This information is provided in good faith but if further information is available we would be most grateful to receive updates and amendments.
Joined No 610 Squadron on the 27th of July 1940. Aldous destroyed a He 111 on the 30th of August 1940 . He moved to No 41 Squadron in September and on the 28th of the month force landed his Spitfire I (X4345) after combat over Charing at 10:40hrs. E.S.Aldous was Killed. on the 16th of October 1941 in a Hurricane II b (Z3028) of No 615 Squadron, aged 23. Son of Stanley George Aldous, and of Winifred Mary Aldous (nee Reade), of Sanderstead, Surrey. Remembered with honour FLUSHING (VLISSINGEN) NORTHERN CEMETERY
Missing 10/07/41. POW 27/07/41
Served at Biggin Hill and destroyed one aircraft before the Battle of Britain and two Bf 109's on the 18th of August 1940. On the 24th of August 1940 at 08:50hrs he was shot down by a Bf 109 of JG 51 off Ramsgate. He bailed out and broke an ankle on landing, ending his part in the Battle. He was admitted to Victoria Hospital, Deal - injuries received due to enemy action. Sgt S.J.Arnfield was awarded the D.F.C. on the 30th of June 1944.
On Monday, 30th September,1940 A Spitfire from 610 Squadron based at Acklington crashed on the beach at Alnmouth due to a flying accident. The aircraft was a write-off, and the 21-year-old pilot, Flying Officer C. H. Bacon, was killed. WINDERMERE (ST. MARY'S) CEMETERY Sec. B.1. Grave 52.
With 610 at Hutton Cranswick Feb 1942
With 610 on 20/03/42
Killed 08/08/43. OVINGHAM BURIAL GROUND Grave 501
Missing 10/7/41. MAIZIERES COMMUNAL CEMETERY
At Westhampnett Aug 1941. Killed 27/8/41
Known simply as ‘Bam’ Bamberger, his RAF career started 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 610 Squadron claiming a probable Bf 109 on 28th August 1940. Posted to 41 Squadron at Hornchurch on 17 September 1940, and on 5 October 1940 he claimed a Bf 109. In mid-October 1940 departed for Malta, arriving on 28 November 1940. Bam flew a Hurricane off HMS Argus to the island on 17th November, joining 261 Squadron. He shot down two Ju87s in successive days over Grand Harbour 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 Bam received his DFC on the 28 September 1943. On 16 October he claimed a Bf 109, another on 25 May 1944 and a Me 262 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.
Age: 85 (21 in 1940) Squadrons: 610 and 41 Bases: Biggin Hill; Hornchurch
Kills: 6½. Cyril 'Bam' Bamberger is another veteran of more than 100 sorties. 'In mid-September 1940 I was hit by enemy fire near the Kent coast. All I heard was a bang and then I was going down in a spin. I unstrapped myself ready to bale out, but then decided I would try the technique I had used in biplanes to get out of the spin. I strapped myself back in, and felt cocky when I regained control. 'But when I came in to land at Hornchurch there was a "twang" and both my wing flaps dropped down. I would have been a dead man if that had happened in the air. All the staff sergeant would say was, "Another bloody aircraft unserviceable."
In 1946, Squadron Leader Bamberger was recalled to the RAF for the Korean War. He became C/O of 610 in 1950 - 52 at Hooton Park and finally retired from the RAF in 1959. He later became managing director of a packaging company. He and his wife, Heather, have four children and seven grandchildren.
At Perranporth. Killed 22/06/43 age 25 HOOK OF HOLLAND GENERAL CEMETERY Row F. Grave 14.
At the outbreak of war Paddy flew obsolete Hinds, Hectors and Lysanders in combat, but converted to Spitfires and joined 602 Squadron at Tangmere. During the Battle of Britain he flew with some of the great aces - Douglas Bader, Sailor Malan, and Bob Stanford Tuck. In 1941 he was a Flight Commander with 610 Squadron. He was awarded the DFC in September 1941. Continuing to fly Spitfires, now with 122 Squadron based at Hornchurch, he flew fighter sweeps and escort missions. On 17th May 1942 he was shot down over St Omer. He baled out but was captured, spending the next three years as a POW.
With 610 at Westhampnett (Aug 41) but transferred to 92 Sqn KIA
Flew with No 610 Squadron and No 41 Squadrons in Spitfires during the Battle of Britain. He was in action on the 30th of September 1940, having attacked a Do 17 and a Bf 109 he became the prey. Six Bf 109's chased him and shot up his Spitfire with cannon and machine gun fire, He managed to land at Hawkinge and jumped clear whilst the aircraft was still rolling to a halt well alight with the airfield tender giving chase. Also with 93 & 222 Sqns. He was later awarded the DFC.
POW wounded 21/8/41
Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot 610 Squadron Biggin Hill 72 Sqn. On 1 January 1944 he transferred to the RNZAF and at the end of the year was flying Halifaxes. He was released in 1945 to be a first officer on Dakotas with BOAC.Brown later joined BEA and flew with the airline until his retirement in 1972
Killed 27/06/43. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 144.
