During March 1944, changes in 8 (Pathfinder) Group saw the larger squadrons reduced to two flights, which resulted in the formation of two new squadrons, 582 and 635. At the same time 8 Group acquired three new stations, Upwood, Downham Market and Little Staughton, the latter being the home of the newly formed No 582 Squadron. The Squadron came into being on the 1 April 1944 equipped with Lancasters, being disbanded on the 10 September 1945 following the end of the war. In its short history the Squadron left its mark with its aircrew earning 4 DSOs, 69 DFCs with 20 bars, 29 DFMs, numerous foreign decorations and most notably the posthumous Victoria Cross awarded to Captain Edwin Swales DFC.
The cover is cancelled with BFPS 2695 postmark for the 60th Anniversary of the formation of the Pathfinder Force dated 15 August 2002.
My grandfather was a rear gunner with No 582 Squadron and this cover has been signed by one of his pilots and also his navigator with whom he was shot down by flak and both taken POW in September 1944.
Hand signed by Wing Commander P.K.K. Patrick MBE DFC &
Flight Lieutenant K. Lenz
150 Signed, Numbered and Certified
Philip Patrick was a Flight Commander with Nos 7 and 582 Squadrons PFF a superb pilot who flew on numerous occasions with my grandfather often acting as Master Bomber.
Ken Lenz was a member of the RCAF who qualified as a Navigator and was with my grandfather when they were shot down over Germany and taken POW.