BATTLE OF BRITAIN PHOTOGRAPHS ~ SERIES I
A number of years ago when I was working on a commemorative cover project, one of the airmen involved in signing for us sent in an autographed black and white photograph of themselves with their Hurricane during the Battle of France along with their compliments. Needless to say I was delighted but it also gave me the idea of producing a series of RAF related signed photographs. Unfortunately time was never in sufficient quantity to pursue the idea, until 1998.
Having started the idea was quickly off the ground and initial responses from the pilots were most encouraging, with some of the leading pilots helping us with the project customers soon took notice and the project became a success. The aim has always been to produce a top quality product with 100% genuine signatures 100% of the time. Our only regret is that we our unable to gain the support of all those great airmen who had made their last sortie before and since we started this series.
Each photograph measures 5" x 7" with a white border on all sides with the signature on the specially elongated bottom margin. The photographs are all from the 1939-1945 period so in some cases the photograph is the best we could manage considering that our airmen were often up in the air rather than on photo-shoots and after nearly 60 years there is obviously some loss in clarity. All are signed and certified and accompanied by a brief career history. Each is a Limited Edition of just 200 photographs each signed personally by the airman concerned.
The series is now complete, and along with the Salute to the Few Series brings our tally to a hundred Battle of Britain airmen incorporating both 'top scorers' and less famous airmen along the way - and a small tribute to those who took part in this famous air battle during the Summer of 1940 which inflicted the first defeat to the fearsome Luftwaffe.
Here is a list of all those produced in this series to act as a reference:
SP(BB)01 - Air Vice-Marshal James Edgar Johnson CB CBE DSO** DFC* DL C Eng
Probably the most famous allied airman we could find, and also the top British scorer of World War II with 38 victories. This photograph was taken just after he had shot down his 26th and 27th enemy aircraft making him Fighter Command's highest scoring pilot. At the time of the photograph in April 1944 he held the rank of Wing Commander and the decorations of DSO* DFC* and DFC(USA).
SP(BB)02 - Group Captain William Dennis David CBE DFC* AFC
With over 20 accredited victories all scored in the Hawker Hurricane one can soon understand why Dennis is often called 'Hurricane' David. During the Battle of Britain he flew with Nos 87 and 213 Squadrons. This photograph was taken just after the Battle of Britain when Dennis had just been awarded the Bar to his DFC and held the rank of Flying Officer.
SP(BB)03 - Wing Commander Roland Prosper Beamont CBE DSO* DFC* DL FRAeS
Probably most known for his Test Pilot years, although his victories over V-1 flying bombs, trains and aircraft are quite remarkable and stories breathtaking. To add to this in 1940 he was flying with No 87 Squadron during the Battle of Britain enjoying numerous successes. This photograph was taken just before D-Day shortly after promotion to Wing Commander while he was at Hawkers as a test Pilot. Apparently the photograph caused quite a stir among the girls in the office, so an obvious choice !
SP(BB)04 - Group Captain John Cunningham CBE DSO** DFC* AE DL
Highly regarded, probably throughout the world, as an exceptional night-fighter pilot, which led to his nickname of ‘Cats Eyes’ Cunningham. During the Battle of Britain Cunningham served with No 604 Squadron, and went on to achieve a total of 20 destroyed, 3 probables and 7 damaged by the end of 1945. Having left the Royal Air Force, Cunningham resumed his career with de Havilland and became a distinguished test pilot. The photograph we have chosen was taken in late 1944.
SP(BB)05 - Squadron Leader Arthur Charles Leigh DFC DFM
The son of a regular soldier, Leigh was called up at the outbreak of war. After finishing his flying training he was posted to 7 OTU and then on to convert to Spitfires in August 1940. Shortly after this, he joined No 64 Squadron at Leconfield before being posted to join No 72 Squadron at Biggin Hill in October. Leigh left the Royal Air Force in 1945 with a tally of two Bf 109s destroyed, probably another four destroyed and a shared destruction of a Do 17. This particular photograph shows Leigh sitting in his Spitfire and was taken in late 1943 while he was serving with No 129 Squadron at Hornchurch.
SP(BB)06 - Squadron Leader Jocelyn George Power Millard AE KSG
Called into full-time service on the 1 September 1939, Millard finally finished his flying training in August 1940. In early September 1940 he converted to Hurricanes and joined No 1 Squadron at Wittering four weeks later. Shortly afterwards he joined No 242 Squadron for the remainder of the Battle of Britain. In November he was posted to No 615 Squadron before he trained as an instructor at Cranwell. Upon finishing the course he was posted to Canada, where he served as the Flying Instructor, Flight Commander, Examining Officer and Squadron Commander until May 1944. This photograph depicts Millard sitting on top of his Hurricane, and was taken in November 1940 while he was serving with No 615 Squadron at Northolt.
