550 Squadron were formed from ‘C’ flight of 100 Squadron in November 1943 at Waltham – they moved to the nearly completed North Killingholme on 3rd January 1944 and flew their first mission (to Brunswick) on 14th January 1944.
3,485 take offs
122 early returns
188 ‘Ordered to Return’
3,175 successful sorties
4,271 night operational hours flown
4,988 day operational hours flown
9,259 total operational hours flown
16,195 tons of bombs dropped
56 aircraft and crews ‘missing’
14 aircraft crashed
The squadron was officially disbanded and North Killingholme airfield closed on 31st October 1945.
At the end of the war, the men and women of 550 Squadron were demobilised into civilian life, but as the years passed many wanted to re-establish contact with old comrades.
In 1980, Channel 4 started a ‘Service Pals’ Teletext service which Frank Pritchard used to obtain further contacts. Bob Sloan visited Frank on a trip from Australia and they met with Jack Harris – with Jack Harding as the Canadian representative they formed the 550 Squadron Association in 1991.
The members are spread across the globe, from Australia to Canada, New Zealand to the UK and worldwide.