Merged image of a V8 engine, Sherman Tank,  Clementine the Cat, and my MGA in the Alpes

609 Squadron - From Jack Lister's Photo Lab

These pages contain photographs from the archive of my grandfather Jack Lister AE (1913 to 2003). He was a photographer in 609 (West Riding) Squadron between 1937 and 1943.

Training at Ramsgate, 1937

Training Camp, 1937

609 Squadron was formed in 1936 as an auxiliary squadron (the RAF equivalent to the Territorial Army). Here are images from the training summer camp in Ramsgate in 1937.

Read about Jack Lister's first flight. Is it possible to fall out of a Hawker Hart during a loop the loop?

Fun in Thanet

Fun in Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate, 1937

Boys will be boys. Flying at summer camp was limited to the mornings so the auxiliaries had plenty of time to have fun.

The page contains period photographs of Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate.

Drem, 1939

Drem, 1939

Photographs of the first enemy aircraft to be shot down over British soil during WW2.

Also a story involving my grandfather accidentally firing a Spitfire's guns across the airfield (strangely he never mentioned this to me).

Unexploded Bomb

Bombs - Unexploded and Exploded!

A sequence of photographs of an unexploded bomb being excavated from a 609 Squadron airfield, and the subsequent destruction of the bomb.

Also some comments about how carpet bombing of both British and German cities helped 609 squadron win the war.



My grandmother was gifted photographs of pilots from Biggen Hill. She was the farmer's daughter on a farm that adjoined the airfield. That's how she met my grandfather.



One of my grandfather's duties was to record air crashes that occurred close to his base.

Another duty was to develop the photographs from Spitfire wing cameras, and the page includes footage of an ME 110 caught in a wing camera.

Early aircraft

Pre-war Aircraft

The Spitfire only became available just before the outbreak of World War 2. Prior to that, 609 Squadron flew Hawker Hinds.

The page includes a selection of photographs of pre-war aircraft.

Handlet Page Harrow

Fire in a Handley Page Harrrow

I know nothing about this event, other than the aircraft was a Handley Page Harrow, and the aircrew seem to have survived the fire, and were happy to have their photograph taken beside the aircraft.

609 books

609 Squadron Books

The three books written by 609 Squadron members complement each other. A detailed history, a photographic history and a personal history.

I've included a brief review of each book.


The 609 Squadron's website can be found at

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