207 Squadron Royal Air Force History

from the Association web archive
What was New in 2004?

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Dec 2004

REMEMBERING - see via Memorials > Roll of Honour
Association Members and known Squadron survivors who have died are remembered on the 207s RIP page - if you have other names to add please contact the Editor

Those who died in service are listed in the pages of our Roll of Honour in Leicester Cathedral, which may now be viewed.

A searchable version of the Members' Memorial Book (which in addition to the Roll of Honour names includes POWs and Evaders) is now on-line, including aircraft serial numbers. Those who died in WW1 or WW2 are linked to their Commonwealth War Grave Commission record. Work is still in progress as some checks are in hand - see via Roll of Honour.

The Orders of Service for the Laying Up of the Old Standard in Leicester Cathedral and for the Deposition and Dedication of the Roll of Honour Memorial Book, may be seen via Memorials > to the Squadron > Leicester Cathedral. The Old Standard remains in good condition, as can be seen.

We are looking at a VISIT TO BELGIUM at the time of the 60th Anniversary of VE Day, in May 2005 - details will be in the forthcoming newsletter. WW2 veterans, their spouses/partners and carers for the trip will be able to take advantage of Heroes' Return funding for most if not all the travel and accommodation cost.

A new site search page is being tried out - it also provides a site map - see Search.

Les Gaterell in Canada sends best wishes to everyone - and hopes for a better year in 2005.

Nov 2004

Via his grandson Richard, Ian Clement (Air Bomber) provides a good quality version of the May 1945 aircrew photo, which is also presented in sections for naming - see if you can add some names! see Memories > Lancasters > Spilsby 1945

Tom Scrivener attended Vicki Muhl's funeral at Cranwell Parish Church. Vicki, who died on 9 November, was a Telephonist 6/44-3/45 and was the widow of Trevor Muhl DFM, Air Gunner and then Bomb Aimer 8/42-10/44, who went on to serve on 617 Sqn. Our condolences to their daughter Angela and the family.

Oct 2004

George Hall, Air Gunner 10/43-5/44 (Andrews crew) died of complications associated with lung cancer on 12 September 2004, the day after his 80th birthday (via Kevin Mapley).

John Rickaby W/Op Mechanic 5/44-8/45 passed away peacefully his sleep. The cremation was on Tuesday 26 October at Wellford Hill Crematorium, Nottingham at 11.40 am (via Kevin Mapley).

Ian Adams, Jack Fisher's grandson writes: my grandfather, Jack Fisher (a survivor of the Stamp crew - LM129 EM-Y 8 July 1944, St Leu) passed away the morning of 15th October in Uxbridge, Ontario after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. Predeceased (last May) by his wife of 59 years, Betty, he will be missed by my mum (his daughter), Sue and my dad, John, me and my wife, Janet, and our children (Jack's great-grandchildren!), Dylan and Eric. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to your charity of choice.  

Our condolences have been expressed to the families. If you knew any of them and wish to contribute reminscences to the forthcoming newsletter, please contact the editor.

Sep 2004

Sep 17 The Editor attended RAF Mildenhall's POW-MIA Day and Retreat Ceremony on behalf of the Association. Originally there were to be some flying and static displays, including a 207R Tucano, but these had to be cancelled because of operational pressures on Mildenhall. For a photo report click on POWs. See also Memorials > to the Squadron > Mildenhall to view the fine stained glass panel in one of the Mildenhall Chapel windows recalling 207's time at that station 1 Feb 49 to 1 Mar 50.

Sep 14 John McIntosh DFC*, Pilot 2/43-9/43 passed away at about midnight on Saturday 11th September. Our condolences go to Sadie, Ian, Margaret and the family. John was a softly spoken giant known to the world as the pilot in the sequence of Lancaster crew position photos in ED802 published in the wartime Picture Post and repeated in Lancaster at War. He further distinguished himself as a Mosquito pilot on Pathfinders in 109 Sqn.

Typical of John is this anecdote about being fitted with a pacemaker in 1998: For my birthday I got a Pacemaker. As my stitches were being attended to, I remarked that this was my 47th op. "Crikey!" said the Doc. "The other 46," I said, "were flying Lancasters and Mosquitoes during the war".

The funeral service was at 1pm on Friday 17th September, Church of Scotland, Leslie, Fife. Family flowers only, donations to Cancer Research. For further details please contact John's navigator Ian Nicolson on 01355 263596.

Sep 11 Reunion attended by 103 for the Dinner with a record amount raised in the Raffle to enable a donation to the Malta Air Museum at Ta' Qali (207 went to war from Malta in 1956 and used Malta for many exercises) and to pay for a 207 Squadron Tree at the National Memorial Arboretum.

July 2004

30 July Bomber Boys, a new book by Mel Rolfe, published by Grub Street, is to be launched at Duxford on August 8th. It includes contributions by our members John Banfield and John Pearl.

20 July Sgt Richard Arthur Gaut kia 16/7/44 Jones crew EM-S ME807: Sgt Gaut's daughter is searching for a photo of her father. Can you help? Any recollections of him or that crew would also be welcome - please contact the editor.

19 July Reginald Ford Navigator 6/52-3/53 died on 19 Jan 2004 aged 79: our condolences have been given to his family: if you knew Reg please contact the editor.

15 July Our group visiting France for ceremonies of remembrance at Neaufles-Saint-Martin, Sérifontaine and Auvers-sur-Oise, honouring those on 207 Squadron who fell at these places in the attacks on the VI storage depot at St Leu d'Esserent, safely returned on Monday evening, 12th July.

