Battle of Britain Monument Home THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN LONDON MONUMENT Battle of Britain London Monument
The Battle of Britain London Monument "Never in the field of human
conflict was so much owed
by so many to so few
Site of Battleof Britain London Monument Work in Progress London Monument Site Drawing of Battle of Britain London Monument
Battle of Britain London Monument Home    

The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. H Owen


Henry Owen was born in Durham on 4th June 1921 and joined the RAF on 29th September 1938 as a Boy Entrant. He went to No. 1 Electrical and Wireless School at Cranwell and passed out as AC1 in September 1939. After qualifying as an air gunner at No. 1 Air Armament School at Manby in October he joined 219 Squadron at Catterick.

Owen was promoted to LAC in February 1940 and to Sergeant in May. He was posted away to 235 Squadron in mid-July, after 219 began to receive Beaufighters.



He was flying in Blenheim Z5736 on 24th August when it was attacked in error by Hurricanes of No. 1 (RCAF) Squadron over Thorney Island. The aircraft was badly damaged and crashed on landing. Owen and his pilot, Sgt. KE Naish, were unhurt.

Owen left 235 in July 1941 and was sent on a flying boat conversion course. He joined 413 (RCAF) Squadron in October, to fly in Catalinas.

In February 1942 Owen was posted to 240 Squadron and operated in Catalinas in the Mediterranean and later South-East Asia. He was rested in December and posted to the Communications Flight at Air HQ Bangalore. He later became a WOp/AG instructor on Vultee Vengeances at Peshawar, moving in May 1943 to instruct at the Gunnery School at Bhopal.

Owen was commissioned from Warrant Officer and went on a Liberator conversion course in September 1944 and then joined 356 Squadron. He flew operationally in Burma, Malaya and Siam until May 1945.

He went to Air HQ Burma in August and returned to the UK in March 1946.

He married Nellie Winifred Harding in June 1948 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland.

Owen retired from the RAF on 15th July 1955 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He worked in the UK on Flight Simulators and then emigrated to New Zealand in 1962.

Owen died on 19th October 2007 in Nelson, Tasman Bay, South Island at the age of 86.

Battle of Britain Monument