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The Airmen's Stories - S/Ldr. D W Bayne


David Walter Bayne was born on 17th April 1908 in Gladstone, Queensland, Australia.

He travelled to England and attended Haileybury (East India College) at Hartford Heath. He joined the RAF as a Flight Cadet at RAF College Cranwell in 1926.

On graduation he was granted a Permanent Commission on 15th December 1928 and posted to 12 Squadron at Andover.


Above image courtesy of the Graham Saunders Archive.


He married Isabelle Fothergill Reid in 1930 in England before going on 21st January 1930 overseas to 5 (Army Co-operation) Squadron at Quetta, India, flying Bristol Fighters. He moved to 20 (Army Co-operation) Squadron at Peshawar on 1st September 1933.

Back in England and serving with 3 Squadron at Duxford he was seriously injured when landing at night in fog in Bristol Bulldog IIa K2870.

One leg was amputated resulting in him being taken off flying duties for just over two years while he attended various RAF hospitals and rehabilitation units.

Equipped with a wooden leg he returned to flying in mid-1937. He became a great friend of Douglas Bader, who had lost both legs in a Bulldog crash in 1931.

On 1st July 1937 Bayne was appointed to the staff at Uxbridge and moved on to the HQ staff at Kenley on 8th August 1938. He was Squadron Leader Admin on 1st January 1939 and by 1st November 1939 he was Sector Controller at Kenley.

He was detached to No. 1 RAF Depot Uxbridge on 28th January 1940 but returned to Kenley three days later.

He was then charged with the re-formation of 257 Squadron, initially with Spitfires at Hendon. Later the unit re-converted to Hurricanes, so training had to start all over again, and it was with this squadron between 1st & 22nd July 1940 that he flew about twenty sorties.

Now 32 years old, he was against his will promoted to Wing Commander and posted to Fighter Command HQ at Bentley Priory.

Bayne's subsequent service is currently undocumented until 1948 when he was Military and Air Attache in Rio de Janeiro. He retired from the RAF on 29th August 1955 as a Group Captain.

He died in Dorset on 11th June 1986.


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