Traces of World War 2 
RAF - No. 216 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 27 January 2008

216 SQUADRON - Transport and Bomber, Vickers Valentia and Bristol Bombay

History | Operations and losses | Sources | Links | Books | Questions and/or remarks

After the First World War, No. 216 Squadron formed part of the mail service set up for the occupation forces before moving to the Middle East flying passengers and mail between Egypt and Palestine. Throughout the remainder of the Inter-War period, No. 216 flew a variety of transport types (DH10s, Victorias and Valentias) and pioneered the trans-African route, which was taken over commercially in 1936.

From the end of 1939 Bristol Bombays arrived but it was 1941 before the Valentias where completely replaced and when the Italians declared war in June 1940, 216 fitted bomb racks to its Bombays and carried out bombing missions against targets in Libya. As 1941 wore on the squadron became more and more focussed on transport duties, evacuating troops from Greece and Crete and it begin training in the airborne support role, dropping its first parachute troops in November.

In July 1942 it received Hudsons and was now definitely a pure transport unit, carrying supplies throughout the Western Desert and supporting units operating behind enemy lines, although the Bombays soldiered on until May 1943, to be replaced by Dakotas.

As well as 'scheduled' services, airborne force operations were flown and detachments to India (in support of Chindit operations in Burma), Yugoslavia (supporting Tito's Partisans) and others as far apart as Nairobi and Karachi occurred during the remainder of the War.

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Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940
Not all operations listed; those with fatal losses are (incomplete).

21/06/1940: bombing mission Lybia? 1 Plane lost, 4 KIA

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21/06/1940: ?

Bristol Bombay
Serial number: L5850, SH-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 21/06/1940
Flight Sergeant (Pilot) Benjamin T.M. Baker, RAF 563729, 216 Sqdn., age 27, 21/06/1940, Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya
Leading Aircraftman Alfred F. Crohill, RAF 518932, 216 Sqdn., age unknown, 21/06/1940, Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya
Corporal (W. Op./U/T. Air Gnr) William C. Royle, RAF 518637, 216 Sqdn., age 23, 21/06/1940, Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya
Flight Lieutenant (Pilot) John B.W. Smith, RAF 37214, 216 Sqdn., age 26, 21/06/1940, Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya

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Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Royal Air Force - 216 Squadron
RAF Museum: British Military Aviation in 1940
Royal Air Force History Section
The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945
The Second World War - a day by day account - 216 Squadron

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J Pelly-Fry 'Heavenly Days' (Crecy 1994)
R Richardson 'Man is not lost' (216 Sqn 1936-38)

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Discussion Groups
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
RAF Commands Forum

Abbreviations used in the Royal Air Force
Code Names & RAF Vocabulary

Air Aces
Airwar over Denmark
Allied World War II Casualties in the Netherlands
Armée de l'Air - Order of Battle, 10th May 1940
Australian Wargraves
Axis History Factbook
De Belgen in Engeland 1940-1945 (in Dutch)
Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeological Team
British Aircraft Directory
British Aviation Archaeological Council - Books and research links
Canada's Air Force History
HMS Cavalier
Ciel de Gloire (in French) RAF Squadrons
CWGC Cemeteries Germany
CWGC Cemeteries Netherlands
Czechoslovak airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
Danish WW2 Pilots

Dutch Pilots in RAF Squadrons
Eagles Squadrons (American pilots in the RAF)
Foreign Aircraft Landings in Ireland 1939-1946
Håkans aviation page (from Sweden, in English)
'High flight', poem by John Gillespie Magee
An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, poem by W.B. Yeats
Jagdgeschwader 27 (in German)
Luchtoorlog ('Arial War', in Dutch, with many photos)
Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth
The Luftwaffe, 1933-1945
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
The National Ex-Prisoners of War Association
Nordic Aviation during WW2 aircraft of WW2
Polish Air Force 1940-1947 Operations Record Books
RAF Battle of Britain
RAF Upwood
De Slag om de Grebbeberg
Warbird Alley
War over Holland
World War II Aircraft wrecksites in Norway

Aircraft crashes on the North Yorkshire Moors, England
The Lancastershire Aircraft Investigation Team
Luftfahrt-Archäologie in Schleswig Holstein (in German)
North East Diary 1939-1945
Wartime Leicester and Leicestershire

The Aerodrome - Aces and Aircraft of World War 1
WW1 Cemeteries

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This page is dedicated to the men of 216 Squadron.

© Bart FM Droog / Rottend Staal Online 2008. Permission granted for use of the data gathered here for non commercial purposes, if this source is mentioned with a link to