REGRETTABLY WE MUST STRESS THAT..........
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since we have no research facilities other than those available to the general public.
My grand father Thomas Latham flew with 76 Squadron as a flight engineer.
He was one of the 16 crews that were sent out to RAF Fayid in July 1942 together with 16 crews from 10 Squadron.
The attached photo is from my grandfather and I’m trying to identify the airmen in it. It was taken at RAF Fayid, Egypt.
Could you please post the photo and ask the question, Who's Who?
10 Sqn Association Comment:
See attached pdf below for the original photo and two versions which have been enhanced to hopefully identify the personnel more easily.
The Background Story……………
Just as 10 Squadron were preparing to leave Leeming and relocate to Melbourne in July 1942, a number of its crews were detached to the Middle East for what initially was going to be for just a short period of time. It was supposed to be a 16 day detachment named ‘ Operation Bareface ‘ but it transpired that the detachment turned into a posting. In early September the units formed No 462 Sqn Royal Australian Air Force and operated as such for a while, albeit with precious few Aussies.
The picture in the pdf is believed to be of both 10 Sqn and 76 Sqn members who made up the detachment. Initially the detachment was based at Aqir, in Palestine and now an Israeli airfield, but it proved to be too far away from planned targets in the North African Campaign and so it became the Squadron’s maintenance base whilst ops were mounted further forward, usually from Fayid, Egypt, located about 70 miles northeast of Cairo.
If the photo is of 76 Sqn personnel, the chance of a 10 Sqn family recognising a face is probably reduced. However, in early September 1942 the units combined to form No 462 Sqn RAAF and operated as such for a while, albeit with precious few Aussies.
OC 10 Sqn went on record about the consternation and dissatisfaction that this development caused to his men - weddings being rearranged etc as a result for example, and it is assumed that OC 76 had similar feelings.
One response to our enquirer’s original Facebook posting in 2020, came from New Zealand and states, ”I think that the 6th from the left, seated, is my father, R.G.A. ‘Shorty’ Burgess who was on 10 Sqn and out in the Middle East, via Malta, where he flew 16 Operations with 10 and 462 Squadrons.”
Mark Sewell direct at his email address given above.
10 SQN WW2 HALIFAXES NAMED FAROUK
There appear to have been 3 x Halifaxes named Farouk which flew on 10 Sqn from RAF Melbourne in WW2.
The first was a Mk2 with Reg No: DT 792 which crash-landed at Melbourne on 3 August 1943 when flown by Fg Off J.G. Jenkins and crew who all survived. It is believed that the aircraft was written off.
The second possible Farouk was also a Mk2, Reg No: HR924 which when again being flown by Jenkins and crew, was attacked by a German fighter and unable to release their bombs, the crew returned to UK but were advised to bale out before abandoning the aircraft over the Noth Sea off Patrington. Again the crew all survived. It would seem highly lightly that this crew may have also named HR924 Farouk although this fact cannot as yet be proven.
The third Halifax with that name was a Mk 3, Reg No: LW 167. A photo of its nose-art above seems to show a catoon figure with a bomb dangling on the end of a fishing line. It has been suggested that the cartoon character bears a similarity to a variation of the Disney cartoon Snow-White’s ‘Dopey’ dwarf character.
This third aircraft was often flown by the 10 Sqn CO, Wg Cdr Dudley Radford during his time on the Squadron between April and October 1944 but other crews also flew it. After Radford had left the Squadron this aircraft was later shot down on a raid to Magdeburg three months later on 16 Jan 1945, when flown by Fg Off W.E.L. Whitbread and his crew. There were no survivors but the crew are all remembered at the Runnymede Memorial.
Whilst it is known that a detachment from 10 Sqn in July 1942 went to Aqir,Palestine and later Fayid, Egypt, where King Farouk was the ruler, it is unlkely that any of these crews would have later returned to Melbourne since the detachment was to form a separate squadron. - King Farouk was not particularly popular with the British during WW2. However, some of 10/227 ground crews may have returned to 10 Sqn. This detachment was designated 10/227 Sqn and on 7 September 1942 joined with 76/462 Sqn at Fayid, Egypt and was then redesignated 462 (RAAF) Sqn (although there were in fact no Australians on it).
The 10 Sqn Association is attempting to trace the reason why the name Farouk adorned its aircraft as late as 1944/45 since any links with those who had named it back in 1942 would be long lapsed.
Readers are advised that pdf files of RAF squadron Operations Records Books may be purchased online from the National Archives at Kew. For 10 Sqn, your search should start by looking in the AIR 27 Category. (eg Catalogue Reference: AIR 27/141/13 & 14 for the month of March 1940)
Downloads cost £3.30 each. Before purchasing a particular month it is advisable to click on the " View Details " block to see how many pages your download contains. Some number over 100 whereas others, for the same fee, only include a few (less than 10) pages. Simply click on the red words NATIONAL ARCHIVES below and it will take you directly to the 10 Sqn Catalogue Search page. Do not forget that there were also Royal Australian (Sunderlands), Indian (Spitfires) and South African, Air Forces that had their own 10 Sqns. Do not get confused and purchase records for the wrong squadron!
On detachment overseas in the Middle East 10 Sqn RAF served under the number 10/227 Sqn...............
Unfortunately not all NA downloads are in their correct chronological place, possibly due to errors made when they were scanned from the original documents. If you cannot find the period that you require for your research it may still be available in some other date period...Most frustrating, we know, from personal experience!
We are slowly building up a collection of these Forms 540/541* (see below) for our website members. It is our hope and intention to obtain the full set at some future date. If you already have some, in pdf format, please consider donating a copy to our website. We would be most grateful. Use our contactus facility for this, please.
* Note: The records themselves are in two separate styles:
1. The Form 540, which we in the Association simply call the "Diary", is a summary of the monthly events and lists the day-to-day occurrences on the Squadron. Sometimes these contain humorous remarks, details of the weather and other significant events, together with Postings In/Out, Medal Awards and are therefore, as our name suggests, a Diary of the Events. They usually contain between 2 and 5 pages.
2. The Form 541, which we have termed as "Ops", is more structured in its writing. It is essentially a listing of the "work done" and contains crew lists, aircraft registrations and targets, together with events that occurred to specific crews/aircraft on their missions. Sadly this is also where the phrase, "Missing - Nothing was heard from this aircraft after take-off", frequently occurred in the WW2 F541s. These can contain up to 50 or even more pages.
3. There are also Combat Reports available for download from the National Archives @ £3.30 each. They are under the reference AIR 50/180. Bear in mind that the dates are often a day after those listed in the F541 and they may also be filed under the Air Gunner's name.
If you are the relative of a past Squadron member, researching your family history, don't forget that it costs only £8 per year to join the 10 Sqn Association.
The following books may contain references to 10 Sqn. We cannot guarantee that all are still in print.
27 July 2021
Brian Burdett spent 47 years in aviation and his book shown above was published in 2019.
Brian's own words below describe his book which is available from Amazon costing £18.29.
The book is called "Forty-Seven Years Aloft" and charts my career from Air Training Corps Flying Scholarship on Tiger Moths in 1953 to Airbus 340 with Virgin Atlantic signing off on 31st. December, 2000.
The book includes my 20 years with the Royal Air Force on Hunters, flying instructor at Cranwell, captain on Comets (youngest 4-jet captain in the world at that time) and finishing on VC10s.
My civil career started with Trader Airways executive flying, where I became Chief Pilot, Navajos and Falcon 2, then captain on VC10s and TriStar as a training captain, then Saudia as a captain on TriStar B717-100,300 and SP, then Air Lanka on TriStar 500s and, finally, Virgin Atlantic on B747 200s and Airbus 340.
I finished my 47 years having been a caption of multi transport aircraft for 27 years,
There are many humorous anecdotes and stories, a few exciting moments like double-engine failure on take-off at Goose Bay and it's written in a conversational style; I had no ghost writer. It finishes with explanations of all the noises that give the pax concern; I explain what we do and especially how much safe consideration there is for their safety.
I hope this has whetted your appetite. Brian Burdett 6 course 10 1967-1971
7 June 2021
Robert Whittingham was a VC10 Air Steward on 10 Squadron VC10s in the 1970s. He completed two tours on the Squadron and this book tells of those times and also his later life. Tales about what went on 'behind the flight-deck door' on Bob's travels all over the world make for amusing and sometimes tragic reading as well as revealing snippets about VIP flights.
