On 29th April, 1942, R.A.F. Kenley received an unpublicised visit from King George VI, accompanied by Sir Sholto Douglas.
He observed the Kenley Wing going out on a “sweep,” and watched the sortie plotted on the Operations Room table at The Grange, in Old Coulsdon. The squadrons crossed the French coast at Hardelot, and, after a series of inconclusive engagements with F.W.190s, turned for home to the east of Calais.
The King met the pilots of No.485 and No.602 squadrons at the airfield after they landed while No.452 squadron had to be brought to Kenley by bus from their base at Redhill.
Flying Officer James Harry “Ginger” Lacey, was introduced to the King as the pilot who had shot down the Heinkel that bombed Buckingham Palace on 13th September, 1940. He confessed that he was unaware that the bomber had been anywhere near the Palace at the time.
- R.A.F. Kenley by Peter Flint.
- Photo reproduced with the kind permission of Iris Flint.