Squadron History

1360 Squadron was officially formed on 6 April 1941.

1359, 1360 & 1814 squadrons (later 1359 & 1360) operated under one Committee and were known as the Beeston & Stapleford Wing. This continued until October 1951, when Flt Lt Jones of 1360 squadron thought that it would be better for both units to be independent and each having its own committee. This probably fitted in with some of the changes that were taking place at the time and so from November 1951 each unit had its own committee.

Squadron Commanders

Appointment Ceased
Flt Lt WR Butler Mar 1941 May 1942 To OC 1359
Flt Lt HJ Ward Jun 1942 Oct 1945 Resigned
Flt Lt AL Jones Nov 1945 23 Oct   1960 Retired
Flt Lt RV Yates-Walmsley   AFC 27 Oct   1960 30 Apr   1962 To OC 1936
Flt Lt W Homer 01 May   1962 01 Jan   1966 Resigned
Flt Lt DH Deeley 01 Jan   1966 21 Sep   1967 To Sqn Off   209
Flt Lt FL Allen DFM 21 Sep   1967 16 Sep   1968 Retired
Flt Lt NR Cook 16 Sep   1968 01 Sep   1971 To Wg   Staff
Flt Lt S Abel DFC 01 Sep   1971 05 Apr   1976 To Sqn Off   1360
Flt Lt P Giles 05 Apr   1976 10 Aug   1983 To Wg   Staff
Flt Lt SI Cowley 10 Aug   1983 31 May   1988 To Sqn Cdr   620
Flt Lt D Burke 01 Jun   1988 Jun 1989 To Lincs   Wing
Flt Lt ME Barber 17 Jun   1989 09 May   1996 Resigned
Flt Lt WJ Dalby 09 May   1996 To 643 VGS
Flt Lt P Whiten May 2000 Resigned
Flt Lt A Munns May 2000 Jul 2011 To Wg PRO
Fg Off G Fowler Jul 2011

Flt Lt Butler joined the squadron in March 1941, the unit was recruiting from the beginning of March 1941. He remained as OC until May 1942, when he was transferred to become OC 1359 squadron where he stayed until December 1946. In January 1947 he was promoted to Squadron Leader to command a Notts Country District (probably SW Notts) which included the Beeston & Stapleford Wing. On the national reorganisation of the Corps when Nottinghamshire Wing was formed out of the Old County & City Committees/Districts he became part of the new wing. In June 1951 he was promoted to Wing Commander Nottinghamshire Wing where he stayed until his retirement in August 1959.

Flt Lt Ward joined the squadron at the beginning and became CO in June 1942 and served until he resigned in October 1945. He remained on the committee until 1951, and may have served on the newly formed Stapleford Committee.

Flt Lt Jones was a former WW1 Royal Flying Corps pilot, joining round about the time that the squadron was formed. He served as OC from November 1945 until his retirement in October 1960. His civilian occupation was as the Range Warden at the Trent Rifle Range. He was an enthusiastic rifleman and 1360 squadron performed well at shooting, the squadron shot at Bisley many times, where many cadets were awarded their Cadet Hundred Badge. During his office at Stapleford the unit had the “Winged Bullet” as an emblem. Both 1359 & 1360 squadron shot regularly at Trent Range until it was closed on the building of the Radcliffe on Soar power station.

Flt Lt Bob Cook was an ex-cadet of 1360 squadron becoming one of the first ever Cadet Warrant Officers in the Corps. He was appointed an Adult Warrant Office in 1959 and was commissioned into the VR(T) in 1962. Remaining with the squadron he was the CO from September 1968 to September 1971. He remained in the Corps commanding several other squadrons prior to being appointed as a Wing Staff officer with East Midlands Wing, being promoted to Squadron Leader in 1983. He was appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on 01 January 1992

Flt Lt Steve Abel was an ex-cadet of 1359 squadron prior to his service in the Royal Air Force. He returned to the ATC later in life in October 1967 joining 1360 squadron, taking command from September 1971 to April 1976. At the age of 21 he was serving as a Lancaster pilot with 514 squadron. On the night of 22 April 1945 his aircraft was badly damaged on route to Bremen although it continued to target, after taking a direst hit over target the aircraft lost control and eventually crash-landed in a Dutch cornfield. Miraculously through the skilled flying of Flying Officer Abel all seven crew walked away from the wreck unharmed, they could hardly believe themselves but it was a fact. On 5 May 1945 Steve Able received a Postagram personally signed by Air Chief Marshall Harris offing his warmest congratulations on the award of a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

