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The Airmen's Stories - S/Ldr. G A L Manton


Graham Ashley Leonard Manton was born on 18th June 1910 in Margate and joined the RAF on a short service commission on 26th June 1931. He was posted to 2 FTS Digby on 13th July and after completing his training joined 111 Squadron at Hornchurch on 20th June 1932.

Manton went to 605 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force on 29th March 1934 as Assistant Adjutant and Instructor. After qualifying as a flying instructor he was posted to 607 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force on 17th July 1936 as Adjutant.



Manton had been granted a permanent commission on 26th June 1936.

On 1st January 1937 Manton went to the Air Ministry for duty in the Directorate of Flying Training, to deal with Auxiliary, RAFVR and University Air Squadron training.

He married Marjorie Whitehouse in January 1939 in Kensington, London.

After a refresher course at 5 OTU Aston Down in June 1940, he was posted to command 56 Squadron at North Weald on 1st July. On the 13th Manton probably destroyed a Ju87, on the 25th he was slightly wounded in the hands and legs by an explosive bullet and was treated at the Royal Masonic Hospital.

On 18th August Manton probably destroyed a Me110 and on the 24th he destroyed a Me109.

On 31st August he was promoted to Wing Commander and posted to command RAF Hawkinge. This did not take place and he was to take up a staff job at HQ 9 Group on 2nd September but he was posted to Manston instead. He assumed command of RAF Manston on 5th September.

In March 1941 Manton was appointed Wing Leader at Northolt. He was shot down on 16th April in Hurricane Z2492, crash-landing between New Romney and Dymchurch. Manton was wounded and after a period of limited duty at Colerne he was posted to Fighter HQ at Belfast.

In 1942 he was promoted to Acting Group Captain and appointed SASO at HQ 82 Group and later at HQ RAF Northern Ireland. Manton commanded RAF Church Fenton and RAF Coltishall in 1943 and then became Group Captain Operations at HQ 12 Group Watnall.

Having volunteered for overseas service Manton was posted in September 1944 to command 907 Fighter-Bomber Wing in Burma.

He returned to the UK in 1946 and went as SASO to HQ 13 Group Inverness.

He stayed in the RAF postwar and was Station Commander at Middle Wallop 1950/52 and Chief Instructor, Air Defence Wing from 1952.

Manton retired on 26th June 1960 as a Group Captain.

He settled in Australia and died there in 2005.


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