Issue 7, Summer 2006


Newsletter of the 14 Squadron Association

Mike Napier

Centenary Project

In the last newsletter I launched the “Centenary Project” with the aim to collect enough material to be able to produce a well illustrated history of the Squadron’s first hundred years when the Centenary is celebrated in 2015. Only 9 years to go! Many thanks indeed to those of you who have already so kindly shared your photograph albums and memoirs with the Association Archive. However it is a case of “the more the merrier” and if you want your part in the unit’s distinguished history to be recorded for posterity then please help the Project by sharing your experiences with me. I am very happy to accept memoirs/reminiscences anecdotes either in letters, e-mails or articles and photographs as prints or as JPEG (.jpg) files. If you are willing to loan original prints, I can scan them into my computer and return them to you, and I promise to do so as quickly as I can. I’m also intending to gather a list of all the aircraft operated by the Squadron and details, if applicable, of the aircraft’s loss, so if you are able to help with this in any way, I should be grateful. As ever, all help/contributions will be gratefully received.

Last of the Mk4 Hunters taken at Oldenburg in March 1957.

This a/c, notionally “belonged” to the Squadron Commander Sqn Ldr “Hank” Beasley - as reflected on the tail letter.

The squadron had, by this time, re-equipped with the Mk6.

Photo: Frank Davies

2006 Reunion

The Association’s Annual Reunion will be held once again at the Garden House Hotel in Stamford.


The format for the evening will be the same as for the last two Reunions. It is a “mixed” event so wives/girlfriends/mistresses/husbands/boyfriends (delete as applicable!) are welcome. The dress code is “smart casual” which equates to sports jacket/blazer and tie for the gentlemen and a suitable equivalent for ladies. We will meet in the bar at 7.00pm for pre-dinner drinks, and sit down at table at 7.30 for a hot buffet dinner. The ticket price includes half a bottle of wine each, and a glass of Port, but you will have to buy any other drinks yourself. The meal is informal - there won’t be a formal seating plan, and there won’t be any speeches - but don’t down your port in one go because we will be drinking the health of Her Majesty, the Squadron and Absent Friends.


Alas inflation has caught up with us and we have had to raise the cost of the Reunion for the first time in 4 years. The cost of £38 per head still offers good value for an excellent meal in pleasant surroundings with incomparably charming company, and leaves a modest profit to top up the Association funds (so that I can send you more newsletters like this!) I hope to be able to absorb any cost rise in future years within the £38 price, so I do not anticipate (at this stage) another price rise for a few years yet.


We have decided to return to Stamford this year, because the very few responses to my invitation to comment on your preferences were not conclusive. There was an even split between those happy to remain in Stamford and those who would prefer to find an alternative venue in London - but everyone added the caveat (“but I don’t really mind”). The Garden House Hotel still offers us a good location, and understanding hosts (John is an ex-Harrier pilot). We did look at other possibilities including HMS President in London (too expensive in the end) and a return to the Victory Services Club. The latter is becoming more competitive and perhaps we will revisit the possibility of a return there next year.

In Memoriam

The Halls Of Valhalla have been enriched since the last issue of this Newsletter, as three of our most distinguished ex-wartime Crusaders have been called to the great Marauder Squadron in the sky.

Firstly, most of you will already be aware that Dick Maydwell passed away in January. It has not been policy to publish obituaries of our members, but in Dick’s case, as our former Vice President and a great champion and supporter both of the Association and the Squadron I have made an exception, and reproduce his obituary from the Daily Telegraph in later pages of this issue. At Dick’s funeral, the Association was represented by our President, AV-M Deryck Stapleton and by the Hon Sec; I am delighted to report that despite the dank and murky weather, 14 Squadron mounted an immaculate flypast by a Tornado flown by Sqn Ldr Roger Organ and Flt Lt Bryn Williams who went right over the church at exactly the appointed hour.

Dick has gone to join his former crew-mate and navigator John Kennedy. John flew with Dick (see photo below) until 26th August 1943 when he was “loaned” to Fg Off Archer, who rather carelessly got shot down by a Ju52 on that day - John spent the rest of the war as a PoW. A fine gentleman, John was a keen supporter of the Association and will be remembered by many as a regular, and as charming company, at Reunions until frailty prevented him from attending just a few years ago. John died in October last year.

Wing Commander Dick Maydwell and his crew in front of their Marauder “Dominion Revenge” 1942.

Left to Right: Dick Maydwell, John Kennedy (nav), Bob Sutton (wireless op), Bill Prat (2nd pilot), Tich Locker (turret gunner), Gil Graham (tail gunner)

Finally, Hector William “Bushey” Stewart died in February. Described by Colin Campbell as “that fine Australian” Bushey was the wireless operator in Bill Mailer’s Marauder crew. He used to ride sheep fences at a large station in Queensland before the war and had fantastic eyesight - able to spot incoming fighters long before anyone else. All the comments about him which I have seen refer to him in slightly awed tones - so he was clearly a remarkable man. Many thanks to all of you who forwarded copies of the Telegraph’s obituary to A V-M Leslie Moulton. Though not a member of the Association, Moulton was nonetheless a distinguished ex-Squadron member who flew Wellesleys and Blenheims with the Unit in the early stages of the war, winning a DFC during operations over Eritrea. He died in May.

Old Crusader North African Tour #1: Tunisia 1943

Drama Among the Dunes- R G Dawson

A crashed JU88 - photo RG Dawson

In March 1943 14 Squadron. was operating from a landing-strip just to the east of Bone (since renamed Annaba) giving support to the armies in Tunisia.

This landing-strip was one of several which had been constructed (using pierced-steel planking) on a large fiat area behind the enormous sand dunes which run for miles along this part of the coast. The landing-strips were, in fact; about a mile inland.

These landing-strips were used by both the RAF and the USAAF and were often attacked by German and Italian aircraft from Sicily and Sardinia.

One of the Luftwaffe's favourite tactics was to wait until after dark on moonlit nights, and send in JU88s singly, at about ten minute intervals, to come in from the sea at extremely low level and maximum speed to avoid being observed, before lifting sufficiently to clear the top of the sand dunes (which were something like 50ft to 60ft high at that point and then bomb the airstrips spread out below them.

It became standard practice for almost all personnel not required for duty to take blankets and bed-down in the sand dunes as this was by far the safest place to be, and provided a grand-stand view of the bombing a mile or so inland.

On the night in question the JU88s had been coming in at regular ten minute intervals (German precision? ) but there was a long interval and it was assumed that they had finished for the night I was instructed to climb to the top of the sand dunes and peer over to make sure that no more JU88s were coming in when, to my horror, I found myself looking straight at an incoming JU88 at a range of about 300 yards flying about 10ft above the sea and well below the level of the sand dune.

I threw myself off the top of the dune and toppled to the bottom. The pilot must have misjudged his climb to clear the dunes and although the nose of the aircraft lifted enough to clear, the tail plane did not and struck the dune where I had been a few seconds before. Due to the attitude that the aircraft was in this caused it to do a reverse somersault, with dire results. Fortunately the JU88 crashed short of the landing strips, and although its bomb-load exploded there were no casualties among those on the ground.

Ron Dawson and comrades in front of their luxury desert accommodation, near Sidi Barani 1941. That’s Ron far right.

Photo RG Dawson

Old Crusader North African Tour #2: Libya 1966

Weapons Practice Camp - Malcolm Pluck

Photo : Doug Wilson

After 6 months on the squadron I was allowed to go to Libya to the famous El Adem airbase. We used the range for conventional gunnery, 20mm Hispano cannons and for Shallow (30 degree) Dive Bombing. To be considered operational you had to complete an operational assessment which included dropping 1000lb bombs, fortunately sand filled.

F or those that were already operational they were allowed to do night SDB which consisted of dropping 4 X 4 inch flares at around 7,000 ft and then diving underneath to drop your bomb.

T his was an exercise that was made more interesting by the world war 2 flares that had a tendency either not to light or even worse for the parachute to catch fire and leave the flare burning on the ground. This meant that very few crews managed to drop all their bombs.

O ne of the more assertive pilots had successfully dropped 3 bombs and on his final run was pleased to see that at least one of his flare’s had lit. He commenced his dive. It was only when the falsetto voiced screaming Scotsman got through to him did he realise that he was trying to dive under a flare that was burning on the ground.

T he same crew were responsible for RAF Germany changing the low level brief from 250ft above obstacle height to 250ft above ground level – they hit the steel retaining cable between two pylons. The cable was 273ft above the ground.

O n my first camp I was instructed by Dickie Adams in to the vagaries of gunnery and SDB. An interesting concept in the twin seat T4. With the use of chinagraph lines on the cockpit canopy we managed.

I was cleared to go to the range as part of a 2 ship formation. This was to be followed by a navex in to the great Libyan .... All. I was to be led by an experienced pilot (Nobody told me) The experienced pilot gave a text book brief which included ‘climbing straight ahead to 1000ft immediately after take off to sort out the fuel trim for gunnery’

W e took off. I dropped back in to loose formation to trim the fuel. Looked up - damn - lead aircraft has 20 degrees of bank on turning towards the range – follow him, watch the jet wake, your too high get down – Bl..... H.. I did not realise the bushes grew this high in Libya. OK now following leader for safety height pass. Look at altimeter - s... 100ft ish. I then decide to move to a strategic distance to watch my more illustrious colleague who proved to me during that sortie that the Canberra B(I)8 could do far more than was in the pilot’s notes.

Having shot my 60 round academic shoot I went to the SDB range and as briefed carried out a couple of dummy drops followed by 3 X 25lb practice bomb drops. I was pleased with the results. Then I remembered that Dickie had said I should have my dive angle assessed by the RSO, a squadron pilot. I asked him for his opinion. He said ‘ You started out a bit steep but then shallowed out at around 70 degrees’ No wonder was pulling out a little low. Suffice it to say my last bomb was massive undershoot.

W e went on the navex and whilst I was sorting out the fuel distribution my leader said I could lead and he would formate in the number 3 position. I acknowledged and continued to transfer fuel around the tanks. The Nav said the next heading was to the left and I must say I did not realise how big the Canberra was close up. We did a very long turn to the right. It showed the prowess of the Nav to be able to return to El Adem without once turning left.

O n landing I asked the experienced pilot how he judged his formation position and he explained that he flew with full out aileron trim and knew he was too close if he needed rudder trim to get him out.

T his was my first introduction to a weapons camp, the ladies on the Tennant’s beer cans and the delights of The Railway Inn in down town Tobruk on Saturday night - DJ’s a must. But that is another story at a different weapons camp!

Old Crusader North African Tour #3: Egypt 2005

El Alamein - Norman Hooker

14 Squadron Wireless Section 1941 - I think that’s Norman 2nd from left....

When you were enjoying the Squadron Reunion in October last I was having a very interesting visit to Cairo and the Western Desert. The last time I was there was in 1941/2 when I was with the Squadron (then fresh up from Port Sudan) so you can realise the changes I must have noticed. The first two days were in a superb hotel in close proximity to the Pyramids etc, then a mini-bus to El Alamein. I had expected a lot of change but none on the magnitude we found. For instance the Squadron's first desert landing ground at Burg El Arab is now Alexandria Airport and what used to be a NAAFI store where we used to be able to buy eggs and chips etc. is now El Daba City and quite unrecognisable. From Alex to Daba (some 60 miles) is covered with houses, mosques etc. replacing what I remembered as desert waste between the coast road and seashore. We travelled on to Alamein where there are now the war graves of the Allies (mainly British and Commonwealth), Italian (not so many as we took more prisoners than were killed in battle), a German War memorial and nearby was a war museum. For those 14 Sqn men who were in the Sudan and Western Desert those still living will remember with affection the late Wing Commander J K Buchanan DFC who came down in the Med shortly after leaving us in Iraq; he was shot down somewhere off Sicily I understand. I found his name among some RAF members whose bodies were never recovered. I'm afraid that I did not have the time to look around all the graves and I could not remember the names of aircrew, many of whom I know died in ops to Crete etc. Our party then travelled on to Marsa Matruh where Rommel had an HQ. A short stay then back to Alamein, Alexandria and Cairo for a final look around. The road deaths in Cairo and Alex must be horrific even compared to the mayhem of the 1940s. Glad I wasn't driving. At 87 my nerves would have been shattered! Best wishes. Norman Hooker (1941/42 W/Op.)

Old Crusader North African Tour #4: Libya


Ron Page by truck in 1941.

Doug Wilson by Canberra circa 1967

Finding the Rex

By John Robertson

One of the great ships from the Golden Age of passenger liners, the Italian Liner Rex was launched in Genoa in 1931 and first sailed in 1932. Eight hundred and eighty feet long and 51,062 gross registered tonnage, she could maintain a speed of 28 knots on a trans-Atlantic crossing. Rex gained the Blue Riband for the fastest crossing in 1933 and held the record until 1935 when the 80,000 ton French Liner Normandie arrived on the scene. She was a beautiful ship and, of course, the Italians were very proud of her. When Italy became a belligerent in 1940 during WW2, Rex was laid up at Bari on the Adriatic coast and subsequently towed to Pola, never to sail again under her own power.

