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It is with great sadness that I have to inform you of the death of Doug Sibley. Doug served on 249 from 1959 until 1962 as ground equipment NCO.

 He managed to attend our reunions until 2010 when he be came to ill to travel. Our Condolences to his wife Margaret and his family and friends. May he rest in peace.

Doug’s funeral will take place at Downs Crematorium Brighton at 13.00 hrs on Thursday 28th April.

Tom and Harry

This photograph features in Prince Harry’s Christmas Card


It will be 46 years in February since  249 (Gold Coast) Squadron, the Royal Airforce’s Premier Squadron, was disbanded.


Chiefy Ben with Sasoon Trophy

The Chief with Sassoon Trophy

Gordon ‘Chiefy’ Ben Bennett’s  funeral will be on Thursday 27 November at 11.30 am

 at the military chapel at Lister House Southgate Ripon HG4 1PG  (For directions please contact me(Lyn) on or call 01609 88361501609 883615).

I have just received this message from Ben’s Daughter Lyn

I am very very sad to tell you dad passed away peacefully last Sunday 9th (Remembrance Sunday). Perhaps you could let anyone know that you know knew dad. Dad’s health had been deteriorating over the last few months but he declined very quickly in the last few days. Steve and I were actually on holiday in Antigua celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary so I wasn’t there which was really distressing for me but the staff were wonderful and I kept in touch with them during the last few days.
We will be arranging a small funeral at the chapel at Lister House (Ripon). Although we saw the funeral director yesterday he needs to liaise with the clergy and the home and the crematorium before a date can be set. I will probably know early next week and will let you know the date. We have requested that it be in the afternoon. It would be lovely for Dad if you and maybe a few other chums are able to come but I understand it may be difficult. Pat Thurlow who I think you know is also going to try and come.”
Our Sincere Condolences go out to Lyn and her family on their Loss.



           Hillbrae Kennels are primarily an animal rescue centre near Telford in Shropshire. They specialise in taking in lost and abandoned dogs as well as other animals. They try as hard as they can to re-home all of their strays, some can wait up to nine years for a new home and others may live out their lives in the kennels. Hillbrae has a non-destruct policy, which means they will not put down any animal unless it is absolutely unavoidable through accident or illness, often running up large vets’ bills for surgery and health care. They have one of the lowest put-down rates in the country.

          All the local authorities contact Hillbrae when they find strays and one day recently, a dog, a Staffordshire terrier, was found in Bridgnorth. Each animal found is given a unique code and in this case, it was B (for Bridgnorth) 249. That means it was the 249th such lost animal recovered. When he arrived at Hillbrae, he had to be given a proper name, like all the animals they take in. When my daughter Helen, who works there saw the number 249, she immediately thought of the RAF squadron and Flg Off Percy Burton of that squadron, who lost his life in a fight over Hailsham in September 1940. She said to her colleagues that he must be given the name Percy in honour of that pilot. They were curious to know why she had suggested the name but when she explained, they whole-heartedly agreed with her. So, Bridgnorth stray number 249 is the proud owner of his new name.

          The rescue centre is a registered charity and on Amazon, there is a wish-list for anybody who wishes to make a donation. The link is –


All he needs now is his own flying suit and goggles!

Our Thanks to David Calvert for this excellent article.




Harry Moon 1

It is with deep regret that I have to announce the Death on 29th April of Harry Moon. Harry flew with the Squadron in Malta from 1941 until 1942.

Harry was a great supporter of the association and will be sadly missed.

Our condolences and sympathy go to his family.

Harry H. Moon

Click here for a larger image...Harry Moon joined the Royal Air Force as an RAF VR in June 1940. he began basic training at Torquay and went to 7AFTS Desford, Leicestershire, pilot training on Tiger Moths – the as part of the same course posted to Sealand for conversion to Miles Masters – then onto Turnhill April 1941. He received his Pilots Brevet (RAF Wings) 27th April 1941.

