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Thread: 1338059, 191836 Flying Officer John Thomas DFC, No. 640 Squadron RAF Bomber Command

  1. #1
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    Sep 2017
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    Default 1338059, 191836 Flying Officer John Thomas DFC, No. 640 Squadron RAF Bomber Command

    I have just joined this forum and was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to help me.

    I have recently acquired my great uncle's incomplete RAF service record. I have managed to find out quite a lot about his training units and bases (thanks to Google) but there are still a few things that puzzle me.

    Here is a summary of his service up until 1945.

    My great uncle John enlisted in the RAF on 23 May 1941, and trained as a navigator in the Joint Air Training Scheme. In 1942, he undertook initial flying training at No. 22 Elementary Flying Training School (22 EFTS) in Cambridge, and advanced training in South Africa in 1943. On 4 September 1944, at the rank of F/Sgt, he joined No. 640 Squadron of RAF Bomber Command based at RAF Leconfield in Beverley (Yorkshire) until 6 April 1945. However, on 20 February 1945, he was discharged "on appointment to temporary commission". The following day he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer and (I assume) resumed active operations with 640 Squadron.

    Can anyone shed any light on this discharge and provide any information about his time with 640 Squadron; how many missions he flew, what bombers he flew in and where the targets were.

    Also, on 25 September 1945 he received the Distinguished Flying Cross (London Gazette April 1945) but no details of the citation are included. I've attempted numerous searches on the London Gazette website but cannot find anything at all.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Answers to your question are in Bill Norman's Book on 640 squadron.
    Pilot F/O Geoffrey Harwood Smith (177653) DFC
    F/E Sgt. Albert Sleeman (1594904) DFM
    Nav. F/Sgt. 'Taffy' Thomas later F/O DFC
    Air B F/Sgt R.H. (Curly) Peacock
    Wop: F/Sgt. T.A. 'Paddy' Bourke
    A/G F/O 'Jacko'Jackson later P/O J.M. 'Nobby' Clarke
    A/G Sgt. James William 'Ginger' Cheetham (1783182) DFM
    All awards relate to do over Reisholz 20/21 Feb. 19. 35 ops

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts


    In answer to your first question, the discharge was, in principle, a paper entry to document the change to his "appointment to temporary commission". In layman's terms, he was discharged from his duties as 1338059 and appointed for duties as 191836.


    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 ( )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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