The Airmen's Stories - P/O A H B Friendship
Alfred Henry Basil Friendship was born in St. Albans, Hertfordshire on 10th June 1919 and joined the RAFVR in September 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He did his weekend flying at 29 E&RFTS Luton.
Called up on 1st September 1939, Friendship completed his training and was posted to 11 Group Fighter Pool at St. Athan, from where he went to 3 Squadron. On 10th May 1940 the squadron was sent to Merville in France at short notice to be attached to 63 Wing.
Friendship shared in the destruction of two Hs126's on the 12th, claimed two Me109's and a Ju87 destroyed on the 14th, a Me109 destroyed and a He111 damaged on the 15th, a He111 destroyed on the 17th, a Ju87 on the 18th, a He111 shared on the 19th and a Hs126 damaged on the 20th.
The squadron was withdrawn on the 20th.
Friendship's commission had been granted on the 15th, he was awarded the DFM (gazetted 31st May 1940) and a Bar (gazetted 4th June 1940).
With 3 Squadron in Scotland during the Battle of Britain period, Friendship did not add to his tally. In December 1940 he went to 605 Squadron at Croydon and was appointed a Flight Commander in March 1941. He was posted away to 52 OTU in July, as an instructor.
A return to operations came in February 1942 with a posting to 66 Squadron at Portreath, as a Flight Commander. In June 1942 Friendship was posted to Malta and flew a Spitfire off the carrier HMS Eagle on 15th July. A brief attachment to 126 Squadron ended on the 22nd when Friendship joined 1435 Squadron at Luqa. Severe sinus trouble led to Friendship's being flown back to the UK on 27th August 1942.
In September he joined 501 Squadron at Middle Wallop as a Flight Commander, moving to 65 Squadron at Drem in December. Tour-expired, Friendship went to CGS as an instructor.
In April 1944 he joined 604 Squadron at Church Fenton, remaining until 1st August, when he returned to CGS, again as an instructor.
Friendship commanded 80 Squadron in Germany from November 1945 to May 1946. He was released from the RAF in 1947 as a Squadron Leader.
Following his RAF service he went on to fly civil aircraft in West Africa for a short period, then became a civilian Air Traffic Controller. He worked at the London Radar Centre and later at Stansted Airport, from where he retired in 1979.
He then moved to Spain and died in Javea on 10th May 2001.
Additional research courtesy of Ian Eldred