At Biggin Hill. MIA 31/5/40
With 610 on 20/03/42. awarded DFC 20/11/42. Killed 21/04/43 RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 119.
At Hutton Cranswick ’42.
At Hutton Cranswick ’42. Killed 18/5/42. Grave 270. SCOTTOW CEMETERY
Joined No 610 Squadron on the 27th of July 1940 . Cox destroyed two Bf 109's one on the 12th of August and another on the 18th of August. Cox was shot down by Bf 109's and killed in his Spitfire I (P9511) on the 28th of August 1940 at 17:00hrs over Dover, aged 24. BIRMINGHAM MUNICIPAL CREMATORIUM Column 1.
Age 86 (22 in 1940) Squadrons: 666 and 610 Bases: Kirton-in-Lindsey; Coltishall; Kenley; Acklington; Gravesend, Kent. Kills: 6
‘My most frightening time was being jumped by 30 Messerschmitt 109s towards the end of October 1940, and we had an amazing dogfight four miles off Dover. When you are jumped from behind you do a “split-arse” turn – a very quick turn with no regard to direction – and you almost blackout in the process. I wasn’t a very good fighter pilot but I had a good sense of preservation. You were too busy getting out of the way to think you’d get hit. You always think it’s going to happen to some other poor devil. During the Battle of Britain I had one definite kill and a few I sprayed at.
After the war, Flt. Lieut. Corbin went back to teaching engineering at school. He and his wife, Jeanne, have one son, two daughters and five grandchildren.
With 610 at Hutton Cranswick Feb 1942.
Of Meols rejoined No 610 Squadron on the 25th of July after a spell with No 73 Squadron. He shot down a Bf 109 on the 14th of August 1940. On the 22nd of August his Spitfire (R6695 'P') was written off when he crashed at Hawkinge after combat with a Bf 109 at 14:15hrs. Killed at Malta after leaving 610 Squadron
Of 610 Squadron was killed when he stalled off a climbing turn in his Spitfire and crashed into the sea off Bognor 14/03/43. He died aged 19. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 124
At the outbreak of war he was called up, joining 615 Squadron in France, later posted to 242 Squadron in the fighting over Dunkirk. During the Battle of Britain he flew in Douglas Bader's section, and joined his Spitfire Wing at Tangmere as a Flight Commander of 610 Squadron. He was with 610 at Westhampnett in August 1941 and at Ludham in July ’42.. In 1942 he formed the first Typhoon Bomber Squadron. He finished the war with 5 victories. Crowley-Milling was a Flight Lieutenant at 610 Squadron. On 21 August 1941 and on his second mission of the day, escorting Stirling bombers to Lille, his Spitfire was shot down (probably by 4/JG 26-1) south-west of St Omer. Rescued by French civilians he was taken first to Hucqueliers and then to Renty where he stayed with Norbert Fillerin and "put in touch with the organisation" before being driven to St Omer by Désiré Didry and taking the train to Lille. He stayed either at Madeleine Deram's house or the flat of Jeannine Voglimacci in La Madeleine where he first met Harold Cole and Rudolf Ptacek, until 1 September.
For details of his journey from Lille to Spain see main text
From Miranda, when the rest of the party went on to Gibraltar, Crowley-Milling was in hospital in Madrid with typhus. He was later repatriated via Gibraltar and flown home by Sunderland on 2 Dec 1941. On his return to the UK C-M resumed command of E Flight of 610 Squadron and in September 1942 received his first squadron command flying Typhoons for ground attack. He became Wing Commander the following summer until eyesight problems took him off war-time flying. That autumn he joined the USAAF HQ to co-ordinate fighters with B-17 bombers on their daylight missions. He retired from the RAF in 1975 as Air Marshall Sir Denis Crowley-Milling, KCB,CBE, DSO, DFC and Vice President of the RAF Escaping Society. He was appointed Controller of the RAF Benevolent Fund and also took over the Bader Foundation after Bader's death in 1982. C-M died in 1996
At Westhampnett Jan/April ’43.
At Westhampnett Aug ’41.
At Westhampnett Aug ’41.Killed 12/12/41
Age: 84 (20 in 1940) Joined 610 Squadron early in October 1940 when the Squadron was stationed at Acklington, Northumberland to intercept incoming German aircraft. 'On October 7, 1940, Flight Commander Joe Pegge led us off in tight formation, flying along the beaches and hopping over the dunes, heading towards Berwick. Suddenly he said, "Listen to this, you two." I looked across and he was holding a book his right hand and flying with his left at just 100ft. He was reading excerpts from the raunchy Kama Sutra, and still managed to get over the dunes. 'He was a helluva bloke. When he was returning from honeymoon by train, three of us decided to welcome him in our Spitfires, crisscrossing over the top of the carriages at about 50ft, and, in our boyish enthusiasm, forgetting about telegraph poles. He told us we were silly sods who'd put his bride off flying for ever.'