All went well. Our group is most grateful for the splendid welcome by the local communities and was moved by the remembrance ceremonies for those who did not survive, both on 207 and those who did not return from deportation to concentration camps that resulted from the honour shown to our dead. Click France 2004 for information in English and French and return to that page over the next few weeks as photos and stories about the visit filter in.

14 July Ex 207 Devon VP967 has been re-assembled, following a complete strip down to bare metal, by the East Surrey Aviation Group. It will be on static display at the Redhill Fly-In on Sunday 15th August http://www.redhillairshow.flyer.co.uk/ for details of admission - if members are going please contact the editor, who also hopes to be there - see also Memories > Devons

12 July Link to Northallerton War Memorials - Sgt Derrick Roper in the Wilson crew (buried Creil), all lost in LM125 EM-G on St Leu 4/5 July 1944: also link to Sgt George Tyler in the Rees crew (buried Lemvig) all lost 28/29 April 1943 - see Memorials > Local war memorials

9 July Some pictures of the successful Spilsby weekend June 19-20 organised by Kevin Mapley - if you can add more please contact the editor

June 2004

More news of Devon VP967, which is being restored at Redhill Aerodrome
- see Memories > Devons

Those receiving the Newsletter please note my error in code for Ken Marwood's telephone number - for 852 801 read 952 80.

Jim Williams (Air Gunner 10/44-5/45) is back in touch: having to go to a funeral he was not on Hamburg 22 March 1945 when his crew (Flt Lt Werner, EM-X, ME522) were lost: he completed his tour with the Rowell crew.

Places to stay: see link above for places to stay near Langar and Spilsby and Cirencester

Summer 2004 Newsletter - the eagle-eyed among you will spot a directional error in the caption of one of the photos on page 25. The newsletter includes the 11 September Reunion booking form.

A page with photos and the order of service for the rededication of the Langar Airfield Memorial on May 8 2004 is now available - see Memorials > for the Squadron > Langar Airfield

Bert Fagan, Wireless Operator in Mike Alderton's crew has been discovered by chance by Ernie Hay, the Mid Upper in that crew and they hope to get together shortly. It's a 'hairy' tale ... more in the newsletter!

Ernest Taylor (WOp/AG 1/45-6/45) in Ken Marten's crew has died aged 87 on 5th June in Australia: our condolences have been sent to his widow Joyce and his family. Ernest was signed up to the Association by his crew colleagues at the beginning of this year.

May 2004

Trip to France (Neaufles St. Martin & Sérifontaine 207 crew memorials, staying in Gisors) July 9-12 2004: We are pleased to announce that this trip is on. There are a few seats left on the coach and members interested in going should contact the editor as soon as possible. Our friends in France are arranging events on the Saturday and Sunday.

We were sad to hear of the death of Jo Butler in March. Condolences have been sent to Mike (GD/AEO 5/62-12/64) and the family.

Alan Mawby in the news again - this time with Dick Shuster - 15,000 hours between them - see the not totally accurate report on Yorkshire TV's website!

April 2004

Alan Mawby, 207R's History Officer and Association Liaison Officer celebrated the fortieth anniversary of his first solo flight with the RAF by flying a Tucano solo from Linton-on-Ouse. He had a surprise waiting for him when he got back ...

Alan has also, through Colin Semple, found a book Green Balls by Paul Bewsher who served on No.7 Sqn RNAS - see 207 Books

We have just been informed of the death of 'Slim' Pocock, Nav 4/76-5/83, who died on 14/4/04, and of Arthur Pashley, Aircraft Fitter 1, 12/56-12/57, who died shortly after Christmas. We will be sending condolences to the families. If you have recollections of Slim or Arthur, please contact the Editor.

If you have emailed the editor or received an email from him since 30th December 2003 please send them all to him again as I have had to rebuild my files.

Sgt Noel Toohill's old school in Australia has been in touch about him. He was lost with the Bayley crew 9/1/42 - see Memorials > Local War Memorials

March 2004

Michael Parkyn seeks contact with anyone who knew P/O Alfred Parkyn RCAF, pilot of Lancaster EM-C R5695 lost on Haselünne daylight 25 Nov 1942. For more details see Aircrew and Groundcrew Search

V Force weekend Newark Air Museum 22-23 May 2004 - click link for info on this independently organised event.

Via ACA's Spring 2004 INTERCOM magazine we have learned of the deaths of HV Lambourne DFC, WOp/AG, who also served on 106 & 12 Sqns and of P Blandford AE, Pilot, who also served on 215 Sqn, neither of whom were members. If you have recollections or information on either, please contact the Editor.

February 2004

The funeral of Ron Moore, Bomb Aimer in the Watters crew 1/45-10/45, took place on 25th Feb at Walton near Warrington. Ron died aged 80 on 17th Feb. Our condolences to Christine and the family. If you have any recollections of Ron or would like to contact the family, contact the Editor.

RAF Northolt - see official website via Useful Links - 207's bases

RAF Standard Battle Honours explained - see Memories > Sqn Standard

January 2004

Via Alan Mawby, 207(R)'s History Officer, a photo of the four 207 QFI's who provided the formation display on 25th November 2003 - and who beat four 207's of 1975 vintage. Intrigued? click on anything you can do ...

Ian Hampton (Nav, OC 1982-84) has updated the Feb 1984 photo to enable us to show a larger version - see Memories > Devons

We have recently learned of the deaths of Robert Fletcher (Pilot 2/42-3/41), Bertram Lawson (Armourer 11/41-?/43) and Maurice Parsons (Armourer 8/44-2/46). If you can provide material for appreciations of them please contact the editor.

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