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The Airmen's Stories - P/O H W Eliot


Hugh William Eliot of Bromley, Kent was born in mid-1921 in Lewisham, London, the son of Frederick Hunt Eliot and Josephine Mary Eliot.

He was educated at Dunstans College in Catford and Dulwich College.

Eliot entered the RAF on a short service commission in June 1939.

He joined 73 Squadron in France in early May 1940. On the 11th he damaged a Me110, on the 16th he claimed two enemy aircraft destroyed, on 3rd June a Me110 and on 13th June he shared two He111s.

Back on English soil on 6th September Eliot was shot down in combat over the Thames Estuary. He baled out, burned, and was taken to Twickenhurst Hospital.

Once recovered, in early November Eliot embarked on the carrier HMS Argus. He was in the first group of six Hurricanes which flew off on a 400-mile flight to Malta on 17th November.





Eliot joined 261 Squadron at Hal Far. On 26th February 1941 he claimed a Ju87 destroyed and probably another. On 12th May 261 Squadron was disbanded and Eliot went into a new unit, 185 Squadron, becoming a Flight Commander in July.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 26th September 1941) and returned to the UK, where he joined 242 Squadron at Valley on 24th September.

He was rested on 10th October 1941. In late 1942 Eliot was posted to 255 Squadron at Honiley as a Flight Commander. He went to North Africa with the squadron and was given command in August 1943.

During the night of 9th/10th September he shot down a Me210 and on 30th/31st January 1944 a Do217. Eliot was posted away in February 1944. He returned to operations in late September to command 256 Squadron at Foggia, Italy. On 4th/5th October he destroyed a Ju52 and two nights later a Do24.

Attacking a bridge at night on 4th March 1945, Eliot was shot down by flak and killed in Mosquito NF XII HK178. His navigator F/Lt. WT Cox was also killed.

Eliot was 23 and is buried in Argenta Gap War Cemetery, Italy. An award of the DSO was gazetted after his death on 23rd May 1945.








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