Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 3°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

Lola the cat has been subjected to a horrific attack, which include having her ears cut off. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The owner of a pet cat who had its ears cut in what has been described as a “horrific” attack has spoken out to warn others.

Final Resting Place by Matthew Clarke, which is in this year's Ipswich and District Photographic Society exhibition. Picture: Matthew Clarke

More than 40 photographers will be exhibiting hundreds of images for this year’s Ipswich and District Photographic Society exhibition.

A bid to save the creche services at Ipswich sports centres failed.

Council tax bills in Ipswich will go up by 2.7% from April.

Ed Sheeran performing on stage at the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION

Suffolk’s hit-making chart star, Ed Sheeran, wowed the crowds at this year’s Brit Awards with a rendition of his most recent hits.

Elvis Fair leaving Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: Archant

A woman paid an alleged conman from Suffolk who claimed to be a helicopter pilot £300 for a flying lesson for her daughter that never took place, it has been claimed.

Police at the property belonging to Peter and Sylvia Stuart. Peter's body was discovered in woods a few metres from the home he shared with wife Syliva who is still missing.

A handwriting expert has told a court there was “strong support” to show that documents allegedly written by a man accused of murdering a Suffolk couple and a man who denies being him were written by the same person.

Ipswich campaigners mark One Day Without Us at La Tour Cycle Cafe. Picture: contributed

Diners gathered in Ipswich for a communal meal of international delicacies as part of a day of action to celebrate the contribution migrants make to the town.

UK Power Networks at work in Gainsborough Road, Felixstowe (stock image). Picture: James Fletcher

Extra electricians will be on hand tomorrow in case strong winds cause damage to the region’s power system.

Corrie McKeague on CCTV outside The Grapes pub in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Corrie McKeague have been handed a huge amount of Facebook data to examine by private investigators.

East Anglian food and drink producers and industry leaders at Wherstead for theLinksEast forum, a ‘self-help’ exchange of knowledge and ideas for those wanting to carve out new markets in China.

Suffolk and Essex have a lot to shout about when it comes to producing top quality food and drink brands which are capturing the world’s attention.

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24