Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 0°C

Search

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

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

Delivering millions of presents around the world in a single night won’t seem as strenuous this Christmas for Santa after he completed a gruelling obstacle course in Ipswich.

A luxury sports car crashed through a central reservation and caught fire in a single-vehicle crash in west Suffolk in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The RSPCA are appealing for animal lovers to come forward and adopt some of the cute creatures they are looking to rehome.

Eagle-eyed shoppers have spent the day looking for the ideal gift at a Christmas market at a church in Felixstowe.

A young man was killed during a crash between a car and a lorry in Essex this morning.

“We won’t let this happen without making a lot of noise”.

A diving club has marked its 60th anniversary by renaming two boats after founding members.

An Ipswich musician is this month ditching the razor in tribute to his sister who bravely overcame bowel cancer.

A coroner looking into the death of an 85-year-old man whose body was washed up in Orford Ness says we might never know what happened to him.

Members of Suffolk County Council are expected to call for Network Rail to invest heavily in the region’s railways following the start of the new Greater Anglia franchise.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24