SP(BB)07 - Air Commodore Peter Malam Brothers CBE DSO DFC*
Having learnt to fly at the age of 16 Brothers joined the RAF in 1936 and joined No 32 squadron the same year. He was still with No 32 Squadron at the time of the Battle of Britain and he scored numerous victories flying out of Biggin Hill in Hurricanes. By the end of the war his score card was 16 victories, 1 probable and 3 damaged. After the war he went on to hold a number of senior command posts before he retired in 1973 to set up his own company. When we asked for a wartime photograph we were told that he had but 3 photographs, one just a face in a flying helmet, one semi-obscured and the one we have used, apparently he had succeeded in being ‘a lifelong expert camera dodger’.
SP(BB)08 - Squadron Leader Eric Seabourne DFC
Seabourne arrived at Tangmere in June 1940 to join No 238 Squadron, with no experience in Hurricanes, he spent three hours on Masters and then went solo on the Hurricane, after seven hours he was declared operational, without even having fired a gun! However in his first encounter with the Luftwaffe he had a shared destroyed Bf 110 and damaged two more, on the 8 August he destroyed a Bf 109 and on the 13 August another two destroyed. Unfortunately on 13 August he was shot down by three Bf 109s and suffered serious burns when the cockpit hood ‘jammed’. In May 1941 he returned to flying until he joined Operations at HQ 10 Group in June 1945. He finally retired from the RAF in 1960.
SP(BB)09 - Flight Lieutenant Leslie Gordon Batt AE
Notorious for the ‘Bat’ insignia on his aircraft, Batt was called up at the outbreak of war and in May 1940 arrived with No 238 Squadron at Tangmere. He was to stay with No 238 Squadron throughout the Battle of Britain and served with the squadron in Egypt from May to December 1941. During the Battle of Britain he shared in the destruction of a Do 17 and also claimed a Bf 109 two and a half weeks later. This photograph depicts Batt sitting in his Hurricane Mk 1 No. P.2989 during the Summer of 1940.
SP(BB)10 - Flying Officer Kenneth Astill Wilkinson
Ken joined No 616 Squadron at Kirton-on-Lindsey on the 1 October 1940. On the 17 October he moved to No 19 Squadron at Fowlmere. In late January 1941 he became an instructor before becoming a gunnery instructor in 1942. Having served with No 234 based at Skeabrae in February 1943, he joined No 165 Squadron in July before returning to a series of OTUs eventually ending up 10 OTU, at Abingdon where he was released from the RAF in November 1945. In this classic 'flying jacket' pose Ken can be seen with his Spitfire.
SP(BB)11 - Warrant Officer Peter Hutton Fox
Peter has always described his involvement in the Battle of Britain as ‘one of the also rans’ but I am sure that is a very modest view. He joined the RAFVR in June 1939 and after converting to Hurricanes, he joined No 56 Squadron at Boscombe Down on 17 September 1940. On the 30 September he was shot down in combat and was forced to bale out over the Portland area. On the 16 November he and PO Ingle-Finch were flying a Miles Magister when it crashed at Okeford and both were admitted to hospital. In June 1941 Peter joined 234 Squadron at Warmwell. Unfortunately on 21 October 1941 his luck ran out when he was shot down over France and taken POW. After being freed on 16 April 1945, he rejoined the RAF until 1946.
SP(BB)12 - Group Captain Frank Reginald Carey CBE DFC** AFC DFM
Carey joined the RAF as an aircraft apprentice, but in 1935 he applied to become a pilot and joined No 43 Squadron as a Sgt Pilot. He scored his first victory in January 1940 and in April joined No 3 Squadron and sent to France. After crash landing south-east of Brussels he managed to make it back to the UK where he found himself listed as ‘Missing, believed killed’. He rejoined No 43 Squadron as a Flight Commander and added to his increasing tally of victories. In November 1940 he became an instructor and in August 1941 he formed and commanded No 135 Squadron, which was sent to the Far East in December. Arriving in Rangoon in January 1942 he scored a number of successes against the Japanese and given command of RAF Alipore. At the end of 1942 he was posted to India where he remained until returning to the UK in July 1945.
SP(BB)13 - Wing Commander Robert Francis Thomas Doe DSO DFC*
Bob Doe was among the highest scorers during the Battle of Britain period, having flown Spitfires with great success with No 234 Squadron and then Hurricanes with No 238. Later in the war he was to remain with Hurricanes and carried out a spot of ‘tank busting’ in Burma for which he was awarded the Indian DSO. Bob Doe is also a member of the Caterpillar Club. This photograph was taken in November 1939.
