The Airmen's Stories - F/O R G Lewis
Raymond Grant Lewis came from Fort Qu'Appelle, NE of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and 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 1 Squadron at Berry-au-Bac in France.
On 12th May 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).
On the 30th October 1940 he shared in the destruction of a Ju88. He went on 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 Me109's.
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