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With regret, we learn of the deaths of past 10 Squadron members

who have passed away




(Most recent are at the top - Scroll down for earlier dates)

If personal details below are not comprehensive and you can add more, such as Date of Death/Funeral Venue, Rank, Aircrew Category and Type of Aircraft flown, together with the years of both RAF & 10 Sqn service, please email us. You might also include birth-place and year, post-RAF occupation and names of other family members: all details make for a more comprehensive narrative to honour former Squadron members. Photos are welcome too in order to jog memories.


The Association now has its own flag which may be used to drape a coffin at a funeral and which may be sent to the undertakers or bereaved relatives by post, prior to the event.  It is lightweight, measures 6ft x 4ft and is made from a washable terylene material. After the funeral it must of course, be returned to our Association Standard Bearer.

Std 2020

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information about this facility.


Note: The Union Flag may drape an ex-service person's coffin but the RAF Ensign must never be used for that purpose. It may only be flown from a flagpole.



 24 April 2024

 Brian & Doff Sherlock  

Sqn Ldr VC10 Captain 1980s & No 241 OCU VC10 Training Captain

Also Comets and Britannias Lyneham and Brize

Sadly we learn that Brian Sherlock passed away on 7 April 2024 in an Eastbourne nursing home to which he had been admitted recently, following a stroke which occurred immediately after the sad death of his wife Dorothy a month earlier. 

Dorothy,  better known as ‘Doff', and Brian both aged 90, had been married for 70 years.

Both of them were always great socialisers and, living in married quarters all through Brian’s service career, they were renowned for holding legendary parties known as ‘The Parties on the Patch’.

Brian’s funeral was held on 25th April at Eastbourne Crematorium.


RIP Brian & Doff

Note: The author knew both Doff and Brian personally when living in married quarters across the road from the Sherlocks at Brize Norton, back in the 1970s.  ‘Auntie Doff’ was known to be one of the kindest ladies that was much loved by my then 0 to 5 year old daughter (now 52) who still remembers the Sherlocks with much fondness after all those years. 

19 April 2024


Chris Petre joined the 10 Sqn Association in 2012 as a gesture of respect for his grand-father Jim Petre who was a founder member of the 10 Sqn Association in 1984.  He had been a regular attendee at all its functions throughout his life before he died in March 2019 aged 98. In WW2 Jim had been shot down over Denmark in February 1945 and managed to evade capture.

Chris determined to honour the memory of his grand-dad and joined the Association to continue the family respects.  We were therefore deeply saddened to hear this month from Pam Petre – Chris’  older sister, that he had recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer which caused him to pass away on  5 April.

Chris' funeral was held on 29th April, at Stockton Crematorium, Teeside and afterwards at The Teeside Golf Club in Thornaby.

Our heartfelt sympathies go out to all the family.

RIP Chris Petre

14 April 2024



With great sadness we have to report that Ann Mole passed away during the first week in April at her home in Darlington, Co Durham.  Her death came just a few weeks after she had received a cancer diagnosis and it came as a great shock to all who had the pleasure of knowing her.  Ever since her husband David, our former Association Chairman, first became involved with the Association back in the 1980s, Ann has supported his keen interest in our organisation.  Many of our present-day historical facts regarding 10 Squadron’s WW2 casualties came from David’s in-depth yet  pre-computer-days, research.

Supporting former Chairman David, who himself has also battled valiantly against ill-health, during the past few years, Ann encouraged him to research his late father’s WW2 career and subsequent death when serving as as a 10 Sqn Wireless Operator.  David never knew his father since his Halifax bomber was lost just a week after David’s birth.  Fg Off John Mole was killed in a mid-air collision over the Ardennes in Northern France in December 1944 and David, who later became a Merchant Navy engineering officer, spent many hours, days and months carrying out in-depth research into his father’s time on the Squadron.  In so doing David was continually supported by Ann and the two of them only missed two Remembrance Sunday attendances in 38 years at our Yorkshire Melbourne Memorial, when David was too ill to travel.  Ann also often accompanied David in his seagoing days when working on Shell tankers.

Later, after many years travelling to and fro through Belgium and France to Taillette, where his father’s 10 Sqn aircraft was lost in WW2, Ann always accompanied David on his travels and supported his desire to have a Memorial built, close to where the aircraft crashed and where his father’s remains were buried. This was finally achieved in October 1012. 

When David became Chairman of our Association Ann was always by his side at Association events both in the UK and overseas in Northern Europe.   She celebrated her 80th Birthday on 17th May 2022 and our membership managed to tire the Moles’ postman by sending her numerous cards of Congratulations. 

On what would have been her 82nd birthday this year, we will be holding our annual Reunion Dinner at Blunsdon.   - Ann, we will remember and salute you then.

Ann Mole celebrates her 80th Birthday on 17 May 2022 with her 10 Sqn Association Cards

After a cremation, David will scatter Ann’s ashes in the Lake District:  at a place she loved near that of her birth.

She leaves husband David and two sons, both of whom are Royal Naval Officers.  They have our sincere Condolences and Sympathies for the loss of their dear Mum and a lovely lady.

 RIP Ann Mole - a friend to us all


28 March 2024  

Ron Tomlin                   WW2 Halifax Air Bomber and PoW

Ron's crew were shot down returning from a WW2 raid and ditched in the English Channel to be later picked up and made a PoW.

Ron, shown celebrating his 100th Birthday in September last year.

We are saddened to learn of  his death on Sunday 17 March 2024.

Ron's funeral was held on 3 May 2024

at The Streetly Crematorium,

STREETLY, Sutton Coldfield  

A light buffet and refreshments were then made available at:  The Hardwick Arms, Chester Road, Streetly.

Our sympathies go to all Ron's family and friends. 

The information above was provided by Ron's son David.

Click here to see the Funeral/Cremation Order of Service : 

 Ron Tomlin – Order of Service, 3 May 2024




 March 2024

Michael Rose                            VC10 Air Steward

Although he wasn’t a member of the 10 Sqn Association, we are of course saddened to learn somewhat belatedly, that Michael Rose passed away in the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford on 10th January this year, aged 82 yrs.

This information was found in a back copy of the RAF News which was dated 23 February 2024 and it is from there that we learn of Michael being a former cabin crew ‘Air Steward’ member of the Squadron, between dates unknown. 

It is known that he left the RAF in the rank of sergeant after serving for 22 years and the memories of his time and travels were then kept alive by telling his family and friends the stories of his flights all over the world with 10 Squadron.

We understand that he was a caring father, grand-father and great grand-father and although we have no further information, we nevertheless send our belated condolences to all Michael’s family.

No details are known as yet as to the location or when Michael’s funeral took place and so if any friend or member of the family cares to contact us with more detailed information we would willingly expand this brief mention of his passing.


RIP Michael Rose




 November 2023

 John (Taff) Warren        Flt Lt VC10 captain 1970s/80s

Following a short illness, John ‘Taff' Warren passed away in the evening of  Thursday 30th  November 2023 at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

John was a VC10 pilot on 10 Sqn in the 1970’s and 1980’s, having previously flown many types during his long flying career. These included the Dominie, Comet, Britannia and of course the VC10. He always inferred that he loved flying the VC10 and his time on 10 Squadron was his happiest.

Never one to hide his Welsh roots, Taff was a member and a keen supporter of the Association.  Before his wife Anne's death, they both regularly attended Association functions together and they will both be sorely missed.

Taff's son James writes below about his father:

Taff entered RAF service in 1955 and trained as a Radio & Radar technician.  In1956 he was posted to Pembroke Dock No 230 flying boat Sqn (Radio Section) before being posted to Yatesbury as an Avionics technician on the Blue Steel standoff missile system.  It was here that he was offered the opportunity to pursue a flying career.

In 1962 he started his flying training on the Jet Provost (No 3 Sqn FTS) at RAF Leeming, continuing his training on the Vampire and the Varsity (No 5 Sqn FTS) at Oakington before moving to Stradishall No 1 ANS  (Air Navigation School) also flying the Varsity.

In 1964 he was posted to Topcliffe to the Air Electronic School where he continued to fly the Varsity until 1966.  At that stage his rank was a that of a flight sergeant.

In 1967 he was commissioned out of Henlow as a flying officer and in 1968 joined Air Support Command at RAF Lyneham flying the Britannia on 511 Squadron before moving over to RAF Brize Norton flying the Brittania, and being promoted to flight lieutenant in 1969.

In 1974 he was posted onto 216 Sqn flying the Comet back at Lyneham and after the Comets were withdrawn from Service in the Defence Cuts in 1975, he was posted to Finningley flying the Dominie on No 6 FTS until 1979 when he was posted back to Brize Norton to join 10 Sqn flying his beloved VC10.


In 1986 he made what was to be his final landing in Akrotiri after which he suffered a mild heart attack and was subsequently grounded but continued a desk job at Upavon and Strike Command High Wycombe.  In 1992 he was offered a retired officer’s role in Brize Norton operations until 2000 when he fully retired and moved to Exmouth, Devon with his wife Anne. Total flying hours: 9814.


John’s  funeral was held at St John the Evangelist Church,  EXMOUTH 

on 4 January 2024

Our condolences go to all his family.


RIP Taff 


October 2023

Eric Downs  (1921 – 2023)             Squadron Leader 10 Sqn Dakotas – India 1947

 In September this year (2023)  we were advised by his son John, that former Squadron Leader Eric Downs MBE, RAF (Retd) was to reach his 102nd birthday on 24th September and could he please join the Association?  We were also advised that the BBC had interviewed Eric two years ago in September 2021 on his 100th birthday. A film of that occasion is still available on Youtube:

  See - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McMoSvZGxcY

Our Chairman Mike Westwood immediately proposed that Eric be awarded Honorary Life Membership of our Association and a Certificate granting this was duly drawn up and sent off to Eric.  Sadly though, his son John then sent us an email in late October advising us of the sad news that Eric had passed away on 18 October just a few weeks after his 102nd birthday.   .………..  John’s email reads:

Many thanks for sending me the 10 Squadron Association's "Honorary Lifetime Membership" certificate (and Mike Westwood's covering letter) for my father, Eric Downs. Unfortunately, I left his membership application too late and he passed away before I could get the documents to him. I am sure that he would have been delighted to see them - he still retained vivid and detailed memories of his time in India at Mauripur with 10 Squadron from 16 May to 17 December 1947.   

In his final years with the RAF, he was OC Flying at RAF South Cerney (1 ITS) from 1st July 1965 to 30th January 1967, and then with PFS at Church Fenton, followed by FTC at Shinfield Park and AOTS back in South Cerney (11 September 1967 to 13 January 1968) - finishing as Senior Ops Officer at ASC, Fairford until 24th September 1970. He had built a house in South Cerney in 1965, expecting to stay in his OC Flying job until his retirement but his plans were thrown into disarray when (allegedly) complaints from the local MP about the noise from ITS ops over his country mansion caused ITS to be moved the Church Fenton!   

I attach a draft obituary that I sent to Graham Pitchfork, military obits editor for the Telegraph.  Graham rewrote the first part, which I have included in the draft. I don't know what Graham's final version will look like, but you are most welcome to use the info/facts from my draft.  My sister Anita has written a short biography of Eric's life, including his time with 10 Squadron in Pakistan.  When the dust has settled a bit I will scan the 10 Squadron section of the book for your records and reference. Eric was born in Bermondsey, London (the 4th of 11 children) on 24th September 1921 and died on 18th October 2023. He was going strong until a few months ago, and was looking forward to a least a few more years, but his body decided it was time to go... 

Thanks again and kind regards,  John Downs 

 - a copy of the Draft Obit is attached here. 



RIP Eric Downs 


October 2023

Note:  There is slight confusion regarding the date of  the member's passing below and this will be corrected in due course as soon as more information becomes known.


Roy Maddock-Lyon    WW2  Flight Sergeant  and Halifax flight engineer

 Flt Sgt Roy Maddock-Lyon was the flight engineer on a 10 Squadron Mk lll Halifax MZ 793, that was shot down on 14/15 February 1945 over Denmark. Theirs was one of four aircraft assigned to a mine-laying operation in the Baltic off the coast from Stetin in what is now north-west Poland. 

The captain, Fg Off John Grayshan sadly died during the incident as did the navigator FS Albert Berry.   Two others crew members Plt Off Chaderton the air-bomber and Sgt Andrews the WOp, were taken as PoWs but the rest evaded capture including former flight engineer Roy.


In December 2022 Roy was made an Honorary Life Member of the Association in recognition for both his wartime service as well as his later dedication to the Association.

Roy Maddock-Lyon receiving his Honorary Life Membership Certificate from Chairman Mike Westwood in late 2022


Having lived in the Weedon area of Northants for many years, Roy and his late wife Shirley spent their later years in the Cheltenham area of Gloucestershire. His loyalty and devotion to the RAF never faltered in all his 98 years.


Our condolences go to his daughter Zoe and all Roy’s extended family.




9 September 2023

Al Sheppard                  SQN LDR  - VC10 CAPTAIN


In the week when we said farewell to John Waltham and Ian Strike, we sadly now learn of another VC10 era member who has just passed away -  Al Sheppard. Although not a member of the Association, many ex-crew members have fond memories of Al.

Ann Bihan writes:

“Former 10 Squadron VC10 captain in the 1970s, Al Shepphard passed away on the morning of Tuesday 5th September 2023 at his home near Corsham, Wiltshire.  

He had been in hospital in Bath for a short spell after a fall resulting in a broken hip which could only be pinned. With a prognosis that was not good, Al asked to be taken home to be with his family.
He was a lovely man with not an ounce of pomposity in him and a much-admired captain.  It was always considered a pleasure to be on his crew. After leaving the RAF, Al joined Gulf Air in Bahrain and later became one of the personal pilots who flew the of Emir of Bahrain, Sheikh Isa Bin Salman on the Bahrain Royal Flight.  On his return to the UK after retirement, he lived close to Brize Norton in Carterton for many years before moving to Corsham.
Meeting up with him last year, Al was then over 90 with an amazing memory recalling stories of both his time in the RAF and his extraordinary life in the Gulf.”

We understand that the funeral will be a private, family-only affair.


September 2023

Ian David Strike                      Sqn Ldr VC10 Navigator

 With much regret we are informed by his daughter Helen, of the recent death of her father Ian Strike, who was a  VC10 navigator from 1976 to 1986, and who was on 216 Squadron as a Comet VIP navigator prior to joining 10 Squadron.

 After suffering with Parkinson’s disease for some time, Ian died peacefully in Ashgrove House Nursing Home, Purton, Wiltshire, aged 89 years.  

He and his wife Margaret who died in 2018, are survived by 2 daughters, 2 sons, 5 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.  Ian often spoke of his time with 10 Squadron with great pride and many happy memories.


Ian' funeral was held at the North Wiltshire Crematorium, Royal Wootton Bassett, on Thursday 7th September.






August/September  2023

John Derek Waltham     Squadron Leader and former VC10 Officer i/c Cabin Crew

John (February 1936 - August 2023) was not only a staunch supporter of the 10 Sqn Association but he also took an active role in the Air Loadmasters' Association - being it's President for a considerable length of time.


Our heartfelt condolences go to his daughter Louize and son Duncan and families.

John’s funeral and burial took place on a gloriously sunny and warm day in the delightful Cotswold village of Black Bourton just south of RAF Brize Norton’s runway on 5th September.  A guard of honour was mounted by members of The Air Loadmaster’s Association at the church door and the coffin was preceded into the church by the 10 Squadron Association’s standard, carried by Dick King.

All seats were taken in St Mary’s Church by mourners, all wishing to pay their final respects to John during the service in which three eulogies were given, prayers said and hymns sung.  Completing the service, John’s coffin was given a final military salute with the 10 Squadron Association’s Standard.  The coffin was carried the short distance from the church entrance to its final resting place for burial alongside the grave of John's wife Julie.  As it was lowered into the ground a chance overflight by a Brize Norton A400M aircraft made an unknowing yet poignant gesture of salute.

A wake was then held in the Vines Hotel just a few yards from the church where those attending were then able to give their condolences to John’s daughter Louize and son Duncan.  

If such words are not considered inappropriate, it was a lovely ceremony.  A good friend and former RAF officer whom everyone, without exception, respected and admired, was laid to rest on a brilliantly sunny day.  All attending will recall that as matching John’s disposition.

 John Waltham will be well remembered as a fine man, whom everyone liked and respected.


Whilst on 10 Squadron John supervised the cabin crew in charge of Her Majesty The Late Queen Elizabeth II on a number of flights in the VC10.

One such five-day trip trip was in February 1983 when the Squadron had the privilege of flying HMQ from London Heathrow to the Caribbean via Bermuda and then on to Kingston and Montego Bay in Jamaica, Grand Cayman and finally to Acapulco in Mexico.  The VC 10 was  XR  807 for Ascot 1148.   The flight returned to the UK via Washington in the USA on 18th February but the Queen was not on board after Mexico. The picture below shows John on the left and was sent in to us by the flight engineer, M Eng Roy McMullan being introduced to the Queen by the captain Sqn Ldr Mick Dobson.  It is thought that Sqn Ldr Joe Sharp was the navigator but unfortunately the names of the co-pilot (possibly Ian Neil??) and remainder of the cabin crew are unknown. 


 RIP John Waltham (end left)


26 July 2023

 Steve Ponting               Master Engineer (Deputy 10 Sqn Eng Ldr)


We learn from his best friend that Steve died on Saturday 22 July 2023 after a very short illness even though he was not a totally well man.

Steve, was the Deputy Eng Ldr on 10 Squadron and prior to that he flew Hercules on 70 Squadron and then on 47 Squadron’s ‘Special Forces Flight.’ 


Steve’s good friend Terry Hulmes, (Eng Ldr 1991 -93) who has informed us of the sad news about Steve’s passing writes,  “We did the VC10 OCU together on No 66 Course in 1991.  Steve then became my Deputy Eng Ldr in 1992 and he continued in that post under Andy Scott until he left the RAF in about 1997 to fly for Channel Express and eventually he became a Chief Ground Instructor in the Gulf.”


In the 66 Cse photo below Steve is front centre and Terry is rear row end right





Steve's funeral was held on 15th August 2023

at the North Wiltshire Crematorium, Royal Wooton Bassett.

Our sympathies go to Steve’s wife Sharon Ponting

RIP Steve


31 May 2023


Eric Walter Brown              February 1932 - May 2023

         Squadron Leader -  VC10  Training Captain 241 OCU and ATEU

We regret to announce, being informed by his daughter-in-law Christine, that Eric passed away on Friday 26 May at Marden Court Care Home, Calne, Wiltshire, having suffered from a stroke two weeks beforehand.

Many will remember him joining 10 Squadron in its early days after his tours in the V-Force and those of more recent vintage will recall him as a 241 OCU VC10 Training Captain and then, after a move to Upavon, Eric became an ATEU examiner.

Eric in a VC10

After retirement in his Carterton, Oxfordshire  home, Eric moved into a Care Home in Chippenham last year to be closer to his son’s family.

Shortly after all the family had joined the 10 Squadron Association in early 2022, the shocking news came to us that Eric’s son Robert had died following a short and unexpected fight with cancer in the autumn.

Our heart goes out to Robert’s wife Christine for this latest tragedy to befall her in less than nine months and we send her and her son Oliver our deepest sympathies.

Shortly after Robert’s death last year Christine set up a charity donation link for him and wishes any donation for Eric to likewise contribute and be sent to them:

Chris Brown - in memory of Rob (cancerresearchuk.org)

If one reads her comments on this website it will be noted that she is carrying out a ‘virtual’ walk the length of Britain to raise funds and has now more than surpassed her initial target.

Christine is also proposing to encourage donations to the RAF Benevolent Fund.  - See: 

Make a donation | RAF Benevolent Fund (rafbf.org)


Eric’s funeral took place on 'Midsummer Day at High Noon' (12:00 hrs on 21st June) at The  North Wiltshire Crematorium, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, and a wake was held afterwards at Sally Pussey's Inn, also in Wootton Bassett. Click on the words below to see the Order of Service:

‘A Celebration of Life’


 21 June 2023

Those unable to attend the funeral could watch a live feed available on-line via the link below.

(It's not known how long this will still be made available)

Website: https://watch.obitus.com

Username:  made1513

Password:   637920

Info supplied by :  Odette Funeral Director, 7 Phelps Parade, Calne, SN11 0HA

 Tel:  01249 819972


VC10:  Eric with HM King Charles (then Prince of Wales)      V-Force Days -on the ladder


As the writer of the above I am particularly saddened by the news above since, not only was Eric my neighbour, living just opposite me for 10 years, from the mid 1970s, but he was also my Training Captain on the ‘Hong Kong Trainer’ at the end of my VC10 course and, six years later we flew together as two captains on my very last trip on 10 Squadron and in the RAF.   RK – (Web Warden)  


RIP Eric & Rob



  7 April 2023

Keith Cheshire    Senior Aircraftsman - 1950s Victor Ground Crew - RAF Cottesmore

 Keith Cheshire’s son Nigel writes to inform us of the sad passing of his father at the Lamlash War Memorial Hospital on the Isle of Arran in Scotland on the 20th March with his wife Anne, of 67 years of marriage, by his side.

Keith had served with 10 Squadron in their Victor days at RAF Cottesmore and never failed to impress upon his family how proud he had been to serve with the Squadron.  That was of course in the days when the Victor provided Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent at the height of the Cold War. In later years he lived on the Isle of Arran where he eventually became a transport coordinator to retire just a few months before his death.  Keith’s funeral was held at the:

Holmsford Bridge Crematorium, Dreghorn, Irvine, Kilmarnock on 19th April.

No flowers but donations to Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) or Arran Cancer Society (ARCAS).

Our sincere condolences go to Anne, Nigel and all other members of the family

RIP Keith

Further details about Keith will follow when known.


10 March 2023

Gwenda Parry-Wren  Cabin Crew VC10

 With much sadness we learn that Gwenda Parry-Wren, an Air Steward on the Squadron from 1978-81, passed away on  5 March 2023.

Gwenda served as a Cabin Crew Air Steward on the VC10 and later moved to RAF Northolt where she served on No 32 Squadron, the VIP unit flying on the HS125. Gwenda was cabin crew on the first of that type when it was collected from the factory at Hatfield.

To quote a former colleague from her 10 Squadron days, “She was a most professional operator and a lovely person to know.”

 The funeral was held on 24th March in Rhewl Chapel, Ruthin, Wales

and a wake was held afterwards in the nearby Rhewl Pavilion.

 Our condolences go to her husband Chris.

Donations to St Kentigern's Hospice, Upper Denbigh Rd, St Asaph LL17  0RS       

See:    Donate – St Kentigern Hospice



RIP Gwenda

 6 February 2023

 Paul M. Woodman   (2 January 1944 – 6 February 2023)  Sqn Ldr (Retd)  VC 10 Flt Engineer (Leader)


A recent query to a post on the Professional Pilots’ website revealed that a brief notification there referred to Paul Woodman who had served on 10 Squadron’s VC10s in the mid-1980s as a flight engineer and who was also the Squadron’s Engineer Leader.  We learned that Paul had been admitted to a hospice in early 2023 suffering from cancer and after a short time there, had sadly passed away, aged 79 yrs, on 6th February.  Regrettably this information came after his funeral.

As a most experienced flight engineer Paul did tours on the Hercules, and the VC10 to later become the Engineering Leader at the Air Warfare Centre (QinetiQ- the multinational defence technology company) at RAF Boscombe Down in Wiltshire.

