How to Search for Unsung Heroes on this Blog?

Use the search button on the right side to look for someone’s name among more than 130 posts I wrote about RAF 238 squadron.

238

Either use the comment section or the contact form below to write a comment like someone whose father was Robert Davis’ pilot.

Ray, Phil, Jock, Bob in a reunion in Calcutta

Courtesy Richard Hall

Collection Robert Davis

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No. 6 P.A.F.U. Little Rissington

This message was sent by Richard Hall last July. He had some more photos to share. I was just waiting for the end of the second beginning to post it…

To your knowledge has anyone done a blog specifically about No 6 P.A.F.U Little Rissington….Maybe I could kick one off with the first bit of Dad’s diary and appropriate photos and logbook entries….I’ve also been in touch with BBC to see if they could assist me tracking down possible relatives of WAAF “Johnnie” who gave these pictures to my Dad…He bought these back from the war so they must have held some significance for him and the mystery is killing me…

Both my parents are deceased so can’t ask them…ain’t that a familiar mantra!

Cheers,
Rich

Johnnie 2
Johnnie
Will there be a third beginning on this blog?

Just click here…

Note:

P.A.F.U. is Pilots Advanced Flying Unit

My Darling Thelma,

On Friday September 1st, 1944, Stanley Hall wrote this…

Made up a parcel to send home; a handbag for Mavis, a wallet for Ray, blouse for Thelma and dress for Robin plus a few odds and ends; lace, hair clips, nets. elastic. So I will post it on Monday. To send a parcel I have to apply through Govt export control, get a permit and hand it into the P.O. I have a cold at present; it doesn’t take much exertion to start up perspiration during the monsoon weather which is so muggy. The low cloud blots the sun and all we get is rain and hot and cold breezes.

I am expecting to go on a “jungle course” soon. It is so that we will have jungle experience if forced down and it should make a couple of interesting weeks.

I’ve still to pick up two gunners, a wireless op/gunner, a bomb aimer and a second pilot so will have eleven in my crew very soon.

On September 4th, 1944, he wrote Thelma a letter.

Flight Sgt W.S.Hall diary page 62

Flight Sgt W.S.Hall diary page 63

NZ 403315
F/SGT. W. S. HALL 4-9.44

My Darling Thelma,

At last my patient wait is over for your letter as an air letter card arrived to-day, it was written on Aug. 8th but actually reached India on the 21st and since then it has been on its way to me, so when I get settled I’m sure they will come through O.K. Thanks so much for such a sweet letter darling it’s like having something new and beautiful again after such a long 6 weeks, in fact there must still be more posted previously to that one.

To your enquiries of Jock, Tiny and Steve; I left them all behind dear they were sent to a different place to me after I left but I did see Jock again just prior to coming over here. I have a film in being developed now and I bought 2 more and have hopes of another couple in a day or so.

I was going to town to get the snaps today and also to get a permit so send a parcel which I have previously mentioned but seeing it is one section of the community’s New Year most of the places are closed, so will go tomorrow.

I have just returned from a visit to a nearby swimming pool a very spacious outdoor pool with a smaller indoor one.

There is a cafe in the grounds where we had tea and cakes so it is quite a pleasant way of passing some of the time.

The last picture I saw was “Follow the Boys” not bad but “Rythmn Parade” was really good, Ginny Simms she’s a peach!!

Had an airgraph from Mavis saying that Dick was in Auckland lucky chap. I wish they’d let me have a Lib or something to come home in occasionally, I’ve completely forgotten what it’s like to associate with the fairer sex these days so when I do get home you’ll have to smooth down the rough edges darling. I always feel a bit timid if some white woman speaks to me.

I’ve just been having a busy time selecting more chaps for my crew, quite a family now I can tell I’ll get them all together in a snap one day and you’ll have a better idea as to what a job I have on my hands. Well my darling this second honeymoon of ours sounds good, in fact much better than good, I’m always thinking of it darling, I often wish I could as soon as I arrive next year in Wgton have a really nice dinner at the very best, stay the night and then go home the next day, I’ll want you all to myself so that no one else could ask questions and interrupt us or stop me from adoring you for one minute.

