The Wartime Memories Project - RAF Topcliffe

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII


RAF Topcliffe was a satellite airfield of RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Topcliffe closed for rebuilding in September 1941 reopening in mid 1942 as a heavy bomber station. After the war Topcliffe was an RAF Transport base and later became part of the RAF Air Navigation School. Today the base technical site is used by the army, with the runways still under RAF control, used by nearby stations for training purposes.

Squadrons stationed at RAF Topcliffe.

The Wartime Memories Project would like to hear from anyone who was stationed at Topcliffe during the war years, or anyone who lived nearby. We would love to hear your recollections of life on the base and the surrounding area.

Please contact us:

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I was really interested in the story of Sgt."Maxie" C. Miller as a couple of us have been looking for him for years and thought the article may have had a lead to his location. I have a number of photos with the names as I remember them, bear in mind that early in the war the taking of pictures was much frowned upon, but have quite alot from the following years.

102 Squadron

Standing:- Sgt.J Fraser; Sgt.A.Jagger; not known; Sgt. E Borsberry; not known Sitting:- Sgt.C.Miller; Sgt.G.Davidson

102 Squadron

Outside "A"Flight crewroom, Standing:- Ed Cooke; not known Sitting:- not known ; Sgt.W Swain; not known; Sgt. D Cramp

102 Squadron

Outside "A"Flight crewroom. S/Ldr J G Walker (My skipper);P.O Bennett:F.O.Williams; Sgt Ed Cooke; Sgt.W Swain

102 Squadron 102 Squadron

Outside "A"Flight crewroom. Junior Braybrook shooting a line.

Skellfield Housen

Aircrew were not allowed to live on Station so were billeted at Skellfield House a private girls schools pre-war, located through the village of Topcliffe on the Ripon road, sans girls. Taken from the swimming pool looking at the west side.

102 Squadron

Don Sills and Eric Borsberry on the east side of Skellfield House.

102 Squadron

In the garden on east side of Skellfield House, Sgt Alec Jagggers and Sgt Duncan

102 Squadron

Skellfield House 1941, Sgt Alec Jagggers and Sgt Ed Cooke

Ed Cooke

My father-in-law, Donald McRae, flew with the RCAF from Topcliffe starting in late May or early June 1942. According to a letter his family received from RAF Topcliffe (Wing Commander S.B. Bintley), the Halifax in which he was flying on the night of 16-17 June 1942 was shot down during a raid on Essen.

My father-in-law was taken prisoner and after interrogation at Auswertestelle West ("Dulag Luft") was transferred to Stalag Luft III in Sagan (now Zagan, Poland), the site of the "Great Escape" (in the preparations for which he was involved). He was transferred to camps south of Berlin (Jueterbog and then Luckenwalde), where he was liberated and walked out to meet the Americans west of the Elbe.

I am researching the male line of my family and I am interested in getting any information on my late cousin Ted Lindsay: Fl.Sergeant (W.Op) L.E.D. (Ted) Lindsay of 102 Squadron Topcliffe. He was reported missing after a bombing raid on the factory area of Hanover on the 14th August 1941. I have the details of his last flight as recorded on this site and also details from Commonwealth War Graves Commission of his gravesite. As Ted was 13 years older than me I have little memory of him and there are no surviving family members I can ask regarding where and when he enlisted. Does any one he served with perhaps remember him (a long shot I know)I would greatly appreciate any information either specific to him or in general to his unit that anyone may have.

Finally to the organisers of this site I extend my thanks for such information as has been available to me, best wishes for the future and to your continued success.

I was stationed at Topcliffe from 1942 through the End of WW2 Having Vol N Teered for the Pacific, I was one of those who came home early on the FIRST Troop ship 'The Ile D France"

My buddies & my self drank a lot of "Bitters" in the Village of Topcliffe & over at THIRSK,,, THE BLACK BULL REMEMBER !!

Any one remember L A C Fred Neville ???

I am researching those who fell from our village in Essex one of whom flew from Topcliffe. Sergeant William Goodall MacMorland was 23 when he died and was in the RAF Volunteer Reserve 77 Squadron and was a Flight Sergeant Observer. He died 9th October 1940.

Can you supply me with any details of 77 Squadron even the circumstances of his death.

You can see my research on

Regards, John Westwood

I am looking for information on Flight Sergeant Thomas McIlquham who flew with the 102 Squadron Bomber Command during 1941 and 1942. He was nicknamed Lucky by his chums. Ralph Barkers book The Thousand plan talks about one of his missions. He was Rear Turret Gunner on a Halifax Bomber. I know that he came from Carlton PLace Ontario Canada. I think he had a tough going after the war.

