2 thoughts on “RAF Thornaby-on-Tees 1912-1939

  1. Ambler did enjoy rapid promotion. Others just enjoyed the adventure On the day he crashed, his passenger was Norman Cameron, a local lad, who had joined the Auxiliary Air Force at Thornaby in June 1936. He was involved in another crash as a passanger from Thornaby – in a Westland Wapiti which crashed at Consett. He went on to join the Volunteer Reserve then 103 Bomber Command as a rear gunner and later Wireless Op. He was subsequently in three Wellington bomber crashes (one a ditching, one baling out and one crashlanding in Wales returning from ops) He spent 2 days in the north sea in a dinghy injured and spent the rest of the war in 276 squadron on air sea rescue Walruses. Later in his RAR career he was a passenger in an Anson that crashed in Africa… and then flew with ELINT in Lincolns. Little could they have imagined any of this when the above was taken!


  2. The name Geoffrey Ambler meant nothing to me – until I looked him up on the Internet.
    Air Vice Marshal Ambler (1904-1978) spent his early RAF career at Thornaby serving in 608 Squadron Auxilliary Airforce. He enjoyed rapid promotion from being a Pilot Officer in February 1931, to becoming Squadron Leader in December 1934.
    The photograph of him standing beside that Hawker Demon is quite poignant as on 11 July 1937 he was piloting K3779 when the engine cut out shortly after take off. He landed the plane in a nearby field but it was a write-off.


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