These are the memories of Corporal Frederick Victor Bashford who served with No.615 (County of Surrey) Squadron, through the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, from notes taken during a telephone call on 24th July 2020.
On 28th July, 1943, Squadron Leader 'Buck' McNair of 421 squadron, RCAF, escaped with his life when the engine of his Spitfire failed, forcing him to ditch in Channel. However, the injury he sustained that day eventually ended his flying career, though he kept it secret and returned to flying in combat within a month...
Originally there were 12 pens at Kenley, of which all except one still exist in various states of completeness. In this article, Neil Broughton examines their construction and the differences between them.
On 27th July, 1943, George Clinton Keefer, who had been in command of 412 squadron RCAF for about 6 weeks, was leading them on a late afternoon sweep 15 miles over France, when the engine of his Spitfire, packed up.
Sheila used to fill in for Douglas Bader's secretary when he was away and got to know Bader quite well. The staff used to refer to the management by their initials and Bader was known as "B."
In the early 50's I was an Air Cadet in the ATC 97th Sqn Mitcham Road Barracks and it was from Kenley that I took my very first flight in a Avro Anson.
Hailing from London, Donald George Alexander Stewart was born in 1913, the eldest son of William George Stewart, a Scotsman, and Mary Sarah Stewart (nee Edwards) who was born in Dover.
Pierre Michel Blaize was born in Saint Leocadie, near Perpignan, in the Roussillon area of France on 1st November 1915. He joined the French Air Force in August 1935 and was promoted to Sergeant in August 1936.
"In all his actions he exemplified the highest ideals of the RCAF and the people of Pouce Coupe may well be proud of his record."
At 11.40am, on 1st October, 1918, Second Lieutenant William Millar Gourlay, of 91st Squadron, Kenley, was killed when his Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin stalled and crashed while turning near the ground.
ALFRED ROBERTS TIDMAN was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, in 1918, the son of Arthur Roberts Tidman and Christian Laing Tidman.