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The Airmen's Stories - F/O A D McN Boyd


Archibald Douglas McNeill Boyd was born in Sheffield on 20th June 1918 and attended Harrow School before going to Trinity College Oxford, where he read Engineering. He learned to fly there with the University Air Squadron in 1938.

Boyd was commissioned into the RAFVR in October 1938 and he continued his flying at 18 E&RFTS Fairoaks.



Called up in September 1939, Boyd was posted in October to 2 FTS Brize Norton on No. 42 Course, which began on 9th October and ended on 23rd March 1940.

With his training completed, he arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on 6th April 1940 and after converting to Blenheims joined 604 Squadron on 8th May and moved to 600 Squadron at Manston on 11th May.

He married in July 1940 (below).


On 30th September 1940 Boyd flew 600's first Beaufighter patrol, with P/O RC Haine. In November 1940 Boyd teamed up with P/O AJ Glegg, forming another of those long and successful night-fighting partnerships. From 16th to 28th December 1940 Boyd attended No.1 Blind Approach School at Watchfield, on No. 8 Course.


Above: Glegg (left) and Boyd.


On 16th May 1941 Boyd and Glegg destroyed a Ju88, on 10th October a He111, on 2nd December another He111 and on 25th January 1942 a He111.

They were both awarded the DFC (gazetted 9th January 1942).

On 7th March they shot down a He115 within sight of the airfield at Predannack.

Boyd was posted to HQ Fighter Command as Squadron Leader Night Training in September 1942. He took command of 219 Squadron at Scorton in March 1943, again flying with Glegg. The squadron went to North Africa in early June 1943, became operational at Algiers on 30th June and on that day Boyd and Glegg shot down two Ju88s.

On 25th August they destroyed another, on 6th September a He111 and on the 18th another.

Boyd was awarded the DSO (gazetted 3rd March 1944).

The squadron returned to the UK in February 1944, re-equipped with Mosquitos, and Boyd commanded it until August when he went to HQ Fighter Command as Wing Commander Night Operations.

In May 1945 he was appointed Air Attache in Dublin. He was released from the RAF in February 1946 and went to work for Vickers-Armstrong in March.

He was appointed as their test pilot, flying all the company’s aircraft including the Viscount, which he helped sell successfully around the world. Much of his time was spent in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

In the late 1950s Boyd delivered Eva Peron’s private Vickers aircraft to Argentina, this took him to Iceland and Greenland then down the east coast of the USA across the Caribbean, before the final leg south across the Amazon.

After leaving Vickers in 1961, he joined Richardsons Westgarth marine engineering as chief executive before retiring after 25 years service.

Boyd was a keen sailor in retirement, he later settled in France where he died on 4th April 2014.



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