The Airmen's Stories - P/O V B S Verity
Victor Bosanquet Strachan Verity was born in Timaru, New Zealand on 5th November 1919. He was educated at the Boys High School there, after which he worked on his father's farm.
He applied for a short service commission in the RAF in early 1938, was provisionally accepted in September and sailed for the UK in the RMS Tainui on 1st February 1939.
Verity began his initial training at 11 E&RFTS Perth on 16th March and after a short induction course at Uxbridge he was posted to 9 FTS Hullavington on 30th May. Verity joined 229 Squadron at Digby on 25th November 1939.
The squadron was then equipped with Blenheims but began to receive Hurricanes in March 1940. On 14th May Verity and two other pilots were sent on attachment to 615 Squadron in France. He destroyed two He111s on the 20th but was then immediately shot down himself by escorting Me110s and crash-landed in Hurricane L2060 at his base at Norrent Fontes. Verity was ordered to return to England.
He travelled to Cherbourg by road and then steamer to Southampton, reaching Digby on the 23rd. The next day 229 moved south to Biggin Hill. Over Dunkirk on 31st May Verity destroyed a Me110 but was again shot down, this time rescued from the sea by a paddle steamer, the captain of which confirmed Verity's victory.
He rejoined the squadron, which returned to Digby on 5th June. On 11th September he claimed a He111 destroyed and a Me110 damaged and on 4th October claimed a Ju88 destroyed. Verity volunteered for night fighters and was posted to 422 Flight at Shoreham on 15th October.
This unit was controlled by FIU at Ford and often operated by night from Tangmere. On 6th November Verity damaged a Ju88 and on the 13th shared in destroying a Ju88 and damaging a second.
On 7th December the Flight moved to Cranage and became the nucleus of 96 Squadron, charged with the night defence of Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. In March 1941 the squadron began to replace its Hurricanes with Defiants. Verity teamed up with Sgt. FWW Wake. On 3rd May they destroyed a Ju88, on the 6th a He111 and probably a Ju88, on the 7th another Ju88 and probably a second and on 8th July another He111.
Verity and Wake were aloft in Defiant N3434 on the night of 5th August 1941 when they collided with Defiant N3447, which came down at Whitegate, Cheshire. The crew, P/O JR Duncan and F/Sgt. FA Allcroft, were killed. Verity and Wake were uninjured.
Verity was awarded the DFC (gazetted 8th August 1941).
In April 1942 he was posted to the Middle East and in June joined 73 Squadron in the Western Desert. To gain experience on Beaufighters Verity went to ADU Cairo on 6th September and in January 1943 he was posted to 89 Squadron at Abu Sueir. He was crewed-up with WO Farquharson and after being detached to Benina, they were sent to 89's detached flight at Luqa, Malta. On 10th April 1943 the flight was absorbed into 108 Squadron at Luqa, for night defence of Malta and intruder patrols.
On 17th April Verity and Farquharson destroyed a He111 off Trapani. In late June Verity returned to the UK and was posted to HQ Fighter Command, to become one of three controllers of the night-fighting intruder force operating against German night-fighter bases.
In November 1943 Verity went to 1622 Flight at Gosport but was soon afterwards given command of 650 Squadron at Grange-over-Sands, engaged in target-towing for anti-aircraft training for the Army, in preparation for D-Day. Its work completed, the squadron was disbanded at the end of June 1944.
Verity was posted to 62 OTU Ouston in early August 1944 as Squadron Leader Flying, in June 1945 he went to HQ 12 Group and later in the month moved to a staff job at RAF Hereford.
In November 1945 Verity returned to New Zealand and went on to the Reserve in January 1946. He returned to farming until 1959, when he took his family to England and started a roofing business in Northampton.
He returned to New Zealand in 1969 and died in Wellington on 2nd February 1979.