Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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Guest Book 2014-2015

E-mail:  ZZ91530<AT>
Date:  5 Jan 2014
Time:  02:03


My brother TJB ZADWORNY was a pilot in RAF Sqns 289 in Scotland and  No 114 in Italy where he was KIA. I would love to hear from anyone who knew him. Thanks. 

E-mail:  Andy.Thomas<AT>
Date:  7 Jan 2014
Time:  19:59


Hello my grandfather was in 459 squadron in North Africa in 1943 to 1944 and died in an accident in February 1944.  Would love to hear from anyone with connections. 

Andy Thomas

Mobile - 07968725075

E-mail:  alan.shepherd12<AT>
Date:  24 Jan 2014
Time:  15:44


Very interesting. I joined 541 somewhere about July/August 1956 as a electrical/mech air and remained there as an SAC until it was disbanded Sept 1957. After that I joined No 2 at Geilenkirchen until I was demobilised Feb 58. Still have a photo of the disbandment day in my possession. Air Marshall Sir Humphrey Edwards Jones, AVM Ubee sitting in the front row. Certainly brings back memories.


E-mail:  hollythompson555<AT>
Date:  27 Feb 12014
Time:  17:12


hello my grandfather was in 2713 squadron at predannack and I would love to hear from anyone who knew him thank you

E-mail:  kirsty.gossage<AT>
Date:  25 Feb 2014
Time:  20:41


My Grandfather Leonard William Cooper was one of the tragic crew that died on 11th Jan 1955 in the Shackleton crash

We know an engine was found - but no one seems to know where is it and if it is displayed to go to see etc

Every year we go to his plaque and lay flowers in Cornwall

We would love to speak to people who have more information - although over the years we have collected stuff from Journalists and some info at Kew Gardens

Please contact me if you have any further information

Kind regards


E-mail:  rxforester<AT>
Date:  3 Mar 2014
Time:  13:15


Fantastic web site.  For other interested folk, my research centres around RAF Watnall where my father S/L M F Perrins was CO from 09/1945 - 01?/1946. Also my father's service in India 1942 - 45, where he spent most of it in Filter Rooms, is also of interest.

Interestingly, the complex which still exists at Watnall is in the process of being turned into a family home & eventually a B&B by Jamie Brown & his wife! (Featured recently on TV)

Many thanks

David P

E-mail:  bruce<AT>
Date:  4 Mar 2014
Time:  09:14


My late father flew Wellington bombers on anti submarine and Atlantic convoy escort duties (26 Squadron SAAF seconded to RAF 298 Wing ), based at Takoradi during WW2. Being fascinated by all things Air Force & flying, particularly WW2, I found this site absorbing and have spent quite a bit of time browsing it.

If anyone has any info/pics pertaining to 26 Squadron SAAF, or the RAF activities at Takoradi, I would love to hear from you.

26 Squadron SAAF has a website at and is constantly looking for more information & material to add.

Best regards


E-mail:  alipaly2<AT>
Date:  8 Mar 2014
Time:  15:19


Did anyone know my deceased father : Glasgow. William Taylor, RAF 949498.

Career :-- 2/4/40 RAF Cardington, 6RTP, AC2. 609 Sqdn, 26/4/40. IW9 Melksham 9/9/40 Instrument Repairer 21/11/40. 1941 AC1 to LAC. Then 46 MU 27/11/40 - 1/10/42, then to 44MU 20/11/42 and NWAAF 12/3/43. To 156 MU Blida, Algeria, 10/4/44, and to 9(P)AFU, RAF Errol 27/4/44, then 5(P)AFU RAF Ternhill 21/6/45.

Ending at RAF East Fortune 1945 when he was married, to a Mearnskirk, Glasgow nurse, Mary Green Halloran, also deceased, prior to demob.

I would be interested in any knowledge of my father or mother prior to, and

during the war, as I have recently started my family history. Son,

Alistair Taylor.

My thanks to the originator of this very useful facility.

