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103 Squadron RAF

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103 Sqn History

103 Sqn WW1

103 Sqn 1937 to 1940

103 Sqn Post War


Airfields of 103 Sqn

Aircraft of 103 Sqn

103 Sqn WW2 Aircraft Record

Lancaster ED888

103 Sqn WW2 Losses Index


103 Sqn Roll of Honour

103 Sqn POWs, Escapers Evaders and Internees


Profiles 103 Sqn A to M

Profiles 103 Sqn N to Z

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Sources and Books Page.D Fell at Bretteville sur Laize 2014

Information and photos for all my work on the 103 Squadron, 576 Squadron and RAF Elsham Wolds Airfield web sites have been drawn from a very long list of sources.

I have been researching all these subjects since the early 80s and have met and communicated with a huge number of veterans, families, authors and other researchers in that time, far too many to count but it must be around a 1000. Sadly the vets are passing on now and that source has dwindled in the last 10 years.

In the early days I submitted items to newsletters, magazines and newspapers which brought a good flow of info and photos. The Bomber Command Association helped me a lot in the 80s and into the 90s

In 1997 I had my first web site with Kevin Audsley who set up the site and this was a great step forward. For 5 or 6 years this enabled me to make many more good contacts world wide. As I became more experienced with the technology I started to produce my own web sites and have been active with websites ever since. I have an unbroken 20 year plus web presence.

The Official Archive sources like the National Archives at Kew, the RAF Museum and the Imperial War Museum have been a good source of documents and photos and I have visited those quite often over the years although not in the last 15 years. Much of it can be ordered on line now anyway and I know several people who are regular visitors who will look things up for me if required. Also the Archives of Canada and Australia are very helpful. The Belgian War Museum were extremely so in researching the four 103 Belgian aircrew. Also the Auckland War Museum and Australian War Memorial and a few more which I have used over the years.

I acquired the Operational Record Books of 103 and 576 on microfilm in the late 80s. 15 mm. At that time I had my own microfilm viewer. I am all digital now. From these a produced my own databases which was a very big job but has certainly been worth the effort and they are still being updated quite frequently. I also have digital copies of the 166 ORB and 1 Group ORB

Of the on line resources the Commonwealth War Graves site is very useful and also the London Gazette. Also the Daily Telegraph obituaries on occasions, the 103 Sqn WW1 site and Bart FM Droog’s RAF Battle of France site.  Several others I have referred to from time to time. I have also found the Air Safety Network website very useful. Also the Air of Authority and the Bomber County Aviation Resource websites

The various books I have used over the years are listed below. There will be some I have missed but those are the main ones. If I recall anymore I will add them to the list.

I have also used Google and Duckduckgo maps and Google street views quite regularly. I do take my own photos as much as possible but due to health and mobility issues I am restricted as to how far I can travel. Also I did not travel very far during the covid outbreak anyway.

Lastly and very importantly is the amount of new material, info and photos kindly sent to me by contacts and collaborators - old and new. This input is a considerable help for which I am always most grateful.


103 Sqn related publications

The Incidental Navigator - Sir Maurice Rault, QC. Edited by Sean Feast from a translation by Danielle Lagesse. - Available from Amazon and Mention the War Books

"The Air Ministry Regrets" by Bob Whymark. The story of F/L John Percy Whymark DSO DFC RAFVR and the loss of Lancaster PA278. To order this book contact Robert Whymark on robertwhymark326atgmail.com  - ( replaced at with @ )

ETA: A Bomber Command Navigator Shot Down and on the Run - By Gordon Mellor. Published by Fighting High Publishing - Available on Amazon.

Don Charlwood - Burgewood Books Publications. No Moon Tonight: Available from Burgewood Books in Australia.

Don Charlwood - Burgewood Books Publications. Journeys into Night: Available from Burgewood Books in Australia.

 Back Bearings - A Navigators Tale 1942 to 1974. Eric Cropper - Available on Amazon

Black Swan - Sid Finn. A history of 103 Sq. Long out of print but may be available on the second hand book market. Includes some interesting background and photographs but is ruined by mistakes. Not proof read/checked adequately or indexed.

Just A Survivor - Phil Potts. Woodfield Publications. Excellent account by a former 103 Sq. navigator and POW.

