2020/09 Newsletter

Research Work

This month, I have carried out research on the following, all of whom served with the squadron:

  • RN Wolton (1917 to 1918)

September “On This Day” Series

For information on personnel and aircraft losses relating to each day, please click on the following link

– Personnel and aircraft losses –

September 1935

On 23rd September 1935, the squadron mobilised to Sudan, as part of the RAF’s commitment to policing the area during the Abyssinian Crisis

– More details –

September 1944

The following is an extract from the 35 Squadron aircraft “snag book” showing the damage to some of its aircraft after operations on 12th September 1944.

Courtesy of Sean Feast

September 1946

On 18th September 1946, the squadron (having returned from “Operation Lancaster” [Goodwill Tour of USA]) moved from RAF Graveley to RAF Stradishall

raf_stradishall_1945

RAF Stradishall circa 1945 [Source: Google Earth]

September 1961

On 11th September 1961, the squadron, which had been operating as a light bomber squadron (equipped with the Canberra B.2), was disbanded.

Wing Commander H Neubroch (Officer Commanding, 35 Squadron) recorded the following “All tasks arising before disbandment – flying, administrative, ceremonial and social were completed in full. It merely remains for me to wish our successors on No. 35 Squadron, joy and success – may all their runs be straight and true”

September 1992

On 19th September 1992, a memorial was unveiled at Blesme, France to honour the crew of Halifax W7657 which had crashed in the village on 19th September 1942, with the loss of 3 lives, including JH Marks, the Officer Commanding 35 Squadron

– More details on the loss –

September 2002

On 12th September 2002, a dedication ceremony was held in the Royal Air Force Wing at the National Memorial Arboretum (Staffordshire), where two trees had been planted (one for 35 Squadron, the other for 635 Squadron) and commemorative plaques installed.

img_0153cleaned-up

September 2018

On 29th September 2018, a memorial was unveiled in Vessem, Holland, to commemorate the loss of Lancaster ND762.

The memorial depicts the three airman that survived, along with the silhouettes of the five that lost their lives. The words “when the sun sets and darkness falls, I will remember” were recorded by Ernest Holmes’ (Shirl-E) in his POW diary, in memory of his crew

Photograph courtesy of Bart Beex

– More details on the loss –

Armstrong Whitworth FK8

This month, I have been updating the website pages relating to the Armstrong Whitworth FK8, which the squadron utilised throughout WWI to carry out its role of “providing medium and short distance aerial reconnaissance for one of the British Army Corps Commands”

As part of the update, I gathered together some photographs of squadron aircraft, including some showing force landings

Scampton Commemorative Window Appeal

I have been sent the following update regarding the Scampton Commemorative Window Appeal

The order for the window has been placed with the designer (Claire Williamson), but with lock down affecting glass supplies, Claire decided to close the glass workshop for a while; however the good news is that the workshop is now open again and the full size template has been created.

The Queen’s crown has been replaced by the King’s crown on the ‘Per Ardua Ad Astra’ RAF crest, to reflect the crest used on the Commonwealth War Graves in the churchyard.

Responding to feedback from the Historic England stained glass window advisor, the font used for the words ‘Commemorating those who served at RAF Scampton” has been changed to that used on the updated RAF Logos.

The serial number on the Lancaster bomber has been removed so that it now represents all Lancasters that flew from RAF Scampton.  

Sadly, with a new period of Covid restrictions recently imposed for the next 6 months, the window will not now be installed prior to Remembrance Day 2020 as originally planned, but will be installed as early in 2021 as restrictions allow. The window’s dedication ceremony will hopefully follow in the summer.

Fundraising is continuing and we are now 82% of the way towards our funding target.

Wing Commander (rtd) Bill Ramsey and Squadron Leader (rtd) Martin Withers DFC (who flew the last ever flight of the Avro Vulcan) have kindly signed photographs in aid of the RAF Scampton Commemorative Window Appeal.

Accompanying the signed photo is the story of that poignant final flight. The signed photo and text are perfect for creating a montage, should you wish to frame them. An example is shown below.

Scampton Church are offering both the photo and text for £25 including postage (frame not included). All proceeds go towards the RAF Scampton Commemorative Window Appeal.

We are grateful to both pilots, and Vulcan to the Sky Trust for supporting this unique historical offer.

If you are interested in purchasing the signed photo and text please e-mail rafwindow@scamptonchurch.org

Contacts

This month, I have been contacted by the following:

  • Geraldine Wood: My dad, Richard Wood, piloted Vulcans on 35 Squadron
  • Ernie Todd: I was a Nav Plotter and was on 35 Sqn, from 64-68 and came across your site by chance. I must say, it is most impressive and must occupy so much of your time. It will take me ages to finish. Somewhere, I have photos from those far-off days, I just need to find them – still to be unpacked from a big move.

2020/08 Newsletter

Research Work

This month, I have carried out research on the following, all of whom served with the squadron:

  • RS Hogg (1943 [POW])
  • D Harris (1943 to 1944)
  • F Feakins (1944 [KIA])
  • TE Bellamy (1942 to 1945)

If you would like information on a relative who served with the squadron (1916 – 1982), please get in touch and I will do my best to help

Linton-On-Ouse Memorial Room

Prompted by an enquiry regarding the status of the Memorial Room at Linton-On-Ouse, I got in touch with a number of my contacts to find out (a) whether it was open now that lock down restrictions had been eased and (b) whether a decision had been made about its future

My source at Linton advised that the Room is now permanently closed and the exhibits and artefacts are being boxed up in readiness for storage.

My source at Beningbrough Hall (which had a special connection with Linton during WWII), advised that discussions had taken place with the National Trust but no interest had been shown in taking on the collection despite pressure from local history groups. (My feeling is that the National Trust, faced with its current financial situation, would be even less likely to want to take on the collection if it was approached again now)

My source at the Historical Training Facility at Leeming advised that it had not been contacted to see if it would be interested in taking on the collection. However, with the limited space that it had available, it was unlikely that it would have been able to house the collection, although it would have been interested in artefacts etc which had links with both Linton and Leeming.

Rumours are that parts of the collection are being offered to various parties, and I am guessing that once it has been “cherry-picked”, the remainder will stay in storage boxes and will be lost in time.

I hope I am wrong, but sadly, I think that is the reality of the situation.

August “On This Day” Series

For information on personnel and aircraft losses relating to each day, please click on the following link

– Personnel and aircraft losses –

August 1936

In August 1936, the squadron’s detachment to the Sudan (during the Abyssinian Crisis) came to an end and its aircraft were flown back to Port Sudan where they were dismantled and packaged in readiness for return to the UK.

Squadron personnel embarked the HMT Somersetshire which sailed to Southampton on 14th August 1936 [arriving 29th August].

Somersetshire

HMT Somersetshire

The packaged aircraft were loaded onto SS Antilochus which sailed for Liverpool on 18th August 1936 [arriving 12th September]. They were placed in storage at RAF Sealand.

August 1939

On 26th August 1939, No. 35 Squadron moved from RAF Cottesmore to RAF Cranfield where it continued in its role as a non-mobilising training unit, tasked with training the output of the Flying Training Schools up to an operational standard. Aircraft utilised included the Fairey Battle and the Avro Anson

August 1942

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 RAF Linton-on-Ouse, travelled by rail on 17th August, thereby completing the move to RAF Graveley.

RAF Graveley (Technical Area)

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

August 1949

On 12th August 1949, the squadron started to re-equip with the Avro Lincoln, a four-engine heavy bomber which was designed (in accordance with Specification B.14/43) to replace the wartime four-engine bombers. It was used by the squadron for training and operational purposes until February 1950

Lincoln Profile

Avro Lincoln Profile © Malcolm Barrass

August 1966

On Sunday 14th August 1966, orders were received covering the withdrawal of the medium bombers to the United Kingdom. This followed the signing of the Bangkok Agreement by Malaysia and Indonesia, ending the confrontation between these two countries.

The aircraft returned from Darwin to Tengah on 17th.

Flt. Lt JM Morgan and crew and Flt. Lt B Dorrington and crew departed by Vulcan for Cottesmore on the 23rd. After take-off, they formed up with Flt. Lt PG Franklin and crew and did a flypast over Tengah for the benefit of the news cameramen covering the withdrawal.

Tengah2 [Marham Aviation Heritage Centre FB]

Flt. Lt LDA Russell and crew left RAF Changi by Transport Command Britannia, along with half of the ground crew. Flt. Lt PG Franklin and Flt Lt AM Mitchell left by Vulcan for Cottesmore on the 27th. The remaining ground crew returned to Cottesmore on any available seats on Transport Command scheduled or chartered flights”

Canberra B.2 Model

Jon de Gray posted a photo of a model he had made of Canberra WJ642 (with No. 35 Squadron markings), which stood as gate guardian at RAF Upwood.

He added “I was at Upwood school from 1966- 1972 and a lot of my friends lived on the Camp so I would see the Canberra quite often. I’ve always been interested in aircraft and used to go to a lot of air displays with my Dad who was in the RAF during the war”.

(It is worth adding that the guard guardian was actually WH723, which was given the identity of WJ642)

No. 35 Squadron in Sudan

JWH Brown contacted me to say that his father served with No. 35 Squadron in the Sudan 1935/36 and had taken many photos in and around the camp.

I have started to add some of the photographs to the site as they provide an interesting insight into conditions etc at the time

Contact Us

This month, I was contacted by the following people:

  • Geraldine Wood: My dad Richard Wood piloted Vulcans on 35 Squadron

Please remember, the site can only be built with help from people like yourself who have an interest in the squadron

E-Mail the Editor

or contact us on Facebook

2020/07 Newsletter

Research Work

This month, I have carried out research on the following, all of whom served with the squadron:

  • RM Mather (1943 [POW])
  • HC Pexton (1943 [Killed])
  • JL Lee (1943 [Killed])
  • BG Southwell (1959 to 1961)

If you would like information on a relative who served with the squadron (1916 – 1982), please get in touch and I will do my best to help

Remembering a Lancaster Flight

I was contacted by Norman Allum (1924 Squadron A.T.C. 1948 – 1952) who explained that he recently came across his old Air Training Corps log book which showed that whilst on an annual camp at R.A.F. Mildenhall in 1949 he was lucky enough to be a passenger on a 7 1/2 hour flight in a Lancaster.

Norman did not record the aircraft serial number or the crew names at the time, but a look through the squadron’s Record Book shows that the crew were on a Bullseye exercise. (Unfortunately, the serial number was not recorded in the Record Book either)

Over 70 years on, he remembers little about the actual trip but says:

“I vaguely recall being kitted out with flying gear. As a night flight, oxygen masks were required to be worn from take off to landing. I remember the strange smell of the mask which seemed to stay with me for the entire flight. Seated next to the wireless operator there was very little to see. I do believe I may have even slept most of the time! We were provided with sandwiches and a flask of tea or coffee for the trip and the biggest question on my mind was ‘How could I eat or drink with this mask on?’ Observing the wireless operator, he just took the mask off and proceeded to eat and drink without any problem. As for me, I was too scared to even remove the mask. I broke off pieces of the sandwich and poked them in to my mouth from under the mask. I do not remember drinking anything for the entire trip! I am proud to have been just a very small part in the history of No. 35 Squadron, on that night of the 9th August 1949”

July “On This Day” Series

– Personnel and aircraft losses relating to each day –

15th July

On 15th July 1937, the squadron took delivery of its first Vickers Wellesley which it trialled and used for training purposes until April 1938

23rd July

On 23rd July 1956, Queen Elizabeth visited RAF Marham, where the squadron was stationed

24th July

On 24th July 1956, the squadron moved from RAF Marham to RAF Upwood, where it operated as a light bomber squadron, equipped with the Canberra B.2

25th July

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

The RAF Graveley Operations Record Book shows that seven station personnel were killed, A McAllan, RM Williams, JW McKenzie, W Mitchell, RW Castell, ES Mulcahy and LA Saunders.

The bomb dump was declared unsafe, with five 1,000lb fuzed bombs still lying in the area.