One of the most popular and highly-competent flight engineers ever to be on 10 Squadron, Paul leaves his wife Joan, son James and their daughter Ellie.  To them and any other family members, we extend our deepest sympathy, adding that Paul will be greatly missed yet long-remembered by all who ever had the privilege of flying with a true professional and thoroughly nice man.

 RIP Paul

6 January 2023

Peter M. Wentworth                         VC10 Master Air Loadmaster 

With great sadness we announce the recent passing of our former Association Secretary Peter Wentworth who had been ill for sometime before his death on the night of Friday 6 January 2023.  

Former VC10 Master Air Loadmaster, Peter had joined the RAF in the 1960s and became an air quartermaster on helicopters before transferring to fixed wing aircraft on No 216 Squadron flying on their VIP Comet 4s based at RAF Lyneham before his move to No 10 Sqn’s VC10s at Brize Norton when the Comets were withdrawn from service.



As many will know and recall with affection, Peter was a member of the prestigious Magic Circle and enthralled many who came under his spells when performing his magic tricks.  Living in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, he also supported a local charity which conducted tours to, and cared for, the eye-catching Lord Berners' 100 ft high ‘folly’ tower on a hill outside the town. 

Peter impersonates eccentric Lord Berners, the original owner of the Faringdon Tower,

whilst showing it to some Association members during the May 2016 Reunion Days

Peter, as Lord Berners in his home town of Faringdon, Berks.

Additionally, Peter supported the Air Loadmaster’s Association and took great pride in attending the annual Remembrance Sunday event at the London Cenotaph and being in the marchpast there, when travelling the long distance north to our own 10 Sqn Memorial at Melbourne, Yorks became too much of an ordeal for him.

In spite of his failing health, Peter was last seen supporting the Association during the height of the 2020 pandemic, when he was one of the limited number of those who attended the unveiling of the new cemetery headstone at Bibury, Glos, for the former OC10  Arthur T. Whitelock.

In the early part of the 21st century, as Association Secretary, Peter initiated the transition from paper to computer for the storage of our Association Membership details and was able to eventually hand these over to his successor when his failing health warranted a respite from his duties.  He had thrived on keeping our Members’ List up-to-date, arranging the financial aspects of our Reunions, deciding on their dinner menu choices and particularly his insistence that he must sample the choices of the wine before the events. The laborious chore of addressing envelopes and posting of all the former paper Association Newsletters and other mail was but another of his duties carried out so willingly.

His live-wire personality, together with his occasional, impromptu magic shows and comedy acts will never be forgotten.

Our deepest sympathies go to Peter’s wife Su and the rest of his family, some of whom are in Spain.

A eulogy has been sent to us by one of Peter's long-term colleagues and friends and can be read by clicking on the name below. 

Master ALM Peter Wentworth

Peter's funeral service was held at  All Saints Church, Faringdon, Oxfordshire on Friday 17th February and over 100 people filled the church. The coffin, draped with the 10 Sqn Association Flag had Peter's RAF hat and a lovely bouquet of red and white flowers mounted on its top and was attended by three members of the local British Legion with their Standard throughout the service.  Tributes were given by some of Peter's former RAF colleagues, local Faringdon residents and his wife Su.  At the end of the service, as the coffin travelled the length of the nave on departure, the 10 Squadron Association Standard was dipped in a final salute to one who had been a valued contributor to it in the past, during his term of office.

Guests were then invited to proceed to the Sudbury House Hotel in Faringdon whilst the family attended Kingsdown Crematorium in Swindon, joining those at the hotel a short time later after the cremation.      

   Peter’s family wish to share this tribute link, set up by the funeral directors, where a donation may be easily made to either Dementia UK or the RAF Benevolent Fund.



     R I P Peter         








(most recent are at the top - scroll down for earlier dates)


  12 December 2022

Robert A. Brown    of Chippenham, Wilts  - SON OF, 10 SQN VC10 CAPTAIN AND LATER 241 OCU & ATEU, SQN LDR ERIC BROWN

Rob Brown joined the Association in January 2022 in order to continue his family connection to No 10 Sqn.  His father Eric, was well known to all who flew the VC10 in the 1970s and 80s as being a 10 Squadron captain and then a Training Captain on No 241 OCU and later an Examiner with ATEU (Air Transport Examining Unit) based at Upavon.

In writing to Robert in early December 2022 we were advised by his wife Christine that Rob had been seriously ill and had sadly passed away on 3 November 2022.


Our heartfelt sympathies go out, not only to Christine but also to Rob's son Oliver and his father Eric, now living in a Chippenham care home.  


RIP Robert


17 November 2022 

Peter  Frederick 'Andy’ Andrews   (1924 - 2022)                   WW2 HALIFAX WIRELESS OPERATOR AND PoW

 With great sadness we learned of the death of former 10 Sqn Halifax Air Gunner ‘Andy’ Andrews, who died on 8 November 2022at the grand age of 98.

Andy and his Halifax crew were shot down over Denmark in February 1945 after a mine-laying mission near Stetin on the Baltic. He was made a PoW and spent the rest of the war in Stalag7A at Moosburg near Munich.  After returning to the UK he was eventually demobbed and subsequently became an upholsterer, to eventually run his own business in Tonbridge, Kent and refusing to retire until in his late 70's.

He is survived by his wife Cath and his children, Jaqueline, Katrina and Brett. - We send them all our sincere condolences for their loss of such a fine man.  Andy did much throughout the rest of his life, to support the Royal Air Force and was also keen that schoolchildren should be made aware of the part that his generation had played in allowing them their present-day freedoms.

Andy was a founder member and staunch supporter of our Association, being a regular attendee at most of the Association’s functions. His presence and support will be sadly missed and he was especially remembered this year, just a few days after his death, on Remembrance Sunday at the 10 Squadron Memorial, Melbourne, Yorks.

Andy's funeral was held on 1 December 2022 at The Kent & Sussex Crematorium, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, with his coffin being draped in his honour by the 10 Squadron Association Flag.  A wake was held afterwards at The Legion, Priory Road, Tonbridge, Kent

We offer our sincere condolences to his family, Jaqueline and Peter, Katrina and Brett. 

To see a copy of the Order of Service at his funeral please click on his the 'RIP Andy' above the picture of him below, which was taken in a 10 Sqn Voyager on a trip to RAF Brize Norton.

RIP Andy


 The following words from Ann Bihan describe Andy and tell of him as a remarkable man:

It was with a heavy heart that I received the sad news that Andy Andrews had passed away recently.  We all thought a lot of Andy and always called him our ‘treasured friend’.    We will miss his wonderful stories, his sharp memory and his love of life. I always thought he would go on forever.

On Sunday I found the two minutes silence very poignant. I thought of Andy, Jim Petre and the crew of LV881 and all of that wonderful generation who are no longer with us. The passing of the years breaks the physical links with the very special men and women who served on the Squadron.  I feel privileged to have known some of them through The Association.  I had spoken to Andy within the last couple of months and he was so looking forward to the reunion in May. He also always remembered with great pride being ‘The Honoured Guest’ at the Battle of Britain Dinner at Brize Norton and how honoured he himself had been and how much it meant to him. 

On the 14th  February 1945 Andy's crew were tasked with dropping mines in the Bay of Stettin, Germany when their aircraft, Halifax MZ 793 ZA-XA, was shot down over Denmark by a German fighter. Three of the crew including Jim Petre escaped to Sweden with the help of the SOE and Danish Resistance. Two crew members were lost with the aircraft.  Andy and Stanley Chaderton, the Bomb Aimer, were taken POW and sent to Stalag V11A  Moosburg on the outskirts of Munich, until the end of the war. They experienced depravation and inhuman treatment from both civilians and military guards on the sixteen-day march from Nuremberg to  Moosburg.

Andy spent a lot of his later years visiting schools, hoping that it would make them have a better understanding of what he had experienced as young aircrew during the war. 

I have attached a photograph of Andy [above] on the flight deck of the last Voyager trailing flight we went on. I took him up to the flight deck where he sat recalling his Halifax days to the crew. The captain invited him to stay on the flight deck for the approach and landing into Brize. He really appreciated their kindness to him.

Andy signed a copy of a book for me called ‘The Crash’,  published by Friends of The Danish Resistance which recalls  the story of the loss of MZ 793, the evasion of three of the crew members by the Danish Resistance and the Imprisonment of Andy and Stan Chaderton. The five crew members visited Denmark every year until it became difficult for them to travel. 

Ann Bihan 

Former 10 Sqn AQM/ALM (VC10)

 Susanne Pescott provides us with this link to an IBCC interview done with Andy :


We were later informed by his son-in-law Peter, that Andy’s ashes were interred in the Memorial Garden of the RAF Chapel Biggin Hill in a short service there on Monday 20th March 2023.  This privilege is only granted to those who have served in the Royal Air Force and an entry in the Chapel’s Memorial Book will ensure that Andy has a lasting memorial in a book full of history.


A photo of the Book’s entry is shown below. 



4 November 2022

Sqn Ldr James Stanley (Jim) King   - Feb1944 - Oct 2022        VC10  SENGO  (see below)


Association member, Jim King sadly passed away on 21 October 2022  and his funeral was held in St Mary's Church, Church Green, Witney, Oxon  on Tuesday 15  November 2022.  


Jim joined the RAF as an apprentice at RAF Halton and served in the RAF for 35 years.  During his training, he was a member of the RAF Halton Pipe Band. 

He became the SENGO (Senior Engineering Officer) on 10 Sqn VC10s for the period 1990 - 1994.  On retiring from the Service, he lived not far from Brize Norton in Witney and soon became a Town Councillor to later be appointed the Mayor of the town in 2015.  A dedicated Manchester United supporter, Jim and made frequent journeys up the M5/M6 to Old Trafford for home games there.



October 2022

 Thomas G. Dobie                                               FORMER 10 SQN DAKOTA PILOT AT POONA, INDIA AND EMINENT DOCTOR OF AVIATION MEDICINE


Obituaries were published in The Times and The Telegraph on Thursday 2nd November for Gp Cpt Thomas G. Dobie (Retd).

Thomas Dobie became a doctor after WW2 and led the research into aircrew motion-sickness at the Institute of Aviation Medicine at Farnborough before moving on and becoming an expert in that field for NASA in Florida and later in New Orleans.

During WW2 he flew as a pilot in Coastal Command and joined 10 Squadron on Dakotas in Poona just after the war had ended in the Far East before his eventual demob. 

After his studies to become a doctor he rejoined the RAF to head the Farnborough Institute leaving later to  extend his influence in the USA.

Click on his name below to see the obituary for him as published in the RAF NEWS on Friday 7 October 2022.

Thomas G. Dobie 


29 September 2022  

Pamela (Pam) Margaret Dent   (1934 - 2022)


With much sadness we learnt of the Autumn passing of Pam Dent, the very first 10 Sqn Association Secretary and Treasurer, following its formation in 1984. 

She had been the loving wife of the Association founding Chairman, the late Doug Dent who had been a Hailfax bomber engine fitter at RAF Melbourne during WW2 and Pam was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Association in 2018 by the late President, Gerry Bunn for her services to the Association over many years:  Pam's husband Doug had previously passed away in 2005 but she had nevertheless remained in touch since that time.



Pam  passed away aged 88, on Sunday 25th September 2022 at her home in Barnoldswick, West Yorkshire, surrounded by her family. At her funeral, which was held at the Skipton, West Yorks Crematorium, her coffin was draped in the 10 Squadron Association Flag as a sign of our great respect for all she had done for us. The lovely service, attended by her family and friends was conducted by celebrant Scarlett Kolavinsky, on Monday 17th  October and was followed by a wake at The Old Stone Trough, Kelbrook, close to Barnoldswick. 

A Yorkshire girl, born and bred, Pam's ashes will later to be taken to her childhood home town of Scarborough where they will join those of her parents.

Click on her name below to see the Order of Service celebrating her life.


Our condolences go to Pam's two daughters, Elaine and Lynne and all the extended family.


Pamela Margaret Dent - 'Pam'


Message to Elaine & Lynne from past Chairman Mike O’Donovan: it sums up Pam Dent to the letter.


I became the Chairman of 10 Sqn Association after David Mole, remained so for more than 10 years, being succeeded by Mike Westwood. I did not know your father but I do remember your mother Pam very well.

She was always the most helpful secretary of the Association, reminding me of every event, and whispering the name and background of the WW2 10 Sqn Association members if my memory stumbled.  Pam was always very supportive of the 10 Sqn monthly lunches at “The Bombers” and later, when the venue changed after the Blacksmith’s Arms closed.

 I always enjoyed her company.   She knew the history of those who had flown from Melbourne in WW2, those who had been POWs, and those who had struggled after the war. Pam always enjoyed humour and she was the stalwart of the 10 Sqn reunions and our Remembrance Sunday Service and Parade at Melbourne.

I shall miss her cheerful conversation, especially at the Remembrance Day lunches.

I’m sure that our founding President, the late Gerry Bunn would agree with me.


Mike  (Michael O’Donovan)



amended on 18 September

Danny Latham                                             Master Engineer VC10

On 4th September we heard of the passing of former VC10 flight engineer Danny Latham who was a much-liked and highly experienced VC10 flight engineer of the 1970 - 80s era. 


Dan , plus a glass of Cypriot Keo


Dan's funeral took place on Monday 19th September at 12:00 noon at the South Oxfordshire Crematorium, Garford, Oxfordshire

This was to be on a most memorable date coinciding, albeit at a slightly later time, with the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll, held on the same morning in Westminster Abbey in London.  

A wake for Dan was held afterwards at The Plough Inn, Alvescot, Oxfordshire and donations were made in his memory to Prostate Cancer UK.  


Our condolences go to Dan's wife Margaret, daughter Amanda and all his family.


14 July 2022

Brian Kingscote  (1935 -2022)             Master Air Loadmaster – 10 Sqn VC10 Loadmaster  1979 - 86

 We are sad to learn that Brian Kingscote passed away recently, after a long illness.

 Brian joined the RAF as an Administrative Apprentice at RAF St Athan and we are advised that he became an AQM (Air Quartermaster) in 1954 under an old scheme which preceded the days when a Brevet was awarded.

 He completed the ‘formal’ course as an ALM in1966 and his service record includes the following squadrons and approximate dates of service in each:

53 Sqn 1955/56,   216 Sqn 1957/58,  47 Sqn 1966/67,   24 Sqn 1969/71, 241 OCU / 10 Squadron / ASCEU  1979/86.


Brian's funeral was on Tuesday 26th July at St Bartholomew’s Church, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon.

This was followed by a private family cremation at the North Wilts Crematorium, Royal Wootton Bassett and a wake was held later at the Conservative Club in the town.

Our condolences go to Brian’s family and friends.

.RIP Brian

19 June 2022

J. (Barry) Cooper                    VC10  MASTER AIR LOADMASTER  1970S-80S

We are sad to report the recent passing of a former VC10 Air Loadmaster, Barry Cooper who was on the Squadron in the 1980s.

10 Sqn Association member Barry, from Calne in Wiltshire, passed away on 14 June 2022 losing a long battle with cancer.

Our grateful thanks go to another ALM, John Ward (formerAQM/ALM on 47,30 and 36 Sqns)  for sending us this information.  He kindly offers to pass on any information regarding further arrangements.


MALM Barry Cooper (Jun 1938 - 12 Jun 2022)

Barry’s postings in the RAF included:  36 Sqn (Hercules) Lyneham 1969; 70(LXX) Sqn (Hercules) Akrotiri c 1975; Airport Unit, Hong Kong 1981-1984, 10 Sqn VC10 1984 - ?

The funeral was held on Tuesday 12 July 2022 at Potterne Parish Church, Potterne, near Devizes, Wilts. 

Our sincere condolences go to Barry’s wife Christine and all family members and the friends who knew him.                                            

RIP Barry

June 2022

Two recent deaths of former VC10 pilots have been forwarded to us. 

Terry (Taff ) Williams                    Sqn Ldr - VC10 Captain 1960s & 70s

Terry was a captain in the early VC10 era, having previously flown on Canberras, Vulcans and Comets before converting on to the VC10 in its early days.


Taff, as he was known, passed away on the 7th June 2022 aged 93.


His son Gareth has kindly sent this link below to a website that Taff's family have created to honour his life. He was much loved by the family and was well-liked and highly respected as a pilot by all his colleagues.

See:  www.taffwilliams.com




A painting by Penelope Douglas of

OC10, Wg Cdr Mike Beavis (left) and Taff Williams

on the approach into the old Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport in a VC10


 see : The Guardian - Obituary (July 2022)


RIP Taff



Peter Isherwood                          Sqn Ldr - VC10 Captain 1960s & 70s


Peter, a long-time Association Member, passed away on the 5th April 2022 aged 85.  He was a VC10 co-pilot in the Squadron’s early VC10 days being crewed up with Sqn Ldr Tommy Thompson, who is seen nearest the camera in the photo below, next to Peter who in turn is sat next to our former Association Secretary Peter Wentworth. 


The photo above was taken in January 2015

at the 10 Sqn New Standard Presentation by HRH The Princess Anne.


Peter became a captain on the VC10 before leaving the RAF in the 1970's to join Shell Aviation and subsequently become their Chief Pilot. 


RIP Peter Isherwood


May 2022 

Gerry Bunn   (1941-2022)

Group Captain, CBE

Officer Commanding No 10 Squadron June 1981 - June 1984

Founder of the 10 Squadron Association

Gerry Bunn

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our President and the Founder of the 10 Squadron Association, Gerry Bunn who, aged 81 yrs, died of a sudden heart attack at his home near Waterlooville, Hampshire, on 9 April 2022.  It is exactly 40 years ago this month when Gerry was commanding No 10 Squadron, which in turn was making such a significant contribution to the logistical supply chain from UK to Ascension Island during the Falklands Conflict.

Gerry's funeral was held on:   12 May 2022 at The Oaks Havant Crematorium, Havant, Hampshire

Click here to see:      Order of Service   

and afterwards a wake was held at The Millstream Hotel, Bosham, Chichester,  West Sussex.     Donations in memory of Gerry were made to 'Help for Heroes

RIP Gerry


May 2022

Henry (Harry) William Hodgson (1925 - 2022)        

10 Squadron WW2 Ground Crew  at Melbourne, UK  and Poona, India

Aircraft 'Nose-Art artist

Harry sadly passed away on 9 April and his funeral service was held at the:

Easthampstead Park Cemetery 

Bracknell,  followed by a burial on 
 11 May 2022

A wake was held at the Golden Retriever pub/restaurant after the funeral.


HH1 2

Imagine yourself, having been a youthful lad who had served in the RAF on 10 Squadron, as an LAC (Leading Aircraftsman) during WW2 and afterwards was posted with them to India, serving with the Squadron from 1943 to 1947.  A few years later in 2015 you are, not too quietly, celebrating your 90th birthday with friends, at a party venue in Bracknell, Berks, when two smartly-dressed gentlemen gate-crash the affair.

One, dressed in a suit, is a retired RAF wing commander who claims to be Wg Cdr Mike Westwood, OBE RAF (Retd), the Chairman of the 10 Squadron Association and the other, dressed in the uniform of an RAF wing commander is Wg Cdr Jamie Osborne who was then the current Officer Commanding No 10 Squadron based in Oxfordshire at RAF Brize Norton. They both wish you a Happy 90th Birthday and convince you that you really should join your old squadron’s association.


It was to be the beginning of a relatively short but nevertheless sweet, relationship between Harry Hodgson and the 10 Squadron Association…………


Harry Hodgson was a member of 10 Squadron’s ground crew during WW2 and following his training at RAF Cardington in 1943 he was based at RAF Melbourne in East Yorkshire. He served as ground crew on the Squadron’s ‘Aircraft Repair & Inspection Flight’ which entailed being outside in all weathers ‘patching up’ the Squadron’s Halifax bombers to make them serviceable for their next operation. At the end of the war, after the Squadron transferred to Transport Command in May 1945, Harry deployed with the them to Poona in India where he worked on Dakotas and also Spitfires.  

Harry was well-known on the Squadron at Melbourne as an artist and sign writer, being responsible for many ‘nose art’ images which adorned the  Squadron’s Halifaxes.    .......as he said himself, “ I loved painting the pictures on the aircraft.......especially the ladies.” The names of those whom he used as models has faded into the mists of time !

In later life, Harry worked for the John Lewis Partnership for many years and was also a very keen cyclist to such an extent that he even designed some of his own mounts.  He celebrated his 95th birthday quietly at home in 2020 having been in hospital earlier that year with Coronavirus but, true fighter that he was, he bravely pulled through although was later still a little weak. He was awarded an Honorary Life Member’s Certificate of the Association that year. 

It is with great sadness that we now report his passing on Saturday 9 April 2022.


Harry attending a veterans' event at the Bomber Command Memorial, Green Park, London

Harry’s charming carer Jackie Clark always escorted Harry on his outings to attend Squadron and RAF events and, in the abscence of immediate family members, our sympathies go to her at the sad news of his passing.

RIP Harry

HH5 Halifax                LAC          HH4Dak

16 March 2022

Douglas Frank Newham, LVO, DFC                                       

(November 1921 - March 2022)

10 Sqn Navigation Leader on Halifax and Dakota  (Melbourne and India/Burma 1944-46)

Senior Operations Manager BOAC/BA London Heathrow

DN 2 

With great sadness we announce the death of Douglas Newham at his home in Cumbria on Monday 14 March 2022.

After being awarded the DFC in WW2 for his duties, Douglas was later to support the RAF and its good causes throughout his life.  He was particularly prominent and proud to become the President of the Cockermouth, Cumbria, Branch of the RAFA.  

DN 1

The good causes that Douglas supported will be the poorer for his passing.

Born in Edgware, North London in 1921, Doug was just 18 years old at the outset of WW2.  He was in a reserved occupation working as a technician for the Post Office and became involved in the very early days of aircraft radio direction finding and radar trials which were being secretly attempted on the East Coast.  Released from the Post Office, he joined the RAF and after gaining his Observer's brevet (later to become a known as 'Navigators' one), he was to become an observer on a Welington bomber squadron and was crewed up with his later friend Canadian Bill Harris. Surviving a full tour of Ops on that aircraft, albeit losing many friends in the process, all accounting towards the sad totals of Bomber Command's losses, Doug was then screened during his next posting as an instructor on No 10 OTU at RAF Abingdon.

Back on an operartional tour Doug joined 10 Sqn in late 1944 at Melbourne Yorkshire as the Squadron's Navigation Leader in the rank of flight lieutenant. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in September 1945 for his wartime duties. 

A tour in India after the war, when the Squadron had become part of Transport Command with its Dakota circraft, was followed by a return to the UK and later employment with BOAC. In later years whilst working as a senior operations manager at BOAC/British Airways,  Douglas became responsible for the detailed planning of Royal Flights.  His work was duly acknowledged by Her Majesty The Queen in the New Year's Honours List of 1969, when he received her personal award to become a Member of the Royal Victorian Order. (Its title name was later changed to Lieutenant) Hence Douglas bore the initials LVO after his name in addition to the DFC. Doug's first pilot on Wellingtons was Bill Harris, a Canadian and they had become great friends. After the war, Bill's sister Julienne visited the UK and met up with Doug. They were later to marry in North London in 1951.

