Images from 209 Squadron RAF Coastal Command

These images were shared with me by Australian Denis Saunders, whose father, a pilot with the RAF, served with 209 Squadron off the coast of East Africa for much of WWII. RAF 209 Squadron began life in 1918 as No: 9 Squadron Royal Naval Air Service in 1918, being renamed 209 Squadron in March 1930 when all former RNAS squadrons had 200 added to their flight numbers. The Squadron saw service in both world wars, as well as the Malay Emergency and the Korean War, being effectively disbanded after 1968. From March 1942 until July 1945, No.209 was stationed in East Africa. It flew patrols over the Indian Ocean with detached bases in South Africa, Madagascar, Oman and the Seychelles to extend its cover.

The Squadron operated from bases in East Africa (Mombasa), South Africa (Durban), Madagascar and Seychelles. Denis’ father, Eric Saunders, was an aircraft captain with 209 Squadron who flew his flying boat (WQ-Q) from Pembroke Dock (Wales) to Mombasa in June 1942. He flew via Gibraltar, Cairo, Wadi Halfa, Khartoum, Kisumu to Mombasa. The photographs come from his album, or that of Bruce Daymond, his co-pilot during that period.

If any of these images are utilized please credit ©Denis Saunders Collection

Please click here for a much larger image of the Adjutants Nightmare

A fascinating excerpt from the journal of Bruce Daymond DSO DFC

Please feel free to contact Denis with any thoughts or queries about the content of this post by filling out the form below


  • Debbie Higginson

    Hello Peter
    Denis Saunders has sent me the link to these photos. I do hope you find them interesting. My father Bruce Daymond DSO DFC was a great friend of Denis’ father Eric.
    It would be nice to make contact when convenient.
    My email is
    My husband Philip & I live in Mosman in Sydney.

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  • Colin Hay

    My father Bryan Hay was in 209 squadron in the Indian Ocean, he came to join his brother Colin who was in the RAF regiment. Sadly by the time Dad arrived his brother had left to join the parachute regiment. Dad was a rear gunner. He has alzheimers so his memories are now going but war time memories are better than shorter term. We have some photos but he had to throw most of his belongings out of the aircraft when the ‘Cat’ that was coming back from a refit had to ditch.
    If you want more information I’m happy to help