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  • Tom131
    Rank 4 Registered User
    • Apr 2015
    • 15

    238 Squadron

    Hi All,

    I'm looking for some assistance in researching the history of 238 Squadron.

    I'm an instructor on the modern day 238 Squadron, based at RAF Cosford. One of my secondary duties on the Squadron is that of history and heritage rep. In the past, some of my predecessors have carried out a degree of research, but I'm hoping to expand on their efforts, perhaps to a point where I could produce a short book on the unit's history.

    I have already obtained copies of the Operational Record Books from the National Archives and they have proved to be an amazing source of information. One thing I have found particularly difficult to track down however, are photographs. I have found maybe half a dozen to date, so I'd be eager to hear from anyone who can assist on that front.

    I am also keen to hear from anyone with a connection to the Squadron. I don't have a huge amount of information about the individuals who served on the unit, so it would be great to get some personal accounts. Copies of photos, log books, diaries, memoires etc would be amazing.

    Any assistance would be gratefully received. Thanks.
  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest

    #2
    I may be able to help a little. Also, by coincidence, a pal (Snapper) on this forum has just posted on Facebook an image of a 238 Squadron Spitfire, 1940.

    I will tell him to look here!

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    • Snapper
      "The goatboy done good."
      • Jan 2000
      • 5622

      #3
      Yep...I've found just the one so far Tom, will be in touch soon-ish. some of out 609 pilots went there though it seems. All long gone I'm afraid.
      Some of my best friends are imaginary

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      • Snapper
        "The goatboy done good."
        • Jan 2000
        • 5622

        #4
        That's unfortunate, I only seem to have a small, low-res copy now. Will have to see if I can find the full-res tiff or the negative and so some scanning. Very rare pic too, 238 with spitfires - they only had them for a few weeks.
        Some of my best friends are imaginary

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        • Tom131
          Rank 4 Registered User
          • Apr 2015
          • 15

          #5
          A very rare picture indeed. I look forward to seeing it, thank you.

          Comment

          • Guest's Avatar
            Guest

            #6
            An interesting 238 Sqn shot for you:
            Attached Files

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            • Tom131
              Rank 4 Registered User
              • Apr 2015
              • 15

              #7
              It certainly is an interesting shot. Plt Off Considine is it? I'm not sure who the other chap might be. Where is it from? Do you know the context?

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              • Guest's Avatar
                Guest

                #8
                Yes. Blake and Considine.

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                • Tom131
                  Rank 4 Registered User
                  • Apr 2015
                  • 15

                  #9
                  That would make sense. I'm guessing this is the machine bought down by the pair of them near Tavistock, on the 27th August then?

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                  • thedawnpatrol
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Oct 2009
                    • 614

                    #10
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ID:	3661368Hi Tom

                    I have a photo album and log book of Sgt. Later Flight Lt. Clement St John Nichols. He flew with 238 from November 1940 until his death in July 1943, there are many small photos.
                    It was a great shame that he survived as a Fighter pilot for nearly 3 years operationally, to be killed whilst being transported with other squadron pilots in a transport aircraft.

                    I'm happy to send you a photocopy of his log book and scan the photos if you PM me.
                    Here are a few photos for the forum.

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                    • thedawnpatrol
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Oct 2009
                      • 614

                      #11
                      A few more

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                      • thedawnpatrol
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Oct 2009
                        • 614

                        #12
                        Last few for now

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                        • Tom131
                          Rank 4 Registered User
                          • Apr 2015
                          • 15

                          #13
                          Thank you so much for posting those pictures - A fascinating collection. PM Sent.

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                          • MacRobert's
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • May 2012
                            • 8

                            #14
                            I think the first photograph in post #11 is of a 94 Squadron Hurricane - "The MacRobert Fighter -Sir Iain". This was one of four Hurricanes operated by 94 squadron which were funded by Lady MacRobert in memory of her three son's who lost their lives either just prior to or during WW2. In addition to "Sir Iain", they were "Sir Alasdair", "Sir Roderic" and "The MacRobert salute to Russia". My father served with 94 squadron from 1940 until 1943 as a "Fitter-2e" and his photo album contains many images that are very similar to those posted here. It's possible that, in the need to maintain operational status, aircraft in the same wing were operated by other Squadron personnel - which might explain this aircraft featuring in the album of a 238 Squadron pilot? My father also remembers the captured JU52 " Libyan Clipper" which appears in post #12 which was "impressed" into RAF service as an "R & R Hack" running personnel to and from the forward operating airfields to the "comforts" of Cairo and Alexandria! I have a suspicion that this aircraft was involved in a fatal accident which claimed the lives of several airmen - possibly including that of F/Lt Nichols?