SP(BB)14 - Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris GCB DSO OBE MA
Sir Christopher served with No 3 Squadron during the Battle of Britain equipped with Hurricanes, and went on to have a very long and distinguished post war career in the Royal Air Force. He became Chairman of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association in 1978 and still takes an active role and interest in current events. This photograph was taken during the Summer of 1942.
SP(BB)15 - Group Captain Allan Richard Wright DFC* AFC
Wright was a veteran of the Battle of France and is one of the original ‘ Hunting Party’ for which No 92 Squadron was famed. Having served with 92 Squadron throughout 1940, he was posted to 59 OTU in July 1941, this picture having been taken in June 1941 while the squadron was based at Biggin Hill. While with No 92 squadron he amassed 10 destroyed, 3 shared destroyed, 2 ‘possibles’, 5 probables and 6 damaged. In 1943 while flying night missions in Bristol Beaufighters he added 1 Ju 88 destroyed and 1 Ju88 damaged.
SP(BB)16 - Wing Commander John Connell Freeborn DFC*
Freeborn was an early member of No 74 Squadron having joined the squadron in October 1938, and was to remain with the squadron until June 1941. In early September 1939 John was involved in the unfortunate incident which would later be name ‘The Battle of Barking Creek’ where, accidentally, Spitfires of No 74 Squadron attacked Hurricanes of No 56 Squadron. However, over Dunkirk John claimed his first victories which was eventually to rise to a very respectable 13½ by March June 1941. During the Battle of Britain John claimed more victories, resulting in the award of his DFC followed by the Bar in 1941.
SP(BB)17 - Warrant Officer Clive Geoffrey Hilken AE
It doesn't matter how famous a pilot is with this series, as the only criteria is that they are a Battle of Britain pilot, even with the briefest career details Hilken has a marvelleous story. He was posted to No 74 Squadron in August 1940, and so typically of the time was posted to RAF Wittering only to find that the squadron had moved to Kirton-in-Lindsey. Once No 74 moved to Biggin Hill in mid-September they were in the thick of the action and he was shot down and baled out in late October 1940. He was later forced to baled out again, and in June 1941 while still with No 74 Squadron he was shot down on a fighter sweep over St Omer, baled out for a third time and taken POW.
SP(BB)18 - Wing Commander Harbourne Mackay Stephen CBE DSO DFC* AE
Stephen achieved a great measure of success against the Luftwaffe in 1940, scoring 22½ victories between May 1940 and October 1941. For his part in the Battle of Britain, he was awarded the DFC and Bar, and then received the first immediate DSO of the war. He was awarded the AE for his work with the Royal Aircraft Establishment and having left the RAF in 1945 returned to his working in the Newspaper industry eventually managing the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph.
SP(BB)19 - Flight Lieutenant Richard Leoline Jones AE
Richard joined No 64 Squadron at Kenley in July 1940 flying Spitfires, on 12 September 1940 he was posted to join No 19 Squadron, which was part of the legendary Duxford wing still flying Spitfires. In November he rejoined No 64 Squadron and remained with it until April 1941 when he went to De Havilland Aircraft Co as a test pilot. Richard was to remain as a test pilot throughout the remainder of the war, and performed test duties until he was released from the RAF in January 1946.
SP(BB)20 - Wing Commander Christopher Frederick Currant DSO DFC*
'Bunny' Currant joined the RAF in 1936 and in April 1940 he joined No 605 Squadron. From middle of August onwards he scored a number of victories against the Luftwaffe and quickly rose to be one of the very notable pilots of the period. He appeared briefly as himself in the film ‘The First of the Few’ filmed at Ibsley where he was commanding No 501 Squadron in 1942, and he went on to command the Ibsley Wing. He was also awarded the Belgian C de G in 1943.
SP(BB)21 - Wing Commander James Gilbert Sanders DFC
This photograph is actually pre war dating from when he was flying with treble-one Squadron at Northolt, the white flying suits being a tell-tale sign. He joined No 615 Squadron in October 1939 as a Flight Commander and flew with the Squadron throughout the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain earning himself a DFC. In October 1940 he was picked to form 422 Flight FIU and went on to claim a number of night victories. His eventual tally was around 16 victories, but could have been higher.
SP(BB)22 - Wing Commander Patrick Peter Colum Barthropp DFC AFC
Better know to most as ‘Paddy’ we are delighted that he has taken the time to sign our photographs despite his hectic and phenomenal workload. He started life with No 613 Army Co-operation Squadron before volunteering for Fighter Command, and in September 1940 he joined No 602 Squadron. During October he damaged a Do 17 as well as sharing a He 111 and Ju 88. Then in 1941 he notched up further successes with No 91 Squadron. On 17 May 1942 he was shot down and taken PoW, spending sometime at Stalag Luft III amongst others, before being released on 2 May 1945. He eventually retired from the RAF in 1957.
