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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. C E Hampshire


Cyril Edward Hampshire was born in Rotherham on 4th September 1913 and went to Elswick Road Central School, West Hartlepool. He joined the RAF on 2nd September 1930 as an Aircraft Apprentice and passed out in July 1933 as an AC1 Metal Rigger. He was posted to 3 FTS Grantham.

In March 1936 Hampshire went to 810 (Torpedo Bomber) Squadron. He passed his Central Trade Test Board and was promoted to LAC. Having been accepted for pilot training, he was posted to 12 E&RFTS Prestwick in October 1937 and moved to 11 FTS in January 1938, firstly at Wittering and later at Shawbury.

In August 1938 Hampshire joined 85 Squadron, newly-reformed at Debden.



The squadron moved to Rouen-Boos on 9th September 1939. In the fighting in France between 10th and 22nd May Hampshire destroyed two enemy aircraft, probably destroyed two and damaged another.

On 11th August he claimed a Me110 destroyed. On the 17th he was posted to 111 Squadron at Croydon, moved to 249 Squadron at North Weald on 10th September and then to 422 Flight at Shoreham on 15th October. From June to mid-November 1940 Hampshire flew 119 sorties by day and 11 by night and destroyed, probably destroyed or damaged four more enemy aircraft.

422 Flight became 96 Squadron on 21st December. He was with the squadron until 7th February 1942 when he was posted to 60 OTU East Fortune as a Warrant Officer instructor on multi-engined aircraft.

Commissioned in July 1942, Hampshire joined 286 Squadron, an anti-aircraft co-operation unit at Zeals. Taking off from Locking in an Oxford on 13th February 1943 he crashed. One man was killed, one died of his injuries and Hampshire was paralysed and spent a year in hospital. He lost his flying category and finished the war as an admin officer in the 2nd TAF Personnel Department.

He was released from the RAF in January 1946 as a Flying Officer.

Hampshire died on 29th April 2004.



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