The Airmen's Stories - P/O P W Horton
Patrick Wilmot Horton was born in Dunedin, New Zealand on 25th March 1920. He was educated at Hutchings School, Hobart, Australia and Wellington College. In 1936 he went to work for the Mines Department. Having been provisionally accepted for an RAF short service commission Horton sailed for the UK on 1st February 1939 in the RMS Tainui.
He began his training at 10 E&RFTS Yatesbury on 13th March and went on to 5 FTS Sealand on 26th May. Horton joined the newly-reformed 234 Squadron at Leconfield on 6th November. The squadron began to receive Spitfires in May 1940.
On 28th July Horton shared a Ju88, on 16th August he destroyed a Me109, on the 26th he claimed another Me109 but crash-landed himself at Middle Wallop after being damaged in combat. He claimed a Me110 destroyed on 4th September.
In October Horton volunteered for service in the Middle East. In mid-November 1940 the carrier HMS Argus sailed from Gibraltar with Hurricanes for Malta. Horton was one of six pilots who flew off on 16th November in the second flight of Hurricanes, led by a FAA Skua. A series of mishaps saw the Hurricanes run out of fuel and fall one by one into the sea, with the loss of all six pilots.
Horton is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 6.
He received a Mention in Despatches (gazetted 17th March 1941).
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner