John R. Davies (RAF No. 60107) volunteered for the RAF in 1940. After Initial Training Wing at Torquay he was transferred to 7 Initial Flying Training School at Desford, near Liecester. He learnt to fly on DH82 Tiger Moths and soloed after 12 hrs. 20 min.
He left Desford with the grand total of 37hrs. 40min. flying and was posted to RAF Hullavington 9SFTS, near Chippenham. Davies was kept in training command as an instructor, learning to be a Flying Instructor at Central Flying School, Upavon. He was posted back to Hullavington at the end of March 1941 to be an instructor. He stayed at Hullavington until June 1942, when he was transferred to Peterborough to continue instructing on Masters. In October he volunteered to go on to Glider training and was posted to No. 1 GTS at Thame and then Croughton.
In October 1943 he was posted to an Operational training Unit, 58 OTU at Grangemouth, doing about 30 hours at OTU. After some leave he joined 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron at Martlesham Heath, flying Spitfire Vb LF’s and Mark 9a and 9b.
On 3 July 1944 501 Squadron and Davies moved to W. Hampnett and reformed and converted to 274 Squadron and Hawker Tempest Mk. V’s. His last operational flight was on 21 October, completing his tour.
After a week’s leave he was posted to the Communications Squadron, at Eindhoven. He spent a period of detachment to the 12th Army Group Engineers. CO, Col. Tuck. January to June 1945.
John R. Davies emigrated to South Africa in 1946, trained as a mining engineer and worked in the Gold mines and then in the N. Rhodesian copper and uranium mines. Returned to UK with wife and 3 children, in 1959. He trained as a Probation Officer, managed a team and retired in 1986. He lived in Reading for over 40 years.
John R. Davies died on 8 September 2018.
This photo of 274 Squadron is taken at Volkel airfield, probably early October 1944.
"I attach a picture of most of the 274 pilots. (“Tiny” Kjeldbec, for one, is missing) Taken at Volkel airfield probably early October 1944. Foob Fairbanks on the left, next to him is Mossing (I think), then F/O JM Griffin. Centre, S/L Heap the CO, next is me in the chip bag cap. On the wing, from left, Capt. Vaissier and Peg Peglar. 4th from left, F/Sgt SL Clarke. On the other end of wing, Doc Malloy and Smithy.
I recognise the others but sadly my memory fails me as to names. I am sure I would remember if I heard the names!"
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John R. Davies