‘Fighting’ Church Fenton


“Discover The Remarkable Story Of A Historic RAF Fighter Station”

Why Did Roland Beamont Announce That RAF Church Fenton Had Contributed So Much To Royal Air Force History?…

“Well, that was a period that will remain in the mind, because we regrouped at Church Fenton up in Yorkshire in a perfectly peacetime atmosphere. The rest of the country hadn’t noticed there was a war on really and RAF stations were no different if they weren’t actually operational. Church Fenton was a training station and my Hurricane squadron reformed there and it became very apparent to us that there was going to be the most almighty battle going on over the channel very, very soon.”

Wing Commander Roland Prosper “Bee” Beamont CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar


For the first time ever, you can read the full, detailed history of RAF Church Fenton in one book. From its beginnings before the Second World War to the present day.

A story that  begins in 1937…

…a time when the media were warning our parents to prepare for German invasion – leaflets were dropping through every letterbox in the country showing how to spot Nazi paratroops and aircraft.

This was for real – and everyone was very much aware of the threat. The RAF had to defeat the aerial assault…

And Church Fenton Became Part Of It!

Peter MasonHello, my name is Peter Mason,

I lived in Church Fenton for over 25 years – and I really wanted to do something – something that really mattered. I knew that the people who had made this station so dynamic had a real tale to tell and I desperately wanted to capture and record their memories before it was too late.

          Why Would I Want To Do This?

Well, please bear with me for a moment…

I knew, from my role as a civilian instructor in the local Air Training Corps, that my cadets showed a keen interest in the events and stories of RAF Church Fenton and other Second World War airfields.

It was so refreshing to see that these stories  were actually beginning to captivate them and I found their enthusiasm infectious. However, as they began asking deeper and more searching questions they started scouring the internet (what else!) but they still couldn’t get to the heart of what made the station really tick. Where was the ‘human’ side?

That’s when I decided to research it the ‘old fashioned way’… and actually talk to people!

And here’s the important thing…

What I Reveal In My Book Is Unique
And Not Found Free On The Internet!

That’s because I carried out my own research , cultivated a list of closely guarded resources and contacts, corresponded and actually met the individuals who contributed so much to the book’s success.

You Won’t Find This Elsewhere

This book is not about cold facts and figures – it is a book about people pulling together with a common cause; but foremost, it is a collection of memories; of stories … stories of laughter, jubilation, triumph, sadness, fear… but most of all, this is about real people, service life and that never to be forgotten feeling of camaraderie.

And so, dear reader, may I present my legacy to one of the most illustrious stations in RAF history…

The Story Of Royal Air Force Church Fenton…

‘Fighting’ Church Fenton

Fighting Church Fenton (Digital Copy) Cover

‘Fighting’ Church Fenton comprises 400 pages of pure content – profusely illustrated – which means you can return to it time and time again. No matter which generation you presently belong to, I’m sure there is something here for everyone.

In telling the story of RAF Church Fenton you’ll discover a wealth of unique tales which were enthusiastically told to me over a four-year period. This information will give you an exclusive insight to the ‘sights and sounds’ of life on an RAF station from its earliest beginnings before World War II to its inevitable closure by the end of 2013.

Inside The Lavishly Illustrated Pages You’ll Discover A Wealth Of Personal Stories – Including…

  • The name and exploits of the only Victoria Cross holder of Fighter Command in World War II – and his association with Church Fenton – see and hear him in rare footage


  • What Church Fenton meant to the airmen and airwomen past and present… described in detail by pilots and ground-crew alike


  • Which ‘ace’ was told not to wear roll-neck sweaters and NO top buttons undone! His experiences here reveal a story unique to this station…


  • The ‘worst enemy’ of Church Fenton station… and, no, it wasn’t the Luftwaffe!


  • How a great mystery of unexplained Mosquito crashes was finally identified and solved at Church Fenton… and in the process saved countless lives


  • Which famous astronaut came down to earth to visit the station and why did he feel his ‘heart beating faster than it should do’ – here’s a clue – he was the 8th man on the moon


  • A hair-raising incident described in detail by a pilot when he tried flying with ‘crossed’ controls…talk about being cool in a crisis!


  • How the ‘Aussies’ described their tenure at Church Fenton flying their Mosquito’s… and what they thought of English weather!