Click on the picture below to open a pdf giving more information. The book is now available from Amazon Books in either Paperback (£9.99) or Kindle (£4.99) formats. It's a good read and will jog memories with mentions of places and things we had all forgoptten.
SEPTEMBER 2020- Written by Association Member Jane Gulliford Lowes
Published by Matador and costing £12.99, the book is a high-quality 331-page paperback with excellent layout and print style.
It is an exceptional book which tells the story of a 10 Squadron wireless operator and his WW2 Halifax crew. Entirely factual but written in a novel style, it is highly recommended as being 'very different' from so many other WW2 recollection stories.
RAF Bomber Command Profiles - 10 Squadron
by Chris Ward with Ian Macmillan, published (2019) by Mention the War Ltd, and printed on demand when ordered via Amazon Books.
396 pages illustrated paperback £15.99 with free delivery
Covering World War 2 only, this book gives great detail of virtually every raid in which 10 Squadron participated from September 1939 to May 1945 using Bomber Command 4 Group and 10 Squadron Ops Record information.
RAF The Birth of the World’s First Air Force
Richard Overy, W.W. Norton & Company 2018, 150pp, 19 plates, index, ISBN 978-0-393-65229-1
This is the first American Edition, first published in Great Britain under the title
This is a detailed, though short, account of the birth of the RAF. It is primarily a political history which may disappoint those wanting more combat and aeroplanes. Most of the combat referred to came from the other services wishing to prevent the formation of the new Force and the removal of aeroplanes and tactics from their control. Much of the conflict centred on whether the Air Force should be employed supporting troops at the front or bombing German cities and facilities beyond; a precursor to the debates during World War II. Then, as perhaps now, press barons were much involved in military matters and the conduct of the war. For those not in the know, it will come as a surprise that Trenchard (‘the Father of the RAF’) resigned more than once during its evolution and at times showed greater loyalty to the RFC and the Army. His vision for and promotion of the RAF came in later years after 1918. Another revelation for some will be the decisive support the RAF received from Churchill, a prequel to his eulogies in 1940.
This is a scholarly book with many notes and references. Its facts can probably only be challenged by a comparable historian. Memorable nuggets include some of the early suggestion of names for RAF ranks such as Air Warden, Squadron Ardian and Flight Ardian, the last two being derived from Gaelic. At times in the book, there are some difficulties with chronology with sudden shifts back in years to make a point. If this is necessary, the reader must not be left wondering where they are. There are some thoughtful reviews in Amazon, some hostile but I think this book gives concise insight into the military and political origins of the Royal Air Force.
THE RAF IN 100 OBJECTS - Book Review
by Peter Jacobs, The History Press 2017 ISBN 978 0 7509 6536 1 £20.00
This is an extremely well-presented and informative book. Air Vice-Marshal Nigel Baldwin is correct in his foreword to describe it as a page-turner. It follows Neil MacGregor’s 'A History of the World in 100 Objects' as have other subjects in similar format. It is a nice connection that the 100 objects should coincide with the RAF’s 100th Anniversary.
The objects are described in detail with a wealth of associated facts, excellent illustrations and the provenance of each is given. The contents are well researched with often surprising details. The book has been carefully edited and errors, if there are any, are only likely to be detected by specialists.
The objects are arranged appropriately into sections or chapters: The First Year, Building Foundations, The RAF at War, Into the Jet Age, The Cold War and Recent Times. They are splendidly eclectic, ranging, for example, from a Prisoner of War Jacket to a Control Tower. As would be expected, many iconic aircraft are included and the choice is good. Some readers will be sorry their particular favourites are not there. It is good that some entries are somewhat ‘off-the-wall’ such as the 1948 Olympic running vest and the POW Cross. There is a good index but no list of the objects. In some ways, it is nice to turn the page to discover what comes next but without the list it is harder to refer back.
Are there any faults or omissions? I think there are a few. I am not sure we needed three nuclear weapons, one would have been representative, also there seems to be an excess of helmets. If these objects were pruned, what should replace them. There is a deficiency of references to Commonwealth and foreign personnel who featured so much in WW2, and in the current age, this could include diversity. Some RAF branches could have done with a mention, the RAF Regiment is included with a fighting vehicle but engineering and maintenance deserve more prominence. And then some random suggestions: a silk escape map, an ops room and an 1155 radio.
