The Airmen's Stories - F/O A J Rawlence
Anthony James Rawlence was born on 23rd September 1913 in Wilton, Wiltshire and joined 600 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force in 1938 and was commissioned in July that year.
Above: Rawlence (centre) with two unidentified colleagues.
He was offered a six-month attachment to the Regular RAF and posted to 8 FTS Montrose to join No. 12 Course.
The course ended on 9th December 1939 and he rejoined 600 Squadron, then at Hornchurch.
On 10th may 1940 he shared in destroying a He111 off the Belgian coast. He was posted to 23 Squadron at Middle Wallop on 2nd December 1940 as a Flight Commander.
At some point after the Battle Rawlence was posted to Boscombe Down where experienced crews were set to testing new aircraft. The two photos below are related to the crash of an Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle piloted by Rawlence which came down on a Dorset clifftop. The Albemarle, designed as a medium bomber, was not a success and was relegated to transport duties.
Above: after the crash with locals outside a pub.
Rawlence was released from the RAF in late 1945 as a Squadron Leader.
He died in Winchester in 1979.
All images courtesy of Christopher Rawlence.