In September 1944 “A” Flight of 14 Squadron RAF was operating from Grottaglie near Taranto in Southern Italy, carrying out low level anti shipping reconnaissance missions in the Adriatic and southwards along part of the Greek coastline. We used to survey the coast from a distance of five to seven miles at a height of fifty feet. Pola, on the tip of the Istrian Peninsula was a fiercely defended base and we treated it with great respect on our recces.

My recollection of the intelligence briefing at the time was that high level aerial photo reconnaissance showed that Rex had disappeared and the Squadron was tasked to find her again. It was thought that Rex intended to reach Trieste and block the harbour there by scuttling herself across the entrance.

On 6th September, after a few days of searching interrupted by very heavy thunderstorms, Squadron Leader Ron Hadingham sighted the Rex, apparently sailing from the southern Adriatic. The Squadron attempted to shadow the Rex for the remaining hours of daylight, but my recollection is rather of other pilots returning without being able to penetrate the likely operating area, due to the appalling weather. Certainly all contact with the liner had been lost by the following morning. At that time of the year the Northern Adriatic, especially around the Gulf of Venice was subject to violent thunderstorms sweeping down from the Alps and it was not unusual for some operations to be frustrated by the presence of nil visibility, or even water spouts rising from the sea to cloud base. Two days later, when I was tasked to locate the Rex, the weather in the northern Adriatic at sea level was still murky with frequent showers. My logbook entry for 8th September 1944 is as follows:

Aircraft: Marauder F, No HD468 Pilot: Self Crew: W/O Duffell (2nd Pilot), F/Sgt Hanks (Nav), F/Sgt Murray (W/OP), F/O Ingham (Mid-upper AG), P/O Harris (Tail AG)

Duty: Recce - Pola - Gulf of Trieste - Liner 'REX' 51,000 tons, 2 DO, 1 MV 1000, 1 MV 600, sighted in Gulf. Intense v. accurate medium flak from DDs & MVs. Reported to Ancona.

Hours flying - 3h 10min 8 Beaus (fighters) with 9 P51 anti-flak escort sent to attack from Ancona - we followed up 1/2 hour later to Gulf of Trieste to find' REX' stationary in same spot with white smoke pouring out of bridge superstructure. Beaus claim 58 R.P. hits. On way out of gulf sighted 30 ton schooner - strafed same scoring hits. Rex now sunk on side 10/9/44. Hours flying 3hr 35 min

The weather was very murky with visibility less than one mile, and we were lucky to stumble across her, about forty miles from Trieste. Rex was stationary about a few hundred yards off shore when we sighted her as we flew an easterly course towards Trieste. We turned back through 180 degrees to allow the second pilot on my right to take photos of her with the hand held camera from the right hand cockpit window. As briefed, a sighting report in 'clear' (highest priority not coded) was immediately transmitted. As we completed the turn in the murk we found ourselves right in the middle of the box of two Destroyers and two armed merchantmen - they had us covered, and the flak was too close for comfort. I can tell you I wasn't so much interested in taking photographs as with getting myself out of trouble! We escaped back into the murk and went for Ancona without delay. Ancona was a small aerodrome which was suitable for Beaufighters but very small for a Marauder, which needed a long runway. It was a pretty dicey landing.

On landing Tubby Ingham and I were taken immediately to the briefing hut whilst Ivor Duffell refuelled the Marauder. After briefing the aircrew of the strike force, I expected that we would be finished, but instead we were instructed to return to the Rex and photograph the results of the strike. They sent off the squadron of rocket-armed Beaus with an escort of Mustangs. We were to follow the strike force after half an hour - I asked about my 'anti-flak' escort but was told that the strike force would take care of that angle! At any rate the Beaus had top-cover, but our lonesome Marauder didn't have that luxury. As it was, the weather had cleared somewhat, the ships had gone home and the strike force faced no opposition!

Our instructions were to return to Ancona with our photos of the Rex after the attack. We had a somewhat clearer run at the Rex this time with no opposition, and found the liner listing over with white smoke pouring from her. We took it out on the little schooner as we cleared the Gulf. As we approached Ancona again the weather was starting to close in and a tremendous thunderstorm was approaching the airstrip (not a comfortable landing strip for a Marauder in any case). So I made an executive decision and headed for home at Grottaglie after a hard day's work. We had successfully found the Rex and witnessed her demise - unfortunately the photos weren't so hot due to the poor light and weather.

