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.
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.
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.