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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. A H D Pond

 

Arthur Herbert Dorrien Pond was born on 15th December 1914 and educated at Southall County School, Middlesex. He joined the RAF in January 1931 as an Aircraft Apprentice at No. 1 School of Technical Training Halton. He passed out as an LAC Metal Rigger in December 1933 and was posted to 41 Squadron at Northolt.

He later served on the permanent staff of 6 FTS Netheravon. Having volunteered for pilot training, Pond was selected and in July 1936 was posted for an initial flying course at 5 E&RFTS Hanworth after which he went to 6 FTS Tern Hill.

With his training completed, Pond joined 80 Squadron at Henlow in May 1937, operating Gladiators. In April 1938 he was posted to No. 1 AACU, then at Biggin Hill but later at Weston Zoyland and Farnborough.


Pond went to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 28th May 1940 and after converting to Hurricanes he joined 601 Squadron at Middle Wallop on 9th June. In the early evening of 11th July 601 intercepted a formation of He111's heading for the naval base at Portsmouth. Pond attacked one, which exploded and collided with the one flying next to it. Pond's victim, from KG55, crashed at East Beach, Selsey.

 

Above L to R:

F/O J Topolnicki, F/Lt. ML Robinson, F/Lt. CR Davis, P/O J Jankiewicz, P/O HC Mayers, Sgt. AHD Pond

 


On 15th August Pond shot down a Ju88 of II/LG1, which crashed into the sea south of Southampton, its crew being rescued by an aircraft of Seenotflugkommando. Three days later Pond attacked a Ju87 during a raid on Thorney Island. It began to smoke but then the gunner's return fire hit Pond's engine and his windscreen was covered with oil. He rolled and dived away, managed to reach Tangmere and made a crash-landing after his engine cut at he crossed the boundary. His Hurricane, V7305 was repairable and Pond was unhurt.


Pond received a Mention in Despatches (gazetted 29th September 1940).

With bad hearing problems, he lost his operational category in December 1940. In March 1941 he moved to 1403 Met Flight at St. Eval and soon afterwards to 1404 Met Flight at Tangmere. In May he became an air-firing instructor at 2 (Coastal) OTU Millom.

He went to 1401 Met Flight at Bircham Newton in February 1942, became a staff pilot at 1447 Flight at Hooton Park in May 1942 and later moved to 10 Radio School at Carew Cheriton.

Commissioned from Warrant Officer in December 1942, Pond was given command of the HQ Technical Training Command Flight at White Waltham in April 1944, which appointment he held until October 1945.

Pond was awarded the AFC (gazetted 1st January 1946).

He was granted a Permanent Commission in February 1949, in the Secretarial Branch, and retired on 17th December 1963 as a Squadron Leader.

Pond died in November 2003 in Bath.

 


 

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