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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. E A Redfern


Eric Arthur Redfern was born on 3rd January 1914 in Crewe, he was from Exning near Newmarket, the son of Dr. Arthur Thomas and Mary Anne Beatrice Redfern.

He was awarded Aero Certificate 17015 at the Norwich and Norfolk Aero Club on 7th February 1939.



Redfern joined the RAFVR in July 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September, he completed his training and was serving with 607 Squadron at Usworth in early July 1940.

He moved to 232 Squadron at Castletown on 27th August as part of 13 Group, responsible for the protection of Scapa Flow and the coastal waters around the north of Britain.

He was posted to 242 Squadron at Martlesham Heath on 29th January 1941, the CO being S/Ldr. Whitney Straight. Redfern claimed a Me109 probably destroyed on a bomber escort to Bethune on 17th June. He damaged a Me109 on the 23rd, and damaged another on a Stirling escort to Lille on 8th July. In late July 1941 he went on leave and married Joan Maud Preston, whom he had known since 1939.


Above image via Joel Diggle.


242 Squadron provided low-level escort for Blenheims sent to attack enemy supply vessels at Le Touquet on 17th August 1941. The bombers turned away in the face of intense opposition and did not bomb.

Redfern, in Hurricane IIb Z3454, was one of two 242 Squadron pilots shot down and killed in this action. Aged 27, he was a Flight Sergeant at the time of his death. He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, France.

Although the Air Ministry had classed him as ‘Missing, presumed dead’ in 1942, his death was not confirmed till 1946 as he had initially been buried as an unknown airman.



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