3(f) Squadron during 1943-1944

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by james atkinson, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. james atkinson

    james atkinson New Member

    Hello everyone,

    Can anybody help in my research regarding my grandfathers RAFVR career ?

    I have been researching for a couple of years now and have unearthed much information, even being lucky enough to visit his crash site in Germany. But I'm now on the hunt for photographs of his time in 3(f) squadron that may contain him. I have seen the IWM official photos and gun camera footage, but I'm wondering if there could be anything else out there?

    He was Flight Lieutenant Malcolm F Edwards 133358, and known to his colleges as "Eddy". He joined the RAFVR on April 8th 1939 and served with 247 squadron during the Battle of Britain , and flew Hawker Typhoons and Tempests with 3(f) squadron from October 1943 until his death whist flying Tempest EJ803 on the 29th December 1944.

    I'd be grateful if anybody maybe able to help.

    Best wishes
  2. Buster

    Buster "Deep down 'ere in'nit Chief?!"

    Where were 3(f) based?
  3. james atkinson

    james atkinson New Member

    hello ,

    during the time my grandfather was with the squadron they were at,

    Swanton Morley
    Coltishall , for a attached course
    Bradwell Bay
    Volkel , Holland

    He had a accident in September 1944 and returned to the squadron at Volkel on December 8th 1944, after leaving RAF Holton hospital he served with 587 squadron at Culmhead flying tug duties until the 4th December then moved to 83 GSU at Tangmere, he was there for two days then flown to Volkel by a Avro Anson.

    many thanks
  4. Buster

    Buster "Deep down 'ere in'nit Chief?!"

    I have a pal in Kilmarnock that may be able to help with the Ayr aspect, I'll drop him a wee text.
  5. james atkinson

    james atkinson New Member

    That's very kind of you

  6. Buster

    Buster "Deep down 'ere in'nit Chief?!"

    OK my man says he has very little on 3(F) except that he thinks they were only ay Ayr for the 4 - 16th April 1944 - he also has no reason why. Possibly a short term stay for reconnaissance purposes?

    A bit of background on the airfield itself - I have to say I thought Ayr was Prestwick but I learned something new today.

    "RAF Ayr, Heathfield airfield, was a World War II airfield located at Prestwick, two miles north of Ayr on the west coast.

    The area was no stranger to such activity, as the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) had established a school of aerial gunnery to the south, on the site of Ayr Racecourse, which had moved to Craigie in 1907, from its original site at Seafield, further to the south. The racecourse gained some fame when Suffragette Catherine Taylor (a cinema cashier from the Gorbals area of Glasgow) burnt down the grandstand in 1913.

    The racecourse continues to occupy the site, and had utilised at least two of the original RFC hangars for its own building. Both heavily modified, one served as the course tearoom until 1991, when it was demolished to make way for a supermarket. The second survived until 2004, when it was demolished for reasons of safety, leaving a clear area now used to host events and for parking.

    The airfield at Heathfield lay to the north of the original RFC site and the racecourse, and was commissioned as RAF Ayr early in World War II, later to be shared with the USAF during the war. Towards the end of the conflict, ownership passed to the Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm (FAA), when it was commissioned as HMS Wagtail. Paid off at the end of the war, the site was acquired by the USAF during most of the 1950s, after which the airfield was closed, and the land subsequently developed for housing and retail use.

    RAF Ayr should not be confused with RAF Prestwick which was a completely separate facility, and would develop into Prestwick Airport. Located adjacent to Prestwick, Ayr became home to transatlantic operations arising from the Lend Lease agreement between Britain and America, which explains the significant American operation on the site."


    "Construction of the wartime airfield began in October 1940, with RAF Ayr opening formally as a fighter sector station on April 7, 1941. A number of the surrounding buildings were requisitioned to serve the airfield, with the most significant being Powbank Mill which lay to the southwest of the site and became the fighter sector headquarters for the west of Scotland in January 1941. This is said to be of significance, since at that time the overland radar system were yet to come into operation. RAF Ayr/Heathfield was directly controlled by No 13 Group.

    A separate history of the mill indicates that it closed around the outbreak of the war, when it was requisitioned to support RAF squadrons as a NAAFI (Navy Army and Air Force Institutes) canteen. The mill never returned to the family which had previously owned it. Following the end of the war it was used by the Scottish Aviation Club, which stayed there until the St Cuthbert's Club moved out of premises in Kirk Street, after which the club moved out of the mill and into the vacated Kirk Street site.[3] Unfortunately, there seems to be no further details regarding these clubs.

    Runways and roads on the airfield were tarmac/asphalt, with the runways being 150 feet (46 m) wide, the perimeter road 50 feet (15 m), and the taxi ways and dispersal roads 35 feet (11 m). The three runways were originally configured in the standard triangular pattern, however one runway was later reconfigured by the FAA to accommodate practice aircraft carrier landings. The two sets of dimensions and orientations given below are from separate histories, for comparison, and are not intended be read as conversions:
    07/25 1,463 metres (07/25 4,700 feet)
    18/36 1,262 metres (01/19 4,100 feet)
    13/31 1,097 metres (13/31 4,500 feet)

    The airfield served as a base for both day and night fighter squadrons such as 410 Squadron[4] until 1943, when it became an Armament Practice Camp, and the USAF operated from the field between June 1943, and November 1943."

    hope this is of use to you.

  7. Buster

    Buster "Deep down 'ere in'nit Chief?!"

  8. james atkinson

    james atkinson New Member

    Hi Buster,

    Thanks very much for all of the info on Ayr, I have had a look in Malcolm's log books and the reason for the trip to Ayr was a gunnery course.

    Im still hunting information and this is all a great help .

    Many thanks

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