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RAF Hornchurch in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- RAF Hornchurch during the Second World War -

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RAF Hornchurch

   No. 65 Squadron was formed at Wyton in 1916 and went to France in November 1917. It operated variously in a fighter, light bomber and ground attack role until the armistice, and was disbanded in October 1919.

The Squadron was reformed as a fighter squadron in 1934, equipped with Gladiators, converting to Spitfires in 1939. At the outbreak of war it was based at RAF Hornchurch


28th October 1939 Defence

28th April 1940 Change of Duty

17th May 1940  Patrol over Belgium

23rd May 1940 Rescue

24th May 1940 In Action

25th May 1940 Dunkirk

25th May 1940 In Action

25th May 1940 Aircraft Lost

26th May 1940 Pilot lost

26th May 1940 In action over Dunkirk

26th May 1940 Protection Duty

27th May 1940 Aircraft Lost

28th May 1940 Patrols

28th May 1940 Aircraft Lost

28th May 1940 Aircraft Lost

28th May 1940 Gunnery training

1st June 1940 First Spitfire 'Ace'

5th June 1940 Return to Duxford

18th June 1940 Patrols over France

25th June 1940 air battle

28th July 1940 Move

9th Aug 1940 Defence

24th August 1940  Airfields bombed

27th August 1940  Relocated to Scotland

31st August 1940  Battle of Britain

2nd Sept 1940 

2nd Sept 1940 Battle of Britain

3rd Sept 1940 In Action

3rd September 1940 Battle of Britain

3rd September 1940 Airfields bombed

3rd September 1940 

5th Sept 1940 Black Day

11th Nov 1940 Relocation

23rd February 1941 Move

17th May 1941 New duties

28th July 1941 On the Move

16th Nov 1941 New role

17th Nov 1941 On the Move

31st March 1942 Temporary move

8th September 1942  Relocated

 New territory

28th March 1943 Relocated

17th Sept 1943 Training exercises

9th Dec 1944 Air Raid

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have served at

RAF Hornchurch

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.

P/O Franklin 65 Squadron

P/O Franklin was stationed at RAF Hornchurch in 1940. I believe he was killed shortly after. I am seeking any information about him, especially a photograph. There is a road in Hornchurch named after him....Why?

Dr Garrod Hollis

P/O. William Henry Franklin DFM & Bar 65 Squadron (d.12th Dec 1940)

William Henry Franklin is my uncle. I have been trying recently to find information on him. I have found out a little. He was one of the ace pilots in the Battle of Britain. He has a street named after him in Hornchurch where his squadron was based, which I thought was lovely. He was just 29 when he died on 12/12/1940. He was married, but had no children. I am hoping, as a near relation (niece), I will be ble to retrieve some information, records, photo, etc.

If anyone knows the best way to do this could they advise me, as I am new to this. I would appreciate any help with my search at this time. I will add more as I find out more information.

Christine Hawkwell

F/Lt. Mervyn F.S. Young 129 Sqn, 72 Sqn

Mervyn Young with 129 Sqn at RAF Ibsley in the summer of 1943

A good friend of mine was based at RAF Hornchurch in 1943 - Flt Lt Mervyn Young of 129 Sqn & later 72 Sqn in Italy & Europe. He flew Spitfire DV-R (Serial No MH384). Mervyn told me that he was inspired to become a fighter pilot after watching the Howard Hughes Movie Hells Angels about WW1 Fighter pilots. He said his flight commander ‘Wag’ Haw had the same thoughts after seeing the movie.

He flew many missions in Europe including Ram-rod missions in support of the daylight bombing raids, mostly B17’s including the famous Memphis Belle at one time. On one sortie his No 2 Sgt Carmichael was shot down & killed but in 2003 his aircraft was recovered & in Sept' 2003 Mervyn was among the memorial parade with full miltary honours for Sgt Carmichael; lost on a sortie over Belgium & located 60 years later, the fateful sortie was flown while Mervyn was based at RAF Hornchurch.

Sadly Mervyn passed away in March 2006, I enclose a photo taken at RAF Ibsley in his Spit' DV-R (MH384) complete with his mascot logo of Jiminy Cricket.

David Perry

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