Doug's cremation service was a private, family affair but later, a separate Memorial service was held on 11 April 2022. The service was conducted by Doug's friend and the vicar of St Kentigern's Church, Caldbeck, Rev Geoffrey Hine.  Upbeat and light-hearted, Doug's personality shone throughout the service, especially when those present were reminded of his various deeds and accomplishments throughout his varied and interesting life.

An Order of Service is available for viewers to read here by clicking: 

Doug Newham's Memorial Service

A live broadcast of the service was transmitted worldwide on an internet webcast via Youtube and enabled Doug's family and many friends throughout the world, especially those in Canada and Australia, to see the weblink.

Posted below, it  will be viewable live or for 14 days after Monday's service.

See:  https://youtu.be/QrfSW9a6Evo    to watch the Memorial Service.

After the service, those present enjoyed a fine array of locally produced snacks and refreshments in the nearby Oddfellows Arms in Calbeck and found their many lives were linked by one common feature - the honour of knowing Douglas Newham. At Doug's own request, those attending had been asked to refrain from wearing sombre clothing: - in Doug’s own words before his passing, “The objective should be to celebrate the wonderful life that I have been so privileged to enjoy”. 

His wishes were indeed followed and his life celebrated as he would have wished.


Donations in his memory were made to the Northern Fells Group (NFG), which provides support in many forms to local folk who are ill at remote homes in Cumbria.  It was very dear to Doug's heart especially during the years when his late wife Julienne, was in poor health.  

Should you wish to make a donation please contact NFG via their web page:


Meanwhile our sympathies go to Doug's family in the UK, Canada and Australia.

RIP Doug - We salute you.

As a navigator, an officer and a gentleman, you certainly knew how 'To Hit The Mark'

O Observer Brevet



 15 March 2022

Norman Appleton (GAvA)               

Honorary Life Member and former WW2 Lancaster Air Gunner:   

Never on 10 Sqn....... BUT.......

Designer of the 10 Squadron Memorial at Melbourne, Yorks 

With much sadness, we learn that  Norman Appleton aged 96, passed away on the afternoon of Friday 11th March 2022.

The funeral will be held on 7 April at a location to be advised.

Norman was made an honorary Life Member of the 10 Sqn Association and yet never served on 10 Sqn, having been a Lancaster aircraft Air Gunner at the very end of WW2. He became the vice-president of the Ryedale RAFA based in Malton, Yorks near where he lived.

He is however best known to us all by being the designer and architect of the 10 Squadron Memorial at the entrance to the Squadron's WW2 base at Melbourne, near Elvington, Yorks.  The Memorial's inauguration on Sunday 15th September 1985 was, as Norman would later say, one of the proudest moments in his long life. 

memorial best

In addition, as a member of the Guild of Aviation Artists, he was further well known to us for his lovely paintings, some depicting 10 Sqn's WW2 Whitley and Halifax bombers. Norman also kindly produced some wonderful pen & ink drawings specifically for our  Association's use as the Chapter Headings for the Sqn Centenary Book 'From Brooklands to Brize', written by Ian Macmillan and published in 2015.

Norman and his wife Joyce lived in Norton near Malton, Nth Yorks, not far from Melbourne, and they were a staunch attendees of our annual Remembrance Service at 'his' Memorial and they would later join us for lunch at the Allerthorpe pub, after the services.

Our sincere condolences go to Joyce, his family and all his Ryedale RAFA chums.

Further details will follow when known.

Dent Appleton

The Association's first Chairman Doug Dent, thanks Norman for his artwork on a wooden plaque in the late 1980s.


 Art 12

  Halifax Mk lll landing at Melbourne by Norman Appleton 1987

AG brevet


31 January 2022

Robert 'Mac' McClements            

WW2 Halifax Air Gunner and founder Association Member

Mac, who was a founder member of the 10 Sqn Association in 1984, sadly passed away on 30 January 2022. 

A private family-only Service was held on 28 February and was available for all to see via an on-line link.  Mac's coffin was draped with the 10 Sqn Association flag.

Later in the year, on Saturday 11 June, all were invited to visit the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, York for a

Memorial Celebration Afternoon Tea celebration of Mac's life.

See Below:


Robert (Mac) McClements

Legion d’Honneur

1924 - 2022

Former 10 Sqn WW2 Halifax Mid-Upper Air Gunner, Mac McClements sadly passed away on 30 January 2022.

A celebration of his life was held later in the year on 11 June 2022 at the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, not far from 10 Squadron’s WW2 base at Melbourne, Yorks. 

Some 80 family, friends and members of the Services attended the Memorial Tea and the attached pdf file gives details of the Programme for the afternoon, during which Association Chairman Wg Cdr Mike Westwood unveiled a commemorative plaque in Mac’s memory.





Click on their links

Click here:  In Memoriam

and Here - YAM TEA




 Mac never missed the opportunity of representing his wartime colleagues at various events and was always present our own Association annual Remembrance Sunday service at his old wartime RAF Melbourne base: the last time being as recently as just two months ago in November 2021.  His presence was always accompanied by his charming wife Iris, a former WW2 Royal Observer Corps plotter whom he had met during their wartime service.

Mac Iris

Born in Belfast Mac had worked at Harland and Wolff before volunteering to join the RAF. He completed 38 missions as a gunner in his 10 Sqn Halifax  ZA-V at RAF Melbourne, becoming a Warrant Officer by the end of the war. He met his wife to be, Iris, when she was serving in the Royal Observer Corps in York.

After the war they started a garage business in Wakefield which Mac ran successfully until his retirement. In 1984 he was a founder of 10 Squadron Association and as a regular representative was proud to later become an Honorary Life Member. In later years he took great pleasure in the belated recognition of the role of the RAF and as a guest of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

He was one of the ‘Bomber Barons’ who met weekly at Sherburn Aero Club and in 2017 he was awarded the French Legion d’Honneur medal, at a service at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington. Mac had a full and active life which he enjoyed to the very end.

He died at home, unexpectedly yet peacefully.

He is survived by his wife, Iris, daughter Gillian, son Robert, grandchildren; Laurie, Nicola and Oliver and great-grandchildren; Henry and Theo.

Our condolences and sympathy go to Iris and the rest of their family.

(Mac : Dec 1924 - Jan 2022)

AG brevet



2 January 2022

John Halstead      1980's VC10 Pilot and later Virgin Airlines and CAA Examiner

John Halstead sadly passed away on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2021

John Halstead Aug 1986

Flt Lt John Halstead - (August 1986)

The funeral was held 13 January at The East Riding Crematorium, Octon, Driffield, Yorks. 

John, aged about 75 yrs old or so, lost a relatively short fight against cancer on Christmas Eve.  Having moved to Rudston near Bridlington, Yorks after living for many years in Witney whilst at Brize, he had finally retired from flying a couple of years ago.  Married to Val whom he met at the Brize Norton Flying Club, John had left Virgin Airlines, to then carry out several instruction/examiner roles and finished his career as one of the CAA's very few Examiners' Examiners.

Our condolences go to Val and any family members.  RIP John.


Pilot Brevet Queen Crown


Edward ('Ted') R. Hayhoe  (31 Mar 1938 - 15 Dec 2021) 

10 Sqn VC10 Ground Engineer, later Flight Engineer with BOAC/BA

Former VC10 ground  engineer and Association member Ted Hayhoe aged 83, passed away peacefully on 15 December 2021 and his funeral was held on 29 December 2021.

Hayhoe Ted

Born in London 1938, Ted was the youngest child of the family and, at the tender age of 15, he joined the RAF as an apprentice.

In the early days of 10 Squadron's VC10 operations in the late 1960s, Ted was a sergeant Engine Fitter who would go down route with VC10s in the Ground Engineer role to supervise the aircraft's refuelling and servicing.  He later applied for the similar job of Ground Engineer with BOAC, having meanwhile met his furure wife Gill, née Horley, who was a Sergeant Quartermaster on the Squadron, who had been on the very first VC10 course.  However, unknown to Ted, the airline had been contacted by 10 Sqn VC10 captain Brian Taylor who, in appreciating Ted's qualities, recommended him instead as being more suitable for the role of Air Engineer.

Accepted by the airline as a Flight Engineer, Ted flew on VC10s, Tristars and Boeing 747s in his subsequent career. He and Gill lived in Dorset, where Ted enjoyed sailing, listening to classical music, and travelling across the world. In his retirement he kept himself busy with gardening, model making, trains and bowling.

A loving husband, he is survived by Gill and their children Julia, Steven, Kevin as well as grandchildren Nyla, Ben and Tara.

Ted had been ill for several years and was regrettably unable to attend recent Association Reunions. Before Christmas 2021 he went into hospital for a check up but unfortunately, passed away quite suddenly, which was naturally a great shock to Gill after their 54 years together.

Gill informs us, "My dear son came over from USA to help, then tested positive to Covid so we both had to isolate. This meant a change of funeral plans etc. Everything was chaos so some people did not get informed of his death or funeral plans.  Fortunately, on Xmas Eve the NHS informed me that I was Covid-negative and could be ‘freed’ that day. So I was able to say goodbye to Ted, and attend his funeral on 29th December."

Our condolences and symapathies of course go to Gill, herself an Association member and former aircrew with 216 Sqn's VIP Comets, prior to joining 10 Sqn, together with all the family. 


Eng ( with BOAC/BA )


December 2021

Jim Wyld                                        Squadron Leader Navigator

The Association has received 3rd-hand information about the passing of a former 10 Squadron navigator (aircraft type unknown) who has recently passed away.  Since Jim Wyld was not an Association member, all we can say is that if anyone who lives in the Cambridge area knew Jim and wishes to attend his funeral it will be held on:

17 December 2021 at 1400 hrs at the Cam Valley Chapel Crematorium.

(The Crematorium might be able to give more details if contacted)


Navs Brevet


November 2021

Dudley Charles Mills            Squadron Leader VC10 Navigator

With much sadness we are informed that Dudley Mills passed away on 18 November. A memorial service was held on 3rd December at St Edward's Church, Stow on the Wold.

Dudley's daughter Janice will be letting us have more details about her father's life from the planned funeral eulogy which her son James and her brother Roger prepared.

Meanwhile our condolences go to all the members of the family at this sad time.

And who can forget Dudley's lovely 'tache'?  RIP Dudley.

Dudley Mills

Dudley, at the May 2012  10 Sqn Association Reunion

Navs Brevet

September 2021

Peter Thompson                 Squadron Leader VC10 Navigator

Limited information has been received that former 10 Sqn VC10 navigator Sqn Ldr Peter Thompson has died in Oxfordshire.

Peter's funeral was held in the Banbury Crematorium, OX16 1ST on

Friday 8 October 2021.

Mourners attended the Moon & Sixpence, in Hamwell village afterwards.

Peter, who prior to 10 Squadron did an exchange posting with the USAF based in Guam, will long be remembered for his determination and achievement in forming the RAF Brize Norton Flying Club in 1979.  Enabling non-aircrew RAF personnel  and their families to learn to fly at lower-than-market rates to obtain PPLs (Private Pilots Licences), the Club continues to thrive over forty years later.

Peter will be long remembered by those who flew as instructors in the Club on its two Piper Cherokee aircraft whilst also being crewed with him on 10 Squadron on occasions when he flew as a VC10 navigator.  After retirement from the RAF Peter worked for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Our condolences go to Peter's wife Sophie and the rest of his family.

RIP Peter

Navs Brevet

23 MAY 2021  

JP Allan       10 Sqn VC10 captain on exchange from the United Staes Air Force - 1980s


We have just heard from the USA that Col 'JP' Allan USAF who as a major, was an American exchange officer serving on 10 Squadron during the 1980s has sadly passed away in the United States. 

JP Allan [no-one ever knew his first names] entered Officer’s Training School in December 1969, calling himself a 90-day wonder, and was awarded his pilot wings in April 1970. In 1972, on a tour in Vietnam flying the Cessna O-2 Skymaster (successor to the ‘Bird Dog’), he was to be awarded the USAF DFC for actions in August that year. Back in the USA he was based at Travis AFB, California, midway between the state capital Sacramento and San Francisco, flying the huge C5 Galaxy aircraft there between 1973 and 1978. A move to Altus AFB in Oklahoma followed when JP became a C5 pilot instructor until 1982. Having by then been in that role for several years he was an ideal choice to be selected for an exchange posting to the RAF and came to the UK with his family to join 10 Squadron in 1983 after his VC10 course.  Returning to the USA in 1985 he returned to Altus as an Instructor/Examiner pilot on the C5, becoming his squadron’s ADO (Assistant Director of Operations) from 1986 - 92.  JP then left the Air Force to become a simulator instructor with Flight Safety International, contracted to the USAF, until he retired in 2007.

Our condolences go to JP’s wife Daphne and all his family.


 'JP' was well-liked by all who flew with him on the VC10 and he did much to maintain the 'special relationship' that the RAF has with its NATO colleagues across the Pond. -  He was an ideal choice for an exchange oficer.

JP Allan Dec 85

Wg Cdr Len Marshall when OC10 in 1985, bids JP Allan farewell after his last flight with 10 Sqn before returning to the USA in late 1985


USAF C5 Galaxy





12 May 2021

Robert (Bob) Gerard Hunter     10 Squadron WW2 Halifax Ground Mechanic 1943 -45 

Pat Hunter of Epsom, advises us that her much-loved husband Bob passed away peacefully in his sleep on 11 May 2021.

Bob was very proud to have been on 10 Squadron and had been an Association member for many years. He and Pat always enjoyed the Association reunions and other events which they both attended until relatively recently, making fond memories for them both. It is with much sadness that we send our sympathy to Pat and all Bob's family.


Robert Gerard Hunter born in Kildare, to the west of Dublin, Ireland ,in 1924.  When he was just 18 during WW2, he joined the RAF with a friend at Belfast in 1942.  Sent to England for 6 weeks assessment training. Bob was then posted to Cornwall for 6 months training as a maintenance fitter working on Beaufighter aircraft which, equipped with torpedoes, were used to protect the convoys sailing into Falmouth from America. He then went on to complete a mechanics course in Halton in Buckinghamshire and was subsequently posted to RAF Melbourne in Yorkshire working on 10 Squadron’s Halifax Bombers. After 10 squadron, Bob went to Valley on Anglesey, Wales and later to Desborough in Northants to run a course teaching pilots ‘Beam Landing’ techniques using a radar aircraft landing system developed for poor visibility landings.  He was discharged from the RAF in 1948.

Bob died aged 96 on 11 May 2021 and his funeral took place on 15 June 2021 at St Joseph’s Church, Epsom. (available to view on YouTube)

He and his wife Pat were members of the 10 Sqn Association for over 25 years.

We offer our condolences to all those affected by his passing.


VE-Day 2020

RIP Bob Hunter


25 April 2021

Frank Williamson                   10 Squadron Pilot WW2 (Sqn Ldr)

OBIT Frank Williamson

Association member Frank Williamson passed away peacefully at his Amersham home on 21 April 2021, having celebrated his 100th birthday in August 2020.

He had served on both Whitleys and Halifaxes during WW2 and even in his later years, remained passionate about flying, continually sharing stories with his grandson-in law, the former recent OC10 Gp Cpt Simon Blackwell.

Frank was immensely proud of his past and modern associations specifically with 10 Squadron, but also with the RAF in general. Sqn Ldr Williamson also served on 102 (Ceylon) Squadron and we are most grateful to their Association for passing on some of the information here.

Our condolences and sympathy go to all his extended family which includes of course Frank's grand-daughter Nicky Blackwell, Simon Blackwell's wife.

The funeral was held on 11 May and to overcome Covid-19 distancing regulations, a video link, arranged by the funeral directors, allowed a relay to other members of the family.

 Kings Pilot Wings

RIP Frank Williamson.


6 March 2021

John Howard Wolley    10 Sqn VC10 Captain and 10 Sqn Association member

By a very roundabout route, (his local postman) we learn the sad news that John passed away recently on 6 March 2021.

The following has now been received in May, from his daughter Cheryl, to whom we send our thanks and offer our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to her and all the rest of John’s family.

John was a delightful man whose affable nature endeared him to all who met and flew with him. He was held in great respect for his flying ability and with much affection by all on 10 Squadron’s VC10s who were lucky to have flown with him. His RAF service comprised some 43 years which made him one of the longest serving members at the time of his retirement.



Sqn Ldr John Wolley retires from the RAF in 1993 after 43 years service

Seen here with his late wife Dot and Wg Cdr Al Stuart, the then  OC10

John was taken into hospital after a fall and thence to a Chipping Norton care home where he deteriorated very quickly and after five weeks also tested positive for Covid-19 and passed away.

Sqn Ldr John Howard Wolley, MBE sadly passed away on 6 March 2021, aged 89.

His daughter Cheryl writes:

John was a retired squadron leader who served on squadrons which included Nos 29, 36, 10 Squadrons and was also on the Command Examining Unit.

He was a devoted husband to the late Dot, a wonderful father to his daughter Cheryl, grandfather to Gemma and Marco and great grandfather to Viola. He was a good friend to many and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

John retired in 1993 after 43 years of service as a pilot. His essence was flying after starting his training in 1950-51 at RAF Heany, some 15 miles from Bulawayo in which was then Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, where training took place on Tiger Moths and Harvards. During his extraordinary career he was then to go on to fly 22 different types of aircraft which included the Meteor, Vampire Chipmunk, Hunter, Devon, Phantom, Jaguar, Hercules and the VC10, just to mention a few.

Some of the numerous stations of his postings included Tangmere, North Luffenham, Leconfieild, Benson, Lyneham and Brize Norton.

John was also posted to Germany in 1959-61, a detachment to Malaysia in 1965 and Decimomannu (Sardinia) from 1976-1978.

He saw on active service in the Dacca evacuation during the 1971 India - Pakistan war, the Falklands conflict of 1982 and the Gulf War in 1990. His career ended whilst on 10 Sqn at RAF Brize Norton and he was overjoyed when he was given an extension, even after his due retirement date, to continue flying the VC 10, which he considered to be the ‘Queen of the Skies’.

During John’s long career he was awarded an MBE in 1989, Queen’s Commendations in 1972 and 1976 and a commendation from Support Command in 1968.

The funeral service took place on 23 March at the Ramsgate, Kent cemetery chapel and the family’s thanks go to all those who attended and especially to Lindsay and Daniela Baigent, the daughters of his life long friend Peter.

Donations were requested to be sent to either the Blind Veterans UK, the RAF Benevolent Fund, or SSAFA.    

John Wolley pics 

Condolences and Enquiries may be sent by email to Cheryl Wolley at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our gratitude goes to the Carterton, Oxon. postman James Sutton, who advised us of John’s recent passing and put us in touch with Cheryl.

Pilot Brevet Queen Crown

RIP John Wolley

5 March 2021

John (Jack) Goodwin                    Sqn Ldr & VC10 Pilot 1967 - 1975

Goodwin Jack

Jack Goodwin passed away on 5 March 2021 aged 91. Although not an Association member we are pleased to honour his memory by publishing this brief summary of Jack's life and flying career, which his daughter Lorna has kindly sent to us.

" Dad was born in Bearsden, north-west Glasgow in July 1930, the only child of Annie and Bertie Goodwin. Having later moved to nearby Milngavie, Dad became a keen scout and attended Bearsden Academy until, at 16 years of age, he decided to follow his father into an engineering career. He was awarded an apprenticeship as a draughtsman with Mavor & Couslon Ltd. (electrical and mining machinery manufacturers). Within a week of completing his apprenticeship on 31 March 1952 he was called up for National Service on 4th April.

Early on both the RAF and he discovered that he had both the aptitude and a love of flying and the rest as they say, is history.

Dad’s RAF career started during his National Service when he attended flight grading school and made his first flight on 19 June 1952.  He soon transferred to flying training school and first flew solo on 28 November 1952.

Reading his flight logs I discovered the complexity of his flying career with his training including qualifications in para-dropping, heavy-load drops, instrument flying, aerobatics, high and low-level formation flying, battle flying, and both sea and jungle survival. Trained to fly both propeller aircraft and jet aircraft, Dad was awarded his ‘Wings’ on 21 September 1953.

In 1955 he became operational with 99 Squadron flying Valetta’s and that same year Mum and Dad married on 5th September at Cairns Church in Milngavie and Dad went out to his first overseas posting with 84 Sqn in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Reading his Pilots Flying Log Books has enabled the family to share his flying story.

In his 34 years in the Royal Air Force Dad flew at least 11 different aircraft in a number of different squadrons - from the Chipmunk to the Hercules with several years flying Valetta’s and VC10s. Over his long career he:

Flew to 59 countries – from Aden to Vietnam

Landed (and took off) at 297 airfields – from Abu Suer, Eygpt to Vaerlose, Denmark

Landed at 109 airfields in the UK – from Abingdon to Lossiemouth

Flew for 8784 hours = quite literally spending a year and a day in the sky

Over 4000 hours as captain or first pilot

Made over 3500 flights – ranging from training flights of 30 mins to long-haul flights of 10+ hours

      •      And:       He was awarded General Service Medals for service in Suez, Malaya and Borneo


His many tours included Ripon, Nicosia (1956), then 1 weeks’ notice to relocate to RAF Steamer Point, Aden. Returning to the UK he was posted to RAF Benson, followed by RAAF Butterworth, Malaysia. Returning to the UK Jack was based at Thorney Island until in 1967, he joined 10 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton flying VC10s and he remained on the Squadron for 8 years.

This was undoubtedly one of his favourite postings, as was flying VC10’s and on a later visit to the Victoria Cross Gallery at the Imperial War Museum he was delighted to see the history of the VC winners after whom the planes he flew had been named.

Following his tour on 10 Squadron, Jack was posted to Hong Kong in 1975 after which a return to the UK saw subsequent postings to Lyneham, Northholt and Lossiemouth; his final tour being in Operations at RAF Lyneham to retire in 1985."

RIP Jack Goodwin

 Pilot Brevet Queen Crown

July 1930 – March 2021


 17 Feb 21:

Bill Bradshaw      10 Sqn WW2 Tail Gunner & later a General Practioner in Huddersfield

Bill Bradshaw, the tail gunner in the WW2 10 Sqn Pennicott Halifax crew, passed away in the early hours of 15th February 2021, at the age of 98.   He had been living independently until just before Christmas 2020 when he contracted Covid-19. He was in hospital for a week or so and then seemed to rally a bit, but unfortunately his recovery did not continue and he was sent to stay in a care home, where his condition deteriorated further.

As readers of Jane Gulliford-Lowes’ book, ‘Above Us The Stars’ will realise, he contributed to much of her research into 10 Squadron’s WW2 Halifax operations.  He was also a member of the 10 Squadron Association.

As Jane herself now writes;

“Meeting Bill was truly one of the greatest days of my life. I knew him but briefly, but I adored him. I’ve come to know his wonderful family very well since; especially his lovely daughter Angela, who has now asked me to contact the Association to let you know the sad news. Her father was so proud of his 10 Squadron days - he even had a private vehicle registration number, 10 DFC, bought as a birthday present from his family and still kept his RAF uniform upstairs in his wardrobe.

Bill was a truly lovely man, a really warm personality with a dazzling smile. I’m so glad I got to know him in his twilight years - it was a privilege. ”

Jane Lowes 16 Feb 21

After WW2, Bill trained as doctor, became a GP and spent the rest of his life practising in Huddersfield.

