The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. I J Badger
Ivor James Badger was born on 12th September 1912 and attended Shaftesbury Grammar School. He joined the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice in September 1929 and passed out in August 1932 as a Fitter, Aero Engines.
In the mid-thirties he volunteered for pilot training and by 1938 he was serving as a Sergeant-Pilot with 151 Squadron and also a member of the squadron's aerobatic team.
Above image courtesy of the collection of F/O R Watson.
Badger arrived at 11 Group Pool, St. Athan for a refresher course on 5th January 1940. He was posted to 87 Squadron in France on the 13th. On 11th August 1940 he claimed the destruction of a Me109 and damage to another. Badger damaged a Ju88 and a Me109 on the 25th.
In early 1941 F/Lt. DH Ward, who had flown with Badger in the 151 aerobatic team, thought it would be a good for 87 Squadron morale if it had such a team. Badger was co-opted as a member along with Ward and P/O RP Beamont. It was recorded as of great benefit to the squadron.
On 19th May 1941 Badger shot down an Arado Ar196 floatplane off the Scilly Isles.
Commissioned in May 1941, Badger was posted overseas later in the year and joined 94 Squadron in the Western Desert in December 1941.
In March 1942 he went to 73 Squadron and on the 20th he took part in an attack on Derna airfield, during which several enemy aircraft were destroyed. Badger took part in other successful attacks on enemy airfields and on 11th July 1942 he destroyed a Me109.
When his operational tour ended, he was awarded the DFC (gazetted 18th September 1942).
Badger returned to Britain and in July 1944 he transferred to the Technical Branch (Engineering). He remained in the RAF after the war and retired on 12th August 1961 as a Flight Lieutenant, retaining the rank of Squadron Leader.
He died on 30th January 1995.