The Kipper Patrol

Louise Wilkinson (2009)

History   Non-fiction   World War 2

Thornaby, 1930, saw the formation of 608 squadron Auxiliary Air Force. Remembered by some veterans as ‘the kipper patrol’, this book provides a long awaited history of a squadron remembered by many local people and recognised by both the Airman Memorial and the replica Spitfire. It serves as a lasting memory to the squadron, aerodrome and veterans.

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About this book

Thornaby, 1930, saw the formation of 608 squadron Auxiliary Air Force. Remembered by some veterans as “the kipper patrol,” their job as part of Coastal Command, involved protecting shipping convoys, looking for submarines and defending the northern supply routes. Although their role was never seen as glamorous and never received national glory, nonetheless, they played a significant part in the defence of the United Kingdom. This book tells the story of young pilots such as Geoffrey Ambler, Geoffrey Shaw, William Appleby-Brown and Peter Vaux, and airmen such as Albert Guy, Harold Coppick and Syd Buckle, and considers how their lives were dramatically changed with the onset of the Second World War, which saw them cease to be part-timers and become full time members of the Royal Air Force.
The Kipper Patrol serves as an insight into the history of this squadron, as well as the history of Thornaby Aerodrome itself. It uses as its basis, a series of interviews with veterans from the squadron and presents their memories of squadron life, along with many of their personal photographs. The book provides an insight into relationships between officers and other ranks within a military organisation and shows how these relationships changed over time.
The Kipper Patrol provides a long awaited history of a squadron remembered by many local people, and recognised by both the Airman Memorial and the replica Spitfire. It serves as a lasting memory to both the squadron and the aerodrome, and in particular, to the many veterans who so willingly gave up their time to share their memories.

About Author

Louise Wilkinson

I was born in Malta in 1961 where my father was doing his National Service. I was brought up in Guisborough, Cleveland, where my father was a local solicitor and my mother was a primary school teacher. I joined the Women’s Royal Army Corps as a Data Telegraphist in 1979 and then left in 1982 having served in Cyprus for over a year. I then worked in local government in Swindon, Wiltshire within the Finance Department. Having spent two years doing my “A” levels at night school, I decided in 1989 to give up work and return to the North East to go to university. I was offered a place at the University of Teesside and spent a fantastic three years studying politics, international relations, sociology and history. I was awarded a first class honours degree in Humanities in 1992, and then I went to York University for one year to do my Post Graduate Certificate in Education. As a newly qualified teacher I was successful in gaining a job at Grangefield School in Stockton on Tees as a history teacher. I have been there ever since, although I am now the Head of History in the school. After I had been teaching for a while I decided that I wanted to further my studies and I embarked on a Master of Philosophy research degree programme at the University of Teesside, researching Thornaby Aerodrome and 608 Squadron. My research meant that I had to interview many of the veterans who had served either at the Aerodrome or as [...]

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