No. 184 Squadron (RAF) during the Second World War
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No.184 Squadron was a fighter-bomber squadron that served with Second Tactical Air Force, taking part on the Battle of Normandy and the advance into Germany.
The squadron was formed on 1 December 1942 at Colerne, and was equipped with the Hawker Hurricane Mk IID. This version of the aircraft, armed with a 40m anti-tank cannon, was used for training with the army, but it was replaced with the Mk IV before the squadron flew its first operational sortie. The Mk IV could carry guns, bombs or rockets, and it would be the rockets that became the standard ground attack weapon.
Operations began on 17 June 1943 with an attack on enemy shipping. In October the squadron received four Spitfires for conversion training, but in December it converted to the Hawker Typhoon, which became the RAF's main ground attack aircraft in Western Europe. The Typhoons were used for attacks on enemy communications in the period before D-Day, before on 27 June 1944 the squadron moved to Normandy.
The squadron provided close support to the 21st Army Group during the battle of Normandy, the period of the breakout and the advance into the Low Countries. The winter of 1944-45 was spent operating from bases in the Netherlands. The squadron moved to Germany on 21 March 1945, and claimed to be the first British squadron to be based on German soil during the Second World War. Attacks on German airfields and communication targets continued to the end of the war. The squadron then formed part of the occupation forces, before being disbanded on 10 September 1945.
December 1941-March 1944: Hawker Hurricane IID and Hurricane IV
October 1943-December 1943: Supermarine Spitfire VB
December 1943-September 1945: Hawker Typhoon IB
December 1942-February 1943: Colerne
February 1943: Milfield
February-March 1943: Colerne
March 1943: Chilbolton
March 1943: Grove
March-May 1943: Zeals
May 1943: Eastchurch
May-June 1943: Merston
June-August 1943: Manston
August 1943: Kingsnorth
August-September 1943: Newchurch
September 1943: Snailwell
September-October 1943: Newchurch
October 1943-March 1944: Detling
March 1944: Odiham
March-April 1944: Eastchurch
April 1944: Odiham
April-May 1944: Westhampnett
May 1944: Holmsley South
May-June 1944: Westhampnett
June 1944: Holmsley South
June-July 1944: B.10 Plumetot
July-August 1944: B.5 Le Fresney Camille
August-September 1944: B.24 St. Andre de l'Eure
September 1944: B.42 Beauvais/ Tille
September 1944: B.50 Vitry-en-Artois
September 1944: B.70 Deurne
September 1944-March 1945: B.80 Volkel
March-April 1945: B.100 Goch
April 1945: B.110 Achmer
April-May 1945: B.150 Hustedt
May 1945: Warmwell
May-August 1945: B.164 Schleswig
August-September 1945: B.160 Kastrup
September 1945: B.166 Flensburg
Squadron Codes: BR
6 June 1944: No.129 (RCAF) Wing; No.83 Group; Second Tactical Air Force; Allied Expeditionary Air Force
1943-1945: Fighter bomber squadron
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IMMIGRANTS OF WAR -
Flying Officer Gregory Augustus 'Gus' Daymond of No 71 (Eagle) Squadron RAF, at North Weald, Essex following his award of the DFC. In August 1942 Daymond became Commanding Officer of the Squadron, with whom he had shot down 7 enemy aircraft. Upon the amalgamation of the Eagle squadrons into the USAAF, Daymond received the rank of Major and added 2 to his score with the 334th Fighter Squadron before returning to the USA. Peterson also transferred, was promoted to full Colonel at the age of 23, and commanded the 4th Fighter Group until 1943. Photo: IWM (CH - 3738)
Flight Lieutenant Chesley Gordon Peterson of No 71 (Eagle) Squadron RAF, at North Weald, Essex following his award of the DFC. In August 1942 Peterson transferred, was promoted to full Colonel at the age of 23, and commanded the 4th Fighter Group until 1943. Photo: IWM (CH - 3738)
American pilots of No. 71 (Eagle) Squadron RAF, Pilot Officer Andy Mamedoff displays new Eagle Squadron badge on the RAF tunic of Vernon Charles 'Shorty' Keough, at Church Fenton, Yorkshire, October 1940 Photo: IWM (CH - 1442)
The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (415291) Pilot Officer Richard Robert Whitaker, No. 196 Squadron RAF, Second World War
The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Andrew Smith, the story for this day was on (415291) Pilot Officer Richard Robert Whitaker, No. 196 Squadron RAF, Second World War.
415291 Pilot Officer Richard Robert Whitaker, No. 196 Squadron RAF
KIA 6 September 1943
Story delivered 1 June 2014
Today we remember and pay tribute to Pilot Officer Richard Robert Whitaker.
Richard Whitaker, known as Bob, was born in Geraldton, Western Australia, on 27 September 1918. The eldest son of Richard and Lilian Whitaker, he grew up in the western suburbs of Perth. After leaving school he worked as a clerk for the firm W. Drabble Limited before becoming a shipping clerk with the Orient Steam Navigation Company in Perth.
Bob Whitaker enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on 17 August 1941 and began an extended period of training in Australia to become a pilot. He achieved his flying badge on 14 April 1942, and just under a month later married Margaret Thomas. Three months after his wedding he left Australia for service overseas.
Whitaker was posted to No. 196 Squadron of the British Royal Air Force. This squadron had been a training unit in the First World War, and was reformed in November 1942 to act as a night bomber unit in Bomber Command for the Second World War. The squadron flew a number of sorties in Wellington bombers against enemy ports and industrial centres in Europe before being re-equipped with Stirling bombers.
On 6 September 1943 Pilot Officer Bob Whitaker was the only Australian in a crew of eight of Stirling 111 EE.964. They were part of an operation against Mannheim in Germany, and took off at 8 pm. The aircraft was not heard from again.
The rear gunner of the Stirling, Sergeant R.A. Newman, was made a prisoner of war in Germany. He reported that at around 1 am the bomber crashed near the village of Bachenau. Newman was the only one able to successfully bail out of the aircraft as it went down. The seven killed in the accident, including Pilot Officer Whitaker, were buried in the local cemetery in a communal grave.
After the war the remains of Whitaker and his comrades were exhumed and reinterred separately next to each other in the Bad Toelz British Cemetery, 28 miles south of Munich. Bob Whitaker was sadly missed by his family at home, who wrote that they would always remember him smiling. He was 24 years old.
His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, along with around 40,000 others from the Second World War, and his photograph is displayed beside the Pool of Reflection.
This is but one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Pilot Officer Richard Robert Whitaker, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.