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At First Sight
We Dressed Ship on VJ. Day  - “Sailor” May. DFC.

My time with 627 Squadron was very brief, from 3 July to 30 September 1945. I was in the middle of a tour with 139 Squadron when the German war ended, in fact I was on the last raid of the war which was on Kiel, 2 May 1945. I had previously completed a tour with 9 Squadron on Lancasters. I moved to 627 Squadron on 3 July, having volunteered for Tiger Force and my Log Book tells me that my first flight with 627 was in the company of F/O Endean on a cross- country in an H2S MkVI fitted Mosquito on 19 July. I first flew with Scottie (Wing Commander C. W. Scott. AFC) the CO of 627 on 24 July and soon after that became Scottie’s navigator and Squadron Navigation Officer.

Scottie and I flew down to Portreath in Cornwall in an Oxford on 5 August to commence embarkation leave before moving to Okinawa to mark for 617 and 9 Squadrons (the latter my old heavy squadron) on Japanese targets. It was during this leave that the Japanese surrender occurred, Scottie and I spent part of the leave on my father’s yacht cruising in the Fal Estuary and were anchored off Cowlands Creek when a former employee of my father’s rowed out to let us know it was all over. We therefore dressed ship and went back to Falmouth for a celebration.

On return from leave there occurred a variety of activities including a trip to Berlin (Operation Spartan) in one of the H2S training Lancasters; a trip to Bari also in a Lancaster, when we went sailing in the Adriatic. I have a clear memory of Johnny Hanks, our then Adjutant who had flown out with us, bargaining with the young Italians to buy a cameo for his wife - Johnny was unable to outdo the Italians in expletives!

On disbandment of 627 Squadron on 30th September I moved with Scottie to RAF Wickenby with the newly reformed 109 Squadron. Ultimately we moved to Hemswell with 109 and my hyrmer Mosquito Squadron, 139, where I became Station Navigation Officer with the rank of Squadron Leader. I was demobbed on 11 July 1946.

My wife Sally (formerly LACW Sally Crosswell) was Scottie’s driver on 627 Squadron when we first met. Our relationship blossomed by the time we have moved to Hemswell and we were married at All Saints Church, Putney, on 16 December 1946.






Copyright 1943-2012 627 Squadron in Retirement or as credited