Last updated: 27 February 2018, 12:29
255 Squadron Association
Forthcoming events, news, mailing list &c.

Forthcoming events:

Easter Sunday, 01 April 2018 : The RAF’s 100th birthday. Sadly, the re-vamp of the RAF Museum at Hendon is not now expected to be finished until 5 May. Anyone for a luncheon party in Central London? Please notify Association HQ if interested, using the mail link at the foot of the Sitemap page.


21 to 26 April 2018 : Expedition to Serbia, to the crash site of MM838, the Belgrade Military Museum and the Belgrade War Cemetery. Dates, flights and hotels for the Main Party are now confirmed as follows: Depart LHR London Heathrow Terminal 4 on Air Serbia flight JU381, 13:30 local time (UTC+1) 21.April.2018. Return BEG to LHR departing BEG T2 at 10:25 local time (UTC+2) 26.April.2018 on Flight JU380. Aircraft: Airbus A319 both ways. Both flights are direct, no changes. See the Air Serbia website for details of baggage allowances. Hotel in Belgrade: Hotel Moscow, which during WW2 was the Gestapo HQ. Note that the hotel in the Kovin/Smederevo area has been changed to the Hotel Hamburg in Smederevo.

Special travel restriction: The passport used to enter Serbia must not contain any stamps indicating previous travel to Kosovo. If you have Kosovan stamps in your passport, you must get a new passport before travelling. This also applies to those arriving by other means of transport.

[This event is now fully booked]

Running update of research results here: MM838.


26 May and/or 11 August 2018 : 100 years on from the Squadron's original formation during WWI, it is proposed to organise a gathering at the site of RAF Pembroke (later re-named RAF Carew Cheriton) in West Wales. The site is currently a WW2 Museum. It being unlikely that visitors from 255 Squadron Association will be sufficient in number to merit a private party being booked, it falls to us to fit in with the site’s timetable of public events. These include: Saturday 26 May 2018 : The site’s annual "Mil-Fest", a get-together of all things military. Note that this is a Bank Holiday weekend, so accommodation will need to be booked well in advance. The other possibility is Saturday 11 August 2018, the same location’s "Wings over Carew" event. A modest entry fee will be payable on either date. The organisers advise that Saturday 11 August will be more appropriate in terms of the events being arranged.


Autumn 2018 : Possible expedition to Western Sicily, 75 years on from the Squadron’s presence at Bo Rizzo. If interested, please submit your ideas regarding dates. The Squadron’s aircraft left Bo Rizzo for Mainland Italy on 13 November 1943, so any visit is likely to conclude by mid-November at the latest. Do people wish to spend Remembrance Sunday (in 2018 it is also Armistice Day) in Sicily? Feedback invited.


12.January.2018 : The new year opens with the most wonderful news. After years – literally – of investigation and quiet negotiation, the Chain of Jerries has, within the past week, been recovered.

21.February.2018 : A modest gathering took place in the Cotswolds to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Kevin O'Sullivan DFC whilst he was stationed at RAF Little Rissington. At 10:00am Mass was celebrated at the Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Kenelm, Stow-on-the-Wold, dedicated by Father McCarthy to the repose of Kevin's soul.

The original intention was to have lunch in Stow and then proceed to Kevin's grave in the CWGC portion of the cemetery at Little Rissington. However, the weather showed signs of deteriorating and so, with all those expected already present, two cars proceeded to Little Rissington to do the honours there.


Church of Our Lady and St Kenelm, Stow

Kevin’s grave, the recently recovered
Chain of Jerries held by Peter Lammer

St.Peter’s Church, Little Rissington

Use the magnifier controls of your browser to enlarge these images

All but one of our number then returned to The Sheep on Sheep Street in Stow for lunch, where the Chain of Jerries was produced for inspection and discussion. By mid-afternoon the sky had darkened, an easterly wind had picked up and a few sleet flurries were blowing about – apparently justifying the change to the timetable. Thanks due to Steve Kingsford of the Chipping Norton branch of RBL for representing the Legion and for adding their tribute to the grave. For our part, we were honoured to represent absent family mambers Gillian (residing in Australia) and Josephine (residing in New Zealand).

Online news stories from earlier years:

After viewing the archive, please use the ‘Back’ button of your browser to return to this page.


Earlier documentation of the Squadron’s history

The link to Peter Croft’s 1992 work has moved to the Downloads section of the Sitemap page.

Keeping the memory alive....