10 Squadron does not feature in the book which will be a disappointment to Association members and of course the Lancaster supplants the Halifax but that is in the nature of a selection. Despite the reservations, this is a very worthwhile contribution to RAF100 and well worth buying.
We must describe our very own glossy, hard-backed publication...........
‘FROM BROOKLANDS TO BRIZE’
Army cooperation over the trenches in the Great War, introducing four new aircraft types to RAF service, the Bomber Offensive in WW2, Suez and Cold War crises, carrying HM The Queen, Prime Ministers, thousands of servicemen and families, the wounded returning from the Falklands conflict, and now refuelling fighters over Iraq and Syria – Shiny Ten has done it all.
This illustrated history of No 10 Squadron’s first 100 years draws extensively on the official records wherever possible, and is amplified by personal contributions from people who were there.
Regrettably a few errors have been found since the book was published in 2015. These are all listed further down this page in an article entitled "Errata Found to Date"
PIGEONS IN WW2
The Association has had few letters in the past querying the use of pigeons on Bomber Command aircraft in WW2. Some reports suggest that they were carried on missions to be dropped to Resistance agents. On a few occasions, as in the newspaper cutting above, it has been reported that after aircraft had crash-landed on the North Sea and in Holland, the birds were released by their crews and flew home thus advising the UK authorities of the fact. Some gallant birds were later awarded the Dickin Medal ...the animal equivalent to the VC. However we have no specific details of any 10 Sqn crew releasing any birds.
That said, readers may be interested in a book which was reviewed in the Saturday Times dated 24 February 2018.
Click What a Coo ! to read the informative review.
'VC10 - The Story of a Classic Jet airliner' From Key Publishing the A4 size booklet with 118 pages costs £7.95.
This excellent book covers the type's development, its service with the RAF, including the Gulf War and ops over Iraq, plus data files and production lists. Two of the contributors are Jelle Hieminga and our own Paul Morris. -It also contains a 2-page spread of a certain Capt R KIng landing the Omani VC10 at Brooklands some years ago! So doubly good value!
Click here to visit Key Publishing
From the Ladies Point of View
"Life in the Slipstream", edited by Alison Bairsto, Jill Black and Holly Jeffers, with a forward by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.
- Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd and available from Amazon or The Book Depository cost £16.99 - hardback published 2014.
WW1 - The men and the aircraft....
"The Sky Their Battlefield", by Trevor Henshaw Published by Fetubi.
An authorative account of The RFC and RAF during WW1, by a recognised historian.
Interested potential purchasers make learn more about the book, its cost and how to purchase, by clicking this link:
Trevor writes to the 10 Sqn Assoc,.......
"I have decided to write to a few squadron associations like yours, hoping that you might want to know about this book. Without a doubt, 10 Squadron RAF gets on my list! .......... If I tell you that 141 of these entries specifically refer to your Squadron's involvement in the Great War, and relate the individual stories of over 233 of your own airmen and men, you'll see why I am writing to you."
"Silent, Swift, Superb"
The Story of the VC10 ,with many photos and articles - first published in 1998 and shortly to be re-printed.
By Scott Henderson and published by Scoval Publishing Ltd.
AND NOW........The Sequel......
due out soon
" For The Queen of The Skies "
also by Scott Henderson
Do Not Confuse Scott Henderson's book above with another similar title 'Vickers VC-10 Queen of the Sky' by Peter R. Foster
New Member Applications and any queries regarding existing membership matters, including change of email or postal addresses, should be addressed to Phil Marter at:
Viewers who are interested in joining the Association should now select the Top Menu item: 'How to Join'
See link below for a new (Oct 2017) website.
World War II Allied Aircraft Crashes in the Netherlands, North Sea & English Channel:
1385 crashed aircraft (of which 15 of 10 Sqn) , 6573 crew members, and 660 cemeteries/memorials are listed by this Dutch website.
The website promoter suggests that Tablet users may not receive all the info on the website.
10 Squadron's 100 Year History Book,
'FROM BROOKLANDS TO BRIZE'
ERRATA FOUND TO DATE (Early 2022)
Regrettably some minor errors have been discovered since the book was printed in November 2015.
With 10 Squadron now entering its 2nd Century of service from 2015 – 2115 the authors would advise with regret, that they will be unavailable to write the 2nd edtion in 2115 owing to a previous engagement !