The RAF Career of Maurice 'Roy' Skeet.
"Operations Logs for the period from June to December 1940: -
RAF, Helwan, Heliopolis, Habbaniya, Iraq.

4th June,
04.00 GMT. F/O Skeet Captain of Valentia K.3614 conveyed passengers and stores on the routine weekly mail flight from Helwan to Habbaniya. An Army Staff Officer was en planed at Ramleh for transit to Habbaniya.

7th June,
Valentia K.3614 returned to Helwan from Habbaniya.

10th June,
Italy declared War on Great Britain and France.
No.70 Squadron moved from Helwan to Heliopolis proceeding by Air in Eleven Valentia's

12th June,
10.00 GMT. F/O Skeet with Sergeant Lewis proceeded to Aboukir by rail to collect Valentia J.8062 allotted to No 70 Squadron. Returned to Heliopolis with Valentia J.8062 Captain F/O Skeet, at 17.30GMT same day.

14th June,
08.00 GMT. Valentia J.8921, Captain, F/O Skeet departed RAF Heliopolis to Aboukir to collect spares from No 103 Maintenance Unit for onward transmission to Summit. Returned to Heliopolis at 11.00 GMT.

25th June,
09.30 GMT. Valentia J.8921, Captain, F/O Skeet, departed Heliopolis with mail to Dekheila and then to Aboukir. Returned to Heliopolis at 12.55 GMT.

27th June,
05.15 GMT. Valentia J.8921 Captain, F/O Skeet, departed Heliopolis on route to Lydda in echelon of 6 Valentia's: -
K.2796 piloted by Flt Lt B.J.McGinn.
K.1313 piloted by F/O C.V.Reade.
K.3610 piloted by F/O H.J.Honour.
K.8849 piloted by Sgt Wilson.
K.3602 piloted by F/O P.Geary.

14th July,
06.00 GMT. Valentia K.3614, Captain, F/O Skeet and 2nd Pilot P/O L.J.Anderson departed Heliopolis on route to Khartoum to convey an Aircraft Engine to Kosti. Extremely bumpy weather experienced in flight.

24th July,
Valentia K.3614, Captain, F/O Skeet returned to Heliopolis from Khartoum in further bumpy weather.

6th August,
06.50 GMT. Valentia K.2796, Captain, F/O Skeet returned to Habbaniya conveying passengers and stores. F/O Skeet detailed to remain at RAF Habbaniya and take over the role of Officer Commanding No 70 Squadron 'C' Flight Detachment replacing Acting Flt Lt Barnard who was detailed to return to Heliopolis in Valentia K.2796.

(Records as to the activities of 'C' Flight Detachment between 6th August and 5th October are presently unavailable.)

5th October,
F/O Skeet posted to No 216 Squadron relinquished Command of No 70 Squadron Detachment.
Placed in Command of No 216 Squadron Detachment established at RAF Habbaniya.
All personnel and equipment of No 70 Sqn detachment transferred to No 216 Sqn detachment Habbaniya.
Personnel: - 2 Officers, 3 Senior Non-commissioned Officers, 12 Airmen including 4 attached.
Equipment: - 3 Initial Equipment Valentia's, One maintained by this detachment for the use of the No. 4 S.F.T.S. as observers training Aircraft.

7th October,
05.20 GMT. Valentia K.8852 proceeded to Sulaimaniya and returned with 125 Turkeys..

8th October,
14.30 GMT. Routine Valentia arrived from Egypt.

9th October,
06.45 GMT. Valentia J.9762, air tested after inspection.

10th October,
05.30 GMT. Valentia's K.8852, and J.9762. Formation flying practice.
06.30 GMT. Valentia's K.8852, and J.9762. Formation flying practice.
07.35 GMT. Valentia J.9762, Incendiary Bombs dropped for proof, at Air Headquarters Request.

11th October,
01.00 GMT. Routine Valentia J.9762 left for Egypt but remained at Rutbah until 09.00 GMT. Due to engine trouble.
Relief Valentia K.8848 conveyed passenger and mail to Egypt.
Valentia J.9762 returned to Habbaniya.

12th October,
08.10 GMT. Valentia K.8852 air tested after inspection.

15th October,
14.00 GMT. Routine Valentia K.8848 returned from Egypt with passengers and mail.