On 26th July 1943, armament staff from the Air Ministry, together with armament officers from HQ No. 8 (Path Finder Force) Group and RAF Station Wyton, visited the bomb  dump and rendered the fuzed bombs safe.

26th July

On 26th July 1932, the squadron started to re-equip with the Fairey Gordon, a single-engine general purpose / light bomber which it utilised for training and operational use until October 1937

RAF Scampton Commemorative Window

Just 14 DAYS LEFT to ensure you are in the draw of this ‘SPECIAL AVIATION RAFFLE’ to be drawn on 14th August by Wing Commander (rtd) Bill Ramsey – co-pilot of the last ever Vulcan flight…. In aid of RAF Scampton Commemorative Window – an aviation heritage project. 75 prizes including many aviation original collectables. Project supported by Vulcan to the Sky Trust and other agencies.

www.scamptonchurch.org/aviationraffle

Raffle First prize
Raffle second prize
Raffle third prize

….. and finally

It is my birthday today, and I thought you might like to see the cake that my partner made for me (with some assistance with the badge)

Contact Us

This month, I was contacted by the following people:

Diane Summers: My father was a navigator on 35 Squadron at RAF Upwood. Flight Lieutenant Brian George Southwell. We lived on Valient Square. We were there 1958-1961 approx. He served 20 years mostly Canberra’s and retired end 1969 at RAF Wyton. He is 88 with some amazing stories. I happily listen and loved my childhood with the RAF. He is currently at the beginning of his dementia journey but still has great recollections of his time served.

David Cook: My father proudly served in 35 squadron during 1939 – 45 in the ground crew, Gordon ‘Taffy’ Cook. Graveley and Warboys were place names he mentioned. I have some photos somewhere and he made a Lancaster model from a peace of windscreen. There wasn’t much he didn’t know about the Rolls Royce Merlin engine.

Please remember, the site can only be built with help from people like yourself who have an interest in the squadron

E-Mail the Editor

or contact us on Facebook

2020/06 Newsletter

Research Work

I am still receiving a steady flow of enquiries from across the globe. This month, I have carried out research on the following, who served with the squadron:

  • RG Humphreys (1942 [POW])
  • DC John (1945)
  • SJH Andrew (1944 / 1945)
  • AJ Dick (1943 to 1945)
  • S Nuttall (1943 to 1945)
  • JRA Careless (1941)
  • H Breeze (1944 / 1945)
  • GD MacGregor (1945)
  • R Mather (1943 [POW])
  • JL Lee (1943 [KIA])

If you would like information on a relative who served with the squadron (1916 – 1982), please get in touch and I will do my best to help

Avro Lancaster Model

I was sent this photograph of a model of a 35 Squadron Avro Lancaster that was built by Barry Martin, who explained:

“My Father, Fl.Lt. C.W. Martin, always known as “Pincher” served in the RAF from 1922 to 1956, including a posting to 35 Squadron, first at Graveley, from where he joined the 1946 Goodwill Tour of the USA as Engineer Officer, and then to Stradishall, where I lived with him and Mother, in a Married Quarter, close to the German POW camp. Pincher was a practical man, and he nurtured my interest in aviation, engineering and modelling which has given me joy, and a career, for life. After Stradishall, a 1947 posting to Wahn in Germany, gave me the fun of launching a KielKraft glider from the top window of Schloss Berlinghoven, where we billeted with RAF families, down into the extensive grounds. Living on RAF stations with Father, gave me the chance to watch, and even sit inside Spitfires, Ansons, and the mighty Lancaster, and as a member of the Lincolnshire’s Lancaster Association, I admire the power, the style, and the history of the mighty Avro.

The flying model of TW657 I have made, as a tribute to my Father, and his journey to the USA, is relatively small, at 48” wingspan. It is powered by 4 geared electric motors and a Lithium-Polymer battery. Construction followed a published plan, and is in balsa and ply, covered with heat-shrunk polymer tissue, painted with car-spray. Ailerons, flaps, elevator, and wheels, are controlled by 2.4Ghz radio transmitter and receiver, and lightweight servos. The Lancaster is a favourite with aeromodellers, with many larger and more detailed versions flying- and dropping “bouncing bombs”! Aircraft modelling is a very active and absorbing hobby, and if you ever find yourself close to one of the model flying displays held in the UK, join in, – you will see long forgotten aircraft designs still flying, as their designers intended!

[“Pincher” (far right) with R Mathers’ Crew on the Goodwill Tour]

Operation Lancaster (Goodwill Tour USA 1946)

As well as hearing from Barry Martin about his father’s service with No. 35 Squadron, I also heard from Malcolm Ashpool, whose father also flew as Ground Crew in TW657 on the Goodwill Tour.

He very kindly sent me copies of photographs from the tour, some of which I didn’t have in my collection, along with copies of some of the programmes that his father collected during his “downtime” in the USA.

Click here for more details and photographs of the tour

Can you help to preserve Vulcan XL319 and its history?

As recent news headlines have shown, museums are struggling in these uncertain times, so they need all the help they can get to ensure their survival.

As I have previously advised, I am working with the North East Land, Air and Sea Museums to provide them with information regarding 35 Squadron’s use of Vulcan XL319, so that it can be displayed alongside the aircraft, once they have raised enough funds to purchase a shipping container to house it …. so can you help?

The museum also has a crowdfunder page if you would prefer to donate that way
XL319 Crowdfunder

June “On This Day” Series

– Personnel and aircraft losses relating to each day –

Standard Presentation (16th June 1959)

The squadron standard was presented by HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent at a drumhead service of dedication at RAF Upwood on 16th June 1959.

8 Group Path Finder Force Memorial

I was pleased to see the following update on the Path Finder Force Memorial:

“We continue our quest to raise funds to place the Pathfinder Memorial within the grounds of the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) in commemoration of the RAF Path Finder Force. The placing of the memorial will take place on 6th July 2020.

After the cost of the Memorial Plinth and some works adding to over £12,500, we need to find a bit more. To this, we have been given the perpetuity figure of £7167.72 by the NMA which will ensure this memorial will be looked after for ever and the final figure by our stonemason of £5998.00. This £13,165.72 is the final monies to be accrued to close the funding for this project. There is cash in the fund however, we are a bit short and I’d like to propose the raising of £ 8,500 to help cover this cost and ensuring we have funds for the general upkeep of the artefacts we have on display as well as paying the annual premium for the required insurance cover we have to pay.”

Funding Link

Contact Us

Lock-down is providing us all with time to root through our boxed-up photographs, documents and ephemera …. so if you are spending some time reminiscing and you come across any 35 Squadron related material which you would be happy to share, please get in touch.

Please remember, the site can only be built with help from people like yourself who have an interest in the squadron

E-Mail the Editor

or contact us on Facebook

2020/05 Newsletter

Research Work

With the world in lock-down, I am receiving a steady flow of enquiries from across the globe. This month, I have carried out research on the following, who served with the squadron:

  • P Johnston (1941 and 1943 [Killed])
  • D Wrampling (1942 [POW])
  • MH McVey (1944 / 1945 [POW])
  • CDE Seaton (1944 / 1945)
  • HN Bradbrooke (1918 / 1919)
  • C Rowland (Chief Technician, RAF Akrotiri)
  • LB Lawson (1944 / 1945)
  • F Hay (1942 / 1943 [Killed]
  • NF Williams (1943)
  • RG Humphreys (1942 [POW})

If you would like information on a relative who served with the squadron (1916 – 1982), please get in touch and I will do my best to help

Handley Page Halifax

I was sent this photograph of a Halifax that was built from perspex by Ron Gayner (Squadron Photographer). His son (Dick), who sent it in, explained:

“Dad loved aircraft from an early age and WWII gave him the chance to work with and on them. As a lad he used to scratch build models of various types from wood and wire and then paint them up. I remember some of them, but sadly little hands didn’t do them any good! However, being on airfields during the war, a new material became available to him, Perspex. The ray domes didn’t take well to be crash landed! In his ‘down time’ he built a number of models, including this Halifax. I’ve always been impressed by his skill and always will be. Sadly, I still have some of the parts of a Lancaster that never got finished, but as a token, he did make a pair of Perspex mustard spoons for his sweetheart, later his wife, my mother”.

Can you help to preserve Vulcan XL319 and its history?

I am currently working with the North East Land, Air and Sea Museums to provide them with information regarding 35 Squadron’s use of Vulcan XL319, so that it can be displayed alongside the aircraft.

Before this can happen, the museum needs to raise funds to purchase a shipping container to house it …. so can you help?

Mine arrived in the post this week

The museum also has a crowdfunder page if you would prefer to donate that way
XL319 Crowdfunder

May “On This Day” Series

– Personnel and aircraft losses relating to each day –

ON THIS DAY (14/05)

Nearly 40 people were present for the unveiling of a No. 35 Squadron memorial stone in the Ribbon of Remembrance at the International Bomber Command Centre, Lincoln on 14th May 2019.

The stone is dedicated to all who served with No. 35 Squadron (1916 – 1982) and to the memory of those that lost their life whilst doing so.

Ken Watson (former OC No. 35 Squadron) lays a wreath at the spire

– Read More –

Squadron Memories

Lock-down is providing us all with time to root through our boxed-up photographs, documents and ephemera …. so if you are spending some time reminiscing and you come across any 35 Squadron related material which you would be happy to share, please get in touch.

Contact Us

The site can only be built with help from people like yourself who have an interest in the squadron

If you have any squadron related photographs or documents that could be included in the archive and/or published on the website, or if you have any corrections, comments or information, we would love to hear from you

E-Mail the Editor

or contact us on Facebook

2020/04 Newsletter

Research Work

This month, I have carried out research on the following, who served with the squadron:

  • GF Collier (1943)
  • JR MacNeil (1959 to 1960)
  • WN Collins (1941)
  • AR Emery (1918)
  • HA Williams (1941)
  • E Garner (1945)

…. and what a lovely response I got from one grateful recipient “Oh Pete. Thank you so much for this. I can’t tell you how much it means to me and my brother. I am 72 and my brother is 77 so we are getting along in years and to be able to see this about our father is just so wonderful and we are so very grateful for your time. Thank you, thank you, thank you”

If you would like information on a relative who served with the squadron (1916 – 1982), please get in touch and I will do my best to help

Always Remembered

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DJ Milne

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Jim Milne this month. He was a Nav. Plotter on 35 Squadron for nine continuous years and was a great supporter of the Cyprus Years group. He attended every reunion and was a much loved and respected member of the group.

Below are extracts taken from the tributes that have been sent by some of those who knew him:

  • “His humour and open friendship was much appreciated. A lovely man and a good colleague”.
  • “My enduring memory is of Jim’s smile, he never seemed to be without it. So thanks Jim for keeping us all cheerful.”
  • “He would spend time and effort to help. The (sometimes) bluff exterior hid a warm and generous heart!”.
  • New to the Squadron he “Gave me good advice, particularly how to keep pilots in order!”.
  • “He was always the professional with a great sense of humour, an optimist and a doer, a loyal friend and a true gentleman. We will all much miss that smiling face.”
  • “…..is an original Vulcan 35 Squadron Plotter from the first days at Coningsby in 1962, then Cottesmore and finally Akrotiri, nine years of continuous service with the Squadron.”
  • “.. he was an amiable and thoroughly likeable character, as well as being a true professional. I learned much from him……….”
  • “A truly lovely man and professional aviator has gone off task. We will miss him greatly. He never failed to have a cheery word, no matter what the circumstances.”
  • “How brave and positive he was, accepting his lot and making the most of the time he had left, so so brave and thoroughly to be admired”.
  • “We will remember him for his ready wit, raucous laugh and the good humour he brought to every occasion.”
  • “…..he was such a lovely man.”
  • “Such a modest and lovely gentleman.”
  • “Jim was one of the stalwarts of the squadron and always had time, as I remember well, to provide advice to the less experienced amongst us. I too recall that he always seemed to have a smile and will remember him as a true gentleman. He will be greatly missed by us all.
  • “…a perfect gentleman.”
  • “….he was always very charming and friendly. A sad loss to us all.”
  • “Jim was such a loyal supporter of the group and came to every reunion. At last year’s reunion he came to say his goodbye and thanks, said how much he had enjoyed seeing everyone again and what a good reunion it had been. He said “I won’t come to any more, I want you all to remember me as I am now and not the person I will become.” He shook Roger’s hand, gave me a huge hug and said “Goodbye”. We watched him cross the car park to his car and drive away

Jim’s funeral will be held on Monday 11th May at 12.30 and we ask that you stand at that time, together but apart, with his family in your thoughts, to remember our dear friend Jim.

