RAF-Lincolnshire.info - the home of Royal Air Force and airfield history in Lincolnshire, including allied and other air services.

  83 Squadron Royal Air Force
Strike to Defend

Home
RAF Stations & Bases
Aircraft types
Forum and Bulletin Boards
Search site
Links
Books
Abbreviations
People Finder
About

Contact us

> Units and Formations

Flying Squadrons
5 Sqn
6 Sqn
8 Sqn
9 Sqn
10 Sqn
11 Sqn
12 Sqn
15 Sqn
18 Sqn
21 Sqn
22 Sqn
23 Sqn
25 Sqn
27 Sqn
29 Sqn
33 Sqn
35 Sqn
39 Sqn
41 Sqn
43 Sqn
44 Sqn
46 Sqn
49 Sqn
50 Sqn
51 Sqn
54 Sqn
56 Sqn
57 Sqn
61 Sqn
64 Sqn
65 Sqn
68 Sqn
69 Sqn
70 Sqn
71 Sqn
73 Sqn
75 Sqn
81 Sqn
83 Sqn
85 Sqn
88 Sqn
90 Sqn
92 Sqn
97 Sqn
100 Sqn
101 Sqn
103 Sqn
104 Sqn
106 Sqn
109 Sqn
110 Sqn
111 Sqn
112 Sqn
113 Sqn
116 Sqn
121 Sqn
133 Sqn
136 Sqn
139 Sqn
141 Sqn
142 Sqn
143 Sqn
144 Sqn
148 Sqn
149 Sqn
150 Sqn
151 Sqn
153 Sqn
154 Sqn
166 Sqn
170 Sqn
189 Sqn
198 Sqn
199 Sqn
203 Sqn
206 Sqn
207 Sqn
209 Sqn
210 Sqn
211 Sqn
214 Sqn
222 Sqn
227 Sqn
228 Sqn
229 Sqn
235 Sqn
236 Sqn
248 Sqn
249 Sqn
251 Sqn
253 Sqn
254 Sqn
255 Sqn
264 Sqn
266 Sqn
280 Sqn
288 Sqn
300 Sqn
301 Sqn
302 Sqn
303 Sqn
305 Sqn
307 Sqn
309 Sqn
310 Sqn
349 Sqn
350 Sqn
401 Sqn
402 Sqn
404 Sqn
407 Sqn
409 Sqn
410 Sqn
411 Sqn
412 Sqn
415 Sqn
416 Sqn
420 Sqn
421 Sqn
430 Sqn
438 Sqn
439 Sqn
441 Sqn
442 Sqn
443 Sqn
452 Sqn
455 Sqn
460 Sqn
463 Sqn
467 Sqn
486 Sqn
503 Sqn
504 Sqn
527 Sqn
528 Sqn
532 Sqn
538 Sqn
542 Sqn
550 Sqn
576 Sqn
601 Sqn
609 Sqn
613 Sqn
616 Sqn
617 Sqn
619 Sqn
625 Sqn
626 Sqn
627 Sqn
630 Sqn

Heavy Conversion Units
1654 HCU
1656 HCU
1660 HCU
1661 HCU
1662 HCU
1665 HCU
1667 HCU
1668 HCU
21 HGCU

Advanced Flying Schools
201 AFS

Advanced Flying Units
12 AFU
15 AFU

Flying Training Schools
1 FTS
2 FTS
3 FTS
6 FTS
7 FTS
12 FTS
1 Lancaster Finishing School
Central Flying School

Operational Training/
Conversion Units
(Fighter)
6 OTU
53 OTU

56 OTU

(Bomber)
228 OCU
230 OCU

Air Armament Schools
1 AAS
2 AAS
Empire Central AS

Other schools
1 Gp Aircrew School
1 Ground Defence School
1 Air Observers School
Central Gunnery School
5 Gp Anti Air School

Other units
Bomber Command
Coastal Command
Fighter Command
HQ No 5 Group
HQ No 23 Group
1485 Gunnery Flight
2782 Defence Sqn
178 Support Unit
399 Signals Unit
Nationality based Sqns

Updated: 10 Jan 12

Formed: 7 Jan 1917, Montrose

Disbanded: 31 Dec 1919

Reformed: Aug 1936

Disbanded: 1 Jan 1956

Reformed: 21 May 1957

Disbanded: 31 Aug 1969

Squadron was based at:

RAF Hemswell :: ??

RAF Turnhouse :: - Mar 1938

RAF Scampton :: Mar 1938 - 15 Aug 1942; Oct 1960 - 31 Aug 1969

RAF Wyton :: 15 Aug 1942 - 18 Apr 1944

RAF Coningsby ::18 Apr 1944 - Jul 1946

RAF Hemswell :: Jul 1946 - 1 Jan 1956

RAF Waddington :: 21 May 1957 - Oct 1960

Squadron code: QQ (pre-Sep 1939), OL

Aircraft operated:

FE2b :: Jan 1917 - Dec 1919

Hampden :: Nov 1938 - Jan 1942

Manchester :: Dec 1941 - May 1942

Lancaster Mk I, Mk III :: May 1942 -

Vulcan B1 :: Jul 1957 - Aug 1960

Vulcan B2 :: Dec 1960 - Aug 1969

83 Sqn RFC formed on 7 Jan 1917 at Montrose. It departed for France in Feb 1918, conducting night bombing and recce until the close of the war. When it returned to the UK in Feb 1919 it was reduced to cadre strength, disbanding on 31 Dec 1919.

Reformed in Aug 1936 as a bomber sqn, 83 Sqn moved to RAF Scampton in 1938 with the Hampden. During Aug 1940 the Sqn participated in the attack on an aqueduct forming part of the Dortmund-Ems together with 49 Sqn. It also attacked the Scharnhost, von Scheer and Tirpitz. At the end of 1941 it re-equipped to the Manchester using this type in the 1000 bomber raids against Cologne and Essen. The Lancaster soon replaced it and the Sqn moved to RAF Wyton in Aug 1942 to join the Pathfinder Force and 8 Gp.

Other notable wartime missions included the Battle of the Ruhr from Mar 1943, the Battle of Hamburg in Jul/Aug 1943 and the raid on Peenemunde on 17 Aug targeting the V-weapons research facilities. 83 Sqn was by now dropping 250 lb target indicator bombs in its Pathfinder role.

In Apr 1944 83 Sqn transfered from 8 Gp at Wyton to 5 Gp at RAF Coninsby to act as a Pathfinder Sqn specifically for independent operations by 5 Gp. During Operation OVERLORD Lancaster from 83 Sqn bomber gun emplacements of the night of 5 Jun 1944 then acted as a target illuminating force for the Saumur Tunnel attack on 8 Jun, enabling 617 Sqn to drop 12 000 lb Tallboy bombs. 83 Sqn's final wartime sortie came in Apr 1945 against Vallo/Tonsberg oil refinery.

In Jul 1946 the Sqn converted to the Lincoln, moving to RAF Hemswell in Nov, staying until disbandment in Jan 1956. It reformed at RAF Waddington on 1 Jul 1957, to become the first to be equipped with the Vulcan bomber, drawing 6 crews from 230 OCU. In 1960 it was upgraded to the Vulcan B2 and was equipped with free-fall nuclear weapons; these were later upgraded to the Blue Steel missile. The Sqn was disbanded at RAF Scampton in August 1969.


LAID TO REST 68 years on

Denis William Sharpe lost his life on 7 April 1940 as did the rest of the crew of the Hampden L4054.

The plane was believed to have been lost in the sea but in fact it crashed on land (near to St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay. In 2007 the plane was located by Russ Gray, a member of the North East section of the Air Crash Investigation and Archeology Group.

The Pilot, Navigator and Observer baled out over the sea but Denis remained with the aircraft which crashed just over the top of the cliffs with all its bombs on board. The plane had been damaged whilst on a mission over Sylt in Germany and was unable to jettison its bombs.

Denis's final resting place has now been ascertained, and a Memorial Service to all four members of the crew was held on 12 Apr 2008 at St Mary's Lighthouse, with a plaque in dedication to the airmen is to be housed permanently in the Lighthouse.

Denis was based at Scampton. He joined the RAF in 1937 and trained to be a wireless operator. He volunteered as a gunner when war was imminent. He was born in Leicester on 26 Sept 1916 and was killed on 7 April 1940. He was 21.

The three other crew members were:

Pilot - Wilfred Robers from Australia
Navigator - Keith Brooke-Taylor from New Zealand
Observer - Andrew McNichol from Barrow

this information was provided by Maureen Wheelhouse who was Denis's neice.

Pilot Officer 41206 Douglas D Redmayne died on 2 Jul 1940 and is buried at Kiel War Cemetery

Page Hampden P1171 OL-P - Shot down by 6th Company of the Middle Sub-Group FLAK Command over Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, near the Keil Canal, caught by flak from guns placed near a navy yard. The plane crashed on the banks of the Schwentine River and all four crew members perished.

Plt Offr Douglas Redmayne, Pilot, Royal Air Force
Sgt. Cyril Lee, Pilot, Royal Air Force
Sgt. George Elliott Little, Royal Air Force, 30
Sgt. Owen Sandford Gander, Royal Air Force

Douglas's family in Bowling Green Road, Castletown, Isle of Man, got the first inkling he might be in trouble when they tuned in to listen to Lord Haw Haw, the German propaganda broadcaster. Douglas's nephew, Roy Redmayne, explained: 'My mum Olive listened to the radio and heard Lord Haw Haw, he said: "Last night your boys got a battering. Four came down over Keil." 'A week later a telegram arrived confirming he was missing presumed dead.'

The family had moved to Castletown from Canada in 1932 after Douglas's father died. Douglas was educated at King William's College and, being a US citizen — he was born in Nebraska — had no obligation to do military service. He joined 83 Squadron of the RAF along with Guy Gibson, who later formed 617 Squadron of Dambusters fame.

Roy, who lives in Castletown, was raised on tales of his uncle's heroism and visited his grave on the 60th anniversary of his death with Roy's son, Stephen. But the family did not know the exact circumstances surrounding the pilot's death until last month, when Roy's brother Robyn found more details on a Germany-based website. It includes photographs of the mangled wreckage of the Hamden with the sad, graphic description that the whole crew, including Douglas Redmayne, had suffered 'destroying of the whole body'.

Douglas Redmayne is remembered on the war memorial in Castletown on the Isle of Man.

83 Sqn history on RAF site

Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire
(Tourism)

Follow RAF Lincolnshire:
Visit RAF-Lincolnshire.info's facebook page. Like our page and stay up to date with our posts on facebook! Follow us on twitter and stay up to date with our frequent news items

Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com

Blackwells Bookshop

 

powered by blueconsultancy