishment numbers
    • Familiarisation with the Handley Page Halifax

Extract from the squadron’s Record Book (November / December 1940)


Aircraft

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

HALIFAX PROTOTYPE (DUAL CONTROL)

HALIFAX HP57 B MKI [Series 1]

Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The following page identifies the serial numbers of the aircraft that were on charge of No. 35 Squadron during 1940 (after the squadron reformed), along with details of known losses and incidents:

1940 (Squadron Disbanded)

On 8th April 1940, No. 35 Squadron (as part of No. 1 Group Pool) merged with No. 90 Squadron to form No. 17 Operational Training Unit (OTU) and it ceased to exist as a separate entity

Stationed at:

  • RAF Cranfield / Bassingbourn
  • 01/02/1940:  Moved to RAF Upwood

Role

  • As part of No. 1 Group Pool the squadron was tasked with:
    • providing all ten squadrons in the Advanced Air Striking Force [AASF] with a reserve or pool from which replacements could be drawn
    • training the output of the Flying Training Schools up to an operational standard

Command

  • No. 1 Group Pool, No. 6 (Bomber) Group, Bomber Command

Squadron Command

  • Commanding Officer:
    • Wing Commander WNM Hurley

Strength

Activities

Air Crew

  • Ground Training and Flying Training given to newly qualified air crew (pilots, observers and air gunners), to bring them up to operational standard. Training included Operational Flying, Instrument Flying, Cloud Flying, Bombing, Night Flying and Air Gunnery

Ground Personnel

  • Daily servicing, ongoing maintenance and scheduled servicing of squadron aircraft and equipment
  • Other squadron related technical and administrative duties (such as Logistics, Air Operations Support, Intelligence, Administration and Personnel / Medical support)

Aircraft

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

FAIREY BATTLE

Fairey Battle Profile © Malcolm Barrass


AVRO ANSON

Avro Anson Profile © Malcolm Barrass


BRISTOL BLENHEIM

Bristol Blenheim Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The following pages identify the serial numbers of the aircraft that were on charge of No. 35 Squadron during 1940 (up to date of disbandment) , along with details of known losses and incidents: