Richard Edgar Peter Brooker

brooker

Richard Edgar Peter Brooker. Born Chessington. Surrey. 1918. joined the Royal Air Force on a direct commission in April 1937. on the 17 July 37 he was posted to 9 F.T.S. Hullavington. Wiltshire. and on the 19 Feb 1938 was Posted to 56 Sqd Royal Air Force North Weald. Essex. Promoted to Pilot Officer 05 April 38.

Promoted to Flying Officer 05 January 40. He claimed a Ju 87 destroyed on the 13 July 40 and a Do 17 on the 21 August 40, in this engagement he was hit by return fire and was slightly injured in the forced landing at Flowton Brook. Bramford. Suffolk. His Hurricane P3153 was burned out.

Late summer 1940.

Posted to Central Gunnery School. Sutton Bridge as an instructor.

Promoted to Fl Lt 05 January 41 April 1941. Posted to command No 1 Sqd. Royal Air Force Kenley.Surrey.

10 May 41. He shot down an He 111, at night, also attacking three more bombers on the same sortie. Awarded D.F.C. 30 May 41. 

03 Nov 41. Posted to the Far East.Kallang.

13 Dec 41. He took command of 232 Sqd. after the C.O. was killed on 20 January 42 at Royal Air Force Seletar Singapore.

On 01 February 42 the squadron withdrew to Palembang. Sumatra.

25 Feb 42. 232 Sqd evacuated to Java, the remnants of 242 Squadron were absorbed into 232 squadron at Tajililitan. Java.

Promoted to Sqd Ldr 01 March 42.

05 March 42 some 7,000 Royal Air Force personnel moved from Poerwokerta to the port of Tajilitjap. South Java for ship transit to Adelaide.

Where they arrived on the 15 March 42. After the last Hurricane was destroyed on Java, S/L Brooker and a number of pilots flew in a Lodestar to Australia.

27 March 42. He was awarded the bar to his D.F.C. Personnel Management Agency. Royal Air Force Innsworth. Gloucestershire.

Confirm that as of 01.04.42 Sqd Ldr R.E.P.Brooker. Special Duties List - to command 77 Squadron Australia on loan to Royal Australian Air Force.

New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Archives show 18.06.42 disembarked New Zealand. Posted to Masterton. Air Headquarters.And 19.06.42.- Special Duties List - flying on loan to Royal New Zealand Air Force.

18.06.42.- Special Duties List - flying on loan to Royal New Zealand Air Force. where he is reported as Officer Commanding. 14 Squadron Royal New Zealand Air Force.

July 1942-Feb 1943.

Officer Commanding. 14 Squadron. Royal New Zealand Air Force. Masterton. New Zealand. flying Kittyhawks He formed this squadron from the survivors of 488 Sqd Royal New Zealand Air Force, who also fought on Singapore, Sumatra and Java, and who had flown Buffaloes and then Hurricanes.

15 Feb 43 posted to Whenuapai. Air Headquarters. On his return to the U.K.10 April 1943 and with seven and a half enemy aircraft shot down, he was posted to command No 1. S.L.A.I.S. at Milfield, as Wing Commander Flying, posted across the airfield as temporary Officer Commanding 59 O.T.U. Milfield, then joining F.L.S. as a Staff Instructor, O.C. Armament Wing. May 44 posted Wing Leader 123 Wing. 83 Group. 2nd Tactical Air Force. Royal Air Force. Thorney Island. Hampshire. (198 and 609 Squadrons) and led the wings Typhoons through the D-Day landings. 01 December 44. Awarded the D.S.O. posted Wing Leader 122 Wing. 83 Group. 2nd T.A.F. At Volkel.(B80) Holland.

While at S.L.A.I.S. he met Sqd Ldr John Wray, who was attending as a course member, their paths were to cross again later and the Milfield connection came into play again when John Wray became Wing Commander Flying of 56 O.T.U. Having relieved Wg Cdr John Wray at Volkel.Holland as Wing Leader of 122 Wing. 2nd T.A.F , his wing was comprised of five Squadrons, No`s 3, 56, 80, 274 and 486. In the six months from the Normandy landings, 06 June 44.

The wing lost 123 pilots and in the first month of 1945 they lost 47 pilots.
It was from Hopsten (B112) that Wg Cdr Brooker took off, leading a section of Tempests of 80 Squadron, on the 16th of April 45 to patrol the Hanover - Osnabruck sector with the attack priority, rail traffic, after attacking a train near Neuruppen, and while the section were re-forming his No 2 advised him that there was smoke coming from his radiator, followed by flames seen in his cockpit, the Wg Cdr was seen, to be trying to open the canopy, before the aircraft turned over and plunged to the ground. His No2. Sgt W.F.Turner. was, at the same time, shot down by FW 190`s both aircraft crashing and burning close by the autobahn at Wittenberge. He was awarded his second D.S.O. (bar) sometime after this. Dated the day before his death. Wing Commander R.E.P. Brooker.D.S.O. and bar., D.F.C. and bar. is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 264.

FTS 1937

Believed to be Flying Training School Hullavington 1937. REP Brooker seated extreme left.

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