Squadron or Unit Photos

Discussion in 'General' started by Marshall Daley, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. Marshall Daley

    Marshall Daley Junior Member

    Hi just wondering if there is an easy way to find Squadron, Unit or even training photos of the men/women who served in them, was it in an official photo they did or did the Servicemen/women take it on them selves to do it.

    Hoping to get lucky and find some of my grandfather his name was John NIcholson and served in the RAF ( this is a link to a previous thread about his service records and the help i have already received http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/37953-je-nicholson-raf-looking-for-any-information/), he was in a few different Squadrons and MU as ground crew during the war.

    The dates he was in each Unit is as follows, any help or clues on how to search for these would be appreciated. thank you in advance. A Special thanks to PeteT who translated my grandfathers RAF service records so i could get this information.

    Posted to 3 School of Technical Training, RAF Manston

    Posted to 2 Wing, RAF Henlow

    Posted to 2 Wing, RAF St Athan

    Posted to 1 Wing, RAF St Athan

    Posted to 600 Squadron, RAF Hendon (RAF Northolt

    Posted to 2 Wing, RAF Cosford

    Posted to 40 Squadron, RAF Wyton

    Assigned to Middle East

    Posted to 70 Squadron, RAF Kabrit

    Posted to 148 Squadron, LG09 at Bir Koraiyim, LG167 at Bir el Baheira

    No 1 Middle East Ferry Control, Cairo West

    Posted to 160 Maintenance Unit, AHQ Levant, RAF Aqir, Palestine

    Posted to 60 Maintenance Unit, Shipton

    Posted to 100 Personnel Dispersal Centre, Uxbridge

    And that was the end of his service, until he volunteered for the New Zealand Army and went to Korea (waiting on those records now).
  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Sorry, but with genuine, meaningful research there is NO easy way :(

    Your best bet is to GOOGLE each and every squadron with which he was connected, trying to find a representative body (again for each unit) that is still functioning and writing to them asking if there are any publications that include group photographs.

    I speak with the confidence of one who has been down that route and spent an initial 18 months solid letter writing.

    I also write as someone who eventually struck lucky and was able, amongst other things, to meet and interview members of my late brother's crew and to correspond with those living overseas.

    Yes, I was lucky but it was bloody hard work that got me to that stage !


  3. Marshall Daley

    Marshall Daley Junior Member

    Thanks Ron

    I'll try that and hopefully will get lucky :)
  4. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Agree with Ron. Google the Squadrons which often contain leads to other sources. I did this in researching my boyhood friend, resulting in www.john-lowrie.com

    Good luck.

  5. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Hi Marshal - it looks like you already have the best advice regarding SQN associations. For units like an MU rather than a flying SQN look for associations with names like Ground Crew Middle East. Each MU probably wouldn't have it's own association but there could be a combined one in existence once upon a time.

    Most SQN photos focus on aircrew rather than on the erks. For photos including ground crew it would more likely an informal shot by one of the members or the only formal ones I have seen date from around the end of the war when there seems to have been time for a celebratory photo session.

    I had a quick look at the collection held by the Australian War Memorial (www.awm.gov.au) and searched for 70 Squadron, RAF - here is an informal image from roughly the time your GF was with the unit:


    Kabrit, Egypt. c. November 1941. Informal portrait of No. 70 Squadron, RAF. Back row, left to right: Sergeant (Sgt) Webb; Sgt Liles; Sgt Mattews; Captain (Capt) Evans; Sgt Grey; Sgt Nelson. Front row: Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Taylor; LAC Martin; LAC Charnley; Aircraftman Gourley; LAC Jones.
  6. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Whereas this photo shows the sort of work he performed and in what conditions:



    Middle East, North Africa. 14 December 1943. Breaking up of an aircraft begins at the unit. Salvage in all its branches is seriously undertaken by the RAF. One Maintenance Unit breaks down several unserviceable aircraft every day. Every component is docketed and put by for further service. The aluminium alloy is smelted down into ingots and sent back to England, while the steel is shipped to India and America. Some 300 Italian soldiers captured in the Western Desert are skilfully assisting in this work. Practically everything retrieved flies again in one form or another.
  7. Marshall Daley

    Marshall Daley Junior Member

    Thank you everybody for your advice and help :)

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