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No. 104 Squadron R.A.F.

Description of the Squadron's BadgeA thunderbolt. The device in conjunction with the motto implies the unit's formidable intentions and power.
Squadron's Motto:"Strike hard."
Formation date:
Brief History:

Disbanded 30/6/1919. Reformed 7/1/1936 from C Flight, No.40. Transferred to Training 2/9/1939 merged with No.13 OTU 6/4/1940. Reformed 7/3/1941. Disbanded 1/4/1947. Reformed 15/3/1955 and disbanded 1/8/1956. Reformed 22/7/1959 as Thor battery and disbanded 24/5/1963.

Squadron Bases & Airfields Equipment Used and Dates
Hucknall 21/08/1936 Hind 7/1936-5/1938
Bassingbourne 02/05/1938 Blenheim I 5/1938-4/1940
Bicester 17/9/1939-6/4/1940 Anson I 5/1939-4/1940
Driffield 07/03/1941 Blenheim IV 11/1939-4/1940
Detachment Luqa of 15 aircraft 14/10/1941 Wellington II 4/1941-8/194
UK Echelon renumbered as No.158 squadrons 14/02/1942 Wellington X 7/1943-2/1945
Kabrit 14/01/1942 Liberator VI 2/1945-1/1946
LG 106 13/05/1942 Lancaster B.7(FE) 11/1945-3/1947
Detachment Luqa Kabrit 26/06/1942
Detachment Luqa LG 104 12/11/1942
Detachment Luqa LG 237 27/11/1942
Detachment Luqa Soluch 06/02/1943
Gardabia Main 14/02/1943
Cheria 26/05/1943
Hani West 24/06/1943
Oudna 18/11/1943
Cerignola No.3 13/12/1943
Foggia Main 30/12/1943
Abu Sueir 31/10/1945
Shallufa 1/7/1946-1/4/1947

No 104 Squadron, RFC, was formed at Wyton, Huntingdonshire, on 4th September 1917, from a nucleus provided by No. 20 Training Squadron, and went to France in May 1918, equipped with DH9 aircraft. The squadron was posted to the bombing force which, on 6th June, became known as the Independent Force and from 8th June until the Armistice was engaged on long-distance day-bombing raids into Germany. On nearly all its raids - and it made a good many - it met the most strenuous opposition from large formations of enemy fighters, but it succeeded in destroying thirty and shooting down anotr 27 out of control. More than 41 tons of bombs were dropped, the greater proportion on German towns far behind the lines. The squadron had to re-form three times owing to heavy casualties. Disbanded in June 1919, the squadron did not re-appear in the order of battle until January 1936, when it was re-formed as No 104 (Bomber) Squadron at Abingdon. On the day before the outbreak of the Second World War it became a No. 6 Group training squadron and in April 1940, was absorbed into No 13 OTU. In April 1941, the squadron was re-formed at Driffield as a Wellington medium-bomber unit of No. 4 Group and began to take part in the night-bombing offensive against Fortress Europe. Towards the end of 1941 it moved to the Middle East and subsequently to Italy attacking targets in Germany from Germany's "soft underbelly". In February 1945 conversion to Liberators began, the last Wellington operation being flown on 27 February. In October 1945 the Squadron moved to Egypt where it re-equipped with Lancasters which were flown until the Sqaudron disbanded on 1 April 1947. On 15 March 1955, No. 104 reformed at Gutersloh as a Canberra light bomber Squadron but disbanded on 1 August 1956. It reformed on 22 July 1959 at Ludford Magna as a Thor strategic missile unit until it was disbanded on 24 May 1963.

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Posted: 6 years 7 months ago by John Hodges #4638
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In Gianaclis at Christmas 1944, the RAF crews were having Christmas dinner together, and my friend Fred the wireless operator, remembers that night and his friends in another crew, Tom Dobson the pilot, Forster the navigator, Max Shields, the wireless operator and Taffy Evans the gunner, pictured below. They all signed the menu from that dinner also pictured below. They were there for flight assimilation training. The next day the crews headed out to the airfield for training. Fred was in a truck with his crew getting ready to board their plane when he saw his friends' plane plummet nose first into the ground. His friends all perished. Thanks to all the crews for their personal sacrifice so we are able to live in freedom and thanks to you Fred.
Posted: 6 years 7 months ago by John Hodges #4636
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Here is an earlier war memory of my friend Fred Naylor the wireless operator. Before joining the RAF, Fred was bicycling with a friend in Manchester at night as messengers in the Air Raid Protection team, he was 14 at the time. They saw a parachute descending 15 metres away and they went to investigate. They didn't know then but it turned out to be a bomb that descends by a chute and when the nose touches the ground it detonates and destroys an area the size of a city block. Fortunately for Fred and his friend, it landed on its side and did not detonate. They cycled right up to it, touched it, and then went to report the find to the ARP post on their street. How little did Fred know that a few years later he would be dropping bombs on Hitler's compound at the end the war. Lord, thanks for keeping Fred and his friend that night.
Posted: 6 years 7 months ago by John Hodges #4635
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SAMMY BEAUMONT. When my friend Fred Naylor the wireless operator was 16, his neighbor Sammy Beaumont in Salford Manchester, let Fred try on his RAF bomber jacket. Right then and there Fred decided he wanted to join the RAF. Sadly soon after Sammy was shot down in the English channel on his first mission and lost his life. It was a sad day but that day with Sammy and his bomber jacket charted Fred's course in the RAF.
Posted: 6 years 7 months ago by John Hodges #4631
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I am spending some time these days with an RAF vet, an old friend and jazz musician, Fred Naylor, 89 years old. He was part of Eisenhower's special operations force and was part of a classified mission to bomb near Berghoff in the Alps in southern Germany, in the post Normandy period. Hitler spent most of his time during the war in this location. Eisenhower rightly considered that Hitler would prepare a last line of defense in Berghoff which, if not removed, could have extended the war another 12-18 months. While most forces in the post Normandy period were moving on Berlin and Leipzig, including Russia, Eisenhower's proposal convinced the powers that this Alpine mission was very important. They successfully removed this line with several surgical bombing raids. This RAF squadron, the 104th, also participated in bombing key mountain bridges in the Po Valley in northern Italy, Verona/Perona, which also served to cut-off Hitler's supply lines and tighten the noose. Fred and I have been studying his detailed log books and reliving these missions during this part of his life and final phase of the war. Fred finished the war playing jazz on forces radio broadcasts from northern Italy. In the picture you see Winstanley on drums and Sid DelMonte on violin. In addition to his band members, Fred was in fine musical company. While he was playing jazz in northern Italy Dave Brubeck was playing jazz in Nuremberg. Fred is now battling cancer, please pray for him.