16th October,
05.30 GMT. Valentia K.8852, All Pilots carried out Instrument Flying Practice. 30mins.
08.30 GMT. Valentia J.9762, Cylinder and Magneto changed, air tested. 20mins.
15.00 GMT. Valentia's K.8852, and J.9762 on Night cross-country.

17th October,
05.30 GMT. 3 Valentia's, Formation Flying Practice with all pilots.
08.30 GMT. Valentia K.8848 Practice Supply Dropping.

18th October,
01.30 GMT. Routine Valentia J.9762 left for Heliopolis with passengers, mail and stores.

19th October,
Valentia K.8852 flown by 2 instructors of No.4 S.F.T.S. to Shaibah and returned conveying passengers and stores.

22nd October,
06.05 GMT. Valentia K.8852, Forced Landing Practice carried out by 2 pilots.
13.45.GMT. Routine Valentia J.9762 returned from Egypt.

23rd October,
05.30 GMT. Wind Speed and Direction Finding carried out by 2 pilots using Sea Markers Over Lake Habbaniya.
8.10 GMT. Valentia K.8852, Practice Supply Dropping on Aerodrome executed satisfactorily by 2 pilots.
16.00 GMT. All Pilots carried out 45 Minutes Night Flying Practice, Circuits and landings and one Holt flare landing.

24th October,
03.00 GMT. Valentia K.8848 air tested after 30hr inspection found U/S due to Magneto trouble.
06.45 GMT. VALENTIA K.8848 air tested again but still found U/S. Unable to proceed to Egypt. Routine trip cancelled.
14.00 GMT. Valentia K.8848 air tested again and found satisfactory.

26th October,
01.30 GMT. Routine Valentia K.8848 left for Egypt.
04.00 GMT. Valentia K.8852, proceeded to Shaibah and returned, on training flight with Air Observers of No.4 S.F.T.S.

2 9th October,
14.00 GMT. Routine Valentia K.8848 returned from Egypt with Passengers and Mail.

1st November,
01.50 GMT. Routine Valentia J.9762 left for Egypt.
08.30 GMT. Valentia K.2808, 2 Pilots Local Flying Practice.

4 th November,
06.45 GMT. Practice wind finding using sea markers Over LAKE HABBANIYA by 2 pilots.
08.45 GMT. Incendiary Bombs dropped at Air Headquarters request for proofing.

5th November,
04.35 GMT. Valentia K.2808 proceeded to MOSUL to collect stretcher case, returned same day.
14.30 GMT. Routine Valentia J.9762 returned from Egypt with passengers and mail.

6 th November,
07.10 GMT. Valentia J.9762, Local dual instruction to No. 4 S.F.T.S. Instructor.
07.40 GMT. Flying Test given to Flying Officer Tayler by No.4 S.F.T.S. Instructor as result of crash on 1st October 1940.

7th November,
14.30 GMT. Valentia K.2808 Night cross-country to Shaibah.

8th November,
01.30 GMT. Routine Valentia J.9762 left for Egypt with passengers and mail.
09.55 GMT. Valentia K.2808 returned from Shaibah with stretcher case and yachting team.

11th November,
Valentia's K.2808 and J.9760 on 30hr inspection.

12th November,
14.00 GMT. Routine Valentia J.9762 arrived from Egypt.

13th November,
Valentia's K.2808 and J.9760, Cracked Volute Casings in engines entailed changing of engines.
Starboard Engine of Valentia JR.2796 in to Depot for complete overhaul. No Aircraft Serviceable!

15th November,
03.20 GMT. Valentia J.9760 air tested prior to proceeding to Egypt.
03.40 GMT. Routine Valentia left for Egypt, but landed at L.G.V. due to bad weather conditions, proceeded onwards at 07.55 GMT. Arrived Lydda 13.40 GMT.

16th November,
06.20 GMT. Routine Valentia left Lydda and arrived Heliopolis.

19th November,
09.15 GMT. Valentia K.2808 air tested after 30hr inspection and found satisfactory.
15.10 GMT. Routine Valentia returned from Egypt with passengers and mail.

20th November,
04.15 GMT. Valentia K.2808 proceeded to Amman with passengers and stores.

