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The Airmen's Stories - F/O J B Selway


John Barry Selway was born on 13th January 1914 and educated at Brighton College and Pembroke College, Cambridge where he read Mechanical Sciences.

He learned to fly as a member of the University Air Squadron and joined 604 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force at Hendon in early 1936. He was commissioned in May.

Selway was working in the Department of Civil Aviation in 1939 when he was called to full-time service on 24th August 1939, he went on to serve with 604 Squadron throughout the Battle of Britain.



On 24th October 1941 Selway, in a Beaufighter of 604, shot down a Do217 at night off the French coast.

During the night of the 28th he shot down Ju88 1436 4D+MR of 7/KG30 which was on a minelaying sortie over the River Severn, it crashed at Wembdon, Somerset.

When Selway left 604 in the latter half of 1942 he was the last of the squadron's pre-war Auxiliary pilots. In early November 1943 he was posted to 85 Squadron at West Malling as a Flight Commander.

On the night of the 6/7th, on his first operational patrol with the squadron, Selway shot down a Fw190.

Shortly afterwards he chased a Ju88. His Mosquito was hit by return fire and Selway was wounded. He managed to get back to base and underwent an emergency operation to remove the nose of a bullet from his liver.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 31st December 1943).

Selway did not return to operations. He was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Wing Commander.

He was made an OBE in June 1971, the citation said he was the manager of Aldergrove airport.

He died in August 1998 in Hereford.


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