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Corporal 5309321 Samuel William Fowler 952 Squadron
952 Squadron Q Flight Sheerness
The family of the above have kindly shown us these notes that the above airman wrote about his time with 952. They make interesting reading. If anyone recognises this man please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
(As written by Corporal Samuel William Fowler  in 1995)
Q flight is the sea going of the RAF Waterborne Balloon Barrage and was formed in the late summer of 1940 to sail with Merchant Convoys in the English Channel. It constituted of volunteers of the 952 SQN Waterborne Barrage previously operating in the Thames Estuary when it was formed to deter German Planes from laying mines in the estuary. The Royal Navy, in co-operation with the RAF equipped 10 vessels of various types and these ships were equipped with winched balloons and equipment for their operation. The ships were manned by Navy personnel, plus the RAF crew men for each ship. These ships were then spaced out among the convoy’s merchant vessels to act as a deterrent against low flying enemy aircraft, whilst the convoys were travelling through the English Channel. i.e. from Sheerness to Southampton.
The names of some of the personnel who were involved in this scheme are listed below. The operation was to last from 1940 until 1943 when the Channel was commonly referred to as the ‘German Channel’ . There was normally one East bound and one West bound convoy each week. The Balloons were serviced at each end of the trip by RAF personnel.
Personnel that I can remember are listed below:-
Naval Commander:- Comdr. HOWELLS RN
N.B. Each of these officers did an East or West Convoy each week on the Flag ship which also carried the Naval Commander.
Ships crews comprised of two L.A.C’s and A.C’s :-
Cpl WILLS, Cpl Percy WELCH, Cpl ADAMS, Cpl SEARS, Cpl BURT, Cpl PARISH,
Cpl BASHFORD, Cpl S.FOWLER
(There were 18 in this rank altogether)
Other Ranks, most of whom were members of my crew at different times :-
LAC WEST, AC FINLEY, AC BROWNIE, AC HANSFORD, AC BOUTELE
(There were about 40 of this rank altogether)
Ships names which I remember:-
Old Guernsey and Jersey passenger boats:-
HMS Fratton, HMS Haslemere, HMS Sambur, HMS Roebuck
Large Tugs:- HMS Pintade, HMS Monmouth
Corporal Fowler was born in 1914 in Saskatchewan, Canada. He died in 1999.