Correction to Squadron History!

I have just received the following e-mail from Basil Lofthouse out in Aussie about Wg Cdr Pat Lofthouse. If you can confirm or add anything to the observation below that would be most welcome in keeping the archives up to scratch.

As an ex-Squadron member in 1949/50, I have just been reading the official Squadron history in both your web pages and that of Lyneham and I find that both contain the same error.   Perhaps you will permit me to explain.

Wg  Cdr Pat Lombard was the CO when I joined its Dakota flight as a navigator on 1 Feb 49.  It was then, of course, No 24(C) Squadron based at Bassingbourn with crews from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa on exchange.  (The Canadians did not fully participate but had a crew and aircraft based there for the use of their High Commission staff)   Pat Lombard left for Hong Kong around the end of 1949 (He signed my log book for December) and was replaced by Charles Read (popularly known as cunim) who signed up my January 1950 summary.  The point I wish to make is that he was a member of the Royal Australian Air Force, not the RAF, and in fact later became its head.    Thus it was he and not Major Robbs  of the South African Air Force who becme the first non-RAF Squadron Commander.   Furthermore both versions of the history list Wg Cdr C F Read among Squadron Commanders without adding RAAF to his name.

After serving on the Squadron under Charles Read, I then went to Australia on an exchange posting to find myself on the same Squadron as those Australians who had been with me at Bassingbourn!!

I should be grateful if you could also pass this information to the Squadron’s current historian as I do not know how to get in touch with him.

Yours sincerely

Basil Lofthouse (Wg Cdr Ret’d)


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