21st November,
13.20 GMT. Valentia K.2792 air tested after 30hr inspection.
17.15 GMT. Valentia K.2808 returned from Amman with N.A.A.F.I. Concert Party.

22nd November,
01.35 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2792 left for Egypt with passengers and mail.

24th November,
04.35 GMT. Valentia K.2808 proceeded to Rutbah with cash for road workers and returned.

25th November,
06.20 GMT. Valentia K.2808 proceeded to Amman with N.A.A.F.I. Concert Party.

26th November,
11.50 GMT. Valentia K.2808 returned from Amman. 14.10 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2792 arrived from Egypt.

29th November,
01.35 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2792 left for Egypt with passengers and mail, but landed Lydda due to bad weather.

30th November,
12.45 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2792 left Lydda and proceeded to Heliopolis.

5th December,
Flying Officer Skeet promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

14th December,
No 216 Sqn Detachment disbanded and formed into the nucleus of 'The Communications Flight' Habbaniya, IRAQ.
All personnel and equipment transferred to The Communication Flight with Flt Lt Skeet assuming Command of the Flight.
Strength: - 2 Officers, 3 S.N.C.O's., 2 Cpl's, 8 Airmen.
Equipment: - 2 I.E. Valentia's and 1 I.E. Valentia attached for Maintenance.

Flt Lt Skeet records the following comments: -
Regular weekly communication with Egypt by Valentia had previously been carried out by No. 70 Squadron, Then No. 70 Squadron Detachment, which was then transferred to No. 216 Squadron. Although transport work was carried out for 'Iraq Command' all matters relating to personnel and returns were forwarded to Middle East. This was very unsatisfactory as far as administrative work was concerned, and upon recommendation for completes detachment from No. 216 Squadron by the Officer Commanding. Headquarters, Royal Air Force, Middle East transferred personnel and machines to Air Headquarters Iraq. Air Headquarters formed the nucleus of Communication Flight with personnel and aircraft transferred

14th December. (Contd.)
07.10 GMT. Valentia K.2808 Practice D/F bearings and compass bearings.
08.25 GMT. Valentia K.2808 Local flying practice.

17th December,
14.30 GMT. Routine Valentia arrived from Egypt.

18th December,
09.05 GMT. Valentia K.2792 Local flying practice.

19th December,
08.15 GMT. Valentia K.2808 air tested after 30hr inspection.
08.50 GMT. Valentia K.2808 Local Flying Practice.
09.00 GMT. Local Flying Practice by No.4 S.F.T.S. Instructors.

20th December,
02.10 GMT. Valentia K.2808 Cpt' Sgt Thornley 2nd Pilot W/Cdr Casey left for Egypt with personnel on Christmas Leave.
Route: - HABBANIYA-RUTBAH-RAMLEH-ABU SUEIR-HELIOPLOLIS.
02.11 GMT. Valentia K.8852 Cpt' Flt Lt Williams, 2nd Pilot W/O Jeffrey left for Egypt with personnel on Christmas Leave.
Route: - HABBANIYA-RUTBAH-RAMLEH.
08.10 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Local flying practice.

26th December,
07.55 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 air tested.

27th December,
02.00 GMT. Routine Valentia KR.2792 left for Egypt.
13.25 GMT. Valentia K.2808 Cpt' Sgt Thornley 2nd Pilot W/Cdr Casey arrived from Heliopolis.
13.45 GMT. Valentia K.8852 Cpt' Flt Lt Williams, 2nd Pilot W/O Jeffrey arrived from Ramleh via Rutbah.

30th December,
06.30 GMT. Valentia K.2808 Cloud Flying Practice with 3 pilots. 30mins each.

Flt Lt Skeet records at the end of the month: - Only one training exercise, i.e. Use of Sea Marker's Over Lake Habbaniya was carried out by 3 Pilots. The detachment combined with Aeroplane Repair Squadron and Engine Repair Squadron of the Aircraft Depot for Rugby Football. 2 games were played. Corporal Webster and Corporal Clancy represented the detachment. There has been no illness in the detachment. (No change of Personnel or Equipment recorded.)

Click Here to to read the Operations Log for January to March 1941.


*********


HOME PAGE PAGE TOP SITE CONTENTS

All content Copyright © Michael A.R.Skeet. 2001-2010, except where otherwise stated.