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The Airmen's Stories - P/O N C Langham-Hobart


Neville Charles Langham-Hobart was born on 15th January 1912 in Tynemouth and went to the Royal Grammar School there. In August 1939 he joined 607 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force as an LAC u/t Pilot. Called up at the outbreak of war, he was posted to 7 FTS Peterborough for further training.

In March 1940 he joined 611 Squadron at Digby but on 28th April Langham-Hobart arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge. After converting to Hurricanes he was posted on 11th May to 73 Squadron in France.

After the French collapse the squadron was withdrawn on 17th June to Church Fenton.



On 7th September Langham-Hobart claimed a Me110 destroyed. He was shot down over the Thames Estuary on 23rd September in Hurricane L2036. Severely burned, he was rescued from the sea by the Navy and admitted to the Royal Naval Hospital, Chatham.

Langham-Hobart later moved to the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead where he had skin grafts on face and legs, becoming a Guinea Pig.

In 1941 he was posted to the Ministry of Aircraft Production and visited munition factories, speaking to the workers. He later went to Canada, where, after doing a specialist navigation course at Goderich, Ontario, he instructed at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Back in the UK Langham-Hobart went to the Air Ministry and later moved to HQ 13 Group Newcastle as Navigation Officer. He went to HQ Cairo and given the job of setting up mobile light beacons between Tripoli and Algiers. With this task completed, he was appointed CGI at Abu Sueir.

Langham-Hobart returned to the UK, did an intensive course on radar systems at RAF Shawbury and then returned to Air HQ Cairo.

His final posting was as CO of RAF Port Reitz at Mombasa. He returned to the UK and was released from the RAF in September 1945 as a Squadron Leader.

He died in Newcastle in September 1994.


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