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At First Sight
Introduction

This book is not a definitive history of a squadron, it is merely an attempt to set down for everyone, future researchers, air historians, and those interested in WWII, Mosquito aircraft, or squadron life and operations, a comprehensive picture of 627 Squadron, from formation to disbandment, its reasons for existence, its operational uses, its flying and ground crews, their opinions and experiences in anecdotal form, details of the de Havilland Mosquito with which it was equipped and the airfields from which it operated throughout its 688 days.

Many squadrons, especially around the 600s, like ourselves, had short periods of existence, and many were assembled to perform explicit tasks. We were formed as just another Light Night Striking Force unit of No 8 (PFF) Group when Bomber Mosquito output far exceeded losses, but in a short space of time were destined to make a major contribution to high precision mass bombing of strategic and tactical targets.

Less than 300 men and women would have been directly connected with 627 Squadron during its entire period but over forty of these have cooperated in some way in the preparation of these pages, in fact, up to the printing stage no one outside the Squadron was involved. As far as is known this method of presenting an account of a squadron is unique, but it may encourage other “short lived” squadrons to get their “troops” and records together and tell the world just what they did in their own words. But time is of the essence, as “At First Sight” went to press the youngest contributor was sixty six and the least young seventy nine years of age. Memory, being a human faculty, is subject to slight decline with the passing of forty five years, so please bear this in mind should you feel the accounts, as recalled in this volume, have “improved” or otherwise since they occurred. This account should have been written in 1946 or thereabouts, but no one had the time then, and the official records were still classified and under lock and key.

Every effort was made to locate as many personnel as humanly possible but should any reader, perchance, be an ex member of 627, the publisher and co-authors would welcome a message from him or her, just for the record.

Alan B. Webb.

Copyright 1943-2012 627 Squadron in Retirement or as credited