255 Squadron Association is an unincorporated group – a club, if you prefer that term – dedicated to recording the history of the Squadron and keeping alive the memory of those who fought with the unit during two World Wars.

Although the website is relatively new, the Association is not. Soon after the Second World War, meetings of former comrades-in-arms took place in smoke-filled rooms over pubs after work. Souvenirs such as squadron neckties were produced and reportedly sold to members to raise the modest funds needed to pay for such gatherings. Whether or not the castings of the Squadron Crest should be numbered amongst these fund-raising items is unclear, but at least one such casting (by "Rogarn") survives. Depicted here, it is about 10¾" (273mm) tall and weighs in at a hefty 697gm. If anyone has any other souvenirs surviving from this era, please let the webmaster know by e-mail, with a view to including a description and photograph here. There’s a mail link at the bottom of the Site Map page.

When the children of Squadron members reached an age such that they might attend these meetings, a number did – although reportedly there was some dissent voiced as to whether that was appropriate. Next-generation attendees are believed to have included, at various times and in alphabetical order of surname Chris Drake (son of "Quack" Drake), Geoffrey Kelly (son of Piers Kelly), Peter Lammer (son of Freddie Lammer), Andy Lawler (son of the squadron electrician) and Howard Ward (son of Jimmy Ward).
  Crest, by Rogarn

Crest - Casting by Rogarn, circa 1950

In time, the running of the Association passed into the hands of Sir Frederick Maurice Drake, DFC, (1923–2014) who relocated the occasional meetings from London to his magnificent home near Harpenden in Hertfordshire. Quack’s commitment to the squadron was strong; when knighted and given his own coat of arms, he arranged with the Heralds to include two hints at a connection with No.255 Squadron. Prominent below the Shield is a replica of Quack’s DFC, earned whilst with the Squadron, and his choice of motto, Levavi Oculos Ad Auroram combines the motto of his old school (St. George’s, Harpenden, where he was Head Boy) with that of No.255 Squadron. The photographs below show the western elevation of Lincoln’s Inn Chapel and Sir Maurice’s Coat of Arms, painted on the east wall of the Great Hall of Lincoln’s Inn. Both images were taken on the occasion of the Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance that took place there on 25 June 2014. The formal representative of the Royal Air Force was Air Marshal Christopher Nickols CB CBE MA FRAeS.

Chapel of Lincoln’s Inn   Coat-of-Arms of the late Sir Maurice Drake, DFC

Lincoln’s Inn Chapel, London

Coat-of-Arms of Sir Frederick Maurice Drake, DFC

Shortly after Sir Maurice’s funeral (at St.Nicholas’ Church, Harpenden, 23 April 2014) a decision was taken by some of the "next generation" to expand an existing, very basic web page on the Wikipedia site. By the time of the Memorial Service, only WWI matters had been detailed, but the project appeared at that stage to be going well. Unfortunately, just at the point where the squadron’s great WWII successes in North Africa were being added, a group of people having no known connection with the squadron deleted over 80% of the page content – in the process breaking up the continuity of the historical account assembled through weeks of painstaking research at The National Archives. And what a date they picked to commit such vandalism. The attack commenced on 11th November, Armistice Day!

Rather than engage in a potentially never-ending editing war on a 'wiki' site, a decision was taken to create this separate website under the Association’s sole control.

New participants required!

If you have any connection with 255, however many generations removed, please do get in touch. There’s no membership fee at present. The "keen types" pay out of their own pockets, much as happened in the days of Mess whip-rounds to (somehow) keep Bruce and his successors fed or acquire additional silver Jerries for the chain.

Mailing List:

Due to Google Chrome now requiring that all websites inviting text input must have https certification, the system for self-service subscribe / unsubscribe has had to be withdrawn. It simply isn't economic to create, register and maintain SSL security just for this one facility. For the time being, please e-mail our "office at 255 dot org dot uk" address and request a manual amendment to the list. Alternatively use the mail link at the foot of our Sitemap page. This should continue to work with most browsers. If you get a pop-up asking you to configure Outlook please ignore it, cancel and open your Mail Client as you would when preparing to send a normal e-mail.

Google say that they intend in time to force all webmasters to implement https by labelling all http websites as insecure and downgrading them in the Google Search Engine results, even if the site has no input fields. This leaves your scribe feeling like a very small nut about to be unnecessarily clobbered by a very large hammer. Anyone who knows of a work-around, please advise.

Searching for another Squadron too?

Many researchers need to consult the records of more than one Squadron/Wing/Group/OTU or whatever. A list of other Associations is to be found here:

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