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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. A G V Holton


Arthur Gerald Vaughan Holton was born on 3rd August 1916 and joined the RAFVR in July 1939 as an Airman u/t Aircrew.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 5 OTU Aston Down and was posted as an Air Gunner to 141 Squadron, operating Defiants from Turnhouse, on 19th August 1940.

Holton flew his first operational sortie over a convoy on 23rd August from Dyce. For the remainder of 1940 141 Squadron operated from Turnhouse, Church Fenton, Biggin Hill, Gatwick and Gravesend.

Holton flew with P/O JG Benson, Sgt. RC Hamer and Sgt. HE Green. Enemy aircraft were sighted but no claims could be made.


Holton was rested in December 1940 but returned to 141 Squadron in March 1941, flying a patrol over Beachy Head on the 8th. In early April he flew on his first mission to France, patrolling the line Cap Gris Nez to Boulogne.

In May 1941 the squadron was sent north to Ayr and Holton did not fly again operationally until his next posting, to 89 Squadron at Abu Sueir, Egypt in late 1941.

Holton had to retrain as a Navigator (Radar) as 89 Squadron were equipped with Beaufighters. Holton teamed up with P/O Gifkins and from January to March 1942 operations were confined to night sorties in the local area.

Then its role expanded to cover daytime convoy patrols and Holton operated from Malta after September 1942, now teamed with F/Lt. G Nottage. They ran their own solo intruder operations over Sicily.

In November 1942 Holton departed Malta for Edku in North Africa, the port engine of his Beaufighter exploding on take-off during a scramble on the 21st.

In January 1943 Holton and Nottage were detached to Calcutta to help form the nucleus of 176 Squadron. They operated from there till January 1944 when Holton, having completed his second tour, was posted to an OTU back in the UK.

He ended the war with 551 Squadron and logged his last flight, in a Horsa glider, on 20th September 1945.

He worked postwar in engineering, retired to Clapham in London and died in 1994 in Bedford.



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