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No. 66 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- No. 66 Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 66 Squadron Royal Air Force

3rd September 1939 A second Spitfire Squadron  No 66 Squadron was formed at Filton in 1916 and moved to France in March 1917 as a fighter unit. In November 1917 it was sent to Italy to engage with the Austrian front. In March 1919 it returned to the UK where it disbanded in October 1919.

On 20 July 1936 No 66 Squadron was reformed at Duxford from C Flight of No 19 Squadron. In November 1938 its Gauntlets were replaced and 66 Squadron was re-equipped with Spitfires.

3rd September 1939 A second Spitfire Squadron

25th April 1940 On patrol

12th May 1940 Sweep over the Netherlands

13th May 1940 Dogfight over Holland

16th May 1940  Relocated

28th May 1940 Pilot lost

29th May 1940 Relocated

2nd June 1940 Spitfire shot down

10th July 1940 Battle of Britain begins

29th July 1940 Battle of Britain

19th August 1940 Airfields attacked

3rd September 1940 Relocated

4th September 1940 Battle of Britain

5th September 1940 Battle of Britain

7th Sept 1940 Battle of Britain

9th Sept 1940 London Blitz begins

11th Sept 1940 Relocated

14th Sept 1940 Battle of Britain

15th Sep 1940 Battle of Britain Day

18th Sept 1940 London bombed

30th Oct 1940 Squadron moved

24th February 1941 Sent west

27th April 1941 Many moves

9th February 1943 Move to Orkney

28th June 1943 New role

10th August 1943 Relocated

17th Sept 1943 Training exercises

6th June 1944 D-Day sorties

August 1944 Into France

September 1944 Advance

20th Feb 1945 Recuperation

10th March 1945 Back to Europe

30th April 1945 Squadron disbanded

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

Those known to have served with

No. 66 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Mather John. Sgt. (d.27th Oct 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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Sgt. John Mather 66 Squadron (d.27th Oct 1940)

After extensive research a group of us who live locally are organising a tribute to Johnny Mather who crashed on Sunday 27th October 1940. Local artist, Malcolm Pettit, who actually retrieved the crashed Spitfire remains in the 1970s and filmed the removal of the engine, had created a painting of the incident using maps and photos of the period. Johnny is pictured heading down vertically towards the village of Hildenborough, Nr Tonbridge Kent while his leader circles his plane calling out his call sign. Unfortunately he did not recover and crashed behind the Half Moon public house. His body was recovered at the time and is buried at Ifield cemetery. The painting which has now been reproduced onto prints and also contains photos of Johnny being presented to the King, and various members of his squadron will be unveiled on a permanent wall in the Half Moon public house. A fly past of a Spitfire piloted by Peter Monk is also being arranged. There has always been a mystery about his death, as some locals heard gunfire shortly before his plane dived into the ground. Official records put it down to oxygen failure.

What we require, if possible, is to see if we can find a survivor of that period, whether it be ground crew or what to unveil the plaque and picture. Many thanks and hope to hear something favourable

Roger Knowles

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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