Tommy Broom is one of the RAF’s most legendary and popular heroes of World War II. He joined the service at eighteen years of age in 1932 and after service in the Middle East, he first saw action against Germany in a Fairey Battle during 1939 with No 105(B) Squadron. He continued to serve with 105 Squadron until November 1940, a period that included the disastrous Battle of France and the low-level attacks on the Channel ports to destroy the invasion barges, in both of which actions the squadron suffered severe losses. Having completed more than his share of front-line flying he was transferred to 13 Operational Training Unit at Bicester, to teach the influx of newly-trained navigators the additional skills required for combat situations. He returned to 105(B) Squadron in January 1942 to complete a further tour. In August of the same year he was again posted to the educational role. In May 1944. He then returned to front-line flying until the end of the war, belonging to numbers 571(B), 128(B) and 163(B) Mosquito Squadrons. Tommy completed 83 operations during the war and teamed up with a namesake as his pilot, Ivor Broom – they became known as the ‘Flying Brooms’ and completed 57 operations together.
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