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The Airmen's Stories - F/O H K Laycock


Herbert Keith Laycock, of Walton-on-Thames, was born in December 1918, the son of Harold Riley Laycock and Effie Laycock.

He joined the RAF on a short service commission in May 1938.

He arrived on 616 Squadron from RAF Halton on 20th September 1939.




Above: 616 Squadron - (Standing) F/O R Marples, F/O HSL Dundas, F/O HC Laycock, F/Lt. DE Gillam, P/O TB Murray, P/O LH Casson, Sgt. PT Wareing.

(Sitting) Sgt. TE Westmoreland, Sgt. J Hopewell, F/Sgt. FP Burnard.


Over Dunkirk on 1st June 1940 Laycock damaged a He111. He joined 79 Squadron at Acklington in early July and moved to 87 Squadron at Exeter on 8th October 1940. Next day Laycock's flight moved to Bibury, from where he began flying night patrols from the 11th.

He married Sonia Chester-Master in August 1942 in Surrey.

Laycock was killed on 26th August 1943, as a Squadron Leader with 603 Squadron, aged 24. 603 was then based at Misurata West airfield in Libya.



On 19th August 1943 he led an ‘armed rover’ to Missolonghi in Greece. His Beaufighter’s starboard engine caught fire but Laycock brought the aircraft down north-west of the town. Laycock and his crewman Sgt. RC Scott were both badly burned and taken prisoner. Both are recorded as having died in the camp hospital a week later on 26th August.

Laycock and Scott are buried in the Phaleron War Cemetery, Greece.






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