The RAF Career of Maurice 'Roy' Skeet.
"Operations Logs for the period from January to March 1941: -
RAF Habbaniya, Iraq.

2nd January,
09.00 GMT. Valentia K.2792, Local Flying Practice by 3 pilots.

3rd January,
02.00 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2792 Captain F/O Tayler, 2nd Pilot P/O King left for Egypt with passengers and mail.

4th January,
06.20 GMT. Valentia K.2808 proceeded to L.G.5. With Airscrew and reduction gear for force landed Blenhiem.

6th January,
05.35 GMT. Valentia K.2808, N.A.A.F.I. Concert Party conveyed from Baghdad to Shaibah.
09.10 GMT. Valentia K.8852 air tested after 30hr inspection. Brakes very poor.

7th January,
08.15 GMT. Valentia K.8852 air tested after brake adjustment.
15.10 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2792 returned from Egypt.

8th January,
08.30 GMT. Valentia K.2808 returned from Shaibah via Basra, with Concert Party.

9th January,
05.05 GMT. Army Officers conveyed to H.3.-Rutbah-L.G.5. And return. Inspection of defences.
06.00 GMT. Valentia K.8852 transported Concert Party to Ramleh.

10th January,
02.00 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2792 Cpt'Sgt Thornley, 2nd Pilot Sgt Shalon left for Egypt with passengers and stores.

14th January,
07.20 GMT. Valentia K.8852 local Flying Practice.
09.35 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2792 returning from Egypt landed at Amman and remained night due to bad weather.

15th January,
09.10 GMT. Valentia K.2808 air tested after 30hr inspection and found OK.
11.05 GMT. Valentia K.8852 proceeded to Baghdad with 12 Staff Officers.
11.50 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2792 arrived from Amman.

16th January,
05.50 GMT. Valentia K.8852 returned from Baghdad.
07.20 GMT. Valentia K.2792 local Flying Practice.

17th January,
02.00 GMT. Valentia K.2808 Captain Flight Lieutenant Skeet, 2nd Pilot F/O Garner left for Egypt with passengers and Mail.
Route: - HABBANIYA-RUTBAH-RAMLEH-ABU SUEIR-HELIOPOLIS.
05.00 GMT. Valentia K.8852 carried out Quarterly check of Petrol and Oil at Rutbah, H.3. And L.G.5.
05.30 GMT. Valentia K.2792 to A.R.S. for 180hr inspection.
10.30 GMT. Valentia K.8852 allotted permanently to Communication Flight from No.4 S.F.T.S.

18th January,
05.00 GMT. Valentia K.8852 started on 60hr inspection.

21st January,
12.00 GMT. Bombay Aircraft of No.216 Sqn arrived from Egypt, Serviced by Communication Flight personnel.
15.55 GMT. Valentia K.2808 Cpt' Flt Lt Skeet, 2nd Pilot F/O Garner returned from Egypt with mail and passengers.

22nd January,
09.00 GMT. Engineering Staff Inspection carried out.

24th January,
02.00 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2808 Cpt' F/O Tayler, 2nd Pilot Flt Lt Monk left for Egypt with passengers and mail.
Route: - HABBANIYA-RAMLEH-ABU SUEIR-HELIOPOLIS

27th January,
06.00 GMT. Preliminary Staff Inspection.
08.45 GMT. Valentia K.8852 air tested after 30hr inspection.

28th January,
03.00 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2808 Cpt' F/O Tayler, 2nd Pilot Flt Lt Monk, left Heliopolis for Habbaniya but remained at Abu Sueir due to severe Sandstorm and Thunderstorm.

29th January,
04.00 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2808 left Abu Sueir for Habbaniya but forced to remain at Rutbah due to Sandstorm.
07.15 GMT. Valentia K.8852 tested for auto controls.

30th January,
06.10 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2808 arrived from Rutbah with passengers and mail from Egypt.

31st January,
02.00 GMT. Routine Valentia K.8852 Cpt' Sgt Clements, 2nd Pilot F/O Walsh left for Egypt with passengers and mail.
07.00 GMT. Preliminary Signals Inspection carried out.

(Flt Lt Skeet records no comments or changes to establishment this month.

3rd February,
09.00 GMT. Provisional War Establishment received from AIR Headquarters: -
Communications Flight Personnel: -
2 Flying Officers, 2 Airmen Pilots, 1 Clerk G.D., 1 Equipment Assistant (A/C), 1 Flight Sergeant Fitter I, 3 Corporal fitters, 4 A.Cs. Fitter IIA, 4 A.Cs. Fitter IIE, 8 A.Cs. Flight Mechanics, 7 A.Cs. Flight Riggers, 1 A.C. Instrument Repairer, 3 A.Cs. W/T Operators, 1 Corporal W/T Mechanic, 4 Civilian Cleaners.
Communications Flight Equipment: - 2 Initial Equipment Valentia's, 1 Initial Reserve Valentia, 1 Initial Equipment Oxford, 2 Initial Equipment Tiger Moths, 1 Initial Equipment Gordon.

