The Airmen's Stories - F/O A W N Britton
Allan Walter Naylor Britton of Walderslade, Kent was born on 11th May 1917 and went to Fettes School, Edinburgh. He later attended Trinity College, Cambridge where he gained an Honours degree in Classics. Britton was a member of the University Air Squadron and was commissioned in the RAFVR in November 1937.
Called up on 25th September 1939, he completed his training and arrived at 5 OTU on 23rd March 1940. He converted to Hurricanes and was posted to 263 Squadron on 20th April.
On 7th May 1940 Britton was one of 263's advance party that embarked on the impressed Polish ship MS Chrobry, landing in Norway on the 11th. The squadron's base at Bardufoss was still under construction and the squadron was not operational until 21st May. The squadron was ordered to withdraw in early June and Britton was fortunate to be one of those evacuated by sea as the pilots who flew the remaining Gladiators onto HMS Glorious were all lost when it was sunk by the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau on 8th June 1940.
Britton was killed on 12th December 1940 when his Whirlwind I P6980 crashed into the sea during firing practice off Burnham-on-Sea in the Bristol Channel.
He was 23 and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 5.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner