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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. A C Metcalfe


Arthur Charles Metcalfe was born in Hackney on 16th July 1918. He won a scholarship and studied at Haberdashers Askes School.

On leaving School he was employed by Dyson, Bell and Company as a Parliamentary Clerk. He joined 600 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force in October 1938 as an Aircrafthand.



He was called up on 24th August 1939 and volunteered for aircrew duties. Metcalfe flew with 600 Squadron on 25th August 1939 when he and F/O JGC Barnes flew from Hendon to Northolt in Blenheim BQ-E.

On 3rd October 1939 Metcalfe flew his first operational sortie of the war. On this date, with F/Lt. DDeB Clark as pilot, they flew an observation patrol lasting 45 minutes in Blenheim BQ-A.

He remained with 600 Squadron until being posted to 604 Squadron on 24th May 1940. Metcalfe flew his first operational sorties with 604 Squadron on 3rd June when, crewed with F/O RH Scott, patrols were flown over Deal and then Dover.

It is unclear when he left 604 Squadron but it would appear that like many Air Gunners he was posted on to Bomber Command when 604 Squadron was re-equipped with Beaufighters, these not having a gunner requirement.

Postwar Metcalfe returned to his old job with Dyson, Bell and Company. He represented them in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

On 5th April 1984 the Speaker of the House of Commons, Bernard Weatherill, thanked Metcalfe for 50 years of service to the House.

Metcalfe died in Sidcup, Kent on 19th October 1994 and his ashes were scattered at Tankerton in Kent.



On 23rd May 2015 a restored Mk.1 Blenheim was rolled out for its first public flying display at the Imperial War Museum site at Duxford.

Arthur Metcalfe's widow, Penny, was present along with his medals, which had been unclaimed after the war and only delivered to her a short time before.

The medals and Arthur's photograph were placed in the air gunner's position and taken aloft with the commemoration being announced over the public address system.

















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