Darling I really should keep these things for a self censored card but today I’m so thrilled with getting your letter so hope you won’t mind. Space is getting short dearest so I will close now. Hope you had a happy birthday, sending a cable tomorrow.

All my love and thousands of kisses for you both

God bless from Your own Stanley xxxxx

September 9th, 1944

Getting all packed up ready to be posted on a short jungle course. I have recently received a marvellous lot of mail and have been very busy now. Yesterday I made my crew up to Liberator strength and now there are eleven of us. Sent a cable for Thelma’s birthday a couple of days ago.

Last night I bought two plates. They are metal chrome finish and have beautiful working on them and the colouring is done with the powder of jewels. It is made into a paint and makes a very effective finish. I shall keep them in my tin trunk to bring home when I come.

Hope to get a pair of nice vases next pay.


This is the end of the second beginning on this blog…

the-end-of-the-beginning

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W.S. Hall’s Diary – September 1945

Only one entry…

September 16th, 1945

Still waiting on the boat.

The other day we got all our kit ready to go aboard and something wrong was discovered on the boat so that means another week.
In the meantime my name has gone in for repat. and if the authority comes through before the boat leaves I will probably continue the journey to N.Z. Otherwise I will be repatted from Australia because all of us are being sent home.


We all know how all this will end don’t we…?

 

Intermission – Ray Spriggs, Wireless Operator

Richard’s brother just remembered…

Hi Pierre,

My brother Peter remembers visiting Ray Spriggs…in the Midlands somewhere while on a trip to England with Mum and Dad (1975). Ray definitely was the wireless operator so he tells me…
Cheers,
Richard

Now we know for certain who was the wireless-operator in Stanley Hall’s crew.

Ray, Phil, Jock, Bob in a reunion in Calcutta

Ray Spriggs in Calcutta

Ray Spriggs in Nowshera

W.S. Hall’s Diary – August 1945

August 15th, 1945

Well, war has ended at last the fighting will no doubt go on for a while yet.

There is nothing much going on in the way of celebrations, a few flags are hoisted but there have been no parades.

 

 

August 2nd, 1945

Yesterday my kit arrived from Egypt after being in storage for over 12 months.

Fortunately, all my personal belongings were alright but the service underwear etc. was in a mess. One kit bag was wet half through and everything went mildewy.

It was great fun sorting it out last night – all my letters and snaps again and I also had 12 packets of ‘Greys” and only one was affected,

The back-pay for my W/O came through a few days ago x with a few other allowances. I drew 850 Rs.

With my banking acct and it I will soon have 2,000 Rs.

Hope we go within a few days, monotony increases with nothing to do and the lads are getting very touchy and sensitive.

I was squadron orderly officer yesterday.

August 12th, 1945

Arrived in Calcutta a couple of days ago after an uncomfortable train, boat, train journey when all our luggage had to be moved each time.

Have been doing a bit of shopping and bought a silver powder compact Rs 60 and a moonstone necklet Rs85 for Thelma. I bought another “kikkn so have a pair of them now.

I hope we soon get on the boat. They have been holding our mail in Australia but two letters came through today.

August 15th, 1945

Well, war has ended at last the fighting will no doubt go on for a while yet.

There is nothing much going on in the way of celebrations, a few flags are hoisted but there have been no parades.

I expect I shall still go to Australia and join up with my squadron, but to get home is the only thing that I’m interested in now.

Collected my photos from Bourne and Shepherd today.

Went to see The White Cliffs of Dover”.

August 27th, 1945

Still waiting for the boat but somehow I don’t think it will be more than a week before we are sea-borne.
Bought a pr of sheets recently (R.S. 24/10). I have been to see a few pictures and a play and yesterday spent the afternoon at the new Calcutta swimming pool.

I will be glad to get out of this place, the weather is very uncomfortable at present, no clear sun – just a humid swelter.

Mail has been coming through very well, but there are still a lot of parcels missing.

September 16th, 1945

Still waiting on the boat.

The other day we got all our kit ready to go aboard and something wrong was discovered on the boat so that means another week.
In the meantime my name has gone in for repat. and if the authority comes through before the boat leaves I will probably continue the journey to N.Z. Otherwise I will be repatted from Australia because all of us are being sent home.

 

Next time September 1945…