Joe Tombling


Joe Tombling died on May 26th. Joe joined the squadron in August 1941 with the rank of corporal and was an instrument fitter. He sailed to the Middle East and embarked with his fellow ground crew on the peripatetic meanderings around Palestine and Iraq whilst the powers that be decided what to do with them. From our point of view one of the positive things that came out of this were some splendid photographs that Joe managed to take! When the Tigers finally settled in North Africa with their new CO (Jim Hayter) and having finally been equipped with Spitfires (theirs had been lost at sea on the way out), everyone was pleased that once again meaningful operations could get underway. These operations included the defence of the island of Cos, a defence which was very short lived. Cos was overrun by the invading Germans and Joe was one of the unfortunate ones who were captured on October 3rd 1943. He spent the rest of the war as a POW and was liberated by the Russians from Stalag IVB on 23rd April 1945. He returned to the UK and was demobbed in November of that year.

A brave Tiger indeed.

 RIP Joe.