E-mail:  janeyj7<AT>
Date:  16 Mar 2014
Time:  12:48


What a wonderful website this is! I was able to look up my Dad's old squadron (180) and see the emblem they used and a picture of a Mitchell bomber too. Dad was a navigator in World War 2.

Thanks so much for the effort you have put in!

Jane Johnson

E-mail:  conifer3149<AT>
Date:  18 Mar 2014
Time:  23:45


Came across your site by chance, and although rather late in the day wondering if any of my former RAF colleagues are still around. Was at  RAF Chivenor 1949/1951. Interested in finding Norman Furzeman who was in Clerks office there, and David Smith who was at RAF St. Athens clerical side. Both "lads" were originally from Plymouth.


Tarry Farr.

E-mail:  pam.lyd<AT>
Date:  18 Mar 2014
Time:  10:16


I have found my ancestor and heaps of information about him, but am still in need of more.  An excellent website.  My ancestor, whom I never knew existed was Sir Harold Thomas Lydford, Air Marshall – b.1898, r.1956, d.1979.  The Air Force records do not mention marriage or children.

We share a 4/6 x gt. grandfather born in 1759.  I live in Western Australia, originally from New Zealand.  I am now trying to find if he and his wife, Isabel Smart, had any children but have found none in England, and am now looking in overseas births.  My father married one Verena Mary Smart so I tell people I know I am at least half smart.

I think you have an excellent website.

Pamela Gaye Lydford


Western Australia

E-mail:  thequailary<AT>
Date:  21 Mar 2014
Time:  23:24


Looking for the chaps that knew my dad John Spencer Geater (Taf) he's on your rock ape roll of honour was wonderful to read. Many thank you`s kind regards Lisa R Geater

E-mail:  ritchieisabel<AT>
Date:  10 Apr 2014
Time:  10:42


Just checking a few queries
Isabel Ritchie

E-mail:  morrison21<AT>
Date:  18 Apr 2014
Time:  07:54


Kai Tak 1956-1957. Station Armoury.  best posting I ever had.

Alex Morrison.

E-mail:  md.outram<AT>
Date:  25 Apr 2014
Time:  06:33


I have just moved and found information about my RAF service.
I was with 208 Squadron in Egypt, Abu Sueir.
I was LAC Michael Outram 2547224
I  worked on Gloucester Meteors.
Because I am now 80, probably most of us have mostly gone.
This is just a "Hello".

E-mail:  christine<AT>
Date:  14 May 2013
Time:  14:34


My Dad [Jim Johnstone] was a pilot with 299 squadron in 1944-45 and has clear memories of towing gliders and delivering stuff to Norway. He's 93 next month and still going strong.

E-mail:  jhnlancashire<AT>
Date:  2 Jun 2014
Time:  09:59


I think it is a very helpful looking site, I have just sent an email re My Uncle Albert Bishop Lancashire for info hopefully someone will reply


John Lancashire 

E-mail:  tony.deane<AT>
Date:   6 Jun 2014
Time:  12:16


I have finally come across a site which really means something.

Served in the RAF as an airframe mechanic  from 1963-1968. I served at Tengah on 64 Sqn and on 61 Sqn after 64 Sqn was disbanded. I would  be interested in contact with any ex 64 Sqn people reading this email / site. Dixie Deane

E-mail:  colinb<AT>
Date:  9 Aug 2014
Time:  12:56


I  am looking for any member of the RAF Regiment stationed at RAF Oldenburg  1956  to  1957, or any member of the station cross-country team,  ie  Don  Shelly, Graham Stark,  Roy  Vass  Cpl  Daly,

E-mail:  peter-andrews<AT>
Date:  22 Aug 2014
Time:  11:01


Thanks for a very interesting web site. I have used it on numerous occasions in my research and intend to join. Keep up the good work.

E-mail:  caspa111<AT>
Date:  18 Aug 2014
Time:  22:55


 A very interesting site.

I finally found reference to a badge I have in my possession.

The RAF Medical Branch Hat Badge 1918 – 1920, showing the Ankh.

Thank you for making the site available to the public.

Wendy T

Canberra, Australia.

Date:  19 Aug 2014
Time:  21:27


I was at RAF Biggin Hill in 1992 as it closed 

Ex sac Andrew bailey

E-mail:  museum.resistance.verzet<AT>
Date:  14 Sep 2014
Time:  21:26


We appreciates your very special pages about our  Belgians airmen who fighting the Germans enemies during the WW2.

Much congratulations about your sites !!

Thank you very much for to keep the memories en always for we staying stand by  prepare a new battle for our democracy !!  Each day we support our friends of NATOS organization.

Long life to our British Friends. Live Our Queen ! en Respect for her.

Jean-Jacques Bouchez.


Musée de la Résistance de Belgique

(National Museum of the Belgium Résistance)

E-mail:  kingdon379<AT>
Date:  22 Sep 2014
Time:  16:15


Was looking at your very extensive site. My father flew Hudsons I believe over Burma. He was D F T Kingdon believe based at Palam. Anyway I do not have a pay pal account and I think my sons may have, lovely site so far,,,,M Kingdon

E-mail:  alanavenell<AT>
Date:  26 Sep 2014
Time:  12:32


 My Uncle, Mr Walter Frank Avenell (service no 650506) was a Sergeant Fitter (ground crew) with 38 Group (formerly 38 wing) 296 Squadron between 1942 and 1945.  He was stationed in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Gibraltar and the U.K.  He had been  corresponding with a few of his fellow servicemen until sadly they died and would now be very interested to discover whether or not there are any other surviving members of this group who might remember him and would like to get in touch.  Please reply to my E-Mail address with contact details, as my Uncle is not on the internet.  I will then pass them on to him so that he can write or telephone. 

Thank you.

Mr A Avenell

E-mail:  deemcs<AT>
Date:  17 Oct 2014
Time:  02:21


My grandfather, Kenneth James Potter was a Canadian Wellington pilot on loan to the RAF WW2, he flew with squadron 221 around North Africa and Tripoli for submarine patrol. My brother has most of his diaries, logbooks etc but I'm looking for anyone who has any info, memories, connections to Ken and his crew. One of his crew members was Bill Fulcher from Arkansas, USA.

Thank you so much,


E-mail:  robertdehartog<AT>
Date:  6 Nov 2014
Time:  23:11


I am conducting even more inquiries of my father's service in the RAF during World War Two.

I know he served in 320 Squadron in September 1944 and was active during Operation Market Garden. He also was a member of the Royal Netherlands Naval Airforce subsequent to 320, as a pilot with 860 Squadron in Northern Ireland. Also the #6 Auster Squadron after that. He trained in Canada under the Commonwealth Air Training program in 1943.

I have all log book entries and an album showing/indicating my father's initial status as a Dutch Army soldier in 1940, his escape to Porthcawl Wales in May 1940, and his attachment to the RAF subsequent. I have his original operations RAF wings.

My father: Robert H de Hartog ( 1916-1994).


Robert de Hartog (jr)

Ottawa Canada

E-mail:  jimhumphrey<AT>
Date:  28 Nov 2014
Time:  04:36


My name is Jim Humphrey and am/was related by marriage to A/M Sir Frances Fressanges

E-mail:  john.vigor<AT>
Date:  29 Dec 2014
Time:  17:49


I am the son of Wing Commander John A Vigor (RAF Retd.), who was stationed at Binbrook from about 1951-1953, during the period when Group Captain N.C. Hyde was Commanding Officer. We lived in OMQ on the Station and I attended Binbrook Primary School. I have many recollections of our time there.

John A.E. Vigor.

E-mail:  e-mail address supplied
Date:  18 Jan 2015
Time:  22:14


My great grandfather. (John Chapman) was a member of the Halifax 76 squadron, beginning his service at RAF Finningley. He never made it home from the end of WW2.  He was a front gunner, unfortunately his plane was shot at; he managed to eject himself but unfortunately his parachute caught fire meaning he never survived the decent. He fell through a factory roof in 1944. My great-grandmother was pregnant, she was so distraught when she received her telegram that she tore it up and threw it in the fire. my grandmother never got to meet her father. 

