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The Airmen's Stories - F/O E L Hancock


Ernest Lindsey Hancock was born on 31st January 1916, the son of His Honour Judge Ernest Hancock, Kepler Cottage, Kingston Hill, Surrey.

After prep school at Gate House School, Kingston Hill, Surrey he attended Sherborne School (Westcott House) from September 1929 to April 1934.

Hancock then went on to Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read Law. He was a member of the University Air Squadron and was commissioned in Class 'AA' of the RAFO in December 1936.

He relinquished this when granted a commission in the RAFVR in April 1938.


Above: Hancock in front of a Lancaster, third from right.


Called up on 1st September 1939, Hancock completed his training and was at 5 B&GS by 30th June 1940 as a staff pilot.

He was posted to 7 OTU Hawarden on 2nd September. After converting to Spitfires he joined 609 Squadron at Middle Wallop on 23rd September.

He was posted away from the squadron on 23rd January 1941 to instruct at an OTU. He then went to 186 Squadron on its reformation on 27th April 1943 at Drem.

The squadron moved to Ayr on 3rd August 1943 and exchnged the Hurricane IV for the Typhoon Ib.

Hancock took command and then moved to Tain on 7th January 1944 where the squadron changed again to the Spitfire Vb. After a move to Lympne on 1st March 1944 the squadron was then suddenly transferred to Bomber Command.

Hancock converted to the Lancaster and commenced flying from Tuddenham in Suffolk from 1st September 1944.

The Squadron moved to Stradishall, also in Suffolk, on 17th December 1944.

Hancock flew 17 day and night sorties before being released from the RAF in 1945 as a Wing Commander.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 16th November 1945).

Postwar Hancock practised as a solicitor.

He died in April 1992 in Kings Lynn, Norfolk.

Additional research courtesy of Sherborne School Archives.


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