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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J C Merrett


John Charles Merrett was born in 1919 and joined the RAFVR about June 1939 as an Airman u/t Observer. He carried out navigation exercises at Luton Airport in Ansons.

At the outbreak of war he was called to full-time service and posted to the School of Navigation at Staverton with the rank of LAC. Following a course at 4 B&GS West Freugh, Merrett joined 235 Squadron at North Coates on 26th March 1940.

The squadron served with Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. When it was over, 235 returned to its coastal role. Merrett was commissioned in August 1941 and on the 6th he was posted away to Cranage for an instructors course, after which he went to 5 OTU Chivenor and later RAF Turnberry.

In November 1942 Merrett joined 612 Squadron at Wick, operating in Whitleys on long-range patrols over the sea. At the end of the year the squadron was searching for the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst but had no success.

In March 1943 Merrett’s flight was re-numbered as 179 Squadron, equipped with Leigh-Light Wellingtons for anti-submarine operations. It operated from Gibraltar.

On 3rd January 1944 Merrett was posted to 6 OTU Silloth as a navigation instructor. He moved to 4 RFU Mullage Moor, Northern Ireland in October, training on radar/sonar for anti-submarine work.

In February 1945 Merrett was posted to 3 School of General Reconnaissance as an instructor. He later moved to RAF Leuchars.

Merrett was seconded to BOAC but did not take up the appointment. He was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He died on 26th March 2010.

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