On 31st May, 1942, 485 New Zealand Squadron lost two pilots after combat with FW190's. Flight Sergeant Stan Browne and Flight Lieutenant Matthew "Garry" Barnett both baled out in the Abbeville area but made it back to England despite being captured!
At the front of Airmens' Corner, at St. Luke's Churchyard, Whyteleafe, are two metal plaques. One of them remembers an airman who served with 24 (Communications) Squadron, at Kenley, in the 1920's.
2nd Lieutenant Charles Henry Albert Godfrey, was a local lad whose family lived at No.5 Norfolk Terrace, Godstone Rd (the row of shops next to The Kenley Hotel). As far as we know, he never flew from RAF Kenley.
Local videographer Phil Swallow has made an excellent film about the history of Hamsey Green Aerodrome, just down the road from Kenley in Surrey.
Ivors Russell Forster was born 21st June 1921, in St. Catherine's, Ontario.
In the late 70s I was part of a group (HAPS) that retrieved a Spitfire tail assembly from Kenley.
At a time when everyone faced mortal danger, the vital task of dealing with unexploded bombs stands out as one of outstanding risk and danger. Sadly, the exploits of those brave men were sometimes left unrecorded, and this seems to be the case for a terrible tragedy that took place in Whyteleafe.
401 squadron RCAF were stationed at RAF Redhill at the end of July 1943, when they lost two pilots in unrelated accidents only a couple of days apart.
Sunday 1st September, 1940, saw 11 Hurricanes from 85 Squadron, based at RAF Croydon, sent out to intercept a raid heading approaching Tunbridge Wells and heading towards Kenley....