Jeff McIlquham

I joined 102 Squadron at Topcliffe in May 1941,the Seargants Mess was really crowded as 77 Squadron was also there,as regards losses,this will give you a little idea:- June 6 aircraft lost complete with crews 1 aircraft lost on return July 6 aircraft lost complete with crews 1 aircaft lost on return, I was in that one and we just made the coast of Norfolk, So this will give you some idea of the losses and from what I have read 102 Squadron suffered some of the highest losses at that time.

The latter part of July replacements came in,the first from the Commonwealth Air Training Plan and mostly Canadians, Fl Sgt Thomas McIlquham "Mac" came in with another input in August and actually on Aug 18th, from some records I have. His first trip was to Cologne on the 24th and the next one to Essen on the 31st. and that is the extant of the records I have,and this was all on Whitley V's.

"Mac" was in "A" Flight the same as I and of course got to know him although he was a little different from most of the boys, being a little dour, probably because I think that he was a little older than most of us, one thing was a must, everyone left him alone when he returned to billets after visiting the local pubs, but other than that we all got along just fine.

November and we moved to Dalton while they put runways in at Topcliffe, also I went on leave and came back to find that my crew had gone, I flew with the Flight Commander S/Ldr.Walker so F/Lt.Griffiths was elevated to S/Ldr.and took over the flight. Meanwhile with the advent of the new year we began conversion to the Halifax11's and S/Ldr.Griffith formed a new crew,

I was the W/OP, Mac was our tail gunner, Ed.Brain was navigator, Ted Waddicor was Flight Engineer,can't remember who was upper gunner. Think I only did six trips with Mac, did two or three nurseries and then was posted to Kinloss and instructing there.

This is the last I saw of Mac, but heard about him when attending the first re-union of 102 Squadron Association in Nottingham in 1983. A fellow who new Mac and stopped in to visit him after the war told me that Mac and a son went ice fishing, drove on the lake, the ice gave way and they were drowned, so that is all that I can tell you about Mac, although I did hear from boys who were on the Squadron later that he was taken off Ops,because he was taking a big flashlight with him trying to lure in fighters,think this must have been true as I have heard it from more than one source.

aircrew at Dalton

3rd.from left S/Ldr/Griffith,pilot: 4th.Sgt.A.E.Waddicor, flight engineer:5th from left Fl Sgt Thomas McIlquham "Mac", I was the W/Op.on the crew. This photo taken during the time at RAF Dalton.

Ed Cooke


102 Squadron, 1941

Here is a Squadron picture of 102 taken October 1941, not too many of these boys survived the war.

Ed Cooke

If you have any Photographs you would like to share please get in touch.

List of those who served here.

  • Sgt RHAdamson 102 sqd
  • Sgt P H Adamson 102 sqd
  • P/O VMAlbrecht 102 sqd
  • Sgt EAlderton 102 sqd
  • Sgt G S Almond 102 sqd
  • P/O EGMAnderson 102 sqd
  • Sgt FWAnderson 102 sqd
  • P/O E G M Anderson 102 sqd
  • Sgt CTRAnderson 102 sqd
  • William Bruce "Archie" Archibald. pilot. 102sqd. Read his story
  • Sgt WVAtkinson 102 sqd
  • LAC R.A. Barker. RCAF.
  • Sgt C R Barr 102 sqd
  • P/O WBell-Towers 102 sqd
  • Richard "Dick" Bell. RCAF. 1659 HCU.
  • P/O N J Bennett 102 sqd
  • P.O Bennett 102 sqd
  • Sgt N D Berndsson 102 sqd
  • Wing Commander S.B. Bintley
  • Peter Drury Bird. 102 sqd.
  • Sous Lieut Wilfred L Boisvert. Nav 1659 HCU RCAF. Read his story
  • Sgt P Booth 102 sqd
  • Sgt EricJBorsberry 102 sqd
  • Ken Bowden 102 sqd.
  • Sgt M R Bowes 102 sqd
  • Sgt L M Bowen 102 sqd
  • Sgt T C Boyle 102 sqd
  • Sgt DMBozer 102 sqd
  • Sgt PGBrett 102 sqd
  • Sgt F A "Junior" Braybrook 102 sqd
  • Sgt R F Bradbury 102 sqd
  • Ed Brain
  • P/O L A Brain 102 sqd
  • Sgt R F Bradley 102 sqd
  • Sgt F A Braybrook 102 sqd
  • Sgt P G Brett 102 sqd
  • Sgt George William Brown. Pilot. 77 sqd (d. 9 Oct 1940) Read his story
  • Sgt RBrown 102 sqd
  • Sgt J C Brooks 102 sqd
  • Sgt A B Buchanan 102 sqd
  • Sgt DJBush 102 sqd
  • Sgt C Carr. 102 Sqd Read his story
  • Sgt L W Carr 102 sqd
  • Sgt NCCarter 102 sqd
  • Sgt AHCameron 102 sqd
  • Sgt P Carreau 102 sqd
  • Sgt N C Carter 102 sqd
  • Sgt LWCarr 102 sqd
  • Sgt K E Carruthers 102 sqd
  • P/OJRCroucher 102 sqd
  • Sgt R Ceyler 102 sqd
  • Sgt P A Champion 102 sqd
  • Sgt R E Chambler 102 sqd
  • Group Captain Leonard Cheshire 102 sqd.
  • Sgt K Clack 102 sqd
  • P/O G W Cole 102 sqd
  • Sgt Ed M Cooke w/op airgunner 102 sqd Read his Story
  • Sgt KO'Connelley 102 sqd
  • Sgt Cleveland Cottam. W/Op Air Gunner 77 sqd (d. 9 Oct 1940) Read his story
  • Basil Arthur Cotton. Pilot, 102 Sqd.Read his Story
  • Sgt DCramp 102 sqd
  • Leslie Harry Crosby. 102 sqd.
  • P/O JRCroucher 102 sqd
  • Sgt R K Craig 102 sqd
  • Sgt. D Cramp 102 sqd
  • Sgt G R Davidson 102 sqd
  • F/L G C Davies 102 sqd
  • Sgt GRDavidson 102 sqd
  • Dickie Davis. Rear gunner, 102 sqd.
  • Frederick John Dunkley. 102 sqd
  • Sgt A H Deavin 102 sqd
  • P/O D B Delaney. Pilot 102 Sqd Read his story
  • Sgt E R DeMattos 102 sqd
  • Sgt W H Demille 102 sqd
  • Flt Lt. I P B Denton. pilot. 102 sqd. (POW July 1941)
  • Sgt A H Denvin 102 sqd
  • P/O A O Dobson 102 sqd
  • Sgt D K Drearey 102 sqd
  • Sgt D C Duguid 102 sqd
  • Sgt Duncan 102 sqd
  • Sgt G Dykes (A/G) RCAF 1659 HCU Read his Story
  • Sgt T C Eyre 102 sqd
  • Sgt S Fackley 102 sqd
  • Sgt RFisher 102 sqd
  • Sgt J A Fraser 102 sqd
  • P/O PRGaskell 102 sqd
  • Sgt R Gayler. 102 Sqd Read his story
  • Gibson 102 sqd.
  • Warr Off George E Giff. Wireless Opp / Air Gunner 1659 HCU RCAF. Read his story
  • Sgt D H Gilbert. Pilot 77 sqd. Read his story
  • Sgt W A Gillies 102 sqd
  • Sgt J Glover 102 sqd
  • Sgt W Golding 102 sqd
  • Sgt F Golding 102 sqd
  • F/S R P Gowing 102 sqd
  • Sgt J A Groom 102 sqd
  • F/Lt. Griffiths
  • P/O M R Griffiths 102 sqd
  • Sgt J W Griffin 102 sqd
  • Sgt J Griffiths 102 sqd
  • Sgt D C Grieve 102 sqd
