The Airmen's Stories - P/O R A Rhodes
Richard Arthur Rhodes was born in British Guiana in around 1919 where his father was a sugar planter.
He returned to the family home in Maghull near Liverpool and was educated at Merchant Taylors School, Crosby where he was awarded colours at rugby, cricket, hockey and boxing.
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 21, he was not recovered and his name is on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 9.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner