The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. E Combes
Eric Combes was born on 25th April 1918 in Chichester and joined 608 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force as an Aircrafthand in July 1938.
Called up on 24th August 1939, he remustered as an Air Gunner and after completing his training he was posted to 219 Squadron, operating Blenheims at Catterick, on 1st August 1940.
Standing: Sgt. RV Cook, Sgt. GT Williams, Sgt. C Beveridge, P/O RV Baron, P/O RC Hall, Sgt. S Austin, Sgt. DC Bunch, Sgt. E Combes
Seated: Sgt. HF Grubb, Sgt. EG Grubb, P/O WGM Lambie, F/O JC Carriere, F/O HG Goddard, F/Lt. JH Little, F/O JG Topham, P/O GM Head, P/O J Sinclair, Sgt. OA Dupee, Sgt. HK Crook.
Centre on ground unknown.
By late 1941 he was serving as a Flight Sergeant with 38 Squadron in North Africa.
He was killed on 20th November 1941 when Wellington IC T2991 'D' crashed and blew up as it made a forced landing at El Imayid following a raid on the airfields at Derna and Bardia.
Also lost were:
Sgt. P Fenn
Sgt. JV Hamilton
Sgt. GH Hellyer
Sgt. FH Lewis RAAF
Sgt. NJ Sharpe
Combes is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial.
Note: Combes appeared in the 219 Squadron Operational Record Book as Coombes and his name was spelt as such on the monument. However it has been subsequently discovered that Combes is the correct spelling.
Above cemetery images courtesy of The War Graves Photographic Project