Some replies sent to recent correspondence
Books About Squadron
Reply sent to AM, New Zealand. There are two books that come to mind which may be of interest. Unfortunately the first, "Wings of Chance" by Denis Sweeting, has not been in print for some years but can still be found on-line as a second-hand purchase. (Flt/Lt D. Sweeting DFC, RAFVR. 198 Squadron RAF) The second is "Typhoon Pilot" by Desmond Scott, a fellow New Zealander, and is believed to be still in print. (G/C D. J. Scott DSO,OBE, DFC and Bar. 84 Group Commander)
Both books contain references to your uncle but "Wings of Chance" also has a photograph of him with other 198 Squadron RAF pilots, including Denis Sweeting, taken during November 1944.
Reply sent to JP, UK. On occasions we have considered the addition of a Message Board, or similar, for those who want to interact regarding 198 Squadron RAF. The problem for us is that we have not found a guaranteed way of protecting such an item from spam entries, bad language, and/or dubious website links. Such an item, if added, would need monitoring and quite frankly we don't have the time. Incidentally, it may be of some interest to know that the 113 and 214 Squadron websites closed down their interactive web pages because of spam and dubious link problems.
Reply sent to ML, Canada. To some extent we would agree with your comments but how do you tell which is the right version of a given event when there's a choice between an entry in an official document, or book based on it, and an entry in a Squadron veteran's flying log book that says something different. One is probably right, but which?, then there's the possibilty that both could be wrong. Not so many years ago there were quite a few surviving veterans from 198 Squadron RAF that could have been contacted for some first hand clarification but sadly this is no longer possible.
Reply sent to TS, UK. The items you refer too were donated to the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth, London, UK, who we think may have eventually passed them onto the RAF Museum at Hendon, UK. Regrettably our copy of the IWM's original archive listing for them, thought to be dated June 1994, appears to have been subsequently lost but it may be worth contacting the IWM as possibly they still have their records for that year.
Reply sent to JW, UK. Altogether there were nine copies produced of each of the two limited edition books published by the "Association of 198 Squadron RAF Pilots & Ground Crews" which in turn were given to Squadron veterans who in some cases autographed two or three of the copies for presentation purposes. Currently we only know of the whereabouts of four of these books but nothing regarding the others produced. As to where you could purchase copies of these "Association" limited editions is anyone's guess at the moment and as a result we are unable to help you further.
Reply sent to JM, Australia. The reason why there are so few archived photographs published on the 198 Archives website is that we have not found a guaranteed way to protect them from copying or theft. After all would you put some of your most valued and rare items on the web knowing they could be stolen. With the likes of "right click and save" - "search engine cached" - "website/screen scraping", and various other methods used to "harvest" or copy a website's content, it is surprising anyone bothers publishing anything at all, especially if it's of any value. As someone once said in regards to photographs, "If you don't want them stolen don't put them on the web."
News At Ten 1985
Reply sent to RS, UK. You must have a very long memory. The news item you refer to regarding the burial of 198's Flt/Sgt Reginald Thursby RAFVR was broadcast by ITN on the 5th November 1985 and contains interviews with Sqdn/Ldr Yves Ezanno and Flt/Lt Denis Sweeting. If you so wish it is possible to buy a copy of this transmission from the ITN News archives. For more information visit http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//ITN/1985/11/05/133347/?s=198+squadron+raf