Davidstow Airfield and Cornwall at War Museum

Newsletter August 2014

Link to the web page here – August 2014 (some information may not be readable unless you do)

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It is usually considered that a Newsletter would contain up-to-date information about current or future events. But that is not always the case. In this newsletter the current event is the meeting between one of our volunteers and a relative of someone who was stationed at RAF Davidstow Moor. The main event though is what happened here 70 years ago in 1944. We are grateful to Rod and Anne Knight for providing this information and also the photograph of 144 Squadron Beaufighter O Orange, shown complete with D Day stripes.


Another small piece of the jigsaw that is RAF Davidstow Moor was added today. Chris Meek and his son Wayne, an army Major, came looking for information about Chris's father who had served with 144 Squadron RAF. Sgt Meek moved to Davidstow from Wick in Scotland in April 1944. Researching 144 Squadron is notoriously difficult but the Meeks were met at the museum by Rod Knight the airfield archivist. They found photos of the squadron among the displays in the Officers mess.

Sgt Meek was at Davidstow for D-Day and had written a list of the aircrew he served with, one of whom was 'Kiwi' Toon, a New Zealander.

On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the RAF Davidstow Moor Strike Wing consisted of 144 and 404 [Canadian] Squadrons of the RAF. The Meek family knew that on D-Day 3 Narvik Destroyers had been seen steaming up the coast of France towards the English Channel towards the forces that were attempting to land on the beaches of Normandy. Squadrons had taken off from Davidstow at approximately 1800 hours, 17 aircraft from Meek's 144 Squadron, 14 from 404 Squadron and 8 aircraft of 248 Fighter Escort Squadron. The 3 destroyers were sighted and the order to attack was given. 144 Squadron went in first with their cannons to silence the ships guns. 404 Squadron then launched their anti-shipping rockets. The operation was successful and all 3 destroyers were stopped from entering the Channel with the vitally important result that the D-Day landings were left unhindered by German seaborne forces. Sgt Meek's colleague, F/O 'Kiwi' Toon had piloted Beaufighter P LZ542 of 144 Squadron on that operation.

Previous visitors to the museum have been F/O Toon's son Simon, from Auckland, New Zealand and his daughter Sally, a Bude maid. They also hoped to find some evidence of their father's stay at Davidstow. They were shown around by museum owner Steve Perry (whose uncle flew with 404 Squadron) and by Rod Knight. They, like the Meeks, saw the station log and 144 Squadron's records and they were given a copy of their father's flight entry for D-Day. They spotted a picture of their father on one of the Strike Wings information boards showing him outside the Officers Mess where they were standing. Sally, who lives in Barnstaple, said she felt very close to her father at that moment.

Chris Meek and his son have very kindly offered to send some of Sgt Meek's anecdotes and photographs to the museum to be added to the displays and to help complete the bigger picture.

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Telephone: 07799194918

Address: Nottles Park, Davidstow, Camelford, PL32 9YF