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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. R A Haylock


Robert Arthur Haylock was born in Bury St Edmunds on 20th July 1921. He was educated at the East Anglian School there and Culford School.

He joined the RAFVR about June 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his flying training and joined 236 Squadron at St. Eval in September 1940.



The squadron's duties included escorting FAA torpedo aircraft attacking enemy shipping in the Channel, making reconnaissances of German submarine bases and the Channel ports, searching for the FW Condors that were harassing convoys and acting as convoy-escorts out into the Atlantic.

In early 1941 Haylock converted to Beaufighters at RAF Chivenor and then joined 272 Squadron. In May the squadron flew to the Middle East via Gibraltar and Malta. Initially based at Abu Sueir, 272 Squadron later moved to Mersa Matruh. Its main duty was to strafe enemy airfields but it also covered Tobruk convoys and made occasional operational visits to Malta.

On 29th September 1941, flying from Malta, Haylock damaged two E-boats and two Cant Z501 flying boats.

In late 1941 he returned to the UK and was posted as a test pilot to Boscombe Down.

Commissioned in early 1942, Haylock, amongst other duties, acted as Special Duty Flight Commander and worked closely with CDES Porton.

He remained on test duties at Boscombe Down until his release from the RAF in December 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.

Haylock died in Brighton on 17th March 2006.




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