The Yorkshire Post published the following on 2 March 2021:

Dr William H. A.Bradshaw, DFC 

Bill died peacefully on 15 February 2021.
A remarkable man who led an extraordinary life; that Bill survived beyond his early 20s, given his WWII service, is a miracle; that he lived a full and active life until aged 98, a blessing.
Bill was born in Ireland and brought up in S.E. Asia and then near Strangford Lough, County Down.

He volunteered for the RAF aged 17, trained as a pilot in Canada, and then volunteered for Bomber Command, serving as a tail gunner (and gunnery leader) on Halifaxes with 10 Squadron. He was the last surviving member of the 10 Squadron 'Pennicott crew' ; all of them decorated for bravery.
After WWII, Bill married his beloved Margaret and qualified in medicine at Queen's University, Belfast.

From serving his country, Bill then served his community, spending over 30 years as a much-loved GP in Huddersfield.
The kindest, most considerate, and gentlest of gentlemen; a wonderful husband, father-in-law to Peter and Lindsay, Angela and Steve, grandpa to Cory and Emily, Katie and Hannah and friend to everyone he met, we mourn Bill's loss.

He is now reunited with his Margaret, whom he never stopped missing.
Special thanks to our wonderful Lisa for all her love and care.
Private family cremation. All enquiries, and any donations (instead of flowers) - to the RAF Benevolent Fund - in Bill's memory, c/o Andrew Gledhill,
Highfield Funeral Directors, Huddersfield 01484 428243

 Our condolences go to all Bill's family and his close friends.

RIP - Bill Bradshaw



24 Jan 21:

Reverend Ian Cook                   1960's 10 Sqn Victor Aircraft Technician


The 10 Squadron Association Chaplain & Committee Member

With great sadness we have to report that our very own Chaplain Rev Ian Cook passed away on

24 January 2021

As you may be aware, Ian suffered a major stroke last autumn and after eventually leaving hospital before Christmas, was placed in a care home near to his home in north-east Manchester.  During both the hospitalisation and later the care home, his wife Rita had been unable to be close and in touching distance to Ian because of Covid-19 rules and she had relied on the care home’s facility of video calling to see and communicate with him.  In turn Ian had been very limited in his ability to speak back to her. 

  Rev Ian Cook

Ian was in the RAF on a three-year engagement from 1959 and had been an instrument technician on 10 Sqn during its 1960 Victor days at RAF Cottesmore. Later, after his ordination, he became the vicar of St Gabriel's Church in Middleton Junction, Manchester and served the local community there for 29 years until to his retirement aged 70 in 2008.

His funeral service was held on 17 February 2021

at St Gabriels' Church, Greenhill Road, Middleton, Manchester

where he was later buried in its graveyard, in a plot by the church's East Window.  

See this link to:   Ian's Funeral Service 


Before being ordained in September 1973 Ian worked for a number of companies located in Leicester, Oldham and the Manchester area.  His work had varied from being a Labour Exchange employee, a draughtsman for Avro at their Chadderton plant (where Lancasters had been made in WW2), a contracts manager and a social worker which included visiting Manchester's Strangeways Prison.  After being ordained and assisting at St Wilfred's Church in East Manchester, he eventually was to spend 29 years until his retirement aged 70, at St Gabriel's, Middleton Junction, not far from his  Middleton home. Even after he retired he continued to assist in the nearby Langley parish and others in his local area.


Ian was a much-liked member of the Association who, apart from conducting our Remembrance Sunday services at Melbourne for a number of years with dignity and empathy, also contributed on the social side as we can surely remember him approaching his 80’s discoing away with the younger members at our annual Reunion Buffets which were then held in the Sgts Mess at Brize. He was held in great respect and liked by all. 

Ian was also one of our Association Committee Members for a number of years and could always be trusted to give wise inputs and sound advice.

We send our heartfelt sympathies to Rita and their three daughters Alison, Susan and Pauline at this sad time.

Ian will be sorely missed.





20 Jan 2021:

Lesley Arthur Turner                            WW2 10 Sqn Observer/Nav

A recent Newsletter from the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) Lincoln, lists in their "To The Skies" section, the death of a 10 Sqn WW2 Observer/Navigator Lesley Turner on 27 November 2020 aged 98.  No other information is given so if anyone reading this can supply more details we would be most grateful. email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our sympathies go out to his family and relatives wherever they may be.

RIP Lesley


17 Jan 2021:

Mark Stephen Hopgood                    10 Sqn VC10 pilot 1970s-early 80s

The following information is copied from the Daily Telegraph dated 14 January 2021.

Mark Stephen, Squadron Leader, RAF (Retired) passed away on Tuesday 12 January 2021 after a short illness aged 78. Mark was a beloved husband, father and grandfather, brother and friend and will be missed by all. Private family funeral. Donations, if desired, to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance C/O Hillier Funeral Service, 7 Lechlade Road, Highworth SN6 7HF.’

Prior to his 10 Squadron tours, Mark had been a QFI and then flown the Vulcan V-bomber. On leaving 10 Sqn and the RAF he joined the ‘Amiri’ Royal Flight in Bahrain for a number of years before returning to the UK and retirement in Faringdon, Berks.

More details to follow as and when more information is received.

RIP Mark

 Pilot Brevet Queen Crown

9 Jan 2021:

 Keith Bull                                    Corporal - Air Steward VC10 1970s & 80s

Keith served on the Squadron as an Air Steward during the 70's-80's. 

He is remembered as being a thoroughly nice and well-liked man.  His other former cabin crew colleagues of those days have fond memories of him, when all were young and loving their job. 

Unfortunately, Keith succumbed to Covid-19 and passed away recently.

His nephew,  David Bull has notified another former air steward of his passing and although he was not an Association Member, we are pleased to honour Keith’s memory here.

More details will be added when additional facts are known.

RIP Keith

Air Stwd badge


 10 Dec 20:

Malcolm David Hill                                VC10 Air Steward -  late 1960s

Malcolm was from Maesteg, South Wales, and served on 10 Squadron as a VC10 cabin crew member from March 1968 to May 1970 at RAF Brize Norton, fulfilling the duties of an air steward.  He also served in both Officers' and Sergeants' Messes, to eventually leave the RAF as a Senior Aircraftsman.

He sadly passed away on 23 November 2020 after losing a battle against vascular dementia, leaving his wife Janet and their two sons Adrian and Scott.  Our sympathies go out to them at this sad time and Malcolm was remembered by us all on, 

Monday, 14 December 2020 

the day his funeral was held at Coychurch Crematorium, Bridgend. 

Although Malcolm served only briefly on the Squadron and was not an Association member, we are pleased to honour his memory here.  Meanwhile we extend our condolences to all his family at this sad time for them.

RIP  Malcolm

Air Stwd badge

2 Dec 20:

James (Jimmy) Witter  DFM        Sgt and later Warrant Officer WW2 Halifax Tail Gunner


Sadly we learn of the recent death of former WW2 Haifax tail gunner Jimmy Witter who died on 28 November. 

The Funeral will be held at Delph Methodist Church, Oldham on 16th December 2020

Although not an Association memmber, we are pleased to honour his memory here. Copied below is an email sent to us by his great grandson Lee Johnson, giving us the sad news.  



Jimmy “James” Witter a rear gunner with 10 Squadron during WW2, passed away at the age of 99, on Saturday 28th November 2020.  Jimmy was quiet and humble, keeping many of the stories of war to himself.  He was however convinced the Halifax was a much better aircraft than the Lancaster.  Jimmy retired from working on the Railway and lived his life peacefully in Oldham, Lancashire.  A brilliant husband, father, grandad and beloved great grandad. He was truly special and will be missed.

 For a more detailed text about Jimmy click on the link here:  Jimmy Witter DFM  


RIP Jimmy

Geoff Walker                        10 Sqn VC10 Navigator 1987 - 1991  

Geoff Walker, a highly experienced Transport Force navigator, died on Thursday 12 November 2020, in Sobell House Hospice, Oxford.  In August he had been diagnosed as having an incurable brain tumour and, in the end, could not be cared for at home.

Geoff Walker

Geoff served with 10 Squadron from October 1987 till August 1991, a period that covered the Squadron’s introduction to air-to-air refuelling and the intense flying required in support of Operation Granby to liberate Kuwait. He regularly flew on VVIP tasks, including 13 flights with Mrs Thatcher and John Major.  

Starting in 1963, his early career was spent on the Argosy force in squadrons in the Far East, the UK and Middle East. As a long-term resident of Wallingford, he was, for over 45 years, at the heart of the organisation of the annual ARDET (Argosy Detachment) Reunions held at RAF Benson. He will be warmly remembered by those who knew him.

Funeral arrangements are still to be decided, and our condolences go to his wife Barbara.

Navs Brevet



7 September 2020

John McCubbin                                 Association Member

                                WW2 Halifax and Dakota India, 1945-47 Wireless Operator

 McC2 BW

One of the founder members of the Association John McCubbin was demobbed in 1947 after his service on 10 Squadron during WW2 and later in India and Burma.

Having recently celebrated his 70th wedding anniversary and also his 96th birthday, John set out by car on 7 September to collect some materials for a cementing job at his home in Penpont, near Thornhill to the north of Dumfries, Scotland.  He had been in good health during the Coronavirus pandemic and earlier in the year planted a crop of potatoes which he should soon have been harvesting. During a car journey to collect some building materials, just five days after his birthday, John felt unwell and realising that something was wrong, stopped his car.  Havving brought the car to a halt John immediately passed away.

John's family includes his wife Elizabeth, son Ian, daughter Hazel and four grand-children; Kirsty, Scott, Calum and Catriona. Hazel has kept us informed for the past few years about Association member John’s activities and his sudden passing must come as a great shock to all the family.

We offer them all our deepest sympathies.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 restrictions limited the numbers attending John's cremation funeral service to only 20 attending at the Roucan Loch Crematorium in Dumfries on 18th September.

The short service  was conducted by the Rev David McKay with readings from John's grand-daughter Kirsty and eulogies by his son Ian and daughter Hazel.  It closed with the RAF March Past tune and John's ashes will be interred in the graveyard at Penpont Parish Church at a later date.

See Order of Service and Eulogy:  John McCubbin


ohn McC Elizabeth

John, grand-daughter Catriona and Elizabeth

(on the occasion of Catriona's graduation as a doctor)

    Reay McCubbin

John with another Association Member Hugh Reay (left) when they reunited in 2016

Hugh Reay, also a former 10 Sqn WOp, and John McCubbin first met in the Spring of 1943 at Lords Cricket Ground where they reported to enlist. Both trained at Madley in Herefordshire as wireless operators going on to further training at different centres and then meeting later at 10 Squadron for operational flying on Halifaxes at Melbourne, Yorkshire.

After the war ended in May 1945 and 10 Squadron was immediately transferred into Transport Command, both converted to the Squadron’s Dakotas and spent their remaining RAF time in India and Burma.  Hugh passed away in May of 2020 at his home in Hexham, Northumberland.

Readers may be interested to know that in 2014 John's daughter Hazel wrote to the Association, asking if we could provide any answers as to why her father had been turned down in his application for the recently created ‘Bomber Command Clasp’ which was to be fixed to the 1939-45 Star Medal. The MoD Medal Office had stated that John had not served the requisite time on the Squadron, as laid down in the Clasp Award Criteria.  Our research showed this was indeed the case but we felt that an exception should be made in John’s case…………..

 John joined 10 Sqn in March 1945 and by the time the war ended on 8 May, when 10 Squadron was immediately transferred into Transport Command, he had served 42 out of the required BC Clasp criteria 60 days on the Squadron. During this time John had flown on 4 operational missions over enemy territory (the Clasp Criteria only required 1 to have been done) and he had then remained on the Squadron, retraining on Dakotas for when 10 Squadron deployed to Poona in India, after the War in the Far East ended, in September 1945. In March 1946 he was on the Dakota aircraft detachment to Burma where, operating from bases at Myitkyina and Meiktila, he carried out numerous ‘Operation Hunger’ flights over north-eastern Burma dropping food aid to the local country-folk who had had their crops ruined or stolen by the Japanese invaders during WW2. He was also the wireless operator on one of the many flights sent to search for the 3 Dakotas which all crashed on the same day on 29 March 1946 in the mountains of Burma. John remained on 10 Squadron until 1947 when he returned to the UK for demob.

In spite of all this 10 Squadron service John was disallowed the Bomber Command Clasp simply because his service was short of just 18 days missing out of the 60 required before the war in Europe ended and, through no fault of John’s, the Squadron on which he remained, was no longer in Bomber Command. Our research led us to Air Chief Marshal Sir John Cheshire who most kindly intervened on John’s behalf with some of his present-day Air Officer contacts but he too had to admit defeat when the Medal Office refused to change their decision. Following this, a letter to the Prime Minister, at No 10 Downing Street also failed to achieve the desired result.

John: In our eyes you had the Clasp to the 1939-45 Star Medal

Clasp on 39 45 Star

RIP John McCubbin


Mike Wilmott                                   Association Member

                                       and son of a Halifax LV 881 crew member that crashed in Germany during WW2

Mike Wilmott sadly passed away on Monday 7 September after suffering from cancer. He was just 62 yrs old.  Mike lived near Macclesfield in Cheshire and ran a sheet-metal company in Leek, Staffs. He was a regular attendee at the Melbourne Memorial Remembrance Sunday services, having joined the Association during the research into the March 1944 Halifax LV 881 crash in Germany, 

Mike's father Sgt Norman Wilmott, was the Bomb Aimer on the Halifax aircraft and although injured after baling out, he survived the crash.  After his capture and hospital he was then taken as a PoW to Stalag Luft 7 in Poland.  His son Mike was contacted by our researcher Ann Bihan in her efforts to find the relatives of all the LV 881 crew so that they could attend a memorial ceremony in September 2014 at the crash site at Kaltenrain, near Hungen, some 25 kms north-east of Frankfurt.  All crew members relatives then became good friends proving that membership of 10 Squadron is the common link that joins many varied lives.

See:  LV 881 : Hungen 2014

No details yet as to Mike's funeral arrangements but our condolences go to his partner Lorraine, son Sam who will continue Mike's business, and all Mike's family.

Association Researcher Ann Bihan writes:

Mike was a really lovely man and I remember so well after my first contact with him when doing the research for LV881.  I knew I woud like him. 

He was so proud of his father and the commemoration in Germany was very special to him and his family.  Also the bonus from this was that our lives touched that of a special person.  The friendship that has grown between the families of the crew of LV881 is something very special.

It is such a shame that Mike never actually managed to make a Voyager refuelling flight at our Annual Association Reunions.  It was something he  really wanted to do and the last time I spoke to him he was still hoping to get airborne with 10 Sqn.

RIP Mike



 Ron Smith                                 VC10 Air Loadmaster 1970s - 80s

ALM Brevet

It is reported, via the Costa Blanca Branch of the Aircrew Association, that former VC10 air loadmaster Ron Smith passed away on 31 August 2020.  It is presumed that this occurred in Spain where Ron lived with his long-term partner Joan, in Moraira, north-east of Alicante near Calpe and Denia.

There will be no funeral because Ron gave his body for research.  No other details are available to date as at 2 Sep 20.

Our condolences go to Joan and any other family members.




Pam Spence                            Master Air Loadmaster VC10 late 1960s

ALM Brevet

Although Pam was not a member of the Association she was a well respected colleague and loved by all who touched her life. 

The following words about her have been taken from a post on the VC10 ALM''s  Facebook page:

It was with great sadness we received the news of the passing of MALM Pam Spence on 28 July 2020 at Rose Cross Residential Home in Swansea. 

Pam joined the RAF as a Clerk Secretarial but remusterd to aircrew and joined 10 Sqn in the late 1960’s. She spent all of her flying career on VC10’s and will be remembered for the many years she spent on 10 Sqn and her time on the OCU at Brize Norton. Pam  was also an instructor at the aircrew basic training school RAF Topcliffe and an instructor at The Air Loadmaster Training School at RAF Finningley, where she was known to her students as being strict but always kind and helpful. She was a well respected and much loved colleague.

A fellow loadmaster Eric Hills recalls that on one of her trips the aircraft was hit by severe turbulence abeam Tehran. Her calm words were, "This aircraft (VC10) is built by the best engineers  in the world and we don’t have to  worry about this unpleasantness. I will get the coffee"

Pam had been in ill health for many years but recalled her RAF days with great happiness and affection. 

Her funeral was held at Swansea Crematorium on the 10th August but sadly due to Covid restrictions in Wales, only a maximum number of 20 mourners were permitted to attend.

Pam's sister, Mrs Margaret Hovestadt’s address is available from the Web Warden should anyone wish to send messages of condolence.




Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Beavis, KCB, CBE, AFC  (Aug 1929 - Jun 2020)

Officer Commanding No 10 Squadron July 1966 to November 1968

Mike Beavis1

It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of ‘Mike' Beavis who, when in wing commander rank, was the first OC10 of the long VC10 era in the Squadron’s history.

Sir Michael aged 90, passed away peacefully at his home in Pissouri, Cyprus on 7 June 2020 and his funeral was held in Pissouri Village, on 15 June.  Donations given in his honour and remembrance should be sent to the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Our condolences and sympathies go to his daughter Lynn and son Simon, together will all their families.


As many will know, Nos 10 and 101 Squadrons combine to have a semi-permanent detachment at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, thus enabling their Voyager aircraft to assist Middle Eastern Coalition forces. The present detachment commander is Sqn Ldr Andy Brown from 101 Sqn who, in days gone by, was a VC10 navigator.

On Monday 15 June 2020, Andy was made an honorary 10 Sqn member for the day by OC10 Wg Cdr Al Scott, and in that capacity represented 10 Sqn and the former VC10 Force at Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael’s funeral service in Pissouri.

After the funeral Andy reported that the Service was an excellent and fitting send-off.

“The RAF was well represented by Air Cdre Anthony Beasant, Chief of Staff British Forces Cyprus, Gp Capt Nikki Thomas, RAF Akrotiri Station Commander, whose personnel also provided first-class pall-bearers and who arranged for the ‘Last Post’ to be played by a bugler from 7 Rifles.

Sir Michael’s daughter, Mrs Lynn Curry delivered a strong, but moving tribute to his life including mentioning his most treasured time as OC 10 Sqn on the VC10 aircraft. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the funeral directors facilitated internet coverage of the event to family in the UK. Within the group of friends in attendance there were several retired senior officers and representatives from the Aircrew Association.”

Sqn Ldr Brown passed on condolences from both 10 Squadron and the Association to Lynn who then cheerfully recalled how much her father had enjoyed his time on the Squadron from July 1966 to November 1968.

Our gratitude goes to OC10, Sqn Ldr Brown and all others who allowed a 10 Squadron & Association presence to bid farewell to a most respected and well-liked, former Officer Commanding No 10 Squadron.

RIP Sir Michael


See Sir Michael’s own personal contribution to our short biographies of former OC10s written in 2017 at:

Sir Michael Beavis - a short autobiography


Sir Michael in the left hand seat of a VC10

painted by Penelope Douglas G.Av.A.

 Vulcan VC10

Roundel RAF



Hugh Reay                   WW2 Halifax and Dakota Wireless Operator  March 1945 - April 1947

With great sadness we are informed that Hugh Reay passed away on Sunday 3 May 2020 in Hexham Hospital after a short illness. Hugh was 95.

 A small family service, limited in numbers by the coronavirus lockdown, took place on

13 May at West Road Cemetery, Hexham, Northumberland.

Our sincere condolences go to Hugh's wife Doreenhis son’s Trevor and Alistair, his daughter Lesley and all other family members.  Hugh will be sorely missed.

Our thanks go to son Trevor for sending us a brief resume of Hugh's life which may be opened by clicking:  Hugh Reay




Terry Spittles              Former Vulcan and 10 Sqn VC10 Navigator (10 Sqn 1970s-80s)

We regret to announce that Terry, who lived in Carterton near Brize Norton, passed away sometime during the weekend of 29th February/1st Mar 2020.

No further details are known as yet but it believed that the funeral will be in held nearby.

Terry was a most amicable man and was much liked by all who flew with him on the VC10, prior to which he had flown in the V-Force.

Our sincere condolences go to his family and all who were close to him.

Further information will be added here when known.

RIP Terry



Ian Mackie                  Former Argosy and 10 Sqn VC10 pilot  (10 Sqn 1970s-80s)


With regret we learn that a former VC10 pilot Ian Mackie, sadly passed away on 18 February 2020.  His death from pneumonia and other complications followed a short stay in Worthing Hospital.

The funeral was held on 11 March 2020 at Worthing Crematorium, Sussex, and was followed by a gathering of friends at a venue in nearby Shoreham.

We offer our sincere condolences to Val and all Ian’s family.



Chris Strawson          Squadron Leader and VC10 Navigator  1970s & 80s

The following text has been received by email from Gp Cpt Peter Bingham who lives on the Isle of Wight.

I am not sure if anyone else has passed this on but Chris Strawson, who many will remember as 10 Sqn Nav leader and subsequently as an instructor and Staneval Nav, sadly died on 15th January 2020. He retired to the Isle of Wight and was a member of the Royal Flying Corps & Royal Naval Air Service Association here on the Island (the last branch in existence) and it was through this organisation that I saw him regularly until he became ill in late 2019.

His funeral took place on 6th February and a number of RFC/RNAS Assn members were there along with some of old friends from his days in the Service. If any association members wish to contact his widow, Viv, then I would be happy to pass on any messages.

Peter Bingham

RIP Chris



Harry Liddell    also affectionately known as 'Mr VC10'   Squadron Leader and VC10 Captain

The following message has been received from Harry's son Charles;

" I regret to have to inform you that 10 Squadron Association member Harry Liddell died on 25th January 2020.

While the family is still stunned by his sudden passing, we are so relieved for him that he went the way he did, quickly and quietly and not suffering at all. Being 95 years old, he certainly could not complain of being short changed in the longevity stakes. 

At Harry's request there will be no funeral. He felt that they are such awful things that no one should have to endure such an ordeal, not even himself . -  Self-effacing to the last.

Sincerely, Charles Liddell (son) "

 Harry will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and flying with him on the VC10.  He was a pilot on the Squadron and later on the long tours which followed, he became a VC10 Trainer/Instructor/Examiner on No 241 OCU at Brize Norton and ASCEU/ATEU at Upavon.  He was always treated with the greatest respect for his ability as a pilot (Harry held one of the very few, and rarely awarded, Air Support/Strike Command 'A' Categories which allowed him to fly HM The Queen) and for his quiet, modest manner as a true officer and gentleman.  Harry was well-liked by all who ever came into contact with him.

It is hoped that some of his memories may be published here in due course and will include his recollections of  training at a wartime Canadian Air Training School, a GPU in the southern UK, his immediate postwar experiences of Burma, as well as various tales from his post-university second stint in the RAF..........

Harry was born in Clifton, Bristol in September 1924 and died aged 95 yrs. 

Our sincere condolences go to Harry's wife Liz,  and to his daughter and son Sophie and Charles.


A true professional in every sense.  


R.I.P. Harry Liddell



 Harold Dummer

   We regret to announce that Association Member Harold Dummer passed away on 6 January 2020.

Harold was a stalwart member of the Association and was very passionate about supporting 10 Squadron in honour of his brother Cyril who had been killed in action during WW2.  To that end he was a long-term attendee at the annual Service of Remembrance at the 10 Squadron Melbourne Memorial and, over the years, made many friends during the pub lunches held after the Service.  

