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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. J H Wedgwood

 

Jefferson Heywood Wedgwood was born in London on 28th May 1917. He was educated at Holyrood School, Bognor and Lancing College. He joined the RAF on a short service commission in March 1936.

Wedgwood was posted to 5 FTS Sealand on 21st March, joined the staff of 2 Air Armament School, North Coates on 15th April 1937 and moved to the staff of RAF Lee-on-Solent on 3rd September 1938.

He was later with 65 Squadron after which he went to 12 Group Pool, Aston Down on 31st October 1939 as an instructor.

On 18th June 1940 Wedgwood was posted to 253 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey. On 1st September he damaged a Do17, on the 4th destroyed a Me110, on the 9th shared in the destruction of five Ju88s and on the 11th he shared in destroying three Do17s and damaged another.

Wedgwood was posted away on the 24th to the RAF Czechoslovak Depot, Cosford, as a flying instructor, arriving there on 10th October. He moved to 8 FTS on the 21st. On 18th November he was posted to RAF Uxbridge.

 

 

In early 1941 he was posted to the Vickers-Supermarine works at Eastleigh, as a test pilot. He took command of 92 Squadron at Digby in January 1942. The squadron departed for the Middle East in February and arrived at Fayid, Egypt in April. It had no aircraft for several months and from 2nd July the pilots were attached to 80 Squadron in the Western Desert to gain operational experience.

On the 27th Wedgwood destroyed a Ju87 and damaged a Me109. In early August 1942 the squadron's Spitfires arrived. Between 14th August and 29th October Wedgwood destroyed eight Me109s and damaged eight others.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 2nd October 1942).

On 2nd December he handed over the squadron, his tour of operations having ended. Wedgwood was on his way back to the UK on 17th December 1942 as a passenger in Halifax II NF-Q DT542 of 138 Squadron when the aircraft, returning after takeoff with engine trouble, crashed near Zetun, Malta, possibly shot down by friendly anti-aircraft fire.

All on board were killed. Wedgwood is buried in the Naval Cemetery, Capuccini, Malta. He was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 5th February 1943), being then credited with thirteen enemy aircraft destroyed.

Also lost were:

Crew:

F/O KL Dobromirski
F/O S Pankiewicz
F/O ZA Idzikowski
F/Sgt. AE Kleniewski
Sgt. R Wysocki
Sgt. AC Watt
F/Sgt. OF Zielinski

Passengers:

Major, (Lord Apsley) Bathurst DSO MC TD
LAC CD Brown
LAC R Clegg
F/Lt. P Earle
Cpl. DS Hounslow
AC1 SE Kelly
Maj. ADC Millar Indian Army
Sgt. D Spibey
F/Lt. LA Vaughan DSO DFC

 

 

 

 

 

 

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