The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. H S Giddings
Herbert Selwyn Giddings, of Knaresborough, Yorkshire, was born in January 1914 and joined the RAF on a short service commission in July 1935.
After completing his elementary flying training, he was posted to 3 FTS Grantham on 28th September 1935 and joined 65 Squadron at Hornchurch on 5th August 1936.
Following the outbreak of war Giddings went to 615 Squadron and flew with it to Merville in France on 15th November 1939. He moved from 615 on 18th August 1940 to 111 Squadron at Debden, as a Flight Commander.
On the 31st Giddings claimed a Do17 destroyed. He made a forced-landing at Detling in the middle of a bombing attack on 2nd September following an attack on He111's over the Thames Estuary.
Giddings claimed two Me109's destroyed in a combat over the Channel on 4th September. His oil system was damaged in the action and he made a forced-landing at Catts Green Farm, Ewhurst.
He took command of 135 Squadron at Dum Dum, India in July 1942.
Giddings was killed on 23rd January 1943, aged 28.
A Japanese aircraft was reported approaching Chittagong and Giddings took off alone from Dohazari airfield to intercept it. He failed to return and although the wreck of his Hurricane was found on the 29th there was no trace of him.
He is remembered on the Singapore Memorial, Column 423 (picture below).
(Photograph courtesy of Jonathan Morford and Captain Robert L Koprowski, US Army (Veteran))