RAF Squadron Info

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by convoy_cock, Mar 21, 2006.

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  1. Are there any good websites, that give info about the movements of RAF Squadrons during WW2?

    I'm after a bit of info about a relative. 549748 LAC William Robert York. He served with 216 Sqn and disappeared around the 18th October 1940.

    I've located his name on the CWGC website, but wondered if there were any sites around that would help me get a bit more info about his units movements at the time of his death.


  2. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

  3. 216 was fairly static in terms of where it was located during that period, flying transport and bomber ops from its main base at Heliopolis (nr Cairo) and with a det at Eastleigh in Kenya. However, it flew long distances over fairly inhsopitable ground, ferrying large amounts of kit, personnel, etc across North Africa. Have a look at


    for a short insight into what 216 did; the map:


    puts some sort of scale on proceedings.
  4. This chap was killed in a secondary theatre of the air war not involving Nazis while serving in a transport unit. Not as sexy as the Battle of Britian and may not be much on the internet.

    However the air war between Britian v Italy over the Western Desert in 1940 was a heroic time with a tuiny band of RAF types doing brave stuff. 216 Sqn seem to have been operatin transport planes as bombers and this ought to be well document ed somewhere.

    You may get more information from paper sources rather than the internet.

    1. The aviation historian Christpher Shores has written some very detailed books about the air war over North Africa.

    2. A letter posted to one of the aviation magazines would probably get a good response. Try "Fly Past" or "The Aeroplane" They will probably have covered the exploits of No 216 Sqn in the Western Desert in 1940 aat some point in the last few years.

    3. Contact the library at the RAF Musuem Hendon. I think the librarian is called Peter Elliot. Very helpful people. There may be some article in an RAF joprnal about this.

    Was he aircrew? Before "Air Gunner" was accepted as a flying trade with a rank of Sergeant, airgunners were taken from bods on the ground. (Warberton, the PR export operated with a corporal and LAC as crewmen)
  5. Cheers for the help fellas, plenty to go at there.
  6. As a close relative (NOK) you should be able to obtain a copy of LAC York's Record of Service by writing to the Disclosures Section of the RAF Personnel Management Agency at RAF Innsworth, near Gloucester - There may be a charge. This will detail his service in RAF and should confirm the date of dissapearence.

    Then as ViroBono states " the Air Historical Branch may be able to help". They have access to the Operations Log, Sqn & casualty records raised at the time and so should be able to confirm some details of Sqn mission / circumstances of his disapperarence Not aware of an email contact for them but write to AHB, RAF Bentley Priory, Stanmore Middelsex.

    Good luck.