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squadron Leader Arthur Asker DFC DFM
Commanding Officer of 118 Squadron 10 May 1951 to February 1954.
Video showing 118 Squadron Reunion on 8th May 2009 Tribute to Sqn Ldr Arthur Asker clip from Ken Pott's film.   Wilf Crutchley pays tribute to Sqn Ldr Arthur Asker the Guest of Honour and Molly his wife.   He joined the RAF at 18 in November 1938.   He qualified as an air observer and was posted to 226 sqn in May 1939, flying Fairey Battles.   226 squadron was sent to France just before the outbreak of war as part of the "advanced striking force" later taking part in the Battle of France.   On their last daylight sortie in France, Flight Sergeant Asker won the DFM.   Part of the citation reads: "His aircraft was shot down and he and his crew were taken prisoner.   By his initiative and cunning he escaped and rejoined his Squadron in a few days."   What it doesn't say is that they were locked up over-night and they had to dress their own wounds.   Next morning the Germans marched them down the road, at the first crossroads the guards turned one way and he led his crew the opposite way.   The guards weren't sure what to do, so he carried on and led his crew away from them.   On the way he "borrowed" an ambulance and drove to Brest to rejoin the Squadron.   The citation goes on to say: "Since he joined the Squadron he has flown continuously with Sqn Ldr Kennedy as his pilot and his navigation has always been of the highest order and on many occasions has been responsible for the accurate leading of his section to enemy targets."   226 were evacuated from France and later he joined 88 Squadron in Northern Ireland for a short time flying Bostons on anti-shipping patrols over the North Sea.   He was posted back to 226 Squadron in April 1942 flying in Blenheims.   On 19th August 1942 he won his DFC supporting Operation Jubilee - the Dieppe Raid.   As usual Sqn Ldr Kennedy was his pilot and he was navigator.   Three in that aircraft won DFCs, Sqn Ldr Kennedy, Flying Officers Asker and Casey.   The citation reads: "Theirs, the leading aircraft in a formation of bombers, met with formidable anti-aircraft fire, it was repeatedly hit, putting one engine out of action.   Casey was wounded in both thighs and the other gunner was also critically injured.   Kennedy resolutely supported by the skilful navigation of F/O Asker led the formation in low to the target, released their smoke bombs with precise accuracy on the target.   Kennedy eventually landed at base gallantly supported by Flying Officers Asker and Casey, displaying great courage, skill and determination."   118 Squadron were escorting 614 Squadron also carrying smoke bombs, possibly in the same formation.   In April 1943 Arthur Asker was posted to an F.T.S. in Canada for pilot training.   In March 1945 he was posted to 107 Squadron in France flying Mosquitos.   In May 1949 he was posted to 605 Auxilary Squadron as Adjutant were he introduced Vampires to the Squadron.   The C.O. was an auxiliary officer, so he was virtually i/c.   In May 1951 Sqn Ldr Asker, as C.O. was posted to reform 118 Squadron at Fassberg.   Due to his leadership and organisation; within the first year it was one of the most efficient squadrons with the best serviceability records in Germany - which is probably the reason 118 we were sent to Sylt in November 1951 for 2 weeks for an exercise simulating wartime conditions; pilots were flying 5 sorties a day and the ground crews were turning the Vampires round ready for the next sortie.   Back at Fassberg, he allowed us to turn the attic over the erks' block into a bar, in which Squadron parties were held regularly, in fact most detachements were excuses for one.   George Aird did his bottle walking, Rick Rickard did the Muffin Man and failed miserabley every time.   We were a happy Squadron and after those parties a very happy Squadron!   Under his leadership, (he was a very good Boss), the Squadron built up to full strength, and in Sept 1953 began to re-equip with Venoms.   He had an old Opel which he parked outside the hangar.   The story goes he either bought it cheaply because there was a crate of beer in the back, or was able to sell it because there was a crate of beer in the back.   It was an old Banger.   In May 1954 he moved to West Raynham as i/c Station Flight.   In 1955 I was recalled into the RAF for 2 weeks - I have no idea why - and I was attached to Station Flight, he was my Boss again.   He took me up in a Meteor (first and only flight in a front line aircraft).   From there in 1956 he went to Malta as part of the planning staff for the Suez Campaign.   In 1959 he was poasted to Neatishead radar station and then posted to 12 Group Headquarters.   Finally he went to Cotttesmore and was demobed after a most distinguished service career.

There is a sound commentary with this clip.   This clip runs for 9 mins 28 secs and takes approximately the following time to download during the first viewing at the following sample download rates:
56 Kbps (Typical dial-up telephone connection to the Internet): 98 mins 4 secs;
512 Kbps (ADSL connection): 10 min 44 secs;
1 Mbps (ADSL connection): 5 mins 22 secs;
2 Mbps (ADSL connection): 2 min 41 secs.

(Thanks to Ken Potts for original film.)
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