On 5th February 1941, as part of Circus 3, Warrant Officer Denchfield's aircraft was hit by Maj Walthe Oësau and he baled out over France. He was captured and held as a POW until 1945.
After the War he worked as a draughtsman and engineer. He and his wife, Barbara, have three children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
At Westhampnett in August 1941
With 610 at Leconfield 1941
Shot down five aircraft before the Battle of Britain, three of them were fighters. He shot down a Bf 109 on the 24th of July 1940 and three more Bf 109's on the 25th of July. On the 26th of July he was made an acting Squadron Leader and given command of No 610 Squadron. He shot down four more aircraft before the end of August, three more of them were Bf 109's. J Ellis received a D.F.C. on the 13th of August 1940. He was awarded the Bar to the D.F.C. on the 2nd of May 1941. He ended the war a P.O.W. but returned to the UK and took part in the first Battle of Britain fly-past in September 1945.
Of No 610 Squadron baled out wounded on the 26th of August 1940 at 12:40hrs. Admitted to Kent and Canterbury Hospital – injuries received due to enemy action and posted to RAF Station Biggin Hill, non-effective sick. His Spitfire I (P9496) had been shot up by a Bf 109 over Folkestone. His Spitfire crashed at Paddlesworth.
With 610 at Leconfield 1941. Killed 18/04/42
C/O of 610 at Prestwick April 1940. Killed 29/5/40
With 610 at Hutton Cranswick 1942
With 610 at Hutton Cranswick Feb ’42.
Returned to 610 after being non-effective sick 21/08/40. Posted to RAF Station Biggin Hill on admission to Waldershaw Hospital 24/08/40.
At Ludham Summer ‘42
Brother of Tony. Killed 23/3/41
Born in Melbourne Tony Gaze joined Bader at Tangmere in March 1941 flying with 610 Sqn, scoring several victories during the high summer of that famous year. In 1942 he was posted to 61 Sqn and then commanded 64 Sqn. In Sept 1943 he joined 66 Sqn but was shot down. Evading capture he escaped back to England. In July 1944 he flew again with 610 Sqn and shot down the first Me 262 – the first German jet to be dhot down by a Spitfire in the 2nd TAF. Later he transferred to 41 Sqn. In the final days of the war he flew meteor jets with 616 Sqn. Tony Gaze finished the war an Ace with 11 and 3 shared destroyed, 4 probable and one V1. He was awarded the DFC with 2 bars.
With 610 at Leconfield & Westhampnett 1941 and Hutton Cranswick Feb 1942
With 610 at Hutton Cranswick 1942
Joined 610 19/06/40. Killed on take off from Biggin Hill in accident age 20. GILLINGHAM (WOODLANDS) CEMETERY Sec. B. Grave 431
Joined No 610 Squadron on the 6th of June 1940 he was 23 years old. Hamlyn destroyed two enemy aircraft before the 24th of August. On the 24th of August he destroyed a Ju 88 and four Bf 109s. He was the first pilot in the RAf to shoot down five enemy aircraft in one day.
Hamlyn then destroyed Bf 109s on the 26th, 27th, 28th and the 30th of August. Hamlyn was awarded the D.F.M. on the 13th of September 1940 and the A.F.C. on the 1st of January 1943.He rose to the rank of Wing Commander. He died on 7th May 1991.
Commanded 610 6/2/1942 – July ’42 married the Earl of Darnley’s daughter.
Killed 11/6/43 age 21 RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 137
At Hutton Cranswick Feb ’42.
At Westhampnett Aug ’41.
At Westhampnett Jan 1942
At Westhampnett Aug 1941
Reported missing 8/7/41 later P.O.W.
At Hutton Cranswick 1942. . Killed 26/09/1942 age 20 RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 99.
With 610 at Leconfield 1941 and Westhampnett Aug 41
Joined 610 on 19/06/40. Killed during dogfight practice with Sgt Chandler, H.H. on 12/07/40 crashed at Titsey Park four miles south of Biggin Hill.
from Winnipeg with 610 at Hutton Cranswick Feb 1942 and at Ludham July ’42.
The top scoring Allied Ace of World War II with 38 victories, Johnnie Johnson had joined 92 Squadron in August 1940. He flew with Douglas Bader in the famous Tangmere Wing, and then led 610 Squadron on the Dieppe Raid. After commanding the Canadian Wing at Kenley, he led 144 Wing again flying Spitfires, 127 Wing, and then 125 Wing. James Edgar (Johnnie) Johnson was born at Barrow-upon-Soar, Leicestershire, England, on 9th March, 1916. He studied at Loughborough College and Nottingham University but after being rejected by the Royal Air Force he became a civil engineer.
Johnson was also initially rejected by the RAF Volunteer Reserve but they changed their mind after the outbreak of the Second World War. Selected for pilot training he was sent to Hawarden in Cheshire to learn to fly the Supermarine Spitfire.
In September, 1940, Johnson was posted to 19 Squadron but missed most of the Battle of Britain after being forced to have an operation on his shoulder. When he recovered he joined 616 Squadron where he joined Douglas Bader, Hugh Dundas and Jeff West.
