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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. C J Cooney


Cecil John Cooney of Rhos Robin, Denbighshire was born in Warwick on 10th April 1914 and educated at Birmingham Junior Technical School. He joined the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice in January 1930 and passed out in December 1932 from Halton as a Metal Rigger.

He married Charlotte Eaton in Bridgenorth, Shropshire in April 1935.

Cooney later successfully applied for pilot training and he was serving with 56 Squadron in early 1940.

On 29th January 1940 Cooney was scrambled from Martlesham Heath in Hurricane Mk. 1 L1984, however on his takeoff run frozen snow was sucked into the supercharger air intake and the engine stopped as he climbed away.

He force-landed straight ahead but the aircraft struck a house in the village of Playford and overturned. Cooney was admitted to East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital, with minor injuries.

The squadron operated for short periods from French airfields during the Battle of France. On 22nd May 1940 Cooney shared in the probable destruction of an Hs126 over Hesdin, with P/O BJ Wicks, and over Dunkirk on the 27th he claimed a probable Me110.

On 29th July 1940 Cooney was shot down by a Me109. His Hurricane, P3879, crashed and exploded in the Channel off Dover.

Cooney was 26 years old. He is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 10.



Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner


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