June 27, 2022
Bill spent most of his RAF time with RAF IX (Bomber) Squadron, the oldest dedicated Bomber Squadron in the RAF. At the start of the war in 1939 the Squadron was equipped with Wellingtons but by 1942 the Squadron was equipped with Avro Lancasters. When Bill joined the Squadron in 1943 it was based at RAF Waddington and RAF Bardney.
Lincolnshire was then known as Bomber County because of the number of RAF stations there. It was a time when almost every night saw the bomber stream head out across the North Sea. In the flat broad reaches of the Lincolnshire countryside traces of deserted and overgrown ex RAF airfields can still be found where there remains a whisper of that time when so many did not return.
IX (B) Squadron was first formed at St Omer in France in 1914, it was then known as No.9 (Wireless) Squadron. Since then it has been disbanded and reformed several times. Aircraft flown include Canberras, Vulcans and Tornados. There are too many notable events in the Squadron’s history to mention here but one of the most important was the Tirpitz raid in November 1944. Two squadrons were detailed for this attack both carrying the huge 12,000lb Tallboy bombs. Several bombs hit the Tirpitz but the decisive one was that dropped by Flying Officer Doug Tweedle of IX Squadron.
The Squadron continues to served with distinction, their Battle Honours include ‘Berlin 1941-1945’, ‘Tirpitz’, ‘The Dams’, ‘Gulf 1991’, ‘Kosovo 2003’, ‘Iraq 2003-2011’ and ‘Libya 2011’.
At present, 2022, IX Squadron is based at RAF Lossiemouth flying the Eurofighter Typhoon, a multi-role combat aircraft. There they serve as a quick reaction alert squadron protecting UK airspace.