I encourage anyone that  has more information (Flight Log Book entries) or photos on 112 Squadron please send an e-mail to   raf_112_sqdn@yahoo.com before the history is lost.

Internet Finds of RAF 112 Sqn Personnel

A to B

C to D

E to H

I to L

M to R

R to S

T to Z

The Americans, New Zealanders, The Polish Pilots


The Americans


Sgt Lawrence Daniel Patrick "Larry" Barlow, 83050, 

RCAF, Shot down POW, from Burke, South Dakota


Sgt Walter Richard "Dickie" Blake, R97463, RCAF, was a Canadian residing in Corpus Christie, Texas



Possibly a picture of Sgt Blake standing by  FR137, coded GA Z



Possibly a picture of Sgt Blake standing by  FR137, coded GA Z


WO II Richard De Bourke, Newton, Mass. R79049 


Received his RCAF pilot's wings from No. 14 SFTS Aylmer, Ontario (Course 35) A US citizen, DeBourke, flew with 417 Sqn  he was then posted to North Africa where he served for two weeks with 4 SAAF Squadron and then was transferred to 112 Squadron, as Sgt,  claiming 3 destroyed and 1 probable during late 1942. He was  shot down by Flak 10 July 1942 but survived. Recovering from wounds received he returned to 112 Sqn on the 24th November 1942. On 10th March 1943 he was 1 of 5 Kittyhawks shot down by  Luftwaffe  enemy fighters of JG77 over Tunisia, he failed to survive.


Gray, James Osborne "Tex" Gray San Antonio/Chilicothe, Texas


Gray, James Osborne "Tex" Gray San Antonio/Chilicothe, Texas.

Received his RCAF wings from No. 8 Service Flying Training School. 

Discharged 1946. Typhoon Pilot, 26 Feb 1945 - 30 June 1945. 

Volunteer from USA. "Tex" for short. He was posted from 83 G.S.U. 

and will commence his second tour with us (439 Sqn). 

His first tour was with 94 Squadron on Hurricanes in the Western Desert 

for about 9 months, 249 Squadron for about 6 months on Spitfires V 

and IX in Malta, and 112 Squadron on Kittyhawks in Italy for about 10 months, 

which netted 193 operational sorties, totalling 202:05 operational hours. 

This lanky type hails from U.S.A. not claiming any particular place as his home. 

 2nd tour expired 30 June 1945 and posted to 402 Sqn in anticipation of being sent 

to the Pacific theatre

Thanks for posting this information.  My uncle was J.O. Gray, a 1936 graduate of the

 US Naval Academy serving with the RCAF, no. J 16543.  I would appreciate knowing 

anything more about him.  I was very young when he disappeared in 1956 and I know little 

of his exploits save from a letter my mother gave me describing his adventures escaping Italy 

disguised as a nun after being shot down.

Thanks again,
James Osbourn Gray Collins
Stanford University


Flt Sgt Fred  Renshaw Vance, RCAF, R/80721, Served with RAF 112 Sqdn from 24/4/43 to 13/7/43


Flt Sgt Fred Vance                     121 Eagle Sqdn pilot Mahon and Fred while he was with 121 Eagle Sqdn

Son of Captain Deane Harold Vance, M.C., U.S.N., and Harriet Alcithe Vance, of Washington,

above pictures and information below is from:



121 Eagle Squadron


" On 27 May 1942, 121 flew a shipping recce (reconnaissance) off Flushing Harbour. Squadron Leader Kennard 

saw two mine-sweepers and a destroyer and took his no. 2 - Sgt. Kelly - down into a screaming attack on one 

of the 'sweepers, ordering Jimmy Daley and Sgt. Vance onto the other. Barry Mahon and Gene Fetrow followed 

Kennard's example and also went for the first vessel. Both ships were badly shot about, Daley and Vance's target 

sending up a column of smoke after an explosion. As they pulled up, Daley saw eight Me 109's above 

and immediately attacked one which Vance saw dive into the sea. Vance put some lead into another which 

staggered away smoking. Mahon also scored a damaged on a third 109.

