Rain

Rain

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

Woodbridge/Ipswich: Quest to reunite RAF 152 Squadron members yields latest discovery

PUBLISHED: 09:55 17 January 2014

RAF veteran Douglas Chaplin and squadron researcher Rob Rooker.

RAF veteran Douglas Chaplin and squadron researcher Rob Rooker.

Archant

An eighteen year quest to reunite RAF squadron members from across the world has yielded its latest discovery - at an east Suffolk retirement home.

RAF veteran Douglas Chaplin pictured in March 1946 on the last Spitfire flown by 152 Squadron.RAF veteran Douglas Chaplin pictured in March 1946 on the last Spitfire flown by 152 Squadron.

RAF veteran Douglas Chaplin read about the efforts to locate members of his former 152 (Hyderbad) Squadron in the Ipswich Star recently when he recognised the distinctive black panther emblem pictured on the side of a Spitfire.

The 89-year-old veteran contacted Rob Rooker, the Ipswich security worker who has spent years researching 152 squadron and the two arranged to meet in Woodbridge last week, near Mr Chaplin’s home.

Mr Chaplin said he enjoyed looking at Mr Rooker’s squadron scrapbooks and reminiscing about his time posted in the Far East during the Second World War when he was an engine fitter 2E.

“We were a happy squadron,” he said. “I would like to have spent more time with them - I loved working with Spitfires and Rolls Royce engines were a pleasure to work on. I had three great mates and we used to enjoy ourselves the best we could.”

Mr Chaplin left the RAF in 1947 after time in Malaya and Burma and took a job with an engineering firm in Suffolk.

Although his friends from the squadron are sadly too frail for reunions, Mr Chaplin has praised Mr Rooker’s efforts in bringing together so many other 152 veterans.

“I think he has done a wonderful job reuniting people from all over the world,” he said.

Mr Rooker also welcomed the chance to meet another of the veterans he has spent so much time researching.

“It’s always nice to hear their stories,” he said

0 comments

A fire which broke out in the bedroom of a semi-detached house in Suffolk this morning may have damaged the neighbouring property.

A man reportedly drove his car onto the pavement to block the path of a woman after she ignored his attempts to start a conversation with her.

We wanted more, more, more so original 1980s legends Bananarama have reformed and are heading to the Ipswich Regent.

A new bid to attract thousands more holiday-makers and short-breaks to Ipswich has been launched by the organisation set up to boost tourism in the town.

A man remains in custody today following a police pursuit in Ipswich which reached speeds of more than 100mph.

The sister of a 22-year-old Ipswich man who drowned after ‘tombstoning’ at Alton Water is spearheading a water safety campaign in Suffolk this week to help prevent other tragedies.

Suffolk residents are being urged to keep wet wipes and sanitary products out of their toilets and sewers after an entangled sewerage pump was lifted and cleaned in Lowestoft.

A town guide is being put together outlining important information, contacts and club details for Kesgrave which will be released this summer.

Representatives of tourist-related businesses from across Ipswich will gather at a conference at Trinity Park next month to discuss how the town can attract more leisure business.

Get prepared for your journey by checking our round-up of roadworks for the coming week:

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24