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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. R F Boyd


Robert Findlay Boyd was born in East Kilbride, Scotland on 8th June 1916 and joined 602 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force in 1935. He was commissioned in November and called to full-time service in early September 1939.

On 30th November Boyd was on an afternoon flight from Markinch when he saw an enemy aircraft going into cloud. He closed and fired a two second burst from 400 yards but the enemy aircraft disappeared with no apparent sign of damage.

On 7th July 1940 Boyd shared in the destruction of a Ju88 off St. Abb's Head. The squadron moved south in August to Westhampnett. On the 15th Boyd shared a Do17, on the 16th he shot down a Ju87 and shared a He111, on the 18th he destroyed a Me109, a Ju87 and damaged another.



Boyd shared a Ju88 on 19th August, destroyed two Me109s on the 25th, destroyed another Me109 and a Do17 on 4th September, got another Me109 on the 11th and damaged another. On the 21st he shared a Ju88, on the 26th shot down a Me109 and probably another, on 2nd October he shared a Ju88 and on 13th November he shared a Ju88.

Boyd was awarded the DFC (gazetted 24th September 1940) and a Bar (gazetted 25th October 1940).

In December 1940 Boyd was given command of 54 Squadron at Catterick. He claimed a Me110 destroyed on 17th April 1941, a Me109 probably destroyed on 22nd June, a Me109 shot down on the 26th, another one on 8th July and a second one damaged and two more destroyed on 10th and 17th July.

Soon afterwards Boyd was posted to 58 OTU Grangemouth, remaining until December 1941 when he went to Kenley as Wing Leader. Boyd was flying with Victor Beamish on 2nd February 1942 when they spotted the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in the Channel.

On 19th February Boyd damaged a Me109, on the 28th he got a probable Fw190 and on 12th April he damaged two Fw190s.

He was awarded the DSO (gazetted 10th April 1942), the citation stated that he had destroyed a total of twenty-two enemy aircraft.

In June 1942 Boyd was posted to the Far East and at some time commanded 293 Wing in Burma.

He was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Group Captain.

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


In the post-war years Boyd flew charter flights for Scottish Aviation, later tried pig farming and herring fishing and then moved to Skye, where he kept the Ferry Inn at Uig.

Boyd died suddenly on 22nd February 1975.



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