Hugh Kennard flew a similar mission on the 31st, this time to the Northeast of Walcheren, and again they found 

two mine-sweepers. Kennard ordered an attack on one of them, Flight Lieutenant Tom Allen and Sgt. Vance 

going in. Whether Tom Allen was hit or merely misjudged his second strafing run is uncertain, 

(Mahon thought he saw glycol) but Vance saw his leader's Spitfire hit the water on the far side of  the target 

and bounce up into the air. Allen's voice came over the radio saying that his machine was 'coming apart' and 

that he proposed to ditch. As he was going at something like 100 mph, he failed to get a good angle onto the 

sea and nosed in and down. The fighter sank almost immediately. The others saw no sign of Allen, who came 

from South Carolina. Having survived, they flew off, leaving the two ships damaged, one sinking. Allen's place 

was taken by John DuFour, posted in from 71 Squadron."

Commemorated on Page 222 of the
Second World War Book of Remembrance.

Fred Vance was a distant relative of mine; in fact, all Vance's are related due to 

all branches of the family going back to the same village in the south 

of France back during the time of the Goths/Visigoths or before and to the British Isles.  My 

particular branch came to America around 1756 from Scotland.


I do not have any information for him other than what I have discovered on the internet just recently.


I started my research by simply wanting to know if any Vance's were members of one of the Eagle Squadrons.  

That is how I discovered Fred Vance.  Later on a contact via the internet informed me that he volunteered for 

the 112th in Malta rather than transitioning over to the USAAF.  That lead me to finding the 112th web site, 

and a wealth of information for him, including his last mission over Sicily in support of the British 8th Army 

advance north along the eastern coast.  Amazing to find such specific information on him.

I intend to attempt to trace his family from his birth place in Colorado, USA.  

If I can get in touch with any of his relatives and obtain any information, I will pass it on to you.

Mike Vance (If anyone needs to contact Michael Vance please send me an e-mail and I will forward it to him




Howard Lynn "Tex" Phillips, J/8653 RCAF

Born 12 October 1914, Greenville, Texas

Father Chester lee Phillips cotton farmer

Mother Lucia Delphinia Phillips

Post war occupation Farmer-manager of the Graham County Chamber of Commerce - land developer

Marital status Marital status wife Virginia Goode 2 daughters Susan and Sarah  

He served with No 112 RAF Sqn , badly burned in an accident he as eventually flown back

 to England where he became a member of the "Guinea Pig Club", 

after recovery he went on to fly with 412 Sqn. Received his RCAF wings from No. 11 SFTS.

Retired 1945 


Hi Rob,

I printed out the picture for Daddy (Howard Phillips) and he laughed with delight when he saw it.  

He recognizes the first two but can't remember the names but will think on it.  

He said he and Babe Whitamore went to Jerusalem together.  Hopefully something will come.  

He says unknown #2 might be an Australian.  

Good luck getting the ID's. 





Sgt William E Pollock, RCAF 63166

New Zealanders

Fighter pilots who did good work at this time were Flight Sergeants R. H. Newton and T. H. Morrison,1 who flew Kittyhawks with No. 112 Squadron 

Pilot Officer Fallows and Sergeant Fourneau, Flight SergeantsHolmes, R. H. Newton and Thomas flew Kittyhawks throughout the whole period. They saw plenty of action. For instance, on the eve of Alamein, Fallows and Thomas were flying with their squadron as escort to Baltimores and Bostons attacking Daba; fifteen enemy fighters dived on the Kittyhawks and in the dogfight which followed Fallows shot down one Messerschmitt and Thomas damaged another. At the height of the land battle, Newton's squadron flew forty-eight sorties a day; in a sweep over Fuka they claimed four Ju87 dive-bombers and two Messerschmitts for the loss of one pilot; Newton accounted for one of the dive-bombers. While patrolling Benina airfield during the advance to Benghazi, Holmes's squadron intercepted bombers carrying in fuel for the German panzer units and shot down seven of them. Holmes got a Heinkel.

Flying Officer T. H. Morrison; born Auckland, 8 Jun 1920; shop assistant; joined
RNZAF 2 Mar 1941

Lieutenant G Flight . Fallows; born Eltham, 23 Jun 1921; clerk; joined RNZAF Mar
1941; prisoner of war, 26 Mar 1943,260 Sqn Pilot

Flying Officer S. J. Fourneau, DFC; born Norsewood, 12 Apr 1919; orchardist; joined
RNZAF 3 May 1941.

