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 - F/Lt. R V Jeff


Robert Voase Jeff, whose family came from Kelleythorpe, Bridlington, Yorkshire was born on 31st March 1913 at Kuala Lumpur, Federated Malay States, the son of Ernest Jeff (1882-1969) and Madge Jeff (nee Voase 1888-1951).

His father served as a solicitor in Malaya for 20 years.

RV Jeff attended Cheltenham College from May 1927 to July 1930 and joined the RAF on a short service commission in October 1936.

Jeff was posted to 3 FTS Grantham on 11th January 1937 and on 7th August joined 87 Squadron at Debden.

He was very fastidious regarding his uniform and civilian dress and was nicknamed 'Social Type Jeff'.


87 Squadron at Debden.

Above L to R: F/O EP Joyce (not BoB), F/Lt. RV Jeff, Sgt. PHF Thurgar (KIA 12/2/40), P/O CD Mackworth (KIA 14/4/40), F/O JR Cock (AUS) and 'Fritz' in front.


While on a searchlight co-operation exercise on the night of 18th/19th August 1939 in Hurricane L1618 Jeff was blinded by the searchlight beam and lost control. He baled out and landed safely in a churchyard. The Hurricane came down at Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire.

He went with the squadron to France at the outbreak of war.

On 2nd November 1939 he destroyed a He111, the first enemy aircraft to fall on French soil in the war.

The Heinkel was He111H-2 F6+EK no.5350 of 2.(F)/Aufkl.Gr.122. It was flying a reconnaissance mission over northern France when it was intercepted by Jeff and shot down.

It came down at Staple near Hazebrouck, two of the four crew were injured and one later died in hospital.

Fw. WiSchmidt (pilot)
Oblt. W Ohmsen (observer)
Uffz. W Jung (radio)
Uffz. F Wezel (flying engineer) +

The wreck is removed (below).


For this action Jeff was awarded the Croix de Guerre (France), pictured below, which was presented to him by General Vuillemin in early February 1940.



Jeff was also awarded the DFC (gazetted 8th March 1940). On 10th and 15th May 1940 he destroyed Do17s and on the 20th a Me109. He was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 4th June 1940) being then credited with five enemy aircraft destroyed.

Jeff was reported 'Missing' on 11th August 1940. He was last seen diving to attack enemy aircraft off Portland Bill in Hurricane V7231. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 4.




Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner.



His younger brother John Ernest Phillip Jeff was a pilot with 44 Squadron and was killed on 3rd May 1941 when Hampden AD864 failed to return from a sortie to Hamburg. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Also lost were:

P/O HUH Tripp, Sgt. E Edward and Sgt. RJ Leaper.



Battle of Britain Monument