207 Squadron Royal Air Force History
from the Association web archive
What was New in 2009?
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- Photos of the 2009 Reunion are now on-line - see via Reunions
- It is with sadness that we report the death of EK Peter Phelps, Flight Engineer 6/44-7/44 in Cheltenham on Tuesday 13 January 2009, aged 84. Our condolences go to his widow Sylvia, son Martin and daughter Susan. His well attended funeral was on Tuesday 27th January 2009 at noon, at Christchurch Cheltenham and then at 1pm at Cheltenham Crematorium GL52 5JT for those who wished to attend. It was family flowers only - if anyone wishes to make a charitable donation in memory of Peter it should be made out to The Alzheimers Association and can be sent to the undertaker Mason and Stokes, Tudor Lodge, 54 Hewlett Road, Cheltenham, GL52 6AH.
Friend members Frank Haslam and Colin Moulden attended on behalf of the Association. The Order of Service included the Memorial Card provided by the Association. A page about the service will shortly be provided.
Peter was shot down with the Stamp crew (LM129 EM-Y) on the St Leu raid of 8/7/44 and was eventually captured by the Gestapo in Paris. He was transported to Buchenwald from where he and other RAF prisoners were removed by the Luftwaffe to a PoW camp. It took many years before he could speak publicly about his experiences, the first being in order to raise funds for Christchurch. He was for many years the Reunion Secretary for the Association.
Just a few days ago the family of F/O AEJ Gilby who was the Bomb Aimer in the Stamp crew and who evaded, was in touch from Australia.
- Kevin Mapley has heard from Les's daughter Brenda that Les Gaterell, Electrician ?/41-5/45, passed away peacefully after a short illness on 23 November aged 96. He had been in a residential. nursing home near his home in Tottenham, Toronto for a number of months.
Les emigrated to Canada in 1955 where he continued to work in the aircraft industry. He came to a number of reunions at Derby. On his last visit, with Brenda, he made an emotional visit to the memorial at Spilsby which Brenda said meant a great deal to him.
- Via the Friends of 138 Squadron we now have an image of Valiant WZ363, landing on delivery to 138 at Wittering in 1955. On 6 May 1964 this aircraft, borrowed by the Welles crew of 207 Squadron, crashed at Market Rasen - see via Memories > Valiants
We now have a photo of the first 207 pilot to be lost in WW2, F/O Hugh Vernon Matthews, Manchester L7313 EM-C, shot down by an intruder after taking off for an op on Hamburg on the night of 12/13 March 1941, from Waddington, having been delayed by replacement of a burst tail wheel.
F/O HV Matthews, Sgt HC Redgrave, Sgt RD Welch and Sgt HW Hemingway were killed instantly. Sgts Cox and J Marsden were thrown clear and were taken to Lincoln hospital with severe injuries, and there Sgt Marsden died.
The story is told in detail in both the Squadron History and in Bob Kirby's book on the Manchester. The photo comes via F/O Matthews nephew, Tony Matthews, who is joining the Association as a Friend member.
2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007
2008 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013