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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. L H Hayden


Lawrence Hamilton Hayden was born on 18th July 1913 in Kensington, London and joined the RAFVR about May 1939 as an Airman u/t Aircrew.

In the 1939 Census he was recorded as employed as a clerk in the office of a nurse's home in Bedworth, Coventry. He joined the Orpheus Players theatrical society in Coventry and met Jessie Euphemia Vaughan there, they would marry in March 1940.

Called up on 1st September 1939, Hayden completed his training and was serving with 264 Squadron at Duxford in early May 1940 as an Air Gunner.


264 Squadron Air Gunners

Cpl. A Lippett* Sgt. RC Turner Sgt. FJ Barker Sgt. SB Johnson* Sgt. LH Hayden Sgt. JF Wise Sgt. P Lille

Sgt. ER Thorn** P/O FH King   LAC HT Fairbrother* P/O Williams* LAC A Fidler* Sgt. WE Cox

** Sgt. Thorn was a pilot

* not a Battle of Britain participant

Cpl. A Lippett (MIA 31st May 1940)
Sgt. SB Johnson (MIA 31st May 1940)
LAC A Fidler (KIA 31st May 1940)

Hayden teamed up with P/O TD Welsh. Off Dunkirk on 27th May they shared in the destruction of a He111 and on the 29th destroyed a Me109, a Me110 and two Ju87s. On 24th August they destroyed a Ju88 and damaged a Me109 in the Hornchurch area.

264 Squadron went over to night fighting from September 1940.

During the night of 12th/13th March 1941 Hayden and Welsh shot down a He111 south of Hastings.

Hayden was awarded the DFM and Welsh the DFC (gazetted 11th February 1941).


Above: Hayden after receiving his DFM at Buckingham Palace, accompanied by his mother and wife.


Hayden was commissioned in May 1941. In late 1942 he was serving with 264 Squadron at Colerne.

On 20th June 1943 he took part in the first 'Instep' patrol, a campaign to aggressively patrol the Western Approaches.

Four Mosquitos attacked the flying-boat base at Biscarosse, SW of Bordeaux. Hayden was navigator to F/Lt. LT Bryant-Fenn (also a Battle veteran), who led the flight.

They shot down a Blohm und Voss Bv138, sunk another on the lake and destroyed two six-engined BV 222s moored there.


Hayden was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He died in February 1991 in Warminster, Wiltshire.


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