ALSTON – Raymond Anthony Croll

Raymond ALSTON, known as ‘James’ or ‘Jimmy’

Pilot – DC3 – Staff Pilot, No Ops, Son of Lt. Col Roy Alston

[Source: CMHA]

126625 – Raymond Anthony Croll ALSTON – Pilot – Whitley, DC3, Stirling – 299 Sqn – D-Day and more

[Source: Robert Alston]

His service number on enlistment was  1391735  which became 126625 when he was commissioned Pilot Officer.

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2 additions to “ALSTON – Raymond Anthony Croll”

  1. ROBERT ALSTON adds:

    Flt Lt “James” Alston is my father. His real names are Raymond Anthony Croll ALSTON and James or Jimmy is a nickname. (His brother, Sqn Ldr Michael Robert Alston was also a WW2 pilot with the RAF and remained in the RAF after the war and became a test pilot. He was killed in a flying accident in May 1956.)

    My father’s service no. was 126625 and he did his intitial training at Piarco on Tiger Moths and then went to England where they made him do the course again! After they realised he could fly after all he was posted to Canada and completed his advanced flying training on Harvards. Selected as an instructor he then taught student pilots in 1942/3 flying Harvards and later Hudsons. In 1943/4 he was posted to England and was a staff pilot at Ringway (now Manchester Airport) flying Whitleys and DC3’s dropping trainee parachutists. In 1944 he then converted to Stirlings (Four engined bombers used as glider tugs and to drop mines and supplies to the resistance). He was then posted to 299 Sqn stationed at Shepherds Grove. The squadron towed gliders as part of the D-Day landings and continued with SOE supply drops to the resistance in France, Denmark and Norway. He took part in the last major airborne operation of the war on 24 Marsh 1945 : ‘Varsity’, the Rhine crossing. The squadron supplied 29 aircraft without loss (103 troops carried plus many vehicles).
    After ‘Varsity’ special operations were now flown mainly over Scandinavia.
    At the end of February 1945, No.299 Squadron began tactical bombing raids in support of the Army. On 05 May 1945, No.299 Squadron supplied 19 aircraft to carry troops to Copenhagen, Denmark (Operation ‘Schnapps’) then in May came the carriage of others to Oslo and Stavanger, Norway (Operation ‘Doomsday’) to disarm the German occupation forces and after a period of general transport duties, repatriating prioners of war from Germany and bringing soldiers back home.

    After the war in joined Alstons Ltd. in Port of Spain and continued to fly with the Light Aeroplane Club as an instructor and for recreation. He retired in the late 1970’s and now aged 86 lives in the Isle of Man.

  2. Robert Alston adds:

    RAC (James/Jimmy) Alston died aged 89 on 27th March 2012. He had been living on the Isle of Man.

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