Mickaël Oakey, Aeroplane Editor, asked in December 2002 issue of Aeroplane Magazine about a photographic reconnaissance pilot, Wing Commander Adrian Warbuton DSO & Bar, DFC & 2 Bars:
‘Why this pilot, one of Britain’s great aviation heroes of World War Two has remained in the shadows compared to household names such as Bader and Gibson?’
Were his achievements and bravery no less impressive than their? No. So why?
Mickaël Oakey gave two answers:
- Warbuton has never had a feature film about him, so his exploits have never reached a mass ambiance.
- The second answer is also in connection with the cinema but in a different way: Warbuton was a photographic reconnaissance pilot, a far less glamorous or cinematically attractive occupation than that of the fighter or bomber boys although equally dangerous.
This Website won’t talk about Reconnaissance Squadrons but what Mickaël Oakey wrote was totally in the same mind with the men tasks honoured in this Website: Some far less glamorous or cinematically attractive occupations than that of the fighter or bomber boys although equally dangerous.
That’s why I decided to create a Website dedicated to the men and women who equally gave their lives while serving in the RAF 38 Group Squadrons during World War II. I decided that I wouldn’t forget them.
But who am I and how did this story began?
My name is Bruno LECAPLAIN, I’m French and I was born in Granville, Normandy, France in 1970.
I work in the French Railways in Paris but my family home is in Bréhal near Granville. I’m also a member of French Red Cross.
But let’s go for the start of my 38 Group Story!
Several years ago, near my home in Normandy, I went with my mother to Muneville-sur-mer Cemetery in order to find some of my family graves.
During the research, I saw a little place with 3 white Graves. I went to it and I read the name of 3 persons, the same date on each grave, 28 July 1944, and ‘Royal Air Force’.
We went back home and I phoned to the Mayor of Muneville to obtain some information.
The Mayor response was: ‘We don’t have any information, I don’t have to speak about that!’
Bad reception! So I phoned to a person who lived at Muneville in 1944, still alive, and who should have had some information.
Same response: ‘Nothing to say about that, forget it!’
It was not in my mind to forget our 3 liberators!
It also seemed to me that I was the first to have interest in these 3 persons since 1944.
So from that day, I decided that I would take care of the 3 Graves of Muneville (One time, the Commonwealth War Grave Commission workers came at my demand because one grave was damaged!).
And, of course, I always wanted to obtain some information, so I began to search on the Web.
I found this:
- These men were:
Flight Sergeant Fulke Henry Arthur BRAYBROOKE
Squadron Leader Lawrence Denis EMBLEM MiD
Flying Officer David PICKARD
- They were all attached to 297 Squadron, 38 Group, Royal Air Force, - a Glider Tug Squadron also working with SOE. But it was nearly all I found about this Squadron and its activities!
That’s why now I want to repair that and I have created this Website first dedicated to 297 Squadron and later also naturally dedicated to the other 38 Group Squadrons and Units. The Website will be regularly updated to honour these men and women who trained, fought, supplied and died for our liberty.
They deserve our remembrance.
This is the Story of the World War II Royal Air Force 38 Group.
“PAR NOBILE FRATRUM”