SP(BB)23 - Wing Commander Donald MacFarlane Jack
Another 602 Squadron Battle of Britain pilot, he joined the RAuxAF in 1936 and was called up in September 1939. He flew throughout the Battle of Britain getting in early with a damaged Ju 88 on the 9th July and destroying a Bf 110 and a Bf 109 during August. During 1941 he commanded No 123 Squadron, then when 123 Squadron merged with 80 Squadron in 1942 he took command flying in the Middle East and Western Desert. Then followed a number of staff positions until he was released from the RAF in September 1945. Naturally Donald’s Spitfire bore the Donald Duck motif.
SP(BB)24 - Flight Lieutenant Arthur Joseph Smith
Arthur joined the RAF in June 1939 on a short service commission and after converting to Hurricanes in May 1940, he then converted to Spitfires and joined No 74 Squadron in September 1940 until the end of the Battle of Britain. He was released from the RAF in 1946 and became a very successful in the world of medicine.
SP(BB)25 - Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Stevens
Stevens joined 151 Squadron at North Weald on August 31. The squadron was about to move to Digby for a rest and he volunteered for a squadron in the south and he was posted to 213 Squadron. He was shot down on October 17 and crashed just outside Ashford unhurt. In January 1941 213 was posted overseas but Stevens remained on the staff at RAF Castletown. He later went to No 1 AACU and then 2 AACU. In September 1942 he was posted to 59 OTU, Milfield as an instructor. Two months later he joined 609 Squadron. He went to North Africa in April and joined 253 Squadron, he was promoted and appointed 'A' Flight Commander. He took command of 87 Squadron in Italy in September 1943.
SP(BB)26 - Squadron Leader Cyril Stanley Bamberger DFC*
Bamberger started his RAF career as RAFVR groundcrew in 1936. In late 1938 he was accepted for pilot training and rejoined No 610 at Biggin Hill on 27 July 1940, but with no experience flying Spitfires he was sent to 7 OTU, Hawarden for 3 weeks. He rejoined No 610 Squadron claiming a probable Bf 109 on the 28 August 1940. He was posted to No 41 Squadron on 17 September 1940, and on 5 October 1940 he claimed a Bf 109. In mid-October 1940 he left for Malta, arriving on 28 November 1940. He claimed two Ju 87s in January 1941 before returning to the UK in June 1941. He returned to Malta in 1943 and shot down another Ju 87 on 13 July over Sicily. In August No 243 Squadron moved to Sicily, and he received his DFC on the 28 September 1943. On 16 October he claimed a Bf 109, another on 25 May 1944 and a Mc 202 damaged on 15 June. In July 1944 he returned to the UK and awarded the bar to his DFC on 14 November 1944. Released from the RAF in 1946, he was recalled during the Korean crisis and retired from the RAF in 1959.
SP(BB)27 - Wing Commander Robert William Foster DFC AE
Foster was called up at the outbreak of war and joined No 605 Squadron RAFVR on 6 July 1940. In combat on 27 September he damaged a Bf 110 but suffered damage to his own aircraft and had to make a forced landing. The next day he damaged a Ju 88, while on 7 October he destroyed a Bf 109, a shared Ju 88 on the following day a probably Bf 109 on 15 October, on 26 October and 8 November he managed to score hits and damage Bf 109s and on 24 March 1941 he damaged a He 111. He left the squadron in September 1941 to become an instructor at 55 OTU. On 14 April 1942 he joined 54 Squadron, which was posted to Australia and arrived there 7 September 1942. He scored the squadron’s first victory in Australia with a Mitsubishi ‘Dinah’ on 6 February 1943, followed by four Mitsubishi ‘Bettys’, two more probables and two damaged between 15 March and 6 July. He was awarded the DFC on 13 August 1943.
SP(BB)28 - Squadron Leader Tony Garforth Pickering AE
Tony initially joined No 32 Squadron on 27 July 1940, however the CO thought they were two new to the flying game, so after a few short flights sent Tony and two other back to the OTU. He rejoined the squadron on 25 August 1940, however two days later the squadron was moved north for a rest, the CO stated that after two days Tony did not need a rest and was posted to No 501 Squadron on 28 August. He was shot down on 11 September by Bf 109s, however evened the score by destroying a Bf 109 on 29 October. He left 501 Squadron on 20 December to join No 601 Squadron. On 14 February 1941 he was posted to Harwarden as a MU test pilot and then as an instructor.
SP(BB)29 - Flight Lieutenant William Loius Buchanan Walker
A regular Biggin Hill Air Show guest, William joined No 616 Squadron on 18 June 1940 based at Leconfield. On 26 August he was shot down off Dover, rescued by the Royal Navy and admitted to Ramsgate Hospital, then onto the RAF Hospital at Halton. He rejoined No 616 Squadron at Tangmere on 1 May 1941. Later in the month he was attached to 1 Aircraft Delivery Flight at Hendon through to July 1942. He was then posted to No 116 Squadron on anti-aircraft co-operation duties until 6 July 1944. He was finally released from the RAF in September 1945.
SP(BB)30 - Squadron Leader Peter Leslie Dawbarn
Dawbarn spent a short period in France with 'B' Flight No 253 Squadron in April 1940. In May he went to 17 Squadron in France and returned to England when it was withdrawn on the 23rd. The squadron returned to France on June 5 and was withdrawn on the 17th, reaching Tangmere on the 19th. Dawbarn was involved in a flying accident on July 15, crashing during a routine patrol, and was seriously injured. After six months in hospitals, he was posted to 59 OTU, Crosby-on-Eden as an instructor. He did an instructors course at CFS, Upavon and was posted in June 1941 to an EFTS near Derby. In 1943 he returned to operations, flying with a Hurricane squadron at Warmwell. In late 1943 Dawbarn joined No 1 Aircraft Deliver Flight (ADF) and served at various stations in the London area until posted to India in February 1945 to command No 1 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit (AACU). He was released in 1946, as a Squadron Leader.
SP(BB)31 - Squadron Leader Desmond Fopp AFC
Born in Cuddly Creek, South Australia. Joined the RAFVR in 1938, called up at the outbreak of war he joined No 17 Squadron 24 May 1940 and served with it in France. On 12 July he shared in the destruction of a He 111, and on the 3 September after damaging a Do 17, he himself was shot down. He managed to bale out but suffered burns which kept him in hospital for three months. Upon recovery he rejoined No 17 Squadron in July 1941. In November he was posted to No 132 Squadron, becoming a Flight Commander and receiving a Mentioned In Despatches, eventually leaving the squadron in late 1943. After serving with the USAAF, he was posted to an Advanced Flight Unit where he was awarded the AFC for landing an aircraft safely after a mid-air collision. He finally retired from the RAF in 1975.
SP(BB)32 - Flight Lieutenant Peter Hairs MBE AE
On the 26 January 1940 Hairs was posted to 501 Squadron at Tangmere. The squadron flew to France on the 10 May and on the 15th Hairs shared in probably destroying a Do 17. On the 3 June he was shot down, but fortunately not seriously hurt and two days later he rejoined the squadron at Le Mans. He stayed with the squadron throughout the Battle of Britain and claimed a Bf 109 destroyed on September 5. He was posted to 15 FTS, Kidlington on October 13 1940, as a flying instructor. He went to 2 CFS, Cranwell for an instructor's course on February 23 1941, after which he taught at 11 FTS, Shawbury and 10 EFTS, Weston-Super-Mare before being posted to Canada in June as a EFTS flying instructor and then assistant CFI (EFTS).
SP(BB)33 - Flight Lieutenant Eric Gordon Parkin
After converting to Hurricanes, Parkin was posted to France to join 501 Squadron. In mid-June the squadron prepared to evacuate France. The squadron reassembled at Croydon on the 2lst. In the late evening of July 31 1940 the squadron took off from Hawkinge to return to Gravesend, but his aircraft had a starting problem and he took off late. Arriving at Gravesend in failing light he undershot the runway and touched coiled barbed wire on the boundary which caused the Hurricane to inverted. Badly injured he was admitted to Gravesend Hospital, later transferred to Halton and did not rejoin 501 until February 5 1941. With a non-operational category, he was posted away for an instructor's course on April 16 1941 and was instructing until the end of the war.
SP(BB)34 - Squadron Leader Douglas Gerald Clift
<Clift arrived at 11 Group Pool, St Athan on 24 October 1939 and after converting to Hurricanes, he joined 79 Squadron at Biggin Hill on November 17. On 15 August 1940 Clift claimed a Bf 110 destroyed and on 30 August he shared in the destruction of a He 111. In July 1941 he was posted to the Central Flying School at Upavon for an instructor's course. Clift later volunteered for the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit (MSFU) and served with it until October 1942. He remained on flying duties for the rest of the war, finishing up in South-East Asia with the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF). After the war Clift served with 34 Squadron flying photo-reconnaissance Spitfires until its disbandment in August 1947.
