I encourage anyone
that has more information (Flight Log Book entries) or photos on 112
Squadron please send an e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org before the
history is lost.
Internet Finds of RAF 112 Sqn Personnel
The Americans, New Zealanders, The Polish Pilots
Photographer: Woodbine G (Mr)Collection
AIR MINISTRY SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION
Royal Air Force official photographer
Collection No.: 4700-16
Description: ROYAL AIR FORCE FIGHTER COMMAND,
Sergeant Desmond Ibbotson of No. 54 Squadron RAF in the cockpit of his
Supermarine Spitfire Mark VB at Castletown, Caithness. Ibbotson was posted to
the Middle East early in 1942 where, flying initially with No, 112 Squadron
RAF, and later with No. 601 Squadron RAF (with whom he became a flight
commander) he achieved a victory score of 11 enemy aircraft destroyed, with 5
probables, before leaving operations in July 1944.
painting on the cowling maybe due to "Presentation Spitfires" such as
the "HOELOESOENGAI" (AD239) of the Netherlands East Indies further
reading can be found here http://www.sturtivant.freeserve.co.uk/spitfire/
DFC and Bar , 129138 RAFVR, 54, 112 & 601Sqn. victories
11. Born in Leeds Ibbotson first served as
a Sgt with 54 Squadron in 1941. He was then posted to the Middle East, joining
112 Squadron. At the end of 1942 he was commissioned and posted to 601 Squadron
At the end of 1942 he had claimed 7 victories. On 7th December
he landed his
Spitfire on an enemy landing ground. Here he was captured
by General Erwin Rommel's staff, meeting the General in person. He escaped
during that night and returned to British lines.
1944, while with 601 County of London Squadron
No. 129238 F/O D. IBBOTSON RAFVR/GD
pilot in one of the Spitfires engaged one of the enemy aircraft (Me 109); closed
to 300 yards and fired from quarter astern. Pieces were seen to fall off the E/A
and it finally blew up. This pilot attacked another ‘109 and observed cannon
and M.G. strikes before black smoke poured from the enemy and obscured any view
for a while. This E/A was last seen at 6,000 feet spiralling down to earth. F/O
IBBOTSON claimed 1 Me 109 destroyed and 1 Me 109 probable. Further
reading on the discovery of his plane 60 years later http://calibre.mworld.com/m/m.w?lp=GetStory&id=189969531
June 9, 2007
Pilot's remains found 63 years after crash
22 May 2007
The Northern Echo
A SECOND World War fighter ace's remains have been discovered in Italy, along
with the wreckage of his aircraft, 63 years after he failed to return from his
final mission. Surviving relatives and guests will gather for a somber
ceremony in a military cemetery next month when the remains of decorated flier
Desmond Ibbotson are laid to rest. Flight Lieutenant Ibbotson, DFC and Bar, a
Yorkshire-born Spitfire pilot with 11 victories to his credit, died on
November 19, 1944.
He had celebrated his 23rd birthday less than a month earlier. The former
Harrogate Grammar School pupil was killed when his aircraft plummeted into the
ground a few miles south of the Santa Maria D'Angeli, near Assisi, in Italy. At
the time of the crash, those remains that could be found were buried at the
Assisi military cemetery in a marked grave. But an Italian historical research
group, Romagna Air Finders, has succeeded in finding more wreckage of the
Spitfire, and more remains of Flt Lt Ibbotson. After a short service at the
crash site on June 9, he will be laid to rest with full military honours.
Close family members will join guests from the RAF, Italian air force, local
dignitaries and the RAF's Queen's Colour Squadron at the graveside for the
rededication service. His nephew, John Richardson, told The Northern Echo
yesterday: "The family are very proud of Desmond and hope the
rededication service will be a fitting and appropriate way to bring this
chapter to a close."Flt Lt Ibbotson joined the RAF as an airman in 1940,
gaining his wings the following year. His first operational flying tour was
with 54 Squadron based at Hornchurch, in Essex. In June 1942, he was posted to
North Africa and survived being shot down the next month. In November 1942, he
was shot down again, crash-landing at an airstrip near Mersah Matruh, which
was in German hands. He was captured by Afrika Korps troops and met General
Erwin Rommel. But Flt lt Ibbotson escaped, walked through the night and was
escorted back to his squadron by friendly tribesmen. He was soon back in
action but was shot down again in December, again surviving unscathed.
News in Briefs
Burial for RAF ace
Desmond Ibbotson, a Second World War RAF fighter ace who survived being shot
down by Rommel’s forces in North Africa only to be killed in a crash on a
training mission in Italy will be reburied with full military honours at Assisi
today. His remains were found by volunteers who search for and preserve relics.
S/Ldr Peter Frederick Illingworth (39529): 152hyderabad Sqn, 112 Sqn
FO wef 21 Sep 39
FL wef 21 Sep 40
T/SL wef 1 Mar 42
Trans RAFO wef 21 Dec 42
Appointed to a commission as a FL, extended service (four years active list) but retaining wartime rank wef 22 Jan 47, sny 1 Dec 42.
Assume sny of 3 Jan 43 as a T/SL wef date of recall to the active list.
Promoted substantive SL wef 1 Aug 47
I suspect that he was appointed to a five-year SSC in late 1937.
from RAF 16 April 1958
courtesy of Rob & Terry RAF
Commander Peter Jeffery , RAAF, DSO DFC MiD(2)
Plane picture taken in December 1941 Tomahawk Mk IIB 112 Sqn
Sgt J.L. Jellett
L.A.C. Victor Kaye, 747198, RAF
Dad was in the RAF. He was a tool and die apprentice and he
volunteered in August 1938, he always said it was because he didn't want to
be conscripted into the Army and have to march everywhere! I presume
he wasn't called up till war broke out. He did his basic training in
Lytham St. Anne's, Lancashire, I don't know where he was from then until
Sept. 1941 when he joined 112 in Egypt arriving via the Cape of Good Hope.