Flt Lt Skeet records: -
Actual Unit Personnel as of this date: - 2 Flying Officers, 2 Airmen Pilots, 1 Sergeant Fitter, 1 Clerk GD, 1 Corporal Equipment Assistant, 1 Corporal Fitter II, 1 A.C. Fitter IIA, 1 A.C. Fitter IIE, 2 A.Cs. Flight Mechanics, 2 A.Cs, Flight Riggers, 2 A.C. W/Ops, 1 A.C. A.C.H.
Equipment: - 2 Initial Equipment Valentia's

4th February,
08.00 GMT. P.M.Os Annual Inspection carried out.
14.30 GMT. Routine Valentia K.8852 Cpt' Sgt Clements, 2nd Pilot F/O Walsh arrived from Egypt with passengers and mail.

5th February,
06.55 GMT. Valentia K.2808 Auto Control Test.

6th February,
07.55 GMT. Valentia K.8852 Cross Country carried out under the hood with 2 Pilots. Habbaniya-Hit-Habbaniya.
08.00 GMT. Valentia K.2808, Forced Landing Practice.

7th February,
02.30 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2808 Cpt' Sgt Thornley, 2nd Pilot Sgt Brook left for Egypt with passengers, stores and W/T set.
Route: - HABBANIYA-RUTBAH-LYDDA-ABU SUEIR-HELIOPOLIS.

8th February,
05.40 GMT. Valentia K.8852, Navigation Exercise with 3 pilots.
L.G.V.-Rutbah-Baghuz-L.G.V.-Habbaniya.

10th February,
05.40 GMT. Valentia K.8852 proceeded to H.4.Transport of General Neame and staff to Habbaniya. Trip 8.00hrs.

11th February,
05.00 GMT. Valentia K.8852 on 30hr inspection, Defective Engine Bearer Strut Found, entails changing Port Engine.
09.00 GMT. Routine Valentia from Egypt delayed 24hrs.

12th February,
06.00 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 allotted to Flight from Aircraft Depot.
06.30 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 air tested on acceptance.
14.20 GMT. Routine Valentia K.2808 Cpt' Sgt Thornley, 2nd Pilot, Sgt Brook, arrived from Egypt.

14th February,
03.00 GMT. Routine Valentia KR.2792 left for Egypt Cpt' Sgt Clements, 2nd Pilot, P/O King, with passengers and mail.
Route: - HABBANIYA-RUTBAH-LYDDA-ABU SUEIR-ISMAILIA - HELIOPOLIS

17th February,
05.00 GMT. Valentia K.2808 allotted to Aircraft Depot for 180hr Inspection.
05.00 GMT. Valentia K.8852 completed inspection and being fitted for R/T.
08.00 GMT. Valentia K.8852 air tested after 30hr inspection.

18th February,
06.15 GMT. Valentia K.8852 R/T Exercise carried out with No.1 A.C.C., Available range 12 miles. 1.15hrs.
13.50 GMT. Routine Valentia KR.2792 Cpt' Sgt Clements, 2nd Pilot, P/O King, returned from Egypt.

19th February,
06.15 GMT. Valentia K.8852 Instrument Flying Practice carried out by 3 pilots. 30mins each.

20th February,
06.30 GMT. Valentia's K.8852 and KR.2792 Formation Flying Practice in 1, 2 & 3 positions with 3 Pilots.
08.30 GMT. Local dual instruction given to No.4 S.F.T.S. Instructor. 45mins.
10.00 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Local Flying Practice by No.4 S.F.T.S. C.G.I.

21st February,
02.30 GMT. Routine Valentia K.8852 Cpt' Flt Lt Williams, 2nd Pilot, Flt Lt Balfour, left for Egypt with passengers, mail, supplies and cash.
Route: - HABBANIYA-LYDDA-ISMAILIA-HELIOPOLIS.
09.00 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Night Flying Test 20mins.
15.15 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Night cross-country with 5 air observers taken for night experience.
Route: - HABBANIYA-HIT-NUKAIB-KARBALA-HABBANIYA.

22nd February,
04.10 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Navigation Exercises carried out by 3 pilots of the Flight.
Route: - HABBANIYA-L.G.V.-K.3.-HIT-HABBANIYA. Petrol checks at L.G.V. on route. 3.30hrs.

24th February,
Flt Lt Skeet classified unfit for duty with Acute Appendicitis. (Under treatment at RAF Habbaniya General Hospital)
06.10 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 One Engine Landing Practice by one Pilot. 55mins.
07.30 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 on 30hr Inspection.

25th February,
10.10 GMT. Routine Valentia K.8852 remained at Lydda for the night.

26th February,
09.25 GMT. Routine Valentia K.8852 Cpt' Flt Lt Williams, 2nd Pilot, Flt Lt Balfour, arrived from Egypt via Lydda.

27th February,
06.45 GMT. Valentia K.8852 Forced Landing Practice. 1.00hr.
08.30 GMT. Valentia's K.8852 and KR.2792 Formation Flying Practice.
09.00 GMT. Valentia K.8852 Local Solo.

