Howell entered the College in September 1936. He was in Hyde Games House, 1st XI football and cricket teams. After gaining his Oxford School Certificate, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force at the age of 17 as an apprentice clerk, intending to make the RAF his career. On completion of training he felt that he should be taking an active part in fighting and transferred to air crew duties voluntarily. He went to Canada for training, qualified as a navigator and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer.

He was posted to Bomber Command and was engaged on several operational sorties. On 24th March 1945, his plane failed to return from operations over Germany. Most of the crew were seen to bale out, but during those last few weeks of the war many of our airmen who were shot down have never been traced in spite of extensive search and enquiry. In December the Air Ministry reported Howell as presumed killed.

(Extract from The Sower December 1945)