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Thread: Battle of Britain - Newfoundlanders in the RAF

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    Default Battle of Britain - Newfoundlanders in the RAF

    Hello,

    I'm a freelance journalist based in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada researching a story about Newfoundland-born pilots during the Battle of Britain. I'm hoping to track down as much information as I possibly can. So far, I've only come across one concrete example, Pilot Officer Richard A. Howley of No. 141 Squadron, who was shot down on July 19 while piloting a Defiant. From what I've read, it would seem likely there were other Newfoundlanders in the RAF during the battle.

    I'm hoping someone might have some knowledge either about Howley or any other Newfoundland RAF servicemen.

    Thank you,

    David Whalen

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    David
    A look at Google & 1 example below but, though in the RAF ,not necessarily in the Battle of Britain .The Canadian members may be able to help .

    http://www.heritage.nf.ca/law/royal_air.html -------

    Volunteers from Newfoundland and Labrador died at a higher rate while serving with the Royal Air Force (RAF) than with any other branch of the British Armed Forces during the Second World War. It is perhaps fortunate that the RAF recruited considerably fewer Newfoundlanders and Labradorians than either the Royal Navy or Artillery. Of the 713 who enlisted, some 20 per cent died before hostilities ended.
    RAF recruit Lloyd Burry, ca. 1940s
    Lloyd Burry, of Greenspond, Newfoundland, served as a wireless air gunner for the Royal Air Force during the Second World War

    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 5th August 2010 at 22:31.

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    Hi David,
    You will find the answer to your quest regarding those that flew in the Battle of Britain at the following web site. www.bbm.org.uk
    This list is the most accurate and up to date available.
    all the best
    Gerry

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    Although it does bear directly on the Battle of Britain, the following article may be of interest to, describing as it does Newfoundlanders in the RAF (both world wars) - http://www.legionmagazine.com/en/index.php/2006/11/the-flying-newfoundlanders/

    Doubless you have access in your libraries to the Journal of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society. Volume XI No.4 (issue of Winter 1973) has a long list of Canadians in the Battle of Britain. Unhappily (and it is my error) it lists K.M. Sclanders as being from St. John's, Newfoundland; he was in fact from Saint John, New Brunswick (see "242 Squadron: The Canadian Years", published by Canada's Wings in 1981).

    G.W.L. Nicholson, More Fighting Newfoundlanders (St.John's, published by the government of Newfoundland in 1969) has some information on persons of Newfoundland origin in the RAF: see also Kerri Button, The Forgotten Years: The Formation of the 125th (Newfoundland) Squadron, Royal Air Force, 1938-1941 (university paper, institution not mentioned; copy held by Canada Aviation Museum but likely available via Memorial University). The Canadian Armed Forces Directorate of History and Heritage has a document (79/201) which lists some 740 Newfoundland enlistments in the RAF; of these, about one-third were recruited in the Old Colony and trained in Canada, one third recruited there and trained in Britain, and one third transferred from army units (notably artillery regiments) to the RAF
    Last edited by HughAHalliday; 5th August 2010 at 23:31.

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    Thanks everyone.

    Hugh, I had a look through Nicholson's book and Kerri Button's dissertation. Both provided a good background about the 125th squadron, though unfortunately very little about pilots in the Battle of Britain.

    Button's dissertation did make note a letter from an RAF officer in Botwood that suggests many Newfoundlanders from the central region of the island had travelled to the UK with hopes of joining the RAF directly. This would have been prior to the recruitment drives of 1940-1941. Unfortunately I haven't been able to track down any names of early pilots thus far, aside from those mentioned in your article.

    David

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