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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. W P Cambridge


William Percival Cambridge was born in India in 1912, the son of a civil servant. He was sent to England, educated at Bromsgrove School and then returned to India where he worked in the sugar industry.



Above images courtesy of Bromsgrove School.


He joined the RAF in February 1936 as a candidate for a short service commission and began his initial training on 9th March 1936.

Cambridge was posted to 10 FTS Ternhill on 16th May and after completing his training joined 29 Squadron at Debden on 25th December 1936.



At the end of 1938 he was 'B' Flight Commander. He was detached to HQ 11 Group on 28th June 1939 on Air Intelligence duties. He was promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant on 6th September 1939.

Cambridge was posted from 11 Group on 24th May 1940 to 253 Squadron, then re-equipping at Kirton-in-Lindsey after returning from the heavy fighting in France. He was appointed 'B' Flight Commander.

He was detached to the AFDU at RAF Northolt on 4th June for a ten-day course on Air Fighting.

On 30th August 1940 he claimed a Me110 destroyed. The next day, after Squadron Leaders Starr and Gleave were killed and badly burned respectively, Cambridge assumed command of 253 Squadron, being then the senior Flight Commander.

On 1st September he damaged two Me110s and on the 4th he destroyed another.

During a routine squadron patrol on 6th September 1940 Cambridge's aircraft gave trouble. He baled out but was killed. The Hurricane, P3032, crashed at Kingsnorth.

Cambridge had married Mary Margaret Blackwell Moneypenny in July 1939 in Reading, she was then living at Caversham and arranged for Cambridge to be buried in Henley Road Cemetery, Reading, Berkshire.








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