The crew who found the Rex: Back Row: L-R Ingham, Robertson, Duffel, Front Row, L-R Hanks, Harris, Murray

Hon Sec’s Bit


At present I have 157 members on the list, ranging from those who served with the Squadron in pre-war days, to those still serving with the unit. I am always pleased to get new members so please use “word of mouth” to encourage any of your contemporaries to join the Association. I’ve also been quite busy looking through some of Joe Lowder’s old files and sending off letters to addresses I found there, and this has resulted in us being able to track down and “recapture” some ex-members who had somehow fallen off the mailing list. Anyhow, I’m delighted to welcome the following who have joined the Association since my last newsletter:

Geoff Perks DFC, served as a Mosquito pilot from 1947-50 after a distinguished wartime career with Bomber Command. Geoff has very kindly let me have a number of photographs of his time with 14 Squadron. Geoff had been a member of the Association and has attended a number of Reunions in the past.

John Newland, who served as Canberra groundcrew in the early ‘60s, will be known to many BA pilots from the Airbus and 777 groundschool (he taught me all I know!). John has retired from BA and is presently working for Flight Training Europe and living in Spain.

Ron Page, who served as a fitter on Blenheims from 1941-42, is another “lost Crusader” whom we welcome back to the fold. Many thanks to Ron for some great photographs of his time trying to keep Blenheims flying in the desert conditions.

Bob Broad flew Venoms in 1954-55, when he was OC A Flight. I hope to share with you his very amusing anecdotes of life on the Squadron in the mid-50s, by editing them into an account which I will serialise in future issues of this newsletter. Bob also rejoins us after being “rediscovered”.

Alex Thomson was a Wireless Op/gunner with Bill Shepherd, then F/L Gibbs DFC on Marauders and Wellingtons from 1943-45 and has provided photos of Gibb’s crew. A warm welcome to two National Servicemen (our first two, I think!)

Pat Moore (1958-59) and Andrew Cawthorne (1955-57). Pat was an airframe technician who says he thoroughly enjoyed his time in “the mob” and Andrew was a photographer (first job to take a photo of the Duke of Edinburgh – no pressure there, then!).

Peter Crawshaw served as an aircraft mechanic on Hunters from 1960-62.

Derek Coleman was a navigator flying Mosquitoes with the Squadron in Germany during the late ‘40s, having survived some rather hairy-sounding wartime adventures on Lancasters with the Pathfinders.

A more recent “Old Crusader” is David “Buster” Hales who flew Tornados with the Squadron from 1998-2001.

Finally welcome to our most recent recruit Stan Bozman, who was with Squadron from 1952-54 in the days of the Vampire.

This photo really tickled me!

That’s Cpl Bill Ison and Cpl Wilkinson on the “Donkey Express” somewhere in the Western Desert.

Photo Ron Page


Obituary printed 23 January 2006. Reproduced by kind permission of Graham Pitchfork

Group Captain Dick Maydwell

Group Captain Dick Maydwell, who has died aged 92, commanded a wartime squadron of Marauder bombers that roamed the Mediterranean attacking ships and aircraft; as a pre-war big game hunter, he considered his flying operations to be a "Mediterranean safari with free accommodation, transport, guns and ammunition and the chance of a major trophy".

Commanding No 14 Squadron, based in Egypt, Maydwell flew operations against shipping in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean. On one occasion he was firing at barges north of Crete when German fighters attacked his aircraft. Taking violent evasive action at 100 feet, he managed to escape, despite his aircraft being damaged and his gunners wounded. In February 1943 he flew two mine-laying operations in daylight to the Burgi Channel, north of Athens, a round trip of 1,650 miles. On the second occasion the weather was appalling, and the mountains surrounding the narrow channel made the operation particularly hazardous. He managed to drop his mines from a very low level - the splashes struck the underside of his aircraft. Intelligence later reported that two ships had been sunk and the channel blocked for a considerable time. Maydwell was awarded the DSO for "the faultless execution of this outstandingly successful operation".

The aircrew of No 14 included many South Africans, New Zealanders and Australians. The latter were renowned for their exuberance and irreverence towards authority and protocol. Maydwell, the traditional Englishman, quickly recognised their fighting spirit and courage. His quiet authority, insistence on flying the most dangerous operations himself and his warm welcome to newcomers soon endeared him to his men, who called him "the Boffin"; he himself christened his aircraft Dominion Triumph, which was emblazoned on its nose.

