RAF Bases WW2

Discussion in 'General' started by CTNana, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. CTNana

    CTNana Member Patron

    Hi

    I have a photo of an uncle who has written what looks like "Tarantino, September 1943" on the back. He was definitely in the RAF and is wearing "tropical kit".

    I have tried "googling", am obviously not in tune with the RAF website, have no idea what squadron he was in (or even if squadron have their own sites as Regiments do).

    Don't know what to try next!

    Can anybody give me a clue?

    Cheers
    CTNana
     
  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Could it be Taranto ? It was a large Italian Naval base and the Allies landed there in September 1943. Presumably air bases would have followed. Troops in Southern Italy did often arrive in Khaki drill so the "tropical kit" would be possible there.

    Foreign place names are quite often mis-spelled even in official documents.
     
  3. CTNana

    CTNana Member Patron

    Thanks Rich
    I actually discounted that (Taranto) because on my modern atlas the nearest airfield looks to be Bari. Suppose it could have been built over by now!!

    Wasn't Bari where there was a dreadful accident with a german airplane striking a ship carrying mustard gas which in turn struck a ship full of ammunition?

    So was it a two pronged attack with troops also coming northeastwards from Sicily?

    CTNana
     
  4. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Taranto was the Italian naval base which was raided by RN Swordfish in a torpedo operation against the Italian Fleet which was tied up in the base.It has always been said that the Japanese took notice of the operation in planning their attack on Pearl Harbour.

    Regarding RAF airfields in the area about 5 miles to the south lies Taranto airfield at Pizzone and at about 10 miles to the south east lies Grottaglie.Between Taranto and Bari to the north east lies two airfields close together, San Basilso and 5 miles further is Gioia Del Colle.

    The airfield known as Bari is about 5 miles north of the town on the Adriatic coast and is at Palese.

    South east of Taranto on the Adriatic coast is the former RAF airfield of Brindisi which is on the outskirts of the town and was the main base for supplying resistance units in the Balkans and also as a base for industrial targets in the same theatre of operations.

    Brindisi was also the base from where attempts were made to drop supplies to the Polish Home Army after the uprising in August 1944.
     
  5. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    Can you provide a scan of both sides?
     
  6. CTNana

    CTNana Member Patron

    Thanks so much to you both. The photo did in fact say Taranto (my brothers failing sight!) September 1943.

    So did we take Taranto in 1943? If so this could explain how my Dad met with his brothers in law (including this one in the RAF) and his own brother in the RN.

    He has found another which says Zabratha 1943 which I cannot even find in the atlas. Will now go to try some alternative similar words!!!

    Thanks again

    CTNana
     
  7. CTNana

    CTNana Member Patron

    Kyt
    still chuckling!!!!
    Scan no problem - reducing it to send?????

    I'm afraid even though I spent the later part of my career on computer systems, this is still beyond me!!!
    I'll try to get hold of my son and do the role reversal bit again!
    Cheers
    CTNana
     
  8. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    Zabratha is an alternative spelling for Sabratha in Libya (and there was an air base at Sorman). Sabratha is the site of famous ruins (about 20 odd miles from the base).

    Could be sight seeing visit? Depends on when he was deployed to Italy.
     
  9. CTNana

    CTNana Member Patron

    Thanks again!!
    CTNana
     
  10. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    RAF Squadrons that operated out of Taranto/Pizzone.

    224/225/226/227/263/271.

    RAF Squadrons that operated out of Sorman.

    6/260.
     
  11. CTNana

    CTNana Member Patron

    Peter
    Sorry if this is a really dumb question but I'm Joe Bloggs, it's 1942, I live in North London, I'm just 18 and I want to join the RAF.
    Will I be allocated to a squadron or does where I live determine which I shall join? Or are any particular skills that I may have, the deciding factor?

    Is there anything that I might be able to see on his uniform which would suggest which squadron he was in because I'm not sure that I have any other way of finding out other than that I have a photograph of him in Zabratha in 1943 and another in Taranto in September 1943.

    To digress for a second, we have found two photos of my Dad, seated next to a very important looking Army gentleman, with a few more soldiers behind them and another, again seated next to another "big brass" with 20 or so soldiers standing behind them. Does that mean anything?