Flying Officer N. C. Holmes; born Ashburton, 25 Dec 1919; labourer; joined RNZAF
Dec 1940.

Flight Lieutenant B. H. Thomas, DFC; born Kaponga, 25 Sep 1918; clerk; joined
RNZAF 21 Dec 1940.

Sgt. C. O. Young 411490 NZ


Polish Air Force Detachment, RAF Middle East  

Czesc ich pamieci (Honour to their memory)

1.jpg (78572 bytes)

Polish Pilots with S/Ldr Clive Caldwell behind the wheel

2.jpg (44773 bytes)

Polish Sgts on leave, Jozef Derma on the right

Jozef Derma photo from http://www.psr.netfriend.org/mysliwcy


Witold Jander photos from collection of F/Lt Jan Malinski

Knapik Henryk.jpg (49895 bytes)

(P/O) Henryk Knapik

4.jpg (47025 bytes)

Sgt Zbigniew Urbanczyk

Sgt Zbigniew Urbanczyk from Polish magazine "Lotnictwo z Szachownica"

por. (F/O) Feliks Knoll , P0768, photo supplied by Wojciech Zmyslony








kpt. Feliks Gazda  In pre war Polish Uniform

From the 8th to 10th of February 1942 the Polish pilots arrived in Gambut. 

Some of these where 

Kpt. Felix Gazda (PO414)

P-0414, Gazda Feliks , Date of Birth, 06.05.1903 to 08.05.1970, age,  67 , mjr / F/Lt, Pilot, 112DM RAF                1940 odkomendeowany do Polskiego OddziałuTransportowego w Takoradi-Kair Egipt

 zmarł (d9ed)  w Montral Kanada

Witold Jander (P76746),Date of Birth, 15.12.1913 to 25.10.1942,  por. / F/O, Pilot, 112 RAF,  zginął poczas bomb. szpitala RAF w Torquay died in RAF hospital in Torquay - pochowany na cment.w Exeter  buried Exeter (ZK/89 )UK


Felix Knoll (P0768)

P-0768    Knoll Feliks, Date of Birth, 28.02.1914 to 10.07.1942, age 28, por. / F/O, Pilot, 112DMRAF

RAF  Egipt - Rekiny “Kittyhawk”- pochowany na bryt. cment. wojsk. w buried in El Alamain Egipt  (15/F/IV)


Czeslav Matusiak (P0304 , KIFA)

P-0304, Matusiak Czesław, Date of Birth, 21.09.1906 to 12.02.1942, age 36, por. / F/O, Pilot, 112DM RAF Rekinów, RAF Gambut, Kittyhawk” – pochowany na cment. w  buried Tobruku (28/G) Libia


Henry Knapik (P1302), Date of Birth, 07.09.1916 to  21.12.1994, age 78, por. / F/Lt, Pilot,  317DM,  zmarł w Tarnowskich Górach Śląsk Polska died in Tarnowska Gora Silesia Poland,  and 


Sergeants Joseph Derma (784742),

784742, Derma Józef, Date of Birth,, 04.04.1915to 00.00.1980, age 65,  st.sierż. / W/O, Pilot, 315DM                zmarł w Australii  died in Australia


Witold Giedroyć, 

(P-2804) Giedroyć Wiktor, Date of Birth, 30.11.1910, por. / F/O, Pilot, 1995 Glasgow G73 UK


Stanisław Grondowsk (782063, KIA after RAF 112 Sqdn service)

Grondowski Stanisław, Date of Birth, 11.04.1909 to 11.09.1943, age 32, st.sierż. / W/O, Pilot, 315DM, RAF Ballyhalbert-„Spitfire”- pochowany na cment. kośc.buried at St Josephs św.Józefa w Ballycran Co.Down Płn.Irland.  Ireland (40)


Jerzy Różański (P1818) 

Różański Jerzy Władysław, Date of Birth,, 27.03.1910 to 13.06.1944, age 34, por. / F/Lt, Pilot, 300DB, RAF Faldingworth-„Lancas’r”- pochowany (Buried)  w Amersfoort k/Oud Leusden Holandia (2002/12/12)


