214 (Federated Malay States) Squadron
Royal Air Force
personnel are arranged in alphabetical order. To find the person you are looking
for by last name (surname) simply click on the appropriate link listed above.
Once you are in the appropriate group, you will find the names listed alphabetically
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WERE THESE MEN?
A typical description of a bomber crew at the time was provided by an Air Ministry publication entitled Bomber Command, which was issued by the Ministry of Aviation in 1941. "The men of Bomber Command are appointed to fulfill a special mission. Their life is not that of other men - not that even of those in the other branches of the service. Its very physical conditions are different. For them nowadays much of the night is day, much of the day a time for sleep and repose. Discipline is constant yet flexible...Triumph and disaster are met and vanquished together.
‘The captain and its second pilot do the actual flying, the observer navigates and drops the bombs; the wireless operator helps the navigator and the air gunners do the fighting. The same spirit and practice of co-ordination is required of a bomber crew as of a crew of a racing eight or the members of a football eleven...
‘The bomber pilot differs in training and environment from his colleague flying a Spitfire or Hurricane. A pilot of the Royal Air Force is subjected at an early stage to a process of selection by which it is determined whether he is better fitted to fly a fighter or a bomber. Both will have to fly aircraft; both will wear pilots wings; but here their ways diverge. The fighter pilot is in action for an hour and a half to two hours at the most, often far less. He is usually led into the fight by his squadron leader.
‘Very different, but equally important, qualities are required of a bomber pilot. He must be capable of considerable physical and mental endurance, for it may be to fly for the most part of the time over hostile territory or across the unfriendly sea. During much of the flight he may find his aircraft the object of attack by enemy assailants who can break off and renew the assault at any moment. Surprise, that weapon which more then any other wins a fight, is theirs to wield at will. The bomber pilot must fly doggedly on, defending himself with the aid of darkness and cloud outside and with the skill of his crew and their machine guns inside. The bomber pilot must not forget that he is one of a team and that the team is not flying separated from him in another Hurricane or Spitfire, but the same aircraft, crouched over the navigator’s table or hunched up in the gun turrets. He must be imaginative, yet not dismayed by his own imagination, brave yet cautious, cool yet daring.
KIND PERMISSION OF ARTHUR SKONE
his publication "A PEACEFULL VIEW"
Biography of Alan Raymond Collier Skone
The photo above is of P/O Bill Foskett taken at the flying control tower at Udine in North Italy. This photo is one of my personal favourites because it so perfectly depicts that mental image many have of the young, dashing, devil may care, airmen of these times. An image the RAF did much to foster and perpetuate I might add. Boys being boys, those that the RAF Recruiting office couldn't convince to join for the sake of their country, they snagged through subtle propaganda by convincing them that the girls swoon over a man in an RAF Uniform. ( I can assure you however that the latter never entered Bills mind. )
A case in point...................