The Airmen's Stories - P/O C D Francis
Colin Dunstone Francis, of Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey was born in July 1921 and joined the RAF on a short service commission in April 1939.
He arrived at 6 OTU, Sutton Bridge on June 2nd 1940 and, after converting to Hurricanes, he was posted to 253 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey on the 17th.
After a spell in Scotland, the squadron moved to Kenley on August 29th 1940. On the morning of the 30th Francis took off in a section of three aircraft to join the rest of the squadron in attacking a force of bombers, which was escorted by some thirty fighters.
It was his first encounter with the Luftwaffe and he was shot down and reported 'Missing'.
His name appears on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 8.
In August 1981 an aircraft was excavated at Wrotham, on land which had been Percival's Farm in 1940. It proved to be Hurricane L1965 and Francis' remains were still in the cockpit. They were buried with full military honours at Brookwood Military Cemetery.
Francis was 19 when he was killed.