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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. F W Curtis


Frank William Curtis was born on 28th March 1911 in Harrow, Middlesex and employed as a newspaper warehouseman when he joined the RAFVR about March 1939 as an Airman u/t Aircrew.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training and was serving as an Air Gunner with 25 Squadron by 25th May 1940.



Above: Air Gunners of 25 Squadron

L to R: Sgt. RG Crossman, Sgt. FW Curtis, Sgt. JCO Medworth, Sgt. H Early, Sgt. J Harris


On 13th July 1940 his Blenheim, captained by F/O A Lyall, had to make a forced-landing at Martlesham Heath, the starboard propeller having fallen off over Felixstowe.

Curtis retrained as a Radar Operator and in June 1942 he was a Navigator/ Radar Operator with 89 Squadron in the Middle East. In October he teamed up with Warrant Officer HFW Shead. On 21st December they destroyed a He111, a Ju88 and probably a second, on 8th January 1943 shot down a He111, on the 21st they damaged a Ju88 and on 16th March destroyed a Ju88.

Curtis was awarded the DFM (gazetted 16th February 1943). In February 1943 he was promoted to Warrant Officer.

On 8th June 1943 their Beaufighter crashed in the desert, Shead being seriously injured. No further service details could be traced for Curtis and it may be that he also received injuries that ended his flying service.

He died in March 1983 in Colchester.



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