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|Air Commodore John Searby DSO DFC (deceased)|
John Searby joined the RAF in 1929 as a Halton apprentice but was a Sergeant Pilot flying bombers when war broke out. Joining 106 Squadron he flew Lancasters with Guy Gibson and eventually took over as Squadron Commander when Gibson left for 617 Squadron. A specialist in navigation, he was then chosen by Arthur Harris to take command of No.83 Pathfinder Squadron at Wyton. Searby quickly developed a superb reputation as a Pathfinder and was involved in countless precision raids including his role as Master Bomber on the Peenemunde raid, coordinating the attack by over 600 heavy bombers. He died on 14th January 1986.
Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order
Acting Group Captain John Henry SEARBY, D.F.C., Royal Air Force, No.83 Squadron. One night in August, 1943, this officer participated in a bombing attack on an important target at Peenemunde. Enemy fighters were extremely active over the target area, but in spite of this Group Captain Searby executed his difficult task with consummate skill. He displayed faultless leadership, great courage and resolution throughout. (London Gazette – 7 September 1943)
Items Signed by Air Commodore John Searby DSO DFC (deceased)
| ||Operation Ebensburg by Ivan Berryman. (D)|
Price : £360.00
|Sunday 8th April 1945. Halifax B.II Series 1 (Special) JP254 of 148 Special Duties Squadron, RAF piloted by Pilot officer Bill Leckie is depicted approaching the drop zone near to the Alt Aussee salt mine in the Austrian Alps to drop four SOE agents......|
| ||SOE Drop by Ivan Berryman. (C)|
Price : £420.00
|Halifax B.II Series 1 (Special) JP254 of 148 Special Duties Squadron, RAF is depicted over the drop zone near to the Alt Aussee salt mine in the Austrian Alps as two of the four SOE agents exit the bomber via the crew access door. Their mission was......|
|Leading the Way by Gerald Coulson. (B)|
|On August 15th 1942, under the leadership of Don Bennet, a new group was formed from Bomber Command to develop specialised target finding and target marking. Made up purely from experienced volunteers, this elite and highly trained group of men were......||NOT|
| ||White-out at Breighton - Tribute to No.78 Squadron by Ivan Berryman. (C)|
Price : £420.00
|With the departure of No 1 Group in May 1943, No 4 Group's 78 Sqn Halifaxes arrived at Breighton in Yorkshire from where they would continue to operate until the end of the war. Halifax III LW291 (EY-M) is depicted snowbound in the Winter of 19......|
|Pathfinder Halifax by Nicolas Trudgian. (B)|
Price : £320.00
|Remembered fondly by many RAF, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand bomber crews, the Halifax served many diverse roles in WWII, including service with Special Duties, dropping agents and supplies behind enemy lines. Halifax MkIIs of 35 Squadron, RA......|
Packs with at least one item featuring the signature of Air Commodore John Searby DSO DFC (deceased)
|Squadrons for : Air Commodore John Searby DSO DFC (deceased)|
|A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by Air Commodore John Searby DSO DFC (deceased). A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.|
Country : UK
Founded : 30th September 1917
Fate : Disbanded 24th May 1963
Pro libertate - For freedom
|No.106 Sqn RAF|
106 Squadron was formed 30th September 1917 at Andover, and served in Ireland on Army co-operation duties from May 1918 until disbandment in 1919. Re-formed in June 1938, the squadron was equipped with Hawker Hinds, and later Fairey Battles and from May 1939 until March 1942 was equipped with the Handley Page Hampden. The first operational WWII sortie, on the night of 9/10th September 1940 was mine laying in the Bordeaux area and the first bombing sortie was on the night of 1st/2nd March 1941 against Cologne. From February 1942 until June the same year 106 was equipped with the Avro Manchester. Following this short spell, the squadron was re-equipped with the Avro Lancaster. Although they used both Lancasters and Manchesters on all three 1,000 bomber raids (Cologne 30th/31st May 1942, Essen 1st/2nd June 1942, and Bremen 25/26th June 1942) - the third one against Bremen was the last one when the Manchesters were used. In October 1942, 106 contributed 10 Lancasters to 5 Group's epic low level daylight raid against the Schneider Works at Le Creusot, and 2 Lancasters (one of which was piloted by Wing Commander Guy Gibson CO of 106) to the subsidiary raid on the transformer and switching station at Montchanin. In 1943, they took part in the first shuttle-bombing raids (target Friedrichshafen), and the famous Peenemunde raid. During what was to become known as the Battle of Berlin (November 1943- March 1944) 106 dispatched 281 Lancasters on 20 raids, with the loss of eight aircraft. In 1944, 106 helped prepare the way for the invasion of Europe by hitting targets such as a Coastal Gun Battery at St Pierre du Mont and V-1 storage sites. In December 1944, 106 made a round trip of over 1,900 miles to attack the German Baltic Fleet at Gdynia. In March 1945, the squadron provided air support (against the defences of Wesel) for Commandos crossing the Rhine. Their last bombing sortie was on 25/26th April 1945 against the oil refinery at Vallo, Norway and 106 Squadron finally disbanded February 1946.
Country : UK
Founded : 7th January 1917
Fate : Disbanded 31st August 1969
Strike to defend
|No.83 Sqn RAF|
Full profile not yet available.
|Aircraft for : Air Commodore John Searby DSO DFC (deceased)|
|A list of all aircraft associated with Air Commodore John Searby DSO DFC (deceased). A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Manufacturer : Avro
Production Began : 1942
Retired : 1963
Number Built : 7377
The Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' Operation Gomorrah in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.
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