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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. F S Perkin


Frederick Stanley Perkin was born on 8th June 1920 and joined the RAFVR in April 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot, he began his flying training at 15 E&RFTS Redhill in June.

Called to full-time service at the outbreak of war, he went to No. 1 ITW Cambridge and on 25th October 1939 to 22 FFTS Cambridge on No. 1 War Course.

On 12th April 1940 Perkin was posted to 11 FTS Shawbury, completing the course on 24th July. He arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on 28th July to convert to Blenheims, after which he joined 600 Squadron at Manston on 17th August.




The squadron moved to Hornchurch on the 21st. Perkin made one flight with 600, on the 24th, and then went to 615 Squadron at Kenley on 27th August. The squadron was withdrawn to Prestwick on the 28th and while there Perkin converted to Hurricanes.

On 15th September 1940 he was posted to 73 Squadron at Castle Camps. He was shot down in flames over London on the 23rd, baled out, unhurt, and landed in the sea east of Sheppey. His Hurricane, V7445, crashed in the Swale, Elmley.

Perkin joined 421 Flight at Gravesend on 25th October. He shared in damaging a Do17 on 12th December. The Flight was expanded to squadron strength and renumbered 91 Squadron at Hawkinge on 12th January 1941.


Above: 421 Flight at Hawkinge 1940

L to R: Sgt. J Gillies, F/Lt. B Drake, Sgt. FS Perkin, F/O PPC Barthropp, possibly P/O ANRL Appleford.


Commissioned in August, Perkin was posted to 58 OTU Grangemouth on 12th September moving soon afterwards to 61 OTU Heston and later Rednal.

From 12th July 1942 he was attached to the 52nd Pursuit Group, USAAF at Eglinton, Northern Ireland, instructing on Spitfires. He rejoined 91 Squadron at Hawkinge on 24th August but moved on to 111 Squadron at Kenley on 15th September 1942.

The squadron was posted to North Africa later in the month and embarked on the SS Christiaan Huygens for Gibraltar. It flew into Maison Blanche, Algiers on 11th November. Perkin served with 111 until 13th May 1943 when he returned to the UK.


Above: 1943 111 Squadron, Souk-el-Khemis, Tunisia. Left to right - F/Lt. BE Gale (AUS), S/Ldr. JJ Le Roux (SAAF), Perkin, Sgt. AM Thomas (CAN), F/Sgt. H Ballance (RHO).

Above images courtesy of Jonathan Perkin.


He instructed at 55 OTU Annan from 1st July 1943 until January 1944 and then spent the remainder of the war controlling on long-range radar sets from Hythe, directing Spitfires and Tempests that were intercepting V1 flying bombs.

Perkin was released from the RAF in May 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He died on 20th November 1988 in Southampton.



August 2020 - Bill Simons (600 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, Biggin Hill 1950s) writes:

I used to work with him in London in the early 50s, he told me that when he bailed out over the Thames for some reason his comm’s cord did not unplug and for moments he hung out alongside the cockpit until weight and centrifugal force forced the connection apart!!!


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