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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. C V Winn


Charles Vivian Winn was born on 20th April 1918 in Cardiff and educated at St. Peters School, Weston-super-Mare and Wycliffe College. He joined the RAF on a short service commission in November 1937.

Winn was posted to 7 FTS Peterborough on 5th March 1938 and joined 29 Squadron at Debden on 17th September.

He served with the squadron throughout the Battle of Britain and was appointed a Flight Commander on 28th October 1940. He was posted away on 21st June 1941 and joined 1459 Flight when it was formed at Hunsdon on 20th September 1941.


The Flight was equipped with Turbinlite Havocs and flew in co-operation with Hurricanes of 253 Squadron. During the night of 30th April/1st May 1942, Winn illuminated a He111 which F/Lt. DS Yapp attacked and destroyed.

Later in the month Winn took command of 1459 Flight. On 28th July he probably destroyed a Do17 near Mablethorpe with the assistance of F/Lt. JLW Ellacombe of 253 Squadron. On 11th August he participated in the probable destruction of an enemy aircraft with F/Sgt. McCarthy of 253 Squadron.

Winn was awarded the DFC (gazetted 29th September 1942).

The Flight was re-numbered 538 Squadron on 8th September and Winn commanded it until its disbandment on 25th January 1943.

He rejoined 29 Squadron at West Malling in March 1943 as a Flight Commander. He moved to 141 Squadron at Predannack on 24th April as a Flight Commander, remaining with it until 18th November 1943 when he was posted to HQ ADGB.

In early 1944 Winn went to HQ 100 (Bomber Support) Group and on 3rd June 1944 he took command of 141 Squadron at West Raynham, remaining with it until its disbandment on 7th September 1945.

Winn stayed in the RAF postwar and was awarded the DSO (gazetted 3rd July 1945), was made an OBE (gazetted 1st January 1951), received the Queen's Commendation for Bravery in 1953 (for assistance in the East Coast Floods of 1953), was made a CBE (gazetted 1st January 1963) and retired from the RAF on 1st July 1974 as an Air Vice-Marshal.

He took up a post as Chief Recreation Officer for Anglian Water Authority and from 1982 to 1987 he was Chairman of the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society. He was also a member of the Air League.

Winn died on 20th September 1988.

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