The Airmen's Stories - F/O R G Lewis
Raymond Grant Lewis came from Fort Qu'Appelle, NE of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada but was brought up in Vancouver, where he attended Lord Byng School.
He joined the RAF on a short service commission in February 1939. It is currently unclear as to which flying schools he attended but by the time of the German offensive in the West in May 1940 he was serving with No.1 Squadron at Berry-au-Bac in France.
Above (L to R) P/O K Mrazek, Lewis, P/O Z Janicki, date and location unknown.
On 12th May No.1 Squadron was engaged in furious fighting over the Maastricht bridges. Lewis claimed a Me109 but was shot down subsequently in Hurricane L1688. He baled out slightly burned but on landing was captured by civilians, who thought he was German, and locked in a cellar. He was later released and made his way back to the squadron.
It is likely that Lewis had subsequent victories but the details were lost in the chaos of the retreat. He was awarded a Mention in Dispatches (gazetted 1st January 1941).
Many of No.1 Squadron's veterans, including Lewis, were sent on 28th May 1940 to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge to instruct.
He was back with the squadron in time to share in the destruction of a Ju88 on 30th October 1940.
Lewis went on No.1 Squadron's first offensive operation on 1st January 1941, strafing German installations between Calais and Boulogne.
On 5th February 1941 the squadron took part in Circus 3, escorting Blenheims to St.Omer airfield. The formation was disrupted by cloud and the engine of Lewis' Hurricane P3920 was set on fire in an attack by Me109s.
He was seen to bale out into the Channel but was not seen again and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 30.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner