No.193 Squadron originally formed as a training squadron in WWI but to all intents and purposes, it re-formed at RAF Harrowbeer on the 18th December 1942. The moto on the Squadron’s crest translates as: “To govern the air and the earth”. According to the Squadron’s ORB, its early days were marked by a lack of pilots, and planes! The Squadron had a Hawker Hurricane MkIIc but many pilots were forced into borrowing aircraft from other squadrons just to get flying practice. Eventually, the Squadron took delivery of the new Hawker Typhoon aircraft. The Typhoon wasn’t very reliable aircraft to start with and several fatal accidents were recorded against them in the early days. Some suffered engine failure, (Percy Beake said the Typhoon flew like a brick when the engine cut out) and others suffered from structural failure. Another issue was that the cabin filled with carbon monoxide and after several pilots were lost to this, all pilots were ordered to use oxygen when in the aircraft.
After becoming fully operational, the Squadron was tasked with intercepting enemy raiders crossing the Channel and attacking South Coast targets. It also assisted in providing cover for anti-shipping missions and then later on, it was used in the fighter-bomber role. No.193 moved from RAF Harrowbeer on the 20th Feb 1944. After D-Day, it relocated to airfields in France, following the frontline as it moved eastwards. No.193 Squadron disbanded in August 1945.
An undated photo of No.193 Squadron and two of their Typhoon aircraft. The aircrew back-centre are standing on the end of the middle arm of a dispersal bay. The photo must have been taken with a panoramic camera (like the old school photos) with the two planes turned to face inwards. Note the two civilians standing at either end of the line-up. Could they be Hawker personnel?
photo courtesy Percy Beake
Pilots at readiness
From L to R: Sgt Ian Ross; Sgt Ed Barff; F/O Vernon-Jarvis; P/O ‘Killy’ Kilpatrick;
Sgt Rod Davidge; P/O John Hill; F/Sgt Eddie Richardson; P/O/ Bill Switzer; Sgt Pattinson.
Flt/Lt F H R Hulbert pictured at RAF Harrowbeer with his Hawker Typhoon 1A (DP-B) in 1943.
Courtesy Andrew Smith
L to R: Fg Off Peter Thorne; Flt Sgt Eddie Richardson; Fg Off Vernon-Jarvis; Fg Off Ray Hulbert; Sgt Reg Roberts; Flt Sgt Tommy Lowe; Sgt Phil Murton.
The dog was called Bonnie and belonged to Vernon-Jarvis
Courtesy Andrew Smith
Ed Mckay ~ Canadian Typhoon Pilot
Studio picture taken by a professional photographer in the Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly, in 1943. Apparently he was on leave and saw an advert and just thought, “I’ll do that!” and walked in and had the photo taken.
Ed passed away in 2011 but was a regular contributor to the website.
No.193 Sqdn Reunion
Former members of No.193 Sqdn gathered around the memorial stone at Harrowbeer during a reunion visit.
Courtesy Jerry Brewer
On the 21st September 2008, Chris Woodcock arranged for former 193 Squadron members, (L to R) Percy Beake, David Ince and ‘Doc’ Chapman, to formally present 193 Squadron’s crest to the RAF Club in London. The Squadron’s crest now joins all the other crests attached to the famous Club’s walls.
A Typhoon IB taxis out from one of the dispersal bays. Percy Beake told me he generally flew DP-D.
This aircraft EJ967 (built Feb-July 1943) was shot down by flak near Kleve (North-West Germany) on the 13th Feb 1945, probably when with No.164 Sqd.
Percy Beake in front of a different DP-D, a brand-new MN146 in Jan/Feb 1944. No wonder he looks pleased!
The aircraft eventually ended up with 55 OTU and crashed when it overshot the landing at Chedworth on the 18th March 1945.