No. 90 Squadron

Badge: A hind salient.
The Hind "representative of vigilance and great speed"
commemorates the fact that, at one time, the squadron was equipped with Hind aircraft.
Motto: "Celer" ("Swift").
Authority: King George VI, July, 1938.
Based at Upwood from: (September 1939 - April 1940)
Type of Aircraft:
Bristol Blenheim (May, 1937 - April 1940)


No. 90 squadron was formed at Shawbury in Shropshire on the 8th December 1917. The squadron was equipped with the Sopwith Dolphin, a single-seated fighter for the use in France, but it was never sent over seas, and on the 3rd of August, 1918, it dispanded. Eleven days later it was re-formed as a Home Defence unit. It was equipped with Sopwith Camels and Avro 504s and remained in existence until june 1919, when it became a casualty of post-war disarmament.
The squadron was re-formed as a bomber unit in March 1937, and equipped with Hawker Hinds. It was given the Bristol Blenheim Mk1 during the summer of 1937 and was selected to conduct Service development trails of these aircraft and also staged many flying demonstrations. In the spring of 1939 the "short-nosed" Blenheim 1s were replaced with the long nosed MkIV
Just after the outbreak of the war No. 90 squadron ceased to be a front line unit and became a training squadron. In April 1940 it was absorbed into No. 17 Operational Training Unit.

90 Squadron losses while stationed at Upwood


16th October 1939
Blenheim IV L4876 WP-
P/O T A Peeler died
Crashed at upwood killing the pilot.

17th November 1939
Blenheim I L1350 WP
P/O J H T Palmer Injured
Crashed while attempting to overshoot on one engine on the boundary of Upwood.

3rd December 1939
Blenheim IV L4884 WP-
Sgt J E Merrett Injured
Pilot became lost as darkness fell, while attempting a forced landing in a field the Blenheim hit a dyke and overturned.

18th February 1940
Blenheim IV L4875 WP-
P/O J A D McLean died
Sgt A C Haigh died
AC2 W McEwan died

Crashed and burst into flames near Upwood aerodrome, Killing the entire crew.

23rd March 1940
Blenheim IV L4873 WP-
Maurice Charles Cotterell Sergeant Pilot died
Ronald Jesse Harbour Sergeant Observer died
Kenneth Charles Winterton Aircraftman 2nd Class Wireless operator / Air gunner died

T/O Upwood for formation exercise in the direction of Wales. It is presumed Sgt Cotterell lost control of his aircraft when the flight entered cloud. The wreckage of the aircraft was found near Oswestry Shropshire. All on board was killed.

For more information on this crash please click the link below by the Peak District Air Accident Research
Thanks for Peter Fuller who sent me the link


90 Squadron Blenheim Mk IV at Upwood 1939

Thanks go to Ken Delve for the use of this picture


Sean Edwards

Updated 28.8.2018