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The Airmen's Stories - P/O G H Hackwood


Gerald Henry Hackwood of Newbury, Berkshire, was born in April 1920 in Wantage, the son of John Henry Ferdinand Hackwood and Edith Clara Hackwood (nee Wilkins).

He joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his initial training on 1st May 1939. He completed his training and was serving with 264 Squadron at Martlesham Heath by 1st February 1940.

Off Dunkirk on 29th May Hackwood, with LAC P Lille as his gunner, claimed a Me109, a Me110 and a Ju87 destroyed and shared in the destruction of a Me110 and a Ju87.


Above: 264 Squadron airmen photographed in May 1940.

L to R (standing): P/O Hickman, F/Lt. Cooke, S/Ldr. PA Hunter, P/O MH Young, P/O GH Hackwood, P/O EG Barwell, P/O SR Thomas, P/O D Whitley.

(Seated): F/Sgt. ER Thorn, P/O DHS Kay, Sgt. AJ Lauder, P/O RW Stokes




On the 31st, again off Dunkirk, they shot down two He111s and shared a third.

Hackwood served with 264 Squadron in the Battle of Britain until 7th October 1940 when he crashed taking off from Luton in Defiant N1578. He was admitted to hospital and did not fly his next operational sortie until 10th November.

He was killed on 20th November 1940 when Defiant N1626 crashed, soon after taking off from Rochford, at Blatches Farm.

The gunner, F/O AJ Storrie, was also killed.

Hackwood was 20.

He is buried in the churchyard of St. Mary and St. John, Newtown, Hampshire.



Image courtesy of Stephen Potts.



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