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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. W F Blackadder


William Francis Blackadder was born on 23rd January 1913 in Edinburgh and joined 607 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force in early 1936. He was Captain of the Northern Rugby Club and played for Scotland against England in the Calcutta Cup of 1938.

He was called for full-time service at the outbreak of war and flew to France with the squadron on 15th November 1939.

On 11th May, the day after the Blitzkreig started, Blackadder shared in destroying a He111 and claimed another, unconfirmed. On the 18th he claimed a Do17 destroyed but return fire forced him to crash-land near Denais.

607 Squadron suffered heavy losses and was withdrawn to England on 22nd May. Blackadder was awarded the DSO (gazetted 4th June 1940), the citation stating that he had shot down three enemy aircraft and carried out several very important reconnaissances of bridges and roads at a time when information was hard to come by.



When the Battle of Britain began 607 Squadron was stationed in the north of England at Usworth and on 14th August intercepted German raids coming in over the North Sea, Blackadder damaging two He111s and destroying another the next day.

The squadron was moved south to Tangmere on 7th September and on the 9th Blackadder shared in the destruction of a Do17, on the 13th he damaged a Ju88, on the 14th shared two Ju88s, on the 26th destroyed a He111 and on 4th October shared in destroying another.

On 2nd November 1940 he married Patricia Kayll at Christ Church in Sunderland.



On 9th November Blackadder was posted to Turnhouse as Sector Controller in the Operations Room, later doing the same job at Usworth, Ouston, Prestwick and Ayr. He commanded 245 Squadron at Aldergrove from June 1941 to 13th July 1942, when he was posted to 10 Group as Controller at Rudloe Manor.

B1ackadder went for a course to the Army Staff College, Camberley on 1st January 1943, after which he was posted to HQ Fighter Command, as Wing Commander Tactics, on 7th May 1943. He moved to HQ Allied Expeditionary Air Forces on 28th September.

Blackadder's final wartime posting was as CO of the Air Fighting Development Unit at Wittering. He was made an OBE (gazetted 1st January 1945) and was released from the RAF on 19th November 1945.

He rejoined 607 Squadron at Ouston in September 1946 and served with it until December 1948, after which he became CO of the Northumberland Wing, ATC until 1st February 1951.

He died on 21st November 1997.







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