The Airmen's Stories - P/O R A Rhodes
Richard Arthur Rhodes joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1939. He completed his training and arrived at 12 Group Pool Aston Down on 11th March 1940. After converting to Blenheims he was posted to 29 Squadron at Digby on 6th April.
In the early hours of 18th August Rhodes, flying with Sgt. WJ Gregory as his gunner, destroyed a He111 off Spurn Head.
On 25th August Rhodes was airborne on a night patrol in Blenheim L1330. It is believed to have been shot down by an enemy aircraft off Wainfleet, Lincolnshire, coming down in the sea. The body of Sgt. RJ Gouldstone was washed ashore at Skegness. The body of AC2 N Jacobson was recovered two days later by the trawler 'Alfredian' near the Inner Dowsing lightship and buried at sea.
Rhodes was 19, he was not recovered and his name is on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 9.
October 2019 - it has not been possible to establish his date of birth or birthplace, no-one of that name appears on the usual records except for the following shipping reports:
1st May 1923
ss Arakaka leaves Liverpool for Demerera County, British Guyana.
Aboard are Richard Edward Rhodes, sugar planter, Agnes M Rhodes and Richard Arthur Rhodes, age 4. Home address Stoneycroft, Liverpool.
21st May 1926
ss Ingoma arrives London from Demerera.
The same three people are on the manifest.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner