Thornaby, 1930, saw the formation of 608 squadron Auxiliary Air Force.
Remembered by some veterans as “the kipper patrol,” their job as part of
Coastal Command, involved protecting shipping convoys, looking for
submarines and defending the northern supply routes. Although their role was
never seen as glamorous and never received national glory, nonetheless, they
played a significant part in the defence of the United Kingdom. This book
tells the story of young pilots such as Geoffrey Ambler, Geoffrey Shaw,
William Appleby-Brown and Peter Vaux, and airmen such as Albert Guy, Harold
Coppick and Syd Buckle, and considers how their lives were dramatically
changed with the onset of the Second World War, which saw them cease to be
part-timers and become full time members of the Royal Air Force.
The Kipper Patrol serves as an insight into the history of this squadron, as
well as the history of Thornaby Aerodrome itself. It uses as its basis, a
series of interviews with veterans from the squadron and presents their
memories of squadron life, along with many of their personal photographs.
The book provides an insight into relationships between officers and other
ranks within a military organisation and shows how these relationships
changed over time.
The Kipper Patrol provides a long awaited history of a squadron remembered
by many local people, and recognised by both the Airman Memorial and the
replica Spitfire. It serves as a lasting memory to both the squadron and the
aerodrome, and in particular, to the many veterans who so willingly gave up
their time to share their memories.
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