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The Airmen's Stories - F/O J C Newbery


John Charles Newbery was born on 23rd August 1915 at Edmonton, Middlesex. His father, also John Charles, had served in the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War. The 1911 census shows him as a carpenter and joiner in the building trade and in the 1939 register his occupation is recorded as Builder and Contractor.

The son was educated at Tottenham Grammar School and Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he read Natural Sciences. He was a member of the University Air Squadron from 1934 and was commissioned in Class 'AA' of the RAFO in December 1936.

Called up on 25th September 1939, Newbery completed his training at RAF College FTS Cranwell on No. 6 Course, which ran from 6th November 1939 to 9th May 1940 (below).




With the course completed he went to No. 1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum for No. 7 Course, which ran from 20th May to 22nd June 1940.

Newbery arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on 23rd June 1940. After converting to Spitfires he joined 609 Squadron at Middle Wallop on 8th July. On the 12th he probably destroyed a Ju88 and on the 15th he probably destroyed two more.

Following a combat on 25th September Newbery pulled out of a power dive in such a way as to strain his Spitfire’s wings, pulling his seat off its fixings and sending him to hospital with severe internal injures. He did not fly his next sortie until 1st November. He was posted to 2 CFS Cranwell on 29th December, probably for an instructors course.

Newbery was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Wing Commander. He died in April 1987 in Hertfordshire.


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