    Back to my Uncle, could you explain what 6/260 means, why is that number different to the others?

    Thanks for your time and patience
    Regards
    CTNana
     
  12. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    RAF Squadrons that operated out of Taranto/Pizzone.

    224/225/226/227/263/271.


    Sq 224 used Taranto/Pizzone 1918 (Milltown in Sept 1943)
    Sq 225 used Taranto/Pizzone 1918 (bases around Salerno in Sept 1943)
    Sq 226 used Taranto/Pizzone 1918 (Hartford Bridge in 1943)
    Sq 227 used Taranto/Pizzone 1918 (Lakatamia in 1943)
    Sq 263 used Taranto/Pizzone 1918 (Warmwell & Manston 1943)
    Sq 271 used Taranto/Pizzone 1918 (Hendon in 1943)
     
  13. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    It would be to your advantage to apply for your uncles service record which will give you all the info you need, such as place and date joined, postings, squadrons, courses taken, promotions and much more. See the link below.

    I think Kyt has explained that the sequence of numbers in my previous reply relate to squadron numbers.

    No.6 Squadron (Hurricane) went to Sorman on 8 March 1943.
    No.260 Squadron (Kittyhawk) went to Sorman on 7 February 1943.
    Both squadrons were at Sorman for only a few days.



    RESEARCHING DETAILS ABOUT THOSE WHO SERVED

    Good hunting.
     
  14. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    Pc's right about records - I think we're jumping the gun by assuming that the pictures are taken at bases. Depending upon his job, he may have been based elsewhere. For example supplies, truck driver etc. However, both locations did play parts as ports for supplies in 1943.
     
  15. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    Peter
    Sorry if this is a really dumb question but I'm Joe Bloggs, it's 1942, I live in North London, I'm just 18 and I want to join the RAF.
    Will I be allocated to a squadron or does where I live determine which I shall join? Or are any particular skills that I may have, the deciding factor?

    Is there anything that I might be able to see on his uniform which would suggest which squadron he was in because I'm not sure that I have any other way of finding out other than that I have a photograph of him in Zabratha in 1943 and another in Taranto in September 1943.


    You could sent to any Squadron - however, skills maybe taken into account for the type of job you're allocated.

    There would be no squadron identification on a uniform - but there maybe insignia indicating job.
     
  16. CTNana

    CTNana Member Patron

    Thank you both so much for your time.

    I do hope I haven't wasted it. I am really trying to find out more about my Dad's war years and thought that if I could easily identify where my Uncle was, it would narrow the search for information on Dad (we have only got a summarised version of his Service Record and are waiting for the rest to come).

    I would also feel honour bound to contact many long lost cousins before taking it upon myself to apply for my Uncle's records.

    We have such a mound of photos and documents here that maybe we will unearth something more revealing.

    Any thoughts on the photos of Dad with "Army Brass"?

    Thanks again

    CTNana


    p.s. We have just found a photo of the whole squadron, in full uniform, maybe taken in England before my Uncle left
     
  17. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    CTNana, it is rather difficult second guessing events without the actual pictures. The army "get together" could mean many things. And the squadron picture may have some clues.

    So your son may have a busy time doing all the scanning.
     
  18. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

    So your son may have a busy time doing all the scanning.


    Looking forward to seeing them.
     
  19. CTNana

    CTNana Member Patron

    I would like to be able to say "cracked it - can now produce thumbnails". Alas... I won't bore you with the long story which has given Mr Gates some more small change and will cost me more than a month's pension!!!

    This is one of the photos I was referring to of my Dad to the right of ?????(obvious big wig). We don't know what regiment he was attached to or whether a REME unit as large as this could have been based back behind the lines. His Service Record says 7th Bulk Petrol Field Centre.

    So the questions really are:-
    was this sort of picture normally taken,
    is there any significance to my Dad being seated to the right of ????
    who is he
    Do any of these answers help us get any closer to where Dad was and what he was doing?

    Hope nobody held their breath!!!!

    Cheers
    CTNana
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Nana,
    Sorry to be a pain but could you make the image about 2 or 3 times bigger, at least. :)
     

Share This Page