Although he was never a member of the Squadron himself, Harold’s membership was taken out in respect for the memory of his brother Sgt Cyril A.R. Dummer who was a 10 Sqn WW2 Halifax Mid-Upper air gunner, lost in WW2 aged just 19 yrs.

See attached pdf file:  Cyril Dummer

The aircraft in which his brother died had been previously flown on many missions by a crew who had survived their full tour of operations.  The rear gunner on that crew was a Sgt (later Fg Off) Ken Beard.  Ken and Harold became good friends and were often seen together at various 10 Sqn Association get-togethers.  Sadly Ken passed away in July 2019.

Beard Dummer

Harold (left) with Ken Beard at a Remembrance Sunday lunch at the Plough Inn, Allerthorpe

Harold was born in Paddington, London in 1931. He was unfortunate enough to fall out of the back of a truck during his own RAF WW2 training and broke his back, thus causing him to be invalided out of the Service. Typical of his spirit though, he did not let this shape the rest of his life, even though he spent much time in hospital in plaster and had to learn to walk again. He went on to work and live an always active and a very practical life. He was a keen craftsman who was always making things.

After marrying his beloved wife Anne in 1955 they had three children, Susan, Jennifer and Martin. His main area of work was as a warehouse manager for BASF and then more latterly an auditor for BASF.  He started his RAF research into his brother Cyril’s 10 Sqn 1944 Halifax crash when he retired and it always amazed him that on his audit work travels, he had regularly passed close to Rawcliffe, near Goole where, through his research, he learned that was where his brother’s aircraft had crashed, although he was unaware of the location at the time. 


Up until he became ill in September 2019, Harold had never been in hospital or had the need to see the doctor.  He remained in hospital, except for a few weeks at a rehabilitation centre where he became ill again and had to be re-admitted to hospital. Sadly, he never was to leave and he passed away peacefully there on 6 January 2020.

The date of his funeral at Kettering on 24 January would also have been Harold’s 89th birthday and, as he loved family get-togethers, it has been felt fitting to hold the celebration of his life on that day.


Harold’s brother, Mid Upper Gunner - Sgt Cyril Albert Reginald Dummer RAFVR  aged 19, of Kenton, Middlesex was buried in the Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery, Yorkshire (Grave B/G/4).  On his 1944 gravestone are the words,

“He Left The Consolation Of A Treasured Memory.”

We might add, ........ “So did Harold”

Our thanks go to Harold's daughter Susan Drage for advising us of Harold's passing and our condolences go to all the family.

Harold's funeral was held on

 24 January 2020 at Kettering Crematorium   



George Fair                10 Sqn  VC10 Air Quartermaster and later Flight Commander

We have hazy information that George Fair passed away sometime during the summer of 2019. 

We understand that George may have joined 10 Sqn as an Air Quartermaster in the VC10's early days of 1968. He then became the flight commander for Air Loadmasters and Air Stewards sometime in the early 1980s and may have later retired from the RAF in the rank of squadron leader.

Our attention to this news,stems from a third party noticing a post on Facebook's 'I served on 10 Squadron'.

Any further information would be much appreciated by readers. please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RIP George


David Simpson          10 Sqn  VC10 Flight Engineer

We learn from his brother, the sad news that former VC10 flight engineer, M Eng David Simpson passed away peacefully at his Lincoln home on 28 July 2019.

Joining the RAF at 16 as a Cosford Apprentice, he served for 40 years.  This included  working on Vulcans as an Air Radar Technician before joining the aircrew fraternity as a Flight Engineer on Nimrods (206 Sqn), VC10s (10 Sqn) and (his love) the Tristar (216 Sqn).

We also understand that David had a Doctorate in Engineering and may have based his Thesis for it around Concorde Trials. (Any elaboration on this would be gratefully received from readers.)

He will be sadly missed by family and a host of friends. 


David's funeral was held at Lincoln Crematorium on 27 August 2019 

Our Condolences go to all David's family and friends.



Ken Cyril Beard          10 Sqn  Fg Off WW2 Halifax  Tail Gunner (1944)

Sadly we learnt that Ken Beard passed away on 5 July 2019, aged 97: - he would have been 98 in December 2019. Ken was a stalwart member of the Association and regularly attended Reunions and Remembrance Sunday services until well into his middle nineties.  He will be sorely missed by all who knew him, especially all those in The Salvation Army which he held so dear.

Ken’s funeral took place on Monday 22 July 2019

at the Salvation Army Church,  Church Street, Clowne,

Chesterfield and later at Worksop for the interment.


In 2016, his elder son Jim, an Association member, sent us the following article about his father:-

 Dad's War - Ken Beard

Our condolences go to all Ken's family.

Ken Beard

RIP Ken 


Note:  A Museum is being set up and is due to open to the public in 2020 near WW2's Gold Beach in Normandy.  This is not far from Mt Fleury whose German gun batteries were one of 10 Sqn's D-Day targets. Ken's family have kindly donated his RAF Flying Log Books, his medals and his uniform to the Museum.  

Ken Beard - Never to be Forgotten


James Petre               10 Sqn  Flt Sgt WW2 Halifax  Tail Gunner (1945)

Living in Billingham, Cleveland, Jim, passed away on 27 March 2019 aged 98.  

He had been an early member of the 10 Sqn Association.

Jim was  a tail gunner who was shot down whilst on a minelaying mission near Stetin in the Baltic, in February 1945.  The captain, Fg J. Grayshan and navigator, FS A. Berry were both killed. Three crew members evaded capture;  Sgt R. Maddock-Lyon (Flt Eng), FS H.L. Mills (Mid/Up-Gnr) and FS Jim Petre.  The Air Bomber, Plt Off S. Chadderton and the Wireless Operator, Sgt P.W. Andrews were taken PoWs.

We are grateful to Jim's grandson Chris for kindly notifying us of his passing.

Meanwhile we send our deep condolences to all his family.



Dion J.T. Hickin                      10 Sqn and 101 Sqn VC10 pilot and instructor 

Although he was not an Association member, we learn of the early March 2019 death through cancer, of Flt Lt Dion Hickin (Retd). 

The funeral service was held at St Mary's Church, Bampton,  on 28 March 2019.

Dion’s son-in-law, is Flt Lt Adam Merceica, a present-day Voyager pilot on 10 Sqn.

Dion Hickin retired from the RAF at RAF Brize Norton in mid-2010 and later became President of the Witney Rotary Club.

An article about his 2010 retirement at Brize Norton is shown here: Dion Hickin and may also be found on Page 33 of the then Brize Norton magazine 'Gateway'.  See:  https://docplayer.net/55654792-Gateway-june-in-june-s-issue.html

Our condolences go to his family.                                                            RIP  Dion

Thomas Leonard Thackray, DFM    

10 Sqn WW2 Halifax Flight Engineer (March - August 1943)

With great regret we announce the death of Association Founding Member Tom Thackray on Wednesday 27 February 2019.

The funeral was held on 15 March at The Guildford Crematorium, Surrey and afterwards at The Princess Royal, Runfold.

Tom was born near Doncaster in September 1922 and, after training at St Athan, he served as a Halifax flight engineer on 10 Squadron from March until August 1943.

In September that year he was commissioned and also awarded the DFM.

After WW2 he worked for Vickers at Weybridge involved with the final production processes for the Viscount and Vanguard aircraft.

He eventually retired after working for BEA (BA) at Heathrow in the aircraft maintenance department.


Fg Off T.L. Thackray DFM (1943)

Our sincere condolences go his son Roger and his partner Chris Geoffrey, both of whom assisted Tom in the production of the 10 Squadron Association’s Newsletters after Tom finally hung up his pen as its Editor, after some 30 years, in 2014.

Tom and his wife Dorothy (1919–2017), a former WW2 RAF St Athan WAAF, were always regular attendees at the annual Remembrance Sunday services at the Squadron War Memorial at Melbourne and even in his early nineties was to be seen marching as an escort to the Association Standard when it was paraded there.


Tom & Dorothy in 2012

A tribute to Tom was published in the final 'paper' Association Newsletter No 50.

See:  ' A Tribute to Tom Thackray '



 Jack Wingate       10 Sqn WW2 Halifax Air Gunner (May 1943- November 1943)

Recent news indicates that Founding Association Member Jack Wingate passed away at Margate, Kent on 16 December 2018.

It is regretted that there are no further details as yet.

Our condolences go to all his family.

Jack Wingate

RIP  Jack

AG brevet


 Fred Tiller          10 Sqn WW2 Halifax Air Gunner (1944 -45)

With great sadness we learn that another Association Founding Member, Fred Tiller passed away in Hampshire at New Milton between Christchurch and Lymington, on  17 December 2018.  Fred was a stalwart supporter of the Association and never missed attending both Reunions and the Remembrance Sunday meetings at Melbourne;  attending the last of these just a month before he died.   

Our sincere sympathies go to his son Fred jnr who will be carrying on our tribute to his father's memory as an Association member.


RIP Fred

AG brevet



Fred Tiller receiving his Association Honourary Lifetime Membership Certificate

from Gp Cpt Gerry Bunn on 11 November 2018

Tiller Evans Bzn



Douglas Evans, DFC (1922 - 2018)      RAF 10 Sqn WW2 Halifax captain (1943-44)


 Lancashire Aircraft Corporation, British South American Airways (BSAA),

 British European Airways (BEA) - later British Airways (BA),  Gulf Air, Air UK

It is with extreme sadness that we have to announce the death of one of our Association Founding Members, Doug Evans who passed away peacefully in Woodbridge, Suffolk on Sunday 23 December 2018.

 Funeral Std     Funeral Std Salute

Doug's funeral was held on 22 January 2019 at Ipswich, Suffolk, where the 10 Sqn Association Standard was dipped in salute to him.


Doug’s 38 year long career in aviation saw the award of the DFC after his WW2 10 Sqn tour at RAF Melbourne, Yorks.  Post-war he was at the forefront of world-wide, long-haul flying and later, whilst flying for BEA on the Trident and Tristar, was involved with the high-technology advancements which now allow automatic landings in poor weather to be a matter of course.

Always forward thinking in his attitudes, Doug was a 1984 founder member of the 10 Sqn Association and his gentle demeanour made him immediately liked by all whom he met.  His amazingly accurate and detailed recollections of his WW2 career have provided much hitherto un-documented knowledge regarding the daily lives endured by WW2 Bomber Command crews who could not expect to survive for much longer than three weeks after joining their squadrons to take the war to the enemy.  Doug's later long career in civil aviation won him an award of a Master Pilot's certificate issued by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots in 2012 and as a friend to so many Doug will be sorely missed.

Click here:   Captain Doug Evans, DFC   to read a fuller account of his life.

He truly 'Hit The Mark' . 


DougEvans 2016 

 RIP Doug

We'll miss you.

God Bless

Red Arrow



Terry G.Murphy   (1932 -2018)        Flight Lieutenant VC10 Co-pilot late 1960s - early 1970s

We are sad to announce that Terry passed away on 22 December 2018 after a long illness. 

We send our condolences to his wife Betty and all the family who live in the Cleethorpes area of Lincolnshire.  

Terry was the subject of a long search which the Association carried out in 2018 to trace his whereabouts for the couple to whom he acted as their Best Man some 63 years ago.  We managed to trace him and put the families back in touch shortly before his death. 

He lived in Bexleheath, Kent as a child and joined the RAF as a National Serviceman in the early 1950s.  He flew on both 9 and 101 Squadron's Canberras at Bassingbourn and Binbrook and later on Vulcans before joining 10 Squadron in about 1968.

RIP Terry




Derek Gurney                           WW2 Sergeant - Hailifax Tail Gunner

Derek was a rear gunner on a WW2 Halifax crew captained by a WO E. George. At present little else is known about his life.

The funeral took place on 20 December 2018 at the West Herts Crematorium, Garston, Watford Herts. 

Sadly there are no further details.

This news was learned from a Facebook contact.




James (Jim) Edward Whatley            a 10 Sqn Association Member

10 Sqn  WW2 Wireless Operator -  Sgt  RAFVR,  - later commissioned Plt Off to Flt Lt

Jim Whatley was born in June 1920 and sadly passed away on 26 November 2018 at the grand age of 98 years old.  His grandson informs us that: 

The funeral was on 12 December 2018 at the Test Valley Crematorium, Romsey, Hants.

- exactly 75 years to the day (12 December 1943) from when James was commissioned as a pilot officer.

James’ family have kindly offered that any donations received at the funeral shall benefit the RAF Benevolent Fund with a reference to the 10 Sqn Association. Our thanks will be echoed by the RAFBF.


James completed his tour of operations on 10 Squadron Halifaxes at Melbourne in February 1944 but his next operational tour is as yet unknown. After promotion to flying officer rank in June 1944 he was awarded the DFC soon afterwards but research is now ongoing as to there being a possibility he may have later been awarded a Bar to the medal. Surviving WW2 he finally left the RAF in February 1950.

James joined 10 Sqn in June 1943 on Fg Off John G. Jenkins’ crew. Two months later the crew survived a crash landing back at Melbourne after severe combat damage to their aircraft (DT 792) had been sustained on a raid to Hamburg.

 DT 792 Crash

Just another two months later in September 1943 the same crew escaped yet again from their damaged aircraft (HR 924) which this time had been attacked by an Me110 during their raid on Hanover. On this occasion bombs could not be dropped over the target or jettisoned prior to landing and the crew were directed to point the aircraft towards the North Sea and bale out which they did near Patrington. This action earned their pilot captain Fg Off Jenkins, the somewhat lengthy nickname of, “Bring ’em back alive Jenkins” to accompany his immediate award of the DFC.

Our thanks and sympathies to Richard Bond and the family.  Click his name below for further details of his life 

James E.Whatley, DFC  -  R.I.P.


The two Halifaxes mentioned above were both named ‘Farouk’ with accompanying ‘nose art’ on their fuselages – the same name of unknown origin, later being also adorned this time on a third Mark 3 Halifax flown by the OC10 from March – October 1944, Wg Cdr Dudley Radford.  Does anyone know why the aircraft were so named? - The cartoon character resembles that of Disney's dwarf Dopey in the Snow White film.

Farouk 2



William Leslie (Les) Hitchings     10 Sqn VC10 Flight Engineer - later with Gulf Air and Virgin Atlantic

 Les apparently collapsed recently whilst preparing his immaculate, home built Glasair aircraft for sale at Kemble.  Despite the valiant efforts of one of his sons, he never regained consciousness and passed away on 7 November 2018.

 The funeral was held on Monday 26 November at

The South Oxfordshire Crematorium and Memorial Park
Garford, Abingdon. OX13 5PA

A well-attended wake followed at The Horseshoe inn, Bampton, OX18 2HA

Les was born in 1935 and joined the RAF in 1951.  After completing his Air Engineer's course he was initially posted to Shackletons but later joined 10 Sqn on the VC10 in 1969.  In 1975 he left the Squadron and the RAF to join Gulf Air based in Bahrain, flying the airline's VC10s and later Tristars until 1990. He returned to the UK and joined Virgin Atlantic as a flight engineer on their Boeing 747s to finally retire from them in 1999.  RIP Les.

(Note: Thanks to Alan Walker ex-Gulf Air for finding this information)

Les was an Association member and leaves his wife Vivian, sons Andrew and Neil, and a daughter Sally, to all of whom we offer our deep condolences.




Eric Thomas             VC10 Ground Engineer          

Eric sadly passed away on Saturday 8 September 2018 at the age of 84. 

He was not a member of the Association, mainly because he never had internet access, however he was a crew member for many years on VC10s, working as a flying Ground Engineer, when stationed at RAF Brize Norton.

More details to follow thanks to his son Paul.

Eric’s funeral was on the 26 September 2018 

at Weston Mill Crematorium,  Plymouth




Mick Bush  (May 1942-Aug 2018)  - Master Air Loadmaster VC10 1968 -1973

ALM Brevet 

Mick sadly passed away on 13 August 2018

The funeral was held on 6 Septemberat Thanet Crematorium, Manston Road, Margate.


The Funeral Directors were: Gores Brothers Ltd, 56 – 60 Thanet Road , Margate, CT9 1UB


Mick was born in Sittingbourne, Kent on 18 May 1942. 

He joined 10 Sqn in 1968 flying on VC10’s as a Sergeant AQM/ALM where he remained in post until 1973.

He was subsequently posted as an ALM to Hercules (30 Sqn) and to Andovers, later serving as a crewman and winchman on Whirlwind and Wessex helicopters. As an S&R winchman he took part in several high profile rescue missions; on one occasion winning an award for his bravery. He also served in Northern Ireland for which he was awarded the GSM NI.  


Service family homes included: Brize Norton, Lyneham, Hong Kong, Germany, Shrewsbury, Leuchars and Manston. After leaving the RAF the family settled in Ramsgate, Kent.    

Mick’s passions were his family and cricket. He batted for his station and Support Command and later qualified as a groundsman and umpire at Lords.  

Shortly after he retired from the RAF aged 55 years in the rank of MALM he was diagnosed with throat cancer but he didn’t let his illness or a tracheostomy get him down. He continued to be the life and soul of the party. He was known as “the miracle man” by the medical staff who looked after him throughout his long illness.

When the cancer spread recently, his wife Gill and staff from the local hospice looked after him at home. When he became seriously ill, on the 13 August 2018, he was taken to the Pilgrim’s Hospice in Ramsgate where he died peacefully in his sleep a few hours later. 

He is survived by his beloved wife Gill, son Jason + Victoria and grandson Samuel.


RIP Mick



John Cormack (Dec 1943 – July 2018) - Victor Ground Crew - RAF Cottesmore 1963-65

Johnny died early in the afternoon on 11 July 2018 age 74. He had been suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis for many months and his funeral was held on 23 July.


He was born in St. Ives but moving on finally passed away at his home in Wrea Green (between Preston and Blackpool) in Lancashire.

In 1960 Johnny was selected for apprentice training at the No 1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton. He served at Cottesmore on 10 Sqn Victors from April 1963 to 1965 as an Airframe Fitter, although frequently also recovering 15 Squadron aircraft as well as 10 Squadron’s. He enjoyed RAF life, being posted to various parts of the world which included Cottesmore, Bahrain, Lyneham, Brize Norton and Gan. He had many exciting trips on Mobile Servicing Flight.

After leaving the Royal Air Force, John worked for International Computers Ltd (ICL) in various engineering roles and later was the chief engineer for a company supplying XRay, CT, MRI and Ultrasound scanners with 3D imaging, to the NHS. He also worked for a few months at RAF Sealand until he was offered the role of Chief Engineer at the new cancer centre that was opening at Royal Preston Hospital. After relocating, it was here back in Lancashire, working on Linear Accelerators and other radiotherapy equipment that John eventually finished his working life in 2006.

Johnny Cormack was always smiling and fun. The most loving, kind, gentle and generous husband, father and grandfather that his family could have ever wished for. He has left a hole that is impossible to fill. Johnny never let anyone down and fulfilled every obligation he ever undertook. Everyone who met him and was associated with John had the highest regard for his personality and his generosity. His dignity in life was matched by his dignity at the end of it.

John will always be sorely missed by his wife Stephanie, his daughter Sarah, son-in-law Darran and grandchildren Alexander and Elizabeth, together with his many friends world-wide and by all who hold him dear.

Rest in peace.

Thanks to: Roger Miller (Victors) for the above information


 John Nelson Brittain     Flt Lt - 10 Sqn VC10 pilot  August 1973 - July 1976


Mark Brittain reports the sad news of his father John's passing away on 19 June 2018.  


John was born in Walsall in 1938 and joined the RAF in 1957, learning to fly in Canada on a NATO training scheme.  After serving on 10 Sqn as a copilot he left the RAF in 1976 and in 1977 joined Britannia airways, flying Boeing 737s and 767s with them at Birmingham until he retired 1991.   


He leaves a wife Elizabeth Anne, sons Mark & Peter, and daughters Ann, Bernadette & Frances.

Prior to joining 10 Squadron he had flown the Chipmunk, T33, Silverstar, Hastings and Britannia aircraft.


John and a Harvard


John Brittain on a 10 Sqn VC10

His first flight was in a Tiger Moth on 20 November 1955, as was his last flight, also in a Tiger Moth on 25 September 2008. 

John's funeral was be held St Joseph's Church, Wroughton, near Swindon on Wednesday 4 July and attended by approximately 300 mourners.


Note:     At the funeral wake, it transpired that the father of John's daughter-in-law Hilary, had also flown on 10 Sqn in WW2.  Sgt Norman John Gregory was a Mk V Whitley captain whose aircraft was shot down on a Bremen raid on 27/28 June 1941.  Taken as a PoW he spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria, before being moved on the so-called 'long march'.  He survived the war.


Denis Arthur Stratford Parson         10 Squadron RAF Melbourne 1944 -45 (role/rank unknown at present)

Denis passed away on 8 June 2018, shortly after an unexpected stroke. He was 96 and though frail, had been comfortable and still enjoying life and humour until the stroke.

The funeral was held at Penmount Crematorium, Truro, Cornwall on Thursday 28 June.

As Denis outlived all of his pals and aquaintances, only family members were in attendance.

More details to follow from son Lawrence.

RIP Denis

Tommy Thompson  

Sqn Ldr VC10 captain on 10 Sqn,  VC10 instructor on No 241 OCU (late 1960s & 70s)

and Asssociation Member

Passed away after a long illness on Tuesday 24 April 2018

VC10 Tommy

Our deepest sympathies go to his wife Margaret near Faringdon, and all the family.

Sadly missed by all who had the pleasure to know and fly with him

Apr 18                    See Tommy Thompson VC10 by Ann Bihan & Heather Barrett

1 May 18  From Tommy's daughter Mandy: 

Tommy Thompson, retired pilot, RAF and Britannia Airways, died peacefully at home on 24 April 2018, aged 88 years, surrounded by his family, who were loved by him, as he was much loved by them.

The Funeral was held on 22 May 2018 at St Giles Church, Great Coxwell, Faringdon, Oxfordshire.  

Read Ann Bihan's report on Tommy's funeral:  Tommy Thompson  - RIP





Lynn Struthers    Flight Sergeant VC10 Loadmaster 1980s


Passed way suddenly 19 March 2018, aged 58.


10 Sqn Brize Norton &  60 Sqn Wildenrath, Germany.


Sister of Ian and adventurous traveller,


Always fun, true friend, very sadly missed


See this link to the RAF News  https://issuu.com/rafnews/docs/raf_news_06.04.2018


Memories of Lynn:   (click on the brevet)        ALM Brevet

RIP Lynn


9 Apr 18



Peter Wooldridge         One of the very first VC10 captains  from 1966  

Sadly, all we know so far is that Peter passed away in mid-March 2018 and

the funeral was held at on Saturday 24 March

at the Yeovil Crematorium, Somerset. 



David Neville            Flight Lieutenant - Nav Radar from the Victor Cottesmore era 

The following was taken from The Telegraph dated  2 March 2018.

" Neville. - David, Flt Lt 10 Squadron (Victors).  Passed away peacefully at home in Chittlehampton, [near Barnstable] Devon, on 24th February 2018, aged 85 yrs.  Online ref: 550129  "

Since David was not an Association member it is regretted that no further details are as yet known.  

However after researching our 10 Sqn Ops Record Books we think that he was the Flt Lt D.E. Neville (4065987) who was a Nav Radar in 1959/60 and flew on the crews captained by Flt Lt P.H.J. Peters, AFC and later with Flt Lt P. Wilson .