He was with them in the DAF and up into Italy (the letter I'll be copying to
send you is the earliest one I found, dated Jan 24 '44). He
was in Italy until Nov. 44 when much to his dismay he was posted to a base
in Algiers - Maison Blanche, he hated the idea of becoming a
"base-smoothy". He was there until June 1945 when he was
His home town was Brighton (on the south coast) and lucky for him he was at
Stoney Cross in Hampshire (near Southampton) only about a 2 hr. train
journey away. He and my Mum became a romantic "item" in late
July, got engaged in November but that month he was re-assigned to RAF
Merryfield near Ilminster Somerset, about 6-7 hrs. by train from home.
He was so blue! The last letter I have is from December, it is not
dated but he writes about applying for Christmas leave. However, I
also found his RAF Service and Release Book, he was "demobbed"
on Dec. 19th, left the dispersal centre on
Dec. 21st with 104 days leave, his official date of release looks like April
4 1946. He and Mum were married in June of that year. She and Dad
emigrated to Canada in 1989 (I married a Canadian and came here in
1976) , Dad died just before his 80th birthday in 1999 and Mum has just
passed away this Easter.
Dad was a very keen photographer and after he died (before I found this vast
archive of letters) I donated some loose photos and memorabilia to the
RAF museum in Hendon UK but I did keep his photo album. Incidentally,
I came across a book a while ago about Shark Mouthed planes 1916-1945 (Arco
Aircam Aviation Series No. 21 vol 1). In it are some photos of 112 and
in one taken at Sidi Haneish there's an airman doing something on the wing
of a Kittyhawk - it's my Dad!
Watch your mail, and all the best Cheryl.
SQUADRON LEADER KENNETH NORMAN THOMPSON LEE DFC
SQUADRON LEADER KENNETH NORMAN THOMPSON LEE DFC
Joined the RAF in January 1939 after being released by his employer
with the original intention of serving for 6 months. He joined 111 Squadron at
Northolt and in late March he was commissioned and went to 43 Squadron at
Tangmere. Lee did return to his job and on September 4 1939, he joined 501
Squadron at Filton.
The Squadron flew to France on May 10 1940 and on this day Lee claimed a Bf
110 destroyed. On the 12th he destroyed a Do 17 and on the 13th a Bf 110. The
Squadron was withdrawn from France on June 18 and re-assembled at Croyden on the
Lee claimed a He111 destroyed on May 27 and a Do17 on June 6. Four days
later, attacking a number of He 111s, his hurricane was probably hit by return
fire and exploded. He took to his parachute and landed at Le Mans. In the
scramble to be evacuated, Lee's right hand was injured and he did not fly for
Lee damaged a Ju 87 on July 29 and claimed another destroyed on August 12. He
was shot down on the 18th by Oberleutnant Schopfel of JG 26 over Canterbury, in
Hurricane P3059. Lee baled out, with a bullet wound in the leg and landed in a
cornfield near Whitstable and was taken to the local golf club to wait for an
He rejoined the squadron in October and as awarded the DFC (22.10.40.). On
November 29 Lee was posted to the Special duties flight at Stormy down and later
went to 52 OUT, Crosby-On-Eden, as a Flight Commander.
In December 1941 Lee was posted to the Middle East and served with 112
Squadron in the Western desert, as a Flight Commander. He moved to 260 Squadron
on September 18 1942 and destroyed a Mc 202 on November 10. He took control of
123 squadron at Abadan, Persia in March 1943. The Squadron went to the Western
Desert in May and on July 27 1943 Lee was shot down and captured on a dawn raid
on Crete. He was held in Stalag Luft 111 at Sagan and Belaria. Ken Lee left the
RAF in late 1945 as a squadron Leader.
Lt Rudolf Maurice Leu,
RAAF , 112Sqn; POW 21/06/1942, victories
London Gazette Issue 35491, 17 March 1942 page 3 of 48
7404178 Sergeant Rudolph Morris LEU, Royal Australian
Air Force, No. 112 Squadron. One
day in January, 1942, Sergeant. Leu was fly
hag at the rear of his formation, which was operating
as close escort to a squadron of bombers, when
an attack was made by a formation of German
fighters. In an engagement lasting over 20
minutes, this airman repeatedly engaged the enemy,
destroying one of their aircraft and probably
destroying another. The enemy was finally
beaten off. Sergeant Leu has led the squadron
and wing on many occasions and has displayed outstanding courage and ability. He
has destroyed at
least 7 enemy aircraft.
Liebenberg, 542464V, SAAF, RAF 112 Service,
Officer Thomas (Tom)
61967, RAFVR, RAF 112 Sqdn service from 27/8/42 to 20/6/43.
Photo kindly supplied from
http://www.clydeaviation.org.uk/aviationsites/index.htm via Tom Livingstone
The under mentioned
are granted commissions for the
duration of hostilities as Pilot Officers
on probation: — .
Feb. 1941.100587 Leading Aircraftmen Thomas LIVINGSTONE to (61967).P/O on
23rd Feb. 1943- he was granted the rank of Flt
Lt. (war subs.): — T.
he completed his tour with 112 Sqdn he went on to work out of Cairo with
Transport Command. He survived the war.