Photos of Ground Crew Life with 92 Squadron RAF

Photographs from the albums of Eric Barnes and Bob Baldry


Photographs contributed by others

Included here are some further photos that have been sent to me by people with family connections to members of 92 Squadron.

Stanley 'Mike' Widdowson

Mike Widdowson's father, Stanley 'Mike' Widdowson, was a pilot with the squadron when based in Italy between 1944 and 1945. Mike has written up some accounts of his father from his flying log and personal diaries from this period. These include his survival of a crash landing, the aftermath of which can be seen below left.

The three photos below Copyright 2006 Mike Widdowson.

Crash aftermath. Unknown, 'Hodge' Hodgkinson, 'Mike' Widdowson

Mike (Stanley) Widdowson at Bellaria with a MK VIII c. May '45

'Mike' Widdowson, 'Hodge' Hodgkinson (both of 92 Squadron), and 'Al' Alan Charles (601 Squadron) c. March '45.

R.M. Milne

The Milne family's father, W/Cdr R.M. Milne DFC & Bar, was a C/O of 92 Squadron. He was shot down on March 14, 1943 and ended up in Stalag Luft 3 where he forged travel documents some of which were used in 'The Great Escape'. The photo of NEW YORKLIN was a propaganda photo with NEW YORKLIN done in chalk as the City of New York had "donated" £35,000 to buy a Spitfire. It would be interesting to find out more information on the donation.

R.M. Milne. Spitfire Mark VB, Digby, 2nd December 1941 (Crown Copyright CH 4162).

Personal Spitfire of R.M. Milne. (92 Squadron - Biggin Hill early 1943) (Copyright 2006 the Milne family).

Daily return of pilots of 92 Squadron. At Digby 25th Nov 1941 (Copyright 2006 the Milne family).

William Marson Peet

Stephen Peet has sent me several photos belonging to his father, Marson Peet, who appears in at least one of the photos in the main collection. The captions in quotation marks are Marson's comments from the backs of the photos.

"Working hours. Jack and myself on 'our' kite. Sicily, July 1943"

"Early one morning and
half awake 0600hrs."

"Almost spick and span 0700hrs."

Marson and (possibly) Les Corrin in Cairo or Durban ?

"J crew, Les, Hunky, Reggie and myself. Gambut Nov 1942" VB QJ-J BR476, Sqd Ldr Wedgewood's aircraft.
Stephen writes:
My father was William Marson Peet, but always known as Marson to distinguish him from his own father William. He was born in Oakham in 1916, grew up there and went to work for Barclay's Bank when he left school. He joined 92 squadron at Biggin Hill in the middle of September 1940 and served with them as an armourer throughout most of the war. After the Battle of Britain the squadron moved north to Digby in Lincolnshire where he met my mum who had volunteered for the WAAF. He accompanied the squadron to Africa and served with it during the North African campaign and then moved on to Malta. He took part in the invasion of Sicily and then the Italian campaign. Towards the end of the war he was transfered to other units including 93 squadron.
After the war he returned to a career in the bank and retired as the manager of Barclay's Bank in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire in 1976. He devoted much of his time to ornithology and conservation and played a very active role in setting up The Lincolnshire Trust For Nature Conservation. I spent a very enjoyable day taking him to the Nene Valley Railway where he was a guest at their ceremony to return their Battle of Britain locomotive 92 Squadron back into operation. He died in February 2003.

Ted Brister

Ted Brister was a pilot with 92 Squadron from 1942 onwards. I was put in touch with him by his grandson, Gareth Clark, a few years ago, and I enjoyed chatting with Ted on the phone from time to time. Sadly he died in July 2008. Gareth has sent me several photos which I have included here.

Air Ministry photo.
Ted on the right with
a cousin who was ground crew.
You can read about Ted on the BBC's People's War pages: Getting Lost and Finding Drainpipes and Tales from 92 Squadron.

