Battle of Britain Monument Home THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN LONDON MONUMENT Battle of Britain London Monument
The Battle of Britain London Monument "Never in the field of human
conflict was so much owed
by so many to so few
Site of Battleof Britain London Monument Work in Progress London Monument Site Drawing of Battle of Britain London Monument
Battle of Britain London Monument Home    

The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. W H Hornby


William Henry Hornby was born on 25th July 1912 and served as a junior civil servant before the war. He joined the Auxiliary Air Force in 1936 as an Aircrafthand and transferred to the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Pilot in April 1937. He did his weekend flying at 5 E&RFTS Hanworth and later at 21 E&RFTS Stapleford.

Called to full-time service on 1st September 1939, Hornby was sent to 10 FTS Tern Hill for assessment of his flying capabilities. He joined the newly-reformed 234 Squadron at Leconfield on 6th November 1939.



Hornby claimed a Me109 destroyed on 26th August 1940 and a Me110 on 4th September. Two days later he was shot down and baled out, with facial injuries. His Spitfire, X4183, exploded over Quickbourne Lane, Northiam. After four days at the Casualty Clearing Station at Benenden, Hornby was taken to Hollymoor Hospital, Birmingham.

He rejoined the squadron at St. Eval but did not fly operationally again until 1st November.

Commissioned in January 1941, Hornby was posted to 124 Squadron at Castletown on 23rd May but moved to 58 OTU Grangemouth on 5th August as an instructor. On 16th September he was transferred to 61 OTU Heston remaining with it until 22nd April 1942, when he was sent on a course to 2 FIS Montrose.

Hornby instructed at 7(P)AFU at Peterborough from 13th June 1942 until 12th September 1944. The unit then moved to Sutton Bridge, was renamed 7 SFTS and there Hornby instructed trainee pilots of the Free French Air Force until his demobilisation in 1945, as a Flight Lieutenant.

Hornby died in April 2000 in Bath.


Battle of Britain Monument