Mo and Roger Frampton
PER ARDUA AD ASTRA

Jim, with the Cyprus Years Group (2019 Reunion)

Article from the Dundee Courier (February 2020)

Perth WWII hero celebrates 99th birthday by receiving highest award from French military

A Second World War hero celebrated his 99th birthday last week by being awarded the highest military award issued by the French government.

Former Flight Lieutenant Ernie Holmes, a resident of the Perth’s Kincarrathie House care home, celebrated his milestone birthday on January 29 by receiving membership as a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur.

Ernie was a Lancaster bomber pilot and flew many missions over occupied France.

Last week, he received a letter signed by the French Ambassador which confirmed the highest French order of merit for military and civil achievements had been conferred.

Ernie was invited to the Netherlands 15 months ago to unveil a memorial to the crew of his plane where it was shot down in South Holland in May 1943, with the loss of five members of the eight-man crew.

Mr Holmes, who is one of the last surviving Lancaster Bombers, made an emotional trip overseas to meet those who helped keep him safe when his plane was gunned down.

He had been on his way home after a night-time bombing raid in Germany when his aircraft came under attack.

The Lancaster crashed over the Netherlands but Mr Holmes parachuted to safety and was taken in by farmer Fons van der Heijden, a member of the Dutch resistance.

Just days before the region was liberated, Fons, who had harboured many servicemen and with whom Ernie shared a birthday, was taken out of church by Nazis and shot.

Speaking in 2018, Mr Holmes said: “These were good people who risked everything, to keep me safe. There is no greater love, than he who will give himself for another.”

Ernie’s son David said: “He received a letter signed by French Ambassador Catherine Colonna which recognises Ernie’s military engagement and steadfast involvement in the Liberation of France during the Second World War.”

Postscript: Ernie served with No. 35 Squadron from September 1943 to May 1944.
– More details on the loss of his aircraft –

April “On This Day” Series

– Personnel and aircraft losses relating to each day –

ON THIS DAY (01/04)

On 1st April 1938, No. 35 Squadron received its first Fairey Battle (K7695), a dual control aircraft. The Fairey Battle MKI was a single-engine light bomber, powered by Merlin I, II or III engines, which was used by the squadron for training purposes from April 1938 to April 1940

Fairey Battle Profile A

Fairey Battle Profile © Malcolm Barrass

ON THIS DAY (05/04)

On 5th April 1917, the squadron moved to its first front-line aerodrome at Savy, where it started to operate in its role as a Corps squadron, providing medium and short distance aerial reconnaissance for the Cavalry Corps.

The role included:

  • Location of Hostile Batteries
  • Observation of Artillery Fire
  • Contact Patrol Work
  • Close Reconnaissance and Photography
  • Offensive action against vulnerable points in the Army reconnaissance area

Savy Aerodrome

ON THIS DAY (20/04)

On 20th April 1938, the squadron moved from Worthy Down to RAF Cottesmore, where it remained until 26th August 1939 (when it moved to RAF Cranfield)

ON THIS DAY (27/04)

On 27th April 1942, eleven aircraft and crews, lead by Wing Commander J.H. Marks took off from Kinloss at approx. 20.20 hours to make a low level attack on the Battleship ‘Tirpitz’. The crews found difficulty in sighting the target owing to an effective smoke screen being laid, but the outcrop of rock which was known to be sheltering the “Tirpitz” was definitely seen by several of the crews. Two of the aircraft (Halifax W1020 and Halifax W1048) failed to return.

Tirpitz 27.04.1942 [Quarterly Review]

Smoke Screen over the Tirpitz (27th April 1942)

ON THIS DAY (28/04)

On 28th April 1954, the squadron started to re-equip with the Canberra B2, which it utilised for training and operational purposes until it was disbanded in September 1961

A 35 Squadron Canberra over Malta [Courtesy of Marham Aviation Heritage Centre]

Squadron Memories

Social distancing and self isolation is providing us all with time to root through our boxed-up photographs, documents and ephemera …. so if you are spending some time reminiscing and you come across any 35 Squadron related material which you would be happy to share, please get in touch.

This month I heard from the following:

  • Ron Gilchrist, who said “I served on the Squadron from 1978 to 1980. I was the Sgt Pers Admin working alongside the late Wing Commander Roger Sweatman, and then the late Wing Commander Ian Junor. The Adjutant in that time was Flt Lt Geoff Lidbetter. On my posting to Pitreavie Castle to become PA to Air Vice Marshal Bairsto, Wg Cdr Junor honoured me with a 7th seat trip on a Lone Ranger to Goose and Offutt (8th to 21st February 1980). A trip of dreams. The crew, who were superb to me were, Scott-Skinner, Pat Chapman, Geoff Lidbetter and Al Collins. (Al Copplestone was Crew Chief)”

Contact Us

The site can only be built with help from people like yourself who have an interest in the squadron

If you have any squadron related photographs or documents that could be included in the archive and/or published on the website, or if you have any corrections, comments or information, we would love to hear from you

E-Mail the Editor

or contact us on Facebook

2020/03 Newsletter

35 SQUADRON RESEARCH WORK

The focus this month has been on researching personnel that were on strength of the squadron during the inter-war years (1929 – 1939)

In addition, I have carried out research on the following who served with the squadron:

  • DA Arnott (Officer Commanding 1965 to 1967)
  • M Massy (1944)
  • GP Gardiner (1942)
  • M Cohen (1941 / 1942)
  • RT Morris (1942)
  • L Thorpe (1941 to ?)

If you would like information on a relative who served with the squadron (1916 – 1982), please get in touch and I will do my best to help

MARCH “ON THIS DAY” SERIES

– Personnel and aircraft losses relating to each day –

ON THIS DAY (03/03)

On 3rd March 1919, No. 35 Squadron arrived at Netheravon Aerodrome (Wiltshire) having completed its World War I activities in Europe. It remained there until its disbandment on 26th June 1919.

ON THIS DAY (06/03)

An Avro Lancaster with 35 Squadron Markings

On 6th March 1944, the squadron started to re-equip with Lancaster III aircraft when Lancaster ND643 was flown from RAF Wyton to RAF Graveley by Major J Christie (“B”) Flight Commander

ON THIS DAY (10/03)

On 10th March 1941, No. 35 Squadron became operational with the Handley Page Halifax.

Seven aircraft were detailed to attack the docks and shipping canal at Le Havre, with the alternative of shipping at Boulogne.

Sadly, one aircraft was mistaken for an enemy aircraft and it was shot down by friendly fire over Surrrey on its return journey; four members of the crew were killed. A memorial now stands at the crash site at Merrist Wood.

ON THIS DAY (20/03)

On 20th March 1944, one of No. 35 Squadron’s flights, under the command of S/L JR Wood, moved to Downham Market to become part of the newly forming No. 635 Squadron.

Twenty eight officers and forty eight NCO aircrew travelled by air in nine Lancaster III aircraft. One hundred and two groundcrew personnel, comprised almost entirely of “B” Flight, travelled by road. In addition, a further nine squadron personnel and thirty two personnel from No. 9035 Servicing Echelon proceeded on posting to No. 9635 Servicing Echelon

In the early 1980s, a number of ground crew who had left No. 35 Squadron decided to try to track down their colleagues who had remained with the squadron at the time …. .and the 35 / 635 Squadron Association was formed

HIDDEN TREASURES?

Social distancing and self isolation is providing us all with time to root through our boxed-up photographs, documents and ephemera …. so if you are spending some time reminiscing and you come across any 35 Squadron related material which you would be happy to share, please get in touch.

[STAY SAFE]

ALWAYS REMEMBERED

(Article and Photograph courtesy of Linzee Duncan)

On the night of 30th March 1942, 12 aircraft took part in a raid on the Battleship Tirpitz which was which was moored in Fættenfjord, Norway; 3 of these aircraft (captained by Bushby, Archibald and Steinhauer) failed to return.

Today (78 years on) we went to visit my grandfather’s grave and those of all the other airmen who lost their lives in the March and April attacks on Tirpitz in 1942 along with the airmen from Coastal Command and PRU who were lost on ops related to the same target.

We lit a candle at the Cross of Sacrifice for those whose bodies were never recovered from the fjords and the sea and so have no known grave

CONTACT US

The site can only be built with help from people like yourself who have an interest in the squadron

If you have any squadron related photographs or documents that could be included in the archive and/or published on the website, or if you have any corrections, comments or information, we would love to hear from you

E-Mail the Editor

or contact us on Facebook

2020/02 Newsletter


35 Squadron Research Work

The focus this month has been on researching the squadron’s activities, aircraft and personnel during the 1950s and updating the relevant pages on the website.

In addition, I have carried out research on the following who served with the squadron:

  • WJ Mintjens (1944)
  • GH Parsons (1944 / 1945)

If you would like information on a relative who served with the squadron (1916 – 1982), please get in touch and I will do my best to help


February’s “On this Day” Series

– Personnel and aircraft losses relating to each day –

ON THIS Day (01/02)

Upwood

On 1st February 1940, the squadron moved from Cranfield / Bassingbourn to Upwood, where it remained until it was disbanded on 8th April 1940.

At the time, it was part of No. 1 Group Pool, which was tasked with:

  • providing 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

ON THIS DAY (02/02)

On 2nd February 1967, AM Mitchell and his crew (Jarron, Garrett, Messenger, Barnes) featured in a documentary on the ATV programme “Today”; It is understood that filming was carried out at RAF Cottesmore in May 1966,

The film is possibly stored in an archive somewhere, but I have not had the opportunity to track it down

ON THIS DAY (04/02)

On 4th February 1918, the squadron took delivery of the first of six Bristol F.2 aircraft, providing it with long range reconnaissance capability.

These supplemented the squadron’s Armstrong-Whitworth FK8 aircraft, which were utilised for medium and short distance aerial reconnaissance

ON THIS DAY (04/02)

Lancaster ME334 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Bonn on the night of 4th / 5th February 1945; sadly, it did not return and all the crew were lost. On board, was CA Butler (Flight Engineer), who was my partner’s grandfather.

It was whilst researching him that I caught the “research bug” and my interest in No. 35 Squadron began.

ON THIS DAY (10/02)

On 10th February 1949, the squadron moved from RAF Stradishall to RAF Mildenhall (Suffolk) where it remained until is was disbanded on 23rd February 1950

ON THIS DAY (19/02)

On 19th February 1982, Air Marshal Sir David Craig, VCAS, visited Scampton in order to fly the Squadron’s last full Basic Training Requirement (BTR) sortie.

The crew (in XL446) were:

  •  Flt Lt Le Brun
  • AM Sir David Craig
  • Flt Lt Cockbill
  • Flt Lt Marson
  • Flt Lt Ingram

ON THIS DAY (23/02)

On 23rd February 1950, No. 35 Squadron personnel were transferred to RAF Marham to form the nucleus of the B-29 [Washington] Training Unit (as part of the reorganisation of No. 3 Group).

ON THIS DAY (26/02)

On 26th February 1982, the squadron standard was paraded for the last time before being taken to RAF Cranwell for safe keeping. The event was attended by a number of distinguished guests, including six previous No. 35 Squadron Commanders (Craig, Fitzpatrick, Arnott, Carver, Hepburn and Atkinson) and the seven-man crew of a Halifax that had been shot down in 1941” (SD Greaves’ crew)


Stone Carving

I received this interesting photograph from Thomas Dignum with a note to say that it was carved into a wall in the flight line control hut in the detachment area at RAF Luqa in the 1970’s by an unknown technician.

