The Airmen's Stories - P/O S E Andrews
Sydney Ernest Andrews was the son of John Andrews and Edith Annie Andrews (nee Mash) of Worcester. The couple emigrated to Canada in 1901 living at 163 Elgin Drive, Winnipeg.
Sydney and another son were born there but following the death of John Andrews, date unknown, his widow and the two boys returned to England, settling in Hillingdon Heath. Middlesex.
Sydney joined the RAF as a direct-entry Airman u/t Pilot in September 1936. He flew Fairey Battles in France in 1940 with 150 Squadron.
For his service in France Andrews was awarded the DFM (gazetted 5th November 1940) the citation read:
These airmen have been together as an aircraft crew since the outbreak of war. By mutual trust and co-operation in their duties, they have produced a really first-class team which can be relied upon to complete any air operation allotted to them. Since 10th may 1940, this crew has flown in one day and eight night operations against the enemy, sometimes in very difficult weather conditions. On each occasion, the target was located and attacked and valuable reconnaissance information obtained. I consider that the fine service rendered by each of these airmen is most worthy of reward.
His crew, NJ Ingram - Air Observer and HR Figg - Wireless Operator and Air Gunner (later F/O and awarded a DFC with 161 Special Duties Squadron) also received a DFM.
He volunteered for Fighter Command, was commissioned on 2nd September 1940 and on the 5th was posted to 32 Squadron at Acklington. He moved to 257 Squadron at Martlesham Heath on the 22nd of the month.
The squadron had great success when it met the Italian Air Force, making its only raid on the UK, on 11th November 1940. Andrews shared in the destruction of a Fiat BR20.
257 Squadron November 1940 after the Italian raid.
L to R: P/O G North, Sgt. LD Barnes, P/O SE Andrews, P/O B Davey, P/O PA Mortimer, P/O JK Kay, Sgt. SE Lucas, F/Lt. HP Blatchford, P/O K Pniak
He was later posted to the Middle East and on August 9th 1942 Andrews was killed in a flying accident whilst serving with 3 ARU (Aircraft Repair Unit). The engine of Tomahawk IIB AM399 failed while landing at Moascar, Egypt, and the aircraft struck a building.
He is buried in lsmailia War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
Photographs courtesy of Colonel C R Romberg RA, British Embassy Cairo