1a. No3 Victor Cse Neville

No 3 Victor Course David Neville - rear end right

1b. Neville crew

David Neville (front left) with Flt Lt Peter's crew prior to a Battle of Britain flypast in 1959

Peters is 2nd left rear:  Photo supplied by Chris Kemp a 1980s 10 Sqn VC 10 pilot,

whose father Stan was a 10 Sqn Victor pilot and is shown here holding the chart.


If anyone can add to this, please email us at :  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



 Kenneth Secker      

Halifax Wireless Operator  - Melbourne Jul 1944 - Feb 1945

Sadly we announce that Kenneth passed away on 17 February 2018. Kenneth, who was 95 when he died, had been an Association member and in earlier days after WW2 attended the informal reunions at the Bombers Pub in Seaton Ross as well as annual Association Reunions.

Our condolences go to his wife Lillian (whose 90th Birthday was on 20 February) all his family.

The funeral will be held on Tuesday 13 March  at 12:30 at the

Parish Church in Lutterworth, LE174AN


Aged just 18, Kenneth joined the RAF in 1941 and arrived at RAF Melbourne as a wireless operator with his crew, captained   by Canadian Fg Off D. Brown on 25 July 1944. They had all trained at RAF Marston Moor on No 1552 HCU. After the crew had completed their tour of 32 ‘ops’ they were posted from 10 Sqn on 21 February 1945. 

At Merryfield in Somerset Kenneth then joined No 187 Squadron which had formed earlier that month, again flying Halifaxes but this time in a transport role.  

Note: 187 Squadron was re-numbered on 1 Nov 46 to become 53 Sqn which many readers will recall flew the Belfast transport aircraft based at RAF Brize Norton in the late 1960s and 70s.

Kenneth, who had been born in Norfolk moved to Birminham in the 1950s after his demob from the RAF and joined the Police Force, where he was stationed at the well-known Steelhouse Lane station/prison for 30 years. 

                      Kenneth Secker edited 1              PC SEcker


Note: Built in 1892 and closed in 2016 the unique Victorian building of Steelhouse Lane Police Station, linked to the Magistrates Court opposite by an underground tunnel, saw such notorious inmates such as 1970-80s killer Fred West and earlier members of the ‘Peaky Blinders’ gang. Its mortuary held the bodies of the 'Birmingham pub bombings' of 1974.– It opened as a tourist attraction in September 2017.

Kenneth met his future wife Lillian at a dance in Oakham whilst on leave during WW2.  They were married for over 70 years and Lillian’s 90th birthday was sadly just three days after Kenneth had passed away on 17 February.

Mr Mrs Secker

The couple moved to Lutterworth, Leics in 1989 when their grand-daughter Nicola was born, in order to be half-way between Birmingham where their son Andrew lives, and Oakham, where members of Kenneth’s family still reside.

RIP Kenneth



Michael Kutyn              Squadron Leader Michael Kutyn

passed away peacefully in Canada on 3 January 2018 at the age of 95.

Michael is survived by loving wife Helen (Couturier), children, grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Michael joined the RCAF in 1941 and served with the 10 Squadron, being awarded the DFC. He joined 418 City of Edmonton Squadron in 1949.  

Michael wrote a book about his WW2 life with his son Greg.  It is entitled, 'Diaries of RCAF Serviceman Michael Kutyn'.  It may be out of print but if any reader has a copy the 10 Sqn Association would like to see a scan of one of the Halifax aircraft that are shown in the book. Please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The following information was found during a search on the internet: 

  • A prayer service was be held on Sunday, January 7, 2018 at Connelly-McKinley Funeral Homes St. Albert Chapel. Edmonton, Canada.

  • A Funeral Mass with burial to celebrate Michael Kutyn's life was held  on Monday 8 January  at St. Albert Catholic Parish, 7 St. Vital Ave, St. Albert, with interment in the family plot at Holy Cross Cemetery, Edmonton.

  • The family wishes to express their thanks to the medical staff at the Sturgeon General Hospital and the Citadel West for Michael's care.

  • In memory of Michael, donations may be made to the Edmonton Aviation Museum 11410 Kingsway NW, Edmonton, AB, T5G 0X4.

  • To send condolences, please visit www.connelly-mckinley.com.


 David N. Galpin       Gp Capt (Ret'd) - 10 Sqn VC10 navigator Jan 1967 - Oct 1969

David was born in Portsmouth in April 1929 and sadly passed away on 26 August 2017 at his home in Chippenham, Wilts.  Our condolences go to his wife Brenda and their three children Nickie, Chris and Roger.  

A Memorial/ Thanksgiving Service was held at St Michael's Church, Lyneham on 14 September.

David was a navigator who served as a Flight Commander on 10 Sqn when it was newly formed equipped with the VC10 aircraft.  - (see dates below)  He was particularly proud to have served on the Squadron, and loved flying on such a lovely aircraft. He was further delighted to have been at Brize Norton in September 2013 to witness the last VC10 flight.

David was a member of 10 Sqn Association and we are honoured and grateful to his family that they have specifically asked for us to be informed of this sad news.  

G dau Nickie

David Galpin & daughter Nickie Evans, in September 2013

(Thanks to go to David's son-in-law, Sqn Ldr Tony Evans (Retd) for providing David's personal details below)


David Galpin: Personal Life & Career Details:

Attended the Royal Grammar School Guildford and joined the Royal Air Force in 1947 direct entry from school. 

Professional Qualifications: Graduate RAF Staff College, Air Warfare College and Specialist Navigator Course.  Member of Royal Institute of Navigation. Bachelor of Arts OU

Initial Training as a Navigator carried out at Thornhill, Rhodesia from 12 Apr 1948- 6 Sep 1949 & commissioned on return in Dec 1949.

Posted to 235 Sunderland OCU Calshot 27 Mar 1950 - Sep 1950 & later that yearp osted to 209 Sqn Sunderlands in Seletar, Singapore 4 Oct 1950

     Flew operational sorties from Iwakuni Japan flying over the Yellow Sea in support on UN forces during the Korean War. Awarded a Mention in Dispatches to his Korean War medal.

Became Senior Navigator on 209 Squadron. He was also involved in flying around the Indian Ocean carrying British government officials looking for a suitable place to build an airfield, eventually choosing Gan.

Returned to UK and posted as Navigator Instructor RAF Shawbury 4 Nov 1953 and attended Specialist Navigator Course RAF Manby 22 Aug 1955

      Posted in Jul 1956, on Ground Tour, to A and AEE Boscombe Down writing Navigator Training Manuals.  However, managed to fly, and record in his logbook, on a number of aircraft including:  Meteor, Javelin, Comet, Ashton, Beverly, Victor, Vulcan and Valiant. David was also was the navigator on the delivery flight of the last Beaufighter RD 761 from Boscombe Down to Seletar in Mar 1959.

Posted to 242 Hastings OCU RAF Dishforth 18 Aug 1959 -22 Dec 1959 & joined 36 Sqn Hastings RAF Colerne 10 Jan 1960 - 8 Jan 1961

Posted RAF Staff College Bracknell 9 Jan 1961-22 Feb 1962

Exchange posting to USAF, Alaskan Air Command Elmandorf AFB Alaska 10 Mar 62 -28 Mar 1964.  Staff appointment dealing with policy on navigational training, radio aids and liaison with the FAA.  He did manage to fly and did a number of flights around Alaska and to bases along the Aleutian chain to Shemya (the nearest point to Russia) on C54 and C47 aircraft.  On one notable flight they carried out a Search and Rescue mission for a group of missing Eskimos missing on an ice floe, successfully locating them.

His tour also proved to be very interesting in other aspects.  He and his family were there during the Cuban Missile Crisis and being so close to Russia became familiar with Nuclear Fallout Drills during a very tense period.  JF Kennedy was shot during their time there.

At the end of his tour on the day before they were due to come home the Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 struck. The hotel they were staying in was badly shaken and for a time their son became separated from them before being led to safety by another hotel guest.

     On return posted on Staff tour to RAF Transport Command, Upavon overseeing map and chart requirements and flight manuals. 22 Jun 1964 - 15 Jan 1967

Flight Commander tour on the newly formed 10 Sqn on VC10s RAF Brize Norton 16 Jan 1967-14 Oct 1969

Staff tour MOD 15 Oct 1969- 28 Dec 1970

Posted 242 OCU Hercules RAF Thorney Island 21 Sep 1970 - 28 Dec1970

Officer Commanding No 30 Squadron RAF Fairford/RAF Lyneham 1 Jan 1971-28 Mar 1973. during the Indo-Pakistan conflict he was sent to Masirah as Detachment Commander overseeing the safe evacuation of British Civilians from Karachi, Islamabad and Dacca.

Attended Air Warfare Course Manby 25 Jun1973 - 8 Dec1973

MOD tour 17 Dec 1973 - 25 Oct 1976

     Station Commander RAF Fylingdales 27 May 1977-3 Aug 1979.  He particularly enjoyed his time at Fylingdales. The married quarters were in Whitby and his family loved the local area.  He was especially proud that, during the Cold War and considering the importance of the role, the BMEWS site never let the country down. There was always a ‘golf’ ball operational.

Final tours at MOD on the Intelligence staff before retirement in 1983.

D Galpin


as Officer Commanding RAF Fylingdales 1977 - 1979

  Gp Capt David N. Galpin


On retirement David and his family settled in Whitby, having previously bought an old married quarter. He and his wife became very much involved in the local community: he became a civilian instructor with the local ATC Sqn, voluntary work for SSAFA and RAFA, volunteered at the Captain Cook Museum before becoming the Curator.  And as keen golfers he and his wife were very much  involved with Whitby Golf Club holding various offices within the club.






Mick Dobson           10 Sqn VC10 Captain,  'B' Flt Cmdr & VIP pilot -1970s/80s

Mick sadly died  on 22 May after a long illness bravely fought.

The funeral was held on 15 June at St Mildred's Church, Preston, Nr Canterbury.


Mick joined the RAF as a Flight Cadet at the RAF College Cranwell (93 Entry) and trained as a pilot.  He finished his service in the RAF following the 1st Gulf War after a short ground tour at Marham. He joined 216 Sqn Tristars at Brize Norton as one of its first crews in the 1980s following his tours on 10 Sqn as a flight commander and VIP captain flying the VC10.  Mike was much liked and admired by all who flew with him.  



Section of a cartoon depicting the 'Execs' of 10 Sqn in the early 1980s

when Sqn Ldr Dobson was a flight commander

After leaving the RAF he worked for the CAA based at Gatwick after a move from Lechlade, Glos to Kent and took early retirement from Flight Crew Licencing in 2010.

Although he was not an Association member we of course send our condolences to his wife Jane as those who knew them both have fond memories of their time on the Squadron  where Mick was held in such high regard.



William L. (Tommy) Thompson (1927 – 2017)    10 Sqn Victor Co-pilot at Cottesmore Nov 1960 – Apr 1963

 Born in Gateshead in March 1927 and after a life was devoted to flying with a passion that continued even after retirement, Tommy Thompson sadly passed away away on 28 May 2017 in York.  So as not to confuse his name with others so blessed, we are grateful to his son Chris for the following details of his father’s career which started in the RAF in 1944 during WW2.

Prior to joining 10 Squadron at Cottesmore in November 1960 as a Victor B1 co-pilot Tommy’s previous flying experience had all been on single-seat fighters and as a QFI.  A 'punishment' ground tour coincided with the 1957 Defence White Paper (no more manned fighters), so he orchestrated a return to flying by joining the V-Force.  

His eventful tour on 10 Sqn as Keith Bichard's co-pilot included the Farnborough Air Display 1961, Battle of Britain Day displays in 1962 and a well-known diversion to Wittering on 19 December 1961 when a failure of the Victor's starboard undercarriage to lower resulted in the aircraft coming to rest on the grass with minimal damage.  

Wittering Dec1961

Wittering December 1961

However, Tommy's most often recalled recollections of his 10 Sqn tour were the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 when the Squadron was on full alert readiness with its nuclear deterrents and the Victor sliding on the ice at Cottesmore while taxying during an exercise with the weapon onboard.

Thompson V Crew

Tommy Thompson (centre) & Victor B1 crew 

After his Victor captain’s course he was posted to 57 Sqn at Honington where he resumed QFI duties, displaying the Victor at all the 1964 Battle of Britain Displays and captaining the last crew ever to drop Britain's biggest ever bomb load comprising 35 x 1,000lb bombs, being the only crew ever to successfully drop such a load in a 'stick'.  Once the Victor converted to the tanker role, Tommy served as an instructor on it until 1974, when he moved to the Canberra.  A tour flying Meteors as the close formation 'shepherd' to unmanned aircraft from RAE Llanbedr preceded his final tour as a simulator instructor on the Hawk at RAF Valley.  Tommy retired to North Yorkshire in 1987 after 43 years' RAF service.


Tommy's RAF Career:


Non-Flying Duties (Engine Fitter): 1944-47 48th Entry, No 1 SoTT, RAF Halton
1947-48 No 4 SoTT, RAF St Athan, 1948 RAF Topcliffe (Modification Bay - Wellington, Anson)

Flying Duties (Pilot):

1949 6 FTS, RAF Ternhill (Prentice, Harvard)
1950 203 AFS, RAF Driffield, 226 OCU RAF Stradishall (Meteor T7, Vampire F1)
1950-53 67 Sqn, RAF Gutersloh, Wildenrath (Vampire FB5)
1953-55 19 Sqn, RAF Church Fenton (Meteor F8)
1955 CFS 'B', RAF South Cerney (Provost)
1955 CFS 'A', RAF Little Rissington (Vampire T11)
1955-57 4 FTS, RAF Middleton St George, RAF Worksop (Vampire T11 plus 19 Sqn for Hunter F6)
1957-60 HQ FTC (Meteor, Vampire, Balliol, Provost, Anson)
1960-63 10 Sqn, RAF Cottesmore (Victor B1)
1963-66 57 Sqn, RAF Honington (Victor B1A)
1966-67 214 Sqn, RAF Marham (Victor B(K)1a)
1967-70 Tanker Trg Flt, RAF Marham (Victor)
1970-74 232 OCU (Simulator) (Victor)
1975 85 Sqn, RAF West Raynham (Canberra B2, T4, T19)
1976-78 100 Sqn, RAF Marham (Canberra B2, T4, E15, T19)
1978-82 Royal Aircraft Establishment Llanbedr (Canberra (mod), Meteor T7, NF11.5, D16, Devon/Dove)
1983 RAF Leeming
1983-87 4 FTS, RAF Valley (Simulator - Hawk T1)

A little more about him may be read here:

V-Force: Victors in Malaya » Finest Hour Warbirds

      Tiger Moth Competition - Answer Revealed » Finest Hour Warbirds

Tommy’s son Chris also adds:

My Father maintained his passion for aviation in retirement by designing and building radio controlled model aeroplanes.  Since my Mother's death in 2010, he flew regularly with me, including accompanying me to the Berlin Airshows in 2012 and 2014 in my CAP10 aerobatic machine, where he supervised my displays from the commentator’s stand.  He last features in my logbook in August 2016 in a Tiger Moth, aged 89:  (see pic below)


Tommy Thompson

A full life well led; Tommy was still out-sharping son Chris in the air until late last year.




           TT1     TT2





At the interment of ashes and memorial service, held  at St Gregory's Minster,

Kirkdale  near Kirkbymoorside, North Yorks on 11 August 2017

a 100 Sqn Hawk aircraft overflew the setting whilst on a routine training sortie.

The Hawk was the last aircraft Tommy had flown whilst also on 100 Sqn.



RIP Tommy Thompson



John Potter                Post WW2 RAF Fitter & Honorary 10 Sqn Assoc Member

We announce the recent death in January 2017 of Mr John Potter of Bersted, near Bognor Regis, West Sussex.

John was made an Honorary Association member for his involvement with those former Association members who had advised the Yorkshire Air Museum in their project to restore their Halifax exhibit.  He was also the donor of the two Handley Page Hastings wings that had been stored in a disused railway tunnel at Singleton, nr Chichester, and which were utilised during the rebuild of the YAMs Halifax at Elvington.  

John's funeral was held at North Bersted church on 9 February 2017.

Click 'Read More' on the right-side blue icon  for more details about the Yorkshire Air Museum Halifax restoration and John Potter's involvement. 


Click on the link below to read some basic regulations and advice if you sadly have to arrange the funeral for a loved one who has served in the RAF.


Funeral Planning Advice

Roundel RAF



The Late Reverend Ian Cook, the Association Chaplain, gave the following guidance to members regarding the legal position on the scattering of Cremated Remains.

 It is imperative that the owners of private land must be consulted before any remains are left on the ground.  The owner has the right to designate the place of deposit of any remains.   Remains should be scattered in an appropriate manner on the ground, again in line with the wishes of the land owner.  The owner has the right to remove any remains left in an unauthorised position and either place them in a different position or gather them up and await collection by whoever is responsible.  The scattering may then be conducted in line with the land owner's rules.


At the former RAF Melbourne, now Melrose Farm, owner Mr John Rowbottom is willing to grant permission for the scattering of the Cremated Remains of former WW2 members of 10 Squadron. 

The designated areas for the scattering are either behind the 10 Squadron War Memorial or, alternatively, on the main runway of the former RAF Melbourne.  Mr Rowbottom does not allow the scattering to take place on any other parts of his farm.  Permission is of course, also required for any member of the public to enter the Farm land and to walk or drive on any part of it, especially to  the old runway.



We apologise if the personal details regarding a deceased member are not fully included  but we can only publish what information we have. 



The list below includes those who were not Association Members.

"We Will Remember Them"

 Up to January 2017


Reginald Ivor Manning DFC                   Halifax Flt Engineer  - Melbourne  …….

 …….was an Association member who passed away on Saturday 14 January 2017.

Reg joined the RAF at Halton in 1936 and retired with squadron leader rank in 1956, having completed three separate 10 Squadron postings at various times.  In more recent years a silver cigarette box, presented to Reg when leaving the Squadron for the last time in 1956, was re-donated back to the Squadron by him and is now part of the Squadron silver collection.

Reg's cremation was held on 26 January 2017 at Stonefall Cemetery & Crematorium, Harrogate.  RIP  



Ken Stewart                  Fg Off - Halifax & Dakota navigator 1945 -1947  (Melbourne, Poona & Burma)

We regret to announce that Ken passed away on Saturday 7 January 2017.

Ken's son Alan has kindly provided us with the text of a eulogy read later at Ken's funeral.

It reads:

Ken joined the RAF in August 1942 and, after a spell of training in Newquay, Cornwall, sailed to South Africa to receive initial pilot training on Tiger Moths and Airspeed Oxfords, going solo after 15 and 8 hours respectively.

In August 1943 he transferred to a Navigational Training School and returned to the UK in June 1944, where, in August, he teamed up with the men who were to become his crew for the remainder of the War and his subsequent life-long friends.  Initially flying Wellingtons and then Halifax Mk III's, they went on to receive an award for 'Best all-round Crew' and for Ken, 'Best Navigator' on the Halifax conversion course. 

In February 1944 the crew joined No 10 Squadron, Bomber Command at Melbourne, Yorkshire, and ten days later, with Ken as newly-promoted Flight Sergeant, made their first bombing operation over Germany.

They completed a total 16 operations before the end of the war in Europe, subsequently making some flights over Germany with ground crew on board, [known as Cook’s Tours to show those who had serviced the bombers the results of their hard work –Ed]  before transferring to Dakotas for post-war operations over India and later Burma.  In March 1946 he was promoted to Flying Officer and in July of that year, he made his final flight with the RAF, being released in September.

Alan Stewart


There can also be no more a fitting tribute to Ken than recent words sent to us by his old Squadron and Association friend Doug Newham who writes the following:(click his name below)

Ken Stewart

In early 2013 Ken was one of the first 10 Squadron Association members to apply for then newly announced award of a  'Bomber Command Clasp' to be afixed to his wartime 1939 -1945 Star Medal. He was subsequently invited to No 10 Downing Street and received his Clasp from the then Prime Minister David Cameron. Read the following article compiled by Ken himself, about the event.

Award of Bomber Command Clasp at No 10 Award of Bomber Command Clasp at No 10


 Stewart BC Memorial

Ken Stewart

at the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial, London in June 2012


KS BC Clasp No 10

Our website Home Page  'Banner' which was displayed  after Ken had received his BC Clasp at No 10. 



Dorothy Thackray    -   Wife of Association Founder member Tom and a member of the WAAF during WW2 

Dorothy's cremation was held on 20 January 2017 at Guildford Crematorium, Godalming, Surrey.


The Thackrays after Tom was commissioned in 1944

Dorothy, whose maiden name was Burbidge, married Tom at the parish church Cadoxton, Barry, Glamorgan in 1943.  They had met at RAF St Athan where Tom had been sent to attend the Flight Engineers' course before joining 10 Sqn and starting his tour of Ops at Melbourne. Dorothy was working in the Pay accounts section at St Athan. After WW2 she became a civil servant with the Min of Ag and Fish in Guildford  and had just passed her 97th birthday on 27 December 2016, sadly to pass away on New Year's Day 2017. It was a peaceful passing.


Dorothy, with Tom at an Association Remembrance Day Lunch

at Allerthorpe in 2013

 It is not our general policy to announce the deaths of Members' wives in this column but as Dorothy had supported Tom and the Association so much over the years we choose to make an exception in her case. Our condolences and sympathies go to all her family.




Stuart (Stu) Luff Pierce    Sqn Ldr RAF Retd, MBE died suddenly on Tuesday 27 December aged 84.

Extract from 'The Telegraph' dated:   Tuesday 3 January 2017:  

Dearest husband of Jessie, father of Andrew (deceased), Wendy, Carol, Stuart and Chris and grandad to his 7 grandchildren.  

Private cremation.  A service of Thanksgiving was held at St Mary the Virgin, Bampton, Oxfordshire on the 26 January 2017.  

Stu was a much-admired and well-liked VC10 VIP navigator who set a fine example.  His kind nature endeared him to all who had the pleasure of flying and working with him.  An Association member who always attended our Reunions, Stu will be deeply missed.

Pierce ASI 1984

Stu Pierce enjoying the sunshine at Ascension Island in 1984

on the Ground Engineers' Steps at the old Zymotic Hospital which had become the VC10 slip-crew accommodation.





George Arthur Mullinex         WW2 (1944) 10 Sqn Halifax Wireless Operator

& Association member


“With sadness that I have to inform you, that my father, George Mullinex,  passed away on Friday 16 December 2016 at approximately 21:30 hours.

Following the death of my mother in March 2015, he had been unwell, being confined to bed for the last 5 weeks."


A cremation service was held  on Monday 16 January  at Yardley Crematorium, near Sheldon, Birmingham, with refreshment at Westhall Court afterwards.

This information was passed to us by George’s son David.  We offer our sincere condolences to him and indeed all George’s relatives.


A couple of years ago George gave us some recollections of his final operational flight on 10 Squadron service:

My last flight on the Squadron, completing my full tour of ops, was on 17 July 1944, involving a mass attack on the ‘buzz-bomb’ site at Mont-Candon in southern France. This was my 36th operation and as I have lived to tell the tale, I know I was one of the very lucky ones. I lost so many friends during my time and watching them disappear one by one, was very heartbreaking.

I stayed on 10 Squadron, at Melbourne, until 10 August 1944 and after completing my tour of duty was posted to Stanton Harcourt, near Oxford, flying Vickers Wellingtons as a wireless operator instructor.  This was until 7 February 1945, when I was promoted to Warrant Officer and posted to Castle Bromwich in Birmingham, just two miles from where I was living. I served there for 16 months until my discharge on 25 June 1946.”  

