View Full Version : 263 Squadron ORB Website (URL Updated 2016)

11th September 2009, 22:15
Dear all,

I am proud (and not a little relieved!) to announce the completion of a project to transcribe AIR 27/1548 Operations Record Book, No. 263 Squadron R.A.F, January 1942 - May 1945.

<a href="http://homepage.ntlworld.com/laurieburley/jeff/index.html" target="_blank">Link here</a>

The ORB is accompanied by a selection of documents taken from the Appendices, as well as some supporting information from WO 208 and WO 344.

This project, which started off as a way of sending information to my Dad on the other side of the world, has taken many hundreds of hours. Having done all the hard work, I thought it might be useful if it was available to other researchers with an interest in the Squadron.

Happy reading!

Jeff Beaumont.

12th September 2009, 02:41
Hi Jeff,
Excellent stuff.
I will browse thro' and see if there is anything I have that I can send you, do you intend adding photos later? if so i will sort out a few, may take a few weeks thou'
If there is anything in particular you are after let me know, I have research stuff, mainly whirlwind's and 263Sq at harrowbeer/bolt head.

12th September 2009, 08:00
Hi Jeff, very nice stuff, thanks for sharing it!


12th September 2009, 10:25
Well done Jeff, a painstaking task to be sure. Thanks to your efforts, I now have a ton of new information on Edgar Brearley, a 263 pilot lost on 16 Apr 1943. He turns up in dozens of entries and the descriptions are quite excellent. Thanks again.

Mikkel Plannthin
12th September 2009, 10:32
Anyone having taken on the task of transcribing parts of ORBs know what a tremendous job you have done. Even if 263S is out of scope for me, let me take the chance to congratulate you on a job well done.


12th September 2009, 12:24
This is awesome - not just for the sheer work of transcription but the site organization and searchability. Thanks - congratulations - marvellous !

Steve Brew
12th September 2009, 17:43
Hi Jeff

Excellent job, well done!

Your Flt Sgt/WO John Irvine (9 Nov 1944-at least 5 May 1945) and Flt Sgt/WO Donald F. J. Tebbit (17 Feb-13 Aug 1941 and 7 Oct 1942-20 Jan 1944) were also both 41 Squadron pilots, Irvine briefly prior to 263 Sqn and Tebbit afterwards.

Tebbit was shot down and captured on 22 Feb 1945. I have his POW Repat Report, if you'd like it.


13th September 2009, 22:20
Thank you, everyone, I'm glad to see it's useful to others. To answer some of the questions above:

Jerry:- The website probably will remain text-only, partially to do with copyright and mostly due to a near-total lack of photographic material from within the family. What photos I have gathered have been very generously passed on by others; they allowed me to send Dad some framed photos of his father for his Christmas prezzie last year - which is a pretty awesome thing to be able to do for someone!

David:- The loss of Edgar Brearley is an odd one. Not so much for the manner of his loss, but the appearance of his body in the sea at Swanage over a month later. I have a photo of his headstone in Warmwell Churchyard somewhere if you'd like it.

Hugh:- I'm rather pleased at how the site has turned out. Obviously, someone else had done most of the hard work with the template, but I do like the appearance of the end result. One difficulty will be making new documents easily identifiable for return visitors, but I have a cunning plan for that...

Steve:- Thanks for the offer, I will add that to my list next time I go to Kew (WO 344/405/1 ?). I am thinking vaguely about adding a collection of mini biographies from public sources (The ORB, Gazette, CWGC, etc.) as I already have something of the sort for around 70 pilots, but I think others better qualified and resourced than I are in the middle of a similar project. The problem is, every one has a story and it would be a mighty task to do each of them justice.

You may well have noticed that a lot of the stuff from the Appendices has the name "Beaumont" on it somewhere. The reason for that is fairly obvious, but I will be going back and adding more information in the future, particularly from 1944 and 45. In the mean time I plan to take a break for a a few months and catch up on some other projects (Not to mention building up brownie points with the other half, who tolerates all this with surprising patience!), but I'm sure I will return to it on those long, grim English winter nights!



14th September 2009, 19:17
Hi Jeff
What a wonderful accomplishment. I am currently involved in a similar project for 101 Squadron as a sister site to 156 Squadron PFF. I know the amount of work involved in transcribing this information and the difficulties in reading some of the entries on the ORBs.
Kudos to you for a great piece of work.

Alex Crawford
14th September 2009, 21:16
Hi Jeff,

Excellent work, well done. I have a keen interest in 263 Sqn, mainly with it's Gladiator operations over Norway, but also with the Whirlwind as well.


20th September 2009, 05:00
Jeff, allow me to express my thanks for the tremendous effort. I have a particular interest in the Indian pilots who served with 263 , and was quite pleased to find all the information related to them.

We owe you one.

20th September 2009, 07:19

Also from my site my thanks to you.Great job.I will now be able to piece together the flying history of F/L Turner (KIA Dec 26,1944 in my hometown Zwolle).


3rd December 2009, 09:08
Hi Jeff,

I am a nephew of the late W/Cmdr Thomas P Pugh, DFC who served with 263 Squadron between June 1940 and February 1942 and as S/Ldr was Commanding Officer from August 1941.

Uncle Tom was later W/Cmdr with 182 Squadron operating Typhoons and was KIA on 2 August 1943 divebombing a destroyer in Dunkirk harbour. His wartime story along with that of my father S/Ldr Robert M Pugh AFC RAF (Ret'd) (who flew "Wimpeys" with Coastal Command), now 89, and their brother P/O John C Pugh who died in a Spitfire crash in 1940 was relayed in some detail in Dilip Sarkar’s book “Through Peril To The Stars”.

I am sure in his research Dilip will have seen much of the material you have published, however this is the first time I have been able to see these original texts. Of particular interest is that my father had a BBC recording from January 1942 on 78rpm 12” vinyl of Uncle Tom giving an account of a sortie to a German airfield in coastal France. We have never been able to listen to this but recently I have had a specialist sound engineer transfer this to cd and with some cleaning up to remove scratches, pops and clicks, now have a pretty good quality playable recording of Uncle Tom describing his flight strafing and destroying a number of JU-88's on the ground. Having now read the Squadron History for 1941 it is clear that this sortie is that against Lannion on 26 August 1941 set out in the document.

My father, has yet to hear this recording, which I have made for him as a surprise for Christmas. I wonder what he will think hearing his late brother's voice sixty six years on?
I thought you might find this of interest.



5th December 2009, 11:41
Hi Anthony,

I'm delighted you found the report useful! The operation in question was one of a series made on Lannion, Maupertus, and Querqueville, and I may have something further on that - see the PM I'm about to send you.



6th December 2009, 12:35

Thanks, I have now seen PM and replied. Small beer compared with your work but I think I will transcribe the words from Uncle Tom's recording of the rais on Lannion if Forum members might find this of interest.



6th December 2009, 17:23
I found a little time this afternoon to make a transcript of the BBC recoring and have posted on a new thread here:


I hope some might find this of interest.



10th December 2009, 21:40
I swore I wouldn't do it.

After the pain of transcribing AIR 27/1548, there was no way I was going to go back and do Part 1. And yet, after flicking through some images to look things up for various people, I somehow found myself typing again, and the complete AIR 27/1547 263 Squadron Operations Record Book for 1939 - 1941 has just been uploaded to my website.

This covers the Squadron's formation on October 2nd 1939 at Filton, through the Norway Expedition, through its re-equipment with Whirlwinds, and to its first application as a ground attack fighter.


There's also 14 more documents from the appendices. Enjoy!


Jeff Beaumont

11th December 2009, 05:10

That's amazing! I did something related from average quility photos of 229 Sqdn ORB for a few months of 1942 and it seemed to take forever (and it didn't include appendicies)!

Well done.


11th December 2009, 12:16

Congratulations Jeff !

As a Typhoon enthusiast I visited your site with pleasure. No. 263 Squadron flew over Britanny, I found my interest in a couple of pilots who had flown with No. 609 Squadron before, especially "Pinkie" Stark, and for the 3 weeks the Squadron was based at B51 Lille-Vendeville, near my home.

The earlier part of the Squadron's life is also very interesting to read in such details (again I have a link with 609, in the form of P/O (later S/L) Thornton-Brown, who is buried in my area).

A great thank you for this.


30th October 2012, 19:21

I tried to re-access the website, but the link was dead.

Is it me or is the website down ?



31st October 2012, 09:07
Hi Joss, looks like ti s down as it is not working for me too.


31st October 2012, 15:40
Hello Pavel,

Thanks for confirming. I had saved on my job HD two pdfs from this site, so I'm not totally lost. It was our common friend Bertrand who was asking for some details about a 263 Whirwind op.

Regards from France


20th October 2016, 22:24
Hi all,

Apologies for the necro-thread, but I thought I would spread the word that I'm not dead - just resting.

You may have noticed that my old site dedicated to 263 Sqn disappeared a while back. This is due to Virgin Media ending provision of web hosting space to its customers. I've been rather busy, and it's taken some time to find a new home for the site and get everything transferred. Essentially, the site has been recreated from scratch as Weebly (its new home) doesn't support good old FTP upload.

The new site can be found here:


Please update any bookmarks or references.