  • Sgt GWGriffin 102 sqd
  • Sgt JAGroom 102 sqd
  • Midshipman David Arthur Charles Hadingham. RN. (seconded to 77sqd from HMS Daedalus.d. 9 Oct 1940) Read his story
  • Sgt Albert E Hammond. Air Gunner 77 sqd. Read his story
  • Sgt A R W Hardes, Nav RAF 1659 HCU Read his Story
  • Sgt A W Hawkes 102 sqd
  • Sgt D E J Hampson 102 sqd
  • Sgt ALHalsey 102 sqd
  • Sgt JDHamilton 102 sqd
  • P/O S J B Hamilton 102 sqd
  • Sgt K Harwood-Smith 102 sqd
  • Sgt E A Hartle 102 sqd
  • P/O J M Hartley 102 sqd
  • Sgt IGHay 102 sqd
  • Sgt N W Haycock 102 sqd
  • Sgt C Higson 102 sqd
  • Sgt Guy H Hivon. Air Gunner 1659 HCU RCAF. Read his story
  • Sgt GFHolden 102 sqd
  • W/C C V Howes 102 sqd
  • Ron (Dutch) Hulland. 1659 HCU. RAF Flight Engineer.
  • Sgt M Humphrey 102 sqd
  • Sgt S H Jackson 102 sqd
  • Sgt Alec F Jaggers 102 sqd
  • Sgt P J Jennings 102 sqd
  • Harold Johnson. 102 sqd.
  • Sgt JR Jones 102 sqd
  • Sgt G M Jones 102 sqd
  • Sgt Donald K Kibbe. Pilot 102 Sqd RCAF (d. 30 Sep 1941) Read his story
  • Sgt Richard G Kimball. Flight Eng 1659 HCU RCAF. Read his story
  • Sgt A E King 102 sqd
  • Sgt J V Kirkwood 102 sqd
  • Sgt FGKuebler 102 sqd
  • Ron Lakin 102 sqd.
  • S/L JOLalor 102 sqd
  • Sgt G Land 102 sqd
  • S/L J O Laylor 102 sqd
  • P/O Joseph Pierre Lavallee. Pilot 1659 HCU RCAF. Read his story
  • Sgt E M Leftley 102 sqd
  • Sgt KGLewis 102 sqd
  • Fl.Sgt L.E.D. "Ted" Lindsay. W.Op 102 Squadron Read his story
  • S/L G M Lindeman 102 sqd
  • S/LJOLalor 102 sqd
  • Sgt DRLord 102 sqd
  • Sgt H Malkin 102 sqd
  • Sgt K P Marlow 102 sqd
  • Sgt EAMartle 102 sqd
  • Sgt ARMasters 102 sqd
  • Sgt R C Mathews 102 sqd
  • F/O James A McCrea. Nav. 1659 HCU RCAF (d. 15 jan 1945) Read his story
  • Sgt G W McDonald 102 sqd
  • Sgt Angus J MacDonnell. Air Gunner 1659 HCU RCAF (d. 15 jan 1945) Read his story
  • F/O Duncan P McGregor. Bomb Aimer 1659 HCU RCAF, (d. 15 jan 1945) Read his story
  • Sgt D C J McHendry 102 sqd
  • Sgt AGMcIlquham 102 sqd
  • Fl Sgt Thomas "Mac" "Lucky" McIlquham 12 sqd
  • Sgt William Goodall MacMorland. Observer. 77 sqd (d. 9 Oct 1940) Read his story
  • Sgt D C J McKendry 102 sqd
  • Sgt A M McLaren 102 sqd
  • Donald McRae. Read his story
  • James Hardy Marks D.S.O. and bar D.F.C. and bar. Read his story
  • Sgt D K Meagher 102 sqd
  • Sgt C "Maxie" Miller. 102 Sqd Read his story
  • P/O Hubert H Miller. Pilot 77 sqd. Read his story
  • Sgt S T Modeland 102 sqd
  • F/O Frank W Mooney. Trainee Pilot 1659 HCU RCAF. (d. 15 jan 1945) Read his story
  • Sgt HEMoore 102 sqd
  • Sgt AEMMoon 102 sqd
  • Sgt S E H Morgan 102 sqd
  • Sgt H L Morphett 102 sqd
  • Pilot Officer D. Mourton. W/Op Air Gunner. 102 sqd
  • Sgt G A G Murray 102 sqd
  • Sgt FHMylrea 102 sqd
  • Sgt CSNeveu 102 sqd
  • L A C Fred Neville Read his story
  • Sgt H J W Newnes 102 sqd
  • Sgt E G Newell 102 sqd
  • Sgt A Nicholas 102 sqd
  • Sgt WNicholl 102 sqd
  • Sgt TBNisbet 102 sqd
  • P/O J C Nixon 102 sqd
  • Sgt Michael R O'Sullivan F Eng 1659 HCU RAFVR (d. 15 jan 1945) Read his story
  • Sgt P S Painer 102 sqd
  • Sgt FWPenn 102 sqd
  • Sgt RCPerriam 102 sqd
  • Sgt RTPhilip 102 sqd
  • John Alwyn Phillips. 405 sqd RCAF.