George Mullinex

 RIP George



John Newbold                                        VC10 Flight Engineer  who joined 10 Sqn in 1969.

Sadly we announce that former 10 Squadron Master Engineer John Newbold died on 25 November 2016  after a series of heart attacks in a short time and a stroke.  He would have been 82 this month. 

John's funeral was held on Friday 9 December at  the South Oxfordshire Crematorium & Memorial Park,  Garford,  Abingdon, after which a post-Funeral Reception was held at: The Rose Revived,  Newbridge, Witney, Oxon.  OX29 7QD

Personal letters or cards of condolence should be addressed to:  

Mrs  Koulla Newbold, 78a  Burford Road. CARTERTON, Oxon. OX18 1AF

Family flowers only – Details of donations, in lieu of flowers, will be advised shortly.  Our sympathies go to all his family and friends.

RIP John



Alan Bruce (DFC)                                   WW2 - Fg Off & Halifax Mk3 Captain

Joined 10 Sqn in March 1944 & Awarded the DFC in Feb 1945

 and sadly passed away on 7 November 2016.  

A.Bruce 44 

Crew of Halifax 'Z' - Zebra, 1944 after 37 Ops


The funeral was held on Friday 25 November at Chanterlands Avenue Crematorium , Hull. 

Further details of Alan's service and life will be added when advised by his daughter Margaret.



Mike McKee                                         Master Air Loadmaster on the VC10 

Mike passed away on 10 October and his funeral service will take place at 14:00 hrs at St Bartholomew's, Royal Wootton Bassett on 25 October with refreshments afterwards at the Wiltshire Golf Club. All are welcome.

 No other details available at the moment. (15 Oct)

RIP Mike



George Rupert Edward GARRETT                 WW2  Sergeant, &  Wireless Operator  June - October 1944

died on 1 September 2016 aged 92.


Known as Rupert, Garrett joined 10 Sqn in June 1944 on Plt Off Hagstrom’s crew.  After 3 months this crew were then posted to RAF Driffield onto 466 Squadron an RAAF squadron. – Hagstrom being Australian..


After the war Rupert became an electronics craftsman at the Royal Aircraft/Aerospace Establishment (RAE) and was awarded the ISM (Imperial Service Medal)  in 1989, presumably on retirement.  He lived in Church Crookham, Hampshire and was a member of the Fleet Branch of RAFA. He was also a member of the North Hants Golf Club, in Fleet, for more than 50 years.  In recent years he attended the Club every day for his lunch.


George had no close family  and the Vicar for his funeral, not knowing about the Golf Club connection and thinking that the church would be almost empty, put out a call to the local Royal British Legion (RBL) and RAFA organisations.   In the event, because of the Golf Club, there were more than 40 people in the church, including a contingent from RAFA & RBL and the RAFA Branch Standard. 


RIP   Rupert


Re:   466 Squadron - Wikipedia States:

466 Sqn converted to the Handley Page Halifax heavy bomber in late 1943.  In June 1944, the Squadron returned to Driffield.  From May 1944, operations were focussed on German infrastructure targets in France,such as coastal artillery batteries and railway marshalling yards, in preparation for the invasion of Europe.

 A Fg Off Joe Herman (RAAF), captain of a 466 Sqn Halifax Mk.III, narrowly escaped death in a remarkable incident on 4 November 1944. During a night mission over Germany, his aircraft LV 936 was badly damaged by flak.  After ordering the crew to bail out, Herman was blown out of the plane, without a parachute.  After falling  possibly more than 3,000 metres, Herman fell onto the Halifax's mid-upper gunner, Fg Off John Vivash (RAAF), and grabbed one of his legs.  Both men then descended on one parachute, suffered minor injuries when landing and survived the war as PoWs.  From a total crew of seven, only one other airman, Sgt H. W. Knott (RAF), survived.  According to one source, at least three crew members were murdered after being captured.



 Harry Gough                                 WW2 Sgt & Halifax Tail Gunner    

who joined 10 Sqn with Plt Off Harrison’s crew on 26 June 1944, died on 31 August 2016.


Note: We had very little information to publish about Harry when we learned of his death back in 2016 and hence his Obituary then was merely a notice of his passing.  It was short, to put it mildly. Now read on for more up-to-date 2022 information:


In 2022 the Association was contacted by Harry's son Victor who then visited the former RAF Melbourne on Remembrance Sunday.  His father Harry had been stationed at Melbourne during WW2 as a tail gunner.

Victor kindly donated two paintings of Squadron Halifax bombers to the Association.  They had been painted by the artist Wilson North who was also a member of the late Harry's local Batley RAFA branch.

Attached here below is the 2016 Order of Service for a Celebration of Harry's life and the Eulogy read at the Service by his son Victor. Click on Harry's name below to open it.

Victor and his elder brother Stephen had driven from Devon to attend the Association's annual Service of Remembrance at the Melbourne Memorial and we are most grateful to them for their kindness.

                                                    HARRY GOUGH

RIP Harry



Harold V. Canning              WW2  10 Squadron Halifax  Sgt  tail gunner died recently.


The funeral was held at the Fenlands Crematorium on 26 August 2016.

Harry lived in Old Hurst, Huntingdonshire.


He was a  member of  the exclusive  Goldfish Club:   (see link)

Returning from a WW2 raid on Cologne their aircraft lost 2 engines and had to be ditched in the North Sea.  The dingy didn't automatically deploy and, according to a contemporary newspaper report, Harry went back into the fuselage to manually release the dingy.  After over 4 hours in the dingy the crew were rescued by a destroyer.

Further details will be posted here when known.




Maurice Biggs              Sqn Ldr & VC10 Captain/Sim Instructor 1967 - 80s 

 Maurice Biggs

Joined the RAF in May 1944 and flew many types during a long career, including Hurricanes, Meteors, Vampires, Vulcans and VC10s  and after retirement became

Chairman of SOFFAM - Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton

We regret to announce that Maurice sadly passed away over the weekend of 30/31 July 2016 in Yeovil District Hospital, after admission there some ten days earlier.  Maurice would have been 92 yrs old in a few weeks time.  

After a private funeral, a memorial service was held at Somerton on 22 August with a reception afterwards at the family home, in Barton St David.  

Our sincere condolences to his daughters Marilyn and Valerie and their families.



 Harold Gilbert James             Warrant Officer Air Bomber April - August 1944 & PoW

Died aged 93 on 2 July 2016 in the Hereford area.

As a Bomb Aimer, Harold James flew 7 missions in 10 Sqn Halifax Mk IIIs during the liberation of France.  In total, he completed a total of 38 operations  over German occupied territory.  Prior to and in the weeks following the D-Day Landings, he flew on the following missions:  

                1 June 1944         - Rouen

                6 June 1944         - Mont Fleury and St Lô

                9 June 1944         - Mining Lorient and St Nazaire

                12/13 June 1944   - Longueau Amiens and Mining Brest

                15/16 June 1944   - Fouillard (Fuel Dump)

                22/23 June 1944   - Laon (Railway Sidings)

      27 June 1944        - Mining Brest


In August 1944, his Halifax was shot down and, although he evaded capture for 17 days, he eventually became a Prisoner of War, not returning home until May 1945.

Harold lived with his wife Rosemorie in the White Cross area of Hereford.  

He leaves family members who include:

      Rosemorie  (Wife)

Peter and Amanda James (Son and Daughter-Law), plus grandson, Richard. 

David and Shelia James (Son and Daughter-Law)


RIP & Always Remembered


For further details see this link:  Harold James




Bryce Devos                               VC10 Air Steward in late 1970s

died recently and his funeral was held at Wigan Crematorium on 4 June 2016.  

Regrettably no other details are known.

RIP Bryce



 Clive William Moate                   Master Air Loadmaster  MSM  - VC10

passed away aged 81 in April 2016, after a long and brave battle against cancer.  


Clive spent the final years of his RAF service as a MALM on 10 Squadron.  

His funeral was held on Friday 13 May 2016 at the Bury St. Edmunds Crematorium,. Awake was held afterwards at The Barn,  Elm Vale Farm,  Denmark Hill,  Palegrave, Diss

Although Clive was not an Association member we offer our condolences to his family.

It is hoped that further details of Clive's life will follow shortly



Edward (Ted) Charles Mills        Warrant Officer Halifax & Dakota Navigator

died suddenly on Sunday 10 April aged 93.  Ted was a warrant officer and navigator, flying primarily in Halifaxes during the battle for Europe, and on the Squadron's redeployment to India where he flew in Dakotas.  He was not an Association member.

His funeral was on 29 April at the Surrey and Sussex Crematorium,  Crawley, Sussex.

Information supplied by son Simon to whom we offer our condloences. 



Alfie Musgrove              VC10 Project Officer Pilot captain and later 241 OCU pilot instructor,   1960s - 70s.


Sqn Ldr Alfie Musgrove 

Somewhat belatedley we regret to learn of the death in January 2016 of Alfie Musgrove, in the USA.

Sqn Ldr Alfred Claude Musgrove was one of the two project team pilots (the other being Brian Taylor) who brought the VC 10 into RAF service. He subsequently set up the VC 10 element of the Air Training Squadron at Brize Norton which was later to become No 241 OCU. Alfie was well liked and respected by all with whom he flew.

It is understood that before his death he had been resident in Canby, Woodburn, Oregon. USA for a number of years.

An obituary for Alfie, written in the USA, can be seen here: US Obituary For Alfie Musgrove

[The picture above was taken on 17 April 1969 after Alfie and his crew delivered VC10 XR 809 to Rolls Royce at Hucknall where it became the flying test-bed for the development of their RB211 engine, after being re-registered as civilian G-AXLR.]

RIP Alfie

As with so many ex-Squadron members contact with Alfie had been lost in the past few years. -  Do keep in touch with past members, if only to send them a Christmas card once a year.



James Vick                          WW2 Halifax WO later Fg Off -  Wireless Op

 at Melbourne Feb - Jun 1945 from Australia and Association Member 

James passed away recently in Warrnambool, Victoria, Aus.  His funeral was be held on Wednesday 24 February 2016.

FS E.S. Beaumont's crew, on which James was the Wireless Operator, abandoned their Halifax on 9 April 1945 by parachute, after a raid on a German airfield at Stade.  10 Sqn Ops Records show that the right inner engine became unserviceable with severe vibration and flames, caused by low oil pressure. As the aircraft became uncontrollable it was decided to abandon it over France, where all except the navigator Sgt R. Thomas, were picked up by Allied Forces of the British 2nd Army.  

(We are uncertain as yet, but Sgt Thomas may have survived also, if he is the same person as we believe him to be, passing away in June 2012.  - see Obits below for that year)

Our gratitude goes to James' son Neville for informing us of this sad news.  James was pre-deceased by the rest of his crew and to quote his own humourous words, he has now "hung up his coat" as well.  

Our condolences go to the Vick family.  R.I.P.



Meg  (Sarah Margaret)  Fensome  née Hetherington     10 Sqn Air Quartermaster July 1968 – early 1970s 

December 1946 - January 2016



Sgt (W) Meg Hetherington (later Fensome) in Changi 1968

Meg, who was born in December 1946 on the family farm 'Crook Dake' in what was then Cumberlandin, now Cumbria, died in Florida, USA, after a long battle with cancer on Sunday 17 January 2016.

She was on the same No 7 VC 10 conversion course, as her future husband to be, Terry Fensome, then an Air Engineer.  Meg, together with her lifelong friends Pat Magill née Howard and Jo Heyland née Bend, completed all aspects of their AQM training together and it is the latter who have kindly provided the substance of this text.


Meg was on the second VC 10 course to be drawn from the RAF/WRAF without previous AQM experience on other types of aircraft. She left the WRAF on her marriage to Terry and when he too left the RAF they moved  to Hong Kong where Terry trained as a pilot on multi engined aircraft.  When Terry helped form a cargo airline they moved from Hong Kong to Singapore and then on to Malta, where Meg was always Terry's admin back up; she also often flew with him to look after the load, crew and any passengers.

They returned to the UK to live in Carterton, near Brize Norton, when Terry subsequently flew with Laker Airways and at that time Meg worked as a civilian in RAF Brize Norton Flight Operations.  They later moved to the USA and Meg became Vice President of husband Terry’s  Pelican Flight Training School which she administered whilst Terry continued as CEO of various US airlines.

Meg was the heartbeat of Pelican, having set it up almost single handed, whilst Terry was busy running an airline.  She made it the great success it went on to become. Adored by all Pelican-trained pilots; they remained close friends with Meg afterwards. She would often receive phone calls from ex-students flying in distant parts of the world. Pelican employees and sub contractors loved her too.

As trainee pilots came from all around the world, Meg would help them get US visas, accommodation and smooth their way when they arrived. If they became home sick or had accommodation problems she would take them into her home, sometimes for months on end until they had settled. If any of them ever had a problem she would help them resolve it. She was a real mother hen and they loved her for it.

Meg was diagnosed with cancer 2010; afterwards undertaking every possible treatment available in an attempt to prolong her life but finally she lost the fight on Sunday 17 January 2016.  Our condolences go to Terry for his loss.

As her close friends will confirm Meg was a lovely lady whom all were the better for knowing. She will be greatly missed by all her friends.  The extent of Meg's influence has prompted many comments on Facebook.  Non-account holders who nevertheless may wish to see them should click on her name below to open a copy of them all.


Facebook entries for Meg Fensome

Rest in Peace Meg


The US Memorial/Celebration of her life took place in Florida at Meg's favourite Pembroke Pines Country/Golf Club on 11 February 2016, after which her ashes were back to the UK, so she may rest alongside her parents in Cumbria. 

A UK memorial service was held  on Monday 7 March 2016,  in a church close to her sister Mary's farm at Inglewood Edge, Sowerby Row, Dalston, Carlisle.





In 2015




Aubrey  F.G. ( 'Nicky') Nickels   

Mk 3 Halifax navigator on Flt Lt Hurrell's crew from Oct 1944 -Feb 1945

(Shot down during a raid to Worms 22 Feb 1945 in RG426 -'X')  

and Association member.

passed away on 17 December 2015, aged 94. 

The funeral was held at Burham-on-Sea, Somerset on 29 December.

Our thanks to his grand-daughter Gemma for passing on the information and our condolences go to his family.



Tony J. Richards  

Wg Cdr A.J. Richards  was the Officer Commanding 10 Sqn from March 1975 - February 1977

Tony sadly passed away on 11 December 2015.

The funeral took place at the Witney Methodist Church, High Street, Witney  on Wednesday 30 December.

The Squadron at Brize Norton was represented by OC10 Wg Cdr Jamie Osborne and the Association by Chairman Wg Cdr (Ret'd) Mike Westwood, Ian Macmillan, Harry Liddell and Peter Wentworth.

See Crewroom article for a brief resume of his service career.

Red Arrow

R I P 



 Maud Evans      Wife of Doug Evans, Halifax captain, and Founder Member of the Association

sadly passed away in Surrey on 11 November 2015.  

Our thoughts and hearts go out to Doug at this sad time. Maud's funeral was held at Randalls Park Crematorium Randalls Road, Leatherhead, Surrey  on Tuesday 24 November.

.... R I P ....



A.W.A. (Chalky) White     WW2 Halifax pilot and later with BEA and Gulf Air.  

Chalky White, who lived in Camberley, Surrey, sadly passed away on 28 October 2015.

The funeral was held at  Woking Crematorium on Friday 6 November at 15:30 hrs.  

Our sympathies go to his wife Constance (Connie).  



Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham  

WW2 Bomber Command Lancaster pilot and later Chief of the Air Staff 

died on 24 October 2015

Readers may wish to open the pdf file below which was published in The Daily Telegraph on 27 October 2015

Daily Telegraph Obituary to Sir Michael Beetham



David McDonald             VC10 Flight Engineer  (Rank & dates of Service not known)

Mac joined the RAF at the age of 16 and served at Ballykelly in Northern Ireland, Seletar and Brize Norton. As an air engineer, he flew on the Beverley before being posted to No 10 Squadron in the early 1970s. He retired from the RAF in 1978 after 25 years of service and joined British Airways as a Boeing 747 flight engineer.

Mac died on 23 September 2015, aged 78 years.  The funeral  was on 9 October.

See Crewroom: Funeral attendance at Kingsdown, Swindon.




John Ward                           Master Engineer,  VC10s & Britannias

John, whose last known address was in Chippenham, Wilts,

passed away during the summer 2015. 

Our condolences go to all his family. - No further details are known at present.



Joe Overy                              Sqn Ldr, pilot VC10  1970s  and later Danair,

died suddenly on 2 July 2015 

The funeral was held on Monday, 20 July 2015

at St Peter's Church, Ardingly, West Sussex RH17 6UR


 Robert H. Maslen                              of Toronto, Canada - 10 Sqn Dakota pilot Mauripur, Karachi

Copied from website:  http://mountpleasantgroup.permavita.com/site/RobertMaslen.html

Peacefully at St. Michael's Hospital on Saturday  20 June 2015 at the age of 91 with best friend and partner Kathy Carter at his side.
Born 10 May 1924 in London, England he was predeceased by his parents Arthur and Ethel (Stokes) Maslen, his wife Joy Phyllis Maslen and his first son Paul. Proud father of 5, grandfather of 10 and great-grandfather of 14 (too many to list but he loved all of you). He is survived by his brother Peter, predeceased by his brother Arthur.

WWII veteran 10 Squadron RAF pilot in Mauripur, Karachi. After the war he was with RCAF 406 (B25s) Saskatoon and 405 (Argus) Greenwood NS. Signed up in England at 16 as an armourer's assistant , retired after 26 years as a Flight Lieutenant. Later as a civilian he worked for Manpower and Immigration. He derived enjoyment through personal contacts and earlier active support with fellow veterans in organizations such as Allied Air Forces Reunion (as chairman of the last big reunion in 1999), 408-437 Wing Air Force Association of Canada and Branch 66 Royal Canadian Legion.


William 'Bill' McDonagh                  WW2 10 Sqn Halifax Rear Gunner 1944-45

Bill flew 40 missions over Germany during WW2 as a Sergeant tail gunner with the crew of pilot Fg Off R. Thorne RAAF. He also served in the Far East before being demobbed in either 1946/47. Formerly of Limerick City, Ireland and Hammersmith, London, Bill, in his 90s, sadly passed away on 1 May 2015. 

The funeral was held at St Munchin's Church, Limerick on Wednesday 6 May 2015. 

Bill served in the Irish Free State army before WW2 and came to England to work on airfield construction.  He had half a tattoo on his forearm which he was getting done in Coventry when the Blitz started. When the raid was over the shop had disappeared in the bombing and he never did get the tattoo finished.

He crash landed 3 times, once with 6 bombs on board and had his turret's plexiglass shot out around him but didn't tell the pilot as he didn't want the mission compromised.

It is not known whether he remained on 10 Sqn when they deployed to India but Bill served in the Far East where he became a driver.  He may possibly have been in Burma with 10 Squadron in early 1946 as it is understood that he drove Japanese prisoners. [With the Dakota Food Relief flights in Burma in early 1946 they were used as aircraft loaders of rice sacks and other cargo.]   One Japanese officer  who sat in the cab with Bill spoke perfect English which he had learnt whilst studying at the Tropical Medicine Hospital in Liverpool before the war. It is understood that Bill was a Flight Sergeant on leaving the RAF.

After returning to the UK Bill became a driver with the London Ambulance Service and lived in Hammersmith until his last few years.  He returned to Ireland and lived with one of his elderly sisters.


Bill McDonagh ...........RIP

As advised by Danny Watkins (Bill’s great-nephew)




Owen 'Ollie’ TARRAN          Sqn Ldr  VC 10 pilot 1970s      died on March 20, aged 87.   

 Ann Bihan kindly sent in this extract from The RAF News dated 24 April 2015:   

 ‘Long and varied career in the RAF from 1945-1976, latterly on 10 Squadron at Brize Norton and 51 Squadron at Wyton.  Much loved husband to Gillian, loving Dad to Mel, Mark and Richard, grandfather to Ollie, Zac, Jason, Kerry, Scott and Lee, and great-grandfather to Naomi-May, lost his fight against pancreatic cancer quite suddenly. Loved and missed by his family and friends.

 The funeral was held on April 14 at St Giles Church, Standlake, Oxfordshire, where Owen had lived with his family for 49 years.  Donations can be made to Pancreatic Cancer UK c/o E. Taylor and Sons Funeral Services, 21 Corbett Road, Carterton,  OX18 3LG’.


Ollie was the 10 Sqn VC 10 captain on my very first route experience trip in the RAF, whilst I was awaiting my Britannia course.  He was a pleasure to be with and was most instructive to me, a humble Plt Off at the time. RIP Ollie.  How can I not forget that trip? – Reason: the Association Secretary was the No1 AQM !





Fred 'Nugget' Worker            5 March 1920 – 11 March 2015

Fg Off, RNZAF (NZ 427824)  Halifax Captain 1944/45

passed away at home in North Auckland, New Zealand on 11 March 2015 aged 93yrs, after a short illness.  Skipper of Ken Stewart and Fred Tiller's crew they all remained in contact over the years.

Ken Stewart now writes:

A successful breeder of pedigree Jersey and Hereford cattle and sheep breeder from North Auckland, New Zealand, Nugget left home for Canada in 1943, to become a pilot.  He trained in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on DH Tiger Moths, Avro Ansons and Airspeed Oxfords, before sailing to England in 1944.  We met Nugget at No 10 OTU, Abingdon, Berks and formed a crew of 6, thereafter spending 2 months, from August 1944, flying Vickers Wellington Xs.  We moved to No 1659 HCU Topcliffe, N Yorks, in January 1945, when we then met our Flight Engineer for the one month, conversion to Halifax IIIs.

Nugget and his crew, arrived at 10 Squadron, Melbourne, on 1 February 1945, from where they carried out 17 bombing operations over Germany, before the end of the War. He also flew 2 "Cook's Tours", in Halifaxes, over Germany in June 1945 and flew Dakotas, briefly, in July 1945, before being posted back to New Zealand for demobilisation.

On his return to New Zealand, he resumed cattle farming and was still running a herd of cattle, well into his 90s.

He will be sadly missed by all of his family and friends and by me, as we had frequent talks on the telephone, right up until shortly before his death.

A great pilot who really was "The Captain" of the aircraft and a good friend of all of his crew who were:-

Fg Off Fred Wilkinson - RNZAF - Bomb Aimer. Deceased 26 Aug 2003.

FS Ian W. Rowlands   - RNZAF - Wireless Operator. Deceased 1950s.

FS Fred Tiller             - RAF      - Mid-Upper Gunner

Sgt Art Cook             -  RCAF    - Flight Engineer - Deceased 29 Sep 2014.

Fg Off Ken Stewart    - RAF       - Navigator

FS Bob Woollard      -  RAF     -  Rear- Gunner. Deceased. 12 Jan 2000.


Ken Stewart,.........10 Sqn from: 1 February 1945 – 20 July 1946 




Jim INWARD                                   1920 - 2015   Halifax Flt Engineer

sadly passed away on 31 January 2015

 Click his name below to read former Chairman, David Mole's article and The Telegraph Obituary

Flt Lt Jim Inward




Frank William BOXALL          1803279    Warrant Officer - Halifax & Dakota navigator

 died on 26 Jan 2015 at home in Romsey, Hants aged 90.

