History of RAF Winkleigh Airfield, Airbase, Devon, England. World War II | Winkleigh a Devon Village part 1V | Jackie Freeman Photography

Raf Winkleigh David Freeman

Written by David Freeman

Adapted from his TV Series Secret Britain

Photographs by Devon Photographer - Jackie Freeman

RAF Winkleigh Raf Winkleigh

The story of a WW II Air Base in Devon - Part IV

An illustrated History of the RAF Airfield at Winkleigh



Photographs of the  Canadians  at  RAF   Winkleigh   1944 - 45

Royal Canadian Air Force  RCAF - 406 - 415 - 408 - Squadrons - Personnel  and Air Crew Photos.

A glimpse into the real life as a Canadian airman stationed at Winkleigh - Devon

 in 1944 in this moving photograph.

"Our hut, King - Bishop - Rocky".

In his diary LAC Bill Jones references a "Rocky Lemieux" who we believe is the man on the right

This and many other photos on this page are from the private collection of  LAC. W 'Bill' Jones, 406 Squadron - Saskatoon ©

Courtesy of his daughter Barb Freeman.



Other personnel follow


 James Gordon Brown. M.A.

Squadron Leader (Chaplain)

K.I.A. 27/11/1944 - Age 35

James Gordon Brown winkleigh

 On November 27, 1944, he was celebrating his

birthday with a group of friends in Antwerp when a

V-2 bomb landed near them. He was killed, but the

others were untouched.

He is buried in Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerp.



Peter Reid  and James Lawless

K.I.A. 11/12/1944


406 squadron, Flight Lieutenant Peter Reid James lawless

Flight Lieutenant Peter Reid (Navigator) &

Flying Officer James Lawless, (Pilot) both

RCAF 406 SQDN, were lost on operations

the night of December 11, 1944.

They had been together as pilot and

navigator for quite some time, flying both

Mosquitoes and Beaufighters.

Thomas William Trewin:

Flight Lieutenant

K.I.A. 05/04/1945

Thomas William Trewin:

Edwin Karl Vickers

Edwin Karl Vickers:

Flight Sergeant KIA

Wing Commander Bromley & Flight Officer J Hall
Flying Officer John Hall winkleigh

Wing Commander Bromley & Flt Officer J Hall DFO,

at RAF Winkleigh in 1944

Flight Officer John Hall DFO "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty".


Flying Officer John Hall DFC and Flying officer

P William Muschett at RAF Winkleigh shortly

after winning their DFC, 13/14th May 1944.

Destroyed 2 JU 88

Flying Officer C.J Kirk Kirkpatric DFC406 Squadron

Flying Officer C.J Kirk Kirkpatric DFC 406 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force
“City of Saskatoon”  at Winkleigh at a picnic held for evacuees.

Kirk Kirkpatric winkleigh

Kirk Kirkpatric (left) with local children and Canadian RCAF officers

at Winkleigh



Flying Officer C.J Kirk Kirkpatric

Born 7.10.18, in Kindersley, Saskachewan. He assisted in the destruction of four enemy aircraft over the Normandy beach head and destroyed three locomotives plus two heavily laden barges.



Mosquito Night Fighter crew winkleigh

Unknown Crew in front of a Mosquito Night Fighter

'Blackie' Williams & Kirk Kirkpatric winkleigh

'Blackie' Williams & Kirk Kirkpatric


Squadron Leader David John WILLIAM , DFC - Born in Vancouver,

6 January 1919. Williams and Kirkpatric were the crew of a Canadian Beaufighter out of Winkleigh which shot down two German Dornier 217, raiders in 11 minutes

Blackie Williams took over as C.O from Moose Fumerton.



 Bill Mac Pherson, William Hargrour Winkleigh


Navigators Bill Mac Pherson, William Hargrour and

Chris Eynofson on leave somewhere in the south west of England..



Doug McNabb and John Hall

Doug McNabb and John Hall DFC at

RAF Winkleigh

Wing Commander Russell Bannock DFC, DSO .

Wing Commander Russell Bannock DFC, DSO and Bar (Left)

Squadron Commander after Blackie Williams - 20 November 1944 >

Photograph Above and Right: With his navigator Bob Bruce & their Mosquito 'Hairless Joe'. Russ Bannock was born in Edmonton, Alberta 1 November 1919. Wing Commander Bannock shot down 11 enemy aircraft and over 14 aerial robot weapons AKA Flying Bombs in his distinguished career.





Raf Winkleigh pilots

Back left: LAC W 'Bill' Jones, Saskatoon




RAF WINKLEIGH Celebration Below.

Do you recognise anyone here?


Winkleigh officers  mess



             John Hall

I have heard several reports that Artie Shaw, who was an American jazz clarinetist, composer and band leader played at a 'bash' at RAF Winkleigh in 1944 or 45, which was a spectacular success.  Is the picture above taken that night?



Please write to us if you can add to this portfolio of photographs of personnel, air crew, ground crew, officers and men

e mail:



LAC W 'Bill' Jones, 406 Squadron - Saskatoon.

Posted: 3.10.2018 . 

 More Canadian 406 squadron photos courtesy of  Barb Freeman in Canada who we send our thanks for getting in touch with us.

 Her father, William (Bill) Jones was in 406 squadron based at Winkleigh in Devon during the war. This first lovely photograph, below, was used in the newspaper story which follows:

              They're At The Wire...They're Off !








" The piggy-back race was a favourite at a picnic held by members of the RCAF City of Saskatoon squadron for evacuee children in Devon recently. Twenty-five youngsters, most of them from London participated. They included ten who are cared for by Mrs Violet Whitehead of Richmond Surrey, now living in Devon in a cottage. Here are three of them lined up for the race.

There Canadian mounts are: From left to right; LAC (Leading aircraftman) A. Walker Victoria B.C., LAC M A Belyea Hubert Sask., and LAC W 'Bill' Jones, Saskatoon.

 The jockeys in that order are; Arthur, Margaret and Tony.

Contributions to The Evening Telegram British War Victims' Fund help bear the cost of evacuating these little ones from places of danger to the safety of country districts."


 *We believe that the news article was probably published in the Toronto Telegram newspaper.


  It's interesting to note that there is no mention of where in Devon these fine Canadian airmen were posted in this article, though clearly we now know exactly where.

How wonderful if anyone recognises any of these children or were in fact living with Mrs. Violet Whitehead near, or in Winkleigh at this time.

Please do tell us if you know


^ Another image from Bill Jones' cherished photograph collection (Bill is pictured on the left here) This photograph taken during his time at Winkleigh airfield at another picnic held for children locally.  


And finally a great photograph of  some of the RCAF comrades of  LAC. W. 'Bill' Jones ( seen here back far right)

I believe standing in  front of a  Beaufighter Mark IIF night fighter? Though I do stand to be corrected.




 < On the left, LAC Bill Jones 406 Squadron and an unknown friend on a motorbike at at Winkleigh airfield in 1944.

 In this next photograph taken at Winkleigh > airfield, LAC Bill Jones, seen here on the right, names the others in the photograph as: "L-R "Red McKean and Alex Walker"

RCAF Red McKean and Alex Walker with LAC Bill Jones 604 Squadron


< LAC Bill Jones on the right with an unknown comrade at Winkleigh airfield, 1944

And finally, taken in 1945, two Canadians, one the pilot of this Mosquito aircraft taken at Winkleigh airfield from the

private collection of Bill Jones LAC - RCAF Sasckachewan.






Posted: December 23-2012:

RCAF 415 Swordfish Squadron World War II

I am very grateful to Greg Ennis, the nephew of Flight /Sgt. Roy Milton Ennis, RCA, who kindly sent me the following photographs which may interest you.

The group photo above is of many identified air crew and pilots which Mr. Ennis believes was taken prior to June 8, 1942.  In the center row, the central figure marked "Self", second row  centre is P/O Bud McComb. The balance of the names  written in ink follows

Bottom Row, Left to right. 1: ?dlre 2: McMillian 3: Shore 4: Bean 5: Jones 6: No Name 7 Wartele "CO" 8: No Name 9: Dennis 10: No Name 11: Lawrence 12: Herbert

Middle Row: 1: No Name 2: McGregor    KIA June 8 1942 3: No Name 4: No Name 5: Black    KIA June 8 1942 6: Self    (real name Bud McComb Pilot, Alberta KIA June 30, 1942) 7: Garfin    KIA June 27, 1942 8: McCallum  KIA June 27, 1942 8: Briggs 9: Ridley    KIA 24, June 42 10: Dawson 11: No Name

Top Row: No Names


This Canadian 415 Squadron crew photo (above) is reliably believed to identify: 

Left to right; - 415 Sqdn., Royal Canadian Air Force - F/Sgt Roy Milton Ennis - R/68044 WAG, (Wireless Operator and Air Gunner)

who hailed from Ontario. Flight Sgt. Ennis died, age 22 on 31st of July 1942. He was son of Joseph and Ruth Read Ennis of Toronto, Ontario.

Next to him is Flight /Sgt Mandle Bloomfield R/61005 - WAG from Edmonton, Alberta who perished July 31, 1942 age just 21. (See image below)

Followed by P/O Bud Douglas Roy McComb also from Alberta

And F/Sgt Jack (John Henry) LaBelle WAG from Vancouver BC.


(Their names are listed on the back of the photo shown below.)

All four men were killed in action in 1942 when their aircraft crashed over the English Channel..



Flight Sergeant Mandel Bloomfield, R-61005, R.C.A.F. 415 Sqdn, son of Mr. Harry and Mrs. Becky Bloomfield of Edmonton, Alberta was reported killed in action overseas on July 31, 1942 age just 21.

Flight Sgt. Ennis memorial






The War Years - 10 Group  Fighter  Command at Winkleigh 1942 - 1945

IX USAF 12th Tactical Reconnaissance RAF 161 RAF 286 Squadron
Free Polish Airmen
RCAF 415
RCAF 406 
RCAF 408

 IX USAF Serv. Comd.

   74th Serv Group

"Above All"

12th Tactical Reconnaissance

Squadron USAAF

"Know your Enemy"

          RAF 161

    Black Squadron

        " Liberate"

  RAF 286 Squadron

   "We exercise our


Free Polish Airmen

303 Squadron

RCAF 415
Swordfish Squadron

"To the mark"

RCAF 406 

Lynx Squadron

"We kill by night"

RCAF 408
Goose Squadron
"For Freedom"





Air base bicycle mishaps, crime and the free Polish Air force at RAF Winkleigh

contact jackie freeman

A History of the Borough Town of Winkleigh, Devon & RAF Winkleigh.

Sponsored by: Jackie Freeman Photography.








The writer thanks and acknowledges the help of Steve & Shirley Leahy in Winkleigh 

WEB Design and Graphics: WinkWEB

Copyright:/ 2008 | David Freeman and Jackie Freeman Photography - Grays Cross - Winkleigh - Devon - England. All rights reserved
Unauthorized use of the images illustrated is prohibited and protected under international laws of copyright.