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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. M M Shanahan


Sergeant Martin Michael Shanahan was born on 11th November 1914, the oldest of the seven children of William and Catherine and lived with them at Vicarage Lane, Seven Kings, Essex. He helped at his father’s umbrella factory in Mile End, acting as the London representative.

He joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve on 4th June 1938, his interest in flying following on from his fondness for speed, he was a keen motorcyclist. He was called to full-time service on 2nd September 1939 and continued training at 10 FTS, Tern Hill, gaining his wings on 29th June 1940.

Following conversion to Hurricanes at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge he was posted to No. 1 Squadron at Northolt, arriving there on 5th August 1940.

On the morning of Thursday 15th August three sections (comprising nine aircraft) staged to North Weald and took off from there at 1214pm to intercept Raid 22 as it withdrew from Martlesham Heath.

This raid was composed of Me110’s from Erprobungsgruppe 210 but as 1 Squadron’s aircraft sighted them off Harwich they were ‘bounced’ by a covering force of Me109’s from 3/Erpr.Gr.210 and the whole of Red Section – F/Lt. M Brown, P/O D Browne and Sgt. Shanahan – were shot down, the latter two being killed.

Shanahan was flying Hurricane JX-G, serial P3043, his body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 19.




Battle of Britain Monument