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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. R C V Ash


Robert Clifford Vacy Ash was granted a permanent commission in the Stores Branch of the RAF in January 1933 and in August went to Cranwell on Supply duties.

On 1st September 1934 he went overseas to the Aircraft Depot, Hinaidi, Iraq, moving to the Central Supplies Depot there on 23rd May 1936.

In December 1938 Ash was serving at the Supplies Depot, Habbaniya but was back in England in 1939. He was posted on 1st May to the Equipment Branch, 24 (Training ) Group at No. 1 RAF Depot, Uxbridge.

Ash transferred to the General Duties Branch on 30th October 1939, having volunteered for aircrew duties. He completed his gunnery training and was posted to 149 Squadron at Mildenhall as Gunnery Leader.

He requested a transfer to Defiants and joined 264 Squadron on 20th June 1940.

On the morning of 28th August 1940 Ash was airborne in Defiant L7021 with his pilot, S/Ldr. GD Garvin. They got into combat with Me109's and both baled out when the aircraft was shot down, afterwards crashing in flames at Luddenham Marsh, Faversham.

Garvin landed with minor injuries but Ash was dead on landing. Bullet wounds indicated that he may have been machine-gunned as he floated down.

He was 31 years old and is buried in the Western Cemetery, St. Andrews, Fife.


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