The Airmen's Stories -P/O R C Aeberhardt
Raymond Charles Aeberhardt, from Walton-on Thames, was born on 22nd October 1920 in Hampstead, London.
His father Charles Gottfried Aeberhardt (1896-1927) was from Schüpfen, Bern in Switzerland and his mother, Julia Maria Rosalie Saegaert (1896-1986) from Antwerp in Belgium. They
married in 1916.
RC Aeberhardt joined the RAF on a short service commission in August 1939.
He went to 6 FTS Little Rissington on 6th November on No. 16 Course. On 10th May 1940 Aeberhardt arrived at 10 B&GS Warmwell with the Advanced Training Squadron of 6 FTS for armament training. He completed the course on 17th May and then moved to 5 OTU Aston Down on the 18th.
He converted to Spitfires and joined 19 Squadron at Duxford on 9th June 1940.
On 31st August the squadron intercepted an enemy force attacking Debden. In the ensuing combat Aeberhardt’s Spitfire, R6912, was hit and the glycol system was damaged.
He returned to Fowlmere and attempted a landing without flaps as these were not working. The aircraft went over on to its back and caught fire. Aeberhardt was killed.
He was 19 years old and is buried in the churchyard of St Mary and St Andrew, Whittlesford.
On Monday 1st September 1941 his family marked the first anniversary of his death with a notice in The Daily Telegraph which read, "Aeberhardt - In ever-loving memory of Ray, only son and brother, Pilot Officer RAC Aeberhardt, killed in action Aug 31 1940. Your courage and gallantry cost you your life, but you are always with us, and we will remember you with pride as we last saw you."
On 31st August 1945 the family placed another notice in the same paper, "Aeberhardt, Pilot Officer Raymond, Fighter Squadron 19. - Always in our memory as one of the few who gave their lives during the Battle of Britain that ultimate victory might be achieved."