SP(BB)35 - Squadron Leader Douglas Benjamin Fletcher Nicholls DFC AE
In June 1940 Nicholls converted to Hurricanes at 7 OTU, Hawarden. After brief stays with 85 and 242 Squadrons, he joined 151 Squadron at Digby in September. On the 30th he shared in the destruction of a Ju 88 and returned to Digby with his Hurricane, P 5182, severely damaged by return fire. In August 1941 Nicholls was posted to 258 Squadron, they later were sent out via the Middle East to Seletar airfield, Singapore and flew their first operation on January 31 1942. On February 10 1942 the three surviving Hurricanes of 258 were withdrawn to Palembang with the fifteen surviving pilots, six remained behind to fly with 605 Squadron, with Nicholls being one of the nine evacuated from Java to Ceylon. 258 Squadron was reformed at Ratmalana on March 1 1942 and Nicholls rejoined it. Awarded the DFC (19.5.44) he remained with 258 until August 1944, when he was posted to HQ 224 Group, Burma, as Squadron Leader Tactics.
SP(BB)36 - Pilot Officer Norman McHardy Brown
Brown joined the RAFVR in August 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on September 1, Brown went to 3 ITW, Hastings, remaining there until April 1940 when he was posted to 30 EFTS, Derby. He went to 5 FTS in June, completed the course on September 6 and was commissioned next day. On the 16th he arrived at 7 OTU, Hawarden to convert to Spitfires. He was posted from there on the 28th to 611 Squadron at Digby. He moved to 41 Squadron at Hornchurch on 12 October 1940. Brown was one of a flight of Spitfires that overshot Hornchurch in poor visibility on 1 November and went into the London Barrage Balloon area. Brown struck a cable, seriously damaging his aircraft. He made a forced landing on a small piece of open ground in the built-up area of Dagenham. He left the squadron in late February 1941 and left the RAF in April and spent the remainder of the war working in the timber industry.
SP(BB)37 - Wing Commander Cyril Arthur Trevor Jones DFC
Jones was with 66 Squadron when it received its first Spitfire in August 1938. In April 1940 he was commissioned and posted to 611 Squadron. On June 2 he probably destroyed a Bf 109 over Dunkirk. On August 29 1940 he was posted to 312 Squadron, as a Flight Commander. He moved to 616 Squadron on September 4 as a Flight Commander. He flew 32 sorties and claimed two Bf 109s. He was badly wounded by return fire from a He 111 on November 5 1940, the He 111 crashed and he was Mentioned in Despatches for flying the aircraft back safely with just one arm. His injuries prevented him flying for eleven months, but during this time he commanded a Sector Operations Room. He returned to flying as a Flight Commander with 601 Squadron flying Bell Airacobras, later becoming the Squadron Commander. From February 1942 until February 1944 Jones commanded 79 Squadron in India and Burma and shot down 2 Mitsubishi bombers and was awarded the DFC (14.4.44).
SP(BB)38 - Flight Lieutenant George Charles Calder Palliser DFC AE
Palliser joined 17 Squadron on 3 August 1940 before moving to 43 Squadron on the 18th and joined 249 Squadron on September 14. He shared in destroying a Do 17 on the 15th, damaged a Do 17 on the 21st, destroyed two Bf 110s on the 27th, damaged a Do 17 on October 21 and destroyed a Bf 109 on November 7. He was shot down on December 5 by Bf 109s. On February 4 1941 he shared a Bf 110 and on the 10th shared in probably destruction of a Bf 109. He went with 249 squadron to Malta, arriving on the 21st. During the night of June 7/8 he shared a probable SM 79, on the 12th shared a Z 506B, on the 18th shared a Mc 200, on the 19th he shared a SM 81, on December 20 destroyed a Ju 88 and damaged a Bf 109 and on the 24th he shared in destroying two Ju 88s. On January 8 1942 he joined 605 Squadron at Hal Far, as a Flight Commander. He was awarded the DFC (30.1.42) and was posted to South Africa to be an instructor, arriving on March 28.
SP(BB)39 - Flying Officer Leslie Henry Smith
Smith joined the RAFVR in August 1938 as an Aircrafthand/General Duties. He went to Biggin Hill each weekend and made flights with 601 Squadron, AuxAF, in Demons, in the gunner's seat. Called up on September 1 1939, he began a Wop/ AG course but remustered as an Airman u/t Air Gunner. He completed his training and joined 219 Squadron in July 1940. In September 1940 219 began to receive Beaufighters and he and other air gunners were posted away and he joined 141 Squadron on night-fighting operations. In August 1941 the squadron's Defiants were replaced by Beaufighters and Smith and the other air gunners were no longer needed. He applied to remuster as a Navigator and in October 1941 he went to Rhodesia and later South Africa for training. He returned to the UK in January 1943 and joined 297 Squadron and took part in D Day, Arnhem and Crossing the Rhine.
SP(BB)40 - Squadron Leader Thomas Clifford Iveson DFC AE
Iveson converted to Spitfires at 7 OTU, Hawarden and joined 616 Squadron on September 2 1940. He ditched in the North Sea 20 miles off Cromer on the 16th, after running out of fuel pursuing a Ju 88, and was picked up by an MTB and landed at Yarmouth. He was posted to 92 Squadron on October 11 1940. After a spell on training duties he was commissioned in May 1942, and joined Bomber Command being posted to 617 Squadron in 1944. He flew three sorties against the German battleship Tirpitz, including the one which resulted in her sinking in Tromso Fjord on November 12 1944. He is currently the Chairman of the Bomber Command Association.