Flt Lt Allan Munns was a cadet at 1360 Squadron from the age of 14, he then left the ATC to join the RAF in September 1969. Flt Lt Munns spent 25 years as a communications specialist in the Royal Air Force reaching the rank of Chief Technician receiving the following awards:

  • · Air Officer Commanding in Chief Strike Command’s Commendation (for service at RAF Fylingdales)
  • · RAF Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

He then assisted at 1360 Squadron from the spring of 1994 whilst serving in the RAF at RAF Newton in Nottinghamshire. Once leaving the RAF he immediately volunteered as a Civilian Instructor at 1360 Squadron. In 1996 he was appointed to the position of Squadron Warrant Officer ultimately taking Command of the Squadron in 1999 when it was at risk of closure due to lack of Commissioned Officers. In May 2000 he was commissioned into the Training Branch of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and was to have the role of Squadron Commander for the next 10 years.

Flt Lt Phil Giles was another former cadet of 1360 Squadron who went on to command the unit from 05 Apr 1976 until 10 Aug 1983 when he was promoted to Squadron Leader and became a Wing Staff Officer. He was promoted to Wing Commander and commanded East Midlands Wing from 1990 to 2000 until its merger with South Midlands Wing. Wg Cdr Giles was appointed OBE.

3 thoughts on “Squadron History

  1. Hi
    My name is Roy Blakeman and was a member of 1360 Squadron in 1967 -1971
    When immigrating to Adelaide Australia, My CO was Flt Lt N.R. Cook, I was awarded The Certificate of service in September1970 and awarded the Best Cadet of the year from the Royal Air Force Association after Peter Stanton in the previous year.
    I joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1972 till 1987 as a Crash Rescue Firefighter.
    I would like to correspond to anyone who was a member during this time at 1360 squadron.
    The reason was when I moved to Australia, I never contacted anybody, not because I didn’t want too, but it was after I came to Australia I was very unsettled and communications were a lot more difficult than it is today, but because my whole family immigrated I could not come home to Nottingham after the two years I had to stay here as there was nobody there, I had to make Australia Home and it was easier with no communication to my friends within the Squadron.
    This decision has hunted me ever since especially with Robert Stables and Mr. Cook and other members, all I can do is apologize and try to catch up and try to say hello to people that I knew during this very happy time of my life. It was during this time that Mr. Cook took me from a child that was heading for trouble and made a big impression on me and turn my life around and give me a good foundation for life and hence me joining the R.A.A.F.
    Anyway! If you could pas on my email to anybody that might like to say hello I would be grateful.
    With my kind regards
    Roy Blakeman (Philip Roy Blakeman) roy54@tpg.com.au

  2. Hi, I was a memeber of 1360 Squadron ATC from 1971 until 1976. I remember Bob Cook, Phil Giles and most of all Steve Abel, all of whom were a great influence in my life.
    I remember Bob Cook picking us up in his Humber?? to take us swimming at Beachdale…..who can forget Phil Giles Mk3 Cortina GT in Red??!! and Steve Abel who went out of his way, ferrying us around in his Volvo all over the place to make sure we all got home OK. Lovely memories! In particular, the week that the Vampire was delivered – half term week too!
    After leaving in 1976 to join the RAF, I served over 26 years becoming a Ground Engineer on VC10 Aircraft at the rank of Chief Technician.
    I guess Steve Abel would be around 88 years old, if he’s still around – would love to make contact, he had a son – Michael, who joined 1360 around ’75-’76.
    If anyone gets this message, please make contact – what are the chances of a reunion?!
    Kind regards to all,
    Barry Morton

  3. Hi Barry.. I was at 1360 a little while after you but Steve Abel was there until 1990 when I’m afraid to say he passed away. Like you, I have great memories of him – especially on Remembrance Parades when afterwards he would take us back to his house and give us all tea and biscuits and share his amazing stories. I also remember Phil Giles and was friends with his two children who were also cadets at 1360. I joined in 1980 and left in 1987 after being CWO for 2 years along with Steve Collins. Two staff that I remember with greatest fondness are Rob and Don who were the CIs that took us camping what seemed like almost every weekend. Rob, if you’re reading this.. I still put Sultans of Swing on my car stereo every time I go away.

    Cheers to all staff and cadets new and old.. if you remember me then do say hello.


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