Born in Weybridge Surrey, 14 June 1924 and served on 10 Sqn in 1944 into early 45 before heading to Burma.

Having been brought up around the early days of motor racing and aviation, at Brooklands it can be no surprise that he joined Hawkers in 1940 building Hurricanes. He was there when the factory was bombed during the Battle of Britain in September 1940. 

Despite being in a reserved occupation, he joined the RAF in 1941, and after a Navigator training period in Canada he eventually joined 10 Squadron based at RAF Melbourne, and later flew on Dakotas in Burma.  During his time there he was regularly boxing, as a heavy weight, and was runner up in all India, combined services boxing championship in 1946. 

Returning to the UK  he had a variety of different jobs including fighting as a professional boxer as a Cruiser weight, before eventually returning to Brooklands and Vickers.  He remained there as the company and industry evolved into British Aircraft Corporation and British Aerospace.  During his time there he worked in the production control and production management field and was involved in the production of a variety of civil and military aircraft including, Viscount, Vanguard, VC10, Valiant, TSR2, BAC111, Concorde, BAe 146, Airbus, Jaguar & Tornado. 

In September 1950 he married Rita, moved to Walton-on-Thames with children Amanda and David.  He retired 1988 and immediately threw himself into a variety of projects.  His greatest desire when he had the time was to track down his old crew members. He was deeply disappointed to find out that by the late 1980s, over 40 years after the war, only 5 of the 7 were still alive, despite all surviving the war. The 5 remaining veterans met regularly  until health and age caught up.  The sense of comradeship remained undiminished over the years. They were each other’s second family. 

At the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial in 2012, which meant much to him, he proudly represented his crew as the last remaining member. It was a very emotional day for all his family.   A particularly moving moment was when a teenage girl wanted to shake his hand after she, her mother and grandmother realised he was a veteran. He wasn’t even offended when referred to as 'Living history'.

Frank was the last of his crew.

WO  A Alcroft   1532089  - Captain / Pilot,  Sgt   F Boxall    1803279   - Navigator,  Sgt  E Houldey  1521097  - Air Bomber, Sgt  S Mitchell  1867816 -  Wireless Operator, Sgt  T Douris   1825735 -  Mid-Upper Gunner,  Sgt  F Smith  3010635 -Flight Engineer,   Sgt  F Johnson  2235509  - Tail Gunner

He said that he’d had a Good Innings, before he passed away a very proud 90, at home with Rita, who had been beside him for over 64 years, on 26 January 2015, the month of the centenary of the formation of 10 Squadron.

Our condolences to wife Rita, Amanda and David.



In 2014

Lesley E. (Mac) Cunningham             1922 - 2013    WW2  Fg Off,  navigator 1943 - 45  

Recent news from his son informs us that Les passed away last year on 29 October 2013.  Les completed thirty ops on 10 Sqn during WW2, the last of which ended in a crash landing with two crew fatalities.
Born in Glasgow, where he spent most of his working life after demob, he became a Foundry Manager and later Company Director.  Married to Jean for 65 years and with whom he had 3 sons and subsequently 6 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.  Our belated condolences go to all his family.


Bill Smith

Air Engineer sadly passed away on Saturday 8 November 2014

Master Engineer on the VC10 and later simulator instructor, Bill lived in the Highworth area of Wilts.  Starting a long flying career in Bomber Command he was also well-known in the Argosy world.  

Our condolences go to his wife Jean  

The funeral will be held at Swindon Crematorium on Monday 24 November 2014 at 1100 hrs.


 Lionel G. 'Squire'  Morecombe

10 Sqn Navigator VC10s, sadly passed away on 19 October 2014.  

            A funeral service was held on Wednesday 5 November at St Mary’s Church in Fairford, Glos. 

Our condolences go to his wife Liz and family.

Squire achieved some 11,330 flying hours in a long RAF career starting in March 1951. The impressive list of aircraft types in his logbook included: Valetta, Anson, Wellington, Lincoln, Canberra, Oxford, Varsity, Dakota, Mosquito, Bristol Freighter, Pioneer, Hastings, Comet, Beverley, Viscount, Britannia, Belfast, VC10, Dominie, Andover. He retired from the RAF after a ground tour in Operations at Akrotiri in January 1988. He was a most likeable and well-known character to all who served in the Transport Force at Lyneham and Brize Norton.

The origin of Squire's nickname is now uncertain but may have originated from when he first joined up to do his National Service. As far as Liz remembers it was based on the fact that he came from Devon and someone thought that he must therefore be a landowner. Squire and Liz first met in Changi, Singapore in early 1956, whilst she was serving in the PMRAFNS at Changi Hospital. He was already universally known as Squire at that time.



I was just reading through this Obituaries page of our Website and I came across the death of Squire Morecombe, which was a sad moment for me.

 I joined '10' in Jan 1967. At the ATS (pre OCU days) we, on No 3 course, were told that we were to become 'crewed-up'. People scurried about recruiting those they knew to be members of their crew. There were a few of us left over who didn't really know anyone and we sort drifted into a crew: Sqn Ldr Stan Horrocks (Capt), Flt Lt Fred Wall (Co-Pilot), Flt Lt Squire Morecombe (Nav), M Eng Joe Major (Air Eng), F. Sgt(W) Sylvia Ingold and me, Sgt. John Simlett: who were the Air Quarter Masters (yet to be re-branded Air Load Masters); and a very good and happy fit was made, albeit such a random event. We flew together for three years before I was posted back to 216 Sqn.      John Simlett 2015


Now, with Squire cutting the 'Earthly Bonds,' I guess that leaves me as the lone survivor. A sad day.



Geoffrey Stuart Taylor         Associate member and brother of  1388419 W.O Denis Taylor, Navigator & PoW       

We have just heard that Geoffrey sadly passed away on 18 February 2014

More details to follow, as and when known.



Gareth  (Wally)  Walters                 10 Sqn, 241 OCU and 101 Sqn : VC10  Flt Eng  

 Roy Mcmullan advises us that:   

……..Wally joined the RAF as an apprentice engine fitter exact date unknown. I first met Wally at Topcliffe, during flight engineer training in the early 1970s, on 42 or 44 Cse.  He passed out of Topcliffe top of his course and went directly to 10 Sqn, being the first trainee flt eng to do so.  On 10 Sqn he soon excelled as a flight engineer and became a holder of the coveted 'A' Operational Category.  Moving on Wally joined 241 OCU and soon became an excellent instructor, being held in high regard for his knowledge and wit by all who passed through the OCU.

Always up for a new challenge Wally then moved to 101 Sqn and the tanker world.

I left the RAF in 1984 and my next meeting was when Wally joined Cathay Pacific in the early 1990s on Tristars.  He soon became a valued member of that fleet through study, hard work and professionalism.  When the Tristar was retired he moved to the 747 repeating the work he did on the Tristar.  I retired in 2004 leaving Wally still working with Cathay but he retired soon after on medical grounds.

Wally was aged 65 yrs when he died on 26 July 2014 and was buried on 8 August after a service at St Nicholas Church, North Lopham, Diss, Norfolk.

It was a wonderful service, and very fitting for Wally.  A good dose of humour was mixed into the readings by four of Wally’s best friends, Chris Gregory, John Murrell, Mike Kent and Jim Upritchard.  The applause was well earned.  The rain held off until we reached the pub where we all had a chance to chat with his wife Elaine, and sons Rhys and Gwyn.  RIP Wally.

Roy Mcmullan

.......... Although not an Association member, Wally was known to many of us who served on the VC10 and who will echo the sentiments of Roy’s narrative. 

Our condolences go to Elaine, Rhys, Gwyn and all the family.



Tom F.B. Finnie                        Association Member and WW2 Wireless Operator

Tom joined the RAF as aircrew in 1943 with another WOP, John McCubbin.  However it was not until Tom joined 10 Squadron on Dakotas, immediately after D-Day, that he was re-united with John when they both served together on the Squadron in India and Burma, until Tom's demob in 1947.  They remained lifetime friends until Tom sadly passed away on 21 July 2014 and was cremated in Edinburgh on 26 July.  Our thanks to John for advising us of Tom’s passing.

Our condolences go to Tom’s wife Ellen, and son Bruce at their home in, Peebles, Scotland.



Mike Cawsey                   Sqn Ldr  - Queens Commendation

216 Sqn Comets prior to 1966, then  VC10 Flt Eng & later Simulator Instructor, and Group Examiner

Sadly died after a long illness on the 23 April 2014 at 0216hrs. 

Funeral to be held at Kingsway Crematorium, Swindon 10.00 a.m. Thursday 8 May,

followed by a Memorial Service at St Laurence Church, Lechlade 11.30 a.m.  

More details, when known.


John 'George' Revell                    1922 - 2014    died peacefully in Send, Woking on 2 April 2014.

 John 'George' Revell joined the RAF in 1941 and, after what was already a distinguished career, was involved with the introduction of the VC10 into RAF Service.    He was there to observe the first teething troubles, from the engineering point of view, that always appear when a new, complex, aircraft starts to accumulate flying hours. In 2003 he decided to write of his experiences of introducing the VC10 into RAF service.. For more about John's interesting career, see http://www.vc10.net/Memories/Revell_introducing.html

 Greatly respected in the Send-Woking-Guildford community, for  his many years of voluntary, charitable work, he wil be sadly missed by his many local friends.



Sqn Ldr Brian W.  Jopling  QGM  1951 - March 2014

    Brian's funeral was held at 1200hrs on Wednesday 2 April 2014 at St John's Church, Carterton, Oxfordshire.   Donations to Cancer Research would be greatly appreciated.           

Starting his flying career on Puma helicopters, Brian was on the detachment to Rhodesia / Zimbabwe as part of the monitoring force in 1979/80.  He then flew on 18 Squadron Chinooks during the Falklands Conflict and joined 10 Squadron as a Master ALM in the late 1980s.  Brian was later commissioned and served on 216 Squadron's Tristars before subsequently returning to the VC10.  His final RAF days were on the VC10 Staneval team.  He was awarded the Queens Gallantry Medal in 1982, whilst serving on 18 Squadron during the Falklands War: (see below .......)

18 Squadron was embarked on the SS Atlantic Conveyor for duties in the South Atlantic. Hit by an Exocet missile, the ship was lost but one of the four Chinooks survived (ZA718/BN) and performed sterling work in the land battles that followed, carrying 1,500 troops, 600 tons of equipment and 650 prisoners of war in 150 sorties.

On 25 May 1982 Brian Jopling, then a flight sergeant, was on board the SS Atlantic Conveyor in the South Atlantic as part of the 18 Squadron deployment in support of Operation Corporate.  During the late afternoon, the ship was attacked and hit by an Exocet missile. FS Jopling was manning an air defence machine gun position on the bridge during the attack. The missile started a fire on the ship which rapidly spread out of control and the decision was taken to abandon the stricken vessel.  FS Jopling was among the last to leave the bridge and, as he descended towards the main deck, he was enveloped by thick black smoke.  He rapidly donned his respirator and led several people onwards in a human chain but, realising that it would be impossible for the others to survive without respirators, he had to retreat. He eventually found an alternative path within the ship and led his party of survivors to the main deck where they climbed over the side and entered the water prior to boarding a liferaft. The liferaft Flight Sergeant Jopling selected was one of the few remaining and was overcrowded; he, together with several others, was unable to board it. The sea was very cold and night had fallen, adding to the difficulties. The liferaft was still attached to the ship and was being buffeted against the ship's side as the ship rolled. Realising the danger this represented to the liferaft and its occupants, Flight Sergeant Jopling made his way around the liferaft and, despite being struck several times by the ship, eventually managed to sever the lines holding the liferaft to the blazing hulk.  As the occupants of the liferaft became more organised, other survivors were gradually brought on board.  FS Jopling appreciated that as he was wearing aircrew survival equipment, he was better placed than other survivors in the water.  He therefore elected to remain in the sea, encouraging and helping men to hold onto the liferaft.  Only when he had ensured that there were no more survivors in the water, did he allow himself to be dragged, exhausted, aboard.  He was in the water for between one and two hours in extremely hazardous conditions.  Flight Sergeant Jopling acted in the finest traditions of the Royal Air Force and his selfless conduct undoubtedly saved many lives.


Brian Jopling

Brian was a committed family man and will be sadly missed.  Our condolences naturally go to all his family and friends.




Leo Groark                      Halifax Engine Fitter - Melbourne 1943

Funeral:   Thursday  30 January 2014 at 11.40 hrs  

At:             Saint Cuthberts  Church,  Seaham,  Co Durham.

After a long illness, Leo Groark passed away on 22 Jan 2014.  Condolences go to his wife Patsy, son Michael and family.

In joining the Association over 25 years ago, Leo renewed a meaningful friendship with Tom Thackray.  Leo was the engine fitter assigned to Tom`s Halifax throughout his tour in 1943 at Melbourne; Tom being the Flight Engineer.


1943 - Leo Groark - 3rd from left



In 2013

John Greedy          10 Sqn ALM passed away in the Churchill Hospital Oxford – 1 Dec 13.

It is regretted that no further details are known yet.


 F.D. (Don) Williams          Chief Technician, RAF Service 1943- 1969     

10 Sqn and later Victors, Vulcans and Nimrods.- author of “Three Greens” book of his life-story

Died 18 November 2013 aged 86 in Australia.


William Ewart Bradley       Jul 1925 – Oct 2013 – Association Member since 1990

LAC Instrument fitter – Ground Crew on 10 Sqn Oct 1944 – Dec 1946 serving at Melbourne, Poona and on the Burma detachment. 

William joined the RAF, aged 18½, in 1943 and worked on both 10 Sqn’s Halifax and Dakota aircraft: a time that he remembered fondly and the friends he made.

Living in Durham City for most of his life, when he left the RAF he returned to his position in the Science labs at Durham University and then became a Scientific Instrument Maker with The National Coal Board where he remained until he took early retirement at the age of 61.  Taking 2 years off, he then bought a public house in Howden-Le-Wear in County Durham, which he ran until he was 77.

After then retiring again he enjoyed travelling and spending time with his family. Sadly in October 2010, he suffered a stroke and lived in a nursing home until passing away, aged  85, on 24 October 2013.  R.I.P.  Our condolences and thanks for this information to his daughter Fiona.


 Charles Douglas Brignell     1924 -2013    Wireless Operator Halifax & Dakotas

Charles was born in Doncaster on the 13 July 1924. Having served in WW2 bombing operations on 158 Sqn Halifaxes before joining 10 Sqn in May 1945, Charles was a Wireless Operator on Dakotas in India and Burma until October 1946.  After leaving the RAF as a Warrant Officer he became a quantity surveyor, living in Ruislip, Middx.  He leaves a widow Eunice, son Douglas, two grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.  His cremation was on 8 October 2013.


Ken Gorham          VC10 Master Airloadmaster  and later in 10 Sqn Ops, Ken sadly passed away in

                                  the Eastbourne area, on Sunday 22 September after a long illness.

Who can forget, in the wee small hours on a long night-flight, his renditions of the Great Western Railway steam locos struggling up Dauntsey Bank near Lyemham? Ken was one of the 'characters' much loved by us all.  R.I.P.

VC10s  - See : Last operational flight 20 Sep 13 BBC Oxford Report
Farewell VC10
Ian Laurie  
on 15 August 2013.  The funeral was at All Saints Church, Faringdon, Oxon at 1100 hrs on 2 September.
Our condolences and sympathies to Margaret and all the family.
10 Sqn friends attending were Taff Bevan, Pat Hobbs, Peter Wentworth and Bob Humphreys
See attached extract from The Daily Telegraph - 26 Aug 13
alt  See 'TEN TALES' article : A Week in Fiji
Ray W. Thomas   July 1923 - June 2012  of  Chase Court, Rectory Lane, Whickham: - His death, possibly in 2012, was kindly advised in Aug 2013 by a Mr Dennis Larkin of the same address. They were both in Bomber Command WW2.  Cremated after funeral service held at Spoor Methodist Church (Whickham).

Peter F.J.  Paxton           Sadly passed away, quietly in his sleep at home, on 3 June 2013.

Born 21 June 1924 in Fulham, and initially trained for pilot duties during WW2, Peter was re-allocated to be an Air Gunner serving on 10 Squadron’s Halifax aircraft at RAF Melbourne.  He flew 19 sorties on operations, including being shot down and escaping back to the UK.  After a 6 month break after the war he rejoined the RAF and served on No 35 OP/TRG Squadron flying in  Tiger Moths, Whitleys, Halifax 2s, Lancasters, Lincoln's, Washingtons, Oxfords, Ansons & Vampires, during experimental work directed by Barnes Wallace.  He later served in Germany and Singapore, before spending his last years as SWO at RAF Waddington. He retired in 1979.

 “He was a gentle lovely man and a great father,” writes Peter’s daughter Gill James, at email: -   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

Leonard Duckworth      May 1921-  April 2013    WW2 LAC Ground Crew -  Melbourne  

Born May 1921, Len was brought up in the Brownroyd district of Bradford, where he attended St. William’s School until the age of 14.  He worked in the textile industry as a ‘pin setter’ before joining the RAF and eventually Melbourne, where he worked alongside Ken Brayshaw, Bob Hunter and Dave Spray.  In 1944 he married Irene Ashley in a double wedding with her sister Mary to a John Smith.  Len’s son John was born in 1945 whilst Len was overseas in India and it was a only a year later that he first saw his new son, who later was to become an RAF flight Lieutenant and QFI (Quafified Flying Instructor), making Len a proud man.  Sadly in 1971 John’s wife Sarah, whom he had married in 1968 was widowed after he was tragically killed in a Hunter flying accident in Wales, when based at RAF Valley.  Leonard, although greatly saddened by this, was a great support to his family in their time of need and took great comfort from the birth of his granddaughter Joanne later that year.  At the end of the war Leonard returned to textiles, but he and Irene also took on the Leventhorpe Inn, Thornton.  In 1951 his daughter Maureen was born and two years later the family moved out of the pub into a house in Bimbrook Street, Bradford.  Leonard retired at the age of 65, but was asked to go back for another 5 years as his skills by then were hard to come by.  Leonard and Irene were a very devoted couple and they had 67 years of happy marriage.  Irene passed away in July 2011 and Len died in April 2013 aged 91 ys.

 Our thanks to Sarah Curtis (nee Duckworth) for sending us the above information.


George Embleton            1 April 2013,  after ill-health for a while, George sadly passed away in his sleep, aged 81 yrs old.  Highly-respected and much-liked by all he flew the VC10 with, it is believed that George started his career on Spitfires. Joining 10 Sqn when 53 Sqn Belfasts were withdrawn from service in the late 1970s, George will be remembered  with fondness.
Vic Stanton    - from the Telegraph, Saturday 9 February 2013
vic stanton
 I had the pleasure of flying in Oman with Vic on the Royal Flight of Oman VC10.  He was the most kind, tolerant, charming and helpful man, whose flying was of the highest standard of professionalism and whose sense of humour was always very close to the surface..  The stories of his WW2 childhood moving through Russia, Siberia, Asia and finally Europe were fascinating.  In an effort to join the RAF, albeit underage, he embarked on a ship from the Eastern Mediterranean for the UK.  Between Malta and Gibraltar he was torpedoed twice on two separate ships. Vic finally reached the UK and started his Wings training.  On the day he was awarded his Wings, after an evening out celebrating with his colleagues, and somewhat the worse for wear, they all arrived back at base late, to be met by the usually grumpy and fearful Flight Sergeant.   On this occasion he was mellow and pleasant and even suggested they go away and return in two days.  He then went on to say that news had been received that the War was over, yet not publically announced.
 Condolences and sympathies go to Sheila and the family, from all who knew Vic on 10 Squadron.  Dick King

Ronald Webster   of  Ashby de la Zouch,  passed away peacefully on 6 January 2013 aged 89.  

He joined the RAF in 1942 and served with 10 Sqn at RAF Melbourne as a Wireless/Radar Mechanic from May 1943 - August 1944.  He was then attached to 312 MSSU in Burma and India until December 1945.  Following postings to Wymeswold and Hendon he was demobbed from West Kirby on 22 January 1947.  -  Michael Webster (son)  Our condolences to all Ronald's family,




In 2012

John Grayshan             Ex- Halifax crew member, from Littleborough, Lancs,  

died 2012 - No further details known.


Raymond Charles Stokes    25 Sep 2012,  aged 88, died peacefully in hospital in Leicester. 

                                                Sgt Ray Stokes served on 10 Sqn as a Flight Engineer from 27 Oct 1944 to 21 Feb 1945.

                                                 and was promoted to Flight Sergeant whilst a Prisoner of War.

                                                 Our condolences to his widow Jill.     May he rest in peace


Alexander Chadwick            5 Sep 2012        WW2  Wireless Operator    

Funeral was in Nantwich, Ches.   No  further details.


Les Duncan                           22 July 2012             Husband to Iris for 68 years.  Halifax mid-upper gunner.

10 Sqn RAF Melbourne  Aug 1943 - Jun 1944 as a FS and Jan - Mar 1945 as a Plt Off


Peter  Frewer                                             In an accident at home 16 May 2012 



Ron Stubbs            Sqn Ldr  (pilot) , RAF (ret'd), late of 10 Sqn, and also 99 Sqn, 29 January 2012 in Southampton.


We hear of the deaths of the following in early 2012 but, regrettably, have no further information.

Mr Reg 'Dolly' M. Gray

January 2012  (Halifax)

Mr J. R.  Abbott

January 2012  (Halifax)

In 2011

Brian Proctor                                         Master Airloadmaster, of 10 Sqn & AT Ops,

                                                                 sadly died of cancer in Swindon during November 2011

Gordon Webster McCash Neill      WW2   Flt Lt  pilot with the DSO, Croix de Guerre (French) with

                                                              Silver Gilt Star, and the Croix de Guerre (French) with Silver Star.

                                                              10 Sqn from 14 June 1944 - 1 Feb 1945  - died 11 March 2011

Aubrey B. Rumble                     Halifax crew,   died 18 Aug 2011  (regret no further information)
Cyril Johnson                          Flt Lt  (regret no further details known)
Jim Verity                                   Master Airloadmaster 
                                                               10 Sqn:- 13 Feb 1967 - 8 Dec 1969  &  22 Oct 1975 - 18 Jan 1989        Jim Verity
                              Gentleman Jim, who joined the RAF on 14 Nov 1946, sadly died of cancer on 5 June 2011 aged 82
Bob (R.P) Brownlow            Gp Capt  -  Bob was a 10 Sqn Assoc Member & well-known to many on the VC10.

                                  Admired and well-liked throughout the Transport Force,

                                 Bob sadly died of cancer on 7 May 2011 
Tim Robinson                                                      May 2011
Norman Leslie Fowler                                       Fg Off    Jan - Aug 1944 Halifax navigator
E. William (Bill) Houghton                                Flt Lt     1942 -1947 Halifax/Dakota
Robert (Bob) Goodrum                                     Flight Engineer April 1974 - 1994


 In 2010


Peter Nelson AFC                                          Sqn Ldr.      1967 - 1970 & 1974- 1983   VC10 Pilot
Horace A. Gray                                                Aircrew      July 1943 - June 1944
Frederick Desmonde Moss DFC                    July   1944 - June 1946   Halifax & Dakota Pilot
James Albert Riley                                               Nov 1948 - Feb 1950    Navigator