An Erk’s Eye View of World War 2 - Ted Mawdsley. Woodfield Publications. Absorbing story of life in the RAF from a former Instrument Mechanic at Elsham Wolds.

Evader - Denys Teare. Burford Books Inc. Extraordinary and gripping story of a former 103 Sq. Air Bomber on the run in Occupied France in WW2.

Only Birds and Fools - Norman Ashton. Crowood Press. A former 103 Sq. Flight Engineer writes with humour and sensitivity about his wartime experiences.

A Member of the RAF of Indeterminate Race - Cy Grant. Woodfield Publications. Cy, a West Indian originally from British Guiana, travelled to England to join the RAF in 1941 and, after undergoing flying training and qualifying as a navigator, was posted in 1943 to No.103 Squadron, based at RAF Elsham Wolds. He was shot down and taken prisoner. The book relates the war and life as a POW from his own personal and unusual perspective. Cy’s memories of his eventful RAF years are narrated with modesty, charm  and good humour and make for compelling and educational reading.

Shot Down – John Curnow. Pacific Press Publishing Assn. 103 Navigator 1942/43 POW and Escaper.

Flak and Ferrets – Walter Morison. Sentinel Publishing. 103 Pilot 1942 and POW and Escaper.

The Lives and Ken Wallis – Ian Hancock . Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum. 103 Pilot 41/42. A most interesting book about a fascinating man.

Corkscrew to Safety - Thomas Quinlan. Woodfield Publishing. 103 Rear gunner. 1944/45.

No Flying without Wings - Colin Bayliss. 103 pilot 1942 and POW

If the Flak Doesn’t get you the Fighters Will - Brian Stoker. Newton. 103 Navigator. 1943

The Dancin’ Navigator - Jack Harding. Astertisk Communications. 103 Navigator 1943

Birbeck’s War - Jack Birbeck. Welland Print Ltd. 103 Air Bomber 1943 and POW.

Have No Fear BG Is Here - B G MacDonald. Published by B G MacDonald. 103 Air Gunner 1944.

The Lives of Ken Wallis - Ian Hancock

Also of interest and reference.

Bomber Intelligence - Bill Jones. William Kimber. Intelligence Officer at Elsham Wolds Kirmington and Hemswell.

High Endeavour- The life and times of Sir Ronald Ivelaw-Chapman.by John Ivelaw-Chapman. For a short time RI-C was OC 13 Base. He was shot down in May 44 and became a POW till the end of the war.

A Shaky Do - The Skoda Works Raid 16/17 April 1943 by Peter W.Cunliffe.

Battle Under the Moon - Jack Currie Air Data Publications.

Massacre Over the Marne - Oliver Clutton Brock. Partick Stephens Ltd

Footprints in the Sands of Time - Oliver Clutton Brock. Grub Street Publications.

Evader - Oliver Clutton Brock. Grub Street Publications.

The Long Road: Trials and Tribulations of Airmen Prisoners from Stalag Luft VII (Bankau) to Berlin, June 1944-May 1945 - by Oliver Clutton-Brock, Raymond Crompton

By Day and by Night: Bomber War in Europe, 1939-45 - Ken Merrick. Ian Allan Publishing

RAF Bomber Command Losses - All 8 Volumes - Bill Chorley. Midland Publishing.

The Bomber Command Handbook 1939-1945 - Jonathan Falconer. Sutton Publishing.

Selected For Aircrew - James Hampton. Air Research Publications.

The Bomber Command War Diaries - Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt. Midland Publishing.

The Nuremberg Raid - Martin Middlebrook. Cassell Military Paperbacks.

The Peenemunde Raid - Martin Middlebrook. Cassell Military Paperbacks.

The Berlin Raids - Martin Middlebrook. Cassell Military Paperbacks.

The Battle of Hamburg - Martin Middlebrook. Cassell Military Paperbacks.

A Shaky Do - The Skoda Works Raid 16/17 April 1943 by Peter W.Cunliffe.

Battle Under the Moon - Jack Currie Air Data Publications.

Massacre Over the Marne - Oliver Clutton Brock. Partick Stephens Ltd

By Day and by Night: Bomber War in Europe, 1939-45 - Ken Merrick. Ian Allan Publishing

RAF Bomber Command Losses - All 8 Volumes - Bill Chorley. Midland Publishing.

