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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. F E R Shepherd


Frederick Ernest Richard Shepherd was born on 31st May 1918 in Birkenhead, Cheshire and joined 611 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force before the war as an Aircrafthand.

When the AAF introduced a scheme to train its own NCO pilots, he remustered as an Airman u/t Pilot, with the rank of LAC.

Called up on 24th August 1939, Shepherd completed his training at 15 FTS Lossiemouth and was reposted to 611 Squadron at Digby on 17th August 1940. He was immediately attached to 5 OTU Aston Down and after converting to Spitfires he rejoined 611 on 1st September.


Shepherd as an Air Gunner before pilot training.

Above image courtesy of Adrian Cork (


Shepherd made a forced-landing near Henlow on 9th September, out of fuel during a routine flight from Fowlmere.

On the 11th his aircraft was set alight during a combat over Croydon. He baled out, with his parachute in flames, and fell dead at Frylands Wood, Farleigh. His Spitfire IIa, P7298, crashed into nos. 49 and 51 Hartland Way, Shirley, Croydon (report below).





Shepherd was 22. He is buried in St Luke's churchyard, Whyteleafe, Surrey.




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