  • How did the sector clock ‘save’ Great Britain? …and how did it work. I’ll show you exactly how it coordinated RAF fighter squadrons…


  • Who was responsible for helping shoot down the first German aircraft over England and his connection with Church Fenton


  • Colin Gray – described an incident at Church Fenton with the local hunt, which didn’t leave him amused at all… Colin Gray was one of the outstanding New Zealand fighter pilots of the Second World War, reaching an unrivalled final score of at least 28 enemy aircraft shot down – read his story – page 55


  • Just how did a certain Mrs Nora Cardwell, a typical no-nonsense Yorkshirewoman, capture three Nazi pilots at gunpoint who landed close to her home – read her amazing story...page 81


  • Over 8000 groundcrew were killed between 1942 – 1945? Why were there so many?… the ‘forgotten’ groundcrew are remembered in a dedicated section – find out what ‘Bomber’ Harris and aces such as Stanford Tuck, ‘Johnnie’ Johnson, Hugh Dundas, Alan Deere and Geoffrey Wellum thought about their own groundcrews … page 21


  • In 1951 the station was inspected by a character who was described as both “charming and rude” – read his story after he was shot down over St Omer – including the killing of three of his captors …page 109


  • The Gloster Gladiator has had a long association with Church Fenton – discover who flew this aircraft to become the most successful fighter pilot of the RAF but was never officially acknowledged…his full story should be told…pages 57-60


  • Did you know that 244 American pilots died flying with the Eagle squadrons? Charles Sweeny – an old friend of Britain and founder of the Eagle squadrons recaptures the mood of the times. A young American Eagle Squadron pilot from California describes his exploits and what he thought of England in 1940 … page 147


  • Listen to some remarkable (and revealing) footage of Sir Keith Park Battle of Britain tactics, strategies and post-campaign conspiracies…page 302


  • Just what DID happen to Church Fenton’s ‘gate guardian’ Spitfire? What role did it play? Where is it now? (with many colour photographs). Discover it’s intriguing connection in the shooting down of a Luftwaffe ‘ace’…


  • Did you know in 1946 that the London Victory Celebration, after the defeat of Nazi Germany, there were no Polish Armed Forces represented – read about their contribution and comments by Sir Arthur Harris, Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding and Group Captain Douglas Bader…I’ll also introduce you to a documentary showing the Poles how they integrated into the wartime RAF – how they practiced formation flying … on bicycles!  page 119

…and so much more

For example did you know:

RAF Church Fenton Holds A Number Of ‘Firsts’

  • It became home to the first American RAF Eagle Squadrons – initiated by a famous World War I ace – discover who on page 75 – and how they managed to rid themselves of World War 2s “worst fighter”. Strange, but true – so how and why did they do this?…


  • The first all-Canadian WW2 squadron was formed at Church Fenton station. Morale hit rock-bottom after being decimated in France – only to become re-energised and inspired by one of the RAFs ‘legends’


  • According to Roly Beamont night operations with Hurricanes based at Church Fenton were probably the first of the war


  • The first all-Polish squadron in RAF Fighter Command, No. 306 (City of Torun) was based at Church Fenton – Dowding declared the ‘Battle of Britain’ could not have been won without the Poles… you will soon see why after reading Chapter 2


  • No.125 Squadron were kept at a reduced state of readiness until VE day on 8 May 1945 , thus gaining the distinction of being one of the last squadrons maintained in defence of the country during the war


  • It became the first station in the country to house a fighter squadron equipped with jet aircraft – Gloster Meteors of 263 Squadron


  • The first station to receive the new turboprop-powered Short Tucano – a basic fast jet trainer…find out the experiences of the people that actually flew them


 ‘Fighting’ Church Fenton

You Can Order Right Now

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 And that’s not all…

I’ll Include THREE Special Bonus Books By Ordering Today

Bonus #1

Bonus item #1 star ‘The Book Of The “Spitfire”’

The Book of the Spitfire (Digital Copy) CoverThis is a facsimile of a little Spitfire book which was written during the war years. The ‘The Book Of The Spitfire’ contains the ‘language’ of the times giving an enlightening insight into how people thought and responded during wartime.

This rare Spitfire booklet (probably published around 1941) includes:

  • The story of the Schneider Trophy races and pilots – pilots who could barely see in front of them as they sped along at over 300 mph, a few feet above the waves – did you know the pilots had to climb in sideways because the cockpit was so small – in fact, George Stainforth, one of these pilots, came back to Church Fenton to instruct on Blenheims.
  • A torn and creased newspaper article tucked away in the back cover dated October 1944 – called “a Nazi Report” gives a very interesting and illuminating picture of the Luftwaffe at the time. The entire article is reprinted in the book.


Bonus #2

Bonus Free Item #2 star

‘A Pioneer In Aircraft’

kburn (Digital Copy) CoverI spent my aircraft apprenticeship at Blackburn Aircraft where I acquired a unique brochure of the Company published around 1915/16. Although it is not directly linked to RAF Church Fenton, I would, nevertheless, like to include this in your package – I’ve had this little booklet for many years, so I feel sure you will not have seen anything quite like it.

