Tag Archives: W/Cdr Peter Hamley

Summary for January 1944



January 1944 was a quiet month for Broody with only 7 hours of operational flying. The ORB records a generally quiet month for the whole squadron, but there are a few points of note.

On 2/1/44, W/Cdr R C Haine DFC took over command of the Squadron after W/Cdr Hamley left following a promotion to take command of 62 OTU.

On the same day, F/O Bergman & F/O Bishop intercepted and destroyed a Me 410. Bergman ended up having to land his aircraft (HK461) at Marston after several more chases following engine failure due to enemy action.

On 21/1/44, F/Lt Johnny Hall and his Navigator F/O Jock Cairns, flying aircraft HK380, scored the Squadron’s first “double” when they destroyed a Do 217 and a Ju88 on the same Patrol. As a result of this, they were ordered by “the Air Mashall Commanding Air Defence of Great Britain” to “proceed to the Air Ministry for Public Relations purposes“, where they were interviewed by the BBC and newspaper journalists.

Much to their embarrassment, the duo were photographed and described in a Sunday newspaper as “The Flying Tigers”. Leslie Hunt recalls in his book that much ribbing ensued, including being served plates of raw meat in the mess! Both men took this banter in good humour, with Jock “growling ferociously as he took our leg-pulling in good part.”

Johnny Cairns was broadcast on the nine o’clock news talking about night-fighting, which lead to more ribbing. Hunt recalls Hall’s retorts (which only served to increase the ferocity of the banter) which included “We don’t listen to the news – we make it!” and “Actually we could have got more than 2 Huns, but we knew our suppers were getting cold”

24/xi/43 – GCI Practice whilst on patrol

24th November 13:40
DH Mosquito XIII HK368 (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: W/Cdr Hamley AFC
Navigator (R): Self
NFT & AI Practice
U/C indicator still U/S

PATROL & GCI Practice – Trimley
1 run: 1contact: 1 visual: 1 murder – Cold Target
                                              – Foreness
1 run: 1contact: 1 visual: 1 murder – Cold Target

The night flight saw Hamley and Broody carry out GCI practice under 2 GCI stations, Trimley Heath and Foreness. During these runs, the GCI station would vector the Night Fighters onto a “friendly” target. The Night Fighters would then use the Mk.VIII Airbourne Interception radar to find the target and simulate a “hunt and destroy”. The “Murders” represent an exercise success – not the shooting of an allied aircraft!

22/xi/43 – Aircraft abandoned after cockpit fire

22nd November 16:25
DH Mosquito XIII HK368 (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: W/Cdr Hamley AFC
Navigator (R): Self
Poor landing first time – offensive remarks by Navigator resulted in another take-off. Second time red light for Starboard wheel showed all the time, so came in with light on & horn blowing – holding selectors down. Landed OK & stopped engines to put in ground u/c locks. Starboard engine refused to restart on aircraft acco. Plugged in trolley-acc & IIIG  IFF Control panel caught fire on “Contact”
A/C abandoned!

Today Broody was back flying with W/Cdr Hamley, the CO of the Squadron; and his old pilot from OTU days. I am not sure what this episode tells us about the relationship between Broody and the CO, but I am sure that in normal circles, verbally abusing the CO was definitely not acceptable! This story could easily have had a nasty ending, though. The second take-off leading an eventful landing with undercarriage failure and ultimately a fire in the cockpit from the IFF panel!!