Zbignev Urbańczyk.(781038) 

Urbańczyk Zbigniew Edward, Date of Birth, 25.04.1918 to 31.08.1986, age 68,st.sierż. / W/O, Pilot, 306DM, zmarł (died) w Blackpool UK
kpt. Feliks Gazda - "kpt." is the Polish rank (in RAF it is Flight Lieutenant - (F/Lt). The rest:
 por. (F/O) Witold Jander, 76746 por. (F/O) Feliks Knoll, P0768 
por. (F/O) Czeslaw Matusiak, P0304 8 February 1942 to 12 February 1942
ppor. (P/O) Henryk Knapik, P1302 Sgt Józef Derma, 784742 
Sgt Witold Giedroyć, Sgt Stanislaw Grondowski
, 782063, Sgt Jerzy Rózański, P1818, Sgt Zbigniew Urbanczyk. 781038, 
Qualification of fighter pilot, since as early as 1939 he flew in 162 Squadron 
in a PZL R -7,after training some of the above Polish pilots painted the red and 
white squares on to the tails of their Kittyhawk., Sgt M Klibanksi 7765616, 21 July 1945
They had taken a short OTU training in 71 OTU,  at Kartoum, Sudan but the majority lacked combat experience

Unfortunately,, on 12 February, (F/O) Czeslaw Matusiak on training makes a critical error, 

spinning his  Kittyhawk into the ground he is buried in a cemetery in Tobruk.

Combat on 14th February 1942 results in one BF109 (shared by S/Ldr Caldwell and 

Sgt Zbigniew Urbanczyk and a MC 202  shot down by (F/O) Feliks Knoll.

21st February 1942 Messerschmitt this time over - Gazalą. It has come for battle, three 

aircraft have fallen which result 112 squadron, probable, by famous German Ace 

Lt. Marseille Hans-Joachim. Two of the  Polish pilots crash landed outside of Derma, they where, 

Sgt Jozef Derma, P784742, and FO Witold Jander, he was transported  with a broken leg to Tobruk 

Hospital where the leg was set. Sent to England he was killed in a dive bombing raid on a hospital in England, 

where he was convalescing.


9th March 1942 ,(P/O) Henryk Knapik of 112 squadron engages a  Ju-87 and a Bf-109 over El Adem. 

The planes do a frontal attack on one another the Kittyhawks wind screen is shot away but 

(P/O) Henryk Knapik manages to land back at base.


13 March (F/O) Feliks Knoll and and Sgt Różański, P1818, in five-aircraft flight over flying El  Adem, 

do battle with stoczyli. Ten Italian and German fighters. Sgt Jerzy Różański shots down a  Messerschmitt 

and it crashed east of Tobruk. The pilot was able to bail out.


5 May 1942 The following leave 112  " shark " Squadron Urbanczyk, Sgt Stanislaw Grondowski

Sgt Józef Derma and Flt LT Feliks Gazda, on 


18 May 1942 Sgt Jerzy Różański, is wounded in an air raid and  is transported to hospital.

26 May 1942  German anti-aircraft hits  (P/O) Henryk Knapik  over Timmini. 

He was  transported to  hospital did not return for combat flights.

Last Polish pilot left in 112 Sqn. (F/O) Feliks Knoll shot down and KIA 10 July 1942 -, 

when anti aircraft fire scores a direct hit on the bomb attached under his airplane.

P784742 W/O DERMA Jozef
In 315 from 23 Oct 1943 till 23 May 1944. CV+bar. No score.
Flew with the 2 Air Regiment of the Polish Air Force in September 1939. 

Through Rumania and Malta he reached France where he enlisted in the PAF 

under French command. In July 1940 reached England and on 1 October 1940 posted to No. 308 Squadron. 

In 1942 flew with 112 "Shark" Squadron in Africa. Later an instructor in various flying schools and OTUs. 

After being honorably discharged from the Polish Resettlement Corps in June 1948, settled in England. 

In sixties he immigrated to Australia, where he died in July 1980.

Many  of the pilots moved on to 303 (Kosciuszko) Squadron Royal Air Force


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