SP(BB)41 - Squadron Leader Basil Gerald Stapleton DFC
Stapleton joined 603 Squadron in November 1939. In April 1940 he baled out at night after his undercarriage jammed. On July 3 1940 he shared a Ju 88, on the 20th shared a Do 17, on August 29 he got two probable Bf 109s and on the 31st another probable. On September 3 he claimed a Bf 109 and a Do 17 destroyed and another probable, on the 7th he made a forced-landing after combat with enemy fighters. On September 11 he claimed a probable and damaged a Bf 109, on the 15th destroyed a Do 17 and damaged a Bf 109, on the 17th he got a probable Bf 109, on the 30th and October 15 he destroyed two more, added two probables on the 17th and 20th and had his final victory on November 11. He was awarded the DFC (15.11.40). In August 1944 he was given command of 247 Squadron. In December 1944 he was strafing a train when it exploded and pieces of debris punctured the radiator of his Typhoon, he forced-landing and was taken PoW.
SP(BB)42 - Flight Lieutenant Antony Robert Fletcher Thompson DFC JP
Thompson joined 85 Squadron on the September 29 and moved to 249 Squadron on October 17. He shared in the destruction of a Ju 88 on October 28 and destroyed a Bf 109 on the 30th. In May 1941 249 went to Malta and flew off HMS Ark Royal in two groups on the 2lst. On August 5 he joined the Malta Night Fighting Unit, then being formed at Ta Kali. He damaged a BR 20 at night on November 11. The Unit became 1435 (Night Fighter) Flight on December 2. He was posted to 71 OTU, Gordon's Tree, Sudan on March 3 1942. He returned to operations on October 1, joining 73 Squadron in the Western Desert. In mid-November he was appointed 'A' Flight Commander. At the end of December he was posted to Cairo and in February he went to 206 Group, as a test pilot. He was awarded the DFC (23.3.43). On March 10 1944 he was seconded to BOAC and on January 26 1946 he retired from the RAF and joined BOAC as a Captain, retiring from British Airways on October 14 1975.
SP(BB)43 - Flight Lieutenant William James Green AE*
Green joined 501 Squadron, AuxAF in December 1936 as an Aircraftsman. In October 1938 he retrained as a pilot and rejoined 501 Squadron in mid-July 1940. In August he crashed landed after being hit by anti-aircraft guns during combat with Ju 88s and Bf l09s. He was attacked by Bf 109s again on 29th and forced to make another crash landing. In November 1940 he was posted to 504 Squadron. He then underwent flying instructor training to become a flying instructor. In preparation for a return to operations, he went to 3 TEU, Aston Down in October 1944 for conversion to Typhoon aircraft. He then converted to Tempests and joined 56 Squadron at Volkel, Netherlands in November. He was shot down in February 1945 and was captured and held as a PoW until May.
SP(BB)44 - Group Captain George Herbert Westlake DSO DFC
Westlake was a student at the DeHavilland Aeronautical Technical School when he joined the RAFVR in September 1937. He was posted to 43 Squadron on September 21 1940, moving to 213 Squadron on the 29th. He claimed a Bf 109 destroyed on November 15. In May 1941 213 Squadron was posted to the Middle East. During June 1941, he was attached to 80 Squadron. The squadron moved to Cyprus in July 1941, rejoined 212 Squadron in October 1941 and appointed a Flight Commander. In June 1942 the squadron moved to the Western Desert. He was posted away on August 24 to 244 Wing, but took temporary command of 213 Squadron when the CO fell ill. He was awarded the DFC (18.9.42) and led 213 until October 13 1942, when he was posted to 211 Group, later moving to 212 Group. He was involved with planning the invasion of Sicily and Italy and in early 1945 he was appointed Wing Leader of 239 Wing, awarded the DSO (22.6.45) with eleven enemy aircraft destroyed.
SP(BB)45 - Lieutenant Commander John Humphrey Charlesworth Sykes
Sykes joined the Fleet Air Arm in 1939 and trained as a pilot, but due to a shortage of qualified RAF pilots he joined RAF Fighter Command. He joined 64 Squadron at Kenley on the 8 July 1940 and served with it until September 15, when he was transferred back to the Fleet Air Arm. He later converted to RAF Hurricanes and was part of the Royal Navy Fighter Squadron, which took part in operations in the Western Desert. During 1942 he served in the Far East flying Fulmars. Post war he was loaned to the Australian Navy to help set up their air component.
SP(BB)46 - Flight Lieutenant Trevor Gray
Gray joined the RAFVR in 1939 and was called for service on the outbreak of war. As he was only partially trained, he completed his flying training and after being awarded his wings was posted to 7 OTU at Hawarden where he converted to Spitfires. On September 16 he joined 64 Squadron and he damaged a Bf 110 in December 1940. He left the Squadron on April 3 1941 having completed his tour and was posted to 58 OTU at Grangemouth as an instructor from there he was posted to Castletown, the most northerly station on the mainland, to join 124 Squadron which was then being formed. At this time he suffered a reduction in flying category from medical causes, which limited his flying to reduced altitude and was transferred to flying instruction duties and trained both flying instructors and recruits until 1943. He was then given a post as a research engineer officer at RAE Farnborough until released from the RAF in 1946.
SP(BB)47 - Flight Lieutenant Ludwik Martel KW** VM (5thClass)
Martel arrived in England in early 1940 and was commissioned in the RAF in May and transferred to the PAF on August 6. He joined 54 Squadron in mid-September 1940 and moved to 603 Squadron at on the 28th and claimed a Bf 109 destroyed on 5 October. He was posted to 317 Squadron on 19 March 1941. He was rested on 28 January 1942, going to 58 OTU, as an instructor, before returning to 317 Squadron on 25 August. On 13 March he was posted with other Polish pilots to form the Polish Fighting Team, otherwise known as ‘Skalski’s Circus’. They operated in the Western Desert from 17 March to 12 May and destroyed 30 enemy aircraft. He damaged a FW 190 on 4 April and destroyed a Bf 109 and damaged a Mc 200 on the 20th. He returned to 317 Squadron on 22 July 1943. He was posted to 16 FTS, Newton on 20 August but went back to 317 Squadron on 4 November, as a Flight Commander. Tour-expired, he was posted to HQ PAF on 12 September 1944.
SP(BB)48 - Wing Commander Terence Michael Kane
Kane joined the RAF on July 25 1938 on a short service commission. During his flying training he was injured in an Audax crash and admitted to hospital, however he was able to complete his training and was posted to CFS, Upavon, for an instructor's course, after which he joined the staff at 14 FTS, Kinloss and later Cranfield. He went to 7 OTU, Hawarden in July 1940, converted to Spitfires and joined 234 Squadron on September 14. He shared in the destruction of a Ju 88 on the 22nd. The next day he failed to return from a routine section patrol. His Spitfire was damaged in combat off the French coast and he baled out at 6,000 feet and was picked up from the sea and captured by the Germans. Before being shot down, he destroyed a Bf 109. He was freed in May 1945 and stayed in the RAF until 1950. He rejoined the RAF in April 1954, serving in the Fighter Control Branch, and retired in 1974.
SP(BB)49 - Group Captain Leonard Harold Bartlett DSO
Bartlett joined 17 Squadron on July 15 1940. On August 28 he shared in the destruction of a Ju 88, on September 19 he shared another and on November 8 he destroyed a Ju 87 and probably a second. On March 18 1941 he was shot down over Sussex, he baled out wounded. Commissioned in July 1941, he was posted to 137 Squadron to fly Whirlwinds in February 1942. He attacked and damaged a Ju 88 on July 6 1942. In September he was given command of 253 Squadron. The squadron went to North Africa in November 1942. He destroyed a Ju 88 on January 10 1943. The squadron moved to Italy in October. He was posted away in January 1944 and he was awarded the DSO (3.3.44). He then commanded the airfield on the island of Vis, off the coast of Yugoslavia. He was awarded the US Legion of Merit for organising the rescue of USAAF aircrews. His next post was the supervision of the construction of a landing strip at Zemonia-Akos. He retired from the RAF in 1966.
SP(BB)50 - Flight Lieutenant William Terence Clark DFM
Clark joined 219 Squadron in July 1940. With the advent of the Beaufighter and airborne radar he trained as a Radio Observer. On the night of 16/17 April 1941, he intercepted and destroyed two enemy aircraft, a Ju88A and a He 111. On the night of 27/28 April 1941 he intercepted and destroyed an unidentified enemy aircraft, and on 13/14 June 1941 intercepted and destroyed a He 111.He was awarded the DFM (8.7.41). In July 1941 he was posted to 1455 Flight, then forming with Turbinlite Havocs. In May 1942 he went to 1451 Flight locating enemy aircraft by radar in the Havoc for accompanying fighters to attack and destroy until the scheme was abandoned. He moved to 60 OTU in October 1942, as a Navigation/Radar Instructor. In May 1943 he was posted to 488 (NZ) Squadron. At the end of his tour in March 1944, he was posted to North Weald Sector Operations, where he trained as a Controller. He rejoined 488 in August 1944.
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