Harry went onto 59 OUT Carlisle for conversion to Hurricanes – soloing on type on the 8th May 1941. Four weeks later after completing 50 hours on Hurricanes Harry was posted over seas. He joined the Aircraft Carrier HMS Furious on the Clyde and sailed for Gibraltar. On reaching Gibraltar he transferred to the carrier HMS Ark Royal which was embarked on “Railroad1” to ferry Hurricanes out to Malta on the 27th June 1941 – then returned back to Gibraltar to collect more Hurricanes from Furious’ hangar and departed on the 30th June 1941 for Operation “Railroad 2” for further delivery of Hurricanes for Malta. Harry Moon arrived in Malta with that second delivery of Hurricanes on the 30th June and was posted directly to 249 (F) Squadron. Just before the closure of the nine months service on Malta, Harry was transferred to 126 (F) Squadron.

On 2nd April 1942, Harry left the island in a Sunderland flying boat for Aden. Once there, he became part of the “Aden Defence Flight” in May 1942. Harry left Aden in February 1943. In May 1943 he was posted to 274 (F) Squadron flying Hurricanes from Tripoli carrying out convoy escorting duties. In December 1943 Harry returned to Idku just outside Alexandria to re-equip with Spitfire MkVs, going onto Mersa Matru – Castle Benito and onto cover the Anzio landings until the end of 1943, beginning of 1944. Here the squadron shot up tanks, trucks, rolling stock etc. After 1st April 1944 the squadron returned to England from Naples in Italy to Scotland via the Clyde. 274 were then posted to Hornchurch in Essex where they converted to Spitfire MkIXs. It was here Harry was promoted to ‘A’ Flight Commander. The Squadron then moved to Detling, Kent, for sweeps over Europe. On June 5th and 6th 1944 the Squadron covered the build-up and landings on D-Day. On the 12th June the squadron landed on one of the first beachhead landing grounds in readiness for the coming offensive.

At the end of June 1944 Harry was posted to the Central Gunnery School at Catfoss in Yorkshire, then Eshott, Northumberland to a Spitfire OTU and later a Typhoon and Tempest OUT Gunnery School at Millfield Northumberland until December 1944. Harry stayed with this unit until 1946. Harry was then posted to Keevil, Wilts, to a Spitfire OUT. In July 1946 Harry was posted to India as Command Gunnery Officer, only to find the posting only existed on paper. Harry then managed a posting to 30 Squadron in India flying Tempests at Agra. The squadron was then re-numbered as 20 Squadron. In August 1947 Harry was posted back to England and on the 1st of August Harry was promoted to peacetime Squadron Leader and was posted as CO to command RAF Cuxton, near Rochester, where he spent one year. From here he was posted to Church Fenton to command 41 (F) Squadron operating the De Havilland Hornet. Twelve months later Harry was posted to RAF Padgate overseeing all National Servicemen entering the Royal Air Force. In August 1952 Harry was chief ground instructor on Meteors at Workshop for two and a half years. He was then posted to 64 Group, staff job York looking after a quarter of the ATC Squadrons throughout England. One year later Harry was posted to an Air Traffic Controllers course. He retired from the RAF in 1956.

In 1958 Harry applied for an Air Traffic Controllers position with the American Air Force at Bentwaters. Harry Moon served 18 years with the Royal Air Force and a further 21 years as an ATCO retiring on his 60th birthday. 

Bob Middlemiss


It is with regret that I have to announce the death of one of our Distinguished members. Bob served with 249 during the defence of Malta. He passed away on 31st July 2013.

Our Sympathies and Condolences go out to his family and friends.

Please see at:


For the Latest Newsletter from North Weald

In 2013 The Royal British Legion have 5 fields where you can plant a tribute to someone who gave their life for their country

This year 249 Squadron is being represented in Cardiff on 6th Nov., by Terrance (Perce) Blakeney.

there are five fields around the country.

If you wish to take part at one of these ceremonies, please contact your local British Legion Branch.