Johnson soon emerged as an outstanding fighter pilot. A master of accurate deflection shooting, a skill he had developed as a child when he hunted rabbits with a shotgun. In September 1941 Johnson was promoted to flight lieutenant and was given command of B Flight.
In 1942 Johnson became squadron leader and given command of 610 Squadron until March 1943. He was promoted to wing commander and took over the Canadian wing in the recently formed 2nd Tactical Air Force.
By the end of the Second World War Johnson had flown in over 1,000 combat missions. He holds the remarkable record of never being shot down and on only one occasion was his Spitfire damaged by the enemy. Johnson has been credited with 38 kills. Officially this is the highest total of any RAF pilot but some experts believe that John Pattle scored more than 40.
Johnson, who was awarded the DSO and two bars, the DFC and bar, the Legion d'Honneur and the Croix de Guerre, stayed in the Royal Air Force after the war. He served with the United States Air Force in the Korean War where he was awarded the American DFC.
In 1960 Johnson was appointed senior air staff officer in 3 Group, Bomber Command. He eventually retired in 1966 as Air Officer Commanding, Air Forces Middle East in Aden.
James Edgar Johnson, who lived for a while in Jersey before retiring to Buxton, Derbyshire, died on 30th January, 2001.
Known locally as Johnnie Johnson, James Edgar Johnson was born in Barrow on Soar near Loughborough on 9th March 1915. He lived in Melton, the first house on the left of Welby Lane as you leave Nottingham Road, with his parents - his father being a local Police Inspector.
Johnnie qualified as a Civil Engineer at Nottingham University in 1937. He joined the RAFVR and did his flying training at 21 E&RFTS, Stapleford before enlisting for full-time service in the RAF at the beginning of WWII.
He first went to ITW at Jesus College, Cambridge, completed his ab initio flying at 22 EFTS, Cambridge and his intermediate and advanced flying at 5 FTS, Sealand. He was posted to 7 OTU, Hawarden in August 1940, joined 19 Squadron the same month and moved to 616 Squadron at Kenley on 5th September 1940. He was 83267 Pilot Officer, (Aircrew category Pilot) on the RAF's books.
His first victory came on 26th June 1941, an Me 109. On 6th and 14th July he destroyed Me 109s and on 21st September two more. He was awarded the DFC on 30th September 1941 and made Flight Commander. He was awarded a Bar to his DFC on 26th June 1942 and the next month was given command of 610 Squadron at Ludham. Over Dieppe on 19th August he destroyed a FW 190 and on 13th February claimed another.
In March 1943 he was posted to Kenley to lead the Canadian Wing. Between 3rd April and 4th September 1943 he destroyed 10 FW 190s and shared another, destroyed 4 Me 109s and shared three more and shared an Me 110. He gained the DSO on 4th June 1943 and a Bar to it on 24th September 1943. He was posted to the Planning Staff at 11 Group in September but returned to operations in March 1944 when he was posted to Digby to lead 144 Wing. Between 25th April and 27th September 1944 he destroyed 8 FW 190s and 5 Me 109s. He was awarded a second Bar to his DSO on 7th July 1944. The Wing was disbanded in October 1944 and he was posted to lead 127 Wing. On 6th April 1945 he was promoted to Acting Group Captain and given command of 125 Wing.
He ended the War as the top-scoring Allied pilot, with 38 confirmed victories. He received the DFC (US) on 18th January 1944, the Order of Leopold (Belgium) in 1947 and the Croix de Guerre (Belgium) in the same year.
He remained in the RAF and in 1950 was attached to the US Air Force, serving in the United States and in Korea. He was awarded the Air Medal (US) in December 1950 and the Legion of Merit (US) in October 1951. He retired on 15th March 1966 at the age of 51 as an Air Vice-Marshal. He was made a CBE on 1st January 1960 and a CB on 1st January 1965. He died on 30th January 2001 in Derbyshire, where he had lived for many years and where he enjoyed his fishing at the Ladybower Reservoir.
His RAF promotions were:-
A former pre-war member of No 610 Squadron, he rejoined them in May 1940. On the last day of May he was shot down by defensive gunfire from a Dornier 215 and baled out of his Spitfire into the Channel. Keighley was picked up by a trawler then transferred to Naval pinnace. He baled out again on the 20th of July 1940 when his tail was shot off by Oberfeldwebel Schmid of I Gruppe of JG 51 .The Spitfire (N3201) he was flying crashed at Wootton, Kent at 18:30hrs. Keighley was wounded.
MIA 29/5/40 age 30 RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 6
At Westhampnett Aug 1941. Awarded DFC 5/4/41
Had been a member of No 610 Squadron since 1938, he shot down a Bf 109 on the 24th of August 1940 and another one on the 26th of August, Lamb also shot down a Bf 110 on the 29th of August and a He 111 on the 30th of August. He was awarded the AFC on the 26th of October 1943. Became C/O of 610 in 1946 when re-formed at Hooton Park.
