16/04/07 49 Squadron

09:45 – 16 April 2007

The 49 Squadron RFC was formed in Dover on April 15, 1916. It moved to France in 1917 for day bombing operations and in 1919 moved to Germany as part of the Army of Occupation but disbanded soon afterwards.

It re-formed in 1936 and by the time the Second World War had started it was based at RAF Scampton equipped with Hampdens.

It was the first Bomber Command squadron to have a Victoria Cross awarded to one of its crew, Flight Lieutenant Learoyd, for his role in a joint low-level attack on the Dortmund-Ems canal with 83 Squadron.

In 1943 the squadron took part in the first shuttle bombing raid. It also played a role in Operation Hydra – the Peenemunde Raid – in the same year.

The Fiskerton-based Lancaster JA691 was among the aircraft involved.

The links to Fiskerton are remembered to this day. In the recently re-built village hall the bar is called the 49’ers and the lounge is called the 49 Squadron Lounge.


Dorothy Smith was based in RAF bases in Scampton, Fiskerton, Fulbeck and Syerston as a crew driver between 1941 and 1946.

She has many memories of her time there, some unusual and others very tragic.

“One of the mechanics was crazy about me and saw me driving with a Canadian pilot. He got jealous and after the Canadian had taken a brand new Lancaster up for a test flight the man knocked on the window. He dashed into the cockpit of the plane, grabbed the controls, drove the plane round and round and crashed it – it was written off. He did it because he was jealous.”

“On one occasion I took a crew out and saw them try to take off in a Hampden. I could tell they weren’t high enough to clear the hedge and I heard the explosion. Tragically they were all killed.”