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The Airmen's Stories - P/O M P Wareham


Michael Percy Wareham was born on 20th April 1918 in Bexhill and joined the RAFVR about April 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 15 FTS Lossiemouth and arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 22nd September 1940.

After converting to Hurricanes Wareham was posted to No. 1 Squadron on 5th October. He moved to 242 Squadron at Duxford on the 17th.

He was posted to 73 Squadron at Castle Camps on 6th November, embarked on HMS Furious for West Africa on the 10th and flew off for Takoradi on the 29th. The squadron then flew to Heliopolis via Lagos, Accra, Kano, Maidugari, Khartoum, Wadi Haifa and Abu Sueir.



Above: Officers of 73 Squadron at Gazala.

Standing (L to R) F/O Lewis (Signals), unknown, P/O KM Millist, P/O JB McColl (CAN), F/O AN Hoole (Intelligence),

Sitting (L to R) P/O P Haldenby, P/O OE Lamb, P/O GE Goodman, P/O GCC Joubert, F/O WT Eiby, S/L AD Murray, F/O MLf Beytagh, P/O MP Wareham, P/O PC Humphreys.



During December the pilots were attached to 274 Squadron in the Western Desert. The squadron began to operate on its own account in early January 1941. On 1st February Wareham destroyed a Caproni Ca309 on the ground at Apollonia airfield, on 22nd April he destroyed a Ju87, on 4th July he was the only one of six Hurricanes to return from strafing airfields. On 15th July he destroyed a Ju87 and a Me110.

Wareham was awarded the DFC (gazetted 12th December 1941).



Earlier, in November 1941, he had been taken off operational flying due to bronchitis and sand inhalation and sent as an instructor to Rhodesia. After a short time in South Africa he returned to the UK in August 1944.

After a photo-reconnaissance course he joined 544 Squadron in 106 Group, flying sorties over Germany and Scandinavia from Benson.

In February 1945 he served with Operation Haylock, flying diplomatic mail to Malta and Italy, going on in July to serve in a similar role taking dispatches to Gatow in Berlin for the 'Big Three' conference at Potsdam.




He remained in the RAF after the war. In November 1949 Wareham was an examiner based at the RAF Central Flying School.

On the 16th he was airborne on an exercise with Lt. KP Shallow RN in Firefly I DV133. The pilot had lowered the undercarriage and flaps, it is thought for a stall demonstration, when the aircraft spun off the stall and crashed south east of RNAS Milltown. Both men were killed.

Wareham is buried in Hemel Hempstead Cemetery.



Above image courtesy of Forscher



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