May 30 – Downpatrick air gunner was on first 1,000 bomber raid

Over 30 operations, shot down and became POW. Marched across Germany he was repatriated in 1945

David Watson Maffett was born 14th November 1920, the son of David John Maffett, The Highlands, Downpatrick and of Farrankad-Greenwood.

He was educated at Alton Burn Boarding School for Boys at Nairm Scotland and Downpatrick High School. He completed matriculation at 17 and joined the RAF aged 18.

He qualified as a Wireless Operator Air Gunner, and was posted to 9 Squadron 3 Group Bomber Command in December 1939 at RAF Honnington, Suffolk, which was flying Vickers Wellington MC 1C.

He completed a tour of 30 operations by September 1940 and was posted to 20 OTU Lossiemouth, Scotland, as an Instructor. He returned to active service at 218 Squadron RAF Marham Norfolk in April 1942 and flew on the first 1000 bomber raid on Koln on 30/05/1942.

Shot down on 07/08/1942 and held in Stalag VIIIB Lamsdorf Upper Silesia from September 1942 to 22 January 1945. He was force – marched from VIIIB from 22/01/1945 until 15/04/1945 across Germany due to advancing Russian forces.

He was interned at Stalag IIIA Luckenwalde, 50 miles from Berlin on 15/04/1945. Liberated by Russian forces on 18/04/1945 he was moved by Russians to American lines in June 1945 and repatriated to RAF Cosford mid June 1945.

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