The Airmen's Stories - P/O J T R Chamberlain
Joseph Thomas Ronald Chamberlain was born in 1916 in Hardingstone, Northamptonshire. He was employed as a Chartered Surveyor in 1937 in Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire.
Chamberlain joined the RAFVR in June 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He began his flying training at 6 E&RFTS Sywell.
He was called up at the outbreak of war and on 23rd October went to No. 1 EFTS Hatfield, remaining there until 18th March 1940 when he was posted to 6 FTS Little Rissington.
With his training completed, Chamberlain went to 5 OTU Aston Down on 13th July to convert to Blenheims and on 5th August 1940 he joined 235 Squadron at Bircham Newton and served with it in the Battle of Britain.
Returning from a dusk patrol over the North Sea on 14th February 1941 Chamberlain prepared to land at Bircham Newton. Suddenly the lights were put out because of enemy aircraft.
He flew on to the satellite at Langham, 15 miles away, and as he was about to touch down, the lights there went out. The aircraft hit a tree. The navigator, P/O ER Phillips, was killed and the air gunner Sgt. Burns slightly injured.
Chamberlain was seriously injured and spent the next eight months receiving treatment at hospitals at Ely and Torquay. In October 1941 he went to a ground job at RAF Langham.
On 11th May 1942 he was attached to 2 Armament Practice Camp at Thorney Island, on flying duties.
He was posted on administrative duties at the Air Ministry on 11th May 1943 and remained there until his release from the RAF in 1946.
Chamberlain died on 21st September 2011.