John Reader at Warboys
F/Lt John William Peart Reader at Warboys by his son, Brian Reader
My father was posted to RAF Warboys from 156 Squadron on 11 Nov 1943.
I’ve been collecting any info on 8 Group as my father was the engineering officer at Warboys from 1943 and he was also, as noted above, on 156 Sqdn. So he alternated between Warboys and Upwood.
On 10 Feb 1944 he escorted King George VI around Warboys. [As regards the photo of the king’s visit], you can see it’s suffered over the years. There were others that I remember but my mother unfortunately was not a keeper of anything “OLD”, fortunately she kept this one.
All that I remember about this is that he was chosen to escort the king on the visit.
I remember that he was the station entertainment officer and organized amongst other events a visit to Warboys by the Squadronaires.
There were many parties at our house “Alma” in the village of Warboys.
I remember one children’s Christmas party on the station when Group Captain (was he Grp Cpt or Wing Co I’m not absolutely sure as I don’t remember the year, I was only 7 in 1944) Mahaddie came in and said he was going to start it by firing his pistol which he wearing as he was on duty.
No he didn’t actually fire it, he just waved it around. Bit like Captain Mainwaring of Dad’s Army.
I suppose you know that Mahaddie was the procurer of aircraft for the film “Battle of Britain”?One night I woke up under the stairs during an air raid, my mother had carried me down stairs; she said my grandfather beat her down even though he only had one leg! It was quite noisy as a mobile anti-aircraft gun was set up just in front of the house on the road.
I do remember a night raid on the base which my father said was a Ju 88 following in the last planes and because the base thought that it was someone from another squadron they put the lights on again and he dropped a string of bombs down the runway. Also he mentioned one aircraft which blew up on the taxiway when fully bombed up, I think it was a Wellington. I also remember going to the end of the road which was closed off by the perimeter fence and waving to the planes as they taxied by on their way to a raid. One tail gunner who my family knew used to wave his handkerchief so we could see it.
One night I slept in my father’s office on the camp as my mother was away and he was on duty. He took me around and I remember going into a Mosquito and I think a Halifax.
Following is a photo of the Wing Commander’s Lancaster with 25 missions; my father is on the extreme left of the photo. The one of him at the very top of the page was taken when he was promoted to Flight Lieutenant.