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The Airmen's Stories - P/O H J Akroyd


Harold John Akroyd was born on 6th September 1913 in Banbury. He attended Bishop Wordsworth School and Clarks College Ealing.

He was employed by Middlesex Council as Assistant to the Relieving Officer and joined the RAFVR in January 1937 as an Airman u/t Pilot, in his spare time he was a flying instructor at Handsworth.

He married Irene Willsmer in July 1939 in Brentford.

Akroyd was called up on 1st September 1939, ending up with 152 Squadron at Acklington at the start of the Battle of Britain.



In mid-July the squadron moved south to Warmwell, in Dorset. On 15th August 1940 Akroyd claimed a Ju87 destroyed. On the same day he returned to Warmwell in the late afternoon after a combat over Portland with a damaged aircraft. The rudder was jammed but he landed Spitfire R6910 safely.


Above image courtesy of the Graham Saunders Archive.


In combat with enemy fighters over Lyme Regis in the afternoon of 7th October Akroyd was shot down. His aircraft, Spitfire N3039, crashed and burned out at Nutmead, Shillingstone.

He was severely burned and died the next day. He is buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity, Warmwell.






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