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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. L F Henstock


Lawrence Frederick Henstock was born on 20th May 1912 at Ashbourne, Derbyshire and educated at Queen Elizabeths Grammar School there.

He joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his initial training course on 10th February 1936 at the Reid and Sigrist Civil Training College at Duxford.




He went to No. 1 RAF Depot Uxbridge on 6th April for a short induction course and on the 18th he was posted to 7 FTS Peterborough for intermediate and advanced flying training.

With the course completed, Henstock joined No. 1 Squadron at Tangmere in October 1936.

On 11th March 1937 Henstock was aloft in Gladiator K6139 when the engine cut and the aircraft force landed and overturned in a ploughed field at Ford’s Farm, Upton Grey, a village between Alton and Basingstoke. He was unhurt.

On 22nd March 1937 he joined 72 Squadron, then being formed at Church Fenton.

Henstock shared in the destruction of two He111s SE of Montrose on 7th December 1939. He joined 64 Squadron, also at Church Fenton, on 18th February 1940 as 'B' Flight Commander with the rank of Acting Flight Lieutenant.

Over Dunkirk on 31st May he damaged a Me110.

On 25th July he probably destroyed a Me109, shared in the destruction of another and damaged a Ju87, on 12th August he shared a Do17 and on the 18th he damaged a Do17.

Henstock flew his last operational sortie with 64 Squadron on 9th September 1940 and it is believed that he then went to CGS Warmwell, as an instructor.

In February 1942 he was posted to 10 Air Gunnery School, moving in June to 58 OTU Grangemouth as an instructor.

In August 1943 Henstock joined the staff of HQ 9 Group at Preston and was later at 5 (P) AFU. He was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Squadron Leader.

Henstock died at Ashbourne in March 1981.

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