The final member of the crew passed away 11-13 years ago now. Luckily my grandmother managed to trace him and he was able to fill in blanks like only he would. We are very lucky to have the information we do. Not everyone has half of the information our family does.

E-mail:  njboulter <AT>
Date:  21 Mar 2015
Time:  17:58


My father Fred Boulter was trained by Air Commodore Critchley in the Second World War to fly over Berlin in a Lancaster bomber.  He is now 93.

E-mail:  elizabethcargill<AT>
Date:  7 Apr 2015
Time:  19:51


What an interesting site you have produced, my interest is in JOHN MAITLAND SALMOND, I am researching my tree and JOHN was my 1st cousin  2R. The characters in my family are a very adventurous lot and scattered over the world.

In our small village we are having an exhibition on WW1 in September withe help of the lottery, so I am putting together a life story of JOHN, which you have helped with enormously.

Kind regards

Liz Cargill

E-mail:  rpricecascades<AT>
Date:  22 Apr 2015
Time:  15:52


My name is Bob Price.  Discovered your excellent site by accident.  I was stationed at No.IV District RAF Police Headquarters RAF Duxford in 1948 and 1949.  I can name almost all the personnel there.  Is anyone still alive?  I am 85 years of age so the chances are not good.

E-mail:  sorcaress<AT>
Date:  24 Apr 2015
Time:  16:07


I would like to make an entry into your guest book about my grandfather, Charles Lycett, please. He enlisted with the army and was a gunner at Uxbridge, then soon transferred to the RFC/RAF. I would love to try and find anyone who might have info on him or his squadron.

Charles Lycett. Enlisted army 11.5.16 and was discharged as a Gunner on 20 July 1916, joining the RFC. He appeared to move around a bit as he was in the 6 Squadron, 7 Squadron, 31st Wing at Uxbridge as a coppersmith. He enlisted for WW2 and was an AC2, then LAC in March 1939.

I'm also looking for any photos of him at the time. It would be fantastic if anyone has anything.
Kind regards
Linda Lycett

E-mail:  wbirrell<AT>
Date:  24 Apr 2015
Time:  17:23


Terrific source of data.   I found just what I was looking for re my Dad’s WW2 Sqn – 605(County of Warwick).   Thanks, I’ll be back.

Bill Birrell Sqn Ldr (RAF Retd)

E-mail:  elizabethcargill<AT>
Date:  16 May 2015
Time:  18:33


Thank you so much your web page is really interesting to me as JOHN MAITLAND SALMOND was my 1c2r He really had a fascinating life, in my village (Brancepeth Durham) we are having an exhibition of WW2, so I am gathering as much information as possible to display in September.

Thank you again.

best regards,

Liz Cargill.

E-mail:  val147<AT>
Date:  10 Jun 2015
Time:  20:21


I am searching on behalf of my husbands family. My father-in-Law, Fred Smith, served at RAF Wythall in 1947. We know that he fathered a daughter around that time. Sadly Fred has passed away, but we are desperate to find his daughter. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who knew him. I would particularly like to hear from Gillian. We think this is his daughters name.

E-mail:  rossrw1944<AT>
Date:  29 Jul 2015
Time:  06:05


Wonderful web site and full of information on WW2 and RAF.

Can any one help me trace some more information on my late uncle ?

Ivan John Williamson ( Jack ) New Zealander. Flying Officer DFC

NZ416675 Wireless operator-Air gunner. RNZAF 30 November 1941 to 7 July 1946.

Jack flew 44 sorties, 19 with 115 Squadron in Lancasters and 25 with 75 Squadron.

In between 115 and 75 Squadrons he instructed at 11 OTU RAF.

Jack was in a crash while testing a new Lancaster for 115 Squadron, feathering of engines under test could not be restarted,

Jack and one other survived another.

I have seen his log book which is in New Zealand Air Force museum, and have a copied letter which as it has been copied

so much it is hard to make out, but would like to see any more information that is available especially on the crash as the story

went that the engines could not be refeathered as a ground crew had left a fuel cock in the off position, this and the fact that the

feathering was at 12,000 feet instead of the 20,000 that was normal, possibly mandatory.