28th February,
02.30 GMT. Routine Valentia KR.2792 Cpt' F/O Tayler, 2nd Pilot, Flt Sgt Davis, left for Egypt with passengers, spares and W/T set.
06.45 GMT. Valentia K.8852 Local Navigation Exercise. 1.00hr.
08.15 GMT. Valentia K.8852 Local Solo. 1.20hrs.

(Flt Lt Skeet released from Habbaniya General Hospital. Classified fit for Ground Duty in 1 week, fit for Air duty in 3 weeks.)

4th March,
04.00 GMT. Routine Valentia KR.2792 left Heliopolis but remained at Lydda due to bad weather.

5th March,
11.45 GMT. Routine Valentia KR.2792 Cpt' F/O Tayler, 2nd Pilot, Flt Sgt Davis, arrived from Lydda with passengers and mail.

6th March,
07.25 GMT. Valentia K.8852 air tested after 30hr inspection found OK. 30mins.

7th March,
02.30 GMT. Routine Valentia K.8852 Cpt' Sgt Clements, 2nd Pilot W/O Frewin, left for Egypt with passengers and mail.
Route: - HABBANIYA-RUTBAH-LYDDA-ABU SUEIR-HELIOPOLIS.
08.00 GMT. Valentia K.2808 allotted to Communication Flight.
08.15 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Forced Landing Practice carried out by 2 Pilots. 1.30hrs.
Establishment: - 1 Initial Reserve Valentia, 2 Initial Equipment Valentia's

(Flt Lt Skeet informed that he would be transferred to the RAFO reserve with effect from 5th April 1941 and would continue to take Command and Precedence as at present.)

8th March,
07.00 GMT. One Engine Flying Practice and Landings carried out by one Pilot.

10th March,
06.00 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Local Flying Practice by one Pilot.

11th March,
06.30 GMT. Valentia K.2808 air tested after acceptance test.
08.00 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Forced Landing Practice by one Pilot.
15.05 GMT. Routine Valentia K.8852 Cpt' Sgt Clements, 2nd Pilot W/O Frewin, arrived from Egypt.

12th March,
06.10 GMT. Two Pilots carried out local reconnaissance of Euphrates River and condition of Bunds as river rising again owing to flood conditions. 2.00hrs.
14.20 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Night cross-country by 2 Pilots.
Route: - Habbaniya-Kut-Kuffa-Habbaniya.

13th March,
05.30 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Forced Landing Practice by one Pilot. 30mins.

14th March,
02.30 GMT. Valentia K.8852 Cpt' Sgt Thornley, 2nd Pilot W/Cdr Titmus, left for Egypt with passengers and mail. Delayed at Lydda by bad weather.
Route: - HABBANIYA-RUTBAH-LYDDA-HELIOPOLIS.

16th March, 06.25 GMT. Routine Valentia K.8852 continued from Lydda to Heliopolis.

17th March,
08.55 GMT. Valentia K.2808 Air Test.

18th March,
14.15 GMT. Routine Valentia K.8852 Cpt' Sgt Thornley, 2nd Pilot W/Cdr Titmus, returned from Egypt with passengers and mail.

19th March,
08.15 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 air tested after 30hr inspection.
08.45 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 local Flying Practice.
14.30 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Night cross Country, Habbaniya-Kut-Kuffa-Habbaniya.

20th March,
08.30 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Instrument Test after inspection.

21st March,
Flt Lt Skeet returned to Flying Duty.
02.30 GMT. Routine Valentia KR.2792 Cpt' Sgt Clements, 2nd Pilot F/O Stevenson, left for Egypt with passengers and mail.
Route: - HABBANIYA-RUTBAH-LYDDA-HELIOPOLIS.

25thMarch,
13.35 GMT. Routine Valentia KR.2792 Cpt' Sgt Clements, 2nd Pilot F/O Stevenson, returned from Egypt with passengers and mail.

26th March,
06.50 GMT. Valentia K.8852 air tested after 30hr inspection.

27th March,
08.00 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Local Flying Practice.
08.45 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 dual instruction.

28th March,
02.30 GMT. Valentia K.8852, Cpt Flt Lt Skeet, 2nd Pilot, P/O Watson left for Egypt with passengers and mail.
Route: - HABBANIYA-RUTBAH-LYDDA-ABU SUEIR-HELIOPOLIS.
06.20 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Local Reconnaissance of 'Habbaniya Escape'.
07.40 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Local Reconnaissance of Fallujah Floods.

29th March,
07.30 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Blind Flying Practice.
08.15 GMT. Valentia KR.2792 Blind Flying Practice.

31st March,
Flt Lt Skeet records Unit Personnel Numbers as of this date: -
2 Officer Pilots, 2 Sgt Pilots, 1 Sgt Fitter I, 1 Corporal Fitter II, 1 Corporal W.E.M., 1 Corporal Equipment Assistant, 1 A/C Fitter IIA, 1 A/C Fitter IIE, 2 A/Cs Fitter Mechanics (A), 2 A/Cs Fitter Mechanics (E), 2A/Cs W/Ops, 1 A/C Clerk G.D.

Click Here to read a summary of the preparations of the 'Flight' in April leading to the Siege of RAF HABBANIYA.

OR Here to to read the Operations Log for April 1941.


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