Battle of Britain Monument Home THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN LONDON MONUMENT Battle of Britain London Monument
The Battle of Britain London Monument "Never in the field of human
conflict was so much owed
by so many to so few
Site of Battleof Britain London Monument Work in Progress London Monument Site Drawing of Battle of Britain London Monument
Battle of Britain London Monument Home    

The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. R V Gridley


Robert Victor Gridley was born on 1st April 1921 in Rochford, the son of Arthur and Lilian Gladys Gridley.

He joined the RAF in April 1939 as an Aircrafthand. He later trained as a Wop/AG.

He was serving with 22 Squadron in May 1940 and went to 235 Squadron on 3rd August, possibly on attachment.



Commissioned in June 1941, Gridley was then with 69 Squadron in Malta. On 13th January 1942 he was a member of the crew of Maryland AH721, captained by W/Cdr. J Dowland, on a reconnaissance sortie to the Pantelleria/Cape Bon/Kerkenal Island area. On the way home, just off Tigne Point, the aircraft was attacked and damaged by two Me109s, one of which Gridley certainly damaged, firing from a turret.

Dowland got the aircraft back over Malta and ordered the crew to bale out but only the observer was able to do so. Dowland ditched just offshore and the aircraft sank immediately. A watching soldier, Gunner W Izett, dived into the sea, searching in vain for twenty minutes before being dragged out, exhausted. Dowland's body was later recovered but Gridley's was never found.

He had married Maria Cilia (1918-2014) while in Malta, she gave birth to a son very soon after his death (Robert Arthur Gridley 1942-2019). She and her son were evacuated under the war widow scheme to South Africa for safety.

Gridley is commemorated on the Malta Memorial.



Battle of Britain Monument