Ross Williamson

E-mail:  ianhyden<AT>
Date:  23 Sep 2015
Time:  08:27


My father (now deceased) was a lorry driver with  45 Squadron RAF during WW2. They were in Egypt, then Burma. I know that they had Vultee Vengeance dive bombers, because I have some photos in my Dad’s albums. He was in Rangoon at some point, and he was also near the Irrawaddy river near Mandalay. My Dad was also in Calcutta, but I think this was later. Family accounts indicate that the Squadron was “wiped out” at some point. My Dad talked sometimes about his friend being blown up in a fuel tanker, but his accounts were a bit hazy.

I have gleaned a little bit of information and I am trying to fill in the gaps and also confirm, if possible the details of what happened.

If anyone has information about these wartime events relating to 45 Squadron Royal Air Force. I would very interested in sharing information.

My Dad was awarded the Africa Star, the Burma Star and 3 other medals, all of which are now in my possession.

Ian Hyden.

E-mail:  hamlin<AT>
Date:  23 Sep 2015
Time:  07:08


True Cause of  Crash of RAF Vulcan XA897 at London Airport in 1956

HANSARD 1803-2005 → 1950s → 1956 → December 1956 → 20 December 1956 → Commons Sitting This was a travesty of the truth due to both pilots lying to the enquirers.

Squadron Leader Howard, the official pilot and AVM Broadhurst refused to act upon three Class A Diversions that

The Air Ministry had already diverted other aircraft carrying the Bolshoi Ballet to alternative airfields and considered that a GCA was not possible.

I as senior F/Sgt in charge of the HQBC Operations signals unit was ordered to send a Class A Diversion Order to Squadron Leader Howard, pilot of the Vulcan. This order was acknowledged by the Vulcan’s Electronics Officer, Sqdn Ldr Gamble, but ignored by AVM Broadhurst.

At about 1300 hours a further Class A Diversion Order was transmitted and again it was received, acknowledged and ignored. Just minutes before the aircraft attempted to land I sent a third Class A Diversion Order, which was also acknowledged but again the pilots ignored the order.

Why did AVM Broadhurst insist on trying to land?  A Grand reception was waiting to glorify his accomplishment.

When we heard that the Vulcan had crashed killing the four rear cabin crew members whilst the pilots ejected to safety, we were horrified. All condemned Broadhurst for his total lack of regard for his crew.

We were immediately ordered that there was to be no mention of the incident and it was not to be discussed with anyone outside HQ. I was so incensed that I ‘phoned the newspapers and it was I who was threatened with a Court Martial. A 50 year Security D Notice was issued which disallowed any reporting of the true facts.

 No pilot of an RAF aircraft can refuse even one Class A diversion order, it would be the end of his career. Refusal in any other circumstances would have meant a court martial.

Were they court martialled for killing their crew? No. Broadhurst lied to the House of Commons Court of Enquiry placing all of the blame onto Howard.

After the Court’s conclusion, Broadhurst promoted Howard to Wing Commander and he himself was moved over to NATO.

There is no doubt that Broadhurst had a brilliant war time career, and had been highly and rightly decorated for gallantry but this was not war, and his only aim was self aggrandisement.

Maurice R Hamlin Ex RAF Air Signaller - 3000117 !943/1964. Now 90, retired to Spain

E-mail:  dljones75<AT>
Date:  1 Oct 2015
Time:  16:09


My Grandad was 1652936 Sergeant Owen Noel JONES, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 90 Squadron. I would love to hear from anyone who remembered him. Thank you.

Daniel Jones

E-mail:  garethugh53<AT>
Date:  8 Nov 2015
Time:  22:00


I've just accessed your website for the first time and my first impressions are very good!
I'll be dipping into it again in the future.

E-mail:  peterauliff<AT>
Date:  14 Nov 2015
Time:  11:27


I would love to hear from anyone with service numbers beginning 1921***; FME Locking. No 5 S of TT

Living in Townsville, Queensland.


P.S. Love the site.