Killed 27/10/41 age 24 LECONFIELD (ST. CATHERINE) CHURCHYARD Row B. Grave 8.
With 610 at Hutton Cranswick 1942
Killed 19/08/42. age 24 RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 88.
At Hutton Cranswick 1942.
Promoted to F/O wef 12/07/40 was at Westhampnett Aug 1941
At Westhampnett ’41 & Hutton Cranswick ’42.
Joined the RCAF in October 1940, arriving in England in August 1941. He joined 610 Squadron in February 1942 at Hutton Cranswick then 401 Sqn, where he destroyed an Fw190. Posted to Malta, he flew his Spitfire off HMS Eagle on 9th June, and shortly after transferred to 1435 Flight. On Malta he claimed 7 victories and was awarded the DFM. He was commissioned, becoming a flight commander in November. In December he returned to England. In February 1944 he joined 433 Squadron as a flight commander. On 7th June he was hit by ground fire whilst covering the Normandy beaches, crash landed, and was taken POW.
With 610 at Leconfield 1941 and Westhampnett Aug 1941.
At Ludham ’42.
Killed in Spitfire P9451 at Eglingham, Northumberland 24/10/40
At Hutton Cranswick Feb ’42.
At Westhampnett & Leconfield Aug 1941
90339 F/O Medcalf, Albert Rupert John (AAF) shown in photograph taken at Wittering. As part of ‘B’ Flight was stationed at RAF Bircham Newton with L1016 DW-Q 9/2/40; 11/2/40. MIA 27/5/40. Son of Rupert and Florence Medcalf of Willaston, Cheshire. Shot down on 27th May 1940 near Dunkerque aged 26 in Spitfire L1016 DW-Q. Runnymede Memorial Panel 6.
Awarded DFM Sept 1941
Joined No 610 Squadron on the 27th of July 1940. Merrick's Spitfire I (L1037) was attacked on the 24th of August at 16:30hrs by Bf 109's and he crash- landed at Fyfield and was wounded, he took no further part in the Battle. Merrick was awarded the D.F.C. on the 14th of July 1944. He was a pilot of a paratroop transport in the Caen area of Normandy on the night of the 5th of June 1944. He also received the Bronze Star (US) on the 30th of October 1945 for this operation.
Crashed in L1049 while on a training flight from Acklington and was killed. He is now buried at St Mary’s Church, Thame Oxon.
At Westhampnett August 1941
Musgrove was at Ludham July ’42.
In August 1940 Norris was leading his flight on an offensive patrol; when twenty Junkers 88 bombers were sighted. He ordered his flight to attack them butit was attacked itself by twenty Messerschmitt fighters. It became necessary to abandone the attack on the bombers and to engage the enemy fighters. During the combat Norris destroyed a Bf 109. He destroyed two Bf 109's on the 25th of July, plus two Ju 87's on the 14th of August and two more Bf 109's before the end of August. Norris was awarded the D.F.C. on the 24th of September 1940 and a Bar on the 23rd of May 1944.
d o.b. 30/11/1915 was a pilot with 610 squadron at Acklington. Posted to 610 from 7 OTU Hawarden 14/10/40. Bailed out of Spitfire at Acklington following mid air collision. Later attached to Station Flight, Acklington 14/12/40. Then posted to No 2 CFS Cranwell 12/1/41. Moved to 622 squadron flying Lancasters. Finished war service as Acting Sqn/Ldr.
Posted to 610 at Westhampnett 07/02/43
At Bolt Head MIA and then reported POW 27/6/43
At Ludham Summer ’42.
Later to become one of the RAF’s most highly decorated fighter aces
His widow, Molly, wrote the following account of Douglas's life:
"Doug was born on 14/12/13 at Oldcroft in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire and grew up nearby in Blakeney where he went to the village school at which his father was a teacher. In 1924 he obtained a scholarship to Rendcomb College, Cirencester, where he remained until he matriculated in 1931. Instead of proceeding to university he took a student apprenticeship with the English Electric Co. at Stafford and on completion of his studies, qualified as a transformer designer. By coincidence the sales manager of the company was also from Blakeney in Gloucestershire. He married Molly Hawkes in July 1935 at Stafford and they had their only child, Bill, in 1936 living happily in Stafford until 1939.
After Munich, when it became obvious that war was imminent he joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve as a sergeant pilot and had completed his initial training when war broke out. After further training he was posted in 1940 to 610 Squadron. After the end of the Battle of Britain, 610 Squadron was transferred to 11 Group of 19th December 1940 and operated under Group Captain Bader with Tangmere wings. He was commissioned as a pilot officer in June 1941 and posted to 54 Squadron Hornchurch. He was posted overseas to Egypt in August 1942 and joined 127 Squadron in the desert near Alamein. After the battle of Alamein 127 Squadron was transferred to Haifa. In October 1943 he was posted to India and joined 11 Squadron at Madras. In December 1943 the squadron was moved to support the army opposing the Japanese offensive. In March 1944 a further transfer was made to Tulihall in the Imphal plain where the squadron remained during the Imphal siege when the Japanese controlled all road access to the area. During this period in May 1944 he was awarded the D.F.C. (and a bar to this in April 1945). He had very little to say about his operational war service. Most of his war history was extracted from his flight logbook and other papers, without his knowledge, for a Battle of Britain 50th anniversary publication. He preferred to tell of the amusing incidents that took place away from the action and delighted in recounting the exploits of himself and his comrades in defeating the RAF bureaucracy. After repatriation to England in August 1945 and demobilisation, he returned to his previous employment as a transformer designer in various English Electric factories before being offered a position as chief designer for English Electric in Australia, which he accepted and all three of the Page family arrived in Australia in 1950. Until his retirement in 1978 he was chief designer, then chief engineer and manager of the transformer division of English Electric Co. in Brisbane. He moved from Brisbane to Bega in 1984 where he lived at Tarraganda next to the golf course, which readily allowed him to enjoy his favourite sport. He managed many trips to England, usually every two years or so to attend the Battle of Britain ceremonies in September and renew acquaintance with his brothers, RAF comrades and friends. Although comfortable at Tarraganda he had become a little frail, so he and Molly decided to take up the offer to live with their son and daughter-in-law at Jellat. The move was completed in July 2001 and he was very happy until his recent illness, which sadly took him from us."
The above was taken from The Old Rendcombian Society Newsletter
Joined No 610 Squadron in July 1940. He shot down three aircraft during the Battle of Britain. Killed on the 8th November 1941, aged 27.
Joined No 610 Squadron in June 1940. On the 8th of July Pegge destroyed a Bf 109 and on the 12th of August two more. Pegge scored five more kills before the end of the month, including three more Bf 109's. Pegge was awarded the D.F.C. on the 22nd of October 1940. C.O.J.Pegge Commanded No 610 Squadron from December 1941 to the following February. His great skill and initiative in air combat were particularly evident on one occasion when, although wounded in the eye, his aircraft damaged and the windscreen rendered opaque by bullets, he brought in his aircraft making a successful landing. He proved a fearless fighter when attacking superior numbers of enemy aircraft and was awarded the Bar to D.F.C. on the 29th of January 1946. 18 May 1941 F/Lt. Pegge was posted from 610 Squadron to 57 OTU Hawarden for duty as flying instructor. Heinkel He 111H-2 (2750) was shot down by Pilot Officer Pegge during attack on Farnborough. The abandoned aircraft crashed at Roy Hill, Blackboys 11.25 a.m. Oberfw. Rauschert and Flgr. Zinoegger killed. Oberfw. Riemann, Fw. Ester and Uffz. Stein captured wounded. Fw. Ester died later of his injuries. Aircraft V4+DW a write off. A7.92mm MG15 machine from this aircraft in the Halstead War Museum. Also represented in the Robertsbridge Aviation Society Museum. February ‘42 posted to Middle East
At Westhampnett missing from Rhubarb patrol 6/2/43 in DW-P BL769 age 24.north of Cherbourg
Parker, IR. First C/O of 610 1936-39
At Westhampnett Aug ’41. Destroyed 3 Flying Bombs.
At Castletown Christmas ’42.
Adjutant with 610 from Oct 1941 – Aug 1942 at Ludham July ’42.
Flying DW-P reported missing 21/8/1941 burried at Longuenesse, Souvenir France,
At Gravesend, killed off Dover 8/7/40
His Spitfire crashed at Little Bigknowle, Broad Oak after returning from an operational "sweep" was lucky to escape his forced landing when the aeroplane ran through a hedge and overturned. Was at Westhampnett Aug ‘41.
Reported missing 15/4/41 had previously been involved in midair collision with Sgt HB. McGregor on 24/10/40.
With 610 at Westhampnett Jan ‘42
Born 1914 at Formby. Destroyed a Heinkel He 111 before the Battle of Britain. Smith shot down Bf 109's on the 24th and 25th of July 1940. On the 12th of August, he was on patrol in his Spitfire I (K9818 'H') when he was shot down in flames over New Romney at 08:00hrs, he baled out, and was rescued from eight miles out to sea and hospitalised with burns. E.B.B.Smith was awarded the D.F.C. on the 30th of August 1940. He lived at Tattenhall near Chester.
Killed in action 25/07/40
With 610 at Hutton Cranswick Jan 1942 and Castletown Christmas ’42. Awarded DFC 20/11/42. Flew 6/2/43 (Bl256) , Missing 10/02/43
At Hutton Cranswick 1942.
At Hawkinge and Westhampnett Aug ’41.
With 610 at Hutton Cranswick Feb 1942
At Ludham Summer 1942
O/C ‘B’ Flight Westhampnett ’41. married Jo Frazer-Nash.
A former member of the R.A.F.V.R., he joined No 610 Squadron on the 28th of July 1940. On the 26th of August 1940, Webster`s Spitfire I (R6965) was damaged by Bf 109's over Folkestone. Webster crashed in flames while attempting to land at Hawkinge and he was killed, aged 26. SANDOWN-SHANKLIN (SANDOWN) CEMETERY
Shot down (FTR) flying ‘Z’ on 21/8/41
O/C ‘B’ Flight Westhampnett
C/O 610 at Westhampnett April – June 1941
At Hutton Cranswick Feb ’42.
Destroyed 4 Flying bombs
Missing on flying bomb patrol 30/8/44. Destroyed 1 Flying Bomb.
A Yorkshireman, was at Bolt Head in July 1943. In early July 1943 he flew as No 2 to Freddie Crewe on a Rhubarb operation to Morlaix. The weather was good and ‘Jock’ attacked some of the installations while I (F. Crewe) stooged around and drew some of the flak. 16 days later (29/07/43) he led a section on another Rhubarb operation and was shot down and killed on 29th July 1943 at Vieux-Marche (13 km south of Lannion) at the age of 24. He was buried at Lannion on 31st July 1943 and exhumed by a US Army Grave Registration team in September 1944. It is assumed that his body was identified at an American cemetery then taken to the Bayeux War Cemetery in Normandy – where he now rests. ‘He was a pleasant chap and a good Squadron member’ (Freddie Crewe).
Reported missing 27/05/44 POW
At Bolt Head. Led several Rhubarb operations into France. Following return from wedding of Sousse Venesoen (see Lightbourn) the next day was spent testing his aircraft which had had a major overhaul. Led sweep to Guipavas with Lightbourn as No 2. Freddie was shot down, captured and interned in Stalag Luft III as POW. Passed away on Friday 12th May 2000.
Destroyed ½ Flying Bomb.
At Exeter Jan ’44. Posted 09/10/44 for return to Australia
At Bolt Head
At Exeter Jan 1944
At Bolt Head in July 1943. Commander ‘B’ Flight, of which Freddie Crewe was a member. After the war became Training Captain for SAS qualified on DC-8s and Convair Coronados. Tried to ensure that the latter was not chosen. Died of cancer in 1987.
Son of William and Kate Harding of Chesham, Buckinghamshire. Was at Brussels 1944. Killed 11th February 1945. Destroyed 2 Flying Bombs.
At Bolt Head in July 1943. He was killed on 18th December 1944 aged 23.
At Exeter Jan ’44. Destroyed 1 flying bomb. Died 27/02/07 at London, Ontario
From Bridgwater, Somerset. With 610 from Jan – April 1943. Lost both legs in flying accident and was POW.
Missing on flying bomb patrol 09/07/44. Destroyed three flying bombs.
At Bolt Head in July 1943. Destroyed ¼ Flying bomb.
Of Boswell Street, Liverpool was C/O of 610 at Bolt Head in March 1943 – Jan ’44.
RAFVR was at Bolt Head in July 1943. He was killed on 14th February 194?? aged 25. Destroyed ½ Flying Bomb. Flew as No 2 to Freddie Crewe. Lightbourn and Freddie Crewe were Squadron representatives at wedding of Sousse Venesoen in Anglesey. Flew from Bolt Head in Tiger Moth on 1st August returning to Bolt Haed on 2nd. Winds so strong that trains were overtaking the Tiger on return journey.
At Exeter Jan ’44.
Killed 12/7/44 after destroying flying bomb, was from Gateshead. Destroyed 4 ½ flying bombs.
At Bolt Head
(Flight Commander ‘B’ Flight) reported missing 18/12/44. Destroyed ½ Flying Bomb.
Reported missing 28/03/43
Reported missing 28/03/43
Reported missing 10/12/44. POW. Destroyed 1 flying Bomb
C/O 610 at Exeter Jan ’44 – Feb ‘45. Destroyed 9 flying bombs
At Bolt Head in July 1943
At Bolt Head in July 1943
Destroyed 1 Flying Bomb
At Brussels 1944. Destroyed 1 flying bomb.
Son of John Hugh and Josephine Percy of Chwilog, Caernarfonshire died age 24 on Monday 22nd May 1944
At Exeter and Ophoven
Destroyed 4 ¼ Flying bombs
Crash landed Spitfire NH904 18/9/44
Destroyed 6 flying bombs. C/O 610 Feb ’44 to Mar ‘45.
Flew 6/2/43 BL563 ‘U’ Missing 13/02/43.
At Bolt Head in July 1943
At Exeter when Squadron re-equipped with Spitfire XIVs and Ophoven (Jan 1945), went missing 11/2/45 shooting up Huns retreating from Ardennes. Destroyed 1 Flying Bomb.
Born in Antwerp 19/10/20 became member of Aéronautique Militaire. However his dreams were shattered in May 1939 when he failed pilot training, but despite this setback he re-mustered to become an air-gunner. François was sent to Nivelles aerodrome situated northwest of Charleroi to a squadron within III Groupe of the 2e Regiment d' Aéronautique to fly in obsolete Avions Fairey Fox two-seat biplane fighters. Like many of his compatriots François Venesoen managed to escape across the English Channel via France, arriving in England on 23rd June, where he immediately sought to enlist in the Royal Air Force to continue the fight against the Nazi conquerors. It was not until 27th August with the Battle of Britain finely balanced that François was posted to serve as an NCO air-gunner with the Bristol Blenheim MkIVF's of No.235 Squadron based at Bircham Newton in Norfolk, though the squadron often used Thorney Island on the south coast as a forward operating base. The Blenheims were not ideally suited to the tasks the squadron undertook, which consisted mainly of convoy protection patrols and reconnaissance missions over the North Sea with occasional forays to attack the French Channel ports.
Despite the risks involved on such missions, the squadron suffered comparatively light losses of 6 aircraft on operations from July to October of 1940, and with claims for at least 12 Luftwaffe aircraft, achieved what could be considered a good return! Sadly however, most of the crews No.235 Squadron lost went missing, but François survived the Battle of Britain as one of the Belgians to have proudly served amongst the ranks of 'The Few'.
The dream of François Venesoen to become a fighter pilot was re-ignited when he applied for pilot training whilst with No.272 Squadron, which had reformed in November 1940 at RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland for shipping escort duties, when one flight from No.235 and No.236 Squadron respectively were merged together. He began his ab-initio pilot training with No.13 Service Flying Training School, and on successfully completing his elementary flying moved to No.5 Flying Training School at RAF Sealand near Chester on 9th July 1941, where he was soon granted a Commission. In October Pilot Officer Venesoen at long last realised his dream, for he gained his 'wings' and went to No.61 Operational Training Unit at Heston in Middlesex.
On 18th December he joined the newly formed No.350 (Belgian) Squadron flying Spitfire MkIIA's at RAF Valley on the island of Anglesey for operational defensive duties and convoy escorts over the Irish Sea.
The squadron had to wait until April 1942 before moving to Southern England to join the Debden Fighter Wing for the hazardous task of fighter sweeps over occupied Northern France. Now the Belgians could hit back at their German enemy as a unit by themselves! In a prelude to the launching of a sea-borne invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe, plans were put together for an amphibious attack on the heavily defended port of Dieppe under the codename of Operation Jubilee.
The day of the attack on 19th August proved costly for the Allies with heavy casualties both on the beaches and in the air, with RAF Fighter Command losing around 100 aircraft whilst covering the assault! Valuable future lessons were learned from the ill-fated operation, but Flying Officer Venesoen achieved success for himself that day when he claimed the destruction of 2 Focke-Wulf Fw190's his first personal victories over the Luftwaffe! However during the squadrons fourth sortie of the day François had a wingtip on his Spitfire shot away, but he returned safely.
His next success came on 16th November when he shared in the destruction of a Junkers Ju52 transport over St.Aubin airfield in France during a Rhubarb sortie. In March 1943 No.350 Squadron moved north, but François remained in the frontline with a posting to No.610 Squadron and soon celebrated another victory on 29th March when he claimed a raiding Fw190 off the coast near to Brighton. On 21st April during Circus 290 he again tangled with the 'Butcher-birds' to put in a claim for damaging 2 of the dreaded Focke-Wulfs. He was at bolt Head in July 1943 with 610 Squadron . Married in Anglesey on 31st July 1943 attended by Freddie Crewe and Tex Donohoo in Tiger Moth. and it was during Ramrod 87 on 24th September that François Venesoen achieved his last credited victory when he shared in the shooting down of a Messerschmitt Bf110 at Cap St-Mathieu near Caen in Normandy.
His success in combat was recognised with the award of a Distinguished Flying Cross on 15th December. In the early months of 1944 planning began for Operation Overlord D-Day! François now found himself back with his countrymen of No.350 Squadron to conduct offensive missions with the Second Tactical Air Force, in readiness for the invasion of Mainland Europe and liberation of their beloved country! On 6th June at 04:35 hours, François took off for an early morning patrol over the Normandy beachhead in a war-weary Spitfire MkV serial EN950 [MN-H]. The Squadron record book takes up the story: "Over the Channel F/Lt Venesoen had to bale out owing to an internal glycol leak. His parachute opened alright and he was last seen by his Number 2 (F/O L. Siroux) alighting on the rough sea and struggling in the water, trying to inflate his dinghy. After F/O Siroux had pulled up to lead 3 launches to the spot, no trace of F/Lt Venesoen could be found". He is now commemorated on Panel 203 of the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede. The badge of No.350 Squadron has an ancient Belgian warrior; François Venesoen typified that image and we should never forget his sacrifice. Belgae Gallorum Fortissimi ("The Belgae, bravest of the Gauls"). Dean Sumner
At Brussels 1944. Destroyed 1 Flying Bomb.
Awarded DFC 22/11/43
At Bolt Head in July 1943. Awarded DFC 28/10/43.
At Lympne 30/10/44 reported missing 26/01/45 POW
Reported missing 28/03/43
Flew 6/2/43 EP564
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