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The Airmen's Stories - P/O J R Hamar


Jack Royston Hamar was born in Knighton, Radnorshire on 21st December 1914, the son of Arthur Thomas Hamer and Sarah Hamer (nee Gregg).

Two of his uncles had been lost in the RFC/RAF in WW1. Cadet Richard Clarence Hamar was killed at the RAF School of Aerial Gunnery on 4th June 1918 and is buried at Beamsville (Mount Osborne) Cemetery in Ontario, Canada.

Lieutenant Alfred John Hamar RFC was killed serving with 55 Squadron of the 9th Wing on 8th April 1917 and is buried in St. Pierre Cemetery, Amiens, France.


JR Hamar was educated at the primary school in Knighton and at John Beddoes Grammar School, Presteigne. He worked in the family grocery business in Knighton.

On 16th May 1938 Hamar was accepted as an RAFO pupil pilot and began his elementary flying training at 10 E&RFTS Yatesbury.




Having passed his initial training course, he went to No. 1 RAF Depot Uxbridge on 9th July where he was commissioned in Class 'A' of the RAFO and put through a short induction course.

Hamar completed his flying training at CFS Yatesbury and joined 151 Squadron at North Weald on 3rd March 1939. He relinquished his RAFO commission in May 1939 on being granted a short service commission in the RAF.



Hamar crashed in a Magister at Debden on 11th February 1940 but was unhurt.

On 17th May 151 landed at Abbeville in France to help the hard-pressed squadrons and on this day Hamar probably destroyed a Ju87. 151 was withdrawn on the 22nd and, flying from Manston, escorted three Ensign transports to Merville.

On the way back 151 attacked Ju87s dive-bombing St. Omer. Hamar destroyed one and probably a second.

On 25th and 29th May he destroyed Ju88s over Dunkirk. Hamar damaged a Me110 on 9th July and destroyed a Me109 on the 14th.

He was killed on 24th July when he stalled when attempting an upward roll prior to landing in Hurricane P3316.

The weather was too bad for flying but when an unidentified aircraft was reported circling over Ipswich W/Cdr. EM Donaldson elected to investigate and took Hamar as wingman, they had flown together over 300 times. They were recalled when the aircraft identified itself as an Anson.

Hamar followed Donaldson back, relying on him to find North Weald. Donaldson gave the order to break off to land but in the extremely poor visibility Hamar did not realise that they were down to 100 feet and he entered the customary upward roll that was the pair's trademark.

He crashed inverted onto North Weald aerodrome and was killed instantly as his hood was open, the better to see.

Hamar is buried in Knighton Cemetery.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 30th July 1940), which was presented to his mother by the King at Buckingham Palace on 17th September 1940.



Hamar featured in a page of caricatures of 151 Squadron personnel in the Tatler magazine in 1940, though his initials were misspelt.




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