                            Comment

                            • Snapper
                              "The goatboy done good."
                              • Jan 2000
                              • 5622

                              #15
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                              Some of my best friends are imaginary

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                              • gedburke3
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Oct 2007
                                • 463

                                #16
                                Hi Snapper,
                                That's a cracking picture, especially with the other spitfire coming in to land above it.
                                Cheers
                                for posting it.
                                Gerry

                                Comment

                                • Tom131
                                  Rank 4 Registered User
                                  • Apr 2015
                                  • 15

                                  #17
                                  Yes, a fantastic shot. Thank you for looking it out Snapper. It could easily be the only shot in existence of 238 Squadron Spitfires from that period.

                                  With regards to the picture of "The MacRobert Fighter -Sir Iain"; the story is widely known, so the registrations of the 4 aircraft should be easy enough to track down. When I get some time, I shall have a look through the ORBs and see if those registrations appear against any 238 Squadron entries. It would be an interesting little insight to see if these aircraft migrated between Squadrons.

                                  Comment

                                  • antoni
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Dec 2005
                                    • 704

                                    #18
                                    The Lady BP635 & HL775
                                    Sir Roderic HL735
                                    Sir Alasdair HL844
                                    Sir Iain HL851

                                    Never seen any mention of any of them being with 238 Squadron. IIRC 94 and 231 Squadrons.

                                    Comment

                                    • MacRobert's
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • May 2012
                                      • 8

                                      #19
                                      I don't want to take this thread off the 238 Squadron track, but it might be of interest that the 94 squadron aircraft depicted in post #11 could easily have been photographed at a landing ground shared with 238 Squadron? I might be wrong, but it looks to me as though the ventral radiator bath has been removed in this photo? If so, the aircraft may be either being serviced or be unserviceable and the opportunity arose for a nice posed shot of Sgt Nichols beside the nose inscription? Also, I have a number of different serial numbers associated with the named MacRobert airframes? My father recalls that, when one particular airframe was unserviceable or seriously damaged, the nose panel was quite often transferred to another serviceable airframe - probably an attempt to maintain Squadron morale or, under the harsh desert operating conditions, to maximise serviceability? Not entirely relevant to the subject matter, I know, and I'll leave it there - but it's always interesting to see previously unpublished photographs appear and it serves to underline the "confusion" that can occur when images don't appear to correlate with "established" facts!

                                      Comment

                                      • Tom131
                                        Rank 4 Registered User
                                        • Apr 2015
                                        • 15

                                        #20
                                        Right; I've turned up some quite interesting information on this one. Looking through the 238 Squadron ORBs, it transpires that HL851 was indeed on Squadron strength from mid-May 1943, right up until they converted to Spitfires at the end of August. A whole host of different pilots flew it, but it would seem Mr Nichols was not amongst them. The individual pictured with the aircraft would appear (from reference to the group photo in post #10) to be FS Robertson, which ties in nicely with the ORBs, as this individual is recorded as having flown the aircraft on quite a number of occasions. What continues to confuse me is the fact that almost everything I've read about the MacRoberts aircraft lists Sir Iain as being HL735, whilst HL851 is usually listed at being Sir Roderic. Any one have any idea why this might be?

                                        MacRobert's - I see what you mean about the radiator, but I think the reason for the unusual square feature under the aircraft is that it has a bung fitted to keep the dust out. There is a smaller one fitted to the front of the intake on the nose too. I too thought that the aircraft might be undergoing maintenance when I saw one of the cannons had been removed, but then I read a line in the ORB, dated 10/09/42 which said: "The IIcs are being flown with 2 cannon instead of 4 as fitted". All this makes me think the picture probably does show an aircraft in front line use.

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