  • F/O Walter Phillips. Bomb Aimer 1659 HCU RCAF. Read his story
  • Sgt EPPike 102 sqd
  • Sgt FPotts 102 sqd
  • Sgt GKPowell 102 sqd
  • Sgt PSRainer 102 sqd
  • Sgt P S Rainer 102 sqd
  • P/O I Ralston 102 sqd
  • Sgt J W Ralston 102 sqd
  • Sgt J Reid 102 sqd
  • P/O LBRenolds 102 sqd
  • P/O L W Richards 102 sqd
  • P/O R C Reinelt, pilot RAF 1659 HCU Read his Story
  • Sgt D N Riley 102 sqd
  • F/L H N Ross 102 sqd
  • Sgt Albert R Robson F Eng 1659 HCU RCAF, (d. 15 jan 1945) Read his story
  • Sgt W Robson 102 sqd
  • Sgt J G S Rocks 102 sqd
  • Sgt JRRoe 102 sqd
  • Sgt TRogers 102 sqd
  • F/L H N Ross 102 sqd
  • Sgt MRRowes 102 sqd
  • P/O BBPRoy 102 sqd
  • P/O DNSampson 102 sqd
  • Sgt Joseph A Savy. W Opp/Air Gunner 1659 HCU RCAF (d. 15 jan 1945) Read his story
  • Sgt NWJScott 102 sqd
  • P/O N L Shove 102 sqd
  • Don Sills 102 sqd
  • Sgt EWSmith 102 sqd
  • Sgt D Smith 102 sqd
  • Sgt ERSmith 102 sqd
  • Sgt JISmith 102 sqd
  • Sgt JRSmith 102 sqd
  • Sgt N R Smith 102 sqd
  • Sgt J I Smith 102 sqd
  • P/O P Smiddy 102 sqd
  • Sgt J Spirit 102 sqd
  • Sgt L G Spires 102 sqd
  • Sgt PHStanton 102 sqd
  • Sgt LStarbuck 102 sqd
  • Sgt P H Stanton 102 sqd
  • Sgt Leonard C Stavenow. Air Gunner 1659 HCU RCAF (d. 15 jan 1945) Read his story
  • Sgt J A Steeves 102 sqd
  • Sgt JWStell 102 sqd
  • Sgt I Stein 102 sqd
  • Sgt K Stein 102 sqd
  • Sgt JWStell 102 sqd
  • Sgt L A Stock 102 sqd
  • Sgt JAStreeves 102 sqd
  • Sgt J E Sumpton 102 sqd
  • Sgt J K Sumpton 102 sqd
  • Sgt.W Swain 102 sqd
  • Sgt STackley 102 sqd
  • Sgt PATaylor 102 sqd
  • Sgt J B T Teasdale-Smith 102 sqd
  • Sgt S Thomson 102 sqd
  • Sgt G E Thompson 102 sqd
  • Sgt T H Thorley 102 sqd
  • Sgt RKThomson 102 sqd
  • Sgt S Thomson 102 sqd
  • Sgt T H Thorley 102 sqd
  • Sgt G Thorpe. Observer 77 sqd. Read his story
  • Sgt Philip L N Trehearn. 102 Sqd Read his story
  • Sgt TAVermiglio 102 sqd
  • P/O George 'Geordie' Wade. Air Bomber. 1659 HCURead his Story
  • Sgt. A.E. "Ted" Waddicor
  • S/L J G Walker 102 sqd
  • F Sgt Geoffrey Walton. Pilot 1659 HCU RAFVR (d. 15 jan 1945) Read his story
  • Sgt Joseph Reginald Wardman. W/Op Air Gunner 77 sqd (d. 9 Oct 1940) Read his story
  • Sgt RCWatchorn 102 sqd
  • Sgt W Weightman 102 sqd
  • P/O WJJWelch 102 sqd
  • P/O W J J Welch 102 sqd
  • P/O SRWhipple 102 sqd
  • P/O Whisken 102 sqd
  • P/O K D Whisken 102 sqd
  • P/O SRWhipple 102 sqd
  • Sgt H W Wickham 102 sqd
  • Sgt J D White 102 sqd
  • Sgt Cyril Williams. W Opp / Air Gunner 77 sqd RAF (AAF)(d. 15 Dec 1940). Read his story
  • Sgt D H Williams, W/Op A/G RAF 1659 HCU Read his Story
  • Sgt DRFWilliams 102 sqd
  • F.O.Williams 102 sqd
  • P/O H M Williams 102 sqd
  • Sgt L Williams 102 sqd
  • Sgt N G Williams 102 sqd
  • Sgt R Williams 102 sqd
  • Sgt D G Williamson 102 sqd
  • Sgt DCWilson 102 sqd
  • Sgt J H M Wilson 102 sqd
  • Sgt W J Wilson 102 sqd
  • Sgt KPWithyman 102 sqd
  • Sgt JRWood 102 sqd
  • Sgt THWood 102 sqd
  • Sgt J W Wood 102 sqd
  • Sgt GWragg 102 sqd
  • Sgt F Wrigley 102 sqd

If you have any names to add to this list, or any recollections or photos of those listed, please get in touch.

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