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Old 13th February 2019, 13:15
petemac petemac is offline
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87 Squadron in Algeria


I'm new to this forum and wonder if any of you knowledgeable people can help?

I'm working on the design/layout of a memoir of a former pilot who served with 87 Squadron. As I have an interest in aviation and Hurricanes in particular, this project is particularly interesting to me. Unfortunately the author has passed away and the slightly incomplete manuscript was found after his death so there are some questions we'll never get answered from the source.

Anyway, he landed with the squadron as part of Operation Torch and flew from bases at Setif and Taher. Later he was posted away from Algeria to Portugal. He writes of the good fortune of this posting as, in his words:

"Had I stayed on in North Africa with 87 Squadron I would have been rubbed out along with the majority of the squadron. The squadron was in Algeria when the Germans cut them off, starved them out, then attacked and killed them."

I've been trying to fact check as I work with the manuscript, if only to maintain the chronology, and I can find no mention of this destruction of the squadron in either online sources or the books I possess. The Air Research Hurricane Squadron book ends before the North African phase and also the squadron gradually moved over to Spitfires (I've got less books on them!). Other books I'm able to dig out mainly cover the fighting with Rommel in the north-east and the Algerian fighting is less well described esp from the RAF POV.

So, after all that, can anyone confirm the destruction of the squadron in Algeria? It sounds pretty dramatic and I'm surprised that no mention of it is made in the squadron histories I've been able to find.

Thanks for any info.
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