Rank & Name: W/O Rhoderic Norton Pike

Date of Death: N/A


- Sgt Pike - Sept 1939 -

Training at RAF Sywell with 57 Sqdn

Update June 2012: I have recently been contacted by Sally Benwell, who is the daughter of Sgt Pike. She kindly submitted the following, Thank you Sally.

"Hi, I am just doing a bit of research into my dad's RAF career - he served from 1938 to, I think,1946 or 47.
His name was Rod Pike [born Nottingham 12.1.21] and he served in 57, 59 and 221 as an observer/navigator.  I think this would have given him non-commissioned rank of Sgt...
Unfortunatey my dad died a few years ago so I can't quite remember the details [although I think my brother has some of his notes whcih we can look at]. I do know that he served in Coastal Command, he was in a crew credited with a submarine 'kill 'in the Atlantic, he also served in N. Scotland, he delivered planes to Egypt via Malta, he did some training in Canada and travelled there by ship, he was shot in the hand [possibly his pilot was killed] right at the beginning of the war over France - taking photos.  BUT I am not sure which of the squadrons he was in when this happened!
Officially his name is registered as Rhoderic [Welsh] but he was commonly known as Roderick [Rod] Norton Pike. 
Sally Benwell
nee Pike..."



Further Information


"Four Aces" - RAF Sywell - 1939

Update Dec. 2012: Rod was a member of F/L Thomas'  crew on 59 Sqdn that sunk U-844 on 16/10/1943.  After this attack upon returning to base they sighted another U-boat (U-540) and attempted an unsuccessful attack that was fought off with heavy A.A fire. I guess having already been hit by U-844 in the port engine and towards the end of their patrol (thus low on fuel) they hadn't pressed home the matter with U-540. It's most likely that Thomas & crew in S/59 had already spent their load of DC's (normally 8-12 in total were carried and 8 had been used on U-844) and were attacking with M.G fire only, without the capability of sinking it...

In France, 57 Sqdn was part of the "Air Component" of the British Expeditionary Force - (BEF) as part of the Army Co-Operation "70 Wing". They were in the role of "bomber" along with 18 Sqdn. All Blenheim squadrons in France suffered heavily, especially 57, which lost over 30 aircraft. He was very lucky to have survived...

He later joined 221 Sqdn - Coastal Command Sqdn operating the Vickers Wellington, aka "Wimpy". Between Jan-March 1942 - 221 were reassigned to the Middle East - arriving to base at L.G 86 in Eygpt.


Training - RAF Sywell - 1939


In Eygpt - With 221 Sqdn - (bottom left)



Rest In Peace