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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J W Hyde


John Woollard Hyde was born on 1st May 1913 at Wimbledon, he moved with his family to Farnham, Surrey in 1916. He was educated at Elmsleigh Preparatory School and later at Chichester. Hyde joined the family business but later took up motor engineering.

In September 1934 he joined Class 'F' of the RAF Reserve as an Airman u/t Pilot. He went on a three month course to 3 E&RFTS Hamble where he logged the required 50 hours. Hyde continued with his civilian job, going annually to a fortnights camp at Filton for flying and ground lectures.



He transferred to the RAFVR in late 1937, going to Tottenham Court Road, London for evening lectures and 18 E&RFTS Fair Oaks for flying.

Awarded his wings in August 1939, Hyde was called up on 1st September 1939. He went to 10 FTS Ternhill on the 13th for assessment, after which he was sent to No. 13 Course at Ternhill for the advanced training section only.

On 6th November 1939 he joined 266 Squadron at Sutton Bridge, moving to 229 Squadron at Northolt on the 26th.

Hyde served with the squadron throughout the Battle of Britain. On 11th September 1940 he shared in the destruction of a He111 and on 6th October he damaged a Ju88.

After completing his tour he was posted to 52 OTU Debden on 21st February 1941 as an instructor.

Commissioned in August 1941, Hyde went to RAF Wilmslow on the 26th for an overseas posting. He landed at Takoradi on 25th October and moved to 71 OTU Gordons Tree, Sudan on 1st November as an instructor.

On 11th March 1942 Hyde was at HQ 306 Group, Heliopolis for posting on and he was sent to Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia.

From mid-May 1942 Hyde did a CFS course at 33 FIS Belvedere after which he joined the staff at 24 CAOS Moffat, Southern Rhodesia, remaining there until late September 1942, when he returned to the UK.

Hyde went into Flying Control. He was at 4 Gliding Training School Kidlington from December 1942 to early March 1943 and after a brief spell at No. 1 Heavy Glider Conversion Unit at Brize Norton, he joined the control staff at 6 (Coastal) OTU Silloth.

He was released from the RAF in late 1945 as a Flying Officer.

He died on 11th November 2008.

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