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No. 194 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

No. 194 Squadron (RAF): Second World War


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No. 194 Squadron (RAF) during the Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.194 Squadron began life as a transport unit based in India, before becoming an airborne forces unit and helping to keep the army fighting in Burma supplied from the air.

The squadron was formed on 14 October 1942 around a core of personnel from No.31 Squadron as a Hudson-equipped transport unit. Its role was to provide regular mail and passenger flights in India, and the squadron flew its first scheduled flight on 26 November 1942 (between Lahore and Colombo). Routes to Cairo and Chittagong were added in December.

In February 1943 a detachment was sent to Tezpur, from where it was used to drop supplies to support the first Chindit operation. Between them Nos.31 and 194 squadrons flew 178 sorties and dropped 303 tons of supplies to the Chindits.

The detachment was withdrawn in June 1943, and rejoined the rest of the squadron, which had begun to convert to the Douglas Dakota in May. For the next three months the squadron flew on the routes operated in peace time by Indian National Airlines.

In September 1943 the squadron was reclassified as an Airborne Forces Squadron, and its transport role was taken over by No.353 Squadron. The next few months were spent training in the new role, before the squadron moved to the Burma front in January 1944.

In February the Japanese began their last major offensive in Burma, the attack that led to the battles of Kohima and Imphal. No.194 Squadron immediately switched to supply dropping duties, flying 291 sorties in February, 426 in March and 452 in April. Most of the sorties in February were flown over the Arakan, but in March the squadron played a major part in the Allied victory at Imphal by flying the 5th Indian Division into Imphal (alongside American transport aircraft withdrawn from the supply route to China). In April the squadron flew fighter aircraft and supplies into Imphal and casualties out. In May it was partially rested, alternating with crews from Wellington squadrons, but in June an impressive total of 941 sorties were flow, with most still around Imphal. A similar pace was maintained in August, before the squadron was given three months rest.

In January 1945 the squadron was given a flight of Stinson Sentinels for casualty evacuation from small jungle airstrips. In the same month it evacuated 529 casualties, as well as carrying over eight million lbs of supplies. The squadron was also sued to support the British breakthrough at Meiktela, and the attack on Rangoon. Activity peaked in July with 1,396 sorties, an impressive 45 per day.

After the end of hostilities the squadron provided general transport services in the Far East, and especially around Bangkok, as well as flying liberated POWs on the first stage of their journey home. The squadron was disbanded on 15 February 1946.

Aircraft
November 1942-September 1943: Lockheed Hudson VI
May 1943-February 1946: Douglas Dakota I, Dakota III and Dakota IV
January-September 1945: Sentinel I

Location
October 1942-February 1943: Lahore
February-September 1943: Palam
September 1943-February 1944: Basal
February 1944: Comilla
February-September 1944: Agartala
September-November 1944: Imphal
November-December 1944: Basal
December 1944-March 1945: Imphal
March-May 1945: Maunybyin
May-August 1945: Ayyab Main
August 1945-February 1946: Mingaladon

Squadron Codes: W, H

Duty
1942-1944: Transport Squadron, India
1944-1945: Air Support, paratrooper drop and supply drops, Burma

Part of
No.177 Wing; Third Tactical Air Force; Eastern Air Command; HQ Air Command South-East Asia

Books

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No 214 Squadron was formed in 1917 as a heavy night bombing squadron (No 14 RNAS, becoming No 214 RAF in April 1918). It flew in France and Belgium during WWI and in Egypt in 1919, disbanding in 1920. It reappeared as a bomber squadron in 1935 at Boscombe Down.

During WWII, No 214 served in No 3 Group, flying many missions against naval and industrial targets in Fortress Europe and taking part in mine laying operations. Its tour with No 3 Group ended in January 1944, it was re-equipped with American Flying Fortress aircraft and up until May 1945 was engaged in radio counter-measures - the detection and jamming of enemy radio and radar equipment.

  • RAF Methwold, Norfolk from 3rd September 1939 (Wellington Ia)
  • RAF Stradishall, Suffolk from 12th February 1940 (Wellington Ic, Wellington II)
  • RAF Honington, Suffolk from 5th January 1942
  • RAF Stradishall from 12th January 1942 (Stirling I)
  • RAF Chedburgh, Soffolk from 1st October 1942 (Stirling III)
  • RAF Downham Market, Suffolk from 10th December 1943 (to 100 Group)
  • RAF Sculthorpe, Norfolk from 16th January 1944 (Fortress II)
  • RAF Oulton, Norfolk from 16th May 1944 (Fortress III)
  • disbanded 27th July 1945

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The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (437031) Warrant Officer Allan Oliver Walkington, No. 194 Squadron, Royal Air Force, 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 Chris Widenbar, the story for this day was on (437031) Warrant Officer Allan Oliver Walkington, No. 194 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.

437031 Warrant Officer Allan Oliver Walkington, No. 194 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in flying battle 20 June 1945

Story delivered 12 April 2017

Today we pay tribute to Warrant Officer Allan Walkington.

Born in the town of Terowie in the mid north of South Australia on 26 July 1921, Allan Oliver Walkington was the son of Oliver Edgar Walkington and Myrtle Flora Maud Walkington.

