A Short War, The History of 623 squadron


A Short War, The history of 623 squadron by Steve Smith.

This is a history of an often overlooked and neglected bomber squadron, No.623 Squadron.  Formed from No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron in August 1943 the squadron flying from RAF Downham Market participated in a number of the important raids on Germany during the summer and winter of 1943, losing a number of crews in the process. Made up almost entirely of Commonwealth skippers the squadron flying the Short Stirling had its fair share of difficulties, losing ten crews before it was disbanded in December 1943. Continue reading A Short War, The History of 623 squadron

Book Review: Commanding Far Easter Skies

Commanding Far Eastern Skies“Commanding Far Eastern Skies” by Peter Preston-Hough has its origins in a PhD dissertation  that was done by the Author , which itself asserts itself as the only one related to the RAF in the far east.

The author is a visiting lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton and this book is published as one of the series of the Wolverhampton Military Studies. Continue reading Book Review: Commanding Far Easter Skies

From Sapper to Spitfire Spy

‘From Sapper to Spitfire Spy,’ A wartime biography of David Greville-Heygate DFC

by Sally-Anne Greville-Heygate

Called up by the army in August 1939 David Greville-Heygate operated a searchlight until commissioned at Sandhurst. Posted to the Loyals in Portsmouth he had ‘a bit of a row’ with his Brigadier and labelled an Army Rebel he transferred to the RAF. After training as an Army Co-operation pilot he flew No. 16 Squadron Lysanders and Mustangs. Photographs he took of Northern France were used to plan the D-Day landings.

Continue reading From Sapper to Spitfire Spy

Beaufighter T4746 – “Failed to Return” 12 April 1942

By Stephen Adler   – 12 August 2015    Addess01  Max Addess in RAF uniform, and his sister Nina in 1941               

My uncle Max Addess, a pilot with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, went missing in action on 12 April 1942 together with his observer Sergeant B.A.T. Lane when their Beaufighter T4746 failed to return to its base. It was only Max’s second operational flight. Until now, no one has been able to determine what happened during the mission, and all that has been known remained the matter-of-fact comment in the Operations Record Book for RAF North Coates, mentions the loss from 236 Squadron that, “The machine failed to return from the Operation”.


However, following research not only in the RAF records here, but also looking into the German flak and coastal defence records in the Bundesarchiv in Berlin, I believe the plane was probably shot down over Stavanger by a German flak unit and crashed into the fjord where presumably it remains to this day.

Here is the story.   Continue reading Beaufighter T4746 – “Failed to Return” 12 April 1942

Pending Review : Commanding Far Eastern Skies

Commanding Far Eastern Skies Received this book recently – to add to the  RAF in SEAC field.

The book takes an academic approach to analyzing the RAF’s operation in India and Burma. – its based on a PhD dissertation that the author had worked on.

First impressions: It may not work for everyone but for the  hardcore SEAC buffs.  It is packed with lots of interesting data points, extensive references to archival documents , details of Radar Units and Observer Corps usage etc.

But its not light reading. I will post a detailed review once completed.  In the meantime you can check out the publisher’s page on this book here.

70 Years ago today – The crash of Mosquito KB416

Seventy Years ago, Today, 3rd July 1945, De Havilland Mosquito KB416 , of No.627 Squadron crashed at RAF Woodhall Spa. The pilot Flt Lt D N Johnson was attempting to forceland after the misfiring of one of the engines.. A series of events caused it to stall and crash. Johnson perished.  But his navigator, Pilot Officer J  D Finlayson survived, thanks to a  remarkable attempt by one of the Crash Crew members on site, Corporal Stephen J Cogger, and a civilian who arrived at the site.  Finlayson was initially trapped trying to extricate himself and was ultimately helped by Cogger and others on the site.  During the rescue attempt, Cpl Cogger received burns on his face and body.

J D Finlayson Continue reading 70 Years ago today – The crash of Mosquito KB416

70 Years ago … Today…

By Matt Poole

Today is the 70th anniversary of the downing of 355 Sqn Liberator KH250, hit by AA fire during an attack on Port Blair, S. Andaman Island (the westernmost point of Japanese expansion, I believe) on 17 May 1945.

Of the eleven-man crew, only one was able to bale out: 1516012 F/Sgt Harold WYNNE. After three months of incarceration in Japanese hands in Port Blair, Wynne was executed by lethal injection on 17 August 1945 — after Hirohito’s surrender radio broadcast. Wynne and four of his crewmates, including their skipper, 177155 F/O Rowland TOTHAM, were on their first op in the Far East after completing a tour on Lancasters of 101 Sqn. Totham was awarded a DFC for his 101 Sqn tour. Continue reading 70 Years ago … Today…

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