It is understood that it was dug out of the wall and brought back to Scampton, but its current whereabouts is unknown.

It has probably got lost in time, but I have contacted the Heritage Centre to see if they have any ideas.


The Jews of Bomber Command

An interesting new website is being developed which provides an archive relating to the Jews who died serving in Bomber Command during WW2.

I have contacted the site authors to provide them with details about Alan Fay Birley and Maurice Cohen, both of whom lost their lives whilst serving with No. 35 Squadron. The information provided will be included in their biographies on the site.


The Jews of Bomber Command


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The site can only be built with help from people like yourself who have an interest in the squadron

If you have any squadron related photographs or documents that could be included in the archive and/or published on the website, or if you have any corrections, comments or information, we would love to hear from you

E-Mail the Editor

2020/01 Newsletter


35 Squadron Research Work

I have carried out (or I am in the process of carrying out) research on the following 35 Squadron related subjects:

  • The loss of Halifax HR812
  • WWI War Casualties
  • WWII Prisoners of War
  • WF Philpot (1945 / 1946)

If you would like information on a relative who served with the squadron (1916 – 1982), please get in touch and I will do my best to help


January’s “On this Day” Series

– Personnel and aircraft losses relating to each day –

ON THIS DAY (15/01)

On 15th January 1969, the first five crews (Bayliss, Dorrington, Carver, Tench and Wood) departed from RAF Cottesmore for RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, which was where the squadron would be stationed for the next six years.

ON THIS DAY (16/01)

On 16th January 1975, the first wave of four aircraft led by Wg Cdr KI Watson and with Sqn Ldr WD MacGillivary, Flt Lt GR Agnew and Flt Lt IGF Lord as captains of the other three aircraft, departed RAF Akrotiri for RAF Scampton. KI Watson’s aircraft carried the first conjoined 35 (“Skyhook”) marking on its tailplane. The squadron would be stationed at Scampton until its disbandment in 1982

ON THIS DAY (18/01)

On 18th January 1917, the squadron mobilised to France as a Corps Squadron, capable of providing medium and short distance aerial reconnaissance for one of the British Army Corps Commands.

The convoy of trucks, lorries and motorcycles left Narborough and travelled to St. André-aux-Bois (via Portsmouth, Le Havre and Rouen) arriving on 3rd February 1917.

The squadron’s three flights of Armstrong-Whitworth FK8 (18 aircraft) were flown out from Narborough on 25th January 1917 and after a short stay at the RFC holding camp at St Omer (26th January to 3rd February) they joined the squadron personnel at St André-aux-Bois.

ON THIS DAY (19/01)

A map of the March [Courtesy of Jamie Wilkinson (*)]

On 19th January 1945, the German Authorities started to evacuate prisoners of war from the various camps, as the Red Army approached.

Over the next few weeks and months, prisoners, including those from No. 35 Squadron, were forced to march long distances in extreme wintry conditions and with minimal rations.

Some squadron personnel lost their lives prior to repatriation, including AH Porter, who was killed when allied aircraft mistakenly attacked a POW column.

It should be remembered that those that did return carried the memories of their time on the March for the rest of their lives.

(*) The map was drawn by E Wilkinson and shows the route(s) he took whilst on the March

ON THIS DAY (30/01)

On 30th January 1943, Navigational Aid Y [H2S], a ground scanning radar system, was used for the first time by squadron aircraft on an operation to Hamburg


Flamingo Magazine

I was updating the website to include the Flamingo Magazine on the “Ephemera” page and was intrigued by the name of the author “Bellepheron”on the squadron’s Pegasus Page.

A quick search showed that this was not some form of RAF slang, but a hero in Greek mythology who rode a white Pegasus.

Join us on Facebook


The site can only be built with help from people like yourself who have an interest in the squadron

If you have any squadron related photographs or documents that could be included in the archive and/or published on the website, or if you have any corrections, comments or information, we would love to hear from you

E-Mail the Editor


2019/12 Newsletter


Thank you for your support in 2019; I wish you all the best for 2020

Review of 2019

It has been a busy year on the research front, with information being provided to relatives and friends of former 35 Squadron personnel and to various organisations and researchers.

There are nearly 1,400 pages of data on the website, which now includes summary details of all the WWII Crews.

I would like to thank all those who have shown an interest in the project, especially those that have sent photographs, documents or stories for inclusion on the site.

Obviously the most memorable event was in May this year, when the memorial stone (to remember all those that served with the squadron) was unveiled at the International Bomber Command Centre.

Once again, I would like to thank those who contributed towards the cost of the stone.


December’s “On this Day” Series

ON THIS DAY (18/12)

On 18th December 1936, the Squadron Badge was formally presented to the squadron by Air Chief Marshall Sir John M Steel at a parade at Worthy Down


Memorial Service

A memorial service was held at Great Paxton on 24th December 2019 to remember the crew of Lancaster PB366 who lost their lives on Christmas Eve 1944

– More details on the loss –

As previously reported, the local history society are currently raising funds to ensure that a permanent memorial can be placed near to the crash site in Great Paxton.

– Donations –


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The site can only be built with help from people like yourself who have an interest in the squadron
If you have any squadron related photographs or documents that could be included in the archive and/or published on the website, or if you have any corrections, comments or information, we would love to hear from you,
E-Mail the Editor

2019/11 Newsletter

Research Work

I have carried out (or I am in the process of carrying out) research on the following airmen who served with the squadron:

  • DI Jeffery (1945)

If you would like information on a relative who served with the squadron (1916 – 1982), please get in touch and I will do my best to help

Thanks go to the following individuals who provided me with information for inclusion on the website this month:

  • Joss Leclercq (POW Liberation Questionnaires)
  • Richard Allenby (Casualty Reports)
  • Stan Grosvenor (Ephemera belonging to Leslie Thorpe)

I have been advised that Jack Bowey (Chief Technician), who served with the squadron during the late 70s, passed away on 18th November 2019. Details regarding his funeral were not available at the time of publication.


November’s “On this day” series


35 Squadron Crew Memorial (Great Paxton)

I have been advised that the Great Paxton History Society has been granted permission to build a memorial to the crew of Lancaster PB366 which crashed in Great Paxton on Christmas Eve 1944

It now needs to raise the necessary funds (£2,500) and has produced the following flyer which shows how you can donate.

Furthermore, if you are a relative of one of the crew members, or know someone who is, please get in touch via the e-mail address in the flyer.

– More details on the loss –


RAF Graveley Memorial

Further to last month’s article on the Memorial Stone at the former RAF Graveley, I am pleased to advise that the local Parish Council has agreed to take on the role of long term “care and maintenance” and to fund the restoration work on the lettering.

Rev. Peter Taylor, who has cared for the memorial for many years, has been in discussion with the stone mason and has arranged for the lettering to be redone “in situ” during the summer of 2020 (Note: the plaque does not need to be removed as previously thought and therefore the estimated costs are now a lot lower).

I would like to thank Peter for his continued commitment to all things “35 Squadron” related and to the Parish Council for securing the future of the memorial.


Squadron Personnel

Thanks to the following for getting in touch this month and providing a summary of their service with the squadron:

  • Roger Turner (1956 – 1958)
    • I flew with S/L John Mason as pilot and John Chaloner as Navigator; I was the bomb aimer. When I arrived on the squadron there were few people around, as they were nearly all involved in the Suez war, in Malta or Cyprus. I remember a USAF pilot and Navigator who were quite upset about being unable to participate and I seem to recall an Australian too. As an experienced bomb aimer (2 years on a Canberra squadron in Germany) I was made temporary Wing Bombing Leader and had to send the monthly bombing reports to Group. (Even though there was no activity!) The other squadrons (61 and 50 I believe) were overseas too
  • Paul Blackley
    • I was a crew chief on 35 Sqn. (1975 to 1981). I had “MY” aircraft for which I held the inventory, it was XL443. If it was due to fly, or had maintenance in progress, I would take care of it, but we would look after whatever aircraft we were needed for. We flew away on rangers on a rota basis with various crews and using whatever aircraft had been allocated for the trip. Once our primary aircraft was airborne, we would look after another aircraft as required. Our principal job was to look after the technical administration and co-ordinate the maintenance required liaising with the various trades. We of course did the external “crew in” checks, see in checks and supervised the aircrew technical debrief on aircraft return.
  • Thomas Dignum
    • I was an air radar tech from 1975 to 80, mainly servicing the NBS systems; did a trip to Goose bay in the jump seat and did terrain following radar support for aircrew training. Detachment to Malta.
  • Mick Smith
    • I was a FLM on 35 Sqn on its return from Cyprus to Scampton until 1977. I remember going on a detachment to Shiraz in Iran. Very interesting place.

Scampton Memorial Window

It is understood that a recent article in a national newspaper, suggesting that plans for the memorial window have been scrapped, has resulted in a fall in donations.

Please be advised that the project is still progressing and anyone wishing to donate should visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rafwindow


The site can only be built with help from people like yourself who have an interest in the squadron

If you have any squadron related photographs or documents that could be included in the archive and/or published on the website, or if you have any corrections, comments or information, we would love to hear from you,

E-Mail the Editor


2019/10 Newsletter

Research Work

I have carried out (or I am in the process of carrying out) research on the following airmen who served with the squadron:

  • E Daley (1944)
  • AJ Davie (1941)
  • JC Bonet (1943)
  • J Rollins (1944)
  • GN Reeve (1942 / 1943)

I am also liaising with a dutch researcher regarding the loss of Halifax LW343

– More details on this loss –

If you would like information on a relative who served with the squadron (1916 – 1982), please get in touch and I will do my best to help


Whilst carrying out some research this month, I was reminded of the eight Norwegians who served with the squadron during the second world war, four of whom lost their lives, with another ending up as a prisoner of war.

They were:

  • Johan Christie
  • Othmar Lorentz Flaaten (War Casualty)
  • Finn Haagensen (War Casualty)
  • Svein Johannes Hausvik (War Casualty)
  • Gunnar Høverstad (War Casualty)
  • Kaare Stenwig
  • Arne Storm (POW)
  • Anton Torvald Wang

Can you help?

Has anyone got any contact details for Nigel Hardinge, who served as an AEO with the squadron from 1966 to 1971?. If so, please could you contact me.


RAF Graveley Memorial

I have been contacted by Rev. Peter Taylor, who was the honorary Padre for the now defunct 35 / 635 Squadron Association.

He advised me that on his recent “care and maintenance” visit to the memorial at RAF Graveley, he noted that much of the silvering in the lettering had faded (with some letters completely gone).

Peter has funded the maintenance of the memorial over many years, but has said that he has been told that the plaque needs to be removed to enable the renovation of the lettering to be done properly. He is now in the process of establishing how much this would cost (his current thoughts are that it will be in the region of £1,000).

This has raised questions about how we “formally” care for and maintain the memorial in the future and how this work will be funded.

The memorial was originally privately funded by the 35 / 635 Association and it sits on private land, so there is not a central body (such as MOD, RAFA) with responsibility for maintaining it (nor any of the other privately funded memorials).

I will work with Peter over the next few months to see if the landowner, or the local church or Parish Council would be willing to formally adopt the memorial and ensure that it is maintained in the future ….. but in the mean time …. I would love to hear your collective thoughts on how we might preserve the memorial for future generations.

I may well be seeking your assistance with funding for the restoration work early in the New Year!

[Addendum: It has occurred to me that we face the same problem with other 35 / 635 Association funded memorials, such as the plaques at the National Memorial Arboretum. It raises the question about whether we need to set up legacy agreements to ensure that they are maintained in perpetuity, or just let nature take its course and leave them to “wither on the vine” …. I guess it all comes down to whether we believe that future generations will want to continue to honour those who served, in particular those that lost their lives whilst doing so]

Website Update

I have started the process of adding the WWII crews to the site, with each page listing the operational sorties that each crew undertook and the composition of that crew. As there were nearly 300 different crews, the process will take some time.

