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The Airmen's Stories - P/O E Farnes

 

Eric Farnes joined the RAF in February 1940 with a direct-entry commission as an Air Gunner. He was serving with 141 Squadron at Turnhouse by early July and went south with it to West Malling on the 12th.

 

Above image courtesy of Andrew Long.

 

On the morning of 19th July twelve Defiants were ordered forward to Hawkinge. At 12.23 hrs they were ordered off to patrol twenty miles south of Folkestone but three dropped out with engine trouble. At about 12.45 hrs they were surprised by Me109s of III/JG51 attacking from a higher altitude out of the sun.

Farnes Defiant, L7001, was badly damaged and crashed near Hawkinge due to engine failure with the pilot, F/Lt. MJ Loudon wounded. Farnes baled out and was rescued from the sea, uninjured.

Only two of the nine aircraft got safely back to base.

On 5th May 1941, while serving with 255 Squadron, S/Ldr. RL Smith and Farnes in N3378 shot down a Ju88 off Donna Nook at night.

His subsequent service is currently undocumented until 1947 when Farnes was released from the RAF as a Squadron Leader.

He was awarded a Mention in Dispatches in 1946.

He died on 23rd September 1985 in Winchester.


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