The Airmen's Stories - S/Ldr. J V C Badger
John Vincent Clarence Badger was born in Lambeth, London on 31st May 1911 though his parents, John Augustus Badger and Violet Badger were from Leverogue, Lisburn, County Antrim, where his father was a university staff superintendent.
JVC Badger was educated at the Belfast Academical Institute and joined the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice in September 1928.
He passed out in August 1931 and was awarded a flight cadetship. He entered RAF College, Cranwell in September 1931 as a Flight Cadet. He graduated in July 1933, winning the Sword of Honour, and was posted to 43 Squadron on the 15th.
At this time the RAF was supplying pilots for the Fleet Air Arm and on 3rd October 1934 Badger went to the School of Naval Co-operation, Lee-on-Solent. He joined 821 (Fleet Spotter Reconnaissance) Squadron on 4th May 1935, shore-based at Eastleigh and at sea on the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous.
Badger was posted to the Marine Aircraft Establishment at Felixstowe on 25th October 1937.
In June 1940 he went to 43 Squadron at Tangmere as supernumerary Squadron Leader to gain operational and administrative experience.
On 9th July the CO, S/Ldr. CG Lott, was shot down and badly wounded and Badger assumed command of the squadron.
On the 12th he shared a He111 and on the 21st destroyed two Do17s. On 8th August Badger got a probable Me109, on the 13th he damaged two Ju88s, on the 14th and 15th destroyed two others, on the 16th shot down three Ju87s and on the 26th destroyed a He111 and shared a second.
Badger was shot down by Me109s on 30th August. He baled out but was badly injured when he landed in trees. His Hurricane, V6458, crashed south of Woodchurch. He was taken to Ashford Hospital.
He was moved from Ashford Hospital to the RAF Hospital at Halton on 10th January 1941 and was placed on the seriously ill list on 4th February and the dangerously ill list on 9th February 1941.
His injuries in the transfer form were described as a fractured pelvis and a ruptured perineum.
In the immediate aftermath of being shot down the telegram to his father had stated that he was not badly injured and that no further reports could be expected.
He died in RAF Halton at 00:30hrs on 30th June 1941.
He is buried in the churchyard of St. Michael and All Angels, Halton, Buckinghamshire.
Badger was 28. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 6th September 1940) and also received a Mention in Dispatches. The DFC citation read:
'This officer assumed command of a squadron in July 1940 and it is through his personal leadership that the squadron has achieved so many successes since the intensive air operations began. He has been instrumental in destroying six enemy aircraft. In spite of the fact that on three occasions he has returned with his aircraft very badly damaged through enemy cannon fire, he has immediately taken off again to lead his squadron on patrol. Squadron Leader Badger has displayed great courage and resolution'.
He is commemorated on the Lisburn, NI war memorial.