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The Airmen's Stories - S/Ldr. A H Boyd


Adrian Hope Boyd was born on 1st January 1913 in Sialkot, India. He enlisted in the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1926. In 1933 he became an Acting Sub-Lieutenant and in 1934 he retired.

He entered the RAF in June 1936, was posted to 2 FTS Digby on 19th September and joined 65 Squadron at Hornchurch on 22nd May 1937.



On 11th February 1938 three Gladiators from 65 Squadron were aloft in the vicinity of North Weald, having taken off from their base in Hornchurch.

Acting F/Lt. LC Bicknell was in K7942, P/O PR Austin-Sparks in seven month old K8002 and P/O AH Boyd in another machine

They came upon Acting P/O J Thompson flying in a locally based 151 Squadron machine and decided to 'bounce' him with a series of mock attacks. Such manoeuvres near an airfield were forbidden.

K8002 hit Bicknell's aircraft from behind, it is thought due mainly to obscured vision caused by oil thrown up by the engine coating the windscreen.

Bicknell, the senior pilot, managed to bale out safely but P/O Austin-Sparks died in his aircraft. He had served 13 months in the RAF, three of them at Hornchurch.

Bicknell was brought before a Court Martial and was reprimanded.

Boyd went to 145 Squadron at Croydon in October 1939, as 'B' Flight Commander. Over France he destroyed two Ju87s and probably another on 22nd May 1940 and two Me110s and probably another on the 27th.

Next day Boyd was shot down into the sea off Ostend but was picked up unhurt. On 1st June he destroyed a Me109 and a Me110 and damaged another Me110. For these ten days he was awarded the DFC (gazetted 21st June 1940).

On 3rd July Boyd shared in destroying a He111, on the 11th he claimed a Me110 shot down, on the 18th he shared a He111, on the 22nd shared a Do17 and on 8th August destroyed two Me109s, two Me110s , a Ju87 and damaged another Ju87.

During the night of the 26th/27th Boyd damaged a He111 off St. Abb's Head. He shared in the destruction of an Arado Ar196 south of St. Catherine's Point on 12th October and on the 15th shot down a Me109 off the Isle of Wight.

Boyd was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 20th August 1940).

In December 1940 Boyd was posted away to an OTU as an instructor but returned to operations when he took command of 501 Squadron at Ibsley in mid-June 1941. On 7th July he destroyed a Ju88 at night and on the 24th he claimed two Me109s.

Boyd was appointed Wing Leader at Middle Wallop on 2nd August 1941 and on 13th October he damaged a Me109.

When he was awarded the DSO (gazetted 2nd December 1941) he was credited with sixteen enemy aircraft destroyed.

In 1944 Boyd commanded 281 Wing in Italy as an Acting Group Captain. He left the RAF in 1947 as a Wing Commander and died on 21st January 1975.

His portrait was made by Cuthbert Orde in October 1940 (below).



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