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

The Wartime Memories Project

- RAF Kenley during the Second World War -

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RAF Kenley

   No 17 Squadron was formed at Gosport on 1 February 1915 and was an Army Cooperation unit in Egypt and Arabia before spending the rest of the war in Salonica. In December 1918, the squadron sending A Flight to Batum to support the White Russian forces in the Russian civil war. B and C Flights went to Constantinople as part of the army of occupation in Turkey. On 14 November 1919, No 17 was disbanded.

It was reformed again at Hawkinge on 1 April 1924, and formed part of the fighter defence of the UK until the outbreak of World War Two. In June 1939 the Squadron was based at RAF Kenley and received new Hurricanes.


Sept 1939 Patrols

13th Dec 1939 Moving again

11th May 1940 Deployed to France

16th May 1940 Relocated

20th May 1940 Ops in France

29th May 1940 Three pilots lost

30th May 1940 Move to Scotland

1st June 1940 Aircraft lost

15th August 1940  Airfields attacked

18th August 1940 Airfields attacked

19th August 1940 Respite

30th August 1940 Battle of Britain

2nd Sept 1940 Battle of Britain

3rd September 1940 Relocated

11th Sept 1940 Relocated

10th August 1943 Relocated

17th Sept 1943 Training exercises

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

Those known to have served at

RAF Kenley

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Battle William. (d.18th August 1940)
  • Smith Arthur Dumbell. Sgt. (d.6th September 1940)

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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Research your own Family History.

Dec 2017 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 237716, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.


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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.

William Battle 58th Battalion, Surrey Regiment (d.18th August 1940)

I have been researching my family tree for the last few months. I knew that my great grandfather, William Battle, on my mother's side had been killed during WW2, but that was all I had been told. I have discovered that he was a platoon commander with the 58th Battalion, Surrey Regiment of the Home Guard. He was killed during the raid on RAF Kenley on the 18th August 1940 (the hardest day) age 61. He is on the roll of honours. He left a widow, Elizabeth J. Battle (my great grandmother) who I remember as I was 7 when she died. I would love to know (very long shot) whether anyone knew him and was a survivor of that day at RAF Kenley.

Another point of interest, William Battle had a nephew called Sydney Battle, Bedfordshire who died in 1917 during the Battle of Ypres, age 20, he is buried in France.

Marcelle Williams

Sgt. Arthur Dumbell Smith RAF Kenley 66 Sqdn. (d.6th September 1940)

Sgt Arthur Smith bailed out wounded during combat on 4th September and died in hospital of his wounds on the 6th.

B Fishe

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