The young Allan Walkington attended the local Terowie school, and then Prince Alfred College in Adelaide. Following his schooling, he was employed as a bank officer at E.S. & A. Bank.

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Walkington served in the Militia, before transferring to the Royal Australian Air Force on 10 October 1942. In April 1942 he was engaged to a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force.

Following his enlistment in the RAAF, Walkington commenced training as a wireless operator and before long embarked for overseas service. As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, Wilson was one of almost 27,500 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers, who, throughout the course of the war, joined squadrons based in Britain.

Before arriving in Britain, Walkington spent several months undertaking specialist training in Canada. While there, he appears to have been engaged a second time, to a woman living in Winnipeg.

After completing his training in Canada, and then in Britain, he served in operational squadrons in Bomber Command and Transport Command.

In February 1945, he was transferred to No. 194 Squadron, Royal Air Force, a transport squadron equipped with Douglas Dakota DC-3s. At the time Walkington joined the squadron, it was based at Akyab in
Arakan, on the western coast of Burma (the country today known as Myanmar).

During the Burma campaign, the Dakotas of No. 194 flew supplies to the front lines, dropped supplies to Chindit units, and helped evacuate wounded.

On 20 June 1945, the Dakota in which Walkington was the wireless operator was returning from a successful mission delivering supplies to Meiktila in central Burma. Heavy rain or mist obscured a mountain peak south east of Kyaukpyu in western Burma, which caused the plane to crash, killing all four crew: Walkington, his Australian crewmate Flight Lieutenant Neil William Neelands, and their British crewmates – Wing Commander Robert Cree Crawford, and Flight Lieutenant Frank Malcom Forrester.

In a letter home to Walkington’s family, the commander of 194 Squadron wrote that Walkington was

popular and respected as a very able wireless operator. Whilst he was with us he has been engaged on carrying urgently needed supplies into Burma and it was returning from a sortie after successfully landing their load that he met his death. I am proud to say that it was due to the unflagging efforts and total disregard for self of your son, and many others like him, that such a speedy advance through Burma was made possible. On this, his last trip, he was flying as wireless operator in a crew captained by our Squadron Commander, and that in itself is proof of the confidence reposed in his him as an efficient and willing crew member … May I add that we have lost an admired and respected friend, but we remember he has made the highest sacrifice permitted to man for the cause of freedom, and there is consolation in that thought.

Allan Walkington was 23 years old.

His remains are buried in the Taukkyan War Cemetery at Mingaladon, just outside Yangon, Myanmar.

On his gravestone, his family chose the following words as his epitaph:
His presence out greatest pleasure, memory now our dearest treasure

Walkington’s name is listed here on the Roll of Honour on my left, among some 40,000 Australians who died while serving in the Second World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Warrant Officer Allan Oliver Walkington, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.


The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (17354) Flying Officer Vincent Gerald Berriman, No. 50 Squadron, Royal Air Force, 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 Troy Clayton, the story for this day was on(17354) Flying Officer Vincent Gerald Berriman, No. 50 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.

17354 Flying Officer Vincent Gerald Berriman, No. 50 Squadron, Royal Air Force
KIA 9 April 1945
Photograph: P10949.001

Story delivered 12 July 2016

Today we pay tribute to Flying Officer Vincent Gerald Berriman, who was killed on active service with the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

Vincent Berriman was born on 23 January 1920 in Perth, Western Australia. His father, also named Vincent, had served with great distinction in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War, receiving the Military Medal and Distinguished Conduct Medal for his “untiring energy, often under fire, and … [his] fine example to the men under him”. He had met his future wife, Dorothy, while in hospital in England, and the pair married in 1918. Dorothy was pregnant with their son as they journeyed to Australia in 1919.

In 1926 Vincent’s father passed away from war-related causes. He went on to attend a technical school and became an auto-electrical fitter.

On 15 July 1940 Vincent Berriman enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force. He worked in the RAAF for three years as a technician before being accepted as a member of aircrew in November 1942, and began training as a pilot. In February 1942 he wed Glen Berriman, and together they had a son, Vincent Ronald Berriman, born on 5 December 1943. Berriman had embarked for overseas service days before the birth, and never met his son.

As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, Berriman was one of almost 27,500 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers who joined squadrons based in Britain throughout the course of the war. Arriving in England in January 1944, he undertook further specialist training before being posted in February 1945 to No. 50 Squadron, RAF. As part of Bomber Command, No. 50 squadron was equipped with the four-engine Avro Lancaster heavy bomber. Berriman was reported to be “held in high esteem not only by his crew, who had complete confidence in his abilities, but also by fellow officers and [had] many friends in the squadron”.

On 9 April 1945 Berriman was on his tenth sortie over enemy territory when the aircraft he was piloting failed to return from a raid on Hamburg. For months his family was left with no answers, and it was not until November that Glen Berriman was formally advised that her husband was presumed to have been killed in action during the raid.

After the war, investigations determined that Berriman’s aircraft had crashed near the German village of Wollingst and exploded on impact. The bodies of the crew were recovered by the Germans and buried nearby. Vincent Gerald Berriman was buried in in the British and Commonwealth War Cemetery in Hamburg, Germany. He was 25 years old.

Berriman’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among some 40,000 others from the Second World War. His photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Flying Officer Vincent Gerald Berriman, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.


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