A True Pioneer And A Great Man

I actually met Robert Blackburn when I was an Air Cadet – a quiet, unassuming character who gave generously to the air-minded youth of the day – at one time he even donated a complete Hawker Hart to our squadron.

And another thing…

Bonus #3

Bonus Item #3 star‘Empire Air Day’

Empire Air Day (Digital Copy) CoverOne of my oldest and rarest aviation possessions – ‘Empire Air Day’ of 1939. Inside you will discover over 80 pages of fascinating aviation ‘snippits’ of the time including an abundance of aeroplane advertisements – all at a time when war was just on the horizon. Articles written by such names as Sir Kingsley Wood, Viscount Trenchard, Sir Cyril Newall, Air Vice Marshall Portal – this includes a gem of an article describing Squadron Leader Kelletts attempt at the world non-stop flight record…


 ‘Fighting’ Church Fenton – Part Two


Since writing the book, I asked my son to add some of his aviation memories, little realising what an interesting contribution he would make.

I’m sure you’ll relate to many of his experiences especially if you like a certain 1950s vintage aeroplane and it’s oily engine – can you guess what it is?

Here’s a clue; most Air Cadets in the 1970s and 80s vividly remember their first flight in one – the de Havilland Chipmunk.

Discover how he and his friend found a 1950s Chipmunk and restored it to flying condition over a 10 year period… in their garage! See this charismatic aeroplane take shape beginning with a static wreck to eventually flying to the Czech Republic – this story, and the complete rebuild, is captured in full colour images.

Also includes…

  • why an Avro Lancaster unexpectedly dropped in to the station and why the press were so interested – unique colour pictures; page 288
  • why this Chipmunk returned to its home base at Middle Wallop – but it was far from being preplanned!
  • what was the Chipmunk like to fly? – full Pilots Report and just why is it known as the ‘poor man’s Spitfire’? page 309
  • hilarious incidents of an apprentice – everyone who served an engineering apprenticeship will relate to this…
  • why did this particular Chipmunk revisit RAF Church Fenton to the delight of some of the ‘old boys’? page 347
  • flying the Tiger Moth… and what Group Captain Leonard Cheshire V.C. sent him!
  • finally… the closure, the politics, the press and reflective images of buildings and rooms now confined to history…


‘Fighting’ Church Fenton
Order Today – Just £9.97


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Cast Iron, 60-Day, Money-Back Guarantee

I take a certain pride in believing in the values of the “Old School” – I set off with the intention of creating something that was truly value for money. If, in any way, you feel that the content presented in this e-book doesn’t represent good value, do please let me know within 60 days of purchase and I’ll forward a full refund immediately. That’s a full refund, not partial or prorated…you’ve got my word on it.


Fighting Church Fenton (Digital Copy) Cover


‘Fighting’ Church Fenton – the definitive history of one of the country’s most renowned RAF stations. 402 pages packed with unique content, personal stories, illustrations and photographs, many in colour. Four years to research and compile; now available to you at the click of a mouse…

                                                                                                                                                   What To Do Now…


Getting your hands on the complete package (fully covered by my 60-day money back guarantee) is now available on-line; it’s so easy… no waiting, no delivery problems, no hassle…

…just click the button below and you’ll be taken to our totally secure order processing system, where you’ll receive the entire package today and in complete safety.

It’s that simple….


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I sincerely hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it…

Best wishes

Peter Mason

Peter Mason
Church Fenton

P.S. Once I had finally finished the long hours of correspondence and research I thought that a couple of hundred sales may result, probably coming from the local area, but….

…I couldn’t have possibly anticipated the international interest as, in a very short time; sales had rocketed to over 2000! Even today I receive many inquires as to its availability – but with print and paper charges rising exponentially and, due to the sheer size and the numerous colour images of this new book would mean that – the final retail price would have to be in the region of £47.

Astonishingly, a recent Internet search revealed that my original book ‘Fighting’ Church Fenton has now been categorised as ‘scarce’, with the price ranging from £23 for a ‘poor’ copy to an eye watering £103. This new and much improved Mk.ll edition is now more than triple the content with many new and unique colour images including three unique bonuses… all for £9.97!

 ⃰  Please note that the book and all the bonus items are in PDF format

   i.e. an e-book not a physical book


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Since writing this my father has passed away. He died peacefully in Church Fenton village which he loved – I have kept his words here in his memory.

David Mason (Ampleforth, 2016)

If you need to contact us please email – david@mowbraypublishers.com

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