On 16th February 1943, an afternoon fighter sweep (Rodeo 170) turned into a disaster for Kenley's Canadian wing.
VICTOR OLIVER REYNOLDS was born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire in 1892. His Father Acton Reynolds was a journeyman butcher. By 1901, the Reynolds family were living at 22 Castle St, Reading. Victor had two sisters, Cordelia and Dora, and one brother Charles.
Born on 22 February 1916, William Davies Eccleton was the son of William Christopher and Frances Mary Eccleton of Levin, Wellington, New Zealand.
William Douglas Willis, the son of Henry Samuel and Alice Margaret (nee Nice) Willis, was born in South Yarra, Victoria on 26 April 1917.
William Wallace Anderson enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) two days after his first wedding anniversary.
Francis Victor Beamish was born in Dunmanway, County Cork, Ireland, on 27th September, 1903, - three of his brothers served in the RAF and also attained high-ranking positions.
On the afternoon of 25th April, 1942, Squadron Leader "Hawkeye" Wells led the Kenley Wing on Circus 137. Group Captain Corner was shot down and baled out too low over the Channel. Having no known grave, he is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.
Junior Technician Richard William Blatch was born in Gosport, the son of Leonard and Winifred Blatch. He died of exposure after being caught in a blizzard while training, in Snowdonia, for a climbing expedition.
Alfred Percy Hall was born on 18th May, 1901, and baptised at St. Matthew's, Northampton. For reasons unknown, he went absent without leave from 31st July, 1924, and it appears that he drowned in unknown circumstances, sometime around 5th August.
Thomas Holroyd was the foster son of Alfred E. and Zoe Colley of Liverpool. He was a Flight Mechanic with No.615 (County of Surrey) Squadron.
Not all the deaths of RAF Kenley related personnel were due to enemy action. One such was the tragic death of Leading Aircraftman William Spirrell in Devon on 7 June 1940.
LAC William John Tanner was the son of William and Emily Tanner, of Old Coulsdon. He was married to V. J. Tanner, of Old Coulsdon.
Pilot Officer Albert Emmanuel Alex van den Hove d’Ertsenrijck, was seen by an eyewitness, Don Key, to try and make a forced landing in a meadow adjacent to the River Stour but the pilot jumped at very low level (possibly hoping to fall into the water), struck a tree and was killed.
On 17th January, 1943, No.402 Squadron, RCAF, paid a terrible price when they headed across the Channel on a fighter sweep, (Rodeo 151), with No.401 and No.412 squadrons - three pilots missing.
Anthony was born in Prestwich in December 1919 and then educated at St. Peters Court, Broadstairs, and Rugby School. He was a proficient sportsman.
Pilot Officer Jenkins was born in May 1919 and was the son of the Revd. Canon William Owen Jenkins, D.D. and Horatia Mary Jenkins, of St. Andrews. Fife.
Frederick Cecil Harrold was born on 17th May 1917, the son of Frederick Charles Harrold and Florence Nightingale Harrold (nee Booth).
John Kenneth Grahame Clifton, (known as "Kenneth"), was born in Plymouth in October 1918. He was the son of John Henry and Susie Dorothy Anderson Clifton. The family moved to Somerset in 1928 where Kenneth was educated at Taunton School.
Michael Robert Mudie joined the RAF on a short service commission in March 1939. On completion of his training he joined the 11 Group Pool in November of that year.
Vilém was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, in April 1915. At school he was an accomplished pianist and athlete. Upon graduating in June 1934, he volunteered for military service, and commenced his basic training with 2 Air Regiment, Olomouc.
Wlodzimierz Michal Czech Samolinski was born in Poland in October 1916 and after school, joined the Polish Air Force where he conducted his training at Deblin. He then joined 122 Fighter Squadron in October 1938 as a 2nd Lieutenant.
ALFRED ROBERTS TIDMAN was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, in 1918, the son of Arthur Roberts Tidman and Christian Laing Tidman.
On 16th May, 1927, luck ran out for one of 32 squadron’s most daring and colourful characters – 21 year old Pilot Officer Arthur Leslie Holden.