The RAF Career of Maurice 'Roy' Skeet.
February 1942 to June 1942.

Following his arrival back in the United Kingdom on the 18th of February Flt Lt Skeet reported to RAF No'1 Depot, and was granted leave until the 3rd of March. (He is listed as Supernumerary at this time)

On the 1st of March, Flight Lieutenant Skeet was promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader.

After this period of leave he reported back for duty and then on the 5th of March he is recorded as having reported to Headquarters No' 6 Group and was subsequently posted to No' 10 Operational Training Unit on pilot duties, undergoing a course of familiarisation with the characteristics of the Vickers Wellington Bomber and the tactical policies in force for the Air War in Europe as it was at that time.

On the 4th April he joined the No' 1501 B.A.T.F. at Abingdon and from the 19th to the 27th took part in a training course for Blind Approach landings in the Vickers Wellington Mk 2.

Apart from the above, little is recorded regarding his activities during the period 5th March to the 8th May 1942, however, it is known that he was estranged from his wife at the time and living as man and wife with a young woman at various Hotels in and around the Air Force Stations at which he served.

On the 8th of May Sqn Ldr skeet was posted to No' 158 Squadron at Driffield and according to Mr. W R Chorley's Book 'In Brave Company' (A history of 158 Squadron) he was made the Commander of 'A' Flight under the overall Command of Wing Commander P. Stevens Officer Commanding No'158 Squadron. This Squadron also had a base at Lynton upon Ouse.

At around this time Sqn Ldr Skeet became friends with Tony Ennis a Pilot and John Curtis a Rear Gunner of the squadron. A photo' of Tony Ennis and Sqn Ldr Skeet is reproduced here: -

On the 30th of May 1942 Sqn Ldr Skeet took part as Second Pilot in Wellington Z8429 on the first of Bomber Harris's Thousand Bomber Raids. The target that night was Cologne. Nine Aircraft took off but two Aircraft were lost with all crew members they were, Wellington Z8577 Captained by Sqn Ldr Harkness, and Wellington W5392 Captained by Sgt W C O Brian.
See the Operations Report for this raid Here

On the 1st of June 1942, Sqn Ldr Skeet again took part as Second Pilot in Wellington Z8429 on the Second of Harris's Thousand Bomber Raids. The target this night was Essen. Seven Aircraft were ordered for this raid but only Six were able to take off, all six returned safely.
See the Operations Report for this raid Here

On June 5th Sqn Ldr Skeet arrived at 'RAF Eastmoor' with the advance party of 'A' Flight, in order to begin conversion from Vickers Wellington to Handley Page Halifax Aircraft.

It is believed that Sqn Ldr Skeet would have been flying the Halifax and would have been responsible for the training of the other pilots in the Flight ready for Halifax operations over Germany with the Squadron.

However, on the 16th of June he listed as posted to No'10 Squadron at Leeming. Apparently, he had swapped Squadrons with the newly promoted Sqn Ldr Ennis who had earlier been posted to No'10 Squadron.

Nevertheless, Sqn Ldr Skeet is not recorded as reporting for duty at No'10 Squadron until he was discovered dead from a gunshot wound to the head in a bathroom at the Knavesmire Hotel in York on Friday the 26th of June 1942.

On Saturday 27th June, at an inquest into his death, the York Deputy Coroner Mr. E T Heap recorded that Squadron Leader Maurice 'Roy' Skeet had taken his own life whilst the balance of his mind was disturbed.

On the 30th of June, Squadron Leader Skeet was buried at a subdued ceremony in RAF Grave 13, Row 'Q' at Newton on Ouse, (All Saints) Churchyard, Yorkshire.

On the 4th of July 1942 a Court of Investigation was held at RAF Satellite for the purposes of investigating the circumstances as to the cause of his death.

Click Here to read Sqn Ldr Skeet's Service History Timeline.

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