The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. H W Pettit
Henry William Pettit of Chingford, Essex was born in July 1920 and joined the RAFVR in April 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot.
Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training and joined No. 1 Squadron at Wittering in September 1940.
Pettit moved to 605 Squadron at Wittering on 20th October. He shot down a Me109 on 23rd November which crashed by Smeeth railway station, Kent.
He was killed on 2nd February 1941 as a Sergeant with 605.
He took off from Martlesham Heath in Hurricane II Z2308 on a battle climb but drifted over the sea and was shot down by Me109s.
His wingman, Sgt. KH Jones in Z2329, escaped into cloud but emerged short on fuel and landed in error at a Luftwaffe airfield, probably in Belgium. It was only when he taxied to a stop and saw German officers emerge from a hut that he realised where he was.
He fired a Very flare into the cockpit and the aircraft burned out. Jones was held at Stalag Luft 6 at Heydekrug till 1945.
Pettit was 20 years old. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 50.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner