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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. R A Innes


Robert Alexander Innes was born on 15th June 1918 in Glasgow and joined the RAFVR about August 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 10 FTS Tern Hill from 5th November 1939 to early May 1940.

On completion of his training in March 1940 he was posted to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge to convert to Blenheims. However his orders were changed and he arrived at 253 Squadron, operating Hurricanes at Kenley, on 6th May 1940.



He claimed a Me110 destroyed on 30th August and on 15th September he shot down a Do17 of 8/KG2.

Innes crashed in Hurricane V6736 on 20th September following an attack by Me109s over Maidstone.

He crashed again at Staplehurst during an interception patrol on 11th October in Hurricane L1666 from an unknown cause. He probably destroyed a Me109 off the coast of Essex on 11th November.



Innes was commissioned in March 1941. In April 1941 he sailed on HMS Argus for Gibraltar, where he was transferred to HMS Ark Royal and was one of a group of Hurricane pilots who flew off Ark Royal for Malta. On arrival he joined 261 Squadron for a short period, transferring to 185 Squadron when that unit was formed at Hal Far from elements of 261 Squadron and 1430 Flight.

During the Axis air attacks in May and July 1941, Innes and his aircraft were hit twice, the second time his injuries stopped him from flying. He was sent home on HMS Edinburgh. After six months in hospital he took a flying instructor's course and then spent the rest of the war as an instructor.

In 1945 he was posted to the Central Flying School and then to Hornchurch, before becoming the commanding officer of Glasgow University Air Squadron. In 1949 he was posted to set up a Group HQ, before returning to Malta in 1952 to reform 185 Squadron as the new commanding officer.

Innes retired from the RAF on 31st August 1961 as a Squadron Leader.

He died on 6th April 2005.


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