The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. R A Spyer
Richard Alfred Spyer of Worcester Park, Surrey was born in 1917 and joined the RAFVR about March 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot.
Called up on 1st September, he completed his training at 10 FTS, Tern Hill in early May 1940 and arrived at 5 OTU on the 18th, then being posted to 111 Squadron at North Weald on the 25th.
Spyer was attached to 607 Squadron at Usworth on 31st May for further instruction on Hurricanes. This attachment became a permanent posting and he went south with the squadron to Tangmere on 8th September. On the 9th Spyer crashed at Stilstead Farm, East Peckham during a combat with Me109’s and Do17’s in Hurricane P2680, slightly wounded.
In early November 1940 Spyer sailed in HMS Argus for the Mediterranean. On the 17th he was in the first flight of six Hurricanes to take off for Malta, led by F/Lt. JAF MacLachlan.
Spyer's Hurricane, V7413, ran out of fuel and he baled out into the sea. MacLachlan called in the Sunderland which was leading them to Malta, and it landed and picked up Spyer.
He joined 261 Squadron at Ta Kali. On 22nd March 1941 eight Hurricanes of 261 took off to meet ten Ju88’s approaching Grand Harbour with a Me109 escort. In the ensuing engagement five of the Hurricanes were shot down, including V7672, flown by Spyer. All five pilots were lost.
Spyer was 23 and is commemorated on the Malta Memorial.