RAF Kenley is more commonly known for its role in the Battle of Britain or the Canadian Wing, under “Johnnie” Johnson, but it also featured heavily in the Battle of France. Between 10 May and 25 June 1940 eight squadrons, or parts thereof, were based at Kenley.
For the night of 18th October, 1940, the 615 Operations Book records the death of four airmen as a result of enemy action. They were stationed at RAF Northolt at the time but the Squadron had close connections with Kenley, being the local Auxiliary Squadron, with many personnel drawn from the local area.
Following their departure from Kenley on 21 April 1941, 615 Squadron continued to operate the Hawker Hurricane as their mount on travels to Wales, Kent and finally India. Stationed at Alipore, near Calcutta (Kolkata), it was not until 30 September 1943 that they began swapping their Hurricane IIs for Spitfire Vs.
This letter dated 20th July 1945, was sent to Flight Sergeant "Pat" Glover by Petrus "Dutch" Hugo, who had risen up the ranks since the two had been stationed together at Kenley during the Battle of Britain.
On Friday 14th October, 1939, Leslie Victor Knights (30), his wife Queenie Hilda Mary Knights (28),and their two children John (5) and Doris Jeanette (14 months), were found dead from gas poisoning at their home at Parkway, Addington. The chain of events which led to this tragedy had begun with the seemingly trivial matter of a wrongly addressed letter..
We are grateful to June Marshall for sending in these photos and mementos of her father, Gerald Ewart Frank Hargrave.
10 August 1944 would be the blackest day for 615 Squadron and not due to enemy action...
After a period of intense action at Kenley during the summer of 1940, 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron were posted north to Prestwick to rest and re-group. While their memories of their time in Scotland were mostly happy, some of them witnessed a horrific accident which left an indelible mark on them.
We are indebted to Peter Parsons for sending in the information he has about his Father's service with 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron, much of which comes from Jack's Service file and a letter written to him in 1999 by Vic Milner, who served alongside Jack on 615's ground crew.
Douglas Harry Leason served in the RAF from the end of January 1936, until November 1945. We don't have many details about his service, but know that he was with No.615 Squadron in France and at Kenley during 1939/1940.
Derrick Wilson Halton was born in Northamptonshire in 1919. His father was John Wilson Halton, born Ulverston 1878, and Ethel ...