The Bomber Command Handbook 1939-1945 - Jonathan Falconer. Sutton Publishing.

Selected For Aircrew - James Hampton. Air Research Publications.

Fuel Fear and Fire - Colin Pateman

Valiant Wings - Norman Franks. William Kimber

The Battle of France - Then and Now - Peter Cornwell. After the Battle Publications.

The Action Station Series - Published by Patrick Stevens Ltd

Fuel, Fire and Fear - Colin Pateman

Nachtjagd Combat Archives - Theo Boiten

For WW1 Losses The Sky Their Battlefield by Trevor Henshaw. Grub Street Publications. That is an excellent source.

Plus several books by Alan Cooper, Sean Feast and Norman Franks

Also a number of good books re aircraft types.

I will not mention them all but The Lancaster Story - A Definitive Record by Harry Holmes published in 1996 by Airlife Publishing  has been useful.

Also several published by Air Britain. The DH9 File by Ray Sturtivant and Gordon Page and also the Battle File by Sydney Shail have proved excellent reference material.

Also several Ian Allen and Osprey books which have provided some good background info on occasions.

For Local Airfield information

 Action Stations - Wartime Military Airfields in Lincolnshire and the East Midlands - Bruce Barrymore Halpenny. For the background info to some of these items. This book was published in 1991 and is an excellent source as all all the volumes in the Action Stations series. All the Action Stations books which have been most useful.

Also Action Stations - Wartime Military Airfields in Yorkshire - Bruce Barrymore Halpenny

Other books of local interest I have used are :-

East Yorkshire Airfields - G Simmons

Flames in the Night - Mike Hodgson

Flying Through Fire - G Williams

Goxhill at War - Dixon and Parker

The Blackburn Aircraft Company - Malcolm Hall

Airfield Focus 12 North Coates - Bill Taylor

Aircraft Made In Lincoln - Walls and Parker.

Robey Aircraft Production - Walls

Plus quite a few other publications I use or have used which I will add in due course.

David W Fell.


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Contact - D W Fell at e mail on the link below

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Latest additions to this site

1st June 2024 - RAF Bombsights

1st June 2024 - Armstrong NH Profile

1st June 2024 - Marsden JTA Profile

1st June 2024 - Flak Scrapbook

1st May 2024 - Fairey Battle Photo Gallery

1st May 2024 - Barratt Profile

1st May 2024 - Remy and Crew Profile

1st May 2024 - Breen Profile

* 1st April 2024 - 80 Wing

1st April 2024 - Shields Profile

1st April 2024 - Anderson Profile

1st April 2024 - Cavanagh Profile

* 1st March 2024 - Advanced Air Striking Force

1st March 2024 - Riches Profile

* 1st February 2024 - Kilvington Profile

1st February 2024 - Garton Profile

1st February 2024 - Holland Profile

* 1st January 2024 - Pamplin Profile

1st January 2024 - Milan - 24/25 October 1942

* 1st December 2023 - Photos of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st December 2023 - Bremen – 2/3rd July 1942

1st December 2023 - Skinner Profile

* 1st November 2023 - Memoirs of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st November 2023 - Mine laying Biarritz / Biscay coast - 21 November 1942

1st November 2023 - Billie - Lancaster - W4364 - 103 Squadron

1st November 2023 - Curtin Twins Profile

*1st October 2023 - Dusseldorf - 1 August 1942

1st October 2023 - RAF Usworth Photo Album - 103 Squadron Era 1937/38

1st October 2023 - Mills Profile

*1st September 2023 - Tilley Profile

1st September 2023 - Ostend docks and barges - 22 December 1940

* 1st August 2023 - Defensive Armament - 103 Squadron and 576 Squadron

1st August 2023 - Chesterton Profile

1st August 2023 - Targets in Holland - 21/22 July 1940

1st August 2023 - Numerous additions and updates throughout the site

*1st July 2023 - Armed Reconnaissance/Leaflet Raid – Koblenz area – 20/21 March 1940

1st July 2023 - Air Dropped Weapons Article

1st July 2023 - Knott Profile

Also of local RAF Bomber Command interest are the

166 Squadron website

and the

550 Squadron and North Killingholme website.