Stories In Detail

On this page you will be guided to stories that examine events relating to RAF Watton and Bodney in greater detail than elsewhere.


The Tale of a Photograph. Flt Sgt Reg Leavers, Sgt Ian Overheu and Sgt Joseph Phelps

Ian Overheu, Joseph P{helps and Reg Leavers visiting the seaside (Blackpool?) on a cold and windy day

Reg Leavers and his crew, Ian Overheu and Joseph Phelps, had a reputation for courage, tenacity and determination which was amply demonstrated in the citation marking the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) to Leavers and Overheu. It reads: Distinguished Flying Medal 747560 Sergeant Evered Arthur Reginald Leavers, No 21 Squadron. NZ40729 Sergeant Ian Overheu Royal New Zealand Air Force, No 21 Squadron. In April 1941, Sergeant Leavers and Sergeant Overheu were the pilot and observer respectively in an aircraft which participated […]

Mast High Over Rotterdam by Lionel ‘Rusty’ Russell

Mast High Over Rotterdam by Lionel ‘Rusty’ Russell

In June of 2015, through a remarkable coincidence, I was contacted by by Lionel ‘Rusty’ Russell, a retired RAF pilot who has spent a large chunk of his life researching and writing a book about a single raid on the docks at Rotterdam on 16th July 1941. In 2 Group, Bomber Command, terms, it was an outstanding success, not only because of the tonnage of shipping claimed as destroyed or damaged, but also because ‘only’ four Blenheims were lost out of […]

The Washington

The Washington

The Washington Times by Chris Howlett “Washington” was the RAF designation for the famous Boeing B29, one example of which, the Enola Gay, dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. No B-29s were built for the RAF. All that were received (87 in total) were built for USAAF use many had seen active service before being transferred to the RAF in the early 1950s. Chris Howlett is researching the history of the Washington Aircraft in general. He produced a series […]

Heinkel HE111, Ovington

Heinkel HE111 at Ovington

At 0755 on February 18th. 1941 a Heinkel HE111 H3 of 4/KG 53, The Condor Legion, Work No. 3349 attacked RAF Watton from the South side of the airfield travelling North. The aircraft strafed the airfield, hangar line and technical site and then flew into the forest of cables that had been sent up by Parachute and Cable defence system. The aircraft was so damaged by this that it came down about 1.5 miles North of the camp at Ovington. […]


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