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The Airmen's Stories - P/O P I Howard-Williams


Peter Ian Howard-Williams was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight on 27th December 1919 and educated at Felsted School. He entered the RAF College Cranwell on 27th April 1939 as a Flight Cadet.

After the outbreak of war Cranwell cadets who had not completed their course were enlisted in the regular RAF on 7th September 1939 as Airmen u/t Pilots.



Above: His Spitfire bore an image of his Labrador plus his wife's name. He married Sheila Butterly in July 1942 in Bathavon, Somerset.


Below: Howard-Williams alongside the damage to his Spitfire Vb AA964/NK-D after a dogfight on 2nd February 1942.





Howard-Williams graduated on 7th March 1940 with a permanent commission. He joined 19 Squadron at Duxford on 17th March and served with it throughout the Battle of Britain.

He was serving with 610 Squadron in early 1941 and in February he joined 118 Squadron, then reforming at Filton. The squadron moved to Pembrey in March and became operational on the 28th, flying convoy patrols.

It moved to Ibsley on 18th April 1941. On 6th August Howard-Williams destroyed a Me109, on 12th October he destroyed a Me109 and probably another and on the 15th he shared a Me109.

Awarded the DFC (gazetted 4th November 1941), Howard-Williams appeared briefly as himself in the film First of the Few, filmed at Ibsley in late 1941.


Above: with P/O DY Claxton (RCAF) of 118 Squadron, he was shot down and killed in Spitfire BL297 when it was hit by flak over Cherbourg on 25th April 1942.


He was made a Flight Commander in early 1942 and on 2nd February he claimed a Me109 destroyed and two others damaged. He was posted away in March 1942, going first to 276 Squadron at Fairwood Common on air-sea rescue duties.

In May 1942 he joined 2 Delivery Flight at Colerne, staying with it until February 1943, when he rejoined 610 Squadron at Westhampnett. On 11th March he shot down a Fw190 over the Channel.

From April 1943 Howard-Williams was attached to 2 Squadron, initially at Fowlmere, a fighter-reconnaissance unit. He rejoined 610 Squadron in June 1943 at Perranporth.

In November 1943 he was posted to 11 APC, moved to 11 FIS in March 1944, went to 57 OTU Eshott in April as an instructor, and then to 27 OTU Lichfield where he remained until March 1945, when he was posted to HQ 91 Group Abingdon.

Howard-Williams retired from the RAF on 11th June 1958 as a Squadron Leader, retaining the rank of Wing Commander.

After retirement he bought the Pandora Inn at Restronguet, Falmouth.

He had a toyshop in Falmouth before retiring to Spain in 1979. He returned to England in 1991 after becoming ill.

Howard-Williams died in March 1993.


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