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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. A J Hodgkinson


Arthur John Hodgkinson from Hampstead, London, was born in 1916, the son of William Hodgkinson and Louise Amy Hodgkinson.

He was educated at Amersham Grammar School. He joined the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice in January 1932 and passed out in December 1934 as a Fitter, Aero Engines. He later applied for pilot training and was selected.

Hodgkinson was serving with 219 Squadron in June 1940. He damaged an unidentified enemy aircraft during the night of 21st/22nd July, on 15th August damaged a Ju88 and during the night of 25th/26th October he destroyed a Do17 in the Kenley area, the first confirmed victory in a Beaufighter.




In January 1941 Hodgkinson teamed up with Sgt. BE Dye and was commissioned in February. During the night of 26th/27th February Hodgkinson and Dye damaged a He111, on 13th/14th March they destroyed a Do17, on 7th/8th April a He111, on the 10th/11th probably a Ju88, on 30th April/1st May a He111 destroyed and an unidentified enemy aircraft damaged, on 9th/10th May and 16th/17th two He111s destroyed, on 21st/22nd June an unidentified enemy aircraft destroyed, on the 25th/26th a He111 and on 27th/28th July a Ju88.



Hodgkinson was awarded the DFC (gazetted 1st April 1941) and a Bar (gazetted 6th June 1941).

Hodgkinson was rested from operations until March 1942 when he and Dye joined 264 Squadron at Colerne. During the night of 28th/29th June they damaged a Do217 southeast of Portland Bill.



Above: his portrait was made by Orde.


In February 1943 Hodgkinson was posted overseas and joined 23 Squadron at Malta. On 15th March he shot down a He111 of II/KG 26 over Catania, Sicily. On the 23rd, on a train-busting operation over Western Sicily, a bullet fired from the ground entered the cockpit of the Mosquito and killed the navigator, WO WA Woodman. Hodgkinson destroyed two Ju88s west of Sicily on 26th April.

He was killed on 10th July 1943, aged 27, when Mosquito VI HJ740 failed to return from an intruder sortie to Rome. The aircraft crashed on Centocelle racetrack after colliding with high tension cables. Sgt. VB Crapper was also lost.

Both men are buried in Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio, Italy.

Hodgkinson was awarded the DSO (gazetted 23rd July 1943).


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