Month: October 2020

Searby & the End of a Kiwi Gunner’s Tour

John Searby (left, with Bennett in 1944, IWM: CH 20628) was one of the best known and most revered of the Pathfinder squadron and station commanders. According to the dates in Bennett’s book Pathfinder, he was: CO of 83 Squadron from 9 May 1943 until 2 November 1943 Station Commander at Upwood from 20 November Read More

Harris, Bennett & Flying Boats

At the beginning of the 1930s, long before he was the chief of Bomber Command, Harris served as Commanding Officer of 210 Squadron, based at Pembroke Dock in Wales, which flew flying boats. Bennett, who had arrived at Pembroke Dock shortly before Harris, was to be one of Harris’s Flight Commanders on the squadron. Read Read More

Mentioned in Despatches

Allan Templeton (his first name was Arthur but he was known by his second name) was a wireless operator from Newfoundland. He had a flying career packed with incident even before he joined the Pathfinders in February 1945. See: Pre-Pathfinder War Service: Air Sea Rescue, Allan Templeton Amongst the many astonishing incidents in his pre-Pathfinder Read More

Medicine in Bomber Command

A Medical Officer’s office in a Nissen hut, note the very cramped space and the stethoscope on the papers on the desk. The wartime RAF had very extensive medical services. Most were located in the hospitals and rehabilitation centres, and in the research establishments which investigated all aspects of aviation medicine, including psychology. A quick Read More

RAF Wartime Organisation

CHIEF OF AIR STAFF From 1940 to 1946, Charles Portal was the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), the top man in the RAF and the Secretary of State for Air’s principal adviser. (The Secretary of State for Air was an elected politician; serving as a member of the Cabinet, he was the executive head Read More

MRES (Europe) Map

When the war ended, the RAF had 41,881 service people missing. The vast majority were from Bomber Command, lost on operations in Europe. A large proportion of the missing were thought to have been lost at sea, but about 60 per cent of the losses were estimated to be traceable on land. See Map of Read More

The Caterpillar Club

The Caterpillar Club was open to all aircrew whose lives had been saved by a parachute made of silk. It was run by Irvin Air Chutes of Great Britain, who made the parachutes. The tiny emblems were very easily lost, but some of have been cherished over the years. One such belonged to John Arthurson Read More

The Pathfinder Eagle

In the Second World War, the Path Finder Force was the RAF’s only officially delineated elite force. As such, it had a unique emblem of an eagle badge. The badge was worn on the left-hand-side breast pocket of the RAF uniform, under any decorations … Read the full article: The Pathfinder Eagle … Read More


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: