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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. H S Sadler


Herbert Samuel Sadler was born on 30th March 1916 in Rochford, Essex and joined the RAF in January 1932 as an Aircraft Apprentice. He passed out in December 1934.

He later applied for pilot training and was selected. In 1939 he had qualified and was serving as a staff pilot at No. 1 Electrical and Wireless School, Cranwell.

On 21st September 1939 Sadler joined 611 Squadron at Duxford. On 2nd April 1940 he was promoted to Flight Sergeant. Over Dunkirk on 2nd June he destroyed a Me110. On 11th September he claimed a Me110 destroyed and on the 15th he shared in the destruction of a Do17.

Commissioned in early November 1940, Sadler was killed on 5th February 1941, still with 611 and aged 24.

His Spitfire IIa X4547 was badly damaged by a Me109 during Circus 3 over the French coast. Losing height rapidly and with his engine on fire, Sadler seemed unable to get out of the cockpit. He finally slumped over the controls and the Spitfire dived steeply into the sea.



Standing on wing: P/O MP Brown and P/O DH Watkins

Standing L to R: F/O B Heath, F/O HR Hamilton, F/O MP Brown, F/O SH Bazley, P/O CH MacFie, F/Lt. JE McComb, Unknown Sgt., Sgt. JR Mather, Sgt. HS Sadler

Kneeling: F/O RK Crompton, F/Lt. KM Stoddart, F/O WJ Leather, F/Lt. AJ Banham




Sadler is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 34.



Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner


Battle of Britain Monument