I would welcome any crew photographs that you may have that could be included on the relevant pages.


Scampton Commemorative Window

For all the latest on the Scampton Commemorative Window

– Commemorative Window –


The site can only be built with help from people like yourself who have an interest in the squadron

If you have any squadron related photographs or documents that could be included in the archive and/or published on the website, or if you have any corrections, comments or information, we would love to hear from you,

E-Mail the Editor


2019/09 Newsletter

Research Work

I have carried out (or I am in the process of carrying out) research on the following airmen who served with the squadron:

  • AG Briggs (1943)
  • FWT Cross (1944 / 1945)
  • PH Lambert (1944 / 1945)
  • CD Ball (1918 / 1919)

If you would like information on a relative who served with the squadron (1916 – 1982), please get in touch and I will do my best to help


Remembering the crew of Lancaster ND916

35 Squadron Research ImageMy thanks to Phil Furner, who sent me this article:

In late May and June this year, my partner and I travelled to England for a holiday and to attend an event relating to my father’s wartime activities.

Harry Furner was an RAF Air Gunner, who served with No. 51, 578 and 35 (PFF) Squadrons.

The event we had travelled over for had its origins many years ago whilst I was researching my father’s war time service

– Read More –


I received this message from Pierre Marziali

We are a Canadian couple from Bedford, Québec, and we visited the Poznań Old Garrison Cemetery in Poland, on the 18th September 2019. We came across the tomb of Pilot Officer J.J.R.T. GODIN, Air Gunner, Royal Canadian Air Force, who died on 6th January 1944 at the age of 24

We just wanted to salute his sacrifice.

More on the loss of his aircraft


Memories of a WAAF (Norman Charlton)

The following is an extract from a document produced by Peter Royall, which tells the story of his mother’s service with No 35 Squadron

“I joined the WAAF at the age of 18 in 1941. First posting was to RAF Station Linton on Ouse near York. I worked in the officer’s mess, answering the telephone and serving coffee. The job wasn’t hard but tiring and was all shift work.

During 1941 the station was bombed and our C/O was killed along with many WAAFs and airmen when the air raid shelter was hit. Incendiary bombs fell on our billets and we were kept busy on the roof extinguishing them with sand.

– Read More –


It’s a small world

Whilst on a visit to Yorkshire this month, I spent a few hours in the Research Department at the Yorkshire Air Museum, looking through the folders that it holds relating to No. 35 Squadron.

On arrival, I explained to the lady in the gift shop that I was there to meet one of the volunteers who had agreed to provide me with access to the 35 Squadron folders in the archives. At that point, someone browsing in the shop called out “I am guessing that it was you who contacted me about accessing the 35 Squadron archives at RAF Scampton!”

…… it’s a small world!


Scampton Commemorative Window

Conceptual Drawing

Crowdfunding for the Scampton Commemorative Window was launched on 16th August 2019.

For more details on the project and how you can contribute, please click on the following external link:

– Commemorative Window –

GIFT AID – If you pay tax in the UK (income or capital gains tax) the organisers would be grateful if you could fill in, sign and return an ongoing gift aid declaration, so that they can claim back the basic rate of tax through the government’s gift aid scheme. 

– Gift Aid Form –

For those who don’t bank online, cheques, made payable to “St John the Baptist Church, Scampton” and marked “RAF Commemorative Window Donation” on the back, can be sent to Rev. Sue Deacon, Parsonage Lodge, High Street, Scampton Lincoln LN1 2SE


IF YOU HAVE ANY SQUADRON RELATED NEWS OR STORIES, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH


2019/08 Newsletter


Research Work

I have carried out (or I am in the process of carrying out) research on the following airmen who served with the squadron:

  • HA Williams (1941)
  • J Robinson (1945 / 1946)
  • N Brown (1944)
  • AH Thomas (1945)

Cyprus 69-71 Years Group Reunion

Thanks, once again, to Mo Frampton, who sent me photographs taken at the Cyprus 69-71 Years Group’s “50th” reunion at  Dumbleton Hall in June.

One of the highlights was the presentation of a polished aircraft grade aluminium Vulcan to Yvonne Hepburn, (widow of Keith Hepburn [former CO of 35 Squadron]) on her 90th Birthday


A short presentation by Hilary Sinclair 

Thanks to Hilary Sinclair for providing a copy of the presentation she gave at the Cyprus 69-71 Years Group’s reunion

After attending the unveiling of the 35 Squadron Memorial Stone at the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln in May, I was moved by the occasion into doing a bit of online research and interestingly found a collection of poems submitted to “Aircrew Remembered” – a collection of aviation and military poetry.

I was surprised to find an entry under the name of Sgt Roy Arthur Yallop, a rear gunner and member of 35 Squadron in 1944. This poem was found in Roy’s notebook on air raid spotters. No title had been given.

The poem was submitted for publication by his brother Barry Yallop in April 2012. It was decided to title the poem “Marauders in the Sky” in order to place it on a page.

Marauders of the Sky by Sgt Roy Yallop, 1944

See them come home sliding and roaring by
The bright beloved, marauders of the sky.
Stern and serene young profiles and strong hands –
That have dealt death and sorrow over lands.
Once fair with peace and wine, young love and song
See them come in to land, their smiles, their eyes.
Pain in this mouth, pale horror on that brow –
That sent unruffled, candid, gay, just now.
They have returned, fierce kinsmen of the wind
Brought back their lives – but left their youth behind.

Roy Frederick Arthur Yallop of Suffolk was killed in a Lancaster crash, which smashed into trees in the village of Great Paxton shortly after take-off from RAF Graveley for a raid on Cologne. He was 24 and is remembered at the Ipswich Old Cemetery.

The entire crew of 6 airmen, aged between 20 and 24, were lost in the crash on 24th December 1944. The Lancaster had taken off in the fog with the aid of FIDO, a system used to disperse low lying fog involving hundreds of thousands of litres of aviation fuel being burnt in pipes along the edges of runways shrouded in fog.

Roy’s family received the telegram about his death on Christmas morning.

Sgt Yallop’s name appears, along with 58,000 other airmen, on the Walls of Remembrance at the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln.

More information on the loss

Roy Yallop

 

POSTSCRIPT: A local history group in Great Paxton has just embarked on a project to commission and install a memorial to this crew in their village; I will keep you posted on the progress of this project [Editor] 


Scampton Commemorative Window

Conceptual Drawing

Crowdfunding for the Scampton Commemorative Window was launched on 16th August 2019.

For more details on the project and how you can contribute, please click on the following link: Commemorative Window


  • 04/08/2019: Francis Leadon (1945 – 1947) [OBITUARY]

IF YOU HAVE ANY SQUADRON RELATED NEWS OR STORIES, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH


2019/07 Newsletter


Research Work

I have carried out (or I am in the process of carrying out) research on the following airmen who served with the squadron:

  • HA Williams (1941)

As it has been a quiet month on the research front, I have been spending my spare time updating the website.


Scampton Heritage Centre

I have started to work with the Heritage Centre at RAF Scampton to put together a short summary of the squadron’s time there (1975 – 1982) for inclusion in their displays.


Always Remembered

  • 06/04/2019: Kenneth Allen, Navigator
  • 11/06/2019: Edgar Meredith, Air Gunner (1945)

Vulcan Get Together 2019 (6th July 2019)

I received this message from the daughter of the organiser of the Vulcan Get Together Event:

“I would just like to thank all those that attended this event on Saturday;  Dad said it went really well and all enjoyed it. He is looking forward to seeing you all again next year, along with any other personnel who would like to attend the event; it is probably going to be on the 4th July at the same location (RAF Waddington)”

If you would like to attend next year’s event, please register your interest with Tony Smith (01243 553079)


Operation Lancaster (Goodwill Tour) 1946

On 27th May 1946 it was announced that No 35 Squadron would take part in a goodwill visit to the USA during July and August 1946.

Throughout this month, I have been publishing a diary on the 35 Squadron Research Facebook Page which summarises the squadron’s activities on each day of the tour. This will continue during August and a consolidated record will be added to the website at the end of this process


Join us on Facebook

Facebook Link.JPG


 

IF YOU HAVE ANY SQUADRON RELATED NEWS OR STORIES, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH


2019/06 Newsletter


Research Work

I have carried out (or I am in the process of carrying out) research on the following airmen who served with the squadron:

    • AF Birley (1942)
    • TM Telford (1943 / 1944)
    • D Cracknell (1944)
    • A McGregor (1918)

A birthday to remember (The memories of TM Telford)

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 –


Project Propeller Event (Ernest Holmes)

Project Propeller

A heartwarming story, which is published with kind permission of Express and Star

– read more –


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

There were a couple of articles which I stumbled across this month, which may be of interest:


GR Carter Bag

In February, I mentioned that I had been contacted by someone involved with the Scampton Heritage Centre, who was trying to track down the owner of a bag which appeared to belong to a GR Carter (35 Squadron).

With your help, we managed to establish that this was GR Carter (known as “Nick” Carter), who served as a Crew Chief with No 35 Squadron, Scampton.

This month, I was contacted by his son and it is hoped that he will get the opportunity to see his father’s bag on display at the Centre in the very near future.


Vulcan Get Together 2019 (6th July 2019)

Hopefully, anyone that was planning to attend this event has been made aware of the change of venue (which is now RAF Waddington)

The organiser has advised me that the event is fully booked and that all those who have expressed an interest have now been contacted so that security passes can be arranged.


My visit to England

The following is an extract from a document entitled “Seeking connections to my father, a Pathfinder” by Linda Larson Lindeke.

Linda, who lives in Minnesota, USA, travelled to England in March 2019 to learn more about her father, Delwood Harry Larson, who served with No 35 Squadron in 1945 – read more –


IF YOU HAVE ANY SQUADRON RELATED NEWS OR STORIES PLEASE GET IN TOUCH


2019/05 Newsletter


Research Work

I have carried out (or I am in the process of carrying out) research on the following airmen who served with the squadron:

    • C Crawford (1917)
    • RC Weeden (1946 – 1948)
    • DH Kent (1943 – 1944)
    • SA Miller (1941 – 1942)
    • RH Boone (1943)
    • SG Cooper (1942)
    • R Fitzgerald (1918)
    • LSM Bailey (1944)

Lawrence (Nick) Nicholson

I received this fascinating story from Peter Nicholson, who advised me that it was an extract from a recording he made of his father talking about his service with the squadron during 1944 / 1945

“…. The Nordhausen op was my 52nd trip and, with the war almost at an end, our crew began to disperse – read more – 


Can you help?

[Source: Geograph]

 

There is a project underway to install a new stained glass window in St John The Baptist Church, in Scampton village, to reflect the history of Scampton airfield.

The media department at Lincoln Uni is assisting with a funding campaign and wishes to make a short film to support this. They have support from the Red Arrows and one or two others, but are really keen to talk to a Vulcan pilot who served at Scampton.

I have asked whether it is crucial that it is a pilot and not any of the aircrew trades (or even ground trades!) and I am awaiting a response.

If anyone is interested in supporting this project, please get in touch.


No. 35 Squadron Memorial Stone at the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)

Nearly 40 people were present for the unveiling of a 35 Squadron memorial stone in the Ribbon of Remembrance at the International Bomber Command Centre, Lincoln on 14th May 2019 -read more –


IF YOU HAVE ANY COPIES OF DOCUMENTS OR PHOTOGRAPHS RELATING TO THE SQUADRON WHICH COULD BE INCORPORATED ONTO THE WEBSITE, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH

2019/04 Newsletter

Newsletter Heading

Research Work

I have carried out research on the following airmen who served with the squadron:

    • ED Kornegay (1944)
    • AC Schofield (1942)

Becklingen War Cemetery Headstones

35squadronresearchphoto

My thanks go to Gerald Walmsley who kindly photographed the headstones of all the 35 Squadron personnel who were reinterred at Becklingen War Cemetery after the war.


Trying to track down some Crew Chiefs

Mike O’Gorman has asked if I know the whereabouts of the following Crew Chiefs

  • Rocky Lane
  • Al Copplestone
  • Dave Goodchild
  • Nev Neville
  • Ben Roper

If you have any information that I can pass on to Mike, please get in touch


No. 35 Squadron Memorial Stone at the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)

Arrangements for the unveiling of the 35 Squadron Memorial Stone in the Ribbon of Remembrance at the International Bomber Command Centre on 14th May are now finalised.

I look forward to meeting all those who are attending on the day


IF YOU HAVE ANY COPIES OF DOCUMENTS OR PHOTOGRAPHS RELATING TO THE SQUADRON WHICH COULD BE INCORPORATED ONTO THE WEBSITE, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH

2019/03 Newsletter

Research Work

I have carried out research on the following airmen who served with the squadron:

    • DH Larson (1945)
    • F Cheshire (1945/1946)
    • D McMillan (1945)
    • RA Bates (1941)

“Maxie” Miles

I was advised of the death of “Maxie” Miles on 28th February 2019. Maxie was a Vulcan Crew Chief on 617 and 35 Squadron in Cyprus and at Scampton before being posted to RAF Binbrook (1982 to 1987).

Ian Nelson paid this tribute: “A man with a huge character. He was well respected on 35 Sqn. RIP Max, blue skies”


No. 35 Squadron Memorial Stone at the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)

Remembering all who served with

No. 35 Squadron

Uno Animo Agimus

I am now in the process of finalising the format, buffet and parking arrangements for the unveiling of the No 35 Squadron Memorial Stone, which will take place on 14th May 2019.

Monies have now been collected from those who have expressed an interest in contributing towards the cost of the stone and/or attending the event.

I look forward to meeting all those who are attending in a few weeks time.


IF YOU HAVE ANY COPIES OF DOCUMENTS OR PHOTOGRAPHS RELATING TO THE SQUADRON WHICH COULD BE INCORPORATED ONTO THE WEBSITE, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH

2019/02 Newsletter

Research Work

A varying month of research, which has included:

  • liaising with some former airmen who served as ground crew with No 35 Squadron (1975 – 1982); a new page has been added to the website to ensure that they are remembered, as well as the aircrew
  • adding extracts to the website from the memoirs of SR Arthur (who served with the squadron in 1941) which were sent to me by one of his relatives
  • trying to identify the ownership of a 35 Squadron related bag (carrying the name GR Carter 35 Squadron, Scampton) so that the current owner can get in touch with him (if he is still alive). We think this may be “Nick” Carter, but further research is required
  • sorting through some photographs taken by LAC John Stonebridge, who served as ground crew with No 35 and 76 Squadron during World War Two
  • researching:
    • Ronald Hoos (1943)
    • DH Larson (1945)

James Keatley Watson

I have been advised by the RCAF Association that James Keatley Watson, who served with No. 35 Squadron in 1942, passed away on 26th January 2019.

JK Watson flew 13 operational sorties between March and June 1942 and was shot down whilst on an operation to attack Essen, spending the rest of the war as a POW.

Always Remembered


No. 35 Squadron Memorial Stone at the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)

Remembering all who served with

No. 35 Squadron

Uno Animo Agimus

I am now in the process of finalising the format, buffet and parking arrangements for the unveiling of the No 35 Squadron Memorial Stone, which will take place on 14th May 2019.

Monies are now being collected from those who have expressed an interest in contributing towards the cost of the stone and/or attending the event.

There are still a few places available if anyone would like to attend, so please get in touch URGENTLY if you are interested in supporting this venture.

I will keep you posted on progress.


IF YOU HAVE ANY COPIES OF DOCUMENTS OR PHOTOGRAPHS RELATING TO THE SQUADRON WHICH COULD BE INCORPORATED ONTO THE WEBSITE, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH

2019/01 Newsletter

Research Work

This month, I have been asked to provide information on the following airmen who served with No. 35 Squadron:

  • CW Rowley (1943)
  • TC Kerr (1943 / 1944)
  • HJF Le Good (1945)
  • RK Hepburn (Various Dates)
  • P Shields (1941)
  • SR Arthur (1941)

Vulcan Get Together 2019

I was sent this flyer during the month.

I have spoken to Tony and he has advised that the event is simply a casual get together from about 12.00 to 18.00, with a mess style buffet and bar available.

If anyone is interested in attending the event, please get in touch with him.


Solway Aviation Museum

One of the display boards relating to Vulcan XJ823 at Solway Aviation Museum which incorporates the information that we have been piecing together over the last few months relating to No. 35 Squadron’s use of this particular aircraft


No. 35 Squadron Memorial Stone at the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)

I have commissioned a stone to commemorate all those that served with No. 35 Squadron, which will be laid in the Ribbon of Remembrance at the IBCC.

The wording will read:

Remembering all who served

with No. 35 Squadron

(Uno Animo Agimus)

A number of people have expressed an interest in contributing towards the cost of the stone and/or attending the unveiling event, which will be held on 14th May 2019.

Numbers will be finalised by the end of February, so please get in touch if you are interested in supporting this venture.

I will keep you posted on progress.


IF YOU HAVE ANY COPIES OF DOCUMENTS OR PHOTOGRAPHS RELATING TO THE SQUADRON WHICH COULD BE INCORPORATED ONTO THE WEBSITE, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH

2018/12 Newsletter


Research Work

This month, I have carried out research work for relatives of the following airmen who served with No. 35 Squadron:

  • WJ Simpson (1943 to 1945)
  • RF Casey (1942)
  • WH McCormick (1943 / 1944)

Vulcan XJ823 (Solway Aviation Museum)

[Courtesy of Solway Aviation Museum]

With your help, I have put together a summary of No. 35 Squadron’s use of Vulcan XJ823 for the display boards at Solway Aviation Museum.

The four page summary, which covers the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, includes photographs, log book extracts and Record Book entries

One of the display board pages


Marham Aviation Heritage Centre

My thanks go to Mark Every from the Marham Aviation Heritage Centre for sending me a copy of a No 35 Squadron photograph album covering the period 1959 to 1972.

Some of the photos have been added to the relevant pages on the site.


Squadron Ephemera

[Courtesy of Gerry Frew]

 

I have added a new page to the site so that I can put together a collection of photographs of squadron related ephemera such as tankards, lighters, first day covers, cigarette cards etc.

If you have any that can be added to the collection, please get in touch


No. 35 Squadron Memorial Stone at the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)

I have commissioned a stone to commemorate all those that served with No. 35 Squadron, which will be laid in the Ribbon of Remembrance at the IBCC

Planning is underway for the unveiling event, which will be held on 14th May 2019.

If anyone is interested in contributing towards the cost of the stone, or would like to attend the event, please get in touch by the end of December to enable me to finalise plans.

I will keep you posted on progress.


Thank you for your help and support throughout the year.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2019


IF YOU HAVE ANY COPIES OF DOCUMENTS OR PHOTOGRAPHS RELATING TO THE SQUADRON WHICH COULD BE INCORPORATED ONTO THE WEBSITE, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH


2018/11 Newsletter



This month, I have carried out research work for relatives of the following airmen who served with No. 35 Squadron:

  • RG Everest (1943 / 1944)
  • DMD Lambert (1944)
  • G Bradburn (1944)
  • D McMillan (1945)
  • EJ Harding (1941)
  • R Horsburgh (1943)
  • PG Boyce (1943)

All Saints, Offord Cluny

I was sent this newspaper article relating to the church where the 35 Squadron Memorial Chapel is situated …. the article speaks for itself

https://www.huntspost.co.uk/…/offord-church-hit-by-lead-thi…


Cyprus Years 69-71 Group

Members of the “Cyprus Years 69-71 Group” at Welsborne Mountford 2012

Members of the “Cyprus Years 69-71 Group” have been sending me photographs, log book extracts and other information relating to their time with the squadron at RAF Akrotiri (1969-1971).

I have added a new page on the site, which incorporates photographs from the Group’s reunions.


Chievres Communal CemeteryBelgium

Derek Bird, of the Gordon Highlanders, kindly laid wreaths at Chievres Communal Cemetery during a service of remembrance to commemorate the fifty-eight airmen that were concentrated there after WWII, including thirteen airmen from No. 35 Squadron.

My thanks go to the members of the “Cyprus Years 69-71 Group” who paid for the No. 35 Squadron wreath which was laid during the service


Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre Archives

I have been working with the archivist at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre Archives to update the captions on the No. 35 Squadron photographs that it holds, to ensure historical accuracy.


No. 35 Squadron Memorial Stone at the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)

I have commissioned a stone to commemorate all those that served with No. 35 Squadron, which will be laid in the Ribbon of Remembrance at the IBCC

Planning is underway for the unveiling event, which will be held on 14th May 2019.

If anyone is interested in contributing towards the cost of the stone, or would like to attend the event, please get in touch by the end of December to enable me to finalise plans.

I will keep you posted on progress.


Documents

Paul Everest kindly sent me copies of papers belonging to his father, which included navigation maps, target maps and briefing notes. His father, RG Everest, served as an Air Bomber with No. 35 Squadron during 1944

 


IF YOU HAVE ANY COPIES OF DOCUMENTS OR PHOTOGRAPHS RELATING TO THE SQUADRON WHICH COULD BE INCORPORATED ONTO THE WEBSITE, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH


2018/10 Newsletter



This month, I have carried out research work for relatives of the following airmen who served with No. 35 Squadron:

  • KG McAlpine (1943)
  • D McMillan (1945)
  • DMD Lambert (1944)
  • JI Barrie (1943)
  • G Beattie (1950s)

An extract from George Beattie’s Log Book [Courtesy of Robert Beattie]


Unveiling of the memorial to the crew of Lancaster ND762 (29th September 2018)

E Holmes (SherlE) beside the newly unveiled memorial [Courtesy of David Holmes]

The following extract regarding the loss of Lancaster ND762 was read out during the unveiling of the memorial in Vessem on 29th September 2018

“On 22nd May 1944 sixteen Lancaster Bombers from 35 Pathfinder squadron of Bomber Command set off from RAF Graveley .  Their task was to drop flares and incendiary bombs on Dortmund to light it up for the following waves of 345 Lancaster bombers and 14 Mosquitos who were following in behind.

They had successfully dropped their bombs on the target and were flying at 16,000 feet on their way back to Graveley when a night fighter surprised them.  The first thing that SherlE knew was that the aircraft was difficult to control.  It was then obvious that the number three engine on the starboard wing was on fire.  He instructed his crew to bail out and continued to try to control the aircraft.  He remembers Mac tapping him on the shoulder indicating that the crew were ready to leave.  He turned and saw Derrick standing putting his parachute on.  There was then a large explosion in the aircraft.

SherlE’s account of what happened thereafter was recorded at the time in the diary of medical student Loek Veegers who, with Willi Hasenbos (whose daughter is here today) were hiding on the nearby farm belonging to Fons van der Heijden , where SherlE was subsequently hidden.

These are his words…… “With a sudden jolt he was slung through the front window and dangled against the outside of the cabin, hanging from the bands with which he was strapped to the pilot’s seat.  After a few seconds the aircraft made an enormous sudden turn and he was flung loose, into the air.   He was still very dazed at first, but was just able to open his parachute in time.  His lip was very swollen but that was the only minor injury he sustained.

Derrick Coleman and Frank Tudor had similar escapes, but the remaining five crew members died in the aircraft, and all the events of today are a tribute to their bravery and ultimate sacrifice”.

My thanks go to David Holmes for supplying the information and photographs.


Chievres Communal CemeteryBelgium

Over the weekend of 17th / 18th November, the town of Chievres, in conjunction with the Musée international de l’aviation et de la base de Chièvres, will be holding an event to commemorate the liberation of the town by the Gordon Highlanders in 1918 and the anniversary of the museum.

As part of the event, a service will be held to remember the fifty-eight airmen that were concentrated (reinterred) at Chievres Communal Cemetery after the war.

Mo Frampton’s “Cyprus Years” Group raised money to purchase a wreath which will be laid during the service of remembrance to commemorate the thirteen airmen from No. 35 Squadron that were concentrated there.


Marham Aviation Heritage Centre

Mark Every has sent me copies of a couple of the No. 35 Squadron related photograph albums that are held in the Marham Aviation Heritage Centre Archives.

The albums cover the 1930’s and include the time when the squadron was detached to Sudan (1935 / 1936) during the Abyssinian Crisis.

A number of the photographs have been added to the relevant pages on the site.

My thanks go to Mark for his time and effort on this matter.


Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre Archives

During a recent visit to East Kirkby, I was pleased to see that the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre has a number of donated photographs of squadron aircraft and crews in its archive.

Sadly, the Centre has prevented me from incorporating copies of these photographs on the appropriate pages on this site. I have been advised that all I can do is annotate the relevant pages to inform readers that there is a photograph held at the Centre.

I have started to work with the archivist to update the information that the Centre holds regarding the photographs to ensure historical accuracy.


National Memorial Arboretum

My partner and I visited the National Memorial Arboretum and placed a poppy at the No. 35 Squadron Memorial Tree to commemorate all those that served with the squadron, in particular, those that lost their lives in doing so.


International Bomber Command Centre

My partner and I also visited the International Bomber Command Centre where we placed a poppy in memory of her grandfather CA Butler, who was killed in Lancaster ME334 on 4th February 1945, along with the rest of his crew.

There were a number of paving stones in the Ribbon of Remembrance relating to airmen who served with the squadron.

One of the 35 Squadron related paving stones

We are planning to commission a stone to commemorate the crew of ME334 but I thought it might be a good idea to consider installing a stone in remembrance of all No. 35 Squadron crews, which could be funded by the 35 Squadron Research Group.

Once again, Mo Frampton’s “Cyprus Years” Group has expressed an interest in contributing towards the cost of the stone and in organising / attending an unveiling event in late Spring of next year.

If anyone else is interested in contributing towards the funding, please get in touch


Blesme Memorial Booklet

Thanks to Roger Bedford for sending me copies of the twenty-one page booklet that was produced for the unveiling of the memorial to JH Marks and his crew at Blesme in 1992.

https://35squadron.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/marks-jh-crew/

I will be sending a copy to the International Bomber Command Centre for inclusion in their digital archive.

On the subject of the archive, whilst I was at the Centre this month, I met with the archivist to explore ways of integrating or linking our projects.


IF YOU HAVE ANY COPIES OF DOCUMENTS OR PHOTOGRAPHS RELATING TO THE SQUADRON WHICH COULD BE INCORPORATED ONTO THE WEBSITE, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH

2018/09 Newsletter

This month, I have carried out research work for relatives of  the following airmen who served with No. 35 Squadron:

  • H Colmore (Pilot) WWI
  • AP Cranswick (Pilot) 1943 / 1944
  • NW Curtis (Wireless Operator) 1944 / 1945
  • JC Black (Air Gunner) 1944

Exhibition and Book Launch 

I have received this report from Serge Comini, regarding the exhibition and book launch weekend at La Gorgue, France

“On Saturday, September 15th 2018, Serge Comini and his association of volunteers (“Abbey de Beaupré Etude et Sauvegarde du Site (ABESS)”) had the joy and the honour of welcoming eleven families from Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom to La Gorgue, France – read more – 


Memorial to the crew of Lancaster ND762

[Courtesy of Ad van Zantvoort – Original Photograph by Bart Beex]

A photograph of E Holmes at the unveiling of the memorial to the crew of Lancaster ND762 at Vessem (Holland) on 29th September.

I hope to be able to provide more photographs, along with a summary of the event, next month


Chievres Communal CemeteryBelgium

Preparations are underway for the memorial event which is being held at Chievres, Belgium during the weekend 17th / 18th November.

The event, which is primarily to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Aviation Museum, includes a wreath laying ceremony for the airmen buried at Chievres Communal Cemetery (which includes thirteen from No 35 Squadron)


On the look out for:

Photographs from the Queen’s Birthday Flypast and/or the Vulcan Silver Jubilee Event from 1981

Photographs of the cockpit positions in the Avro Lincoln

If you can help, please get in touch


Site Feedback

I stumbled across a section of the website containing feedback from followers which I was unaware of, and it may be that I have not responded to some of the enquiries.

If you have contacted the site over the last few years and have not had a response, please could you try again; I promise I will get back to you this time!


Website Display Problem

I have been working hard to eliminate the tables that I have used on the web pages which are causing display problems for IE users.

I have focused on the main pages, but as there are nearly 1000 pages on the site, it will take time for me to complete the job.

Once again, I apologise for any inconvenience caused to IE users.


 

2018/08 Newsletter

Can you help

Research Work

Research Projects Image

This month, I have carried out research on the following airmen who served with No. 35 Squadron:

  • AR Day-Barker, Navigator, 1945

Exhibition and Book Launch 

During September “Musée de Beaupré” will open its exhibition about the WWI aerodrome at La Gorgue and a new book on the subject, written by Serge Comini, will be launched.

Sadly, despite best efforts, it has not been possible to find any ex 35 personnel to represent the squadron (who were based at the aerodrome in 1917) at the event.


Vulcan XJ823 (Solway Aviation Museum)

I have been asked by one of the co-owners of Vulcan XJ823 to help piece together the aircraft’s service life whist on charge of, or available for use by, No. 35 Squadron during the 60s, 70s and 80s

Courtesy of Stephanie A Lawton (Solway Aviation Museum)

If anyone flew with, or was associated with this aircraft, during its operational service with No. 35 Squadron, please get in touch.

Special Request: Would Richard Pidduck, who flew with this aircraft in 1982, please get in touch, as a recent computer crash has meant that I have lost your contact details 


“Shropshire Blue”

Ron Powell kindly sent me a chapter from his book “Shropshire Blue” which covers his service as a member of No 35 Squadron’s  ground crew during the Vulcan era.

Extracts will be added to the relevant web pages over the next few weeks.


Memorial to the crew of Lancaster ND762

Plans are well advanced for the unveiling of a memorial to the crew of Lancaster ND762 in Holland next month.

We are still trying to trace relatives of the following crew members in the hope that they can attend the event … but the clock is ticking

  • JK Stewart (Navigator)
  • DE Coleman (Air Bomber)
  • HT Maskell (2nd A/B)
  • FJ Tudor (Wireless Operator)
  • AW Cox (Air Gunner)
  • AS McLaren (Air Gunner)
  • JR Cursiter (Flight Engineer)

Chievres Communal Cemetery, Belgium

Preparations are underway for the memorial event which is being held at Chievres Communal Cemetery, Belgium in November, where two 35 Squadron crews are buried.


JH Marks Memorial

My thanks go to Laura McDermott who sent me a photograph of the memorial to JH Marks that is on display at the Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport, Essex.

The plaque reads as follows:


Thanks go to …..

  • Dom Howard for providing the headstone photographs from Durnbach Cemetery
  • Matthias Hundt for providing the original burial records from Dusseldorf Nordfriedhof
  • Stephanie Lawton for providing the Vulcan cockpit photographs from XJ823 (Solway Aviation Museum)

Website Problem

Thanks to the person that sent me the following comment regarding the website:

“Hello, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

I will do my best to try to sort the issue out as soon as possible. I apologise for any inconvenience caused to IE Users


2018/07 Newsletter


ALL THE LATEST NEWS AND VIEWS

Can you help


Research Work

Research Projects Image

This month, I have carried out research on the following airmen who served with No. 35 Squadron:

  • CJ Weldon, Wireless Operator, 1943 [POW]
  • E Wilkinson, Air Gunner, 1941 [POW]
  • MO Fuller, Wireless Operator / Air Gunner 1943 [KIA]

I have also been asked to research the two No. 35 Squadron crews that were laid to rest at Chievres Communal Cemetery. This project has now been expanded to cover all 58 airmen that are buried there.


Annual Commemoration Service (Angles)

P1030526.JPG

David Forsyth provided information and photographs from the annual service in Angles to commemorate the crew of L9527


Visit to Yorkshire (July 2018)

My partner and I spent a very interesting week in Yorkshire during July and we were able to spend time at the Memorial Room at RAF Linton-On-Ouse, the Historical Training Facility at RAF Leeming and at Beningborough Hall.


E-Mail

I received the following e-mail from Diana Calderwood

“I just wished to say I stumbled across your site and found it very interesting, well presented and easy to navigate and although not my father’s squadron, covered some of the operations he was on. To see the list of aircraft involved and the losses each month is very humbling.

Well done on your research and letting us remember them. My father survived but never spoke much about it and finding out more now, I realise what a task these young men were set. He just said they did their best”.


The mystery of a window

On a recent visit to the Memorial Room at Linton-On-Ouse, I came across a photograph of a stained glass window, which included a 35 Squadron badge and a small aircraft.

I started doing some research on the window and, to date, I have establsihed that:

  • the window is in the Parish Church of Saint John the Evangelist, St Johns Road, Blindley Heath, Tandridge, Surrey.

[Courtesy of Peter O’Connell]

  • it was paid for by WE Jupp (Billy) to commemorate his father, who was in the choir at the church for 60 years.
  • it depicts Christ sowing seeds, with a No. 35 Squadron badge in the bottom right hand corner and a very small aircraft (with a vapour trail) in the top left hand corner.

According to the Imperial War Museum archives, “the aircraft supposedly represents the aircraft of the late Group Captain Cheshire VC, whose aircraft Billy serviced”.

I am now trying to find out WE Jupp’s trade and whether he appears in the often seen photograph of Leonard Cheshire with his crew and ground crew. If anyone can assist, please get in touch.


Canberra 

Ken Delve is looking for photographs of the Canberra for inclusion in a planned update to his book on this iconic aircraft.

If anyone served with the squadron from 1954 to 1961, or if you have photographs of the aircraft from this period, please get in touch.


URGENT APPEAL

I am often asked if I can provide a person who would be willing to represent No. 35 Squadron at unveilings, memorial events etc.

If there are any ex squadron personnel out there (from any era) who would be interested in performing this role, please get in touch. 

I am currently trying to find representatives for events in France and Holland which are taking place in the next couple of months. 

2018/06 Newsletter

Can you help

Planned memorial for the crew of Lancaster ND762

David and Ernest Holmes
Photograph of David Holmes, with his father, Ernest

I received the following e-mail from David Holmes, regarding his father, Ernest Holmes, who served with the squadron during 1943 / 1944 and was involved in the loss of Lancaster ND762 on the night of 22nd May 1944

“My father, Ernie Holmes DFC, as you can see from the attached photograph, is still very much alive, and has crystal clear memories of the night and subsequent events.  He is 97 now and blind but is able to speak on the ‘phone.  My wife and I have recently been to the crash site and to visit the family of the farmer (subsequently shot by the Germans the day before the village of Netersel was liberated) who sheltered him and set him off on the Comet escape route.  Sadly he was betrayed in Antwerp and after being interrogated by the Gestapo in Brussels ended the war in Stalag Luft lll.   As a result of our visit, there is a move to put a memorial at the crash site”

There are provisional plans to unveil / dedicate the memorial at the crash site in Holland at the end of September 2018 and David is keen to hear from relatives of the other crew members who would be interested in attending the event.

Full crew list:

  • E Holmes (Pilot)
  • JK Stewart (Navigator)
  • DE Coleman (Air Bomber)
  • HT Maskell (2nd A/B)
  • FJ Tudor (Wireless Operator)
  • AW Cox (Air Gunner)
  • AS McLaren (Air Gunner)
  • JR Cursiter (Flight Engineer)

If you are relative of any of the crew members, please get in touch with either Adrian or David (the event organisers):

Adrian Van Zantvoort  

David Holmes

Alternatively, please leave a comment on the Comments / Feedback page on this site and I will pass the message on.

For more information on the loss:

https://35squadron.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/lancaster-nd762-22051944/


June Research Work

Research Projects Image

This month, I have carried out research on the following airmen who served with No. 35 Squadron:

  • P Moorhead, Air Bomber, 1944 [POW]
  • E Holmes, Pilot, 1943 / 1944 [POW] – see separate article

Extract from WS Muego’s POW Log

I was contacted by Dougie Muego, the son of WS Muego, who served with the squadron as an Air Bomber in 1943 / 1944 before being taken Prisoner of War as a result of the loss of Lancaster ND597 on 24th March 1944

He sent me copies of a newspaper article written about the loss and advised me that he has documents relating to his father’s time as a POW.

Dougie kindly sent me a copy of the final entry from his father’s POW Log

17th – 22nd April [1945]

For the past week we have been expecting to be relieved by the Americans from the bridgehead across the Elbe. As the week went by and nothing happened we turned to the east. The Russians opened up an attack and we expected them to cut us off. On the 20th the goons pulled out and we waited patiently. On the 21st we heard the front approach and Luckenwalde started to burn. The goons appeared to be in utter confusion and many comical instances occurred. At 6.00am on 22nd, the Russian armoured search car appeared at the camp. We were all organised and for the last 48 hours had been running things ourselves. About 11.00hours, the first Russian tanks appeared and they were very impressive. All their lorries, trucks, cars, jeeps etc are American. Their tanks however, Russian made are very fine. Each man in the spearhead which came through here was armed to the teeth. The troops, young, 18-25 are tough looking babies and their officers look very good types indeed. 

For a year now, I have been looking forward to this day. However, now that it has come I find myself somewhat disillusioned. I had expected to be full of life but find myself somewhat weary. I realise now that nothing but Margaret’s voice on the phone will suffice. How I long for that day. As it is here, I am just waiting. I hope we won’t go from Odessa – I long to go back via the Americans and France to Britain. That would be the speediest way out for us and I long for that to come true. However, until something is organised we will remain here and hope that all will be easy. I doubt it, but I hope.

At the moment our existence is merely one of uncertainty. We are free, but we are not free – rather a complex situation

 

2018/05 Newsletter

 

Can you help

Model of Halifax W1050

The March Newsletter carried an article about John Wilson who was in the process of building a 1/48 scale model to commemorate the loss of Halifax W1050 – read more –

I am pleased to announce that John proudly posted pictures of the completed model on Facebook on the anniversary of the loss (6th May 2018)


May Research Work

Research Projects Image

This month I received requests for information relating to the following airmen who served with No. 35 Squadron:

  • DJ Park. Flight Engineer, (1943)
  • Sgt Keith Willis Shingleton, Armourer (1943 to 1945)
  • EFJ Willis, Flight Engineer (1943)
  • LW Bovington, Pilot (1940 to 1941)

Marham Aviation Heritage Centre

Mark Every, a volunteer at the Marham Aviation Heritage Centre, contacted me to say that he had found a number of artefacts relating to the squadron’s time at Marham in the 1950s.

I hope to be able to work with Mark over the next few months to consolidate the details that the Centre holds and hopefully include information and photographs from that era on the website


Lt Robert Alexander Burnard

Piers Myers contacted me to say that his grandfather, RA Burnard (Robert), served with the squadron during WWI.

Piers is in the process of publishing his grandfather’s war diary and I am now providing him with supporting documents from the squadron’s records.

Piers’ work can be found at: http://raburnard.uk/ 


History of La Gorgue

Photograph [from M. O’Connor Collection] shows No. 43 Squadron at La Gorgue (Beaupré-sur-la-Lys) aerodrome.

Serge Comini (a volunteer with Abbaye de Beaupré, Etude et Sauvegarde du Site, at La Gorgue, North of France) contacted me after a number of Royal Flying Corps artefacts were found around the site of the the Cistercian abbey of “Notre-Dame de Beaupré-sur-la-Lys”.

Serge has written a few articles about the two WWI aerodromes which were close to the abbey site (namely La Gorgue and Merville)  and he is now in the process of writing a book on the subject.

No. 35 Squadron was based at La Gorgue from 19/08/1917 to 05/10/1917 and I have provided him with the information that I have from that period so that it can be incorporated into the book (if required)

Serge aims to launch the book later this year.

If you have a relative that served with the squadron at La Gorgue, please get in touch as Serge would like to hear from you.


E-Mail received from Peter Hickson

Great to see a website dedicated to 35 Squadron.

My father, P/O William (Bill) Hickson RNZAF served with 35 Squadron from 28 Jan 1943 to 22 June 1943 when he was shot down by a nightfighter on a raid on Krefeld. During those 5 months he progressed from being a very junior Captain, with only two bombing operations under his belt, to one experienced enough to have already taken three other pilots on operations for their initial experience on a Pathfinder mission. All three of those pilots were ultimately killed, Sgts Ayres and Daniel piloting their own aircraft, and F/Sgt Krohn when his parachute failed to open on Bill’s final operation.

On the night Bill was shot down, he captained one of 19 Halifaxes from 35 Squadron to back up the markers dropped by “Oboe” Mosquitoes, and to act as primary markers should the Mosquitoes fail in their mission. It was a moonlit night, and six of the nineteen were lost, the highest losses in a single operation of any heavy bomber squadron during 1943.

About three weeks prior to the Krefeld raid 35 Sq had sent 21 Halifaxes to attack Wuppertal. This raid was regarded as an outstanding success but unfortunately four of the 21 were shot down by nightfighters. My father wrote in his diary “Had to make a cross wind landing as kite had crashed on other runway. We lost four kites last night, including Pete Johnston, the ace”. S/L Peter Johnston DFC was an extremely experienced and respected pilot, having already completed a tour of operations. He is commemorated on the Runnymede memorial, but deserves more recognition.

So in those two operations in 3 weeks the squadron lost 10 Halifaxes from the 40 sorties!

Perhaps your site could stress that 35 Squadron was at the very forefront of the operational use of airborne ground scanning radar, H2S. It was used operationally for the first time on 30th January 1943, and Bill and his peers were tasked with developing expertise in its use in those early days, when it was a top secret aid.

Some other characters on the Squadron from that time who should be highlighted on your site are S/L Alec Cranswick DSO DFC, “Pathfinder Cranswick”, who completed over 100 operations before he was killed later in the war, G/C Basil Robinson DSO, DFC (Bar), AFC who commanded Graveley Station, and (then) S/L DFEC Dean DFC who commanded the squadron during Bill’s time.

Keep up the good work.

2018/04 Newsletter

Can you helpCasualty Files

The National Archives are in the process of making the P.4 (Cas), Casualty Branch Files available to the public. The files show details of casualties resulting from air operations and aircraft accidents from 1939-1945.

As at 25th April 2018, the following files are available relating to No. 35 Squadron personnel:

  • AIR 81/1976 Sergeant J D Stein: killed; aircraft accident, Upwood, Blenheim P6918, 35 Squadron, 6 April 1940.
  • AIR 81/4807 Aircraftman A E Goulding: killed; enemy action at Manchester, 35 Squadron, 23 December 1940.
  • AIR 81/1901 Sergeant A R Hermels: died of wounds; mid-air collision involving Blenheim L8845, 35 Squadron, and Blenheim L6596, 90 Squadron, 12 March 1940.
  • AIR 81/1627 Pilot Officer A E Wickham, Aircraftman J H Ledson: uninjured; Sergeant S Hammersley: injured; Battle K9473, 35 Squadron; aircraft accident, 5 November 1939.
  • AIR 81/1611 Pilot Officer G A C Rhind, Aircraftman E W Looker, Aircraftman B Connor: killed; Battle K9472, 35 Squadron; aircraft accident, 29 October 1939.
  • AIR 81/4856 Flight Lieutenant M T G Henry, Pilot Officer L J McDonald, Sergeant A C H R Russell, Sergeant W C B Hall, Sergeant F L Plowman, Sergeant W C B Jesse: killed; aircraft accident near Baldersby St James, Halifax L9487, 35 Squadron, 13 January 1941.
  • AIR 81/5409 “Sergeant C W Wilson: injured; aircraft hit by enemy anti aircraft fire over target, Halifax L9493, 35 Squadron, 10 March 1941. Note: Related files: 4952, 4956”

JF Brown

I was contacted by JWH (Jim) Brown, who told me that his father (James Francis Brown) served with No. 35 Squadron during 1935 / 1936 and was posted to the Sudan when the squadron deployed there during the Abyssinian crisis

After leaving the squadron, James trained as a pilot and he was subsequently posted to No. 37 Squadron where he flew Wellingtons.

Sadly, he was killed on 31st May 1940 when Wellington L7791 was shot down 12 miles south of Dunkirk.

JF Brown’s headstone at Eringhem Churchyard, France


April Research Work

Research Projects Image

Work carried out for relatives of airmen that served with No. 35 Squadron included research on:

  • TE Moser (Flight Engineer) who served with the squadron during 1944 / 1945

Rheinberg War Cemetery

Hay_F [Paul Ten Broeke]

A special thanks to Paul ten Broeke who kindly visited the Rheinberg War Cemetery for me and photographed some of the headstones of the No. 35 Squadron personnel who were concentrated (reinterred) there after the war.


Memories of Ronald Gayner (No. 35 Squadron Photographer)

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 –


2018/03 Newsletter

Can you helpHalifax W7656 (Visit June 2017)

My name is Evan Lloyd from New Zealand.  In June 2017 my wife Sally and I had the privilege of visiting Norway and the site where my uncle Flight Sergeant Arthur Evans RNZAF was killed in action on the night of 28/29 April 1942 during a bombing raid on the German warship Tirpitz – read more – 


Carew Cheriton

On 8th March 2018, my partner and I visited the Control Tower, the war graves and the crash site of Fairey Battle K9472 at Carew Cheriton, Pembrokeshire. – read more – 


Model of Halifax W1050

I have recently been contacted by John Wilson who explained that he was aiming to construct a model of Halifax W1050 which was lost on 6th / 7th May 1942 – read more –


 

2018/01 Newsletter

Can you helpJanuary Research Work

Research Projects Image

Work carried out for relatives of airmen that served with No. 35 Squadron included research on:

  • FJ Williams (Wireless Operator), who served with the squadron in 1943 before being taken prisoner of war

As it has been a relatively quiet month, I have started to consolidate information in the archives. As a result, I have produced information sheets on various subjects, some of which I have published on this site and on the Facebook Page.


One from the archives

[Courtesy of Narborough History Society]

On 18th January 1917, the squadron, under the command of Major BF Vernon-Harcourt, left Narborough Aerodrome at the start of its mobilisation to France


Goodbye to Vulcan XM570 

Thanks to Richard Pidduck for providing me with some photographs of the impromptu ceremony for Vulcan XM520 when it was struck off strength of the squadron in 1981.


MESSAGE BOARD

Thanks to Mike Meech and others for their help on WWI aircraft markings

Thanks to Dave Donaghy for providing an aerial view of Bassingbourn

2017/12 Newsletter

Can you helpResearch Projects

Research Projects Image

Work carried out for relatives of airmen that served with No. 35 Squadron included research on:

  • PM Nerland, who served as a WOP/AG in 1942
  • ARP Mills, who served as a Fitter II [Flight Engineer] in 1941

If you would like us to help you with your research, please get in touch via the CONTACT page


Edward (Ted) Ernest Stocker, DSO, DFC

Edward (Ted) Ernest Stocker, DSO, DFC, who served with the squadron as a Flight Engineer (1942 / 1943), passed away on 7th December 2017 (Aged 95)


McCubbin Lake

In December 2017, the Ontario Geographic Names Board (at the request of Marcel Lesaar) agreed to name a lake in memory of FC McCubbin who served and lost his life with the squadron in 1943 .

Marcel has since established that a number of natural features in Canada have been named after squadron personnel.

Thanks must go to Marcel for his continuing efforts to ensure that airmen who lost their lives in his local area in Germany are forever remembered


MESSAGE BOARD

Looking forward to working with you all to build up the history of No. 35 Squadron during 2018