William Alfred Stainton Hall - "Tiny" Hall

William Hall's son, Bill, contributed the following biographical information:

William Alfred Stainton HALL was in 3 squadrons during the war. He was a L.A.C., and because of his bulky frame, his nickname was "Tiny" .. (reverse logic, I guess!). He was with 59 for most of his time in the RAF, then 92 and finally with 651.

Bellaria Feb. 45
("Tiny" Hall on left and
Maurice Herd on the right)

Bellaria Mar. 45
("Tiny" Hall on left and
Maurice Herd on the right)

Mac. + R VI Bellaria April 1945

April 1945 LAC McRitchie on
Volksvagon (sic) Bellaria

Pin ups April 1945

Treviso Airfield June 1945.
92 Sqd. Spits

Tricessimo 1945

P.O Orr + Geo

The Boys. Treviso
Francis (Frank) Mapps (far right)

Reg (Roland) Reed

I am grateful to Betty Mihell for sending me copies of her father's photos. Reg Reed joined up in 1942 as a fitter. After the war he worked at EMI on guided missiles and then joined BOAC. When BEA and BOAC amalgamated to form British Airways, Reg Reed and Eric Barnes were reunited as work colleagues.

Henry Arthur Swan

Pam Swan sent me a couple of photos of her father-in-law, Henry Swan. Henry was responsible for the Squadron's dogs which were mostly German Shepherds. Not a lot is known about his life but he was tee-total his whole life. He suffered an injury when he was run over - probably during wartime - and had to have skin grafts.

Gordon Todd

John Price sent me the photo below and the following information about Charles Gordon Todd, who joined 92 squadron as a pilot in June 1941. Gordon was killed in action on 6 July 1941 while flying Spitfire VB W3331 and is buried in Dunkirk Town Cemetry. Gordon went to school at Birkenhead Institute with John's father, George Price, and they became best friends and stayed in touch after they left school and during the war.

A newspaper obituary noted that:

"His first flight was the reward of making the closest guess at the height of a plane in Sir Alan Cobham's circus, and he was one of the first members of the Birkenhead Flying Club, helping to build their 'Flying Flea'.

Gordon wrote the following letter to George Price from the Sgts Mess at Biggin Hill on 1st July 1941:

Dear George,

Brief reference to the above address will inform the gentle reader that I am stationed in a vicinity which would suit yours truly.

Last time I wrote you I was relaxing in the quiet sanctuary of lonely Scotland. Incidentally as soon as I had last written you about no action I sealed the letter and then I was pushed up after a J.U.88 which I followed nearly to Norway without catching it. The old kite I was in was "Swansea 1st" and could do 240 flat out.

These bastards are "5bs" with cannons, metal ailerons and all the latest modern conveniences they can do just under 400. And believe me brother, you need it - Northern France isn't any loitering ground, not after "office hours".

This squadron is the leading one on the scoreboard having 303 claimed and 168 definite victories. Our C.O. Sqn Ldr Rankin is top of the list with over 30. I had a bit of a shock when I entered my particulars in the pilot's arrival book. I placed my noble monica beneath the only other "T" in the book, that being one Tuck (S. Ldr)!

The snag about all this greatness? is the peculiar psychology(?) it breeds. They actually go looking for Me's and [unclear] like whoop for joy when they see one. The wrong spirit to my way of thinking. Our C.O. got 8 last week and we got over 30 and lost 2.

East India being our benefactors send us free fags every month. I hope to qualify for next months. Jesus I never thought the channel was that wide.

I was 3 days off 14 days leave at my last squadron, now I have to work my way up this [unclear]. However leave + days off are none to bad and I shall certainly have the chance of getting up to Grecian Crescent and looking things! over.

Perhaps I could meet you there sometime, or would that be cramping your style. Until then, All the best,


Preceding sections


Except where indicated, all images Copyright 2004-2020, David J. Barnes or Robin Baldry, although also see my reference above to image authorship.

If I have inadvertently included material whose copyright belongs to someone else, I would be grateful for that information and will, of course, remove it.

This document ( is maintained by: David Barnes (the anti-spam email address will need editing by you) to whom any comments and corrections should be addressed.
© David Barnes
Last Updated: 15th March 2020
Created: 5th February 2004