The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. N D Copeland
Norman Downey Copeland was born on 1st February 1917 and joined the RAF on 16th March 1938 as an Aircrafthand. After initial training Copeland was posted to No. 1 Electrical and Wireless School at Cranwell for a wireless operators course, after which he joined 23 Squadron at Wittering.
He later remustered as an Airman u/t WOp/AG. Copeland was sent to RAF Manby for an air gunnery course and after qualifying he returned to the squadron.
On 23rd May 1940 Copeland was posted to 235 Squadron at Bircham Newton. He went with his flight to Aldergrove on 19th November where it combined with a flight from 236 Squadron to reform 272 Squadron.
Copeland joined 404 (RCAF) Squadron at Thorney Island on 25th May 1941.
He married Margaret M Wilson in March 1942 in Ballymarlow Church, Northern Ireland, she died in May 1944.
He was posted to Canada on 7th April 1942 to be an instructor at 31 OTU Wibert, Nova Scotia.
He returned to the UK in late November 1943 and went to 12 ACS Bishopscourt, Northern Ireland.
Commissioned in December 1943, Copeland was posted to 13 AGS Ballah, Egypt in late May 1944 but soon after arriving he was sent to Quastina in Palestine.
After the end of the war he was posted to Pamanzi in the Comoro Islands group in the Indian Ocean. Copeland was repatriated from there in December 1945 and released in January 1946.
Copeland died in Belfast on 30th December 2014.