After moving to Tunisia, Maydwell and his crews attacked shipping and aircraft on their long patrols off Italy, Sardinia and Corsica. Near Genoa, Maydwell intercepted a three-engine Italian transport aircraft and his gunners shot it down. Whilst supporting the Anzio landings, he came across a four-engine German transport plane and this too was shot down. Maydwell's most remarkable action was on July 30, when he was patrolling to the north of Corsica. He saw a giant six-engine Me 323 transport aircraft flying unescorted low over the sea. He manoeuvred his Marauder to allow his gunners to open fire and three engines were set on fire. The massive aircraft, described by Maydwell's navigator as looking like "a block of flats", crash-landed on the shore. The crew escaped unhurt and Maydwell held his fire. On his final sortie in Dominion Triumph Maydwell attacked a Junkers 52 off Spezia. His aircraft was hit by return fire, but the damage his gunners inflicted gave the German aircraft little chance of returning to base. The following day he was promoted, and he handed over command of No 14. One of his men described his final address as "a moving occasion, and everyone was sad to lose such a fine CO".

Wynne Somers Goodrich Maydwell was born on July 18 1913 at Bournemouth. Always known as Dick, he was educated at Malvern before entering Sandhurst as an officer cadet. Commissioned into the Somerset Light Infantry in 1933, he served at Blackdown, where he commanded the anti-tank platoon. He learned to fly at Brooklands Flying Club before joining the 2nd Battalion at Poona, India, where he developed his love of game shooting and where, under licence, he shot a tigress and a panther. In May 1937 he volunteered for a four-year secondment to the RAF and trained as a pilot. He joined No 53 (Army Co-operation) Squadron, flying Hector bi-planes before the squadron was re-equipped with the Blenheim. He went to France in early September 1939, and was stationed near Epernay flying reconnaissance sorties.

When the German Blitzkrieg began in May 1940 he was on leave in England. On returning to France, he was unable to get back to No 53 and served as the adjutant of a Hurricane re-arming and refuelling unit at Rouen. He finally escaped from St Malo to Jersey. Maydwell rejoined No 53 and from July until the end of the year he bombed the Channel ports from Flushing to Lorient. By the end of 1940 he was the last surviving pilot from the pre-war squadron. He was awarded the DFC.

In March 1941 Maydwell left for the Middle East and commanded a small photographic survey unit flying Maryland aircraft. His photographs were used to produce maps of the strategic areas of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine that covered the anticipated area of a German advance through Turkey to the Suez Canal. In April 1942 he was posted to command No 14 Squadron, which was still operating the Blenheim for bombing airfields in Crete and Libya and attacking German re-supply columns in the Western Desert. In August No 14 was withdrawn to the Canal Zone and re-equipped with the powerful B-26 Marauder bomber, one of only two RAF squadrons to fly the American aircraft. After early difficulties, when a number of aircraft were lost due to the failure of the fin and tailplane assembly, the fast and heavily-armed aircraft achieved great success with No 14 under Maydwell's leadership.

Promoted to group captain, Maydwell took command of No 325 Wing at Trapani in western Sicily, flying convoy patrols and providing support for the Salerno landings. In early 1944 the Wing moved to Naples, but Maydwell decided to return to operational flying. En route to the RAF Headquarters to negotiate a flying appointment, his Jeep was hit by a train and he was severely injured. His right leg was severed above the knee and he spent the next 18 months recovering. He remained in the RAF, specialising in photography. After four years at the Air Ministry he moved to the Advanced Flying School at Driffield, where - despite his disability - he flew Vampire and Meteor jet fighters. In December 1954 he moved to HQ Western Command at Chester as the land/air warfare officer. He retired from the RAF in 1958.

Maydwell was an excellent shot and after moving to Somerset he carried out the control of wood pigeon, shooting more than 10,000 in two years. He then carried out deer control and over the next 38 years he shot 2,264 roe deer, the last when he retired aged 87. In 1982 Maydwell contacted Walter Honig, the German pilot of the Me 323 he had shot down over Corsica. They met at Honig's flying club at Baden, and Maydwell gave Honig a propeller tip from his aircraft, bearing the inscription, in German: "A memento of our meeting at Cape Corse, on 29 July 1943". They remained friends for the next 20 years.

Dick Maydwell died on January 8. After a brief wartime marriage, in 1949 he married Sylvia Kent, who survives him.