The Doric Columns
165 Squadron Ayr - With the end of the war in Europe, the squadron moved to Dyce to re-equip with Spitfires and prepare for its transfer to Norway in Mid-June. There it provided air defence for 6 months until the Royal Norwegian Air Force had reorganised after its return home from exile. Returning to the UK in January 1946, the squadron disbanded on 1 September 1946, passing its aircraft to No.66 Squadron.Dyce was also a Coastal Command base and the Fighter Section there was commanded by Group Captain F Crerar. Group 13’s sector stations were at Catterick, Usworth, Wick, Dyce and Turnhouse.
F/O Athur Peter P Pease completed his flying training and was posted to No.1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum in late May 1940. He met Richard Hillary there and they became friends. They went to 5 OTU, Aston Down on 23rd June and after converting to Spitfires they joined 603 Squadron at Dyce on 6th July. Pease shared in destroying a He111 on the 30th. He was hit by return fire but returned to Montrose, unhurt. On 3rd September he claimed a Me109 destroyed and on the 7th he made a belly-landing back at Hornchurch in Spitfire L1057, after being damaged in combat over London. On 15th September 1940 Pease was shot down and killed in combat. His Spitfire, X4324, crashed at Kingswood, near Chartway Street, Kent.
P/O Dudley Stewart-Clark, of West Lothian, was educated at Eton. He joined the RAFVR about May 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on September 1st 1939 he completed his training and was with 603 Squadron at Dyce in June 1940. On July 3rd Stewart-Clark shared in the destruction of a Ju88, on the 6th he shared a Do17 and on the 15th and 16th he shared He111’s. He was shot down by Hauptmann Bode of II/JG 26 over the Channel off Margate on September 3rd in Spitfire X4185. Stewart-Clark baled out, wounded, and was admitted to Chelmsford Hospital. He was killed on September 19th 1941, as a Flight Lieutenant with 72 Squadron. His Spitfire Vb W3516 was shot down off the French coast near Gravelines.
P/O Philip Melville Cardell, from Huntingdonshire, joined the RAFVR in May 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He was called up on September 1st 1939 and, after completing his flying training, was commissioned and went to 5 OTU on June 10th 1940. He was posted to 263 Squadron at Drem on the 23rd. After a few days he went to 603 Squadron at Dyce. The squadron went south to Hornchurch on 10th August 1940. On September 27th Cardell was in combat with Me109’s over the Channel. He destroyed one but it is believed that he was wounded in the engagement. Cardell attempted to get back to the English coast but had to bale out a quarter of a mile off Folkestone. His friend, Pilot Officer PG Dexter, tried to attract peoples' attention to Cardell's plight. When he failed to do so, he made a forced-landing on Folkestone beach, commandeered a boat and headed for his friend but Cardell was dead when they reached him. Cardell was 23.
F/O Robin McGregor Waterston, of Edinburgh, joined 603 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force at Turnhouse in 1937. He was then studying in Scotland for an engineering degree. Called to full-time service on August 24th 1939, Waterston was with 603, by then at Dyce, in early July 1940. About this time he picked up the nickname 'Bubbles'. On the 20th he shared a Do17, shot down into the North Sea 30 miles east of Aberdeen. The squadron was sent south to Hornchurch in August and Waterston claimed a Me109 destroyed on August 30th over Canterbury. He returned to Hornchurch with a punctured oil tank after being attacked by other 109’s. The next day Waterston was killed in a combat over London and is believed to have been shot down by Me109’s of I/JG3. He was either unconscious or already dead when his Spitfire, X4273, was seen to emerge from the haze and spin out of control into the ground near Repository Road in Woolwich, South London. Waterston was 23.
Air Transport Auxiliary did not fight in combat but ferried fighter and bomber planes to RAF bases where they could be used in anger. Probably the most famous member of the ATA was Amy Johnson who joined in 1940. In 1941 she was killed in the Thames Estuary after flying from Blackpool in very poor ice fog weather. What happened to her and her Airspeed AS10 Oxford plane remains a mystery but it is assumed that Johnson got disorientated and then ran out of fuel. She bailed out into the River Thames and may well have been hit by the propellers of a passing ship.
The Wellington was the brainchild of Barnes Wallis, most famous for the bouncing bomb of dam buster’s fame. After a long period spent working for Vickers on airships, Wallis had moved to the design of aircraft. His main early contribution to the field was the invention of the geodetic method of aircraft production. In this system the aircraft fuselage was made of a light weight grid of relatively simple parts that combined to produce strong, light, flexible aircraft. The “basket weave” structure of the aircraft would then be covered with a layer of cloth.
The Wellington began life as a response to the B.9/32 Bomber specification of 1932. This called for a twin engine day bomber capable of carrying a 1000lb bomb load and with a range of 720 miles. If the Wellington had been designed to this specification, we would probably never have heard of it! The design of what would become the Wellington evolved rapidly over the next few years, with both Vickers and then the air ministry increasing its performance, until when the first prototype flew it was capable of carrying 4,500 lbs of bombs and a maximum range of 2,800 miles, while the empty weight had almost doubled, from the 6,300lbs of the original specification to 11,508 lbs for the first prototype.
PLANE and the BAIRNS
No. 612 Squadron was reformed on 10 May 1946 at RAF Dyce as a Fighter squadron of the RAAF. Initially the Squadron was equipped with Griffon-engined Spitfire F14g and in November 1948 it got additional Merlin-engined Spitfire LF.16e fighters.
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