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The Airmen's Stories - P/O D H Hone


Douglas Harold Hone, from Purley, was born on 30th September 1917. After finishing his education he worked as a bank clerk.

He joined the RAFVR in September 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot and carried out his elementary training at 19 E&RFTS Gatwick.

Called up after the outbreak of war, Hone was posted to No. 1 ITW Cambridge on 11th November 1939 and on 30th December went to 12 FTS Grantham.

After completing his training, Hone moved to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 3rd June 1940 to convert to Hurricanes.

He joined 615 Squadron at Kenley on 6th July and saw his first action on the 19th. Hone shared in destroying a He59 on 27th July and claimed a Do17 destroyed on the 29th. He was attacked by a Hurricane on 14th August but though his instruments were shot away he managed to land at Kenley.

On the 20th Hone shared a Do17.




He engaged a formation of Do17s on the 24th but after his glycol tank was damaged by return fire he had to crash-landing in a field at Meopham. He was uninjured but two days later was wounded in the leg and thigh by cannon shell splinters when attacked by a Me109.

Hone was admitted to Southend Hospital. He flew again on 20th September with the squadron, by then based at Prestwick.

On 26th February 1941 Hone was shot down by Me109s and crashed at Tenterden, suffering concussion and bleeding eyes.

He was posted to 56 OTU Sutton Bridge on 9th July as an instructor. He made a wheels-up landing on 14th August near the mouth of the River Nene after striking a goose, which lodged in the radiator causing engine failure.

After a short spell at 61 OTU Rednal in April/May 1942 Hone joined 41 Squadron at Merston. In the Dieppe operation on 19th August he damaged a Fw190. He was then posted to 501 Squadron at Hawkinge on 1st September 1943 followed by a posting as a Controller on 3rd January 1944.

He was released from the RAF in April 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant, returning to his banking career.

After serving as a Controller in the RAFVR he then rejoined the RAF in July 1950, serving in the Fighter Control Branch. He retired on 30th September 1975.

Hone died in October 2003.


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